August 20, 2012 |
Yosemite National Park can be a deceptive place. Things look safe that aren't, which the public was jarringly reminded of last week when the Merced River swept away two little boys who were cooling off with their mother near a footbridge some distance below Vernal Fall. A 10-year-old boy died and his 6-year-old brother is still missing. That section of the river looks relatively calm at this time of year, and the water is shallow right near the edge. But although things are generally drier this time of year, the water still surges powerfully through an area of granite boulders that can knock people out, hold them under water and damage spinal cords.
June 17, 2012 |
JARBIDGE, Nev. - To find Jarbidge - a town so isolated the federal government rates its air quality as some of the country's purest - my husband, Michael, and I spent hours covering 50 miles of a rock and dirt road, twisting and turning alongside rivers and through mountain passes. Of course, the drive would have been shorter if we hadn't stopped so often to take photographs. I had heard that Jarbidge Canyon held bizarre pillars of rock known as hoodoos, and that the 113,167-acre Jarbidge Wilderness was beautiful but that neither the canyon nor the area's 10,000-feet-plus peaks were visible from major highways.
July 20, 2011
If people whose homes border wilderness areas paid the real expenses for their way of life, the bill would be daunting. Maintaining a local fire crew capable of defending those homes against catastrophic wildfire is more than municipalities can manage. So taxpayers throughout the state have been picking up most of the tab by paying for Cal Fire, the state firefighting force that has primary responsibility for responding to blazes in wildfire-prone areas and brings in big, expensive equipment such as water-dropping aircraft.
April 14, 2011 |
Mining claims threaten to mar the borders of 10 iconic national parks and wilderness areas, particularly the Grand Canyon, where uranium claims have increased 2,000% since 2004, according to a new report by the Pew Environment Group. Mining companies have filed claims to the rights to copper, gold and other metals in addition to uranium in areas around Mt. Rushmore, Joshua Tree National Park and other famous refuges at an increased rate in the last five to seven years because of rising global prices, the Pew report said.
December 25, 2010 |
A new front has opened in the centuries-old battle over preserving federal lands in the West, with some advocates of a tighter border arguing that designating some lands as wilderness ? meaning they are so precious that no mechanized vehicle can enter ? hinders border security. The U.S. Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies can take vehicles into wilderness areas while chasing lawbreakers. But to patrol the lands by vehicle, plant sensors or build operating bases, they must get permission from the federal agency controlling the region.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2010 |
For months, Glendale's Deukmejian Wilderness Park has been closed to the public, first because its hillsides were scorched in last year's Station fire and then because winter storms eroded portions of the park and filled it with mud and debris. Just in time for the first day of summer, however, the "park closed" barrier was covered with a handwritten sign declaring it "open." Area residents have anxiously awaited the reopening of the park, which saw nearly all of its 709 acres blackened during the Station fire.