Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

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

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

Unfortunately, Park officials have announced that the following facilities and areas inside Yosemite National Park are closed "due to impacts from human waste and public safety concerns" - Wawona Campground, Hodgdon Meadow Campground, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Crane Flat Snow Play Area, and Goat Meadow Snow Play Area, located just outside the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park.

At Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California, several areas have been closed because of lack of staff and unsanitary conditions. "There is more garbage, feces, and usually miss, as I've seen in the four years that I live here", says Dakota Snider, the valley works in Yosemite.

Handwritten signs have also been posted asking visitors not to litter, as there are now no trash services. For a number of national parks, this is becoming a Problem.

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

"It's really a nightmare scenario", added Garder.

The Smithsonian Institution will close off its museums and the National Zoo on Wednesday because it has depleted its temporary funding. While many of these national parks are still allowing visitors access, they are largely unstaffed - gates into the parks have typically been left wide open, allowing visitors to drive in without paying the typical $30 entrance fee. Joshua Tree said it would begin closing some campgrounds for all but day use.

The shutdown has also prevented the park service from making staff available to "provide guidance, assistance, maintenance, or emergency response", the department said.

Other national parks suffering because of the shutdown are Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, which had to close their restrooms and trash bins due to overflowing.

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According to the National Parks Conservation Association, the shutdown has put more than 21,000 Park Service employees -that work in 401 parks, monuments, historic houses, battlefield across all 50 states-indefinitely out of their jobs.

"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.

"The whole community has come together, " Feltges said, also by phone.

"Everyone loves the park".

The partial government shutdown entered its 12th day Wednesday. "And there's a lot of businesses that actually need the park".

"People are walking off trails, bringing their dogs", he said. "You look at the Yosemite waterfalls, and prior to that, water bottles and trash bags pile up". The contractors that operate park tours by snowmobile, buses and vans are grooming trails, hauling trash and replacing toilet paper at pit toilets and restrooms along their routes.

Additionally, Lost Horse Mine Road and Rattlesnake Canyon are closed effective immediately. "But we can handle it".

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