Volunteers help keep Shenandoah Nat'l. Park clean during shutdown

Volunteers Travis Puglisi and Shawn Snyder load a trailer of trash in Joshua Tree National Park on Dec. 31

The Interior Department's acting secretary, David Bernhardt, has agreed to let park managers use entrance fees to keep facilities up and running.

After the Post obtained Bernhardt's memo, and NPS Deputy Director Daniel Smith confirmed it to the paper, saying: "As the lapse in appropriations continues, it has become clear that highly visited parks with limited staff have urgent needs that can not be addressed exclusively through the generosity of our partners ..."

"Due to the unavailability of park staff to provide essential public services and ensure continued road safety for visitors, this closure to public vehicles is expected to continue until further notice", park officials said in a release.

The money will be used to bring in staff to maintain bathrooms, clean up trash and patrol the parks, all which have been concerns due to limited staffing because of the Trump administration's decision to keep national parks open during the partial government shutdown.

Freshman Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, sent a similar letter to Bernhardt that said he joined in asking for an alternative approach to keeping the parks open. The agency said previously that it would seek to keep parks "as accessible as possible" during the funding lapse. Heavy snow and the shutting of the park's restaurant, inn and other services led to the decision, park officials said. Some critics contend fees collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act are designated for visitor services and not for basic maintenance operations, according to The Post. Visitor fees were set aside before the shutdown for future park projects and paying off a deferred maintenance backlog.

More news: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone are back in Mumbai after short holiday

"The Department of Interior is very likely violating appropriations law, " said Representative Betty McCollum, Democrat of Minnesota and the new chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on interior, environment and related agencies.

The shutdown, which was the third of 2018, began at midnight on Saturday, December 22 over funding for President Donald Trump's border wall.

Although hikers and skiers are still allowed inside Mount Rainier National Park, officials reminded visitors there is no public parking outside the Nisqually entrance and cars parked on private property or blocking the gates will be towed. "For those national parks that don't collect fees, they will now be in the position of competing for the same inadequate pot of money to protect their resources and visitors".

Meanwhile, hundreds of Muslim men volunteering with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association have been picking up trash in parks and public spaces across the nation - from the Everglades in Florida to the National Mall in Washington DC.

Overall, that's a miniscule fraction of the more than 330 million people who visited the 418 sites in the National Park System in 2017, according to National Park Service data.

Related News:



Most liked

Tesla CEO Musk breaks ground at Shanghai factory for China push
Tesla has said it plans to use mostly local debt to fund the factory. "And the competition is getting more and more fierce". In October, the company got the approval to use an 864,885 sq mt tract of land in Lingang for its Shanghai plant.

The Packers Have Reportedly Made A Head Coaching Decision
The early expectation is that Pettine stays in Green Bay, though Lafleur will make a firm call when it's official. Mike Pettine's defense showed flashes in his first year on the job.

Rockets sending Michael Carter-Williams to Bulls
The 27-year-old Carter-Williams has played sparingly for Houston this season, especially amid the team's current hot streak. Chicago will send a conditional second round pick to complete the deal.

Kawhi Leonard and Gregg Popovich shared a special moment after final whistle
We all make decisions in our lives with what we're going to do with our futures, and he has that same right as any of us. By contrast, Danny Green was cheered as if he were never dealt to Toronto along with Leonard.

Elias Pettersson exits Vancouver Canucks game with lower-body injury
The Canucks (20-21-4) should have an update on Pettersson's availability by the time they host the Coyotes (17-21-3) at 10 p.m. Andersen said after Friday's practice, his first full session since December 27, that he's close to a return.

New backlash has Kevin Hart abandoning Oscar-job reconsideration
"Someone like Kevin Hart can be a leader - the ultimate change agent - he can help change homophobia in the black community". Hart said during his radio show that there now "has to be an acceptance for change".

Kliff Kingsbury could replace Josh McDaniels as Patriots OC
USC football's offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury may not just be a candidate for NFL head coaching jobs. Schefter said the Cardinals and Kingsbury have a "strong mutual interest".

Chargers hold off Jackson, Ravens in AFC wild card game
Jackson finished the game with 194 passing yards with two touchdowns, one interception and three fumbles, one of which was lost. The last meeting between the two teams in the regular season came in October 2017, a 21-13 Patriots win at Gillette.

Moscow denies holding British and Irish citizen as pawn
Whelan, a 48-year-old former Marine and security director for a US company, was arrested a week ago in Moscow, accused of spying. Speaking during a visit to Singapore on Friday, he said "individuals should not be used as pawns of diplomatic leverage".

Tammy Abraham: Wolves expected to sign Chelsea striker on loan
Chelsea have a recall clause in that loan deal, which allows them to alter the arrangement with Villa this month. Wolves are leading the chase for Tammy Abraham as he prepares to cut short his loan spell with Aston Villa .

Deepika Padukone Has Something Big Planned for Her Birthday
It also highlights "Live Love Laugh", a foundation Deepika has been supporting, which emphasiaes on mental health awareness. It is no secret that Deepika and Katrina once shared a cold equation after the latter started dating Ranbir Kapoor.

India win their maiden series on Australian soil
Australia are on the cusp of losing the Test series against India at home for the first time in their illustrious cricketing history.

Alien: Blackout is a Mobile Game Featuring Isolation's Amanda Ripley
This is the new Alien project that was trademarked late previous year , so don't expect a console announcement anytime soon. In Blackout , you'll be tasked with guiding AI crewmates to safety whilst also attempting to avoid the Xenomorph.

'We're negotiating a location' for second US-North Korea summit
Heavy security was spotted passing through the train station in the Chinese border city of Dandong just after 10 p.m. local time. Tuesday also marks Kim Jong Un's supposed birthday, which North Korean officials have never confirmed or publicly acknowledge.

Donald Trump to meet with Democrats over government shutdown
The White House painted that offer, which Mr Trump floated previously, as an olive branch. The aide said no progress was made and no further meetings of the group were scheduled.