Thinking of going camping this summer? Here’s what you need to know

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From safety tips to packing advice, here’s everything you need to know about sleeping under the stars.

By Aryana Azari PUBLISHED July 31, 2020

Campers set up their tent at the base of the Cascade Mountains, in Oregon.Photograph by Chase Jarvis, Getty Images

Suddenly, camping is all the rage.

Just ask Ryan Fliss of The Dyrt, a popular camping trip planning website, who says that traffic to the site is up 400 percent from the summer of 2019. Kampgrounds of America (KOA) reportsthat 20 percent of its users are first-time campers. With many countries keeping their borders closed to Americans as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, and social distancing remaining a priority, Americans yearning to get out of their homes for safe summer travels are discovering—or rediscovering—the joys of playing, eating, and sleeping in the outdoors.

If you’re new to camping—or usually prefer resort beds to sleeping bags—these tips will help ease you into close encounters with nature that will bring discovery, joy, and a sense of accomplishment. You might even see a shooting star.

(Related: It’s the summer of road trips. Here’s how to do it right.) https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

Where to camp

Why it matters: Location—whether in a national park or recreation area—can make or break a camping trip. “As you add requirements, location gets more important. What I mean by that is if I have a family and a dog coming on the trip, they all need to be comfortable and safe,” says Fliss. Some campgrounds require reservations in advance, but plenty allow for walk-ins.

Think less popular: Most reservations for campsites in the National Park Service (NPS) are made through Recreation.gov. But with some national parks experiencing record-breaking tourism, think about giving a little love to lesser-visited spots. Lake Clark, North Cascades, and Great Basin all have low visitation numbers when compared to their popular neighbors—Denali, Mount Rainier, and Zion, respectively, though it is worth noting that even the most popular of national parks are experiencing a drop in numbers right now. Other NPS lands with campsites include national monuments, preserves, and recreation areas, among others. National forests, which are managed by the U.S. Forest Service, also offer spots to stay. https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

10. Virgin Islands National Park
9. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve

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Use maps: When looking at a map of a big-name park online, zoom out and look around to find other places nearby. For example, near Great Smoky Mountains—which has consistently been the most visited national park, with a total of 12.5 million visitors in 2019—is Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Its views and spaces are almost identical, if a little less mountainous, but with only a fraction of the visitors. https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

Explore alternatives: To find state parks, turn to each state’s Department of Parks and Recreation website. ReserveAmerica is another great resource to find potential spots, while KOA can assist with private campsites.

Stay local: Consider exploring your own backyard. Hipcamp, an Airbnb-like website that helps people book camping stays, found that people using its site are traveling significantly closer to home than this time last year; it’s seeing around a 40 percent reduction in the distance people are traveling.

Go wild: With wild camping, also known as dispersed camping, you can just hunker down at some sweet spot, usually without a permit, fee, or reservation. While some national parks and forests do have a few spaces that allow for wild camping, areas overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are the best bet. People can camp for up to 14 days within a 28 consecutive-day period on BLM’s public lands. https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

(Related: Here are tips for visiting national parks safely.)

What to bring

The basics: The right tent for you should take in two main considerations: sizing and season rating. Sizing is usually based on how many people a tent can sleep, and if comfort is the goal, bigger is always better. Season ratings indicate in what seasons the tent works best, and most are generally three-season tents, which means you can use them in the spring, summer, and fall. A four-season tent will cover the winter, with extra weather protection and heat retention. https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

A sleeping bag has the same considerations as a tent. Three-season bags are suitable for hot and cold temperatures and are identifiable by their temperature rating, which will display a range of 15 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Sleeping pads, which are just cushioned pads, can be used in conjunction with a sleeping bag to provide extra comfort and insulation, but can also be used on their own as a bed.

top: 

Friends put together a campsite in the countryside in Germany.

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Mother and daughter make camp along a stream in Ibaraki, Japan.Photograph by Oliver Rossi, Getty Images (top) and Photograph by Ippei Naoi, Getty Images (bottom)

Small but essential: Don’t forget a flashlight or headlight, batteries, a lighter (for a campfire), a first-aid kit, bug repellent, sunscreen, and extra clothing.

Leave no trace: We want to leave places better than we found them, so it’s crucial to avoid littering and to take any trash out. You never know what the trash-bin situation is at the campsite, especially if you go the wild route, so bring your own trash bags.

The same principle applies to restroom needs. If there are no physical restroom locations, never go in small bodies of water and always make sure to deposit any human waste in a cathole 6 to 8 inches deep, about 200 feet away from water, campgrounds, and trails (cover the cathole when finished). Some retailers, ranging from your local discount store to REI offer travel-sized waste bags that you can use to go anywhere.

COVID-19 protection: “Follow the same rules about the distancing, the wearing of face coverings, etcetera, so that you are [safe],” says Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University and the founder and director of ICAP, a global health program. Even if you’re with people from your same household, bring masks, hand sanitizer, and antimicrobial wipes. Masks are imperative if you’re planning on going hiking on trails where you might come into contact with other people.

Budget: A camping trip can run the gamut from cheap to expensive, depending on the gear and where you’re planning on camping. Campsites that require reservations or fees can run as low as $5 a night but can also go well over $60. Gear in itself is an investment, but it doesn’t have to be. Companies like Outdoors Geek and Arrive Outdoorsoffer rentals on almost every kind of camping item, from tents to sleeping bags to cookware. “It makes it so much easier to know what gear you need, don’t need, like and don’t like when you’ve tried it first,” says Fliss. “And if you don’t enjoy yourself, you don’t have to buy gear.”

(Related: Is it safe—or ethical—to go hiking this summer?)

