Heartbreaking images show the destruction of Joshua Tree National Park

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David MacDonald, president and CEO of the Friends of Acadia, a nonprofit organization that works closely with the National Park Service to protect and improve the park for public use, said the shutdown created "a bad situation" for park staff. But many parks - from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Minnesota - were glad to open their doors to weekend visitors. We anticipate the full opening of the Kuchel Visitor Center in Orick on Monday, January 28, and the Hiouchi Information Center in Hiouchi, by Tuesday, January 29.

"What's happened to our park in the last 34 days is irreparable for the next 200 to 300 years", Sauer said, reports the Desert Sun.

Permits will not be issued for vehicle access to the Tall Trees Grove trailhead until we can assess road conditions. Visit www.nps.gov/jotr for updated information about the park.

"We thank community members, partners, local and state governments that stepped up to support the park during the lapse in appropriations", the message said.

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Sabra Purdy and Seth Zaharias live just outside Joshua Tree National Park in California and own a rock-climbing tour company.

Park employees began logging the widespread damage caused by vandals and unsupervised visitors at some of the nation's most popular parks that remained open during the five-week shutdown, usually with few workers on hand.

Workers at Mt. Rainier National Park are also getting back to normal.

If the government ends up shutting down again, Lauretig said the park should be closed completely to prevent further damage, adding, "If the government doesn't fund or staff the parks appropriately, then they should just close the parks to protect the parks and protect the people".

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"We now need an immediate, comprehensive assessment of the damages our parks suffered during the shutdown and urge Congress to provide supplemental funding to the National Park Service to cover the costs of cleanup and fix at every affected unit", she said.

The National Park service did not immediately respond a request for additional comment on Monday. Park rangers and a handful of essential park employees continued to work without pay. Under the agreement, the NPS and DOE jointly manage and administer the park.

The visitor's center, located in the lobby of the Science Museum of Minnesota, saw 180 visitors in its first hour of operation, Anfinson said, and when he stopped by, the employees had "big smiles on their faces".

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