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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Leaving Not A Trace In Joshua Tree National Park

Above, Joshua Tree National Park near Cottonwood Campground. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

When visitors come to Joshua Tree National Parks, it is vital that they only use areas designated for certain times of the day and activities that don't cause damage.

Some are using areas at all hours when they are specifically designated for day-use-only.

The Desert Sun reported:
Scroll through photos tagged in Joshua Tree National Park, and the Milky Way inevitably flashes across the screen. Night sky photography is a popular attraction in this boulder-laden landscape. 
But in addition to the iconic rock formations, some photographers are heading out to capture the stars reflected in various bodies of water throughout the park. What they may not know – or choose to disregard – is that a lot of these places are sensitive and thereby protected as day-use only. 
"They might have access to water for wildlife, and we like to limit humans going there," explains JTNP Social Media Specialist Hannah Schwalbe. "We want the wildlife to have a chance to access that water without a predator being around." 
Night sky photographers heading into day-use-only areas is one example of an issue within the national park that Schwalbe says "is more likely" heightened by social media. The popularity of the shot may create a potential clamor for "retweets" and "likes," and yet the process of capturing it infringes on the limited water sources available to the park's wildlife. As more and more people are getting out to explore the wilderness, public lands across the country are feeling similar environmental tolls. 

To read more, go here

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