What to eat

The basics: If you’re planning on making food on-site that requires a heat source, then you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to use a campfire or a campstove, and there are several things to keep in mind if going with the latter. Some areas have campfire restrictions or ban them entirely, while others have grills for public use, though you’ll have to bring your own fuel. As for cookware, pots, pans, plates, and utensils are other things that you might have to bring along depending on what you plan on eating. Bring what cookware you can from home and purchase recyclable versions of what you can’t.

No-fuss cooking: You don’t have to cook while camping if you don’t want to, and can just as easily bring sandwiches from home. Another option is to avoid grocery shopping altogether and purchase meal kits that are geared toward campers, like the ones from REI and Patagonia Provisions, with dishes such as red bean chili and green lentil soup.

Who to bring

Why it matters: With the current state of the pandemic, campers need to choose their companions wisely. “If it’s a unit that’s been together, like a family unit or a small unit of people [in the same household], I think that’s advisable,” says El-Sadr. “Using the same [health] principles we’ve used all along would still apply, but I think it would be easier to implement if you are outdoors in a camping context.”

Family time: As schools in the U.S. had to rapidly pivot to online learning, it meant that kids who normally had a large portion of their day free from screens now spent the majority of their day on them—for both school and leisure. Camping promotes electronics-free time in nature, and planning out some activities with them in advance will keep kids invested and interested in the experience.

Camping with friends: Camping with people who don’t live in the same household can still be done, but campers need to take more precautions. “I would wear a mask and try to stay six feet apart while you’re around a campfire and not be in a tent with somebody that you aren’t quarantining with,” says Colleen Hanrahan, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University and an editor at the university’s Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium, which curates and reviews all scientific evidence about the virus. “It’s not as bad as going to a yoga class with 20 people in the room and breathing heavily or running on the treadmill at the gym […] but I think that people should not lose sight of [camping] being risky or having some level of risk, even if it’s small.” https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

(Related: Recreate camp experiences with Nat Geo Family Camp.)

https://assets.nationalgeographic.com/modules-video/stable/assets/ngsEmbeddedVideo.html?guid=00000156-9e75-dbd5-add6-9ff7b8440000&account=2423130747#amp=1 Related: How to minimize your camping pack See what gear professional ski mountaineer Hilaree O’Neill takes with her when she needs to shave ounces for ultralight camping.

How to keep safe

Why it matters: “The highest level of risk [for the virus] is indoors, and being outdoors automatically eliminates that one piece of it,” says Hanrahan, but precautions still need to be taken. Campers should assess how popular a particular place is going to be, as well as the amount and type of exposure to other people they’ll have. Using the data available on the virus to see where cases are rising is crucial to making decisions on where toavoid and where to go.

Stay in touch: Whether or not you’re camping with other people, always let someone know where you’ll be and if you plan on doing any other outdoor activities while camping, such as hiking or swimming. Share your phone’s location with other people, which is a great way for loved ones to check in to see if you’re safe and sound. Always bring a portable battery, which will come in handy if anyone’s cell phone runs out of juice. However, cell phone signals are notoriously weaker the further into nature you go, which can be tricky if you’re using it to navigate. The Google Maps app has a feature that allows users to download maps to consult offline.

Keep your distance: Embrace the outdoors but give wildlife their space. Research a place ahead of time to see whether there are issues with dangerous insects or animal sightings.

(Related: Bear safety rules are easy to learn. Here’s how to prevent incidents.)

Watch the flames: Fire hazards abound when it comes to using open flames in the outdoors. If you’re going somewhere that allows campfires, make sure to read up on fire safety beforehand. Never leave campfires unattended, always keep water nearby to put it out, and make sure it’s completely extinguished before going to sleep.

Aryana Azari is a journalist and photographer based in New York City. Find her on Instagram.

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Assam floods: 96 animals die at Kaziranga National Park


Rhinos

1 of 20 One-Horned Rhinos take shelter at the higher places at the flood-hit Kaziranga National Park in Nagaonon. A total of 96 animals have died in the Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat district of Assam due to floods, the state government informed. Image Credit: ANI

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2 of 20 A a wild elephant and a calf cross a National Highway at the flood affected Kaziranga National Park. “So far, 96 animals have died in the park including eight rhinos, seven wild boars, two swamp deers, 74 hog deer and two porcupines,” park officials said. Image Credit: AFP

Rhino

3 of 20 A Rhino sits along the roadside as he strayed out of the Kaziranga National Park. A report from the government of Assam stated that a total of 132 animals had been rescued from the Kaziranga National Park. The park is currently 85 per cent submerged under floodwaters. Image Credit: ANI

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4 of 20 “Water level at Pasighar and Dibrugarh are below the prescribed danger level. The floodwater in Numaligarh, Dhansirimukh and Tezpur are still above danger level,” the report stated. Above: A forest guard on a boat takes away the carcass of a wild buffalo calf through flood water at the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Pobitora. Image Credit: AP

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5 of 20 A herd of wild elephants takes shelter on highland inside the flooded Burapahar range of Kaziranga National Park. At least 79 people have died and nearly 3.6 million people have been affected in 30 districts of Assam due to floods caused by the monsoon rains and the rise in water levels of the Brahmaputra river, informed the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA). Image Credit: PTI

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6 of 20 Water buffaloes stand in flood water at the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Pobitora, Morigaon district. Image Credit: AP

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7 of 20 Tiger in search of safer place at the flood-affected area at Bagmari village near Kaziranga in Nagaon district. Image Credit: ANI

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8 of 20 Deers wade through floodwaters in a submerged area of the Kaziranga National Park, in Kanchanjuri. Image Credit: ANI

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9 of 20 A one-horned rhinoceros along with her baby stands in floodwater inside Kaziranga National Park, in Golaghat district. Image Credit: PTI

