Mojave Desert Land Trust calls for temporary closure of Joshua Tree National Park

a climber scales a rock in Joshua Tree National Park

The Mojave Desert Land Trust, a non-profit organization with the mission to protect and care for lands in the Mojave Desert, has called for officials to temporarily shutdown Joshua Tree National Park.

As the Trump Shutdown doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon, the organization stated in a press release (below) that they are concerned about “the effects of the shutdown on the natural resources of Joshua Tree National Park” in order “to prevent irreparable damage to the iconic Joshua trees the Park was named for as well as other Park resources.”

The statement comes after weeks of seeing visitors to the parkΒ acting like total assholes – which led the park to announce a temporary closure only to suddenly find the funds to stay open.

Here’s the full press release:

β€œWe are very concerned about the effects of the shutdown on the natural resources of Joshua Tree National Park. It has become clear that despite the efforts of local businesses and other volunteers to augment the law enforcement rangers considered essential during the shutdown, more support is needed to prevent irreparable damage to the iconic Joshua trees the Park was named for as well as other Park resources. Although we are thankful to see additional new Park resources being added to prevent damage, without the full staff of Joshua Tree National Park, we cannot hope to really protect this important resource.”

β€œWe support a temporary closure of Joshua Tree National Park to protect its resources from further lasting damage. Leaving the Park open without adequate protective resources could result in the long-term loss of some of the very values the parks were established to preserve, and which people come to see.”

β€œWe applaud the herculean efforts of local businesses, volunteers, Native American communities, and the Marine Corps to maintain public areas. While we are very concerned about the impact of a closure on the local economy, it has become clear that without adequate staff, the Park remains vulnerable and must be protected, even if that means a temporary closure. Protection of the irreplaceable natural resources of Joshua Tree National Park and other desert parks during the government shutdown must be the priority.”


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