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Guest Columns

Op-Ed | The Importance Of Railroads In The Evolution Of National Parks

Alfred Runte, in his article Stephen Mather’s Ghost: Revisiting the Consensus for National Parks, published 6 September 2015 by National Parks Traveler, takes issue with the prevailing narrative that Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, was (mostly) responsible for the 1916 origin of the NPS. Instead, Dr. Runte attributes an important role for railroads in the origin of certain national parks and of the NPS.

Op-Ed|Don't Let Solar Project Impact Mojave National Preserve

In my career as a caretaker of America’s national parks – including years spent as the superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park – I have been honored with the duty to follow the fundamental principle of using sound science and balanced policies to guide decisions affecting these lands that are owned by all Americans.

Op-Ed| Addressing The Backlog With New Backbone: History And The National Park Service Centennial

The National Park Service reminds me of a proud old ship sailing confidently across the North Atlantic. The captain is beaming and the passengers seem contented, at least, those traveling first class on the upper decks. It’s below decks that the problems lurk. The crew is perhaps too easy going, believing the ship will always reach New York. However, the engines are old, the iron plating is thin, and the rivets are working loose.

Op-Ed| Let's Bring Grizzly Bears Back To The North Cascades

Should grizzly bears be allowed to recover their presence in the North Cascades? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service are holding a series of meetings on a Grizzly Bear Restoration Environmental Impact Statement that examines whether they should work toward grizzly bear recovery in the region. In the following opinion piece, Rob Smith, senior director of the National Parks Conservation Association's Northwest Region, speaks out in favor of the bears' recovery.

Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues

America’s National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016. During the upcoming year, it’s expected the NPS will seek public comment on how best to ensure the park system and Service reach their bicentennial. The agency should look to Africa for guidance.

Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change

Adam Markham, director of climate impacts for the Union of Concerned Scientists' Climate and Energy Program and a co-author of the report “National Landmarks at Risk," has written the following rebuttal to Dr. Daniel B. Botkin's column on climate change and his thoughts on what is, and isn't, driving it.

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