Friday, 18 January, 2019

National parks overflowing with poop because of government shutdown

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown National parks overflowing with poop because of government shutdown
Theresa Hayes | 03 January, 2019, 06:27

Human feces and garbage have been overflowing at the campgrounds of Yosemite and Joshua Tree national parks - because there's no staff on hand to clean up, according to new reports.

Many travelers have changed their plans, and the results could mean an economic hit for the small towns adjacent to many of these national parks - including Mariposa, CA (population 2,200 and a gateway to Yosemite); Beatty, NV (population 1,000 and home to some of the hotels closest to Death Valley National Park); and Twentynine Palms, CA (population 25,000, on the north edge of Joshua Tree).

"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", Mr Snider said.

Towns like these across the US are financially dependent on businesses, from equipment rental services to, of course, locally-owned hotels and restaurants, most of which largely cater to national park visitors.

Officials at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado said they were closing restrooms and locking up trash bins in many locations.

While Washington continues to butt heads over the funding for Trump's border wall, the partial government shutdown has seen hundreds of thousands of federal government employees put on furlough, including rangers, cleaners, and other staff at numerous USA national parks.

"It's really a nightmare scenario", added Garder. People were also spotted driving snowmobiles dangerously close to the Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park.

The Trump administration has permitted the parks to remain open despite the staff furloughs. Volunteers who had been trying to keep the park open simply can't keep up, the publication reported.

In California, tourists have been relieving themselves on the side of the roads because Yosemite's restrooms and visitor centers have been shuttered since December 22 when the shutdown began, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"The community has been galvanized, we will last longer than the government shutdown", he says.

Additional facilities and areas may close within Yosemite National Park at any time for the health and safety of park visitors.

"Everyone loves the park".

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

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.

"You're looking at Yosemite Falls and in front of you is plastic bottles and trash bags."
That is because the pit toilets are almost overflowing and trash has become an issue due to the fact that employees are now on furlough.

Additionally, Lost Horse Mine Road and Rattlesnake Canyon are closed effective immediately. "Once conditions go downhill, they will be hard to restore", writes Purdy. "But it's something we can handle".