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Equipment & Techniques => Landscape Photography Locations => Topic started by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 28, 2012, 02:49:21 PM

Title: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on February 28, 2012, 02:49:21 PM
Apparently, Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, as per this article (http://goo.gl/ASi8i).
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: francois on February 29, 2012, 02:55:20 AM
A few years ago, I was warned by a Ranger that it wasn't a safe place to shoot at night. Clearly, the situation hasn't improved, quite the contrary!

 :(
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: langier on February 29, 2012, 12:13:22 PM
Last trip in 2005, the main loop road was closed. Along the short loop road by the visitor's center, the gullies were filled with trash, tracks, other artifacts of passing hordes of migrants. My previous trip in the 1990s was without restriction and without the dishevel and trash. It's a shame that it has got to "pot"...

While photographing along that road during that last trip, we saw more Border Patrol vehicles than tourist vehicles. To top it off was the "air show" with a helicopter trying to spot the "UDAs" and attempt to herd them for capture.

Toward the end of the article I notice they use the PC term "UDA", to surgar-coat someone who has broken the law, to put it mildly. I wonder if the tides were turned if the other side would be so kind to treat us as "correctly"...
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: louoates on February 29, 2012, 03:22:15 PM
I photograph in many Arizona wild areas. I wouldn't even think about doing so without a firearm handy. Too many bears, javalinas, mountain lions, and two-legged vermin around.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Vladimir Steblina on March 01, 2012, 11:33:49 PM
Here is my blog posting on the "disputed lands" of southern Arizona from last year: http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2011/03/traveling-and-boondocking-in-disputed.html

I suspect the situation has NOT gotten any better.  Several of the large Arizona fires last year were started by illegal aliens moving north.  I talked to a friend working on one of the large fires and he said that folks were moving at night through the fire area!!! 

It is a mess, be careful.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: dreed on March 02, 2012, 06:38:55 AM
At least 4 died last summer in Yosemite: 3 were washed over Vernal Falls in July (they were found in November along the Merced) and another fell off the face of Half Done.

Of the three that went over Vernal Falls, two were in the water to cool off/swim and another went in to try and save the other two.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 02, 2012, 12:01:20 PM
At least 4 died last summer in Yosemite: 3 were washed over Vernal Falls ...

We are talking here about dangerous places, not reckless people. The three ignored warning signs and jumped the railings that separated people from the water.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: dreed on March 02, 2012, 03:29:55 PM
We are talking here about dangerous places, not reckless people. The three ignored warning signs and jumped the railings that separated people from the water.

If Yosemite wasn't a dangerous place then reckless people wouldn't lose their life and those warning signs would not be required.

There are plenty of high cliffs, steep drop offs, etc, where a slip or false step can have serious consequences - and that's along many of the well trodden trails.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: feppe on March 02, 2012, 03:52:18 PM
If nature wasn't a dangerous place then reckless people wouldn't lose their life and those warning signs would not be required.

There are plenty of high cliffs, steep drop offs, etc, where a slip or false step can have serious consequences - and that's along many of the well trodden trails.

Fixed it for you.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Paul Sumi on March 02, 2012, 07:45:53 PM
Fixed it for you.

+1

Paul
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: dreed on March 02, 2012, 07:50:31 PM
Fixed it for you.

Yes, I was tempted to say that myself...
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: telyt on March 03, 2012, 12:17:43 AM
If nature wasn't a dangerous place then reckless people wouldn't lose their life and those warning signs would not be required.

There are plenty of high cliffs, steep drop offs, etc, where a slip or false step can have serious consequences - and that's along many of the well trodden trails.

Nature isn't inherently dangerous any more than cities are.  People with no street smarts going into a city can easily put themselves in dangerous situations, likewise people with no nature smarts need "don't fall over the cliff" and "don't feed the bear" signs.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: feppe on March 03, 2012, 07:11:46 AM
Nature isn't inherently dangerous any more than cities are.  People with no street smarts going into a city can easily put themselves in dangerous situations, likewise people with no nature smarts need "don't fall over the cliff" and "don't feed the bear" signs.

