This is just sad
I know the types who did this. It's usually a bunch of white yahoos running around in off-road vehicles tearing up anything they see. I usually see them going down to Mexico to do it where there aren't so many restrictions. They have no respect for the land, for animals and certainly not for their fellow humans. It's sickening.
The partial government shutdown ended last week after 35 days, but conservationists have warned that its impact may be felt for hundreds of years in at least one part of the country: Joshua Tree National Park.
The Southern California park, which is larger than Rhode Island and famed for its dramatic rock formations and the spiky-leafed Joshua trees from which it takes it name, had only a skeleton crew of workers during the shutdown.
With most of its park rangers furloughed, vandals and inconsiderate guests ran amok. Gates and posts were toppled, new roads carved through the desert by unauthorized off-road drivers, and a small number of the park’s thousands of Joshua trees were outright destroyed, conservationists said.
Pictures posted to social media showed trees that were chopped down or that appeared to have been driven over by cars. The sensitive ecosystem of desert and craggy rock formations that surrounds them was littered with garbage and other telltale signs of illegal camping...
“Because these trees are so big and they grow so slowly, it can take hundreds of years for a tree to mature,” Mr. Lauretig said. “We say they grow an inch a year, and in a wet year it might grow five inches or a foot but in a dry year it might not grow at all.”
At a rally on Saturday near the park, Curt Sauer, the former park superintendent who retired in 2010, agreed.
“What’s happened to our park in the last 34 days is irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years,” he told the crowd, according to The Desert Sun, a local newspaper. Mr. Sauer did not respond to messages seeking comment, nor did David Smith, the park’s current superintendent.