Government Shutdown Forcing Closures at Joshua Tree National Park

Government Shutdown Forcing Closures at Joshua Tree National Park

At California's Yosemite National Park, for example, trash and human waste are piling up, as restrooms are overused with few employees to maintain them. "It's so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I've seen in my four years living here".

All others will be asked to enter the park via Highway 140. All park visitor centers are also closed.

"It's really a nightmare scenario", added Garder.

"Park staff are beginning to close restroom facilities and trash receptacles at many park locations due to human waste issues, wildlife concerns and overall public health", the Park Service said.

Other parks were also seeing the effects of mounting garbage. Farther south in California, conditions at Joshua Tree National Park and its delicate desert ecosystems are described as "deteriorating".

Handwritten signs urged visitors: "Pack out your trash".

A vehicle drives into Joshua Tree National Park in California past an entrance station closed due to the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government on December 30, 2018.

The shutdown has also forced the closure of campgrounds at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California - where the dirty work is left to volunteers. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, in Washington.

Joshua Tree, which covers more than 792,000 acres of national park from Palm Springs north to the town of Joshua Tree, will remain open during the shutdown.

Outside his Coyote Corner gift shop, Mr Feltges had set up a portable toilet for the visitors still streaming in and out of the park.

"Everyone loves the park". That includes packing up every single piece of trash you create and bringing them out of the park with you.

The Los Angeles Times reports the National Parks Service is warning of a threat to health at Yosemite National Park. And in fairness, most visitors to the national parks have been respectful. Park officials say without enough supervision, some visitors are off-roading illegally and otherwise damaging the park.

This photo shows a road lined with trash in yosemite National Park.

David MacDonald, president and chief executive of Friends of Acadia, an independent nonprofit that works closely with Acadia National Park officials, said in terms of visitor impact, the park has been "faring better" than places out West.

In Yellowstone National Park private tour companies have picked up some of the maintenance normally done by federal workers.

Rattlesnake Canyon will close to reduce the number of search and rescue events for rangers already spread thin because of the shutdown, the park service said. But still, they can't keep going forever.

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