Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

People LOVE Joshua Tree but park officials are struggling to deal with its 2 million-plus visitors

by Emily Guerin and A Martínez | Take Two

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File: View of a Joshua tree in the 1,234-square-mile Joshua Tree National Park, April 7, 2008. Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Tree National Park has always been a popular spot for campers, hikers, rock climbers and folks who just want to get away to the desert, but park officials say its popularity has become too much of a good thing.

In 2016, 2.5 million people visited the park — twice as many as two years before.

And sure, it's good to know folks are enjoying the great outdoors a little more, but the staff there says they just don't have enough resources to handle the crush. 

KPCC environment reporter Emily Guerin spoke to A Martinez about some of the solutions park officials have been experimenting with to juggle the increased traffic and make sure Joshua Tree's delicate ecosystem is protected. 

Click on the blue player above to listen to the entire interview 

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