String Band Folds Website Following Obama’s Criticism

Posted June 13, 2011 at 6:03pm

Updated: 7:20 p.m.

The U.S. Forest Service’s string band disbanded its online presence Monday, hours after President Barack Obama identified the government website of the Fiddlin’ Foresters as an example of government waste.

The band received an unexpected burst of attention Monday morning when the president announced in a video the creation of an oversight board to eliminate wasteful spending and cut the number of government websites in half. He used as an example of government funding gone awry, saying, “I’ll put their music on my iPod, but I’m not paying for their website.”

The bare-bones website hadn’t appeared to take up many resources: A “copyright 2005” footer indicated that it hadn’t been updated in a while. By Monday afternoon, a visit to the website returned an error message stating that the requested URL could not be found on the server.

The band of Forest Service employees and volunteers from the Rocky Mountain region has accumulated a fan base over the years for its performances highlighting the value of conservation. Since 1994, it has performed at performance halls, schools, state fairs, conservation meetings and even the 2002 Winter Olympics.

There’s no word yet on whether the band will get back together on a private site, but a performance can be viewed on the website of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.