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10 of 20 A female rhino calf about 1-year-old, who got separated from mother was rescued from Difaloo pathar, Sukani village by the Staffs of Eastern Range, Agoratoli, Kaziranga National Park. Image Credit: ANI

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11 of 20 A wild water buffalo eats tree branches standing in flood water at the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Pobitora, Morigaon district. Image Credit: AP

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12 of 20 A wild elephant moves towards the higher ground after the flood hits Kaziranga National Park, in Nagaon. Image Credit: ANI

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13 of 20 Wild deer cross the National Highway-37 in search for safer places at the flood-affected area of Kaziranga National Park, in Nagaon District. Image Credit: ANI

elephants

14 of 20 A group of wild elephants cross the road to move towards the higher land, following the flooding in the low-lying areas of Kaziranga National Park, in Nagaon. Image Credit: ANI

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15 of 20 A forest employee cuts branches of a tree for rhinoceros as a forest guard keeps vigil near one horned rhinoceros taking shelter from floods on a highland at the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Pobitora. Image Credit: AP

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16 of 20 A forest guard on a boat takes away the carcass of a wild buffalo calf through flood water at the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Pobitora, Morigaon district. Image Credit: AP

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17 of 20 A one horned rhinoceros and a calf wades through flood water at the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Pobitora. Image Credit: AP

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18 of 20 A herd of wild elephants takes shelter on a higher place at flooded Kaziranga National Park, in Nagaon. Image Credit: ANI

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19 of 20 Forest guards patrol as one horned rhinoceros take shelter on a highland as flood water rises at the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Pobitora. Image Credit: AP

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20 of 20 WTI official tries to feed a rhino who is taking shelter near NH 37 in the flood-affected area of Kaziranga National park at Kanchanjuri in Nagaon. Image Credit: ANI Remaining Time -50:21

https://gulfnews.com/photos/news/assam-floods-96-animals-die-at-kaziranga-national-park-1.1595135583306?slide=1

Into the Forest

defenders.org

We are living in difficult times. The global COVID-19 pandemic has alienated us from family, from friends and colleagues, and from the routines, experiences and adventures that make up our lives. For many of us, the pandemic has also limited our connections to nature, wildlife and the outdoors. As we learn to adapt, we can start to plan our reunion with the wild places that we miss and that are so essential to our health, especially now.  As David Attenborough said, “In times of crisis the natural world is a source of joy and solace.” 

I’m crazy about the National Forest System, all 193 million acres, including each of the 155 national forests, 19 national grasslands, and even the single national prairie. Having to choose my favorite national forest place for National Forest Week is nearly impossible because they are all so amazing! National forests are carbon and biodiversity strongholds, supporting over 450 species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including in my home state of Montana, like grizzly bears, Canada lynx and bull trout. Like millions of Americans, my family’s water originates in a national forest: In our case, it’s Gallatin National Forest outside of Bozeman. And like generations of Americans I have been recreating in national forests for almost my entire life. I have fond and drizzly memories of camping with my family among the giant trees of Olympic National (rain) Forest in Washington state.

Vine maple in old growth forest Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Image Credit

David Patte/USFWS

Applegate Reservoir in the Siskiyou Mountains within the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Image Credit

Rick Swart/ODFW

The fall color of a subalpine larch (Larix lyallii) set against Mt. Stewart on the Cle Elum Ranger District, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Image Credit

Dawn Fouts/USDA

So rather than having to choose among the ancient forests nestled between three volcanoes in the Gifford Pinchot, or the thrilling whitewater in Oregon’s Rogue River-Siskiyou, or the rugged Pasayten Wilderness and “ghost bears” of the Okanogan, I’ll offer this: When it is safe to do so, and with the utmost respect to others and the places and wildlife we all love, get out to your closest national forest, aim for the highest ridge, the oldest forest, the most riotous meadow of wildflowers or that sublime steam, and enjoy your public lands. The visit will do wonders for your soul during these hard times. 

Fall color September 25, 2016 in the upper end of Bear Jaw Canyon, Bear Jaw Trail Coconino National Forest

Deborah Lee Soltesz/USFS

To commemorate National Forest Week, a celebration of our national forests and grasslands, and to remind us of all the places we have missed and will now carefully take solace in, we pulled together the following stories from within Defenders after asking: What national forest have you missed most during the pandemic? 

Mexican_gray_wolf

Jim Clark/FWS

My favorite National Forest in the Southwest is Gila National Forest in southwest New Mexico. The national forest is 4,235 square miles and includes Gila Wilderness! Established in 1924 as the first designated wilderness by the federal government, Gila Wilderness covers 872 square miles. I love Gila National Forest because the skies are still dark at night, Mexican gray wolves roam freely and it is mostly silent in these wild lands.

Bighorn Sheep on the Bridger-Teton National Forest

Image Credit

B. Barthelenghi/USFS

Sheep Pass paintbrush in Bridger-Teton NF
Mountains of Bridger-Teton National Forest
Upper Green River Lake, the gateway to the Bridger Wilderness in western Wyoming
Grizzly Bear on the Bridger-Teton National Forest

Image Credit

B. Barthelenghi/USFS

The Teton Range, partially obscured by smoke from the Berry Fire, rises beyond the Jackson Hole valley.

Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming offers heart-stopping views of the Wind River Range (affectionately known as “the Winds”). This is my favorite national forest. I love backpacking through the lower-elevation forests and up into the alpine to feel surrounded by the granite peaks of the famous Cirque of the Towers in the Bridger Wilderness Area. When there is little chance of rain, I don’t unpack the tent but sleep under the planets and stars. During a 4th of July trip one year, my party got caught in a blizzard—a reminder to be prepared for anything in the high mountains. Bridger-Teton is home to bears, bighorn sheep, Bonneville cutthroat trout and a diversity of other wildlife. It is important to acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples lived and passed through this place and many still call surrounding areas home including the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and Northern Arapahoe Tribe.

