“Visitors to Yosemite National Park will no longer be allowed
to leave their cars on the roadside while stopping at the
Tuolumne River to explore nearby meadows and admire surrounding
mountain peaks, under a plan released Thursday. …
“A similar plan was released in February addressing the Merced
River, the other major waterway that runs through Yosemite
“The California Coastal National Monument runs the length of the
state and is filled with offshore islands, reefs and rocks —
until now. President Obama on Tuesday will add 1,665 onshore
acres near Mendocino to the parkland said to be the most viewed
but least recognized of U.S. national monuments.”
“El Capitan isn’t going anywhere and neither is Bridalveil Fall,
but a lot of the man-made structures on the floor of Yosemite
Valley will be shifted around under the final version of the
National Park Service preservation plan for the Merced River.”
“Park officials have for the past couple of decades wrestled with
what to do about visitor levels as they attempt to protect the
vital Merced River, which received a ‘wild and scenic’
designation from Congress in 1987.”
“When Retired Major General Anthony Jackson took over the parks
system about a year ago, the department faced multiple
investigations into its mishandling of state funds – and a
closure list of 70 parks.
“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.
“Most Californians know their state parks as a place to camp,
walk on the beach or stare with jaws gaping into a canopy of
giant redwoods. Fewer know the state parks system also guards one
of the largest troves of historical artifacts in the nation.
Soon, Californians will be able to walk through that remarkable
assembly of artifacts for the first time.
“National parks from the Sierra Nevada to the Great Smoky
Mountains are increasingly being fertilized by unwanted nutrients
drifting through the air from agricultural operations, putting
some of the country’s most treasured natural landscapes at risk
of ecological damage, a new study has found.”
“With a federal government shutdown, padlocks are expected to
begin going up Tuesday at the gates of hundreds of national parks
across the United States from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco
Bay to the Washington Monument.
“State investigators have found unreported cases of an illicit
program that let state parks employees trade leave time for
cash and, despite extreme media and government scrutiny, ’still
has not done enough to prevent such practices from occurring,’
according to an audit released Tuesday.
“The 43-page report sampled operations at five park districts
within the $574 million Department of Parks and Recreation and
found a budgeting system so disorganized that district
administrators make an educated guess at how much money they’ll
receive when the fiscal y