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National parks forced to close, hazards mount at others amid government shutdown

National parks forced to close, hazards mount at others amid government shutdown

USA national parks are experiencing unsanitary campgrounds and littered landscapes due to the partial government shutdown.

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

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

California's Joshua Tree National Park will become the latest natural wonder to succumb to the dirty effects of the government shutdown as it closes its gates to campers on Wednesday.

Yosemite National Park officials closed some minimally supervised campgrounds and public areas within the park that were overwhelmed on Monday.

Visitor centers inside the park are closed which means so are the bathrooms and trash service is suspended.

In Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park, staff began closing toilets and locking trash bins because of unspecified health and safety concerns, CBS4 Denver reported Tuesday. "Access to the park will not occur until the snow and ice melts or until the National Park Service receives funding to continue plowing operations".

The specific reason is pretty gross: Officials say vault toilets on the site are reaching capacity. With restrooms shuttered, visitors had been relieving themselves off of Wawona Road, which is also California Highway 41, posing a health risk for other visitors.

However, signs citing the "lapse in federal appropriations" explain the complete closure and no staffing or even shoveling of snow.

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To reduce the burden, Yosemite National Park on January 2 started limiting visitor access to the park at the most popular entry point from the south along Highway 41.

Rattlesnake Canyon will close to reduce the number of potential search-and-rescue events for rangers already spread thin because of the shutdown, the park service said.

Laretig admits there are plenty of things he'd rather do than clean up the national park, but he says it's worth the effort.

As the government shutdown extends into the new year, public lands and national parks are struggling to handle the trash, waste and other damage from visitors without staff to manage the situation.

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.

"The whole community has come together", Feltges said.

"We're just going to drive around because there's nothing else to do", he said.

For almost two weeks, the business of government in the U.S.is partially lame. "I would rather they close than be damaged", said Joe De Luca, a sales associate at Nomad Ventures in the town of Joshua Tree. "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".

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