Wheeler Peak with fall colors in the Carson NF

Carson National Forest is the gem of northern New Mexico. It includes one of the country’s newest Wilderness Areas –Columbine-Hondo – as well as Cruces Basin, Wheeler Peak, Latir Peak and part of Pecos Wilderness. It’s home imperiled species like the Mexican spotted owl and New Mexico’s state fish – the Rio Grande cutthroat trout. It also makes up a significant portion of one of Defenders’ focal landscapes – the Upper Rio Grande region. Ecologically, this area remains largely intact and provides important connectivity for a variety of species and holds significant potential to restore black-footed ferrets, bison, Mexican gray wolves, lynx and other iconic species.

County Road 41G Rio Grande National Forest
Aspens are reflected in Shallow Creek west of Creede, CO

Rio Grande National Forest holds a special place in my heart. Situated in south-central Colorado just north of the New Mexico-Colorado line, Rio Grande is the connective tissue that allows wildlife to move north-south along the spine of the continent. The high jagged peaks of La Garitas and Sangre de Cristos mountain ranges surround and protect the lowlands of San Luis Valley where wetlands annually host sandhill cranes and other migratory waterfowl. Streams flow down from the high snowfields providing refuge to remaining Rio Grande cutthroat trout, a species facing an uncertain future with climate change and dwindling intact habitat. The entire region is magical to me with crazy rock formations, a rich Native American and Mexican heritage, and broad expanses of roadless forests. 

The setting sun highlights the fall foliage at Lefferts Pond on the Green Mountain National Forest

Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont encompasses over 400,000 acres in central and southwestern Vermont and is the only national forest in Vermont. Even though it’s called Green Mountain National Forest, my favorite season there is fall, when the mountains and hills and valleys turn gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows. The Appalachian Trail, Long Trail and Robert Frost National Recreation Trail weave their ways through the mountains, passing diverse forests, streams, ponds and wetlands, and some stunning views. Moose, coyote, lynx, fox, bald eagle, wood turtle, black bear, Jefferson salamander, wild turkey, Indiana bat, beaver and many more species rely on this remarkable forest in Vermont.

San Joaquin River in Sierra NF

Image Credit

Pamela Flick/Defenders of Wildlife

shooting stars wildflowers

Image Credit

Pamela Flick/Defenders of Wildlife

Lake George in Sierra National Forest

Image Credit

Pamela Flick/Defenders of Wildlife

During these times of stay-at-home orders, I find myself daydreaming of warm summer days spent swimming in the emerald green depths of my beloved Merced River and being awash in starry night skies of Sierra National Forest backcountry. Each year, I lead an all-women backpacking trip and Sierra National Forest is one of our favorite destinations. We often spend a night at Huntington Lake and take a scenic drive to soak in Mono Hot Springs, perched on the banks of the upper South Fork of the San Joaquin River. Then we head into the Kaiser or Dinkey Lakes wilderness to enjoy splendid wildflower studded meadows, massive old- growth red fir forests and sparkling (and frigid!) high elevation lakes. The Sierra National Forest is home to endangered Pacific fishers as well as other rare species like California spotted owls, Yosemite toads, northern goshawks, American martens and Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs.

Mt Hood National Forest, Bull Run Lake
Tamanawas Falls, Mt Hood National Forest

My favorite National Forest in Oregon is Mt. Hood National Forest. Nestled in the Cascades Range and home to the stunning Mt. Hood after which it is named, it is also the closest national forest to the largest urban area in Oregon (Portland metro area). In just an hour’s drive is a magical escape from city life— whether its hiking to see stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge or of Mt. Hood and its meadows, mountain biking, bird watching, swimming or fishing in its many lakes, winter skiing or swimming in its countless waterfalls, Mt. Hood National Forest has something for every nature lover. Locally referred to as Hood, the forest is also critical habitat for species like the northern spotted owl, black bear, cougar, elk, river otter, chinook and Coho salmon, steelhead, marten, Sierra Nevada red fox, and as of 2018, Hood has its own resident pack of wolves!

Sunset at Timberline Lodge Panoramic

Protect Yourself and Your Community

Safety is a priority. Before heading outdoors, forest and grassland visitors are encouraged to:

  • Plan ahead and know before you go. Check local conditions before heading to your favorite outdoor destination. Visitors should be aware of state, county and local health restrictions that may prohibit some activities or prohibit visiting some areas on public lands. Visitors are encouraged to check with their local forest and grassland office before heading outdoors.
  • Follow guidance and orders. Take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and county, city and state public health authorities.  
  • Practice social distancing. Avoid crowding at trailheads, scenic overlooks, parking lots and other areas. If a recreation spot is crowded, look for a less crowded spot. Maintain at least a 6-ft. physical distance from others. Enjoy a scenic drive.
  • Be cautious. Avoid high risk or backcountry activities that may increase your chance of injury or distress. Law enforcement and/or search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 response efforts.
  • Prepare for limited services. Restroom facilities and trash collection services are limited. If a restroom is open, it may not be maintained or cleaned. Visitors are encouraged to take their trash with them when they leave. Follow Leave No Trace Principles, particularly when dealing with human waste.
  • Keep pets on a leash.

Author(s)

Peter Nelson

Peter Nelson

Director of Federal Lands

Peter Nelson leads Defenders’ efforts to protect wildlife habitat and biodiversity on federal public lands.

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Vermont Forest in Autumn

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New rules for Yosemite National Park

 

A MESSAGE SENT

change.org

UPDATE ON ACTIONS

As part of our collaboration within the Stakeholders Working Group (SWG), we sent the following clarification of some of our organization’s positions to SWG members. In the spirit of transparency, we thought you all would also appreciate reading this, to keep you in the mix regarding our participation on behalf of you and our wildlife.

