Joshua Tree Leaves Gates Open During Government Shutdown - NBC 7 San Diego

Joshua Tree Leaves Gates Open During Government Shutdown

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    Joshua Tree Leaves Gates Open During Government Shutdown
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    A Joshua tree stands in the high Mojave Desert against a twilight sky October 23, 2004 in Mojave, California. The Joshua trees is not a tree at all, but a large yucca belonging to the lily family and one of the Mojave Desert's oldest and most distinctive plants. The Joshua grows very slowly (about 3 inches per year) in the Mojave uplands, above 2,000 feet, in a soil made up of coarse sand and silt. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

    The gates of Joshua Tree National Park have remained open despite the partial federal government shutdown and crowds of visitors have been rolling in without having to pay $30 per vehicle.

    The visitor center and restrooms are closed and services including trash collection have been disrupted.

    But the Los Angeles Times reports rangers are still patrolling the 1,235-square-mile (3,199-square kilometer) desert park, which has seen winter visitation soar in recent years.

    Ranger Dylan Moe says it's a little disorderly but rangers haven't seen any blatant disregard for law and order.

    Joshua Tree sprawls over parts of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts northeast of Palm Springs.