Woman Who Protested Banning BASE Jumping at National Parks Dies When Her Parachute Fails To Open

In 1965, a law was passed that banned “aerial delivery of people or goods into the park.” Violators were fined $2,000 and their gear was confiscated. In October 1999, five people climbed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park to commit an act of civil disobedience: parachuting off the 3,000-foot-high granite cliff. Jan Davis jumped fourth. Then, just 10 seconds into the jump, her parachute failed to release. Davis hit the base of the cliff, dying on impact. Consequently, the park’s willingness to consider legalizing BASE jumping ended. Jumpers today argue that BASE jumping is a “leave-no-trace” sport that has little impact on the environment. Nevertheless, parks cite the danger of BASE jumping and today there remain no national parks that permit it.