National Parks Are Overflowing With Trash and Human Waste During Government Shutdown
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.
Despite numerous national parks opting to stay open during the ongoing government shutdown, recent behavior by park guests has caused some officials to change their tunes.
Initially, some parks had stayed open with skeleton staffs and limited services such as closed bathrooms and no trash pickup. However, it turns out that these specific limitations have allowed for park guests to do some damage to the natural landscapes — for example, Yosemite National Park officials had to shut down the Wawona and Hodgson Meadows campgrounds, in addition to the Mariposa Grove of redwoods, after finding an abundances of human feces and urine along the trails.
This has raised concern from park officials and Yosemite Valley residents alike, as the proximity to human waste to high traffic areas in the park is a health hazard. “It’s a free-for-all,” said Dakota Snider, a valley resident, to The Associated Press. “It’s so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I’ve seen in my four years living here.” In the meantime, officials are urging park-goers to use restrooms in nearby communities or in the open facilities on site.
Yosemite isn’t the only park that’s faced issues among the government shutdown. Joshua Tree National Park had to close all campgrounds at noon on Jan. 2 due to overflowing toilets, illegal off-roading activities and roaming off-leash dogs. Sabra Purdy, co-owner of Cliffhanger Guides, which specializes in rock-climbing expeditions in the park for guests, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that despite having volunteers help clean up the parks during the shutdown, it’s simply just not sustainable.
“We can’t afford to wipe all the bottoms who visit Joshua Tree,” said Purdy.
Featured image by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Cal via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.