Bruised, Beaten Joshua Tree National Park To Reopen After Shutdown

30 Janvier, 2019, 11:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Bruised, Beaten Joshua Tree National Park To Reopen After Shutdown

Joshua Tree National Park may need centuries to recover from damage caused by visitors during the 35-day government shutdown, a former ranger said.

"What's happened to our park in the last 34 days is irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years", Curt Sauer, a former superintendent of the park, said during a rally over the weekend. In 2017, almost 3 million people came through the park; only five years before, in 2012, it was just 1.4 million. Most of the furloughed workers will come back to work Monday to check winter storm damage and clean up.

Rangers announced they would temporarily close January 8 to deal with some of the damage, but then reopened.

"Employees at Acadia National Park are happy to be back at work today, serving the American people and welcoming visitors to their national parks", Acadia National Park said in a post on its Facebook page Monday afternoon.

National parks typically close during government shutdowns, but the Trump administration chose to keep them open, leaving them understaffed and vulnerable to misuse for over a month.

The decision to keep national parks open with reduced staff was met with criticism.

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"Those trees will be damaged forever, but luckily our plant community is a renewable resource", park superintendent David Smith told SF Gate.

We wish to express our thanks to California State Parks for stepping up to support the park with in-kind support during the lapse in appropriations, and to Redwood Parks Conservancy and California State Parks for continuing to serve the public at state park facilities within Redwood National and State Parks.

"Joshua trees were actually cut down in order to make new roads", he added.

Permits will not be issued for vehicle access to the Tall Trees Grove trailhead until we can assess road conditions.

"The local community is fed up with our parks being held hostage and the fact that it's open and partially staffed is not good for the park, it's not good for the public and it's not good for the local community here", Lauretig said. "If the government doesn't fund or staff the parks appropriately, then they should just close the parks to protect the parks and protect the people".

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