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Guide: Yellowstone Park staying clean amid government shutdown

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:50:35-04

BILLINGS- Garbage and waste are piling up in some national parks because of the partial shutdown of the federal government.

But Yellowstone National Park is looking pretty good, according to private guides there.

Community members and local businesses are stepping up to educate the public about keeping the park clean, said Travis Watts, general manager of Yellowstone Alpen Guides, an authorized concessioner at the park.

Yellowstone also has the benefit of decreased visitation in the colder months, but that doesn’t mean the park is immune to the government shutdown, Watts said.

“Everyone is just trying to help out, so we’ve just asked our guides assist and other operators are doing the same. I think if this continues long term then our operators will probably put our heads together and figure out a cleaning or maintenance-type schedule,” Watts said.

He added, “I have not heard a negative comment from any of our guests about what it has done with the shutdown and so that’s a good thing, they’re not seeing that or feeling those impacts. It is unfortunate that the people who work in the park, our friends and colleagues want to work right now, so that is disappointing because we do miss them and the services they do for provide at the visitors center and other things, maintenance and other things that they do, they are missed.”

Watts also said  the tours haven’t always been open during shutdowns, which is helping employees.