GROVELAND, Calif. (AP) — As a wildfire rages along the remote northwest edge of Yosemite National Park, officials cleared brush and set sprinklers to protect two groves of giant sequoias.
The iconic trees can resist fire, but dry conditions and heavy brush are forcing park officials to take extra precautions in the Tuolumne and Merced groves. About three dozen of the giant trees are affected.
“All of the plants and trees in Yosemite are important, but the giant sequoias are incredibly important both for what they are and as symbols of the National Park System,” said spokesman Scott Gediman.
The trees grow naturally only on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and are among the largest and oldest living things on earth.
Bylaw changes after marriage ruling
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Worried they could be sued by gay couples, some churches are changing their bylaws to reflect their view that the Bible allows only marriage between one man and one woman.
Although there have been lawsuits against wedding industry businesses that refuse to serve gay couples, attorneys promoting the bylaw changes say they don’t know of any lawsuits against churches.
Critics say the changes are unnecessary, but some churches fear that it’s only a matter of time before one of them is sued.
“I thought marriage was always between one man and one woman, but the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said no,” said Gregory S. Erwin, an attorney for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, an association of Southern Baptist churches and one of several groups advising churches to change their bylaws. “I think it’s better to be prepared because the law is changing. America is changing.”