A Sacred Site in Wyoming
Long before climbers, hikers, and geology lovers started visiting Devils Tower National Monument (September/October 2011), Lakota, Cheyenne, and other tribes regarded the monolith as a sacred site. Every June, American Indians hold traditional prayer ceremonies at the rock, and the National Park Service asks the public to refrain from climbing.
Linda J. Pulliam
For You, Fossil Fanatics
You should have included more about the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in your article about Fossil, Ore., (September/October 2011). It’s home to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, which features a collection of 47,000 fossils; interactive exhibits with touch tables and simulations; and a state-of-the-art laboratory where scientists study the area’s plant and animal fossils spanning 50 million years.
Another Bird-watching Spot on the Pacific Flyway
You didn’t mention Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, nearly 70 miles north of Sacramento on Highway 20, in Adventures on the Pacific Flyway (September/October 2011). December through January is the prime viewing of ducks and geese. In winter you can also spot snow geese and Ross’ geese passing through on their trip south from the Artic tundra.
Seat Belts on School Buses in California
As a chairperson for the California Association of School Transportation Officials (CASTO), I was interested in your September/October 2011 article Why aren’t there seat belts on buses? California has required three-point seat belts on all new school buses, regardless of size or weight, since the mid-2000s. Although older school buses aren’t required to be retrofitted, they’re considered one of the safest vehicles on the road because of the design and construction of the bus, as well as the rigorous training and certification that California school bus drivers must complete.
Santa Rosa, Calif.
This article was first published in November 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.