Giving Compass' Take:

• The Guardian discusses how the current government shut down has left many national parks without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds, enforce rules and otherwise keep parks running. 

• How can we ensure the wellbeing of our national park systems during government shutdowns? 

• Learn more about the importance of national parks. 

Human feces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading, fights over camping spots and other damaging behavior in fragile areas are beginning to overwhelm some of the American west’s most popular national parks, as a partial government shutdown left the areas open to visitors but with few staff on duty.

Camping will be suspended in Joshua Tree national park, California, from Wednesday because of the chaos.

“It’s a free-for-all,” Dakota Snider, 24, who lives and works in Yosemite Valley, in northern California, said , as Yosemite national park officials announced closings of some minimally supervised campgrounds and public areas within the park that are overwhelmed.

“It’s so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I’ve seen in my four years living here,” Snider said.

Read the full article on the shutdown's impact on U.S. national parks at The Guardian.