National parks overflowing with poop because of government shutdown

Shutdown National Parks

Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some US national parks in shutdown

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.

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

"With restrooms closed, some visitors are opting to deposit their waste in natural areas adjacent to high traffic areas, which creates a health hazard for other visitors", agency spokesperson Andrew Munoz said.

As visitors spend time on public lands during the shutdown, trash and human waste has been piling up and parks advocates say they're concerned visitors could hurt the environment or put themselves at risk if they disregard rules the rangers would normally enforce.

Under the shutdown plan, authorities have to close any area where garbage or other problems become threats to the health and safety of humans or wildlife.

In most of the parks, services and facilities have been ceased, including their trash collection and restroom services.

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Trash begins to accumulate along the National Mall near the Washington Monument due to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Also closed was the Grant Tree Trail, a popular hiking spot, because the government shutdown halted maintenance and left the path dangerously slick from ice and snow, with at least one injury reported, the park service said.

Human poop and urine were found along Wawona Road - known as California Highway 41 - in the southern part of the park, which forced the closure of the Mariposa Grove and the Wawona and Hodgson Meadows campgrounds.

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

"Mostly, people have been extremely respectful", he said, adding that winter visitation is typically lighter than in summer and fall.

Now, parks across the nation have had to restrict camping, and the AP reports that private companies, state-funded groups, and volunteers are picking up the slack, collecting trash, advising visitors, and even opening up bathrooms.

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At Acadia National Park in ME, restroom use and trash collection have come to a halt because of the shutdown, which was caused by an impasse over President Trump's border wall proposal.

They had unleashed their dogs and let then run freely in an area rich with bears and other wildlife, and were scattering bags of garbage along the roads, Mr Snider said. "They want to give back to the park and local community".

"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".

"We can't afford to wipe all the bottoms who visit Joshua Tree", said Sabra Purdy, reported The Sun.

"People are walking off trails, bringing their dogs", he said.

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