Joshua Tree National park closes to the public

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KNBC/NBC) – Cuts in staff as a result of the partial government shutdown will force officials at Joshua Tree National Park to close its doors.

In a statement, park officials said they would eventually reopen the park, but did not give a defined timeline.

Staff was cut at the park more than two weeks ago when the federal government couldn’t get a budget passed but the park remained open.

The remaining park staffers along with volunteers from the community worked to pick up trash and even clean bathrooms. But there was still not enough help to prevent some visitors from driving off-road and damaging some of the trees.

Park officials did not comment on the extent of the damage but said they would need time to identify problems and get resources to fix those problems.

In 2017 the park set a new attendance record with visits by more than two million people.

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