INDIO (CBSLA) — Joshua Tree National Park, which was set to close Thursday because of the federal government shut down, will stay open after all – for now.
National Park Service officials say they will use Federal Land and Recreation Enhancement funds to immediately bring back park maintenance crews to deal with sanitation issues and maintain some visitor services, including reopening the campgrounds.
The park will also bring on additional staff to ensure the protection of park resources and mitigate some of the damage to the park’s natural features during the lapse of appropriations, according to the National Park Service.
Recently closed areas of the park will once again be accessible to visitors starting Thursday, including all campgrounds, Stirrup Tank Road, Lost Horse Mine Road and Trail, Key’s View Road, and Rattlesnake Canyon Picnic Area and Road.
The Joshua Tree Visitor Center, which is owned and operated by the Joshua Tree National Park Association, will remain open during the government shutdown. But four National Park Service visitor centers will stay closed, and entrance and camping frees will not be collected during the shutdown.