You can't be serious in saying that a city is as dangerous as nature? It might be the case in some third world countries (or whatever the current politically correct way to say that is) and the bad parts of US cities if movies are to be believed, but by and large a modern city is as safe as it can get - nobody needs street smarts just to survive.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: fredjeang on March 03, 2012, 07:56:15 AM
The Most Dangerous National Park?

Earth. It's (temporarly) full of Homo-Sapiens.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: telyt on March 03, 2012, 10:15:28 AM
You can't be serious in saying that a city is as dangerous as nature?

Stepping in front of a bus is about as dumb as falling over a cliff and equally hazardous.  Most of us through experience recognize the ordinary hazards of city living but a large number of park visitors don't have the experience needed to recognize the ordinary hazards of nature.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: dreed on March 03, 2012, 06:47:19 PM
Stepping in front of a bus is about as dumb as falling over a cliff and equally hazardous.  Most of us through experience recognize the ordinary hazards of city living but a large number of park visitors don't have the experience needed to recognize the ordinary hazards of nature.

Except it isn't the bus that is the hazard, its those electric cars that don't make any noise when they move.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: chez on March 04, 2012, 10:00:53 AM
I photograph in many Arizona wild areas. I wouldn't even think about doing so without a firearm handy. Too many bears, javalinas, mountain lions, and two-legged vermin around.

Sad!
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: HSakols on March 04, 2012, 10:48:23 AM
I think this new perception of nature being dangerous comes from our increasing detachment from the outdoors.  Keep in mind there is perceived risk and actual risk. I work with children in Yosemite.  After the deaths on Vernal Falls I had some parents not want their children to walk to the top of Vernal Falls because they perceived it as too dangerous.  Funny, five years ago it wasn't too dangerous but now it is. Increasingly we are keeping our children in bubbles protected from the outdoors. Where the deaths occurred there is a guard rail and a sign that states "DO NOT CROSS OR YOU WILL DIE."  Still that wasn't enough to keep these 16-25 year olds away.  It is only a matter of time that railing is replaced with a high cyclone fence with barb wire.  That will make the outdoor experience more safe.  This was a sad unfortunate event and my heart goes out to their families.  However, I think this happened because young people today have very little experience in the out of doors - they never thought about the fact that they could slip. 

I also see an increasing trend of people bringing fire arms into Yosemite.  These gun toting fools are fearful of the solitude they may encounter on the trail.  The only animal to kill a person in Yosemite was a deer back in 1977 when a five year old was gored by a buck after feeding it potato chips. Now what are dangerous are those California ground squirrels that have been known to carry the plague, but really don't think you need a 45 to protect yourself from them.

 




Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Paul Sumi on March 04, 2012, 07:24:43 PM
I think this new perception of nature being dangerous comes from our increasing detachment from the outdoors.

I would actually say the opposite regarding our "increasing detachment from the outdoors," and I agree with Doug's comment earlier about many outdoor visitors lacking the experience to recognize ordinary hazards of nature.

Many people DON'T think the outdoors can be dangerous. That's the only conclusion I can draw from the Vernal Falls deaths.  My understanding is, they not only ignored the railing and signs, they also ignored people yelling at them to get back to safety.  

Paul


  

Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on March 04, 2012, 07:43:01 PM
... My understanding is, they not only ignored the railing and signs, they also ignored people yelling at them to get back to safety...

I was at a teenage drug-use presentation recently and the doctor said human brain continues to develop until about age 25. In other words, teenage risk perception is, unfortunately, skewed. It is much more important to be "cool" and a "rebel".

P.S. On a side note (mine) that explains perhaps why one shouldn't marry before that age.

P.P.S. Come to think of it, it explains why one should marry before that age ;)
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: dreed on March 04, 2012, 11:59:27 PM
I photograph in many Arizona wild areas. I wouldn't even think about doing so without a firearm handy. Too many bears, javalinas, mountain lions, and two-legged vermin around.

Unless you come between a black bear and its food or young, they will run away if scared.
At Yosemite, I've had friends tell me that bears have walked through their campsite at night.
They don't pull out guns to deal with it, rather they jump around and shout. Black bears are interested in easy food. If it looks threatening or too noisy then it is not easy. The problem is that it can be quite scary when you're confronted with one and running away is the worst thing you can do.

I don't know anything about javalinas, but at least in Yosemite you're considered very lucky if you even see a mountain lion. As far as they're concerned, the further away from humans they are the better.

