- People are cutting down trees in Joshua Tree National Park.
- They are doing so to forge new paths in areas that are typically restricted, according to National Parks Traveller.
- The park has faced vandalism and sanitation problems during the government shutdown.
- On Tuesday, the park said it would have to close Thursday. But rangers announced on Wednesday they would keep it open by utilising park revenue.
As the government shutdown continues into 2019, national parks are among the places most affected, with garbage, sanitation issues, and vandalism issues becoming pervasive because of minimal staffing.
Joshua Tree National Park has plenty vandalism and sanitation problems of its own, according to a press release from Joshua Tree park ranger George Land.
One problem plaguing the California park that has caused concern online is that people have been cutting down the park’s namesake Joshua trees to forge paths to visit restricted areas, according to National Parks Traveller, a site that is independent from the government.
“While the vast majority of those who visit Joshua Tree National Park do so in a responsible manner, there have been incidents of new roads being created by motorists and the destruction of Joshua trees in recent days that have precipitated the closure,” the Joshua Tree press release said. “Law enforcement rangers will continue to patrol the park and enforce the closure until park staff complete the necessary cleanup and park protection measures.”
Online, people are sharing pictures of the snapped trees,which typically grow to be between 20 feet and 40 feet tall.
“During the shutdown, with Joshua Tree National Park open but no staff on duty, visitors cut down Joshua trees so they could drive into sensitive areas where vehicles are banned,” John Upton, a reporter for Climate Central, tweeted.
During the shutdown, with Joshua Tree National Park open but no staff on duty, visitors cut down Joshua trees so they could drive into sensitive areas where vehicles are banned.
— John Upton (@johnupton) January 10, 2019
I don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican, what's going on at Joshua Tree National Park is a travesty to this nation. True Americans don't destroy and trash our National Parks just because no one's looking., only thugs and criminals do. https://t.co/KdWMCwXQZi pic.twitter.com/obhSgVf9N7
— AI6YR (@ai6yrham) January 10, 2019
Wow. You fucking people are disgusting. Why??? RT @washingtonpost: "A travesty to this nation."
— The Marv (@el_marv) January 11, 2019
This is just a minuscule example of what #GovernmentShutdown will do to U.S. precious National Parks … #JoshuaTree has turned into a four wheel driving circuit with tree cutting along the way … pic.twitter.com/8lUxBCMCWb
— Mario Picazo (@picazomario) January 10, 2019
A Joshua Tree at Joshua Tree National Park. Pulled down by vandals. @U2 is going to have to do a benefit concert to repair all the damage. Don't go blaming this on the #shutdown. There are just people with black hearts among us. pic.twitter.com/Lj7cQkmosM
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) January 11, 2019
On Tuesday, park rangers said Joshua Tree National Park would close beginning on Thursday because of the shutdown. But on Wednesday, rangers announced they would keep it open by utilising park revenue.
“The park expresses its appreciation for the contributions of local volunteers, who provided basic sanitation at campgrounds and other closed areas during the lapse in appropriations,” the press release said. “Their efforts have contributed significantly to the reopening of campgrounds and restoring access to other closed areas of Joshua Tree National Park.”
- Read more about the government shutdown:
- Over 1,500 federal workers affected by the government shutdown are asking for donations on GoFundMe to help pay their bills
- 10 ways the partial government shutdown is impacting the lives of average Americans
- 7 heartwarming ways people are helping federal employees during the government shutdown
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