Ongoing vandalism investigations, possible new "national parks," and 3 million visitors to Yellowstone National Park are among the stories floating about the National Park System.
Creepytings Investigation Slogs On
The ongoing investigation into the alleged artist/vandal who called herself "creepytings" is ... ongoing. National Park Service officials last week said there still is no outcome into the investigation tied to acrylic paintings on rock outcrops at Western national parks.
While the woman at the center of the investigation -- Casey Nocket -- went by "creepytings" on her social media accounts that displayed some of the images and reportedly has been interviewed by investigators, charges have yet to be brought.
National Park Service investigators confirmed that images were painted on rocks and boulders in Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park, and Joshua Tree National Park, all in California; Rocky Mountain National Park and Colorado National Monument, both in Colorado; Crater Lake National Park, in Oregon; Zion National Park and Canyonlands National Park, both in Utah.
Park Service spokeswoman April Slayton could not say what was holding up the case.
Dinosaur National ... Park?
Down through the decades there have been rumblings from various individuals and organizations that Dinosaur National Monument in northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado should be redesignated a "national park." Well, that name change might not be too far off.
Two Republican congressmen from Utah, Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, have been working for months on a rather large conservation deal for eastern Utah. News reports say that one aspect of the deal would have the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in Emery County designated as a national monument, while another would rename Dinosaur as a national park.
At Cleveland-Lloyd, located about 150 miles south of Salt Lake City, you can find "the densest concentration of Jurassic-aged dinosaur bones ever found. The deposit is also the largest collection of a large meat-eating dinosaur (allosaurus fragilis) ever found."
Yellowstone National Park Reaches 3 Million Visitors
Yellowstone has welcomed more than 3 million visitors so far this year...leaving park officials wondering how they can both improve visitor experiences and protect the park resources at the same time.
Through August, the park had counted 3.1 million visitors, and with four months left to go in 2015, a visitation record for the entire year could be notched. That visitation to date is a 15 percent increase over 2014 traffic numbers.
“We have been surprised by the size of the increase this year,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk. “We will be looking at what this means for the future and what we can do to improve visitor experiences while still protecting park resources.”
While many factors are at play, park managers point to the National Park Service’s “Find Your Park” public awareness campaign, lower gas prices, and tourism promotions by the states of Montana and Wyoming as possible influences in the record number of visits to Yellowstone.