Joshua Tree National Park closing due to shutdown problems

Joshua Tree National Park will temporarily close this week so officials can address damage and sanitation problems that have occurred during the partial federal government shutdown.

The National Park Service says the closure set for 8 a.m. Thursday follows incidents of off-road driving and destruction of the park’s namesake Joshua trees.

The service says it will use funds from park fees to address the problems.

A statement Tuesday says officials plan to restore access and limited basic services “in the coming days” but gives no firm time frame.

The national park sprawls over hundreds of thousands of acres of the Mojave and Colorado deserts east of Los Angeles.

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