Joshua Tree national park 'may take 300 years to recover' from shutdown

A sign placed by a volunteer is taped to a restroom door at Joshua Tree National Park

Modal Trigger A sign placed by a volunteer is taped to a restroom door at Joshua Tree National Park. Getty Images

While those who were furloughed or required to work without pay will receive back pay, it's unclear when that will happen.

The park thanked concessioners, specifically Xanterra Travel Collection, which made donations during the shutdown enabling National Park Service staff to groom roads and allow over-snow access to continue.

The National Park Service said that assistance has been significant. "There are a lot of important professionals in various departments across the park that have been kept on the sidelines at a very important time of year for planning for Acadia".

Because the park had not closed completely during the shutdown, Gediman said the Mist Trail was closed off because not enough rangers were on hand to keep visitors safe.

The National Park Service office will officially reopen Tuesday.

"If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15 again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency", Trump said Friday, as CNN reported. That would include the park's final approach to managing traffic. The full cost of damages, broken or delayed contracts, lost visitor fees, and other issues brought on by the 35-day shutdown remains unknown so far.

In 2017, it set a new attendance record with visits by more than 2.8 million people, an increase of almost 340,000 over the previous year's record.

A barrier blocks a campground at the park during the shutdown. "The impact is marginal now", Graten said in a phone interview. Staff returned to work Monday to start processing a backlog of applications for backcountry permits, research and film permits and commercial use authorizations.

People with the chamber filled a possible major gap for visitor information during Acadia in winter while the shutdown was in effect. Spokesman George Land said in a statement this month that the park witnessed "incidents of new roads being created by motorists and the destruction of Joshua trees".

By the time the shutdown finally ended, a National Park Service survey of the damage found Joshua Trees chopped down and left on the ground, vandalism to rocks, the cutting open of chains and locks used to close the campgrounds, and the discovery that people coming into the park had driven off-road so extensively that two new vehicle pathways were cut through previously pristine desert areas.

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