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Sun Feb 3, 2019, 11:12 PM

Parks rush to clean up toppled trees, trash after shutdown





Parks rush to clean up toppled trees, trash after shutdown



https://www.standard.net/news/state/parks-rush-to-clean-up-toppled-trees-trash-after-shutdown/article_37280af3-fbae-5ca7-b6d3-e64eb2c43673.html

By BRADY McCOMBS and FELICIA FONSECA Associated Press Feb 1, 2019


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — National park visitors cut new trails in sensitive soil. They pried open gates while no one was watching. They found bathrooms locked, so they went outside. One off-roader even mowed down an iconic twisted-limbed Joshua tree in California.

During the 35-day government shutdown, some visitors to parks and other protected areas nationwide left behind messes and repairs that National Park Service officials are scrambling to clean up and repair as they brace for the possibility of another closure ahead of the busy Presidents Day weekend this month.

Conservationists warn that damage to sensitive lands could take decades to recover. Even before the shutdown, national parks faced an estimated $12 billion maintenance backlog that now has grown.

Many of the parks went unstaffed during the shutdown, while others had skeleton crews with local governments and nonprofits contributing money and volunteers.
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President Donald Trump has said another shutdown could start Feb. 15 if he and Democratic leaders can’t agree on funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, compounding pressure on the park service to catch up on repairs.

Hiring seasonal workers who typically start in the spring as rangers, fee collectors and hiking guides also has been delayed.



“We’re kind of ready to just have a bit more stability,” said Angie Richman, a spokeswoman at Arches National Park in Utah.

Arches visitors left human waste outside a restroom, stomped out five trails in a permit-only area that was shut down and damaged an entrance gate to allow vehicles to drive on snow-covered roads when the park was closed after a storm, Richman said.

In some places, less oversight meant animals moved in.

A colony of elephant seals took over a Northern California beach in Point Reyes National Seashore without workers to discourage the animals from congregating in the popular tourist area. Rangers and volunteers will lead small groups of visitors to the edge of a parking lot starting this weekend to safely see the seals and their pups.

At Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, an off-road vehicle ran over one of the namesake trees and someone cut down a juniper tree, Superintendent David Smith said.


Several other Joshua trees were damaged, including one that was spray-painted, but the park has yet to determine the exact number, he said. Off-road vehicles also created extensive unauthorized trails, with wheel marks dug into the delicate desert soil nearly a foot deep in some spots, Smith said.

Employees at Death Valley National Park found human waste and toilet paper scattered in the desert and evidence people tried to kick in locked restroom doors, said David Blacker, executive director of the Death Valley Natural History Association.


A time-lapse video on Death Valley’s Facebook page showed how it took staffers two hours to clean a restroom overflowing with trash and splashed with waste. Crews also have to rake and replant vegetation to repair ruts from off-road vehicles, which delays work elsewhere in the 3.4 million-acre park.

“It became pretty depressing the kinds of things people will do when they are unsupervised,” Blacker said.


People in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park drove around locked gates and through meadows, spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said.

At Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddling the North Carolina-Tennessee line, visitors cut locks on some gates to closed roads and stole about $5,000 in maintenance tools, spokeswoman Dana Soehn said................................

During the 35-day government shutdown, some visitors to parks and other protected areas nationwide left behind messes and repairs that National Park officials are scrambling to clean up and repair as they brace for the possibility of another closure.





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Reply Parks rush to clean up toppled trees, trash after shutdown (Original post)
riversedge Feb 3 OP
msongs Feb 3 #1
McCamy Taylor Feb 3 #2
Texasgal Feb 3 #3
KelleyKramer Feb 4 #4

Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 11:16 PM

1. we could move our parks to japan where people dont behave these ways nt

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 11:27 PM

2. K&R

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 11:39 PM

3. Who are these people?

ARRRG! This just sucks!

Anyone that goes to a national park... or any park for that matter and does not respect the natural surrounding is an asshole period.

Humans can really suck!

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2019, 04:04 AM

4. This is the result of Trump's 'Make America Great Again'


This mess lies at the feet of every Trump voter

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