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Appellate Court Says National Park Service Violated First Amendent By Requiring Permits for Free Speech

In an ironic development considering its role in tracking the nation's history and its efforts to preserve civility in national parks, the National Park Service's practice of requiring permits for public gatherings, demonstrations, or "expressions of views" has been found unconstitutional by an appellate court.
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NPS-Free Speech Ruling.pdf82.02 KB

Tracking Crime in National Parks Is Not An Exact Science By Any Means

Trying to assess the amount of crime that occurs across the National Park System seemingly is difficult at best because of inconsistent accounting and the spillover of crime from neighboring communities.
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OIG Crime Report.pdf320.8 KB
NPS&USPP LEOKA 09 by Region.pdf60.24 KB

Glacier National Park Taking Comments On Bear Management Plan Revisions

Changes to Glacier National Park's bear management plan, made in part to reflect recommendations stemming from the killing of the "Oldman Lake" grizzly sow and one of her cubs, are open for public review until May 7.
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Bear Removal BOR - Final Report 3-18-10.pdf217.08 KB

Isle Royale National Park's Wolf Population Loses Two Packs, Moose Population Steady

A decline in the moose population at Isle Royale National Park, along with inbreeding, are being blamed for the loss of two of the island's four wolf packs. Where once the island's wolf population had numbered more than 50 individuals, by the close of 2009 there were fewer than 20, researchers say.
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ISRO-2009 Wolf Report.pdf1.59 MB

Trails I've Hiked: Douglas Spring to Bridal Wreath Falls, Saguaro National Park

Douglas Spring Trail, Saguaro National Park, Kurt Repanshek photo
For a quick, relatively easy, immersion into Saguaro National Park, the Douglas Spring Trail in the Cactus Forest of the park's Rincon Mountain District is hard to beat.
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SAGU-Cactus Forest Hiking Trails.pdf262.73 KB

Nesting Season Means Some Restrictions at Cape Lookout National Seashore

Piping plovers find the beaches along Cape Lookout National Seashore to offer some great nesting opportunities. As a result, seashore officials have placed some areas off-limits during the threatened bird's nesting season, which runs through August.
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Piping Plover Factsheet.pdf436.63 KB

Sen. McCain Has Proposal For Air Tours Over Grand Canyon National Park, But is It A Good One?

During the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, Senator John McCain of Arizona was applauded by many as a friend of the national parks. However, some groups are now wondering why the senator is supporting legislation that would increase air tours over Grand Canyon National Park, an experience that offers many incredible views of the park and yet one that others criticize for the noisy intrusion on the park setting.
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McCain Overflights Amendment.pdf34.57 KB

NPCA: Independent Review Shows Wolf Population Goals Too Low in Washington State

Wolf population targets laid out in a draft management plan by Washington Department of Fish and Game officials are too low to sustain a viable population, according to some independent scientists who reviewed the proposal.
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Wash Wolf DEIS Peer Review.pdf842.36 KB

Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Loggerhead Turtle Species As Endangered

Loggerhead sea turtles, one of four turtle species that have come ashore to nest from Cape Hatteras National Seashore south to Gulf Islands National Seashore, are not doing well, population-wise. The species currently is being proposed for listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act.
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Loggerhead Turtle Proposed Listing.pdf629.87 KB

Groups Argue Against Transmission Line Proposal for Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Transmission-line corridors sprouting 200-foot-tall towers should not be permitted within the National Park System, according to a coalition of groups opposing such a corridor through Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River.
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Final Joint DEWA Powerline Scoping Comments 3.12.10.pdf144.83 KB

Is The American Pika Really On The Road To Extinction Due to Climate Change?

Less than a month after a conservation group expressed its displeasure with the Obama administration for not providing Endangered Species Act protection to the American pika due to the plight it might face due to climate change, a new study suggests the tiny mammals are more widespread than thought and seem to thrive in a temperature range greater than long thought possible.
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Millar&Westfall-pikas.pdf1.33 MB
Beever-Low-Elevation Pikas.pdf113.78 KB
Beever-Climate-Mediated Extirpations.pdf246.28 KB
Pikas-National Monuments.pdf1002.52 KB

"Poor Judgment and Performance" Acknowledged in National Park Service Investigation of Hubbell Trading Post Operations

National Park Service investigators and managers who looked into the business operations at Hubbell Traing Post National Historic Site exhibited "poor case management" and "poor judgment and performance," according to top agency officials.
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NPS-Hubbell Response.pdf36.93 KB

Republicans Pushing Interior Secretary To Release "All" Documents Related to Potential National Monuments

A group of Republicans is calling on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to release all documents and maps related to an internal study of potential national monuments in the West.
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Ltr_to_Salazar_Re_NationalMonumentDesignations_022610.pdf962.84 KB

Cape Cod National Seashore Plan to Protect Piping Plovers By Killing Some Crows Not Welcomed by All

In the world of bird hierarchy, crows are considered one of the most intelligent birds out there. And it's this intelligence that has Cape Cod National Seashore officials considering a plan to kill some of the smartest crows on the cape with hopes of bolstering populations of piping plovers, a diminutive bird that, while perhaps not as brainy as crows, could face extinction if its numbers don't increase.
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CACO Plover factsheet.pdf390.53 KB

Will The Long-Desired "Completion" Of Canyonlands National Park Ever Arrive?

