Instagram Influencers Have Caused The California Poppy Fields To Shut Down

by Stephanie Maida · March 18, 2019

    This month, the hillsides of Lake Elsinore, California have experienced a "superbloom" of poppies, causing, as one might imagine in the year 2019, a superbloom of Instagrammers looking to get the perfect shot among the orange wildflowers.

    After tens of thousands of camera-toting tourists descended upon the fields near Walker Canyon, city officials were forced to close the area off to the public, citing safety concerns as well as ecological ones - going off trail and trampling the flowers can cause serious damage to the soil and maybe even prevent this lovely natural phenomenon from happening again.

    Influencers have faced criticism for their dreamy snaps, but some of them were quick to fire back and explain that areas had been roped off specifically for frolicking and photographing:"... stroke="none" stroke-width="1" fill="none" fill-rule="evenodd">
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    To dream a beautiful dream. **PLEASE READ THIS WHOLE CAPTION** PSA TIME...Let’s TALK!! There is an article published by LA Times last week regarding mass of visitors flocking to the #PoppyField in Lake Elsinore and as a result disrupting the nature and destroying the flowers by stomping on the flowers or plucking them out for the sake of photos. It called out several influencers and blaming them as the bad influence for encouraging the public to act as such. My IG posts have also received attacking comments of how I should “stay the F off the flowers” and that we are bad influencers by taking these photos in the flower field encouraging the public to do the same. While I completely agree with some of the things mentioned in that article about how people should stay on the trail, not letting their kids and pets trample and pluck the flowers and such, the @latimes failed to mention that the State Park actually roped off and sacrificed a small patch of poppy at the entrance so that visitors can take photos amongst these flowers and also allowed to sit and lie in them as well. When I shot these poppies it was done within the enclosed area (Swipe to see the pink barrier in back of me in second photo and our behind the scenes IG story). We also used a lot of post production PS to add in the flowers even though I am lying on a patch of dirt to create an illustration that I’m in an abundance of flower field. @munopia and I were trying to be extra careful to NOT touch any of the flowers at all. As an “influencer”, my intention is not to mislead the public but to guide and educate. That is why I do the Behind The Shoot as an example and also pass on some Flower Field Etiquette to those still planning to visit the #superbloom 1. STAY ON THE TRAIL 2. Use the sacrifice area for photos3 3. Please use good judgement and be respectful when you visit anything in nature Thanks for reading and you can shop this ethically photographed dress on app #liketkit #poshmomtravels #bysheree
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    But if you haven't yet had the chance to experience the fields firsthand, worry not. Just one day after shutting things down, the city announced that the area will be reopened, though crowd-control measures and limited parking rules will be in place. Just don't go off-trail, people!

    [Photo via @firoozehadli