Background:

The SWG comprises the Bureau of Engineering (BOE: Cyril Charles project manager of this Master Plan process), LA Department of Water and Power (LADWP: Deborah Weintraub), our Councilmembers Ryu and O’Farrell’s Deputies and a Design Team led by Hargreaves Associates. The SWG also includes five Silver Lake community groups including ourselves — SL Wildlife Sanctuary, SL Now, SL Reservoirs Conservancy, SL Forward, and SL Neighborhood Council.

This group has met every 6-8 weeks since May 2019 to review and give input for the Silver Lake Master Plan. We sent the below letter in advance of the SWG’s meeting that took place Thursday March 5. Please note that some of the issues below were acknowledged and discussed at that meeting, but with no definitive outcomes except for the perimeter fence issue. The meeting minutes will be added to the Master Plan website sometime soon: https://eng.lacity.org/slrcmp-stakeholders

Text of the email we sent to all SWG members, in response to comments about our areas of concern:

  1. Education/Café Building and other added structures. SLWS is not anti-education. But we and our supporters did object to how the questionnaires were worded on that topic. For example, people were asked if they wanted nature education. They were not asked, “Do you favor habitat replaced by a classroom building at water’s edge and The Knoll topped by a prominent and permanent shade structure?” Stakeholders and SLWS said yes to the Reservoirs Complex being a site for nature education, not to nature being displaced by new buildings and other structures. In the words of an area schoolteacher, “Nature itself is the ‘classroom.’ ”
  2. Incomplete reporting of community opinions. The reports and graphs only included statistical results from the questionnaires, mostly completed by persons who did not attend the Workshops and therefore were not as fully informed as those who participated in the Workshops. To show a more complete picture of our community, especially the constituents who took the time and trouble to attend, the Community Workshop findings need more than a passing mention in all reports and graphs.

  3. Family representation. It was claimed that families were underrepresented at the Workshops. In fact, we recognized many at the Workshops who are parents. Indeed, this argument was negated by pointing out that so many families and kids from King participated in the Marshall Workshop. And at that workshop there was nearly unanimous support for passive recreation and preserving nature.

  4. Perimeter Fence. While features such as swimming and boating that were rejected by the community are remaining in the MP as options “for future consideration”, the community was not even given a chance to discuss including perimeter fencing in the MP. However, having reached out to the City Councilmembers, we feel our concerns have now been heard through the recent exchanges between Meghen, Christine, Rachel, Jill and Andrea*, and ourselves. Through Christine and Rachel, we received assurance from CD13 and CD4, respectively, that this issue will be seriously discussed with the community and agreement reached before any removal is considered.

  5. Equity. We object to anyone implying that those who don’t share one person’s or group’s vision must be elitists who want our community to become ‘gated’. That’s simply wrong. We want the Reservoirs Complex protected so people from everywhere can enjoy nature and wildlife in a safe and relaxed way, without too many programmed activities and added structures displacing habitat for wildlife or natural views for visitors.

The fact is, SLWS is very concerned about equity, which is why we have opposed all commercial activities, because monetized and programmed features can only be enjoyed by those who can afford to pay, or by those who can participate in the programmed activity, or by those who may profit from it.

We will continue to collegially agree to disagree on certain factors and trust that we all will do our best to avoid misinterpreting the views of any SWG members.

On behalf of our constituents,
Silver Lake Wildlife Sanctuary Board

Jane Cook
Mike Krose
Janis Purins
Freda Shen

End of Text Sent

  • Meghen Quinn (lead architect, Hargreaves Associates), Christine Peters (CD 13 Deputy), Rachel Fox (CD 4 Deputy), Jill and Andrea (SL Now)

We are continuing to push for further improvements for the conservation of nature and wildlife within this collaborative process.

And thanks to your continuing activism, the plans have in some ways improved for wildlife, with some anti-nature features scaled back.

Onward together!

Your Team at Silver Lake Wildlife Sanctuary

http://www.silverlakewildlifesanctuary.org
https://www.instagram.com/silverlakewildlife/
https://www.change.org/p/let-s-establish-a-silver-lake-wildlife-sanctuary

“The Dark Side of Tourism Clearing Everest’s Trash” National Geographic”

“In Cambodia, a City of Towering Temples in the Forest” National Geographic

Trouble-Making Oregon Man, Raymond Reinkek, Arrested For Harassing Wild Bison At Yellowstone National Park Last Week! – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
August 6, 2018
Left Photo by Lindsey Jones, Facebook

