The husband of Oregon’s Democratic Gov. Kate Brown rolled up his sleeves to tackle the growing mess at national forest bathrooms in the state caused by the federal shutdown — and sent President Donald Trump the bill.
Dan Little hit the loos overflowing with trash Friday at the Sno-Park at Mt. Hood National Forest.
His wife posted before-and-after photos of a bathroom floor covered with garbage — then cleaned. Little also posed with bags of removed trash — and typed up a bill for his services labeled “U.S. Forest Service Trash Removal” for “President Trump” — at the extremely reasonable rate of $28.
The governor was delighted. “This is just one of the many reasons I love my husband,” she tweeted.
National parks and forests are usually closed during government shutdowns to protect them. But during this shutdown — the longest in U.S. history — parks generally have been ordered to remain open even though skeleton staffs at best are policing the areas. The federal open spaces have consequently been overwhelmed by trash, vandalism, human feces and destructive off-roading. Some of the iconic trees of Joshua Tree National Park in California have been cut down by off-roaders to open up the wilderness to their vehicles, triggering outrage among park fans and environmentalists.
Some federal workers are now being called back — with pay — to help supervise hunts on public land.
The National Wildlife Refuge Association, the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Retirees Association on Wednesday called on Trump to either completely staff public lands or keep all national parks and wildlife refuges closed during the shutdown to protect them.
“It is simply impossible to steward these shared American treasures properly, leaving thousands of lands and waters accessible to the public with no staff on site, even for an emergency,” the groups wrote in a letter. “The adverse impacts upon our nation’s cherished lands and waters could take years to recover.”
The Trump administration has continued to safeguard drilling and mining access to public lands during the shutdown. The federal Bureau of Land Management has accepted and published 22 new drilling permit applications in Alaska, North Dakota, New Mexico and Oklahoma since the start of the shutdown, The Washington Post reported.