AUSTRALIA WRAPS ‘HORIZONTAL FALLS’ IN LEGAL PROTECTION
The name is a tourism marketer’s dream: Western Australia’s Horizontal Falls aren’t actually horizontal, but who can resist the idea of a cataract that moves sideways? In fact, the falls are formed by a tidal surge when currents flow through two narrow coastal gorges in Talbot Bay — the difference in height between the two causes a massive rush of sea water between a small gap. And with new national park designation, the spot will likely be even more popular than it is now. Australia’s newest national park is just 40,000 acres, but the government also encircled it with the 1,160-square-mile Horizontal WaterFall Marine Park. Via Pew Environmental Group.
VICTIMS OF JACKSON AVALANCHE DEATHS IDENTIFIED
Two backcountry skiers were killed Sunday afternoon in unrelated avalanches in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, near Jackson Hole. Elizabeth “Liza” Benson, left, was part of a group of skiers caught in an avalanche off Clause Peak in the Cliff Creek area. Benson was swept into a tree by a six-inch break at approximately 9,200 feet and sustained fatal blunt force trauma. Nick Gillespie, a seasonal trail crew worker in Grand Teton National Park, died in a separate avalanche. He was on a backcountry ski trip for several days with friends and triggered a slide in the
Survey Peak area. Rangers said it’s very remote (Gillespie’s friends had to trek out to find cell coverage and call for help) and rarely gets skied. Via Jackson Hole News & Guide.
UTAH GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES OUTDOOR RECREATION PLAN
Last year it seemed all but certain that the twice-annual Outdoor Retailer trade show would leave Salt Lake for greener pastures — or at least to a state that embraced environmentalism. Now Utah’s been given a two-year reprieve after governor Gary Herbert unveiled his long-awaited vision for outdoor recreation last week which, among other things, calls for a state office solely devoted to the topic, an annual convention of all tourism and related stakeholders to hash out differences — but still calls for a statewide land grab of all federal holdings in Utah, except for national parks. Ashley Korenblat, president of Western Spirit Cycling in Moab, said she finds the plan encouraging, but that the notion of a land grab is out of step with concerns of the outdoor industry, and Peter Metcalf, CEO of Salt Lake-based Black Diamond said it’s one thing for the governor to recognize how important the industry is to the the state, but “now comes the real work,” noting that the “radical policies threatening our public lands” might still lead to irreconcilable differences between state government and a hugely important source of state revenue. Via Associated Press.