Sadly, innocent animals continue to be cruelly mistreated and abused by heartless humans who seem to be void of the gene for compassion.
Such was the case last week when 55-year-old Raymond Reinkek from Pendleton, Oregon, was caught on video harassing a wild bison at Yellowstone National Park.
According to the National Park Service, Reinke had been traveling to multiple national parks over the last week. On July 28th, he was first arrested by law enforcement rangers at Grand Teton National Park for a drunk and disorderly conduct incident. He spent the night in the Teton County Jail and was then released on bond.
Following his release, he traveled to Yellowstone National Park. Rangers at Yellowstone stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31st during which Reinke was reportedly intoxicated again and argumentative. He was cited as a passenger for failure to wear a seat belt. It is believed that after that traffic stop, Reinke encountered the bison.
“The individual’s behavior in this video is reckless, dangerous, and illegal. We need people to be stewards of Yellowstone, and one way to do that is to keep your distance from wildlife,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk stated on a post on the Parks Facebook page. “Park regulations require people to stay at least 25 yards from animals like bison and elk, and 100 yards from bears and wolves. These distances safeguard both visitors and the remarkable experience of sharing a landscape with thousands of freely-roaming animals. People who ignore these rules are risking their lives and threatening the park experience for everyone else.”
“Another way to be a steward: tell a ranger, or call 911, if you see someone whose behavior might hurt them or the park,” the post continued.
Fortunately, on Thursday, August 2nd, Yellowstone rangers connected Reinke’s extensive history, and after viewing the egregious nature of the wildlife violation; the Assistant U.S. Attorney requested his bond be revoked. The request was granted, and that evening, a warrant was issued for Reinke’s arrest.
According to a statement released by the National Park Service, Reinke had told the previous rangers his travel plans, so Glacier National Park rangers began looking for his vehicle there. Simultaneous with that search, rangers responded to the Many Glacier Hotel because two guests were arguing and creating a disturbance in the hotel dining room. Rangers identified one of the individuals involved as Reinke.
Glacier rangers transported Reinke to Helena where they were met by Yellowstone rangers. Yellowstone rangers transported Reinke to Mammoth Hot Springs and booked him into the Yellowstone Jail. He was scheduled for a court appearance the next day.
“We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow rangers in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks on this arrest,” said Wenk. “Harassing wildlife is illegal in any national park.”

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TAGS Animal Abuse,Animal Cruelty,Animal News,Animal Protection,bison,National Park Service
wildlife

https://worldanimalnews.com/trouble-making-oregon-man-raymond-reinkek-arrested-for-harassing-wild-bison-at-yellowstone-national-park-last-week/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Science-based policy for the national parks? Not on Zinke’s watch.

grist.org
By Elizabeth Shogren on Jul 26, 2018

This story was originally published by Reveal and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

As deputy director of the National Park Service, Michael Reynolds played a key role in developing a sweeping new vision for managing national parks. The new policy, enacted in the final weeks of the Obama administration, elevated the role that science played in decision-making and emphasized that parks should take precautionary steps to protect natural and historic treasures.

But eight months later, as the first acting director of the Park Service under President Donald Trump, Reynolds rescinded this policy, known as Director’s Order 100. Newly released documents suggest that top Interior Department officials intervened, ordering Reynolds to rescind it.

A memo addressed to Reynolds states: “Pursuant to direction from [Interior] Secretary [Ryan] Zinke, I hereby instruct you to rescind Director’s Order #100.”

Reynolds, now the superintendent of Yosemite National Park, did not respond to requests for an interview.

The emails were among 170 pages of documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Union of Concerned Scientists, an activist group.

Some top officials in the National Park Service were dismayed that the policy was canceled in August 2017, according to the emails. Chris Lehnertz, superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, called it “hard news for me to swallow,” according to an email she wrote to Reynolds and others.

Jonathan Jarvis, who was President Barack Obama’s Park Service director, said now that the order has been rescinded, national parks could become more welcoming to drones, jet skis, and private companies that want to build luxurious accommodations.

“We’re back into the era when those kinds of things will be proposed,” Jarvis said. “I’m sure we’re going to see some.”

Jarvis, who signed Director’s Order 100, said he thinks the Trump administration objected to the policy because it stressed that parks follow the “precautionary principle,” preventing actions or activities that plausibly threaten park resources and human heath, even when there is uncertainty. It also acknowledged the significant impact that climate change has on parks and directed them to incorporate climate change science in management decisions.

One memo to Reynolds said that Zinke will replace the order with his own strategy for the national parks, “including potential changes to the Department’s priorities and organization over the next 100 years.”

The emails show that Daniel Jorjani, the Interior’s principal deputy solicitor, played a key role in reversing the order. Jorjani is a Trump appointee who was an attorney from 2010 to 2016 for foundations funded by the Koch brothers, fossil fuel billionaires who support the spread of free-market principles throughout government. During the Bush administration, Jorjani was an Interior Department counselor and chief of staff.

In one June 13, 2017, email exchange heavily redacted by the Interior Department, a lawyer in the solicitor’s office said Jorjani “or someone else may want to change the language, but …” The next part of the email is blanked out. The next day, another lawyer asked Jorjani in an email: “Do you want us to hold this pending your review or should we start moving it through to get it signed?”

On June 19, Jorjani emailed another lawyer, asking her to “strengthen the language” on the rescission memo. Later the same day, Jorjani emailed Reynolds and another top Park Service official asking: “Do you have a preferred date for withdrawing DO-100?” Later that day, Jorjani sent the rescission memo to the Park Service.

Jarvis, who worked with Jorjani during the Bush administration, wasn’t surprised that Jorjani directed the withdrawal of the order.

“This fits well with Jorjani’s worldview — the private sector can do anything better than government,” Jarvis said. During the Bush administration, Jorjani pushed to transfer various activities in the national parks to the private sector, Jarvis said.

The rescinded policy was developed in response to the 2012 “Revisiting Leopold” report from the science committee of the Park Service’s advisory board. The scientists urged the Park Service to update the vision of national parks to reflect the many changes underway in parks due to climate change and other factors. (In January, most members of that board quit in protest after Zinke hadn’t met with them even once.)

The Trump administration has repeatedly downplayed climate science and eliminated efforts by previous administrations to address climate change. The National Park Service pressured a scientist to remove every reference to the human role in causing climate change from a scientific report projecting the risk to parks from sea-level rise and storm surge.

Tony Knowles, the last chair of the Park Service’s advisory board, said the Trump administration is veering far from the principles outlined in Director’s Order 100.

For example, in May, the Trump administration proposed canceling rules that ban certain types of hunting in much of Alaska’s large national preserves. These rules, developed in 2015 through an extensive scientific and public process, prohibit using artificial light to kill black bear sows and their cubs at their dens, using bait to lure black bears to their deaths, and shooting swimming caribou from a motorboat.

