Laser light show on Lily Rock

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby Wildhorse » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:59 pm

Ed, that is an interesting point. If the show takes place, and if the USFS does not take sufficient action to stop it, anyone harmed would surely have a claim against the USFS as well as the people who conduct the show.

As far as the environmental impact and the wilderness act, if this illegal act occurs only once, the repercussions may be minor. On the other hand, this could be a spark that ignites political and legal action to stop such things from happening. An issue that may be related is flying drones in wilderness. Technological changes since the wilderness act was enacted pose new threats to wilderness. Some of us will fight for the land.
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Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby Ulysses » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:36 pm

Looks like the laser show is on. I was in the Forest Service office in Idyllwild this morning and inquired about the show. The staff guy working the desk told me that there is nothing they can do about it. He also said the lights are being projected from a County Road and the guys putting on the show have the necessary permits. Essentially they are just projecting lights into the sky that will coincidently shine onto Lily Rock.
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Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby Florian » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:09 pm

I'm ambivalent regarding the light show. I doubt any harm will come from it. If the rock is "sacred" then climbing should not be allowed.

I'll be working the Tahquitz Peak fire lookout on the Fourth if anyone wants to stop by for a visit but i'll be off the mtn before the light show starts.

-Florian
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Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby Wildhorse » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:40 pm

Hi Ulysses, I think that the staff person mispoke.

USFS has not and would not permit such an unlawful act. If the laser people asked for permission, it would be denied. Even if the laser people have some kind of FAA permission for a laser show, that permit would not allow the laser people to violate the wilderness act or any other law.

Similarly, permission to own, carry and shoot a gun is not permission to violate laws using the gun.

I think the most the FAA has done is to acknowledge or approve a notification form for an intent to do a laser show. Approval of that form is not a blanket approval or authorization for a laser show. It applies only to aircraft safety, not to public or environmental safety or to legality in any other sense.
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Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby zippetydude » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:49 pm

Two questions:

1) For those strongly opposed, I respect your opinion(s) but don't quite understand why you feel that way. What is it that makes you feel like this is definitely a bad thing?

2) For those who have struggled with photography of things like Lily Rock at a distance, you will understand that the field of view that Lily Rock actually occupies at a distance as when seen from Idyllwild will be minuscule. How are they going to project anything discernible onto the face, however large it might be, when it actually looks rather tiny at that distance? It seems like it will be rather like watching a movie on an Apple watch. The picture will be there, but my guess is that it will be so small that it will be rather comical rather than majestic...

z
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Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:34 am

Hi Zip,
1. Roderick Nash explains the reasons and their deep roots in Wilderness & The American Mind. Max Oelschlager goes deeper yet into the question in The Idea of Wilderness. Aldo Leopold gives us his personal account in A Sand County Almanac. These are three highly regarded books that directly answer the question.

For me, in a sentence, I would say the reasons are love for and identification with the land and its life.

2. I hope your assessment of the low impact is right.
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Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby Ed » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:14 am

I'm sure the USFS could stop the light show, if it wanted to. People cannot illuminate your house on your property with a laser from a county road if you object.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. It does make me feel uneasy. It is not the Wilderness Act that bothers me, I tend to think that it is interpreted too strictly. For example, I would not mind trail maintenance people being allowed to use power saws, or portable toilets on the Whitney Trail, or log bridges at some stream crossings. My problem is that I do not trust event promoters to anticipate and take care of all the problems that could occur. It is not quite the same setting as light shows at pyramids in Egypt and Mexico. And then there will the traffic coming down 243 and 74 late at night, with some drivers not familiar with mountain driving or/and under the influence. I would be surprised if there were no accidents.

I remember when Idyllwild was a very quiet place, with almost a deserted look and feel on summer week days. Now it is a destination, like Solvang or Julian. Even on weekdays I now have to hunt around for a parking place. Sigh!
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Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby Ulysses » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:38 am

The laser show went on as scheduled. I wasn't particularly interested but went up to a spot where I could see Lily Rock. I was across the valley and too far away to see much of the detail. Someone I talked to who saw it up close said they were impressed, others not so much.
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Re: Laser light show on Lily Rock

Postby Wildhorse » Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:05 pm

Ulysses, I feel somewhat relieved by your report that the show was not impressive to all. That may make repeat performances less likely.

Did anyone else see the show? Did anyone hear others talking about it?
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