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Joshua Tree National Park

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Officials at Joshua Tree National Park announced Thursday that the park reopened in time for what is typically its busiest season. The park was one of 401 national parks and monuments nationwide that were being opened after the budget deal to end the federal government shutdown. "We are excited and happy to be back at work and welcome visitors," Joshua Tree Supt. Mark Butler said in a statement. All park visitor centers -- Joshua Tree, Oasis, Black Rock and Cottonwood -- were opened by noon Thursday, officials said.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
March 26, 2014 | By Mark Butler
After nearly 38 years working for the National Park Service, I hung up my "flat hat" this month and retired as superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park. That means I can now speak out against pending proposals with the potential to harm our country's most spectacular national parks in the California desert. My experience in the National Park System began right out of high school, when I spent a season patrolling the mountainous trails of Yosemite National Park's backcountry as a wilderness ranger.
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SCIENCE
April 11, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
Extensive stands of Joshua Tree National Park's peculiar namesake plants are festooned with clumps of white and yellow flowers that are drawing tourists eager to take in the scenery before the bloom wilts in the harsh desert sun. “It's one of the most prolific blooms we've seen in recent years,” interpretive park ranger Bret Greenheck said. “The bloom peaked a week ago at lower elevations, but trees on higher groundare still producing flowers.” “Some biologists think Joshua Trees bloom like this in response to stressful conditions such as drought,” Greenheck said.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Climbing routes in the northern part of Joshua Tree National Park have been closed temporarily so as not to disturb a pair of golden eagles nesting in the area. The routes in the Indian Cove area may remain shut as late as mid-June, according to the National Park Service . "The nesting pair appears to have finished constructing a nest, and this area will remain closed until the nest has been abandoned to ensure the protection of the species for the duration of the nesting activities," a park statement says.
TRAVEL
October 28, 2007 | By Rosemary McClure, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Brush up on your photography skills, learn how to use a compass and make maps, or explore the mountains and valleys of the Sonoran Desert with classes organized by the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park. The one- or two-day weekend classes, scheduled through Dec. 16 and Feb. 23 to May 3, focus on survival skills, exploration of the park and its cultural history. Information: Call (760) 367-5535, see www.joshuatree.org or e-mail desert institute@zippnet.net for a schedule.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A picturesque canyon in Joshua Tree National Park that was scarred by graffiti will remain closed due to an extensive clean-up operation, officials said Tuesday. Rattlesnake Canyon was defaced by vandals who used social media to boast about their exploits, park officials said. The popular hiking area was shut down earlier this month and was scheduled to reopen today. But park officials said that the extensive damage will require that the area be closed for at least 30 more days while crews work to remove the graffiti.  Park rangers began noticing the scrawls in January.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A popular canyon area of Joshua Tree National Park has been shut down because vandals have defaced the area with graffiti splashed across rocks and archeological sites, officials said Monday. Rattlesnake Canyon has been shut down temporarily as park officials assess the damage, which apparently has been encouraged by people on social media sites, according to officials. "The continued malicious desecration of the national park has now impacted archeological sites," park officials said in a statement.  Park rangers began noticing the scrawls in January.
TRAVEL
June 6, 2010 | By Scott Timberg, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Typically, we go to the desert at least once a year. We love the expansive space, several of the inns and restaurants and, of course, the otherworldly foliage of Joshua Tree National Park. We also enjoy the musical legacy of Gram Parsons, the former Byrd who overdosed in Joshua Tree in 1973, at age 26, after virtually inventing the alt-country movement that would blossom two decades later. We feel these echoes and others — the twangy music, the land's natural contours, the local cuisine — when we're there.
TRAVEL
January 8, 1995 | JOHN McKINNEY
It's bigger, it's wilder. It's the new and improved Joshua Tree National Park. When President Clinton signed the California Desert Protection Act two months ago, the largest wilderness protection bill ever for the Lower 48 states, Death Valley and Joshua Tree national monuments were "upgraded" to national park status. The legislation creating Joshua Tree National Park also added about 234,000 acres, primarily by transfer of lands from the United States Bureau of Land Management.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 22, 2007 | Ann Japenga, Special to The Times
IN 20 years of fighting to block a monster garbage dump from moving into their backyard near Joshua Tree National Park, jojoba farmers Donna and Larry Charpied have filed lawsuits, staged rallies and resorted to all the usual activist tactics -- without a clear win. They needed a new tool, so they called an architect. Architecture traditionally has been thought of as an elite endeavor.
