Nightmare-scenario: USA national parks dispose of lock due to budget

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown

Park rangers and other staffers are among the more than 380,000 federal employees furloughed during the shutdown that is in its 12th day.

Officials have suggested that visitors use restrooms in surrounding communities before entering national parks.

The situation is fluid: Rumors spread Monday that Joshua Tree would close the campgrounds, though the Park Service's contingency plan indicates that campers will be allowed to stay and won't be evicted.

Campsites at Yosemite National Park, one of the most remarkable and popular in America, have been forced to close due to human effluence after the paralysis led to the closure of nearby public toilets. Trash collection was also stopped, leaving parts of the national park stinky and unmaintained for visitors.

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.

At the Washington Monument, there are overflowing garbage cans the National Parks Service cannot empty. In Sequoia, home to enormous and ancient giant sequoias, General Highway was closed because overflowing bins were spreading litter and posed a threat to wildlife and the icy, jammed road was seeing up to three-hour delays, according to the National Park Service.

Signs posted around the park say the closure is due to a "lapse in federal appropriations".

One-and-a-half-weeks in, the government shutdown is already taking a toll on some of country's most iconic national parks.

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

Bureau officials note that news of trash problems on public lands and at Yosemite National Park has prompted a ramp up of their "Tuolumne County - Too Cool to Trash" campaign.

Mr Victor Jerez, 53, spent the day hiking in Joshua Tree with his brother, his sister and their families, though they were disappointed to find the visitor centre shut down. Also, the main road in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks is blocked because of the waste of crowded containers is a threat to the animals and the traffic was building up on the icy roadway. "The visitor was not in a closed area".

"It's not the first time that it's happened, so I kind of know how it goes, but it's a bummer, right?" said Mary Durant of Washington, who took her two children to the park but didn't get a chance to show them the falls.

"People are bringing in dogs and drones, and there are instances where people aren't following the rules, and it is not good for the wildlife and the environment", she said.

As of January 3, 2019 the partial shutdown has been going on for almost 13 days, now making it the fourth longest in United States history.

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