Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Tree Falls in the Forest

Sadly, sometimes a tree falling in a forest raises more than philosophical questions. Earlier this week in Yellowstone National Park, a dead tree, remnant of the 1988 fires that burned more than a third of the park, fell in the Midway Geyser Basin area.
An international visitor to Yellowstone National Park died Monday afternoon after being struck by a falling tree.
The 36-year old man was from Taiwan, the Republic of China. He was part of a group that was hiking the Fairy Falls trail, which is north of the Old Faithful area and west of the Grand Loop Road.
The man left the trail and ascended a nearby tree-covered slope in an apparent attempt to get a better view of Grand Prismatic Spring, when a lodgepole pine tree fell and struck him in the head.
Other visitors who witnessed the incident made their way back to the trailhead, where they encountered two park maintenance employees working in the area, who relayed the information to Yellowstone law enforcement rangers.
Dead trees amid new growth in Yellowstone, residue of the 1988 fires.
The victim was moved by rangers to the trailhead to await helicopter transport to a medical facility, but after attempts to revive him failed, he was declared dead at the scene.
Yellowstone rangers who responded reported windy weather conditions in the area at the time, and that the fallen tree had been a standing, dead lodgepole, fire-killed during the park’s 1988 fires.
This is a very tragic result. People, if you are out in the woods and hear lumber cracking, look up and around. If you see a trunk or branch falling your way, jump as clear as you can. Be careful out there.

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