HOOD RIVER, Ore. — The federal government manages several trailheads in the Columbia River Gorge.
Unlike some national parks that have been in the news lately, you won't find trash piling up at them.
That's because state park rangers are stepping in to help.
Visitors to day-use in the gorge may not even realize their coming to federally managed land.
If you see a sign that says U.S. Forest Service know that you are on federal land and the maintenance workers that normally take care of it have been furloughed.
However, for the last couple of weeks rangers with the Oregon State Parks Department, armed with a clean trash bag, hit the federally managed areas and trailheads in the gorge to empty trash cans and pick up litter left behind.
Thanks to the not-so-nice weather right now the park rangers can do this. But they are still having to perform all their normal state duties.
As a result, they are asking gorge visitors to stick to the state or county managed parks in the area which are fully staffed.
"People don't distinguish between state park or federal park,” said Oregon State Parks ranger supervisor Glenn Littrell. “But, we're just asking people to kind of look into it and where they're going in advance and make sure they're open and there's staff and they'll be taken care of when they get there."
They also point out that without federal workers at these sights the risk for car break-ins goes up as well.
Even though the federal maintenance workers have been furloughed, the federal law enforcement officials have not.
They are still out ticketing folks for trespassing on U.S. Forest Service trails that are still closed because of the Eagle Creek Fire.