As the government shutdown enters its third week, Bay Area residents — and their congressional representatives — are taking it upon themselves to keep the region's national parks clean.
Reps. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough and Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, on Saturday gathered with volunteers from the San Francisco Dog Owners group to pick up trash at Lands End and Ocean Beach, just two of the numerous federally-run sites in the region that are without staff during the shutdown.
"This is basically citizens standing up and saying, 'If you guys can't do it yourselves because of the shutdown, we will definitely help clean up the parks,' " said Sally Stephens, who chairs the dog owner's group.
Waste — both human and artificial — has caused closures at national parks across California, including Kings Canyon, Sequoia and parts of Yosemite. The shutdown has also delayed the investigation into the Christmas Day drowning death of a man at Yosemite.
Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who lobbied for the national parks to stay open during the shutdown before leaving his post on Wednesday, told the Associated Press that visitors should "grab a trash bag and take some trash out."