Online community and others rally to preserve national park during the government shutdown.
As week three of the government shutdown began, area residents braved the cold to clean up Rocky Mountain National Parks, and it all started with a single post on Reddit. Denver resident Michael LaNue sent out a call for volunteers to pick up trash in the park while the federal cleaning crews are on furlough.
"As most individuals are aware, we are approaching the longest government shutdown in history come Friday ... This has caused a slew of issues and will continue to do so until a resolution is developed," LaNue wrote.
"Personally, the most alarming piece of this is how individuals around the US have been taking advantage of the lack of government supervision in our national parks, specifically, Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Vandalism, dumping of trash and the buildup of existing waste has taken over RMNP in the past month and will continue to do so. As a regular RMNP visitor, I will be heading up to the park this weekend with the hopes of gathering and removing as much trash as possible and thought I would try to utilize Reddit to get the idea out."
He's not the only one that has expressed concern for our national parks during the shutdown. Reports from all over the country have detailed overflowing trash, human waste, and much more at the parks.
LaNue's plea attracted a group of volunteers from Denver and Fort Collins who met at the Long's Peak Trailhead to start removing trash and more.
"As Denver is one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the U.S., I figured that some other individuals would consider joining," he said.
The group was happy to see that a nonprofit group had picked up much of the trash. The Reddit crew picked up trash when they saw it and replaced garbage can liners to help control any future refuse. Other organizations are also rallying to the clean-up clause, such as a group from the Libertarian Party of Colorado, which met at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center to take out the trash.
Seeing the action taken on the original post and the number of people who continue to be willing to step up for our parks is heartwarming news in the midst of a less-than-ideal situation.
"I continue to be surprised by the positive responses. Thanks to everyone who has reached out and will be participating. I hope we can get as many of you out there as possible so we can follow through on our words and make an impact!" said LaNue on his Reddit post.
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