Most animals in Northern America are afraid of humans (bears, lions, etc.)

Some can be dangerous without provocation (grizzly bear - e.g. Glacier National Park issues) and others (bison - Yellowstone) are calm but you don't want to get close or upset them because they're fast, and strong.

Unfortunately the two legged vermin are a problem for the entire planet :(
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: dreed on March 05, 2012, 12:13:27 AM
I think this new perception of nature being dangerous comes from our increasing detachment from the outdoors.  Keep in mind there is perceived risk and actual risk. I work with children in Yosemite.  After the deaths on Vernal Falls I had some parents not want their children to walk to the top of Vernal Falls because they perceived it as too dangerous.

Of all the walks around Yosemite Valley, IMHO the Mist Trail up to Vernal Falls is far and away the most dangerous and the one with the highest risk of death or injury due in part to the mist and also in part to the terrain. It scares me, as an adult or maybe I should say I have a healthy dose of respect for the conditions of that trail. I'm surprised that there aren't more serious incidents along it. Were I a parent, I'd take my children up to the top of Vernal Falls by going the "long way" around. Which is to say perhaps that the parents aren't being silly but for the wrong reason.

I wonder if the parents' reaction is also in part due to the lack of discipline in their children and that if their children are going to ignore their parent's advice or signs then...
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: DeanChriss on March 05, 2012, 12:27:07 PM
Interesting article on Organ Pipe, and unfortunately it's all true. I photographed in Organ Pipe back in the late 1980s and 1990s, and it was a fantastic place. My wife and I visited again a few years ago and it was more like a battle zone than a national park. At the time most of the dirt roads that go to the best places in the park were closed until construction of the "vehicle barrier" along the U.S. border was completed. It also seemed that helicopters and slow flying airplanes were always overhead, and there were checkpoints along the road into and out of the park. It's just not a good experience going there and I couldn't recommend it.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Greg Campbell on March 14, 2012, 05:59:42 PM
Of all the walks around Yosemite Valley, IMHO the Mist Trail up to Vernal Falls is far and away the most dangerous and the one with the highest risk of death or injury due in part to the mist and also in part to the terrain. It scares me, as an adult or maybe I should say I have a healthy dose of respect for the conditions of that trail. I'm surprised that there aren't more serious incidents along it. Were I a parent, I'd take my children up to the top of Vernal Falls by going the "long way" around. Which is to say perhaps that the parents aren't being silly but for the wrong reason.

You've got a point.  When you combine traffic volume and exposure, the Mist Trail has a lot of potential to produce injuries and an occasionally fatal fall into the gorge below.  Wow, a quick google search shows two fatalities on the Mist Trail in 2011 alone!

Here's an interesting page: http://www.nps.gov/zion/frequently-asked-questions-about-zions-hiking-trails.htm
Zion's Emerald Pools has 'killed' more people than Angel's Landing.  

By the numbers, I suspect Grand Canyon is the most 'dangerous' park, with an average of 15 fatalities per year.  I haven't yet found a park-by-park list but will keep looking.

Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: telyt on March 14, 2012, 06:24:46 PM
 When you combine traffic volume and exposure, the Mist Trail has a lot of potential to produce injuries and an occasionally fatal fall into the gorge below.  Wow, a quick google search shows two fatalities on the Mist Trail in 2011 alone!

Statistically that's a very low fatality rate.  I would estimate that tens of thousands of people, and possibly over 100,000 people hike the Mist Trail annualy.  On a typical summer day this trail is packed with hikers.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Greg Campbell on March 14, 2012, 08:34:23 PM
Statistically that's a very low fatality rate.  I would estimate that tens of thousands of people, and possibly over 100,000 people hike the Mist Trail annualy.  On a typical summer day this trail is packed with hikers.

Well, we never did define 'danger.'   ;)
Are we talking total injuries and fatalities per park, or highest rate per visit?
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Tony Jay on March 15, 2012, 12:47:25 AM
slightly different perspective here.

I grew up in South Africa at a time where the cities were getting progressively more dangerous.
I also spent a lot of time in wilderness areas (not necessarily National Parks) and not suprisingly felt safer in the company of African wildlife than in the cities.

