US National Parks Are a Mess Due to the Government Shutdown

US National Parks Are a Mess Due to the Government Shutdown

Joshua Tree National Park, also in California, announced Wednesday that it was closing its campgrounds because of health and safety concerns over near-capacity pit toilets, CNN reported.

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. "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". Yosemite Valley's lodgings, restaurants, ski area at Badger Pass and the park shuttle remain open.

The tiny Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood is posted with a closed sign as part of the federal government shutdown, December 26, 2018. "It's really a nightmare scenario". People were also spotted driving snowmobiles dangerously close to the Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park. Many others, though, have remained open, but all but a skeleton staff have been furloughed. 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.

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 NPS also explained that the government shutdown prevented it from making staff available to "provide guidance, assistance, maintenance, or emergency response".

"The whole community has come together", Mr Feltges said.

Closing the parks will have a devastating impact on a lot of local businesses that depend on the tourism they bring in.

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

"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.

Yager says the reason he has no problem cleaning up is because he has loved the national park since he was 13, when he dreamed of climbing El Capitan. With Congress at an impasse, about a quarter of the federal government employees - including park rangers - are starting 2019 out of work or working without a paycheck.

As the government shutdown persists, nature lovers are coping with overflowing toilets and garbage cans, and improvised open-air bathrooms.

Additionally, Lost Horse Mine Road and Rattlesnake Canyon are closed effective immediately.

The tour companies can likely keep this system going through the entire winter season if they need to, Watt said. "But it's something we can handle".