JOSHUA TREE, Calif. – After two weeks of remaining open despite the partial government shutdown, Joshua Tree National Park will temporarily close.
The closure will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday. According to a statement, it comes in order to allow park staff to “address sanitation, safety, and resource protection issues in the park that have arisen during the lapse in appropriations.”
The decision comes following reports of damage at Joshua Tree, including people driving off-road and damaging some of the park’s iconic trees.
Park officials said they plan to reopen sometime in the near future, but it isn’t clear when.