Garbage, feces take toll on national parks amid shutdown

Cesar Mills
January 3, 2019

Reynolds said one thing in particular that people who walk along the trails and beaches should be mindful of is taking pet waste along with them after heading out of the park.

Human faeces, overflowing garbage and illegal off-road driving in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the iconic national parks in the United States, where a partial government shutdown left areas open to visitors but few staff on duty.

Although the trash cans are overflowing and the restrooms are without toilet paper, it's hoped this shutdown will pass without any casualties.

Despite the shutdown most national parks grounds remain open. However, the number of visitors has swelled, "no one is at the gate", and "no one is collecting a fee". Trash collection was also stopped, leaving parts of the national park stinky and unmaintained for visitors.

On the 10th day of the partial federal government shutdown many parks were without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds and otherwise keep facilities running.

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

Campers at Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California's deserts were reporting squabbles as different families laid claims to sites, with no rangers on hand to adjudicate, according to local gift shop owner Ethan Feltges.

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"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.

Officials closed the Mariposa Grove and the Wawona and Hodgson Meadows campgrounds due to human feces and urine along California Highway 41, the Times reported. "And there's a lot of businesses that actually need the park".

Snider said he saw the warning on the park's website that emergency services might be delayed due to the shutdown but went on a three-day camping trip anyway, telling Newsday "I was just excited to come when the park was going to be less busy".

"Everyone loves the park". Volunteers try to dispose of garbage in the Park and clean toilet facilities that are still open.

"The park is being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns as vault toilets reach capacity", the park service said.

"The community has been galvanized, we will last longer than the government shutdown", he says. "And there are many companies that are of the 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. There were also reports of visitors dumping garbage bags from their cars in Yosemite. Purdy and her husband run a rock climbing guide service that's totally dependent on the park remaining open.

Other reports by GizPress

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