Human waste, rubbish overwhelm some U.S. national parks in shutdown

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Some national parks have taken a hit amid the USA government shutdown: They've remained open, though severely understaffed, leading to public health concerns like overflowing toilets.

Despite the shutdown most national parks grounds remain open.

"We're alarmed by the situation of partially closed parks, which is an irresponsible and unsustainable way to manage a shutdown", said John Garder, senior director of budget and appropriations for the National Parks Conservation Association. 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. "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".

Officials at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado have said they are closing toilet facilities and locking up rubbish bins in many locations.

The parks are being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns.

A man died after falling into a river in Yosemite National Park on December 25, three days into the current government shutdown, according to a government spokesperson.

Adjacent to Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are also among those facing challenges from the same issues.

"In addition to human waste in public areas, driving off road and other infractions that damage the resource are becoming a problem".

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"However unpleasant that is. we don't have a place for them to throw it out in the park right now, and leaving it on the side of a trail or in piles in a parking lot is not helpful to keeping the park clean", she said.

Additional closures include Lost Horse Mine Road due to illegal activity and Rattlesnake Canyon in order to reduce the number of search-and-rescue events for rangers already spread thin due to the government shutdown.

Lamfrom said he's encouraging people to stay away from the parks during the shutdown but added that it's wrong to blame visitors for damage when there's little or no enforcement of rules. The Smithsonian relied on funds from previous years to stay open through the first of the year, but planned to close its doors on January 2 if the government shutdown continued.

"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".

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. The reports of human feces at other national parks did not appear to be the case here though.

"It's definitely not our preference - the park service does a good job doing their thing and we hate to see them out of work, " Watt said. "But we can handle it".

The tour companies can likely keep this system going through the entire winter season if they need to, Watt said.

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