The California Trail

If you’re driving to or from California this summer, you’re following one of the great wagon trails left by our forefathers.  Consider taking a little time along the way to learn about the route and the intrepid travelers that built this nation.   Most of the California emigrants took the northern route from St. Louis …

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What to do with 44,000 wild horses

  The Bureau of Land Management is under fire again, this time for something it hasn’t even done.  An advisory group suggested that the Bureau euthanize or sell without restrictions the 45,000 or so  “unadoptable” horses and burros that the BLM is holding in off-range corrals and pastures.  The suggestion touched a nerve with wild …

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The Heritage of our National Parks

  On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service turned 100. We have many people to thank for the preservation of Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and nearly 400 other sites that tell the story of North America.  The roots of the National Park system are deep - all the way back to 1832, when …

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Confrontation on the range

  Federal control of public lands is a hot-button issue, one that’s getting hotter as the West continues to grow. It’s been building a long time and won’t go away soon. There’s a foreboding threat of violence in the protests known as the Sagebrush Rebellion. This is an issue we need to study and resolve. …

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Stolen Water, Stolen Dreams

I have a love-hate relationship with the eastern slope of California's Sierra Nevada. I love the country, the sheer majesty of the land; but I hate what people have done here. Following US Highway 395 along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada ia a magical trip with amazing vistas to see, natural mysteries to …

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What’s in a name, anyway?

In Yosemite, the company that ran the concessions lost its contract - but kept the rights to the names of some of the park’s landmarks, even though those places were named long before the concessionaire ever came on the scene.  It was a legal decision that stung and the Park Service is fighting to get …

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The tragedy at Mussel Slough

  If you’ve wondered why the locus of the protest against high speed rail in California is Kings County, the answer is, there’s history there, a history that makes the local folks distrustful of anything associated with a railroad. It goes all the way back to the 1880’s and a place called Mussel Slough. With the transcontinental railroad, …

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