Overflowing Toilets Force Joshua Tree to Close Amid Government Shutdown

03 January, 2019, 08:12 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • As government shutdown continues human waste on Yosemite's roadsides prompt park closures

There's been at least one reported incident of an injury in a national park during the shutdown.

Citing public safety, Yosemite has closed two campgrounds because of human waste polluting the areas while bathrooms are closed and trash pickup is unavailable.

Already, services are limited due to the lapse in federal appropriations caused by the government shutdown. "There are no trash services at this time". The figure was a nonstarter for Democrats, leaving Congress at an impasse. "At that point, I think I'm going to have to tap out". "Maybe a little more border security but not a wall".

He's also been trying to talk visitors out of illegal fires, illegal parking, littering and other forbidden activities.

"Providing visitor services is only a portion of what park staff is there to do", he said.

In most of the parks, services and facilities have been ceased, including their trash collection and restroom services.

"Areas within the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park are also closed".

Yosemite, the nation's third most-visited national park, remains open but various campgrounds, as well as snow play areas, are "closed due to human waste issues and lack of staffing", according to its website.

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The partial government shutdown has resulted in closings at the Smithsonian Institution, money problems for small businesses, and now, piles of poop at America's national parks.

"Mostly, people have been extremely respectful", he said, adding that winter visitation is typically lighter than in summer and fall.

Due to heavy snowfall on 12/31/2018, the park road is closed at the visitor center. Joshua Tree rock-climber, 54-year-old Marine Corps veteran and paraplegic Rand Abbott told the Times that he went through 500 rolls of toilet paper while restocking park toilets on the first full day of the shutdown, and has been giving out trash bags to people - totaling at least 60 hours at the time of reporting on December 26.

"People are bringing in dogs and drones, and there are instances where people aren't following the rules, and it is not good for the wildlife and the environment", she said.

The only thing left to prevent Joshua Tree from being overrun by garbage is the diligent work of volunteers.

In Joshua Tree, dozens of volunteers have come together to try to maintain the park.

"We fear that nature can seriously damage and possibly also historical and other attractions", says John Garder of the non-governmental National Park Conservation Association.

The shutdown, now in its second week, has forced thousands of federal government employees out of work.

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