Mojave Desert

19 Stories

Couple Dies Hours Into Hike Amid 113-Degree Heat

Kathie Barber, Gen Miake found dead in Mojave Desert

(Newser) - At 11am Saturday, they began hiking in California's Mojave Desert. By about 1:30pm, they were out of water and Kathie Barber's 60-year-old husband was missing. The 113-degree heat spared neither of them: Barber, 58, and Gen Miake were found near Amboy Crater and pronounced dead at the... More »

We're Spending $50M to Resettle 1K Desert Tortoises

So the Marines can expand Calif. training grounds

(Newser) - The mission: to airlift 1,156 desert tortoises to a place where there's no threat of being flattened by tanks. The Marines are this month moving the reptiles out of a corner of California's Mojave Desert where the Corps will soon begin extensive live-fire training, the Los Angeles ... More »

Missing 5 Days, Woman Pulled From Hummer in Mojave

Many questions remain about her disappearance

(Newser) - A woman who'd been reported missing five days earlier was found alive Saturday, trapped inside a Hummer that had crashed in the Mojave Desert. San Bernadino County Fire reports on Facebook that search and rescue teams had to use off-road vehicles to reach the SUV, which had rolled down... More »

$50M Plan to Save Tortoises May Do the Opposite

Critics fear it'll put threatened animals at further risk

(Newser) - Desert tortoises are considered a threatened species across the Southwest, where they're battling drought, climate change, habitat loss, and predators. Now, environmentalists fear a Mojave Desert population will be eradicated entirely by a plan that's apparently meant to save them, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Marine Corps'... More »

Obama Grants Protection to 1.8M Acres of California Desert

He's now protected more land and water than any other president

(Newser) - A huge swath of breathtaking California desert just got federal protection courtesy of President Obama. The Los Angeles Times reports Obama named three new national monuments—Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains—Thursday using a 1906 law letting presidents create such monuments to protect "objects of historic... More »

Withering in Relentless Drought: the Joshua Tree

Drier than usual conditions in desert mean seedlings aren't taking root

(Newser) - The latest casualty in California's ongoing and massive drought comes from a rather arid place to begin with: The iconic Joshua tree, which grows only in the Mojave desert, is in trouble, reports the Los Angeles Times . "For Joshua trees, hotter, drier conditions are a problem—but a... More »

Why Birds Are Igniting in Midair Over California

Cleaner energy sometimes comes at a cost

(Newser) - A cutting-edge solar technology in California's Mojave Desert may have a bit too much cut. Wildlife officials say they've counted one bird being scorched to death every two minutes by intensely focused rays of light at the BrightSource Energy plant, considered the largest solar thermal power plant of... More »

Calif. Dog Fetches ... Human Foot

Beagle presents owner with body part found in desert

(Newser) - Lucky the beagle brought home something that horrified his owner but may be a lucky break for homicide detectives. The pooch brought a human foot and attached leg bone back to his mistress in southern California's Newberry Springs. She called police, who found more body parts along a stretch... More »

Giant Solar Plant in Mojave Could Flip Airplanes

Mammoth Ivanpah plant gives rise to many safety concerns

(Newser) - The largest solar energy plant in the world could bring a surprising array of dangers to the Mojave Desert when constructed is completed, reports the LA Times . First off, it's huge: 170,000 large mirrors will be installed at the Ivanpah plant, heating water in three 45-story towers to... More »

Tribes Challenge Mojave Solar Plants

Native Americans fear for wildlife, sacred sites

(Newser) - Sure, solar energy plants are aimed at helping the environment—but planned sites in the Mojave Desert area could do more harm than good, Native American groups argue. That's because making way for the plants would damage the habitats of the horny toad and desert tortoise, Alfredo Figueroa, a... More »

Artist Wants to Bury Jet in Mojave

Visitors will pass through underground tunnel in 'Terminal'

(Newser) - Swiss artist Christoph Buchel has applied for a permit for a truly big, truly strange art exhibit: He wants to bury a 727 in the Mojave Desert, allowing guests to visit it through an underground tunnel. The piece will be called "Terminal," and the group Buchel organized for... More »

Calif. Race Truck Hits Crowd, Kills 8

Driver unhurt, chased from scene by mob

(Newser) - An off-road truck plowed into a crowd and scattered "bodies everywhere" moments after sailing off a jump at a California race yesterday, killing eight people and leaving 12 injured, authorities and witnesses said. " There were just bodies everywhere," he said. "One woman with a major head... More »

Take That, Supreme Court: Mojave Desert Cross Stolen

Theft follows Court ruling that cross can stay put

(Newser) - Somebody unhappy with the high court appears to have taken the law into their own hands by making off with the controversial 7-foot-tall cross that the Court recently ruled could remain on display in the Mojave Desert. The cross, a memorial to soldiers who died in World War I, vanished... More »

Space Plane Takes First Test Flight

Mothership and spaceship flew for 3 hours in 'captive carry' test

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo took to the skies for the first time yesterday over the Mojave Desert, an important step toward passenger flights in space in 2011. “This is a momentous day,” says Burt Rutan, who built the craft and its mothership for Richard Branson’s company. The... More »

Army Seeks New Home for Desert Tortoises

(Newser) - The Army plans to evict more than 1,000 endangered desert tortoises to expand a tank training ground in the Mojave Desert, the Los Angeles Times reports. Conservationists warn that the last effort to shift the tortoises proved disastrous: Many were wiped out by predators, and others traveled up... More »

Air Force Pilot Killed in Mojave Desert Crash

Crewman injured after jet crashes during training mission

(Newser) - A military pilot was killed when his jet crashed in the Mojave Desert north of California's Edwards Air Force Base yesterday, the AP reports. Military officials said the T-38 Talon was on a training flight. The navigator ejected and is in stable condition in hospital. The crash, still under investigation,... More »

Fighter Jet Down in Calif. Desert

(Newser) - An Air Force F-22 fighter jet has crashed in the California desert near Edwards Air Force Base, the Los Angeles Times reports. The $140 million aircraft was on a training mission when it crashed this morning, and the fate of the pilot is unknown. The F-22, a supersonic stealth jet,... More »

3 Dead in Space Center Blast

(Newser) - A third person has died from injuries suffered in an explosion at a Mojave Desert airport where part of billionaire Richard Branson's private space program is being developed, AP reports. The blast occurred during testing of a nitrous oxide propellant system for a space tourism vehicle. Three people were hospitalized,... More »

Atlantis Hitches Ride to Florida

Shuttle leaves California for home, mounted on a 747

(Newser) - The space shuttle Atlantis set off to return to Florida from its emergency landing site in California today—strapped to a jumbo jet. The Boeing 747 carrying Atlantis departed from the Mojave Desert Air Base and will stop to refuel along its trip at undisclosed locations. It's expected to arrive... More »

19 Stories