Time lapse of the cleaning process at Death Valley National Park will surprise you


    Overflowing garbage not the only issue national parks had to deal with during the partial gov't shutdown. It's been a week since the gov't reopened and the cleanup continues

    We’re getting a real idea of what kind of damage happened to our national parks during the partial government shutdown.

    It’s been a week since the government reopened, but cleanup could take a while.

    Video and pictures only tell part of the story.

    “It's a shame we have things this beautiful that get destroyed so quickly,” said Maggie Frank while she was visiting Lake Mead last month.

    Despite help from non-profits, donations and even cold hard cash to open the visitors center, it could take a while to get Death Valley National Park back to where it was.

    “Two restrooms had some vandalism where people tried to get into a restroom that was locked and did extensive damage to the doors.

    Unfortunately, one of those buildings is a historic structure,” explained Abby Wines, a spokesperson for the park.

    Off-roading, which is illegal, was also a problem.

    Wines said, “A lot of the landscape around here consists of a thin hard crust which covers a soft silty soil. That means that that trench where the tire marks are remains for years to come if it’s not restored.”

    The park tells News 3, that even well-intentioned people caused issues because there was no money to clean, stock or pump the toilets.

    At least a half ton of human waste was found outside the restrooms. Wines said, “That was the really unusual part.”

    Unlike Death Valley which sees a spike in visitors around the winter holidays, Lake Mead remains a bit quieter, which could have helped keep it a bit cleaner.

    “We never really had a huge impact here. Most of the impacts are behind the scenes kind of thing," said Park spokesperson Laurie Smith said.

    Part of the reason is they got a huge helping hand from local volunteers and concessionaires.

    Another casualty of the shutdown was a coyote. He was euthanized because Park Rangers say he was becoming too friendly with humans, even faking injuries to beg for food, a taste he squired from the overflowing trash cans.

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