'Sanctuary city' picks up trash for Federal government shutdown over border wall

Blessed with an abundance of National Park attractions right in the midst of their metropolis, San Francisco leaders have decided not to let garbage pile up.

SF Examiner shares:

Trash has been piling up at San Francisco landmarks run by the National Park Service during the federal government shutdown, but city officials are now stepping in to pick up some of the slack.

Public Works started trash collection Wednesday at Lands End, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, picking up piles of refuse that had built up near garbage cans since the shutdown started Dec. 22.

Now, Public Works officials told the San Francisco Examiner, they’ll also pick up trash at Aquatic Park.

The focus will be on servicing public garbage cans and the areas immediately around them “that we can immediately access,” said Rachel Gordon, a spokesperson for Public Works.

That means city staff won’t be making any long hikes through Lands End for pickups any time soon, but the department is asking people to remember to “pack it in, and pack it out,” to help play a part in keeping the parks safe and clean.

“We’re stepping in because it’s still part of San Francisco,” Gordon said. “We want a good experience for our visitors and residents there.”

Pictured is Muir Beach, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Volunteers have been picking up garbage in the GGNRA, but traffic in and out becomes a nightmare due to the lack of signage, narrow roads, locked parking lots, and lack of space for the many, many disappointed visitors to turn around. Read the rest

Government shutdown puts national parks in nightmare mode

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.

Read the rest

On 'National Public Lands Day' all US National Parks are free (Saturday 9/22)

If you want to visit a National Park, and don't mind crowds, Saturday is the day for you.

Via the NPS:

There are many ways to participate in National Public Lands Day.

You can visit a national park for free. You can take part in a volunteer work project.If you volunteer on this day, you will receive a fee-free day coupon to be used on a future date. You can share your favorite outdoor activity on social media channel with the hashtag #NPSVolunteer, #FindYourPark and #NPLD!

National Public Lands Day is organized annually by the National Environmental Education Foundation, in cooperation with Department of the Interior, Department of the Army, and Department of Agriculture. The National Park Service is one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. Other participating federal agencies include the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, and US Army Corps of Engineers.

Warning: Parking will be a disaster at many of our popular parks. Read the rest