Joshua Tree National Park in southern California, which sees the majority of its visitors this time of year, announced that it will shut its popular campgrounds today due to poor sanitary conditions, report Ray Sanchez and Chris Boyette at CNN.
Due to this, the updated closure list includes Wawona Campground, Hodgen Meadow Campground, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Crane Flat Snow Play Area and Goat Meadow Snow Play Area.
George Cashman of Milwaukee said the lack of park officials soured his trip to the Big Bend National Park in Texas with his children.
People who wanted to spend some of their winter vacation at Yosemite National Park were in a for a rude-and gross-awakening. "The local community has come together really well, even people visiting from out of town have made a decision to join after seeing our efforts on social media".
Joshua Tree, which covers more than 792,000 acres of national park from Palm Springs north to the town of Joshua Tree, will remain open during the shutdown.
"We're afraid that we're going to start seeing significant damage to the natural resources in parks and potentially to historic and other cultural artefacts", John Garder, senior budget director of the National Parks Conservation Association, said.
Officials say vault toilets on the site are reaching capacity. According to Purdy, she and others have been collecting garbage and cleaning the bathrooms out of the simple goodness of their hearts and love for the nation's parks. It also doesn't help that the trouble has arrived just in time for peak tourist season when many families are heading out to the national parks on holiday. A checkpoint is set up between 9am-6pm and people will only be allowed to pass through if they have a reservation for lodging or camping in the park.
With Congress at an impasse, about a quarter of the federal government employees - including park rangers - are starting 2019 out of work or working without a paycheck. The lack of staff is already taking its toll less than two weeks into the partial government shutdown, as reported by The Associated Press (AP). The Washington Post notes that the Trump administration initially kept most of the parks open with skeleton crews to enforce some of the rules.
Contractors who operate tours in Yellowstone National Park are grooming trails, hauling garbage, and filling restrooms with toilet paper in an effort to keep their businesses open.
Almost all roads inside Yellowstone are normally closed for winter, meaning most visitors at this time of the year access park attractions like Old Faithful or the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone through guides. "But we can handle it".