Trash, toilet odor build at national parks amid government shutdown

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown

People who wanted to spend some of their winter vacation at Yosemite National Park were in a for a rude-and gross-awakening.

Some of the West's iconic national parks are beginning to partially close as they deal with overflowing restrooms and vandals on the 10th day of a federal government shutdown. Visitors are entering without paying, and with no staff on hand, bathrooms are not being cleaned and trash cans are overflowing.

Joshua Tree, which covers more than 792,000 acres of national park from Palm Springs north to the town of Joshua Tree, will remain open during the shutdown. Trash collection was also suspended at the park but it has remained open.

At Yosemite, Snider, the local resident, said crowds of visitors were driving into the park to take advantage of free admission, with only a few park rangers working and a limited number of restrooms open. Less civic-minded folks are illegally off-roading, tromping though delicate natural areas that are off-limits, and leaving behind mountains of garbage that can endanger wildlife.

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

Pinnacles National Park, also in California, closed its eastern gate because of trash and heavy traffic, reported The Salinas Californian.

9 injured as auto rams into New Year's revelers in Tokyo
The area had been prohibited for cars, as many visitors had been expected at Meiji Jingu to pray for the New Year. There is no information so far to suggest foreign tourists were among the injured, the police spokesman said.

Check out the photo of the garbage heap at the Washington Monument. 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. "Everyone loves the Park".

"I'd much rather be at home, walking my dog enjoying a high heat desert day, but I understand these kind of things happen", he says.

"It's a free-for-all, " Dakota Snider, 24, who lives and works in Yosemite Valley, said by telephone, as Yosemite National Park officials announced closings of some minimally supervised campgrounds and public areas within the park that are overwhelmed.

The government shutdown has forced the campgrounds at Joshua Tree National Park to close. But its popular campgrounds will close at noon Wednesday, according to the National Park Service. He was reportedly helped by his friend Michael Bright and good Samaritans that helped carry him 1.7 miles down the trail until they encountered a park ranger.

"Due to the federal government shutdown, this website will not be updated and may not reflect current conditions", said a statement on the National Park Service website.

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