I live in a small, grandfathered, community inside of the Golden Gate National Recreation area. The government shutdown is making parks scary for tourists and residents alike.
It is vacation time! People want to get out and enjoy nature! The weather is beautiful, the skies are super clear in the San Francisco Bay area, and the roads are completely jammed up with people unclear as to what is open and what is not. Encountering a mile long SNAFU of confused drivers will eat hours of your time.
Parking lots located at the end of narrow 2-way but 1-car wide 'roads' are locked with no warning. Giant SUVs illegally park in sensitive habitats, just off the roadway, or just choke narrow streets into unpassable nightmares. Confusion abounds. Cooperation disappears. Absolute proof American libertarianism is a farce.
I will spare you to stories of where people are leaving trash or the number of folks we've seen eliminating on the roadside. Those redwoods are majestic, must be interesting to crap on one.
NBC has more:
Unlike shutdowns in some previous administrations, the Trump administration was leaving parks open to visitors despite the staff furloughs, said John Garder, senior budget director of the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association.
"We're afraid that we're going to start seeing significant damage to the natural resources in parks and potentially to historic and other cultural artifacts," Garder said. "We're concerned there'll be impacts to visitors' safety."
"It's really a nightmare scenario," Garder said.
Spokespeople with the Interior Department did not immediately return emails seeking comment on Monday.
National Park Service spokesman Jeremy Barnum had said as the shutdown took hold that "national parks will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures."
In practice, that meant on Monday that many park toilets were closed or filled to overflowing, despite holiday crowds.