In Death Valley, piles of human feces and hunks of what rangers call “toilet paper flowers” were left scattered around the desert.
At Joshua Tree, officials found about 20 miles of unauthorized new trails carved into the desert landscape by off-road vehicles, along with some of the park’s namesake trees toppled.
And at Point Reyes along the Marin County coast, a colony of elephant seals made a popular beach their new home and welcomed 40 new pups into the world.
With the partial federal government shutdown over — at least for now — authorities are beginning the tally to damage that occurred to some of California’s national parklands during the weeks in which many park officials were off the job.
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