I now live in Australia (apparently overall a very safe place) in Brisbane.
Nonetheless in my extensive travels through Australian wilderness areas (called the outback here in Oz) I always feel much safer there than in the metropolitan areas. Many Australians feel the opposite and regard the outback as very dangerous with crocodiles, snakes, and scorpions on land, and marine stingers, sharks and other things in the ocean as not worth the risk.

It is true that wilderness areas to the uninitiated are dangerous, whether perceived or not, but city areas are even more dangerous to the uninitiated, whether perceived or not.

In summary I always feel safest where fellow Homo sapiens are not, no matter what other wildlife or weather phenomena, or climatological area is present.

My $0.2 worth

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Rob C on March 15, 2012, 11:37:16 AM
In summary I always feel safest where fellow Homo sapiens are not, no matter what other wildlife or weather phenomena, or climatological area is present.

Regards

Tony Jay



I'd tend to agree; I'm not saying that the natural world is any safer, just that its threats are, in my mind, more natural and obvious.

Cities are places with very dangerous animals, animals that know envy, that are cunning, that have their own, waring packs; these animals are also devoid of the natural instincts that keep killing and maiming as a last resort. Some of the city ones, given the opportunity, do it for sport much as a domestic cat might do, where its wilder sister working on the energy expenditure principle, would be thinking only food, family and survival.

But then, the country human can be even worse due to inbreeding. Along, of course, with the virtual lack of parental control shared with much of its city cousins. But hell, it doesn't even have to be a 'class' or ghetto thing: I can recall being in the company of well-educated parents whose instant reaction, when adult conversation was interrupted by a child, was to turn immediately to said brat and leave the speaking adult with his/her mouth open, addressing the empty seat or the back of the sitter's head. I hate that; kids should learn respect for their elders as soon as they can learn anything. Then, later, they will be perfectly capable of discovering for themselves which of those adults deserve the respect they were originally given.  

Rob C

Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Rob C on March 15, 2012, 11:55:07 AM
I was at a teenage drug-use presentation recently and the doctor said human brain continues to develop until about age 25. In other words, teenage risk perception is, unfortunately, skewed. It is much more important to be "cool" and a "rebel".

P.S. On a side note (mine) that explains perhaps why one shouldn't marry before that age.

P.P.S. Come to think of it, it explains why one should marry before that age ;)



I think a more valuable condition is prior knowledge.

I met and went out with mine at school and we both knew who and what we were from the start, there was no chance of unpleasant revelations later on, when it would have been already a little too late. Also, similar backgrounds help a lot because those bring similar expectations and recognizable drives - if there are any drives - and shared reality is a great aid to happiness.

It strikes me that class, in the perceived 'English' sense of the term, exists and always will exist because it's a natural form of selection which guarantees a greater chance of survival of its membership. I suspect that it's the same reason that so many nouveaux run into marital/domestic problems: they suddenly have new and exciting abilities beyond their capabilities. Tough, but I risk the lottery to be there! Not to join them, I stress, just to have the possibilities that would be mine. That Mustang through France, probably alone, but better than not at all!

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Justan on March 15, 2012, 01:11:47 PM
How does one qualify ďmost dangerous?Ē Is this based on loss of human life or number of challenges per square mile or something else?

I live by Mt Rainier National Park and every year a number of people die in and around the area. In addition, a vastly larger number people are injured.

The reasons for the deaths and injury vary. Many die while trying to summit the mountain. Some die on the roadway coming to or going from the park. Most recently a park ranger was killed by a homicidal lunatic.

Based on the number of challenges per sq mile, Iíll offer a WAG that Denali in AK is probably the winner. High concentrations of natural risks coupled with an extremely remote location. And then thereís Mount McKinley, a very risky climb.

OTOH, perhaps itís the National Mall in Washington DC. It has an estimated 24 million visitors per year. Thatís a lot of human interaction, and itís legal for them to carry guns, as is the case in any National Park.

On yet another hand, according to several sites brought up by Mr. Google, the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument  (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/fighting-drugs-border-violence-arizona-organ-pipe-cactus-132342614.html) wins the scary title, as of 2003.

Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Rob C on March 15, 2012, 04:21:23 PM
When you think about it, the obvious way to resolve the issue is to smash the users as well as the suppliers. Then, you'd help the construction industry with new big buildings, clear the streets, increase employment and ultimately save a lot of 'citizens' from a lot of self-inflicted grief. But then you'd probably also lose elections, so no, best to go on playing the status quo.

Rob C
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: telyt on March 16, 2012, 07:16:12 AM
Based on the number of challenges per sq mile, Iíll offer a WAG that Denali in AK is probably the winner.

Having spent six summers there I'd disagree.  Numerous challenges to be sure, but a very very large number of square miles.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Justan on March 17, 2012, 11:27:52 AM
^ Except for what i've heard described as mosquitoes the size of school busses, I don't doubt your comments, but even still the remote location adds substantially to the potential for risk ("danger") even if itís not seen as such by regulars. And then there are the cold months where the risk goes up substantially...
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: telyt on March 17, 2012, 08:11:08 PM
The degree of risk depends to a very large degree on the individual's "bush smarts".  A city dweller who has no outdoor experience will get into big trouble in virtually any outdoor setting; it doesn't have to be remote.  For me, a city is much more dangerous than a remote wilderness (try Gates of the Arctic for remote) because I have enough outdoor experience to avoid most hazards.  In a typical city I'm clueless so it would be much more hazardous for me.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Tony Jay on March 17, 2012, 09:03:31 PM
Common sense obviously applies here.

Photographing in remote areas needs research, not only into the best sites for photography, but into more practical issues of survival.
In the Australian outback the single most dangerous event is a mechanical breakdown of one's vehicle.
Not having a radio and/or satellite phone under these circumstances will be fatal since it may be weeks to months before another vehicle happens along your track.
Food and a lot of water (a weeks worth at least) we regard as mandatory for travel in these areas.

Just a week ago today I travelled a track into the Conondale National Park (about 150 km NW of Brisbane, Australia) that had obviously not been travelled in months. A breakdown or accident (a real possibility since a mountain goat would have hesitated traversing this track in its current condition) and an inability to communicate or walk the 10-15 km to the nearest farmhouse would have been fatal.

BTW the Nissan Patrol I drive is properly modified for major offroad expeditions but I abandoned this drive and turned around because at the rate I was going it could have taken a couple of days to get on top of the mountain and I needed to be back at work the following day.

The trick is to understand the environment one is in as well as one's own limitations.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: HSakols on March 18, 2012, 11:05:47 AM
National Parks are not dangerous.  It is the people who come to visit them.  Danger arises when 1. people have not prior experience, 2. they come unprepared, 3. they make flawed decisions. 

All Yosemite 4th,5th and 6th graders (9-12) are part of a local outreach program through Nature Bridge (formally known as Yosemite Institute).  Each month the students visit and learn about different areas of the park.  Not only do they learn about science and caring for the earth, but they are expected to come prepared for each field trip with a day pack, lunch, water bottle, and layers of clothing. This concept of preparation is difficult for some of our younger students, and parents don't always check what their children are bringing before they get to school.  Usually in the fall we have to pull out extra supplies for those who forgot them, but after they're in the program for a year, they catch on to what is expected.  On the trail, they learn how not to get lost, what to do in the event of a rockfall, and most importantly how to take care of themselves.  I believe this is the way to make our parks safer.  We have been very successful and now I have former students that are in college that go on annual backpack trips every year and some even work summers as trail crew in the back country.  I'm proud of my boys and girls. 
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: rickk on March 23, 2012, 08:02:57 PM
Hugh -- A big thank you for educating the youth of America about appreciating nature and taking care of themselves.
Best wishes.

Rick
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: dreed on March 27, 2012, 08:58:12 AM
...
BTW the Nissan Patrol I drive is properly modified for major offroad expeditions but I abandoned this drive and turned around because at the rate I was going it could have taken a couple of days to get on top of the mountain and I needed to be back at work the following day.

The trick is to understand the environment one is in as well as one's own limitations.
...

I can't emphasise that line above enough. Especially when you're alone.

Knowing when to turn around is essential - even in places that are as well trodden as Yosemite Valley.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Tony Jay on March 27, 2012, 05:59:23 PM
Yes indeed.

