Joshua Tree National Park Will Not Be Temporarily Closing Thursday as Previously Planned

A campground closed notice at Joshua Tree National Park in California. (Credit: U.S. National Park Service)

A campground closed notice at Joshua Tree National Park in California. (Credit: U.S. National Park Service)

Joshua Tree National Park will avoid a temporary closure set for Thursday and will reopen areas of the park that were closed because of the partial government shutdown, a park statement said Wednesday.

Officials said the park used recreation fees, specifically Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds, to clean up trash and overflowing toilets, and to reopen campgrounds for overnight stays. Besides sanitation problems, parts of the park suffered damage when some visitors went off-roading in sensitive areas and others defaced Joshua trees.

Volunteers had been working to keep the park clean and repaired during the shutdown that began Dec. 22. Park officials said their efforts “have contributed significantly” to the reopening of bathrooms and campgrounds. Now the newly tapped federal funds will continue to help.

“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,” the statement said.

Read the full story on LATimes.com