Nightmare-scenario: USA national parks dispose of lock due to budget

Nightmare-scenario: USA national parks dispose of lock due to budget

Nightmare-scenario: USA national parks dispose of lock due to budget

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

Human faeces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading and other damaging behaviour in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the iconic United States national parks, as a partial government shutdown left the areas open to visitors but with little staff on duty.

Unlike shutdowns in some previous administrations, the Trump administration was leaving parks open to visitors despite the lack of staff.

Visitors are streaming into the parks to take advantage of the free admission (after all, the visitors' centers are closed and there's no one around to collect entrance fees) and trashing the place once they're in there.

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

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Check out the photo of the garbage heap at the Washington Monument.

Joshua Tree National Park was forced to shut on Wednesday due to health and safety concerns from their "overflowing toilets", while parts of Yosemite National Park are closed to the public due to "human waste issues and lack of staffing".

"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.

Yosemite National Park in California's Sierra Nevada was closing some campgrounds and some popular areas like Mariposa Grove.

If you feel the need to visit a park during the shutdown, there are responsible ways to do so.

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"The community has been galvanized, we will last longer than the government shutdown", he says.

In other parks, though, there doesn't seem to be such an organized group of helpers, and it sounds like visitors are treating national parks like their own personal Lord of the Flies-style anything-goes free-for-all.

Yager says the reason he has no problem cleaning up is because he has loved the national park since he was 13, when he dreamed of climbing El Capitan. If there is any sign of brands taking stands in the name of supporting our national parks during a time of duress, now would be the time to act as this shutdown shows no sign of ending anytime soon. Farther south in California, conditions at Joshua Tree National Park and its delicate desert ecosystems are described as "deteriorating". Outhouses were open at Death Valley but they weren't being stocked or cleaned. Volunteers and "essential staff" are doing their best to keep the park services running along, but it's led to filthy restroom facilities without toilet paper and tourists relieving themselves along the side of the road, reports the Los Angeles Times.

According to the national park service, Indian Cove and Black Rock campgrounds will be open for day-use only.

Other parks were also seeing the effects of mounting garbage.

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