Watch Death Valley’s Rapid Deterioration After 5 Weeks Without Park Rangers in This Disturbing Time-Lapse
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
On Jan. 25, the longest government shutdown in the history of the nation came to an end. But for those people and places affected, the recovery has just begun.
Officials at Death Valley National Park posted a time-lapse video to the park’s Facebook page to underline just how much work must be done to restore the parkland. The clip shows park rangers cleaning a restroom for two hours, removing trash and human filth from the facility to reopen the park to visitors.
With park workers furloughed during the shutdown, there was no one available to pump the park’s toilets — and at least half a ton of human waste was found outside the restrooms, according to News 3, Las Vegas. Park spokesperson Abby Wines described that as “unusual.”
Tourists also wreaked havoc around the park. Wines said that, in an attempt to enter locked bathrooms, people caused “extensive damage to the doors.” Wines told News 3 that this vandalism is especially unfortunate, as one of the two damaged restrooms was considered a historic structure.
Parkgoers also went off-roading through the park, which is illegal and extremely destructive to the desert valley.
“A lot of the landscape around here consists of a thin hard crust [that] covers a soft, silty soil,” Wines told News3. That means the trenches carved by car tires could remain for many years, if not restored.
Wildlife in Death Valley National Park was also harmed by the lack of supervision during the shutdown. According to News 3, a coyote had to be euthanized after he became too comfortable begging humans for food — an acquired taste from feasting on overflowing garbage for more than a month.
Death Valley is just one of the national parks that suffered significantly during the shutdown. Joshua Tree, for example, may need up to 300 years to recover from the human abuse endured while rangers were furloughed.
Featured image by Francesca Tosolini/Unsplash.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees