Death Valley Latest National Park Affected by Shutdown

Erika Holt
January 7, 2019

"We aren't releasing more detail because the incident remains under investigation, which is taking longer than usual because of the shutdown".

As of January 3, 2019 the partial shutdown has been going on for almost 13 days, now making it the fourth longest in USA history.

Outside Online reporter Wes Siler says the tragedy, which took place on the afternoon of December 25, was confirmed yesterday by the supervisory public affairs officer for the National Park Service, Andrew Muñoz.

Munoz said the park didn't issue a press release about the death because of the shutdown, which began two weeks ago and forced furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal government employees.

Lamfrom, director of the California desert and national wildlife programs for the National Parks Conservation Association, was concerned about the destruction of the delicate fungus, bacteria and rock that make up the so-called biological soil crust that plants rely on for growth. Conditions at the park have deteriorated as pit toilets overflow, visitors let their dogs off their leashes and drive off road, and people set up camp in protected areas or sites reserved by others.

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During previous extended shutdowns that occurred under former Presidents Obama and Clinton, the administrations made a decision to close the parks to visitors, not wanting to jeopardize the public's safety.

Rangers were reportedly on scene in less than an hour and the injured man was removed from the water. "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".

Officials say several campsites in the park had to be closed because of health and safety concerns, including human waste, trash and vandalism. The bears did not get any food, but campers reported bears pushing on cars and trailers, and one bear got into some trash one night last week in Yosemite Valley, he said.

The park has also had to close down some roads due to snowfall because it does not have the staff to sand or plow them. "Because restroom facilities are limited, visitors are encouraged to stop and use restroom facilities before entering the park", the park advised.

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