Here in Australia the challenges in the Outback are very different to most North American locales.
Nonetheless, the bottom line is that most people who die in Outback Australia die because of ignorance and stupidity.
Any issues that arise are compounded by the extreme remoteness of inland Australia.

Common sense can save your life.

Regards

Tony Jay
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: telyt on March 28, 2012, 12:25:36 PM
I can't emphasise that line above enough. Especially when you're alone.

Knowing when to turn around is essential - even in places that are as well trodden as Yosemite Valley.

+1

Also good to know when to turn around in Detroit or Chicago or San Francisco.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: dreed on March 29, 2012, 01:16:23 AM
+1

Also good to know when to turn around in Detroit or Chicago or San Francisco.

Isn't Detroit a ghost town by now? ;)
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Lonnie Utah on April 02, 2012, 03:40:57 PM
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=757&sid=19822913&title=bill-would-give-border-patrol-more-leeway-on-federal-lands&s_cid=queue-8
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Rand47 on May 01, 2012, 01:58:03 PM
Apparently, Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, as per this article (http://goo.gl/ASi8i).

Perhaps, but it is such a great place to explore and photograph . . .
I call this one, "Tears of the Oracle"

(http://rsadams.smugmug.com/Other/AZ-Flower-Trip/tears-tone/822822490_V9YSH-L.jpg)
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Lightsmith on June 22, 2012, 06:29:22 PM
It's dangerous if you are an overly zealous park ranger playing Rambo and chasing after possible drug traffickers with a rifle. This park ranger recklessly endangered not only his life but that of all future visitors to the area. Too bad that the park service has hyped this up to such a large degree though it is very good for the desert which will have a chance to recover from human activity including cacti poaching.
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on August 31, 2012, 08:26:56 PM
Move over, Arizona, here comes Yosemite:

Up to 10,000 Yosemite visitors at risk of mouse-borne virus (http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-08-31/yosemite-hantavirus-calls/57486262/1)
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: sierraman on September 01, 2012, 12:18:07 AM
Move over, Arizona, here comes Yosemite:

Up to 10,000 Yosemite visitors at risk of mouse-borne virus (http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-08-31/yosemite-hantavirus-calls/57486262/1)
I think I will be avoiding Curry Village until next year.  :(
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: francois on September 01, 2012, 06:27:13 AM
I think I will be avoiding Curry Village until next year.  :(

You might want to try Organ Pipe Cactus NM first and then YosemiteÖ A good read is the third chapter of Tony Hillerman's The Great Taos Bank Robbery (that chapter [We All Fall Down] is about plague in New Mexico).
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: HSakols on September 09, 2012, 09:52:44 AM
Quote
I think I will be avoiding Curry Village until next year.  Sad

Great! That means the Valley will be less crowded. 

The Huntavirus deaths have been tragic, however, once again most are scarred to death because the media thrives of this type of thing.  Why haven't there been more deaths if we have about 4 million visitors a year?  No employees have died and they are around mice all the time?  Here in the park we have known about Huntavirus for years.  I just make sure to spray bleach on any mouse droppings before cleaning.  People are now cancelling their reservations left and right because once again it is just too dangerous.  I know of some people who immediately came to Curry Village after the media and event and they were pleased that they had a "safe" and quiet experience.  Furthermore, happy isles has been essentially empty.  Staying in Yosemite is still safer than driving to work - just do your homework and don't watch CNN.  Oh and by the way I'm leaving in an hour to take some photos in Yosemite Valley.  I'm more worried about slipping on some rocks than contracting Hunta.

Hugh Sakols


Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: jeremypayne on September 09, 2012, 12:41:21 PM
I'm more worried about slipping on some rocks than contracting Hunta.[sic]

do you die 36% of the time you slip?


Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on September 09, 2012, 04:17:36 PM
Great! That means the Valley will be less crowded....

This is an incredibly, incredibly ignorant post.  >:(
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: HSakols on September 10, 2012, 09:29:33 AM
OK saying that the Valley will be less crowded in mean spirited and harsh.  My point is that the public now thinks they have a very good chance of getting the virus just by entering the park. The people who contracted symptoms stayed in winterized tent cabins that had dry wall inside.  That allows lost of space for mouse droppings.  And yes while I was hiking around the Sunny Side Bench I did slip but didn't drop my camera. 
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: HSakols on September 11, 2012, 09:16:02 PM
Up to 10,000 Yosemite visitors at risk of mouse borne virus.  

