Yosemite National Park is seeing summer-sized numbers of visitors, even on winter occasions like this past week-end's Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. The lack of snowfall has opened up much of the park to activities usually available only other seasons.
Yosemite Park Ranger Kari Cobb says visitors can explore more of the park than what would usually be open at this time of year.
But there are downsides. Mild temperatures and lack of snow mean many bears have skipped hibernation and are foraging for food and that can bring them into contact with people.
Cobb says Yosemite Falls, one of the park's favorite attractions, could go dry by June if there is no more rain or snow.
Last year, California saw everything from intense drought to torrential rain. Researchers and water agencies say that the future of the state’s drought depends on adapting to these shifts.
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
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