Why the Damage Made to Joshua Tree During the Shutdown Could Take 300 Years to Undo

Not cool, people.

A few weeks ago we posted a story about volunteers working to maintain Joshua Tree during the recent government shutdown. Despite their valiant efforts, the decision was finally made to close down the park temporarily. Now that the shutdown has ended, park officials are surveying the damage, and it could take centuries for the monument to fully recover.

According to Los Angeles Magazine, “By the time the shutdown finally ended, a National Park Service survey of the damage found Joshua Trees chopped down and left on the ground, vandalism to rocks, the cutting open of chains and locks used to close the campgrounds, and the discovery that people coming into the park had driven off-road so extensively that two new vehicle pathways were cut through previously pristine desert areas.

“Joshua Tree’s ecosystem is a delicate one–and it has already shown signs of stress from the surge of visitors to the park in recent years. In 2017, nearly 3 million people came through the park; only five years before, in 2012, it was just 1.4 million. As park staff return to work, they’re faced with the challenge of protecting the environment for future generations to explore.”

You can read more here.

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