Around the country, different parks are experiencing their own pains of the government shutdown, as the shutdown and the winter cold have not stopped tourists from wanting to see their breath-taking sights. In Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon Joshua Tree, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, visitors are seeing trash bins overflowing and human biological waste scattered around the parks, illegal off-roading and other disrespectful and damaging behavior.
In Joshua Tree National Park, business owners have collaborated to help with and provide services typically handled by the National Park Service. According to the Associated Press, the business community has starting emptying trash receptacles, and restocking restrooms.
In Yellowstone National Park, tour companies are helping pick up the slack by maintaining some of the trails, hauling trash, and restocking open restrooms along the trails they help guide tourists through.
How are the parks surrounding Page and Lake Powell faring? Is the trash overflowing or is there human biological waste strewn about? LPNN wanted to find out more, so we headed out to discover for ourselves how the local parks around the area have been impacted by the shutdown.
While out at Horseshoe Bend you will find there are restrooms and trash collection areas
around the parking lot, which are maintained by the City of Page. These services have not been halted. While in the national park itself, there were some areas of trash that people had left, but it appeared to be people being inconsiderate and not throwing their trash in the provided receptacles in the parking area rather than due to lack of services from the government closure.
At Lone Rock, trash service appears to be handled by Republic Services, and the restrooms along the shoreline were locked prior to the government shutdown due to winter hours of operation.
There was no trash nor other indication of people disrespecting the area due to lack of government services.
At Wahweap, which is inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation area, the area is mostly maintained by Aramark, and few services are dependent upon the National Park Services outside of law enforcement.
At Antelope Point, the area is maintained by a variety of non-governmental entities.
Both areas were also in well-kept order.
It looks as if the issues plaguing some other national parks around the country are not indicative of the experience you will find at the national parks surrounding Page and Lake Powell.
Compared to shutdowns in the past, this one is a bit different for the national parks. This time, the Trump administration has requested that the parks remain open despite the lack of staff.
Damage to Parks
One thing that some people have already experienced is that some parks have shut down to ensure the integrity of the park itself.
According to the National Park Service Contingency Plan, “[a]t 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 cannot be adequately protected by the excepted law enforcement staff that remain on duty to conduct essential activities.” If things get any worse for some of these parks, they may be closed to prevent further damage.
Article sponsored by