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National parks overflowing with poop because of government shutdown

National parks overflowing with poop because of government shutdown

People who wanted to spend some of their winter vacation at Yosemite National Park were in a for a rude-and gross-awakening.

Human faeces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading and other damaging behaviour in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the iconic U.S. national parks, as a partial government shutdown left the areas open to visitors but with little 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.

According to the National Park Service, the Joshua Tree will remain accessible but visitors will have to enter at their own risk as the area isn't fully staffed.

Joshua Tree National Park, which is located in California, will stay open during the shutdown. However, the number of visitors has swelled, "no one is at the gate", and "no one is collecting a fee". Officials have asked visitors to use the bathroom before going to the park and to hang on to their trash. The Highway 120 entrance also remains open.

The restrooms and visitor centers at the park in California have been closed since December 22, when the partial government shutdown began, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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

Staff shortages have created a sense of "lawlessness" in the parks, Brengel said.

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"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.

If you feel the need to visit a park during the shutdown, there are responsible ways to do so. Plus, the National Park Service website will not be updated, leaving visitors in the dark about campground re-openings.

"Everyone loves the park".

The NPS also explained that the government shutdown prevented it from making staff available to "provide guidance, assistance, maintenance, or emergency response".

Most visitors were being respectful of the desert wilderness and park facilities, Joshua Tree's superintendent David Smith said. "And there are many companies that are of the national Park". The park is open but areas like Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Hetch Hetch and Wawona and Hodgdon Meadow Campgrounds are all closed due to "human waste issues and lack of staffing", the Park Service said.

The National Park Service noted that the pit toilets were near capacity and human waste in public areas was becoming a problem, adding that illegal off-roading and other harmful actions were also causing damage to the park. There were also reports of visitors dumping garbage bags from their cars in Yosemite.