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Wilderness Areas

April 23, 2008 | Tony Barboza, Times Staff Writer
Nearly 40,000 acres of Orange County parkland stretching from the coast to the foothills -- once part of the historic Irvine Ranch -- has been deemed so ecologically valuable by state officials that on Tuesday they designated it the first California Natural Landmark. The program is designed to recognize significant open space areas by placing them in a statewide registry. Although the designation is only a title -- it does not require the land to be permanently protected or opened to the public -- officials hope the attention it brings will encourage long-term preservation.
April 1, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The U.S. Forest Service says it will reopen the area burned by the Zaca wildfire, which spread across 375 square miles for three months last year. The burned area, including about 170 miles of trail in the Los Padres National Forest, will reopen to the public at noon Friday. Forest Supervisor Peggy Hernandez urges visitors to use caution because the fire, followed by winter rains and heavy snowfall, caused significant damage to the land. She says they should watch for landslides, rock slides and unstable terrain.
October 26, 2007 | Tami Abdollah, Maeve Reston and Mitchell Landsberg, Times Staff Writers
Stubborn fires continued to rage through wilderness areas of San Diego and Orange counties Thursday, and the toll rose with the grim discovery of six more bodies of people caught in the infernos. But the danger to homes and businesses subsided and many of those affected by Southern California's latest natural disaster began taking the first steps toward a return to normalcy.
July 26, 2007 | Doug Smith, Times Staff Writer
More than 4 million acres of California wild land have been downgraded from the highest level of threat in the first remapping of statewide fire hazard zones since 1985. More precise modeling technology has enabled state fire officials to reclassify the land from very high to high hazard, said June Iljana, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
March 18, 2007 | Bob Pool, Times Staff Writer
Inspiration was flowing like the Verdugo Wash after a five-day rainstorm for Alex Dann. "Where's the zoo?" he asked, sizing up the table-size tableau in front of him. "Over there? Cool." The 7-year-old Tarzana boy was at a downtown Los Angeles art gallery Saturday, poring over an exhibit called "Five Models Afloat." A moment later, he was participating in it.
February 25, 2007 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
Surrounded on all sides by urban sprawl, the Verdugo Mountains in the northeast corner of Los Angeles are one of the last remnants of wilderness in that section of the city, where coyotes, raccoons and lizards still live in dense brush and chaparral. For years, developers have thought of the Verdugos as ripe for new homes.
December 18, 2006 | Julie Cart, Times Staff Writer
Of all the storms to roil this wild North Coast, few have lasted as long as the human uproar over the presence of Redwood National Park, created in 1968 to preserve the world's last and largest stand of towering coastal redwood trees. The 131,000-acre park has never been popular with many rural residents of Humboldt and Del Norte counties, who believe the federal buyout of timber company land put them out of work and crippled struggling communities.
December 8, 2006 | Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writer
Vandals had cut the lock on a gate that should have stopped the Kim family of San Francisco from taking the spur road that led to a deadly wilderness ordeal, the Forest Service said Thursday. "That road is gated for the winter, and it was gated on Nov. 1," said Patty Burel, a spokeswoman for the service and the federal Bureau of Land Management. "During the search for the Kim family, it was discovered that the lock had been cut off and the gate opened."
October 6, 2006 | Pete Thomas
A sign at the trailhead in Malibu Creek State Park warns that rattlesnakes climb trees. And to that I'll add: So do king snakes. Fortunately, that was the type of slithery reptile I bumped brows with recently, while stalking a forested trail looking for something to shoot. King snakes are nonvenomous. The one I encountered was about three feet long, with a sleek black body and cream-colored rings -- and it was clearly troubled to have been discovered so vulnerably stretched out on a limb.
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