Garbage, faeces take toll on United States national parks amid shutdown

Garbage, faeces take toll on United States national parks amid shutdown

Yosemite isn't the only park experiencing the problems of waste and trash.

Human faeces, overflowing garbage and illegal off-road driving in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the iconic national parks in the United States, where a partial government shutdown left areas open to visitors but few staff on duty. 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.

This week, more than 25 percent of federal government employees are working without a paycheck or not working at all, leaving national parks, including Joshua Tree National Park and Yosemite National Park, with limited staff to clean facilities, CNN reported.

Unlike some previous government shutdowns, in which national parks closed entirely, gates have remained opened under the Trump administration, though parks are severely understaffed.

Trash collection has also been temporarily nixed - even though the park itself remains open.

Of the many people and institutions being hurt by the ongoing government shutdown, the National Park Service is taking a hard hit.

Check out the photo of the garbage heap at the Washington Monument.

Campgrounds at Joshua Tree National Park are set to close at noon Wednesday, park officials said, citing health and safety concerns over the park's vault toilets, which are near capacity.

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"I live and recreate at this park and I want this land to be as great as can be for everyone visiting and that seems to be the same motivation for people volunteering", 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. "A lot of these people are returnees and they're more than happy to give back to this park". "Everyone loves the Park".

The shutdown, now in its second week, has forced thousands of federal government employees out of work.

"If there wasn't a shutdown, I probably would've been able to get out in a more efficient way", Snider told the paper.

The park has experienced vandalism to buildings, while illegal camping and off-roading have damaged the park habitat, National Parks Service spokesman Andrew Munoz said.

Most visitors were being respectful of the desert wilderness and park facilities, Joshua Tree's superintendent David Smith said. Purdy and her husband run a rock climbing guide service that's totally dependent on the park remaining open.

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

Other parks were also seeing the effects of mounting garbage.

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