Trash, toilet odor build at national parks amid government shutdown

While most United States national parks remain open, the shutdown has left staff at home, facilities unavailable and campsites closed. Arches and Canyonlands in Utah and other areas have been closed because there's no money for plowing.

As the Post reports, it's about to get worse for Washington residents and visitors: Starting on Wednesday, the Smithsonian Institution has no choice but to close all of its museums and the National Zoo due to lack of funding.

Campsites at Yosemite National Park have been closed after 27 tons of rubbish built up and lavatory facilities were overwhelmed during the partial shutdown.

Adjacent to Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are also among those facing challenges from the same issues.

That labor shortage means that public restrooms have been closed and garbage collection has been suspended in parks like Yosemite, where people have begun leaving mass amounts of garbage and human excrement out in the open.

On those rare occasions when the federal government gets shut down by political gamesmanship in the nation's capital, the places where the effects of those shutdowns can be seen most quickly and easily are America's beloved national parks. The lack of staff is already taking its toll less than two weeks into the partial government shutdown, as reported by The Associated Press (AP).

John Garder, senior budget director of the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association, called the situation a "nightmare scenario" that could impact visitor safety - and significantly damage natural resources.

In Yoshua Tree national Park in California the camping sites close, because there was bickering and not simply ends Ranger. Approximately 16,000 Park Service employees have been furloughed, and many attractions locally and nationally have been temporarily shuttered.

"Other non-essential services provided by the Federal Government agencies may also be affected during the shutdown - check local media for up-to-date information", the FCO said".

"This is a reflection on their efforts and the park is very fortunate to have a community that exhibits the kind of care and concern witnessed over the last week", he said.

And for those planning a visit there, Lost Horse Mine Road and Rattlesnake Canyon are also closed effective immediately.

The superintendent at Joshua Tree, David Smith, thanked the volunteers on Monday but said they have to close some of the campgrounds because the toilets, which don't have plumbing or a septic system, are too full.

Officials say the closure is due to health and safety concerns. We encourage visitors in the area to explore the excellent food, shops, and recreational opportunities available nearby. 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.

  • Essie Rivera