Now that is ignorant.

Yesterday somebody called our hotline and was concerned that if they went to the Casino in Oakhurst that they might contract the VIRUS.  

I'm worried that ignorant people will close all of our national parks because they are too DANGEROUS.  too bad I have to post this on a site like the Luminous-Landscape.  

STAY IN THE STUDIO

The landscape is too dangerous
 
I understand on the internet we come from vastly different perspectives. My frustration comes from people who want to take landscape photographs, but are not willing to learn about the natural world that they live in and believe that the government is to blame. 
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on September 11, 2012, 10:05:33 PM
Yosemite doubles scope of hantavirus warning to 22,000; third death confirmed (http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/07/13719926-yosemite-doubles-scope-of-hantavirus-warning-to-22000-third-death-confirmed?lite)

Facts (what you make of them is up to you, of course):

- "18% of mice trapped for testing at various locations around the park were positive for hantavirus."

- "In 2011, half of the 24 U.S. hantavirus cases ended in death. But since 1993, when the virus first was identified, the average death rate is 36%, according to the CDC."

The problem is, in my humble and quite possible totally ignorant view, there doesn't seem to be a reasonable protection from it. You are playing lottery by entering the park during the outbreak.

Yes, nature and national parks can be dangerous places, but a reasonable person should be relatively safe by observing a limited number of common-sense rules. For instance, if there is a guard rail and a sign that states "DO NOT CROSS OR YOU WILL DIE,"  a reasonable person will observe it. It is pretty simple and straightforward, an definitely not difficult to notice and observe.

Contrast that with the following instructions: "...open windows to air out the areas for at least two hours before entering. Take care not to stir up dust. Wear plastic gloves and spray areas contaminated with rodent droppings and urine with a 10% bleach solution..."

Now, I do not know about others, but I've traveled the world over (including dozen U.S. national parks), and it never occurred to me to pack a bottle of bleach with me. Let alone a manual titled: "How to Recognize Mouse Droppings And Urine." How do I open windows before entering!? Do not stir up dust!?
Title: Re: The Most Dangerous National Park?
Post by: HSakols on September 12, 2012, 12:44:13 AM
Iím no expert but I have a basic knowledge of microbiology and the nature of science.



You reference http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/07/13719926-yosemite-doubles-scope-of-hantavirus-warning-to-22000-third-death-confirmed?lite which comes from NBC news. 

I would like to redirect you and the rest of our readers to http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/hps/prevention.html which I think puts the issue in better perspective rather than pure hysteria.

Furthermore the CDC states: What are hantaviruses?
Hantaviruses are a group of viruses that may be carried by some rodents. Some hantaviruses can cause a rare but deadly disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The disease is called HPS for short.

You state that - "In 2011, half of the 24 U.S. hantavirus cases ended in death. But since 1993, when the virus first was identified, the average death rate is 36%, according to the CDC."
Sounds like the Virus quite common and found everywhere?

The problem is, in my humble and quite possible totally ignorant view, there doesn't seem to be a reasonable protection from it. You are playing lottery by entering the park during the outbreak.

Iíll add from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=160615768 that states Yet the risk of getting these scary-sounding diseases is small. With the right precautions, you can still enjoy spending time outdoors. And that helps fight much more common threats to your health ó obesity and too little exercise.

http://www.healthmap.org/news/rare-hantavirus-discovered-two-yosemite-vacationers-82312
This article further scares visitors by stating that the problem started in a campsite.  This is not the case at all.  In fact no one camping has contracted the virus.

Now, I do not know about others, but I've traveled the world over (including dozen U.S. national parks), and it never occurred to me to pack a bottle of bleach with me. Let alone a manual titled: "How to Recognize Mouse Droppings And Urine."

Donít worry those specific cabins are now closed.  You will not get it in you 54 foot motor home-unless you let lots of mice in and they have time to poop.  I didnít know it was dangerous to swim under the waterfall.  On TV people do it all the time so it must be safe.  Besides this is a Park just like Disneyland except there are no theme characters.   If anything goes wrong I can always sue the government and get my money back.