Yosemite National Park in California's Sierra Nevada was closing some campgrounds and some popular areas like Mariposa Grove. "It's so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I've seen in my four years living here".
Meanwhile, rangers at Yosemite National Park have set up a roadside checkpoint at the southern entrance to the park along California Highway 41. Yosemite Valley's lodgings, restaurants, ski area at Badger Pass and the park shuttle remain open.
Handwritten signs urged visitors: "Pack out your trash".
Most visitors were being respectful of the desert wilderness and park facilities, Joshua Tree's superintendent David Smith said. "A lot of these people are returnees and they're more than happy to give back to this park".More news: New Horizons Reveals Ultima Thule
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"The park is being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns as vault toilets reach capacity", the park service said in a statement. Garbage is overflowing in bins at Big Bend National Park in Texas, causing health hazards as well as attracting black bears.
If you visit one of the many parks impacted by the federal shutdown, consider taking your trash with you and properly disposing it at another location. It also doesn't help that the trouble has arrived just in time for peak tourist season when many families are heading out to the national parks on holiday.
Now, parks across the nation have had to restrict camping, and the AP reports that private companies, state-funded groups, and volunteers are picking up the slack, collecting trash, advising visitors, and even opening up bathrooms.
With a quarter of the federal government employee workforce beginning 2019 out of work or working without a paycheck, agencies from the National Park Service to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Smithsonian museums are feeling the pinch. Additional closures include Lost Horse Mine Road due to illegal activity and Rattlesnake Canyon in order to reduce the number of search-and-rescue events for rangers already spread thin due to the government shutdown. Those guides are splitting the cost of grooming the trails used by their vehicles to keep their operations going, said Travis Watt, general manager of See Yellowstone Alpen Guides based in West Yellowstone, Montana. "Once conditions go downhill, they will be hard to restore", writes Purdy.