Visitors In Joshua Tree National Park Cutting Down Trees, Drawing Graffiti On Rocks During Shutdown

A sign at the exit of Joshua Tree National Park

Visitors have reportedly ravaged the historic Joshua Tree National Park during the government shutdown, with reports of trees being cut down and graffiti being scrawled on rocks as officials struggle to contain the damage.

The Southern California park was forced to close its campgrounds last week due to an overflow of garbage built up during the shutdown. Now, a report from National Parks Traveler claims that visitors have done widespread damage in other parts of the park, including its most fragile areas. That includes people who have created new roads to access parts of the park not normally open to the public and destroying some of the natural habitat.

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