Parks in Brief: Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite National Park

John Lauretig, executive director of Friends of Joshua Tree, talks to visitors at Coyote Corner, outside the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park in the southern California desert Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Krysta Fauria)

John Lauretig, executive director of Friends of Joshua Tree, talks to visitors at Coyote Corner, outside the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park in the southern California desert Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Krysta Fauria)

Joshua Tree National Park reopens after temporary closure citing trash, destruction of park resources

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK — Destruction of its signature trees and driving off-road during the partial government shutdown have added to problems that forced popular Joshua Tree National Park to temporarily shut down.

The closure allowed staff to address sanitation, safety and resource protection issues that have occurred, the National Park Service said in a statement.

“While the vast majority of those who visit Joshua Tree National Park do so in a responsible manner, 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,” it said.

Like other national parks, Joshua Tree remained accessible despite the government shutdown and problems of human waste, trash and damage began to occur as staffing was cut and visitor centers closed.

Man who slipped, died in Yosemite National Park was an Ohio tourist

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — A man who died after falling into a river at Yosemite National Park on Christmas Day was from Ohio.

Assistant Mariposa County coroner Andrea Stewart told the Mercury News on Monday that 32-year-old Joshua Brock Conner of Lakeview, Ohio, died of head injuries at Emerald Pool.

Officials say Conner apparently slipped down Silver Apron, a large, sloping granite area above Nevada Fall.

Officials say the partial government shutdown that began more than two weeks ago delayed a park statement about the death and is making the investigation take longer than usual.

Information provided by Associated Press

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