Portola Pilot

National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

Mt.+Rainier+National+Park+in+Washington+was+one+of+the+numerous+national+parks+across+the+country+that+were+neglected+due+to+lack+of+funding+during+the+government+shutdown.
Back to Article
Back to Article

National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington was one of the numerous national parks across the country that were neglected due to lack of funding during the government shutdown.

Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington was one of the numerous national parks across the country that were neglected due to lack of funding during the government shutdown.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington was one of the numerous national parks across the country that were neglected due to lack of funding during the government shutdown.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington was one of the numerous national parks across the country that were neglected due to lack of funding during the government shutdown.

Jenny Won, Business Team

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






During the government shutdown that lasted 35 days from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, national parks were left open but severely understaffed, causing pollution, vandalism and other damages from which it may take years to recover.

As a result of the shutdown, the majority of park service employees were furloughed. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, compared to the National Parks Services’ approximately 20,000 employees,  “just 3,298 essential staff were tasked with managing 80 million acres of national park lands.”

The national parks suffered from overflows of garbage and human waste, damage to significant natural or historical sites and cases of vandalism and trespassing. Not only did these issues ruin the experiences of numerous visitors during the busy holiday season, but they also posed threats to wildlife and natural landscapes in the parks.

“In Yosemite, when I was in there during the government shutdown, a lot of people had their dogs out and were trampling over protected areas,” history teacher Natasha Schottland said. “I buy a yearlong national park pass because I fully support the parks and what they do, but people took advantage of the shutdown. It’s really depressing to hear that we don’t have respect for our parks.”

Damage to Joshua Tree National Park was notably severe. Trees were reportedly carved into and cut down. Both existing trails and natural landscape were damaged by irresponsible motorists and off-road traffic.

“What’s happened to our park in the last 34 days is irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years,” former Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent Curt Sauer said to The Guardian.

Previous shutdowns typically closed off the national parks from the public in order to preserve the natural environment within them. The resulting loss of park revenue pressured Congress to reopen the government faster.

However, according to National Geographic, national parks were intentionally kept open during this shutdown to signify President Donald Trump’s willingness to extend the shutdown for as long as it took for Congress to approve funding for his border wall.

Though the government reopened Jan. 25 without Congress approving Trump’s demand for a 5-billion-dollar wall, years of recovery from the damages of the shutdown lie in store for the national parks.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    Pie-A-Teacher Serves Up Wishes

  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    Campaign Week Comes to Campus

  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    Riding into Spring at the Mario Kart Pep Rally

  • News

    2019-20 ASB Election Convention Candidates

  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    Student Presentations Increase in Third Annual Passion Day

  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    Four Juniors Head to Sacramento on Behalf of IUSD

  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    IPSF Awards $20,000 Mega Grant for Augmented Reality Initiative

  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    Irvine Boasts Greatest Tax Surplus in America

  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    Science Olympiad Advances to State From Regionals

  • National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown

    News

    STEAM For All Club Hosts Passion Exploration Event

Navigate Right
The student news site of Portola High School
National Parks Damaged During Government Shutdown