Tag Archives: joshua tree national park

3 MOTORCYCLE PURSUITS WITH 3 ARRESTS IN 5 DAYS

The Morongo Basin had three motorcycle pursuits in just a week, all resulting in arrests.

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested late Monday night following a high-speed pursuit through Joshua Tree National Park. About 11:15 p.m., CHP officers spotted Ehrrich Grenzow, 30, driving a 2003 Honda 600 motorcycle eastbound on Highway 62 just east of Encelia Avenue in Twentynine Palms. Grenzow was swerving in and out of both eastbound lanes. Officers attempted a traffic stop near Split Rock Avenue and Grenzow sped off at a high rate of speed. Grenzow turned south onto Utah Trail and drove into the national park at more than 90 miles per hour. CHP officers pursued him through the park until he exited at the Joshua Tree gate. Grenzow then turned onto a dirt road, Coyote Lane, and due to his level of intoxication and speed, he drove straight through the T-intersection at Single Tree Road, over a dirt berm, and lost control of his motorcycle in the open desert. Ehrrich Grenzow was arrested for investigation of felony failure to yield and driving under the influence of drugs, booked into West Valley Detention Center, and released with no bail.

A Twentynine Palms man was arrested Friday night following a pursuit in Yucca Valley. A deputy attempted to stop a motorcycle for not having its lights on about 10:45 p.m. near Church Street and Highway 62. The motorcycle rider, Brandon Ebenal, 28, took off and broke several vehicle code violations. The pursuit was for nearly three miles before deputies were able to take Ebenal into custody. Brandon Ebenal was arrested for investigation of felony failure to yield, booked into the West Valley Detention Center, and is being held on a no-bail warrant. 

A Lake Forrest man was arrested last Thursday following a pursuit in Yucca Valley. According to the CHP, Shervin Hosselnian, 45, was driving a 2007 Honda 1000 motorcycle southbound on Old Woman Springs Road at about 85 miles per hour about 10:45 a.m. Officer Jake Griffith was driving a marked patrol unit northbound on the highway and noticed Hosselnian’s speed near Luna Vista Lane; Griffith made a U-turn and started a pursuit, Hosselnian then sped up to over 120 miles per hour. CHP Sergeant Randy O’Brien was also traveling northbound; Hosselnian spotted O’Brien and turned west onto the dirt road of Terra Vista Drive, followed by the two CHP patrol cars. Hosselnian failed to negotiate a turn and lost control of the motorcycle. Shervin Hosselnian was arrested for investigation of felony failure to yield and driving on a suspended license, booked into the Morongo Basin Jail, and released with no bail.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK HAS OPENED ROADS AND CAMPGROUNDS

Joshua Tree National Park reopened its gates to visitors yesterday (Sunday, May 17) at noon. According to a Park spokesman, while the Visitors Centers will remain closed until further notice, all roads and campgrounds are open. The national park had been closed since Saturday, March 21 when all roads and campgrounds were closed due to the spread of COVID-19. Visitors to the park are urged to continue practicing social distancing by avoiding congested trails and narrow trails where passing another hiker is risky or dangerous. While face coverings are no longer required in San Bernardino County, it is recommended that hikers carry one in the event that they cross the paths of other hikers.

Joshua Tree National Park has reopened access to:

  • Park entrances
  • Roads and parking lots
  • Trails
  • Family campsites and backcountry camping
  • Some bathroom facilities

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • Visitor centers
  • Group campsites
  • Entrance station booths are not staffed, but entrances are open

“With the lower summertime visitation numbers in mind, we have worked closely with the health offices in both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties to ensure that the type of recreation at Joshua Tree is in line with current health advisories.” – said park superintendent David Smith. “By opening the park in phases, we plan on being able to take measured steps that ensure the safety of our staff and visitors while providing increased access to our National Park. “

To keep the park open, we will need your help to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Enjoy the outdoor recreation areas around your local community.
  • Visit with members of your household only.
  • Practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet of distance between you and anyone outside of your household.
  • Avoid crowded areas.
  • Bring hand sanitizer, a mask, and other items to stay clean and safe. There are no hand sanitizing stations within the park and most of the restroom facilities do not have running water.
  • Maintain space while passing others on a trail. The loop trails in the park, like Barker Dam and Hidden Valley, will be one-way only.
  • Family campsites are open, but it is recommended that only members of the same household camp together. All 520 sites are first-come, first-served.
  • Backcountry camping is open, but park officials ask that you camp in small groups with only members from your household.

In addition to health safety, Joshua Tree officials would like to remind the public about park specific safety:

  • Drive slowly. Wildlife have become accustomed to the park without traffic and are spending more time on the road.
  • The summer temperatures in the park can be deadly. Keep your visit short, bring plenty of water and avoid the hottest parts of the day.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan on leaving.

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Joshua Tree National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.

While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders from San Bernardino County and Riverside County, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding, and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK REOPENING SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Joshua Tree National Park will be reopening its gates to visitors beginning Sunday, May 17, at noon. The national park has been closed since Saturday, March 21 when all roads and campgrounds were closed due to the spread of COVID-19. Visitors to the park are urged to continue practicing social distancing by avoiding congested trails and narrow trails where passing another hiker is risky or dangerous. While face coverings are no longer required in San Bernardino County, it is recommended that hikers carry one in the event that they cross the paths of other hikers.

THE WILDLIFE IS ENJOYING AN EMPTY JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

Joshua Tree National Park and its wildlife inhabitants are said to be enjoying the quiet easy life without the crowds and traffic. Reporter Hillary Sloane says to watch out for animals when the park reopens…

Michael Vamstad, a wildlife ecologist for Joshua Tree National Park, went into the park recently to replace radio transmitters on the desert tortoises the staff monitors.

“The flower show is amazing, especially in the Pinto Basin, and oddly quiet without any traffic noise.”

The tortoises are taking advantage of these spring flowers for food. Two baby tortoises on the main road didn’t care that they were in a usually dangerous place. Vamstad cautioned that when the Park is open for visitors, people need to be aware that wildlife may be on the road more than usual.

“After all, they probably enjoyed the break from all of those humans in their habitat.”

Tami Roleff photo

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK NIGHT SKY FESTIVAL POSTPONED

The Joshua Tree National Park Night Sky Festival, scheduled to take place at Sky’s the Limit Observatory in Twentynine Palms, on September 12, has been postponed until 2021. The organizers, Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Joshua Tree National Park council for the Arts, hope to announce a new date soon for the Night Sky Festival.

Tami Roleff photo