27. September 2014

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Yosemite bears getting under control; damage way down

The black bears that live in the 1200 miles of Yosemite National Park have long been a problem. Decades ago, they were treated as attractions that visitors could even hand fee.

Yosemite Black Bears can look cinnamon

Yosemite Black Bears can look cinnamon

The 400+ pound omnivores generally leave humans alone. In fact, no one has ever been killed by one at the park – ever. But lazy humans who let them find food in their campground, cars and packs often get an awakening as to the ability of bears to sniff out easy lunch.

Bears can smell seven times better than a bloodhound. They would make great search and rescue animals! Though the parks recent diligent awareness program, bear “incidents” have shot way down. An incident is when a bear takes something of value from a human.

There have been 145 incidents this year; this is UP from 2013, but down 83% from 1998. Only $5,000 taken from people (“Stick your hands up!”).  I wonder what a car door that has been ripped open costs?

Bear proof storage boxes abound in non-wilderness areas of the park. That’s where most of the incidents occur – NOT in the vast backcountry. The park is also beginning …

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26. September 2014

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National Public Lands Day. Free entry to an NPS park near you

National Public Lands Day on September 27

National Public Lands Day on September 27

Tomorrow, Sep 27, is National Public Lands Day. Free entry to every National Park Service site. So no matter where you read this blog from, get out and volunteer to help. Or just get in for free.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for America’s public lands. Many states are also celebrating. Did you know that 2014 is the 150th birthday of California State Parks! See the list of the states with events.

Here are the national Park units that will host volunteers:

  • Alabama: Little River Canyon National Preserve, Russell Cave National Monument
  • Alaska: Sitka National Historical Park
  • Arizona: Canyon De Chelly National Monument, Grand Canyon National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Saguaro National Park
  • Arkansas: Arkansas Post National Memorial
  • California: Channel Islands National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, John Muir National Historic Site, Lava Beds National Monument, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Yosemite National Park
  • Colorado: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
  • Connecticut: Weir Farm National Historic Site
  • Delaware: First State National Monument
  • Washington, DC: National Capital Parks- East, National Mall and Memorial Parks
  • Florida: Everglades National Park, Gulf Islands National Seashore
  • Georgia; Martin Luther

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25. September 2014

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Mission Peak – Great training hike for Half Dome, but it’s going to the dogs. Save the Date: Oct 12.

George Anderson ready to take the first 6 tourists up Half Dome in 1875

George Anderson ready to take the first 6 tourists up Half Dome in 1875


Scottish immigrant, George Anderson was the first person to make it to the top of Half Dome. Many other skilled climbers tried. James Hutchings, John Conrad and others just could not get up. They managed Sub Dome, but the “Rock of Ages” stayed in the clouds.

On an autumn Tuesday at 3 pm, George stood on top.  He later built the Happy Isles trail to the Merced at Vernal. He used some of his own money when the contract ran out. He died soon thereafter of pneumonia – penniless and unpaid by the state.

For his feats, today he gets little recognition. He’s buried under a non-descript rock in the Yosemite cemetery. Try to find him in the Visitor Center. Nada, nil mention, zip. Bad.

 In recognition of George Anderson Day – the day (Oct 12 in 1875) he summited, join me for a hike up Mission Peak in Fremont. Meet at the Ohlone Deli 9 am.

PM me for info if you want to go. We had a nice group in 2013. Mission Peak is a a 3-hr RT…about 2,000 vertical. After we eat at …

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