state parks

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The First 70: Closing Parks In California

The state of California is set to close 70 state parks in an effort to save money (which is a bad idea in itself and probably won’t work). This means that thousands of acres of natural history and beauty will no longer be maintained.

But the parks will not be erased. Instead, they will just lose their protectors, left to rot and deteriorate. How will we save them from polluters now? From vandals? From fire? How will we preserve these unspoiled lands and the life they contain?

The First 70 is a film project to draw attention to this misguided effort. Visit their site to find out how you can see the film and what you can do to help.

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All of Oregon’s 185 State Parks in a music video.

I love Oregon.

So much.

Basalt Wall, Palouse Falls State Park, Washington, 2015.

The interior of Washington State, the so-called Great Columbia Plateau, as it is seen today is largely a product of two “catastrophic flooding” geologic events. One is the Great Lake Missoula Flood which, in the course of a few days, reshaped the topography of the Columbia Basin. Before that and setting the stage for it were the great floods of lava which cover most of the area from the Columbia River to the eastern edge of the state and south into Oregon and Idaho. That is the consequence of about 10 million years of volcanic activity ending roughly 6 million years ago, a long time by human standards but a geologic blink. Where the waters released in the Missoula Flood cut into the basalt, as at Grand Coulee, or a river has carved a canyon as in this photo of the Palouse Canyon, the layering of the basalts can often be seen. The sharp discontinuities in this basalt wall show different epochs in the lava flooding, banded in much the same way (if far less colorfully) than the sandstones exposed by the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. 

It was great to hear from you again.
We see each other all the time, I know,
but it’s always like someone handed me
a freshly cut watermelon I wasn’t expecting.
You are beautiful, & I am a girl
with a name like a state park.
What are your arms doing right now?
—  Sara June Woods, “Dear Consciousness, Dear Unconsciousness,” from Don’t Smoke In Bed