Joshua Tree National Park to close starting Thursday for cleanup, repair

People visit Joshua Tree National Park in the southern California desert Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Krysta Fauria)

Joshua Tree National Park will temporarily close starting Thursday for cleanup and repair amid the ongoing partial government shutdown, park officials announced Tuesday.

The closure will "allow park staff to address sanitation, safety, and resource protection issues in the park that have arisen during the lapse in appropriations," a press release stated.

Officials said there have been "incidents of new roads being created by motorists and the destruction of Joshua trees in recent days that have precipitated the closure."

Park rangers will continue to patrol the park and enforce the closure until park staff complete the necessary cleanup and park protection measures.
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