National Parks are suffering 'years of damage' from Trump shutdown
The Washington Post reports that Trump’s government shutdown can already be measured in the lives of Americans who had died in the newly lawless zone of the National Parks. But it’s not just the bodies that are piling up. Across the system, trash cans are overflowing, human waste is going into streams around shuttered facilities, and tourists are venturing into areas that are not only dangerous, but fragile.
As National Geographic reports, the damage being done to the parks won’t disappear the moment Trump decides his ego has been satisfied. Damage that has been done in days will take years to heal, and it’s growing worse.
“Never before have I seen the federal government tempt fate in national parks the way we are today,” says Diane Regas, president of the Trust for Public Land. “It’s not about what has happened already. It’s about what could happen if you don’t have the appropriate staffing.”
Campsites in Joshua Tree National Park have been closed as pit toilets overflow with human waste. Elsewhere, open sewage is flowing over roads and trails. Trash, which in normal times is carefully managed in parks to protect wildlife, is heaped around campsites, overflowing cans, and spread along roads.
Quartz has estimated that Yosemite is developing a new mountain — one made from 27 tons of uncollected trash. And that’s just one park.