The National Park Service said in a statement Wednesday (Jan. 9) that it will immediately use money generated by recreation fees to avert the planned closure of Joshua Tree National Park in California., according to NBC News.
On Tuesday, Joshua Tree National Park said it would have to temporarily close for cleanup and repair beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday.
The recreation fees, authorized by the acting secretary of the Department of Interior, will also be used to immediately bring back maintenance crews to address sanitation issues at Joshua Tree, and recently closed areas will again be accessible, the park service said. The move will also allow campgrounds to be reopened.
National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith said in a statement Sunday that funds from entrance, camping, parking and other fees — which would typically be used for future projects at parks — could and would be used for immediate assistance and services to highly visited parks.
“We are taking this extraordinary step to ensure that parks are protected, and that visitors can continue to access parks with limited basic services,” Smith said in Sunday’s statement.
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