NEWS
January 8, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
National parks, forests and wildlife refuges that charge entrance fees will be free Jan. 20 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It's a good incentive to go four-wheeling in Joshua Tree or hiking in Death Valley when winter days are mild and warm. The deal: Visitors won't need to pay $15 at Joshua Tree, $25 at the Grand Canyon, $20 at Yosemite or other fees at national parks on the Monday holiday. Southern Californians also can skip the $5 Adventure Pass usually required at local national forests.
SCIENCE
December 13, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
In recent years, California's Agassiz's desert tortoise population has been decimated by shootings, residential and commercial development, vehicle traffic, respiratory disease and predation by ravens, dogs and coyotes. Now, dwindling populations of the reptiles with scruffy carapaces and skin as tough as rhino hide are facing an even greater threat: longer droughts spurred by climate change in their Sonoran Desert kingdom of arroyos and burrows, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.
NEWS
November 14, 2013 | By Anne Harnagel
It's easy to spot heavenly bodies in SoCal -- just check out the beach or your local gym -- but heavenly bodies of the celestial kind, well, not so much. That's where Joshua Tree National Park and its dark night skies can help. It is partnering with Celestron Telescopes , NASA, American Park Network and the Joshua Tree National Park Assn . to host a stargazing event for the public on Nov. 23 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. As part of "My Night Sky," stargazers will learn about the night sky from local experts and use a variety of telescopes from the most basic to high-powered computerized models.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Officials at Joshua Tree National Park announced Thursday that the park reopened in time for what is typically its busiest season. The park was one of 401 national parks and monuments nationwide that were being opened after the budget deal to end the federal government shutdown. "We are excited and happy to be back at work and welcome visitors," Joshua Tree Supt. Mark Butler said in a statement. All park visitor centers -- Joshua Tree, Oasis, Black Rock and Cottonwood -- were opened by noon Thursday, officials said.
TRAVEL
October 13, 2013
SPAIN Presentation Artist Warner LeMenager will present a slide show on Barcelona's architecture and history. When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220. HIKING Workshop An REI instructor will give a presentation on summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro using the Marangu Route. When, where: 7 p.m. Thursday at the REI store in Tustin, 2962 El Camino Real. Admission, info: Free.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 12, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
Environmentalists lauded Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday for his decision the day before to sign a bill that will prohibit commercial trapping of bobcats in California in areas adjacent to national and state parks, national monuments or wildlife refuges in which trapping is currently prohibited. Assemblyman Richard H. Bloom (D-Santa-Monica) introduced the measure after a group of residents near Joshua Tree National Park complained about trappers killing bobcats just outside the park boundaries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2009 | Seema Mehta
Firefighters on Monday gained ground on a wildfire in the western reaches of Joshua Tree National Park that forced the airlift rescue of a group of hikers, according to the federal Bureau of Land Management. The blaze, which began Sunday afternoon in the Mojave Desert, consumed 450 acres of Joshua trees, junipers and pines and was 80% contained by Monday evening, said Tracey Kern, a bureau dispatcher in San Bernardino County. Full containment is expected this morning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Environmental groups and wildlife lovers near Joshua Tree National Park on Monday applauded a proposed state law that would ban trapping of bobcats for commercial purposes. Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced AB 1213 in response to the fury of thousands of people angered by the recent discovery of bobcat traps set along the boundaries of the national park. They responded with petition drives, social media campaigns and telephone calls to lawmakers. "Assemblyman Bloom's bill is a critical step in bringing California's antiquated wildlife laws into the 21st century," said Brendan Cummings, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's wildlands programs and a resident of the community of Joshua Tree.
NEWS
October 11, 2013 | By Carla Hall
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law AB 1213, the Bobcat Protection Bill, which will set a no-trapping buffer zone around Joshua Tree National Park and other parks where bobcats are protected year-round. He also signed AB 711, which bans lead ammunition on hunting grounds in California. Both measures will go a long way toward protecting wild animals that need to be protected, and without significantly encroaching on hunters. These pieces of legislation don't change hunting seasons or quotas.
OPINION
October 2, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Catching a glimpse of a bobcat, the exotic wild feline with a bobbed tail that prowls California, is one of the draws for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Joshua Tree National Park. In that park and certain others around the state, bobcats are protected from hunters and trappers throughout the year, a smart rule designed to protect the state's ecosystem and preserve its wildlife from exploitation. But this year there was an outcry after it became known that bobcat traps were being set just outside the boundaries of Joshua Tree and that trappers were using scented lures and battery-powered pet toys that mimic dying birds to lure the animals out. Trapping bobcats is an increasingly lucrative business as demand for the fur rises in foreign markets, including China, Russia and Greece, driving up the price of a premium belly fur pelt to $700, sometimes more.
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