National parks dealing with vandals, human waste in shutdown

Katie Ramirez
January 3, 2019

Unfortunately, Park officials have announced that the following facilities and areas inside Yosemite National Park are closed "due to impacts from human waste and public safety concerns" - Wawona Campground, Hodgdon Meadow Campground, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Crane Flat Snow Play Area, and Goat Meadow Snow Play Area, located just outside the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park.

The partial federal government shutdown has left many parks without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds and otherwise keep parks running.

According to the national park service, Indian Cove and Black Rock campgrounds will be open for day-use only. "In addition to human waste in public areas, driving off-road and other infractions that damage the resource are becoming a problem".

Already, services are limited due to the lapse in federal appropriations caused by the government shutdown.

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

"It's really a nightmare scenario, " Garder said. "At that point, I think I'm going to have to tap out". "We are in a shutdown because Democrats refuse to fund border security". The Highway 120 entrance also remains open.

Although some services were put on hold, employees are trying to keep some areas accessible to visitors.

Trash collection has stopped, along with road and walkway maintenance.

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Additionally, Lost Horse Mine Road and Rattlesnake Canyon are closed effective immediately.

This photo shows a road lined with trash in yosemite National Park. In Utah, protected areas have been closed because of the snow is not cleared. The Smithsonian, the National Gallery and National Zoo are all closed because of the shutdown. There were also reports of visitors dumping garbage bags from their cars in Yosemite. Indeed, Joshua Tree is reportedly closing all campsites starting today.

"I live and recreate at this park and I want this land to be as great as can be for everyone visiting and that seems to be the same motivation for people volunteering", he says.

"People are walking off trails, bringing their dogs", he said.

"The whole community has come together, " Feltges said, also by phone.

But David Lamfrom, director of the California Desert and National Wildlife programs of the National Parks Conservation Association, told CNN that overwhelming amounts of poop isn't the only concern. He was reportedly helped by his friend Michael Bright and good Samaritans that helped carry him 1.7 miles down the trail until they encountered a park ranger. "People are trampling and destroying the things they want to preserve without knowing it ..."

Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall near the Washington Monument due to a partial shutdown of the federal government in Washington, D.C., December 24, 2018.

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