With the partial government shutdown entering its 20th day on Thursday, more effects are being felt with the Department of Agriculture closing its Farm Service Agency county offices and the National Park Service suspending road maintenance and trash-collecting operations.

Sadly, our beautiful National Parks are suffering as a result of the shutdown, with unruly visitors wreaking havoc on unprotected park grounds.


Business Insider reported on the damaging effects at National Parks.

Trash, vandalism, and human waste clogging toilets became rampant as disorderly visitors descended on parks in the absence of staff members collecting admission.


The photos below are heartbreaking.

Here are some broken sleds tossed aside and abandoned.

@publiclandlvr/Twitter

Smoldering logs left unattended were discovered at the site.

@publiclandlvr/Twitter

All civility seems to have been forgotten.

@dsoltesz/Twitter

This folding chair with empty paper cups was clumsily left out in the cold.

@publiclandlvr/Twitter

With trash bins already full, the outhouse became another kind of dump site.

@publiclandlvr/Twitter

Dakota Snider, a 24-year-old Yosemite National Park staff member, told the Associated Press that the National Parks are currently a "free-for-all."

"It's so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I've seen in my four years living here."

On Sunday, the western Sierra Nevada park in Central California that was first protected in 1864 was forced to close its campgrounds due to "human waste issues" and "lack of staffing," according to the National Park Service.




Not all National Parks have closed during the shutdown. Joshua Tree National Park, also in California near San Bernardino and Palm Springs, remained open by spending from the Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to clean up trash and fix overflowing toilets.

Unfortunately, reckless motorists destroyed sensitive areas of the park, and others destroyed some of the precious monocotyledonous trees that populate the desert.





Joshua Tree superintendent David Smith told National Parks Traveler that the delicate trees are facing extinction due to climate change, with much of their habitat expected to be wiped out by 2100.

"We're just in crisis mode right now." Smith said.

Park officials released a statement saying that volunteers have been keeping the area clean and helping to reopen the public restrooms since the shutdown on December 22.

"The park will also bring on additional staff to ensure the protection of park resources and mitigate some of the damage that has occurred during the lapse of appropriations."


Despite all the vandalism taking place at our beautiful National Parks, the good people of America are showing up to clean up.

But is it enough?

If the shutdown continues through Saturday, it will be the longest in U.S. history, affecting 800,000 federal employees who have been without pay since Christmas.

Image by ANURAG1112 from Pixabay

Any engaged couple looks forward to the big day when after months of planning, they get to tie the knot and declare their love in front of family and friends.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

Sometimes I think back to a teacher I had when I was a kid who demanded to know whether any of us were "raised in a barn" in response to crappy behavior. Namely littering. She hated littering. Can you blame her? It's a horrible habit and some people do it with no sense of shame. She dedicated much of her time to telling students to pick up after themselves and dispose of things properly. For that, I'm thankful.

But why didn't anyone else get the memo? The trash I see on the streets is obscene.

People had lots of thoughts to share after Redditor SneakyStriedker876 asked the online community,

"What seemingly uncivilized thing is commonplace in society?"
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Cucu Petronela from Pixabay

I love presents. I try to hide my enthusiasm, and I do my best to appease the greater public by saying "it's the thought that counts." But that is a WHOLE lie. I don't just love gifts, I love great gifts. And if you go rogue from my lists, please keep a receipt. It's just plain rude to divert from what the recipient has requested.

This thought process has emerged from experience. I have received some trash presents over the years and now I'm too old to pretend you just went crazy while shopping. Like... "do you even know me?!"

Redditor u/sulemannkhann wanted to hear all about the presents some of us have received that we prayed, came with a receipt, by asking:

What's the worst birthday gift you ever got?
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Pawel86 from Pixabay

I'm still on the fence about this whole extraterrestrial situation. I need more proof. Now I'm not naive enough to think that in this vast, endless universe only the human race exists. I just need proof, tangible, solid, didn't see it from my trailer through beer goggles proof.

I also need proof about the afterlife, another out there topic. Truth be told, I've never been that into this whole conversation. I've got enough daily problems on this planet, let alone worrying about making Will Smith's biggest hits into documentaries and not just popcorn/comedy space farce.

But let's compare thoughts...

Redditor u/ValencikHannibal197 wanted to discuss life beyond this planet, what do we really think? They asked:

What's the best theory on UFOs or aliens you've ever heard??
Keep reading... Show less