Sierra Nevada

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Snowplow Driver Finds 2 Murder Victims

Bodies were found on remote California highway

(Newser) - On Monday, the sheriff's department in Mono County, California, said a remote stretch of US 395 in the eastern Sierra Nevada was closed due to an "accident." They later admitted it was a double murder uncovered in an atypical way. Authorities say a CalTrans snowplow driver spotted... More »

Big Lead in Mystery of Skeleton Found Near Summit

Giichi Matsumura's body was found, buried in the area in 1945

(Newser) - Authorities may be close to solving the " huge mystery " of a full human skeleton found buried under rocks on California's second-tallest mountain. NBC Los Angeles reports the Inyo County Sheriff's Office will attempt to identify the body using DNA from a relative of a Japanese American... More »

'Great Tragedy' in the Sierra Nevada

Snowmobiler finds plane with bodies of couple missing more than a month

(Newser) - Authorities have discovered the wreckage of a small plane buried in snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California and the bodies of a couple missing for more than a month inside it. Sierra County sheriff's officials say a snowmobiler found a piece of the plane's tail... More »

Scientists Solve Sequoia Mystery

Dust from Gobi desert helps them grow: study

(Newser) - The sequoia trees of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range are obvious marvels. But according to new research , an unlikely and far-off source deserves a significant portion of the credit for allowing them to stand tall. The mineral that helps trees grow, phosphorus, is actually found in short supply in... More »

Calif. Storm Could Be Biggest in a Decade

Pioneer Cabin tree is among the casualties

(Newser) - Hundreds of homes were evacuated in northern Nevada and stranded motorists were pulled from cars stuck on flooded Northern California roads Sunday as thunderstorms arrived as part of a massive winter storm that could be the biggest to slam the region in more than a decade. Crews in California cleared... More »

Mountains Reveal Worst Water News in 500 Years

Study says the snowmelt has hit a dismal low

(Newser) - As if California doesn't have enough water problems . Now scientists say the Sierra Nevada snowpack—which gives the state nearly a third of its surface water—is at a shocking 500-year low, the Guardian reports. That means California, now in its fourth year of drought, can't rely as... More »

California Gets First-Ever Rules to Limit Water Use

Jerry Brown issues mandatory order amid historic drought

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown made history today, but not in a way he's happy about: He ordered the state's first-ever mandatory water restrictions amid a brutal drought, reports CBS Local . A slew of new rules will aim to curb water use by 25% over nine months. "It'... More »

Hungry Bears Get Desperate in Sierra Nevada

9 captured in 2 days

(Newser) - If you live near the Sierra Nevada, your chance of running into a bear has apparently spiked: Nine have been captured in the area over the last two days, while another was killed by a car. In the fall months, bears can eat up to 25,000 calories a day—... More »

Hiker Survives on Bugs After Harrowing Leg Break

Gregg Hein: Break was so bad bone protruded more than an inch out of leg

(Newser) - Hiking alone has its disadvantages, and experienced climber, rafter, and trail runner Gregg Hein got up close and personal with most of them earlier this month. Two days into a solo hike in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks near Fresno, Calif., his footing set loose a boulder that... More »

Taxes to Eat Half of Couple's $10M Gold Find

Calif. find will be taxed at the highest rate

(Newser) - The $10 million stash of gold coins a couple in California found while walking their dog is a big bonanza for Uncle Sam, tax experts say. Most of the money they make from selling the coins will be taxed at the highest level, meaning state and federal taxes will eat... More »

Couple Finds $10M in Gold Coins on Dog Walk

The 1800s coins were buried on their property in northern California

(Newser) - That was some dog walk. A couple in California's Sierra Nevada region out for a stroll on their own property unearthed an estimated $10 million in US gold coins from the 1800s, reports the San Francisco Chronicle . It's thought to be the most valuable such hoard ever found... More »

NASA: We'll Launch Astronauts in 5 Years

Three commercial companies will build new crafts

(Newser) - NASA is gearing up to again launch humans into space ... within five years. The agency retired its fleet of shuttles last summer, and this morning it announced a deal worth about $1 billion with three American companies to design and construct the next generation of rocket ships to take off... More »

Turbulence Blamed for Fossett Crash

Plane didn't malfunction, NTSB investigators conclude

(Newser) - Investigators have determined that the crash that killed Steve Fossett was most likely caused by sudden turbulence, the BBC reports. An NTSB probe concluded that there was no malfunction with the adventurer's plane, and that an "inadvertent encounter with downdrafts" caused him to lose control of his aircraft in... More »

Warming Will Wipe Out Calif. Agriculture: Energy Sec.

Top US producer faces disaster without swift action on climate change

(Newser) - Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees dire effects of global warming, particularly on his home state of California, he tells the Los Angeles Times. Some 90% of the snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, a vital storehouse for water used in farming and cultivation, could disappear, he said. “We’re... More »

Calif. Faces Worst Drought Ever

With snowpack well below normal, state likely to face water rationing, higher food prices

(Newser) - With winter precipitation lagging well below normal, California officials say residents should prepare for the state’s worst drought on record, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada—the state’s main water supply—is at just 61% of normal after an unusually sunny and dry... More »

Fossett Died in Crash: Calif. DNA Report

Widow hopes this 'puts a definitive end' to speculation

(Newser) - California officials today identified two large bones found near a Sierra Nevada crash site as Steve Fossett's, the Fresno Bee reports. The Madera County Sheriff refused to say which of the adventurer's bones were found, to avoid hurting the family further, reports the AP. "I am hopeful that the... More »

Fossett Had 'Subconscious Death Wish'

(Newser) - Steve Fossett took his last, fatal flight into the Sierra Nevada mountains last year because he unconsciously wanted to die, a friend of his said yesterday. Will Hasley, who helped Fossett write a memoir 2 years ago, believes the aviation pioneer was guilt-ridden over marital and financial problems before the... More »

Hiker Brings 'Closure' for Fossett Widow

Calif. man fields thanks from Branson before fleeing spotlight

(Newser) - The widow of adventurer Steve Fossett, whose wrecked plane was found this week in the Sierra Nevada mountains, reached out personally yesterday to the hiker who played the key role in the discovery, the LA Times reports. Peggy Fossett thanked outdoorsman and sporting-goods salesman Preston Morrow for the chance to... More »

Searchers Find Human Remains in Fossett Plane

Authorities hope to identify missing millionaire adventurer

(Newser) - Searchers have found human remains in the wreckage of missing adventurer Steve Fossett's plane, Reuters reports. No official confirmation has come yet, but the find is all but sure to end the mystery of Fossett's disappearance more than a year ago on a solo flight from Nevada. His plane, along... More »

One-Man Beer Outfits Take Brewing Micro Indeed

Super-small operations cater to niches in US niche markets

(Newser) - Some so-called “microbreweries” have grown much too large to use that sobriquet, but as certain outfits outgrow the label, others are just growing into it. Portfolio's Lew Bryson introduces the future of beer: one-man brewing. In a market where once-boutique names like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada now command... More »

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