Tag Archives: park

Some national park Joshua trees have been cut down during the government shutdown

Some national park Joshua trees have been cut down during the government shutdownNational Park Service photos show several Joshua trees have been cut down by off-roaders since the partial government shutdown started.



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Visitors Chainsaw Iconic Joshua Trees in National Park During Gov't Shutdown

Visitors Chainsaw Iconic Joshua Trees in National Park During Gov't ShutdownJoshua trees are beautiful, but humans can be pretty awful.

That's what park rangers learned during the first week or so of the partial government shutdown.

Joshua Tree National Park is about the size of Delaware, but only eight law-enforcement rangers were tasked with protecting the 1,238 square mile (3,207 square kilometers) wonderland during the shutdown.

The result? Visitors did not play by the rules, cutting illegal roads, chopping down the park's most famous occupants — the Joshua trees — and damaging federal property, according to the nonprofit National Parks Traveler.

"There are about a dozen instances of extensive vehicle traffic off roads and in some cases into wilderness," said the park's superintendent David Smith, as reported by National Parks Traveler. "We have two new roads that were created inside the park. We had destruction of government property with the cutting of chains and locks for people to access campgrounds. We've never seen this level of out-of-bounds camping. Every day use area was occupied every evening." [All Yours: 10 Least Visited National Parks]

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

Due to the vandalism and sanitation issues, Smith had scheduled a park closure beginning today (Jan. 10). However, instead the park has allocated funds from recreation fees, averting a temporary closure, he said.

"National Park Service officials have determined that by using Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to immediately bring back park maintenance crews to address sanitation issues, the park will be able to maintain some visitor services, including reopening the campgrounds," read a park statement. "The park will also bring on additional staff to ensure the protection of park resources and mitigate some of the damage that has occurred during the lapse of appropriations."

The cut-down trees, however, are irreplaceable, as they take some 60 years to mature and live for more than 500 years. The tree, called Yucca brevifolia, often grows alongside its relative the Mojave yucca, Yucca schidigera — both are part of the Agave family.

As if posing for an album cover or a backdrop in a Dr. Seuss book, Joshua trees look both stoic and whimsical, their spindly, sometimes bushy, limbs twisting out from the trunk. Legend has it that Mormon immigrants who made their way across the Colorado River in the mid-19th century named the trees after the biblical Joshua, "seeing the limbs of the tree as outstretched in supplication, guiding the travelers westward," vegetation specialist Jane Rodgers writes on the National Park Service website.

Read more about the ecological wonders of the Joshua Tree National Park, including its range of sights, from sand dunes and dry lakes to granite monoliths and oases, and two distinct desert regions — the Mojave and Colorado.

* Yellowstone and Yosemite: Two of the World's Oldest National Parks …
* Lassen Volcanic National Park: The West's Most Beautiful, Least …
* Top 10 Most Visited National Parks

Originally published on Live Science.



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National Park Service plans to use entrance fees to keep major parks open during shutdown

National Park Service plans to use entrance fees to keep major parks open during shutdownNational Park Service takes unprecedented step to use entrance fees to keep major parks open. The fees will be used for trash clean up and more. But is it legal?



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Park Service to tap into entrance fees to keep operating

Park Service to tap into entrance fees to keep operatingWASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service says it is taking the extraordinary step of dipping into entrance fees to pay for staffing at its highly visited parks in the wake of the partial government shutdown.



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A Visitor Died at Yosemite National Park During the Partial Government Shutdown

A Visitor Died at Yosemite National Park During the Partial Government ShutdownThe ongoing investigation is taking longer than usual because of the partial government shutdown



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Lion kills worker at US wildlife park

Lion kills worker at US wildlife parkAlexandra Black, 22, was passionate about wildlife and had worked just 10 days as in intern at the facility in Burlington, North Carolina. “The Conservators Center is devastated by the loss of a human life today,” it said in a statement.



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Young girl shot dead by man opening fire on vehicle in Walmart car park

Young girl shot dead by man opening fire on vehicle in Walmart car parkJazmine Barnes was shot as her family drove out of a Walmart car park in Texas. Jazmine and her mother, LaPorsha Washington, were hit by bullets. Ms Washington was taken to hospital to be treated for her injuries, but Jazmine was pronounced dead at the scene.



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Holiday Flights Safe, But Not National Park Trips in Shutdown

Holiday Flights Safe, But Not National Park Trips in ShutdownThe remaining three-quarters of the government, including the Department of Defense, Department of Labor and Health and Human Services, were already funded and won’t be affected by the shutdown. Federal rules prohibit employees classified as “essential” from taking paid time off, including time for illness, vacation or religious obligations during a shutdown. The U.S. Department of Transportation would keep about two-thirds of the department’s more than 50,000 employees on the job, according to its shutdown plan.Air traffic controllers, critical airline safety inspections and the registration of aircraft would continue to work if a government shutdown occurs, according to a statement by the Federal Aviation Administration.Transportation Security Administration’s airport functions would continue to operate, so air travel would not be affected.The Federal Highway Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates trucking, would continue their operations.Amtrak would continue its normal operations during a short-term shutdown, according to a spokeswoman for the railroad.



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Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent’s Sprawling Hancock Park Home Officially Hit the Market at $13.795 Million

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent’s Sprawling Hancock Park Home Officially Hit the Market at $  13.795 MillionThe couple purchased the estate, featured in
AD, from
Friends creator Marta Kauffman in 2016



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Couple who fell from overlook in Yosemite identified by National Park Service

Couple who fell from overlook in Yosemite identified by National Park ServiceYosemite National Park Rangers have identified the two people who died after falling from Taft Point.



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