America's once-beautiful national parks ar

Some of the West's iconic national parks are beginning to partially close as they deal with overflowing restrooms and vandals on the 10th day of a federal government shutdown.

Government shutdown contingency plans adopted by the National Park Service a year ago have allowed many national parks to remain accessible, but without staffing.

"The park is being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns as vault toilets reach capacity", the park service said in a statement.

In addition, the closure of Wawona Campground, Hodgdon Meadow Campground, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Crane Flat Snow Play Area, Goat Meadow Snow Play Area, as well as all park visitor centers was announced earlier on December 30, 2018, due to "impacts from human waste and public safety concerns".

If you visit one of the many parks impacted by the federal shutdown, consider taking your trash with you and properly disposing it at another location.

"It's a free-for-all", Dakota Snider, 24, who lives and works in Yosemite Valley, said on Monday, as Yosemite National Park announced the closure of campgrounds and public areas that are overwhelmed.

As Ralph Snake walked across Washington's National Mall on Wednesday (Jan 2), he stopped every few feet to pick up some of the litter that had accumulated on the once-tidy expanse of grass since a budget showdown partially closed the federal government almost two weeks ago.

Restrooms and visitor centers in the park are closed, but nature is open. Children were sledding down hills and cross country skiers seemed to have the park all to themselves. If you see trash on the ground at one of the parks or areas maintained by NPS please pick it up and help dispose of it. Let's keep our parks clean and green!

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And press reports have suggested worsening conditions within many national parks are already underway.

"I'm the only person that's working in my household and paying all the bills", she said. "This is no 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".

Visitors were allowing their dogs off their leads in an area rich with bears and other wildlife, and scattering rubbish along the roads, Snider said.

Mr Victor Jerez, 53, spent the day hiking in Joshua Tree with his brother, his sister and their families, though they were disappointed to find the visitor centre shut down.

A vehicle drives into Joshua Tree National Park in California past an entrance station closed due to the partial shutdown of the United States federal government on December 30, 2018.

"If we are going to continue to use the federal government as a weapon for not getting what we want in the sandbox, then this is untenable for small business". Lauretig says the reason he has taken up the cause is because he wants to give back to a park he said has given him great memories.

At Joshua Tree National Park, which is named after the spiked yucca plants that grow all over the park's desert landscape, roads and scenic turnouts were full of cars on Wednesday but campgrounds were closed.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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