Joshua Tree was in the news a lot during December and early January, thanks to the US government shutdown. And if the Congress fails to reach a more permanent agreement by Feb 15, the government will shut down anew — and Joshua Tree may be in the news once again.
Why was Joshua Tree in the news?
A number of articles seemed to put forth the narrative that without US government workers to safeguard the land, irresponsible users were utterly consuming and destroying the park.
I’m an avid outdoorsperson and a huge advocate of Leave No Trace principles. I believe our public lands need to be protected and preserved for future generations.
But I’ve also spent the last few years working in online media, and have built a pretty healthy distrust for blindly accepting ‘reporting’. Here’s why:
- The media always has an agenda — and any given story is framed to advance that agenda. Sometimes this is done intentionally, sometimes it enters the writing unconsciously. But it’s always there.
- Reporters rarely have the time and resources to actually investigate their stories. In most cases, outlets simply parrot what the other sources are saying — resulting in a million versions of the same story, all based on the same dubious source. For example: the above photo of a Joshua Tree that was allegedly chopped down during the government shutdown (widely shared) turned out to be of a tree which had fallen down PRIOR to the shutdown.
So, I’m not saying it’s all “fake news”. But I am saying, you should measure what the news says up against independent observers and expert voices.
I’m no expert, but I was observing Joshua Tree during the shutdown.
And in my experience, people were being caring and respectful.
Hey all, I just got back from a pair of trips: a climbing trip to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California; and a long-weekend of ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado.
Words are forthcoming about both ventures, but for now, I just wanted to share some photos my climbing partner Jose took while we were in J-Tree.
I brought all the climbing toys, and Jose brought his photography toys. Let me tell you — it pays to adventure with a professional photographer! It makes a biiiiig difference to have someone who knows what they’re doing along! (and someone who has all the expensive lenses, hehe).
Check out some of his best shots of Hidden Valley Campground, below.
Photos from visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, during the early winter offseason.
Plitvice Lakes is cold during the offseason, but the benefit is the crowds are much, much smaller. I can’t imagine this place during summer — I bet it’s a zoo. Check out some photos past the jump:
Last February, when I was in Taiwan for the Chinese New Year period, I had the pleasure of being given a tour of Yangmingshan National Park, in the mountains near Taipei. Here are a few reasons this national park should be on your list if you’re looking to add a touch of nature to your Taiwan trip!