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Illegal ORV use in Death Valley NP caused serious damage to delicate desert playas

Delicate desert ecosystems in Death Valley have been damaged by off-roaders, another dismaying impact of the US government shutdown on national parks.

“People come here to this pristine desert landscape,” said Laura Cunningham, who heads Western Watersheds Project, a not-for-profit conservation organization. She and her husband, a retired Death Valley park ranger, live close to the park and headed out to the desert last week to assess new damage. “There are so few places where we have a beautiful natural vista. And now people are off-roading on it.”

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