Trash, toilet odor build at national parks amid government shutdown

Trash, toilet odor build at national parks amid government shutdown

A lack of staff due to the government shutdown has forced some national parks to close campgrounds and restrict visits to hundreds of acres.

David Lamfrom, director of the California Desert and National Wildlife Programs of the National Parks Conservation Association, said the volunteer efforts can't supplant the work of the park service.

Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall near the Washington Monument due to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Trash collection has stopped, along with road and walkway maintenance. "And there are many companies that are of the national Park".

NOTICE: The park is receiving heavy snowfall and it has become necessary to close the park road at the visitor center due to unsafe conditions. Also the safety of visitors could be at risk.

Park rangers were screening vehicles at the South Entrance, allowing only visitors with reservations for lodging or camping inside the park.

Visitors are urged to use restrooms in gateway communities before entering the park.

And Joshua Tree isn't alone in its issues, or its decision to close campgrounds.

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Campgrounds in the park will be closed effective noon Wednesday, January 2nd.

The National Park Service noted that the pit toilets were near capacity and human waste in public areas was becoming a problem, adding that illegal off-roading and other harmful actions were also causing damage to the park. Some even reminded visitors that excess trash or food can attract bears. However, under the Trump administration, the gates have remained open to guests, which means free access but few park employees to help keep the park clean and help keep visitors safe.

"At the superintendent's discretion, parks may close grounds/areas with sensitive natural, cultural, historic, or archaeological resources vulnerable to destruction, looting, or other damage that can not be adequately protected by the excepted law enforcement staff that remain on duty, " Barnum said.

Park rangers and other staffers are among the more than 380,000 federal employees furloughed during the shutdown that is in its 12th day.

Newsday, in NY, where Snider is originally from, reported he slipped during a hike and fell 6 to 8 feet. That includes packing up every single piece of trash you create and bringing them out of the park with you.

"If there wasn't a shutdown, I probably would've been able to get out in a more efficient way", Snider told the paper.

Amidst the disorganization, volunteers have spurred and are working tirelessly to preserve the parks. "It shows a lovely part of humanity that you don't see every day".

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