Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Waterways will continue to pose hazards but have stabilized. There is still snow that is melting, but flooding is no longer a risk. IN PHOTO: East Fork of the Kaweah River. (Click arrows for additional photo.)Travel in the highest reaches of the Sierra still requires negotiation of snowfields and water crossings. IN PHOTO: One of the Mineral Lakes (elevation 9,700 feet) in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park.

Incidents at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Summer visitation on the rise
Sarah Elliott / NPS reports


JUNE 26 - JULY 9, 2017
Sequoia National Park
Ash Mountain
June 26— Rangers issued a citation for possession and use of a crossbow at Buckeye Flat Campground.
June 26— Rangers are investigating theft of recycling occurring in the Ash Mountain area.
June 27— Rangers responded to a non-injury motor vehicle accident at the Sequoia entrance station. An RV collided with one of the stations. There was minor damage to government property and no injuries.
June 27— Rangers made an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs and possession of heroin and other drugs.
June 27— Rangers responded to a 37-year-old male experiencing systemic allergic reactions. Patient was treated and released.
July 1-2— Visitor use and swimming at the river is picking up. Rangers conducted foot patrols for preventative search-and-rescue and to enforce regulations. Contacts were made for possession of a controlled substance and public intoxication.
July 2— Cattle trespassing was observed on park land in the North Fork area.
July 2— Rangers responded to a rollover motor vehicle accident on the Buckeye Flat access road. There were no injuries.
July 5— A dead cow was located near North Fork Drive within the park boundary. The owner removed the carcass. Cattle trespass has been a continuing problem at North Fork.
—River safety and enforcement patrols by rangers along the Kaweah River are continuing.
June 28— Park staff attended technical rescue training at Lodgepole.
June 30— Rangers responded to a report of a vehicle-versus-bicyclist accident in Dorst Creek Campground. The bicyclist was transported via Ambulance 6 to Fresno.
—It was a busy weekend at Lodgepole. All parking lots, including the Wuksachi back lot, were full by early afternoon. The Generals Highway was clogged with traffic from Last Hill to Clover Creek.
—Rangers responded to several medical incidents and transported:
    -An individual who was having an allergic reaction;
    -A 15-year-old female who had passed out at Giant Forest Museum; and
    -A female patient who had fallen off a log and struck her head.
—Rangers responded to a structure fire at Red Fir.
—Rangers responded to a medical aid along the Tokopah Falls trail. The patient, a 75-year-old female, was complaining of feeling dizzy and nauseous. She was assisted to the trailhead where she declined ambulance transport.
—Rangers responded to a single vehicle-versus-tree accident at Dorst Creek. Three individuals from the vehicle were transported by ambulance to Fresno. All are reported to be doing well.
—Rangers responded to the Lower Kaweah parking area for a food storage violation. There were several chairs, tables, ice chest, food, and garbage strewn around. A group of employees — including rangers, interpretation, bear management, and volunteers — worked to clean up the mess. When the owners returned, they were issued citations for improper food storage and littering.
—Rangers responded to a report of an individual going in and out of consciousness on top of Moro Rock. When rangers arrived, they found the patient sitting on a bench at the base of the rock. The patient complained of not feeling well but declined medical care or transport.
—Rangers responded to Tharp’s Log for a report of a broken ankle. Patient was assisted out but declined ambulance transport.
—Rangers responded to Rock Wall (along the Generals Highway) to a patient who was reported as feeling dizzy and weak. When rangers arrived patient complained of chest pain. Patient was transported via ambulance to Visalia.
—Rangers responded to numerous minor medical calls throughout the week.
High Sierra
June 27— An 18-year-old male began experiencing acute altitude illness issues and contacted the Bearpaw Meadow ranger in the middle of the night due to a severe headache and vomiting multiple times. The ranger made contact with the hospital who advised it would be okay for the subject to hike out on his own at first light.
June 28— A 46-year-old female and her boyfriend, who were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail near Tyndall Creek, separated to look for a campsite. The boyfriend was unable to locate her at their designated meeting place. He reported her missing to the Tyndall Creek ranger the following morning. A search was initiated with ground teams and air resources. On the evening of June 28, the uninjured subject hiked out to the Tyndall Creek Ranger Station where she was reunited with her boyfriend.
