Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some USA national parks in shutdown

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown National parks overflowing with poop because of government shutdown
Cary Marshall | 02 January, 2019, 20:53

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.

Human poop and urine were found along Wawona Road - known as California Highway 41 - in the southern part of the park, which forced the closure of the Mariposa Grove and the Wawona and Hodgson Meadows campgrounds.

In the southern Sierra Nevada in Central California, some areas of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks were closed Monday evening.

The Washington Post notes that the Trump administration initially kept most of the parks open with skeleton crews to enforce some of the rules. "But it also showed me, especially with this park ranger working unpaid, it showed me the dedication that some people have for their jobs and have for the greater good of society".

Also in California, Joshua Tree National Park will close all campgrounds at noon Wednesday, The San Bernardino Sun reported. In Sequoia, home to vast and ancient giant sequoias, General Highway was closed because overflowing trash bins were spreading litter and posed a threat to wildlife and the icy, jammed roadway was seeing up to three-hour delays, according to the National Park Service.

Now, parks across the nation have had to restrict camping, and the AP reports that private companies, state-funded groups, and volunteers are picking up the slack, collecting trash, advising visitors, and even opening up bathrooms. Memorial by the Tidal Basin, in Washington.

Instead, Mr Feltges said he and other business owners had stepped into the gap as much as possible.

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown

"The whole community has come together", Mr Feltges said. "Everyone loves the park". Other visitors and a park ranger reportedly helped 26-year-old Joshua Snider after he broke his leg while hiking in Big Bend National Park in Texas on Christmas Eve. Park officials say without enough supervision, some visitors are off-roading illegally and otherwise damaging the park.

Most visitors were being respectful of the desert wilderness and park facilities, Joshua Tree's superintendent, David Smith, said in a statement.

"It's a free-for-all", said Dakota Snider, 24, a Yosemite Valley resident, reported The Associated Press.

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

Garder said NPCA is monitoring the situation and seeing trends that visitors in the parks are disregarding rules about keeping dogs on leashes, prohibitions on drones, and restrictions on where to camp, all of which can harm or disrupt the natural environment or wildlife in the area.

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

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