With Joshua Tree National Park Closed Amid Shutdown, Volunteers Struggle to Clean up After Unruly Visitors

Rand Abbott, a volunteer who took it upon himself to clean and restock bathrooms at Joshua Tree National Park, is seen in this undated photo. (Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Rand Abbott, a volunteer who took it upon himself to clean and restock bathrooms at Joshua Tree National Park, is seen in this undated photo. (Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

In this high desert enclave, Rand Abbott is a well-known man of action. He’s a paraplegic rock climber; a vocal lightning rod at town hall meetings; and a tireless promoter for the desert landscape and its resident creatures.

So it came as little surprise to friends two weeks ago when he volunteered to clean restrooms and remove trash that was littering Joshua Tree National Park due to a partial government shutdown over funding for President Trump’s border wall.

Unfortunately, the park was in far more disarray than a one-man army could handle.

Amid reports of plundered Native American artifacts and chain-sawed Joshua trees, officials announced they would close the park entirely at 8 a.m. Thursday — the 20th day of the government shutdown. The closure, they said, would allow them to assess damage to the park and mount an intensive cleanup effort.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.