Garbage, faeces take toll on USA national parks amid shutdown

A road lined with trash in Yosemite National Park in California

Dakota Snider via Associated Press A road lined with trash in Yosemite National Park in California

Because parks have largely remained open, but unsupervised, for the last several days, Yager and his team chose to organize volunteersto keep Yosemite National Park in order.

Some national parks have taken a hit amid the US government shutdown: They've remained open, though severely understaffed, leading to public health concerns like overflowing toilets.

The Smithsonian Institution will close off its museums and the National Zoo on Wednesday because it has depleted its temporary funding.

Key parts of the federal government have been impacted since December 22 by the shutdown, including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Interior, State and Housing and Urban Development.

A similar situation unfolded at Arches National Park.

The ranger station is closed and only tire marks are in the snow, the roads and parking lots are not plowed. At midday Tuesday, hundreds of cars were lined up on nearby neighborhood roads and streets as people walked into the park, many taking advantage of the canal towpath, which remains unblocked.

Kristen Brengel, vice president of government affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association, told CNN that the absence of supervision seems to have created a sense of "lawlessness" among the parks' visitors.

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

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Reportedly Having Another Baby
If you thought that the Kardashians' baby news was so 2018, we're sorry to inform you that we're not over the trend just yet. I would recommend it for anyone".

But some are seizing on the shortage of park staffers to off-road illegally and otherwise damage the park, as well as relieving themselves in the open, a park statement said. Among the agencies hit hardest by the shutdown is the National Parks Service, which maintains dozens of natural landmarks across the country - including the National Mall.

Other closures or limits of national parks can be found at a list provided by the National Parks Traveler.

"The park is being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns as vault toilets reach capacity", the National Park Service (NPS) announced. A skeleton crew of volunteers, tribal members and local businesses are trying to collect trash in the park and keep up with whatever maintenance they can.

"We're concerned there'll be impacts to visitors' safety".

Roads inside Yellowstone are normally closed for winter, meaning most visitors get to attractions like Old Faithful or the Grand Canyon through guides.

Snider said he saw the warning on the park's website that emergency services might be delayed due to the shutdown but went on a three-day camping trip anyway, telling Newsday, "I was just excited to come when the park was going to be less busy".

"I made a decision to clean up this one section, because that's what Americans will do", said Snake, a 64-year-old member of the indigenous Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin. We encourage visitors in the area to explore the excellent food, shops, and recreational opportunities available nearby.

Latest News