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As U.S. parks go understaffed, people are destroying California’s protected Joshua trees

pIn most depictions, Joshua trees tower above the earth. Feathery-looking limbs topped with spiky green leaves twist skyward, completing the gangly succulent’s striking appearance./ppBut now, viral pictures of these protected trees show a vastly different scene unfolding at Joshua Tree National Park, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles./ppThe trees in the photos have been felled and are lying on the dusty ground – and Park Service officials say people, not Mother Nature, are to blame./ppShared widely on social media Thursday, the photos have sparked outrage over the plight of national parks that remain open amid a partial government shutdown, leaving them understaffed and vulnerable to the antics of unruly visitors. Parks nationwide have struggled to deal with a variety of issues ranging from rampant littering and overflowing public restrooms to the vandalism of habitats./pp“I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican, what’s going on at Joshua Tree National Park is a travesty to this nation,” one person tweeted./ppDuring the course of the shutdown, which is in its third week, conditions at Joshua Tree have only worsened, prompting Park Service officials to schedule a temporary closure on Thursday morning to “allow park staff to address sanitation, safety, and resource …read more

Thank you Source: WDT

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