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Foundation raising funds to repair national parks when shutdown ends



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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

9659007] "Part of the challenge we have now is that we do not know the full extent, "said Shafroth, referring to the damage reported in the national parks during the closure.

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.

People visit the Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave desert in the south California, January 10, 2019. [19659016] Jae C. Hong / AP

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.


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