Outdoor World

Helicopter crushes flowers as crowds flock to ‘super bloom’

Park officials say many wildflower tourists have been well-behaved, but some have ignored pleas to stay on trails


In one of the most famous literary descriptions of wildflowers, the English poet William Wordsworth wrote in the early 19 th century of blithely gazing upon a host of daffodils” flit and dancing in the breeze “. In 21 st-century California, wildflowers dancing in the breeze are being trampled by helicopter.

As thousands of sightseers descend on southern California parks for a springtime” super bud”, officials reported on Wednesday that a couple in apache helicopters landed in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, crushing the delicate flowers. They proceeded to walk around, further inflicting damage. As soon as the issue is approached by law enforcement officers, they scurried back into their aircraft and zoomed away.

” We never thought it would be explicitly necessary to state that it is illegal to land apache helicopters in the midst of the fields and begin hiking off trail in the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve ,” officials wrote on Facebook, in a post that has since been removed.” We were wrong .”

Bountiful rains have paid off with fields of California poppy, lacy phacelia, wild parsley and western forget-me-nots among others. While many of the wildflower tourists are well-behaved, multitudes of selfie-takers have quickly made traffic nightmares along city streets in nearby townships, and paid no heed to the desperate pleas of park officials: #DontDoomTheBloom.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (@ PoppyReserve)

Officers are watching for people illegally entering the park through barbed-wire fencing, trampling buds. It merely takes a few to wreck the habitat for years to come. There are areas in the Reserve that haven’t retrieved from trampling in 2017. #DontDoomTheBloom #CaStateParks pic.twitter.com/ V3GcCE12ip

March 18, 2019

The helicopter jaunt was illegal, and an investigation is under way.

Jorge Moreno, a spokesman for the California state parks, told CNN that trampling the flowers can also pose a threat to future blooms.

” You can see the damage to the part of the trail where people stepped off ,” Moreno said.” People are taking selfies with the flowers or laying on the flowers and that’s where the flowers won’t grow back .”

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ us-news/ 2019/ mar/ 27/ helicopter-lands-super-bloom-california

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