Howard Berkes http://wmuk.org en National Parks Close As Other Public Lands Stay Open http://wmuk.org/post/national-parks-close-other-public-lands-stay-open From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads.<p>The last remaining campers and hotel guests in the parks must leave Thursday, and park rangers will patrol to keep others out.<p>The national parks "belong to the American people, and the American people should have the right to come in," says National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. Thu, 03 Oct 2013 08:14:00 +0000 Howard Berkes 9218 at http://wmuk.org National Parks Close As Other Public Lands Stay Open Booting Up: New NSA Data Farm Takes Root In Utah http://wmuk.org/post/booting-new-nsa-data-farm-takes-root-utah The National Security Agency won't say exactly when it will fully rev up its <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/06/10/190160772/amid-data-controversy-nsa-builds-its-biggest-data-farm" target="_blank">newest and biggest data farm</a> in the Salt Lake City suburb of Bluffdale, Utah. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 21:54:00 +0000 Howard Berkes 8943 at http://wmuk.org Booting Up: New NSA Data Farm Takes Root In Utah Wildfire Season So Far: Tragic, Destructive And Below Average http://wmuk.org/post/wildfire-season-so-far-tragic-destructive-and-below-average It may seem like wildfire Armageddon out there, given the tragic deaths of 24 wildland firefighters this year, more than 800 homes and businesses burned to the ground, nearly 1.6 million acres scorched and over 23,000 blazes requiring suppression.<p>But as dramatic as it's been, the 2013 wildfire season has yet to kick into high gear.<p>"We have seen, overall, less fire activity so far this year," says Randy Eardley, a spokesman at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.<p>In fact, the number of fires and the amount of acreage burned are each down about 40 percent from the 10-yea Wed, 03 Jul 2013 00:23:00 +0000 Howard Berkes 6698 at http://wmuk.org Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm http://wmuk.org/post/amid-data-controversy-nsa-builds-its-biggest-data-farm As privacy advocates and security experts debate the validity of the National Security Agency's massive data gathering operations, the agency is putting the finishing touches on its biggest data farm yet.<p>The gargantuan $1.2 billion complex at a National Guard base 26 miles south of Salt Lake City features 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. Mon, 10 Jun 2013 06:58:00 +0000 Howard Berkes 5950 at http://wmuk.org Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm Salt, Flies, Pickled Tongues: A Perfect Great Salt Lake Swim http://wmuk.org/post/salt-flies-pickled-tongues-perfect-great-salt-lake-swim It's the "liquid lie of the desert," as <a href="http://www.coyoteclan.com/books/refuge.html">writer Terry Tempest Williams describes it</a>, a vast inland sea so salty it triggers retching when swallowed. <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1044732">Brine shrimp</a> swarm its waters and brine flies blanket the shore. In the right wind and weather its putrid smell reaches Salt Lake City neighborhoods 16 miles away. Fri, 07 Jun 2013 20:02:00 +0000 Howard Berkes 5904 at http://wmuk.org Salt, Flies, Pickled Tongues: A Perfect Great Salt Lake Swim