Joshua Tree will stay open because the park service uses revenue generated by taxes at closing


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January 10, 2019, 02:40 GMT

By Phil Helsel

Joshua Tree National Park will not close on Thursday due to a partial government shutdown and reported damage to California's southern attraction, the Parks Department said.

The National Parks Service said in a statement On Wednesday, she will immediately use the revenue generated by the leisure expenses to avoid the planned closure. Tuesday, Joshua Tree National Park said it should be closed temporarily for cleaning and repair from 8 am on Thursdays.

The recreation expenses, authorized by the Acting Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, will also be used to immediately bring back the maintenance crews to deal with sanitation problems at Joshua Tree, and the recently closed areas will again be accessible, said the park service. The move will also reopen the campgrounds.

Deputy Director of the National Parks Service, Daniel Smith said in a statement Sunday that funds from entrance, camping, parking and other fees – which would generally be used for future projects in the parks – could and would be used for immediate assistance and services in highly visited parks.

"We are taking this extraordinary step to ensure that the parks are protected and that visitors can continue to access the parks with limited basic services," Smith said in a statement Sunday.

Some parts of the federal government shut down on Dec. 22 following a dispute between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over the funding of a wall at the southern border of the United States, promised by Trump to voters during the campaign and promising that Mexico would pay for it. .

Approximately 800,000 federal workers were affected by the closure. Half of them were laid off – they are forbidden to work during the closure – while half still work without a wage guarantee. In previous judgments, employees on leave have received salary arrears. Deadlock in Washington continued Wednesday.

This lack of funding has affected national parks, some of which may have remained open with the help of state governments or foundations. Smith said Sunday in a statement that help was appreciated but "it has become clear that busy parks with limited staff have urgent needs that can not be met solely by the generosity of our partners".

National Park spokesman Mike Litterst said that in addition to the garbage and sanitation problems at Joshua Tree, it was reported that desert trees had been felled and trails cut by off-road vehicles.

Joshua Tree extends over 1,238 square miles approximately 130 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and in 2015, it exceeded for the first time 2 million annual visitors, according to the park.

A closed, secure campground on the left side of Joshua Tree National Park after the federal government partially closed the park, forcing Park Wardens to stay at their homes and to close campgrounds in California Park. January 3, 2019.Mark Ralston / AFP – Getty Images

Trump and the Democrats still seem in stalemate on wall funding. Trump announced on Wednesday on Twitter a meeting with Democrats Chuck Schumer, Senate leader, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, "a total waste of time."

A memorandum from the Acting Secretary of the Department of the Interior, David Bernhardt, authorizing the use of National Park Service funds, states that operations such as toilets, sanitation, and sanitation, are not the only way to save money. Enforcement should be maintained "until these funds reach a zero balance".