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(LA TIMES) Eager crowds are flattening Southern California’s vibrant ‘super bloom’

EXCERPT: Initially, state and local park managers viewed the spike in visitor traffic as a boon. Now, however, some are finding it a nightmare as they struggle to preserve the ephemeral blooms amid growing crowds.

At Diamond Valley Lake in Riverside County, park officials were forced to close a section of the mile-long wildflower trail because visitors were marching off the path to snap photos.

“We had literally thousands of people a day coming out to visit in a couple weeks. We’ve never seen it this busy,” said Wendy Picht, a senior environmental specialist with the Metropolitan Water District, which manages Diamond Valley Lake in Riverside County. “But at the same time, it was a little bit too much.”

The trail, opened Feb. 24, drew a trickle of visitors at first. But that rapidly grew as word spread of what this year’s historic rainfall had wrought. By March 29, operators ordered the trail closed because of wildflower losses.




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