Around The Parks: Drug Busts In Utah, Body Found At Glacier National Park, National Mall Photo Contest

A look at news from around the National Park System finds drug busts in Utah, another hiker death at Glacier National Park, and a photo contest for the National Mall.

Utah Leads Nation In Public Lands Drug Busts

Planning to visit a national park in Utah? Leave your illicit drugs at home. According to data collected by the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah led the nation in 2012 and 2011 in drug busts on public lands.

Most of those busts, the newspaper reported, were from national park lands in the state.

"Frankly, this is just a waste of resources," St. George (Utah) attorney Aric Cramer Cramer told the newspaper. "There are so many things park rangers could be doing, like helping people rather than crawling around on their bellies with night-vision goggles to catch people who are puffing on a joint — especially now when we are in a sequester, where federal budgets are rather thin."

But the U.S. Attorney for Utah told the newspaper that the numbers shouldn't be surprising in light of the fact that much of Utah is composed of public lands and many people turn to those lands for recreation.

Man's Body Found Below The Loop At Glacier National Park

For the second time this month a visitor to Glacier National Park has apparently died in a fall.

Park officials say the body of 25-year old Cody Lee Johnson of Kalispell, Montana, was found Friday morning below The Loop area of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The man had been reported missing last Monday when he didn't show up at work.

Due to the steep and rocky terrain, a helicopter and specialized short-haul rescue team from Parks Canada assisted with the recovery of the body. The Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed temporarily to facilitate the situation. Kalispell City Police Department, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted with the search and recovery operations.

The body was transported to a local funeral home and an autopsy will be conducted.

On July 9, a concessions employee on a day off was killed when he fell about 1,000 feet while climbing Apikuni Mountain with colleagues. And in late June a Washington state man apparently fell to his death while hiking along the Highline Trail.

Enter A Photo Contest For The National Mall

Every year, more than 25 million visitors take in the national monuments and historic memorials that make up the National Mall and Memorial Parks in the heart of Washington, D.C. This summer, the Trust for the National Mall, the official non-profit partner, is calling on all photographers – amateur and professional – to submit their best shot of the Mall.

As the summer brings millions of tourists into the city, the Trust is looking for creative and unique photos of the National Mall to feature as their “Facebook Cover Photo.” Each week, the Trust will update its cover photo with the top shot as voted on by the Trust’s Facebook fans. At the end of the summer, the top voted photo will be featured in a Trust for the National Mall Washingtonian ad.

You can find contest rules, and upload your entries, at this page.

Comments

Re:Utah Drug Bust

It's estimated there are 22 million visitors to Utah each year, according to the Desert News, and they spend billions of dollars. The less than 200 arrests from 22 million visitors is so small there can be no way to justify the expense of this number of arrests.

So you couldn't, like, ya know, separate the stories of death and drugs from the photo contest? ;-)