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by Phil Helsel
Amid relationships between trash cans and baths in the nation's national parks during the partial closure of the government and the destruction of Joshua trees in California Southern, the charitable organization that supports the park system is seeking donations for repair once the government reopens.
Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, said the fundraising campaign launched Thursday evening is analogous to his efforts to help parks recover from natural disasters [1
Government closure started in December. 22 in a dispute over President Donald Trump's request for funding a border wall has affected some 800,000 federal workers, about half of whom are in isolation and half without jobs. the riday approved a bill that guarantees pay to federal employees and Trump said he will sign it.
The National Park Service has not issued a general decision to close the attractions despite the interruption of funding caused by the arrest. In previous government breakdowns in 2013 and 1995, all the parks were closed.
The park service announced over the weekend that it would use recreational fees that are typically used for future park plans to maintain services and access to parks.
The effort of the National Park Foundation, which is a charity with the Congress and the main charity for the service of the federal park, does not have a fixed goal and has just begun, said Shafroth. He said the answer has been positive so far.
The foundation will work with park rangers to determine where the damage is and where the money collected to repair it should be spent, the foundation said. It is not clear how long the arrest will last, now in the third week.
"For now, this is one way people can help us jump when the opportunity arises," Shafroth said. People from all over the United States and the world visit national parks and the park service has recorded over 330 million recreational visits in 2017.
Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, about 130 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, suffered vandalism and damage including the destruction of the iconic desert trees and new routes cut off for off-road vehicles, according to Park Service officials.
Researchers believe that the average life span of Joshua trees is around 150 years, but some of the largest trees in the park could be much older than that, according to the park. They have adapted to the desert landscape there, said Taylor Jones, an endangered species for the conservation of the non-profit WildEarth guardians, who focuses on the American West.
"The national park is one of our last best places to preserve Joshua trees," Taylor said.
The Joshua Tree National Park and a park service official said this week that due to the destruction of the trees after the arrest, and with reports that people had cut off the trails for off-road vehicles, that the Attraction of the desert could be forced to close temporarily.
Joshua trees are pollinated by a single type of moth, and the seeds are in a hard capsule that needs to be opened by rodents and then cached and not eaten by rodents, Jones said. The young trees are vulnerable to drought and fire and the loss of a single mature tree can have a big impact because they reproduce so slowly, he said.
"So you're not just missing this specific Joshua tree adapted where they live," Jones said. "You're losing all your potential offspring."
Some believe that national parks should have been closed during the partial closure of the government.
Two groups, Direct Democracy and Conservation of National Parks The association, said Friday, wants the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior to open an inquiry into what it has defined the "reckless decision" to keep the parks open with what they said they were without adequate staff. laws intended to protect public land.
"During the closure of the government, we have seen terrible and sometimes irreversible damage to our national parks, including tearing down trees, stolen artefacts, overflows" The garbage, human waste and illegal off-roading on fragile and wild areas ", said in a statement Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association.
The groups stated that the National Park Service authorized about 16,000 employees due to the closure of the government "but left partially open two thirds of our National parks without proper staff. "
An email to the Department of the Interior requesting a comment Friday night was not immediately returned.
P Daniel Smith, Deputy Director of the National Park Service, stated in a statement ration Sunday that the agency has consulted with the Law Department at the Department of the Interior and has determined that the funds for entry, camping and other taxes "can and should be used to provide assistance and immediate services to the highly visited parks during the expiry of the appropriations. "
" We are taking this extraordinary step to ensure that parks are protected and that visitors can continue to access parks with limited basic services, "said Smith. In the statement, he said the money would be used to clean up the garbage, clean the toilets and introduce other guardians of the forces of order. The parks would not be able to be completely open and the smaller sites will remain closed.
In Death Valley National Park, also in California, a non-profit group and two hotels have kept open the visitor center and some toilets during the closure and to finance the salaries for a handful of forest rangers at 
Shafroth, d In the National Park Foundation, she said it was not her place to comment on whether parks should remain open during closure and that the charitable organization does not weigh on political decisions.
"Our role is to intervene in the breach there and ensure that the parks are cared for and can be restored and reopened as quickly as possible," said Shafroth.
"People across the country, all over the world, visit these places," he said.