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Yosemite National Park, CA — Simi Valley resident and self-proclaimed Libertarian Joshua M. Bateman said he can finally enjoy our national parks now that a government shutdown is in effect. The 44-year-old father of 2 says this is precisely how it should be all the time.

“Look, our national parks aren’t about real liberty,” said Mr. Bateman making his way through heaps of discarded trash at the abandoned Yosemite Valley visitors center. “There should never be the word ‘national’ in our park names anyway. Volunteers should run them. You know, by people who give freely of their resources and not by some central, socialist government agency. Think about it: our National Parks are theft.”

With few staff on duty in several national parks due to the current government shutdown, reports of overflowing trash, human waste, illegal off-roading, and damage to typically restricted and even public areas.

“It’s a libertarian paradise,” continued Mr. Bateman. “I can do whatever I want, and there’s no tyrannical park ranger to tell me to stop. And I got in without having to pay for it. I brought our 4 ATVs, and the kids are tearing up the meadows. My son chased down a bear and scared the crap out of it. It was a real blast.”

Furloughed Officials Express Concern

Officials who oversee both the park administration and operations are voicing concern about the lack of park management.

“We’re afraid that we’re going to start seeing significant damage to the natural resources in parks and potentially to historic and other cultural artifacts,” said senior budget director of the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association John Garder, according to the Associated Press. “We’re concerned there’ll be impacts on visitors’ safety. It’s a nightmare scenario.”

As for Mr. Bateman, he’s telling all of his like-minded Libertarian friends to come to join him.

“There are a lot of people like me who hate how the government runs things. I’m telling all of my buddies to bring their families to soak in all of this liberty while it lasts. A couple of my hunting pals will be able to drag home all kinds of scores. They’ll be able to fill up their pickup trucks.”