View from Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park
From the lip of Grand View Point, an immense ruddy sweep of a landscape in a constant state of decay runs before your eyes. And yet, though you're in the heart of Canyonlands National Park, not all you see is within the park. And for many, that's a problem that should have been corrected long ago.
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Completing Canyonlands NPCA.pdf1.64 MB

Republicans Chafing At "Prospective" List of Western Landscapes Obama Administration Could Protect

Mindful no doubt of President Clinton's surprise creation of the 1.9-million Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument back in 1996, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee are chafing over a tentative list of Western landscapes the Obama administration is reviewing for possible protection through use of the Antiquities Act.
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Ltr_to_Obama_Re_AntiquitiesAct_021810.pdf1.48 MB

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Rangers Counted 104 Sea Turtle Nests in 2009

While the number of sea turtle nests observed on Cape Hatteras National Seashore in 2009 slightly declined from 2008, the 104 verified nests were far above the 43 counted just five years ago. Those 2009 nests also produced roughly 5,000 turtle hatchlings, according to the seashore's annual sea turtle report.
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CAHA-2009_Sea_Turtle_Report.pdf408.19 KB

Obama Administration Draws Criticism for Declining ESA Protection To Pikas

A diminutive creature that struggles with warmer temperatures brought on by climate change will not receive Endangered Species Act protection for its predicament, the Obama administration has decided in a move that brought quick condemnation from some corners.
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USFWS-Pika_Finding.pdf170.73 KB

Regulatory Landscape For Guns to Change in National Parks on February 22

Marble Hall in Sequoia National Park's Crystal Cave. NPS photo.
A controversial rule change concerning firearms in national parks takes effect February 22, a change likely to cause confusion and raise concerns over personal safety, but one also that could go largely unnoticed and give some a measure of personal security.
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Maine-Proposed_Gun_Law.pdf8.28 KB

Updated: Strong Positions Developing As Yosemite National Park Officials Again Attack Merced River Plan

El Capitan, copyright QT Luong
Climbers are expressing concern over how a renewed effort to craft a plan that controls development along the Merced River in the Yosemite Valley could impact their access to certain routes. At the same time, others are urging park officials not to turn Yosemite Valley into a "Popcorn Playground."
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Wild_Wilderness-Merced_River_Plan.pdf102.96 KB

When Is Conservation of Park Lands Prudent, and When is the Spending Wasteful?

While some House Republicans are denigrating a proposal to spend $50 million to create a national historic site in the Virgin Islands, one that would preserve a centuries-old plantation and critical natural resources, a GOP senator is asking for $75 million to be spent on land acquisition for the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Castle_Nugent-CBO_Estimates.pdf21.38 KB
NPCA-Castle_Nugent.pdf50.06 KB

Latest NPS Study of Valles Caldera Finds it Worthy of Inclusion in the National Park System

For more than a century folks have talked about creating a national park around the unique geology and beautiful landscapes of the Valles Caldera area in New Mexico. Now the latest National Park Service study on that proposal reconfirms that the caldera's landscape is suitable for inclusion and says such an acquisition would be feasibly sound.
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Valles_Caldera-NPS_feasibility_study_2009.pdf1.51 MB

21 National Park System Units Nominated For "Marine Protected Area" Status

Twenty-one units of the National Park System, including five national seashores and four national lakeshores, have been nominated for status as "Marine Protected Areas."
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Marine_Protected_Areas_Notice.pdf52.8 KB

Officials at Lassen Volcanic National Park Proposing Work for Lassen Peak Trail

The trail to the top of Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park is in need of work to improve safety, install turnouts along the 2.5-mile path, and add a new trailside toilet. Plus, the park is proposing a trail to connect the Manzanita Creek Trail to the Lassen Peak Trail.
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Lassen_Peak_Trail_EA.pdf1.74 MB

Everglades National Park Opens Two New Campsites for Backcountry Travelers in Florida Bay

If you're good with a paddle or like to tool around Florida Bay in your motorboat, here's some good news: Everglades National Park has opened two new campsites for the bay's backcountry travelers.
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EVER-WildernessTripPlanner.pdf1.9 MB

Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System

In a brief, four-paragraph memorandum, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis has brought to an end a controversial budgeting process that stripped arguably key positions from parks. Dubbed "core ops" for its approach to analyzing a park's core operations, the process failed to produce wise budgeting decisions, the director said in a letter to his regional directors.
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Jarvis-Core_Ops.pdf436.48 KB

Endangered Species Coalition Lists 10 Species Endangered By Climate Change

A small turtle from the eastern U.S. A species of trout native to Glacier and North Cascades national parks. Grizzly bears. A prairie orchard. A coral. These are among the ten plant, fish, animal, and bird species listed in a new report as being the "hottest" species imperiled by climate change.
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hottestspecies.pdf1.92 MB

Yellowstone National Park Officials Release Development Vision For Tower-Roosevelt

Tower-Roosevelt might be viewed as one of the sleepier areas of Yellowstone National Park, but it's one rich in beauty and history and, since the late 1990s, has become somewhat of a magnet for wildlife viewers anxious to spot wolves. In developing a vision for the area, park officials are trying to contain development, although some argue they are not entirely succeeding.
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YELL-Tower-Roosevelt_Comprehensive_Plan_EA.pdf381.58 KB

Lawsuit Aims to Halt Uranium Mine Near Grand Canyon National Park

A group has gone to court to halt the development of a uranium mine within 10 miles of Grand Canyon National Park. Filed on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Trust, and the Sierra Club, the lawsuit claims the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to update environmental reviews and mining plans before approving the project.
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Uranium_lawsuit.pdf109.19 KB

Newspaper Turns Back the Calendar and Calls for "Buffalo Commons National Park" in Kansas

Is Kansas deprived when it comes to national parks? Is part of the state's landscape "typically stark" and best suited to serve as a home where the buffalo can roam? The Kansas City Star thinks so.
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The_Great_Plains_From_Dust_to_Dust.pdf46.85 KB
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