Overflowing trash, closed bathrooms and skeleton staffing in Yosemite amidst government shutdown

Closed bathrooms and trash along roadways.

Those are some of the things Yosemite Park visitors say they're seeing during the partial government shutdown this new years day.

The shutdown has lasted nearly two weeks, impacting thousands of federal employees.

Folks are taking advantage of not having to pay to get into Yosemite, but there have been issues of overflowing trash and trespassing.

A government shutdown means there are no rangers collecting entrance fees, but with a skeleton staffing, visitors are dealing with few facilities and services.

"There's not enough rangers around. Trash isn't getting picked up . some restrooms aren't opened. Those are the things I notice right away," said Lauryn Claassen visiting from Oakland.

The partial government shutdown is into its 11th day, and thousands of federal park employees are being furloughed.

The Mariposa Grove area bathrooms closed due to impact from human waste. Several others near the Highway 140 entrance were also closed.

Park officials are also citing visitors entering blocked off areas.

"We see a lot of parking tickets. People with tickets, people getting citations," said Will Taylor visiting from Louisiana.

The National Parks Conservation Association senior budget director tells the AP he's concerned about damage to the park's natural resource and other cultural artifacts, adding "We're concerned there'll be impacts to visitor's safety."

Some visitors are worried about safety.

"I rather have the full experience and go into the backcountry and not worry about what's going to happen to you back there, because there are competent rangers who know what they're doing," said Jeremy Goldstone visiting from Los Angeles.

Activities like the skating rink, and Yosemite ski area, remain open.

Despite the issues, visitors say there's no other place they'd rather be in to celebrate 2019

"This spot right here. Tunnel view. I honestly think the most beautiful spot in front of you," said Goldstone.
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