National Parks Suffer During Shutdown


One benefit of the government shutdown: Free access to most of the nation’s national parks. That’s a win for carloads of people who would have to pay an average of $30 per vehicle to gain access, but it’s created unseemly situations at many of the country’s most popular parks that are now overflowing with garbage along with toilets that are brimming with waste.

The holiday season is prime time for Joshua Tree National Park, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting that toilets are broken and trash is getting out of hand. Volunteers are trying to help out, but their efforts aren’t necessarily receiving a warm welcome.

Rand Abbott, a Joshua Tree rock-climber and volunteer, has been restocking toilet paper and handing out trash bags.

“I’ve gone through 500 rolls of toilet paper,” he told the Times. “And I’ve been emptying all the trash cans that are there and putting bags in. And then I’ve been giving out trash bags to people. I’ve probably put 60 hours in.”

Abbott has also worked to prevent illegal activity such as fires and littering but says that people have been rude and that his life has been threatened.

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