National parks dealing with vandals, human waste in shutdown

As government shutdown continues human waste on Yosemite's roadsides prompt park closures

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown

Many others, though, have remained open, but all but a skeleton staff have been furloughed. "The community holds together", says Ethan Feltges, who runs a Souvenir Shop in the vicinity, and a toilet cabin in front of it. The General's Highway, which connects the park and leads to its famous giant Sequoia trees has become icy and unsafe, leading to 3-hour-long backups along the route.

During the last partial government shutdown in January 2018, there was also chaos and controversy.

Since December 22, the lack of funds has meant a total, not "partial" shutdown for most properties operated by the National Park Service (NPS).

But for many national parks, the outcome of this shutdown could turn ugly as this spit-spat drags on - especially if the White House and the newly elected Congress, now with a Democratic-majority House, continue to dig in their heels.

Unfortunately, Park officials have announced that the following facilities and areas inside Yosemite National Park are closed "due to impacts from human waste and public safety concerns" - Wawona Campground, Hodgdon Meadow Campground, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Crane Flat Snow Play Area, and Goat Meadow Snow Play Area, located just outside the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park. Trash collection was also suspended at the park but it has remained open.

Yager says the reason he has no problem cleaning up is because he has loved the national park since he was 13, when he dreamed of climbing El Capitan.

With no sign of the government shutdown ending, American national parks are left severely understaffed and uncleaned.

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"If there wasn't a shutdown, I probably would've been able to get out in a more efficient way", Snider told the paper.

"However unpleasant that is. we don't have a place for them to throw it out in the park right now, and leaving it on the side of a trail or in piles in a parking lot is not helpful to keeping the park clean", she said.

The makeshift toilet situation has forced two campgrounds to close due to the "health hazard" it creates, National Parks Service spokesman Andrew Munoz told the Times.

"I want to extend a honest thanks to local businesses, volunteer groups and tribal members who have done their best to assist in picking up litter and helping maintain campgrounds", Smith said in a statement Monday. There were also reports of visitors dumping garbage bags from their cars in Yosemite.

According to the national park service, Indian Cove and Black Rock campgrounds will be open for day-use only.

Sabra Purdy, who owns the rock-climbing guide service Cliffhanger Guides in Joshua Tree, told the Washington Post that human feces is piling up in the park, overwhelming cleanup volunteers like herself who've been trying to maintain order.

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