If the order was still in place, “it would be very difficult to justify doing away with these regulations,” said Knowles, a former governor of Alaska.

The trove of documents also provides insight into the Interior Department’s public relations strategy. Officials drafted news releases to explain the rescission of the policy but the day the withdrawal became effective, Park Service spokesperson Jeremy Barnum told top Park Service officials that Interior’s communications team had decided there would be no press release. Reynolds emailed the press official asking: “If no press I’m curious how we are now to notify folks.” No response to his question was included in the released documents. Barnum declined to comment.

https://grist.org/politics/science-based-policy-for-the-national-parks-not-on-zinkes-watch/

“Five Must-See Attractions in Yellowstone” National Geographic

Petition · United States Department of the Interior: Preserve Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument! · Change.org

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument’s vast and austere landscape in Southern Utah’s embraces a spectacular array Of scientific and historic resources. Donald Trump’s Administration, along with Utah’s delegation, is currently engaging in efforts to substantially reduce the monument. This effect is an archaic and illogical assault on one of the crown jewels of America’s National Monuments and an economic threat to the gateway communities of the Grand Staircase-Escalante.

https://www.change.org/p/united-states-department-of-the-interior-preserve-utah-s-grand-staircase-escalante-national-monument?source_location=update_footer&algorithm=promoted&grid_position=3&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAGTxnwAAAAAAWih7ZAtW1v4wOGRkODBmMg%3D%3D

Petition: Congress: Ban Trapping In Our National Wildlife Refuges


https://www.thepetitionsite.com/415/591/495/congress-ban-trapping-in-our-national-wildlife-refuges/

Petition · Seattle City Council: Protect Seattle’s Discovery Park! · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/seattle-city-council-protect-seattle-s-discovery-park?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&grid_position=11&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAPFxvgAAAAAAWeY8mdqiXYFiNjljMWIxMg%3D%3D

#SaveOurParks From Oil and Gas Drilling!

The Trump administration is trying to allow gas and oil drilling near a pristine national park, all for the financial benefit of big oil companies. This drilling will critically threaten wildlife and the environment if permitted. Sign this petition to demand that this national park be protected from oil drilling.

Source: #SaveOurParks From Oil and Gas Drilling!

Rare White Giraffes Spotted in Kenya, Captured on Camera for First Time

 

Lorranie Chow
Sep. 14, 2017 12:27PM EST
http://www.youtube.com
Rare White Giraffes Spotted in Kenya, Captured on Camera for First Time

Two white reticulated giraffes, a mother and her calf, were captured on camera at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservacy in Kenya.

Their creamy coloring is due to a genetic condition called leucism, in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal’s skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes.

The Hirola Conservation Programme, an NGO which manages the area, wrote in a blog post that the giraffes were first spotted by a local villager.

“They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence,” the post states. “‘The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes.”

According to the post, the only two known sightings of white giraffes have been made in Kenya and Tanzania: “The very first reports of a white giraffe in the wild was reported in January 2016 in Tarangire National park, Tanzania; a second sighting was again reported in March 2016 in Ishaqbini conservancy, Garissa county, Kenya.”

Reports say this is the first time these animals have been filmed on camera. The conservancy first shared video on YouTube last month, but the clip is now going viral. YouTube commenters have expressed concern that sharing the animals’ location could attract potential poachers.

It is unknown how many white giraffes roam the Earth, but Africa’s giraffe population as a whole has plunged almost 40 percent in the past 30 years and now stands at just more than 97,000 individuals due to habitat loss, hunting for meat and the international trade in bone carvings and trophies.

https://www.ecowatch.com/white-giraffes-kenya-2485263703.html?utm_source=EcoWatch%2BList&utm_campaign=c8503e37c0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-c8503e37c0-86074753

U.S. Interior chief urges changes to national monuments -report

#U.S. Legal News
September 18, 2017 / 4:22 PM / Updated 3 hours ago
U.S. Interior chief urges changes to national monuments -report
Jan Harvey, Valerie Volcovici, Timothy Gardner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Department of the Interior called for changes to the management of 10 national monuments that would lift restrictions on activities such as logging and mining and shrink at least four of the sites, the Washington Post reported.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that President Donald Trump reduce the boundaries of the monuments known as Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou.

Zinke also called for relaxing current restrictions within some of the monuments’ boundaries for activities such as grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing, according to a copy of the memo that the Post obtained.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante monument has areas that “contain an estimated several billion tons of coal and large oil deposits,” Zinke’s report said, suggesting that it could be opened to energy production if Trump makes a reduction in the footprint of the monument.

The Trump administration has promoted “energy dominance,” or plans to produce more coal, oil, and gas for domestic use and selling to allies. With Grand Staircase-Escalante being remote, and oil and coal being plentiful elsewhere, it is uncertain if energy interests would actually drill and mine there, if the monument’s boundaries were changed.

Trump has said previous administrations abused their right to create monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906 by imposing limits on drilling, mining, logging, ranching and other activities in huge areas, mainly in western states.

The monuments targeted in the memo were created by former presidents George W. Bush, a Republican, and Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. A designation as a national monument prohibits mining and sets stringent protections for ecosystems on the site.

Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift referred questions about the memo to the White House.

“The Trump Administration does not comment on leaked documents, especially internal drafts which are still under review by the President and relevant agencies,” White House spokeswoman Kelly Love said in a statement to Reuters.
NATURAL WONDERS

In June, Zinke told reporters he had recommended shrinking the Bears Ears monument, the country’s newest monument, and last month he sent his recommendations to the Republican president after reviewing more than two dozen national monuments. [L1N1J917V] Trump ordered the review in April as part of his broader effort to increase development on federal lands.

