Photo: Wikimedia Commons | Cover:Christopher Michel

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Facing threats to its namesake trees from off-roading and significant sanitation concerns, California’s Joshua Tree National Park closed temporarily at 8 p.m. last night. Park officials say they hope to reopen the park in the “coming days,” not when the “lapse in appropriations” caused by the partial government shutdown is addressed.

According to a statement by the park:

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. Law enforcement rangers will continue to patrol the park and enforce the closure until park staff complete the necessary cleanup and park protection measures.

Basic services have been missing from many National Parks since the partial shutdown took effect on Dec. 22, causing reports of sanitation concerns from Rocky Mountain National Park to Yosemite, to the National Mall.

Read the full statement from the NPS on the Joshua Tree closure here.

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