Reminder to stay safe in national parks, forests, and around wild animals.

This has been quite a dangerous time for people in national parks. With COVID-19 restrictions lowering, there has been an influx of accidents as more people are going out. Last week, a man and women fell down the summit ridge of Mount Russell. The man fell to his death 500 feet below, while the women was able to break her fall 30 feet down. The body of a 20 year old person was found in Joshua Tree National Park after a week long search and rescue. Elsewhere, such as in Denali National Park, two men were hit by ice chunks from glaciers (known as hanging seracs), with one dying and the other suffering major injuries.

Though this didn’t happen in a national park setting at all, a girl had recklessly charged a bear, of which was in her backyard swiping at her dogs. She managed to not get seriously injured and saved her dogs. Still, absolutely do not charge at wild animals, especially a bear! Meanwhile, people in national parks seem to think its a good idea to approach and gather around a wild bison. By the looks of it, it gave them plenty of time to back away too; the featured image is a Bison Petting Chart by the National Park Service. Safety isn’t always for us, but for the animals and their environment too.

In other parts of the world, tourists possibly spread COVID-19 to mountain gorillas they took selfies with. Elsewhere, exotic wild animals are exploited, with their attention exploding on platforms such as TikTok and YouTube. No matter where, when, or why, please stay safe, respect nature, wildlife, and your own limits.

Yosemite lifts reservation system to guests (via The Business Journal)

As Covid infection rates stabilize, the National Park Service is ready to ease restraints on the largest tourist destination in Central California.

According to Brooke Smith, public relations director for Visit Yosemite/Madera County, the NPS will end the reservation system at the end of February. It couldn’t come at a better time, as Smith says that thousands of families — especially in California — are planning and booking in order to visit the natural beauties within their own state.

“People are wanting to take road trips and people are looking to these hidden treasures in their backyards,” Smith said. “When Californians are traveling within 120 miles of their home, it usually means that it’s Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas and the Madera Wine Trail and these wonderful small towns and museums outside of the park.”