Energy, mining, ranching and timber industries have cheered the review, while conservation groups and the outdoor recreation industry threatened lawsuits over what they see as an effort to undo protections of critical natural and cultural resources.

The Sierra Club, an environmental group, said Zinke had “sold out” public lands. “Leaving the protection of Native American sacred sites, outdoor recreation destinations, and natural wonders to the goodwill of polluting industries is a recipe for disaster,” Sierra’s head Michael Brune said.

Senator Maria Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Senate energy committee, tweeted that former President Teddy Roosevelt, a conservationist, would “roll over in his grave” if he saw Zinke’s “attacks” on public lands.

Besides reducing the four sites, Zinke called for changes at Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters, New Mexico’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte, two Pacific Ocean marine monuments and another marine one off the New England coast.

Many fishing industry supporters cheered changes outlined in Zinke’s memo. Jon Mitchell, the mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts, a large fishing port, said the marine monument designation process “may have been well intended, but it has simply lacked a comparable level of industry input, scientific rigor and deliberation.”

While the antiquities law enables a president to permanently declare certain places of historic or scientific interest a national monument, a few U.S. presidents have reduced the size of some such areas.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Washington Post: Shrink at least 4 national monuments and modify a half-dozen others, Zinke tells Trump wapo.st/2xag7RJ Reuters graphic on review of U.S. monuments tmsnrt.rs/2itKQFD) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-interior-monuments/u-s-interior-chief-urges-changes-to-national-monuments-report-idUSKCN1BT2IH

© 2017 Reuters. All Rights Reserved.

There was a Full Cloud Inversion at the Grand Canyon and this Guy Got an Unreal Timelapse of It «TwistedSifter


http://twistedsifter.com/2017/05/full-cloud-inversion-grand-canyon-timelapse-by-skyglow/#like-106995

Help Safeguard the Future of Our National Park System

tmp_7395-grand_canyon-768x513245491747

The Antiquities Act is one of our nation’s most valuable conservation tools but it is being threatened. Our environment and wildlife depend on this Act for their protection. Please sign our petition to oppose any efforts to undermine the Antiquities Act.

Source: Help Safeguard the Future of Our National Park System

Take Action: Pennsylvania Conservation Funding Cuts Harm National Park Landscapes!

Source: Take Action: Pennsylvania Conservation Funding Cuts Harm National Park Landscapes!

Don’t let park rangers become an endangered species!

 

Source: Don’t let park rangers become an endangered species!

Petition: Support the #SouthernStrike to keep train guards! Keep passengers safe!

tmp_28782-977089-1481892310-wide119751409
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/977/089/305/

Video Shows Wild Buffalo Held Without Food or Water Near Dakota Access Pipeline Construction Site


http://www.ecowatch.com/buffalo-dakota-access-pipeline-2093158888.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=a67a88f63c-MailChimp+Email+Blast&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-a67a88f63c-86074753

Petition · United States Department of the Interior: Stop the Auctioning of Wayne National Forest for Oil · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/united-states-department-of-the-interior-stop-the-auctioning-of-wayne-national-forest-for-oil/sign?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=671699&alert_id=ZfOUikmKIh_2nMs5S1y67DHkYle7wfcuWREbX5q2I1rAJ%2BHMbJsUtE%3D

Stop US Forest Service Plan To Trapping in Santa Fe National Forest


http://mountainlion.org/ActionAlerts/080516FStraps/080516FStraps.asp?utm_source=NM+Letter+to+USFS+Individual+Invite&utm_campaign=Eastern+Cougar+Letter+Invite+07%2F26%2F2016&utm_medium=email

You Can Protect National Parks in Peril – The Rainforest Site


https://m.therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/trs/petition/NPCA-ParksInPeril?utm_source=trs-ta-enviro&utm_medium=email&utm_term=07062016&utm_content=takeaction-f&utm_campaign=npca-parksinperil&origin=ETE_070616_NPCA-ParksInPeril_f&oidp=0x4a568a63ec7cab2cc0a82937

Take action now! Protect Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon

image

http://advocacy.pewtrusts.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1793&ea.campaign.id=51334&ea.tracking.id=Alert&Country=&First%20Name=Nancy&Last%20Name=Keiter&City=&State=&Postal%20Code=&Email%20Address=nackpets@gmail.com&Address%201=&utm_campaign=AA+-+PEG+-+CAW+-+Gold+Butte&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew

Stop Egregious Attacks on Wildlife

 

An anti-wildlife bill that would allow hunting in national parks, de-regulate lead ammunition, and halt protections for elephants abroad was passed by the House earlier this year. Now members of Congress seek to attach this egregious bill to an important energy act in an effort to force it into law. Demand this bill be stopped in its tracks.

Source: Stop Egregious Attacks on Wildlife

WATCH: Serene film highlights Olympic National Park’s stunning sights

Stop the killing of 900 Bison in Yellowstone Natl Park!!

Exposing the Big Game

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Bison are incredible animals who once roamed the Great Plains in astounding numbers.  According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bison populations were estimated to be 30 million – 60 million in the 1500s. Today, those numbers are a fraction of their former glory – only 20,000 – 25,000 remain in small herds across the US.  The Yellowstone National Park Respresentives have recommended 900 park bison be removed this winter through hunting and ship-to-slaughter methods.  A better solution would be to relocate these animals to other herds…there is NO reason to kill them.  Join us in making our voice heard for the Bison who shouldn’t have to perish!

http://www.fws.gov/bisonrange/timeline.htm

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/yellowstone_national_park/article_9945d9b2-19b8-11e4-8ae3-0019bb2963f4.html

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Don’t Let Cows Run Elk Out of Our Parks

Don’t Let Cows Run Elk Out of Our Parks.