The current government shutdown is impacting many people and places, and San Bernardino County is not exempt from this. What is getting overlooked is the treatment of the San Bernardino National Forest.
With federal workers on furlough, impacts of the shutdown have begun to affect National Park services. Many parks and forests have remained open but are under little to no supervision. On top of this, resources that are usually provided at these locations have been discontinued for the time being.
A string of new vandalism incidents is being reported following the incident where off-roaders destroyed Joshua trees to make a roadway for their vehicles at Joshua Tree National Park. San
Bernardino’s very own National Forest is one of the locations that is suffering.
Ariana Barrios, 23, goes to the National Forest every two weeks because of a tradition she started with her father.
“When I was younger, my dad would take my brother and I up there every month or so and I decided to keep this tradition alive,” said Barrios.
After seeing what the forest looked like, she took to social media to express her concern after visiting the forest with her family. Barrios’ tweet, which shared photos of the trashed forest, went viral.
The three photos she shared show plastic all over the ground as well as food and other waste products, such as overflowing trash cans, spread out across the area.
“I wanted to show the public what a lack of supervision caused by the shutdown has on our national forest,” said Barrios. “I was so shocked and saddened to see what the site looked like that I had to post it on my twitter.”
Barrios expressed that she didn’t expect her post to get as much traction as it did, but she’s glad because she hasn’t seen any media coverage on the forest. User’s responded to the post in various degrees of shock about how unaware they were on just how much the shutdown was affecting their community.
In this case I don’t really blame consumers because it’s not their job to carry their garbage around
I’ve definitely set trash on/ around full cans and wind/ pests probably spread a lot of this
It’s still incredibly a shame to see how the shutdown affects our environment
— thot topic (@sorraya__) January 11, 2019
Other users were so moved that they took to the comments to see if they could volunteer to clean the forest up.
Where in the SB mountains is this? Might just go up there and help clean up a bit.
— ness (@messynessy__) January 11, 2019
The shutdown began on midnight of Dec. 22, 2018. The reason behind it is, United States Congress and President Trump were unable to come to an agreement regarding Trump’s demand for 5.7 billion dollars to fund the U.S-Mexico border wall.
While no one knows how long the government shutdown is going to last — it has now been going on for over three weeks — President Trump has expressed that he is not backing down until he receives funding for the wall.