Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

National parks forced to close, hazards mount at others amid government shutdown

National parks forced to close, hazards mount at others amid government shutdown

Muñoz told Outside Magazine's Wes Siler that dispatchers at the Yosemite National Park Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call on the afternoon of December 25 "regarding a male park visitor with a head injury above Nevada Fall".

He said that on average, six people a week die in the national parks system, with automobile crashes, falls, drowning and suicide the top causes of death.

The man was not in a restricted area, Munoz said.

The shutdown has affected most national parks, which have been left without numerous rangers and other park officials who usually keep the parks running. The parks have remained largely open to the public despite the fact that most of the rangers and other support staff who maintain them are among the hundreds of thousands of government workers now on furlough, and the unsupervised access has led to a buildup of trash and a break-down in visitor behavior, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. President Trump has said he could keep the partial government shutdown going for months or years in order to get funding for a wall along the U.S.

"We aren't releasing more detail because the incident remains under investigation, which is taking longer than usual because of the shutdown". Even the National Park Service website is not updated to reflect current conditions.

"The Trump administration has forced a government shutdown and is trying to avoid its devastating impacts by pretending nothing is wrong - you can't have it both ways", Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the chairman-designate of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement to E&E News.

30, the eastern portion of Pinnacles National Park is only accessible to campers with confirmed reservations at the Pinnacles Campground.

Officials say several campsites in the park had to be closed because of health and safety concerns, including human waste, trash and vandalism. The waterless bathrooms in which visitors can relieve themselves into a sealed container buried underground had remained open.

Trash is piling up at Yosemite. During the last shutdown, Rivera Murdock recalled that the "Beaver Meadows Visitor Center area was all yellow snow, which is pretty disgusting".

"At the superintendent's discretion, parks may close grounds/areas with sensitive natural, cultural, historic, or archaeological resources vulnerable to destruction, looting, or other damage that can not be adequately protected by the excepted law enforcement staff that remain on duty", Barnum said. "However, bears and other wildlife becoming habituated to human food and trash is a huge concern".

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