While a Joshua Tree employee remains hopeful that a lapse in government funding will not occur, they are reviewing the National Park Services contingency plan.
If you plan to visit a national park like Joshua Tree, you should expect services and facilities you usually use to be closed or unavailable.
The park itself will be physically accessible to the public. A United States Department of the Interior blog post states that it is impossible or impractical to restrict public access, including park roads, lookouts, trails, campgrounds, and open-air memorials. They are open.
During a potential lapse in government funding, the NPS would continue activities necessary to protect life and property, expressly authorized by law and necessarily implied by law, including:
- Law enforcement and emergency response
- Border and coastal protection and surveillance
- Fire suppression for active fires or monitoring areas currently under a fire watch
- Protection of federal lands, buildings, waterways, equipment, and other property within the National Park System, including research property
- Activities that ensure the production of power and maintenance of the power distribution system
- And other services and activities as designated in the National Park Service’s contingency plan.