JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. — With all public lands that are usually maintained by federal employees now neglected during the partial government shutdown, the Josephine County Parks Department says that it is stepping up to help.
Parks Department staff will be adding some Bureau of Land Management (BLM) locations to their cleaning routes for the duration of the shutdown, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
"County Park Rangers have already been stopping at various locations to leave behind toilet paper and take care of any large needs; however, Parks Director Sarah Garceau is now assigning Rangers to clean the locations to the standards of other properties managed by Josephine County Parks," the department said.
The route will now include BLM locations along the Rogue River — meaning clean vault toilets, emptied trash cans, and pickup of loose trash left laying around. The Graves Creek, Rand, and Cathedral Hills locations at Sky Crest Drive and Espy Road will be among those added to the route.
“We are glad to be able to help maintain these facilities for our citizens and other visitors during the federal government shutdown,” Garceau said. “Although the department is self-funded and has limited staff, we are willing to help where we can.”
Parks staff won't be able to clean all BLM locations, but they aim to hit the most popular ones. Meanwhile, visitors who see any issues on BLM property can call Josephine County Parks at (541) 474-5285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report the issue.
The department said that their decision to officially step in to help at BLM locations came after Governor Kate Brown asked staff at Oregon State Parks to help clean federal locations during the shutdown.