As the government shutdown entered its 13th day, key Democrats accused the Trump administration of ramping up the danger and confusion at national parks by closing some while allowing a lot of them to stay open.
The closure went into effect Wednesday.
It closed some campgrounds on Wednesday because outdoor toilets, which can not be emptied due to a lack of staffing, have reached capacity, creating a potential health hazard.
In addition to human waste in public areas, driving off road and other infractions, such as illegal camping, that damage natural resources are becoming a problem.
At the gate of the Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state, a sign reads "entry during the federal shutdown is at visitors' sole risk". In Sequoia, home to huge and ancient giant sequoias, General Highway was closed because overflowing trash bins were spreading litter and posed a threat to wildlife and the icy, jammed roadway was seeing up to three-hour delays, according to the National Park Service.
"On the afternoon of Tuesday, December 25, Yosemite National Park Emergency Communications Center (Dispatch) received a 911 call regarding a male park visitor with a head injury above Nevada Fall", Andrew Muñoz, the supervisory public affairs officer for the National Park Service, told me on Thursday.
On the 10th day of the partial federal government shutdown many parks were without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds and otherwise keep facilities running. "It's a lovely time of year to visit the park now".
Trash collection has also been temporarily nixed - even though the park itself remains open.
"I think that we don't need the wall", Neblett said. "During the government shutdown, national parks are working to remain as open and accessible to the American people as possible", the park said in a statement. Because in the Winter nearly all the roads within the Park are closed, can attractions most of the visitors like the Grand Canyon only with the help of Guides to visit.
While Washington continues to butt heads over the funding for Trump's border wall, the partial government shutdown has seen hundreds of thousands of federal government employees put on furlough, including rangers, cleaners, and other staff at numerous USA national parks.
In Joshua Tree, dozens of volunteers have come together to try to maintain the park. "You're just going to have to wait", said Bynes.
But volunteer efforts can't supplant the work of the park service, said David Lamfrom, director of the California Desert and National Wildlife Programs of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Joshua Tree is expected to begin closing some campgrounds for all but day use.
"Other non-essential services provided by the Federal Government agencies may also be affected during the shutdown - check local media for up-to-date information", the FCO said".