, 7 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
During the shutdown, with Joshua Tree National Park open but no staff on duty, visitors cut down Joshua trees so they could drive into sensitive areas where vehicles are banned.

"We had some pretty extensive four-wheel driving." nationalparkstraveler.org/2019/01/joshua…
The government backtracked on its plan to close Joshua Tree National Park today to protect it during the shutdown. The park will open; operations and staff will be funded using visitor fees (which might not be legal). desertsun.com/story/news/loc…
Joshua trees face dire threats from climate change. Leaving Joshua Tree National Park vulnerable to vandals during a government shutdown can only hasten their demise. nationalgeographic.com/environment/20…
Some on Twitter are questioning whether the Joshua tree in the @ParksTraveler shutdown story was cut or fell naturally. I don't possess the forensic capacity to determine one way or another.

What we do know: Park staff took the picture and identified the tree as cut by vandals.
As Shenandoah NP in Virginia stays open during a shutdown, "I think about impacts to wildlife. We have one of the highest densities of black bears in North America. When our bear-proof trash cans start to overflow with trash, they’re no longer bear-proof." slate.com/news-and-polit…
The @NPCA and @democracyfwd are calling for an investigation at Interior into whether it's legal to keep the national parks operating during the shutdown, with limited staff and resources.

"We’ve seen terrible and sometimes irreversible damage." nationalparkstraveler.org/2019/01/groups…
"There’s an old adage that park rangers get paid in sunsets. But we’re finding it very difficult to pay our mortgage with a sunset." huffingtonpost.com/entry/national…
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