Joshua Tree Locals Speak Out on Shut Down Impact

Joshua Tree Locals Speak Out on Shut Down Impact

Max Rodriguez

The Park Rangers are back greeting and offering maps to visitors at the Joshua Tree National Park entrance, a day after an agreement was reached to fund the federal land.

President Donald Trump announced he will sign a deal with the United States Congress to end the partial government shut down for now.

It was the longest government shut down with 35 days of closed non-essential federal agencies. The national parks went without full-time staff to maintain services, therefore locals had to step up to help clean the parks.

Travis Puglisi is a local who organized a demonstration to speak out against the government and its shut down.

“The community members were there to maintain stability,” Puglisi said. “If they simply said there’s a deadline to figure out how are we going to deal with the hold-up, so if they could just tell us we are not going to do this to you all again we care more than that.”

Puglisi mentions a deadline of February 15, that is the date the president set to reach a border security deal with house democrats, or he will consider shutting the government once again.

Esther Shaw is a resident of Yucca Valley who opposes the threat of a shut down for political gain.

Shaw said, “I’m hoping a law will be passed that will prevent any future shutdowns because they’re undemocratic, it is a manipulative measure and it’s not the American way.”

And with the threat of yet another non-deal, locals like Colin Sauter, are reminding visitors of the fragility of the Joshua Tree National Park, come to another shutdown.

Sauter said, “We can have this for our future generations, we have kids here today and I have children, soon to have grandchildren and want them to be able to enjoy the park.”