June 29— A 68-year-old male was reported missing to Inyo County Sheriff Search and Rescue after separating from his group on Mount Whitney. He was last seen on the afternoon of June 28 when the group was lost and couldn’t agree on which way to go. They believed they were at Discovery Pinnacle and determined he must be in Inyo County. After reviewing GPS logs of the other hikers, it was determined the subject chose to hike down the west side of Mount Whitney, thinking he was on the east side. He spent an overnight without camping gear in the Arctic Lake drainage and was located the following afternoon by a ground searcher near Guitar Lake. He was flown to Lone Pine Airport and transferred to Inyo County, physically exhausted, but uninjured.
July 3— A 14-year-old male with a nut allergy ate a bar containing nuts while camping at Hamilton Lake. He was injected with epinephrine and his father called for rescue via satellite phone. The subject and his father were flown to the Ash Mountain Helibase where he was transferred to a ground ambulance.
July 4— Two rangers received a SPOT activation for an unknown problem on the switchbacks below Trail Crest on the west side of Mount Whitney. They began receiving reports from other hikers of a 26-year-old female who was vomiting and dizzy. While hiking to that location, they encountered a 50-year-old female who had fallen and had a possible fractured arm. The fracture patient was prepared to hike out an alternate route with her husband. She was assisted off the switchbacks to camp. The other ranger located the female that activated the SPOT device.
She subsequently denied needing medical treatment and was assisted to a camp location at Guitar Lake.
Mineral King
—Numerous notices were issued for campground violations.
—A violation notice was issued for camping in the Redwood Creek picnic area at mile marker 16.
There have been more black bear sightings reported in 2017 but the bear behavior reported has been normal. 
Five separate mountain lion sightings have been reported: near the Mineral King Ranger Station, at High Bridge on the Mineral King Road, in White Chief canyon, and two sightings on the Paradise Ridge Trail.
Kings Canyon District
Grant Grove
June 26— Rangers contacted a man for speeding who identified himself as a “citizen of the world” when asked for identification. He presented “sovereign citizen” characteristics and was adept at refusing to provide basic information and escalating the contact to the last possible moment before a physical arrest was necessary. He was charged with several mandatory appearance violations, including speeding, interference, and driving without a license (suspended with service needed). A licensed passenger was allowed to drive him from the scene. The officers on scene did an excellent job of managing the incident.
June 28— A bull cow was reported on the Generals Highway. Using a rolling closure, the cow was escorted south and down Redwood Canyon over a 90-minute period of time. Eventually the owner’s contact information was located and the cow was reportedly retrieved within a few days.
July 1— Rangers responded to a vehicle off the roadway.
July 3— Rangers responded to a non-injury motorcycle accident outside the park.
July 4— The community of Wilsonia held its annual Fourth of July Parade. It was well attended by visitors and residents.
July 5— Grant Grove rangers assisted with a carry-out from Lewis Creek for a female with a lower leg injury.
July 8— Grant Grove rangers and Ambulance 5 responded to Dorst Creek Campground to assist Lodgepole with a motor vehicle accident.
Sierra Crest
June 27— A ranger responded to a report of an unconscious person in Sunset Campground.
Cedar Grove
—Numerous violation notices were issued for campground violations.
Large numbers of visitors (300-400) are dispersed camping between the Kings Canyon park boundary and Grizzly Falls in Sequoia National Forest. The Deer Cove trailhead was filled to capacity with an estimated 100 to 150 persons. These crowds are contributing to parking and overuse problems.
July 5— A litter carry-out on the Lewis Creek trail was conducted for a CC crew member with a closed ankle injury.
Wilderness Branch:
Office staff returned 142 phone messages and 143 email messages and processed 348 applications for permits during the week leading up to the July 4th holiday.
Fire Management Branch:
—Fire danger: Very High.
—Staff have been doing campfire patrols in foothills campgrounds. More than a half-dozen illegal campfires were extinguished.