National parks dealing with vandals, human waste in shutdown

A road lined with trash in Yosemite National Park in California

A road lined with trash in Yosemite National Park in California

"With restrooms closed, some visitors are opting to deposit their waste in natural areas adjacent to high traffic areas, which creates a health hazard for other visitors", National Parks Service spokesman Andrew Munoz told the publication in an email. The budget director of the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association, John Garder, on Monday called that "a nightmare scenario" for human safety, wildlife and historic sites at national parks. "We're concerned there'll be impacts to visitors' safety". "There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules then I've seen in my four years living here".

Due to this, the updated closure list includes Wawona Campground, Hodgen Meadow Campground, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Crane Flat Snow Play Area and Goat Meadow Snow Play Area. "But it also showed me, especially with this park ranger working unpaid, it showed me the dedication that some people have for their jobs and have for the greater good of society".

Joshua Tree National Park in the California desert also says it will be closing campgrounds.

And, of course, on top of all of this, there are the federal workers who aren't even guaranteed back pay when the shutdown eventually ends, whenever that may be.

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

The National Park Service also said the shutdown prevented it from making staff available to "provide guidance, assistance, maintenance, or emergency response".

Feltges himself had set up a portable toilet at his store to help the visitors still streaming in and out of 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".

"It's a free-for-all", Dakota Snider, who lives and works in Yosemite, tells the AP.

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The All-Star guard left the game, but was able to return. "I'm wearing sunglasses, so not too good", Irving said, in addressing his condition.

"Everyone loves the park".

"It's so heartbreaking", the 24-year-old told the Associated Press.

But some are seizing on the shortage of park staffers to drive off road illegally and otherwise damage the park, as well as relieving themselves in the open.

Visitors were allowing their dogs to run off-leash in an area rich with bears and other wildlife, and scattering bags of garbage along the roads, Snider said.

Joshua Tree Superintendent David Smith, in a statement, thanked the "local businesses, volunteer groups, and tribal members" who have stepped up to collect trash and maintain grounds during the shutdown.

"You're looking at Yosemite Falls and in front of you is plastic bottles and trash bags."

During the shutdown last January a poacher killed a pregnant elk in Zion National Park and visitors were cited in Yellowstone for driving snowmobiles too close to Old Faithful.

He and other business owners have pitched in to empty trash, stock restrooms and haul trailers onto park grounds.

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