Parks in the News

National Parks We Explored During 2013

So many parks, so few months in a year. Still, the National Parks Traveler staff and contributors managed to reach a fair number of parks in 2013 and returned home with the following stories.

NPS Sends Nearly $1 Million To Threatened Civil War Battlefields

The National Park Service has committed nearly $1 million in grants to help preserve more than 760 acres of land at seven of America’s threatened Civil War battlefields.

Christmas Bird Count Coming To Death Valley National Park On Saturday

Christmas is past, but counting birds is not. At Death Valley National Park, the annual Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for this coming Saturday.

Nature Could Have A Solution For Emerald Ash Borer Problem In National Parks

Nature might be able to provide a partial solution, at least, to emerald ash borer problems in national parks such as Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains as well as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It turns out that woodpeckers and nuthatches, which are present in those parks, are developing an appetite for the non-native insects.

The Wolves And Bison Of Wood Buffalo National Park

The list of national parks on my "bucket list" is somewhat long, and not restricted to those in the United States. I've long been intrigued by Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta, and a recent PBS documentary on the wolves and bison there only heightened my desire to check that one off my list.

The Consequences Of Climate Change At Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Adapting to climate change at Apostle Islands National Seashore means taking every opportunity to solve problems and communicate successes.

A Look At Some Unusual Stories From The National Park System In 2013

As broad and diverse as the National Park System is, it should come as no surprise that there are, well, some surprising or simply interesting stories from time to time. Here's a look at some unusual stories from the past year.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Extends Comment Period On Dog Management Plan

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which for more than a decade has worked to develop a management plan for dogs in the park, have extended into mid-February the time period during which you can comment on the latest draft plan.

Vicksburg National Military Park Developing "Foundation Document"

The National Park Service is preparing a foundation document to guide planning and management of Vicksburg National Military Park, and is seeking public input on the document.

Nine Free Admission Days To National Parks In 2014

There will be nine admission-free days to the National Park System in 2014, though just one falls during the peak vacation months of summer.

Consider A Year-End Donation To Your Favorite National Park Friends Group

Trail improvements, interpretive programming, historic preservation, and even transportation are some of the projects tackled by national park friends groups. With time running out in 2013, consider a year-end tax deductible donation to your favorite friends group to help them through 2014.

Happy Holidays From Arches National Park, The Video

At this festive time of year, the folks at Arches National Park have sent out this video holiday greeting with ample amounts of red rock and snow.

Yosemite, For What And For Whom?

The path-breaking beginning of America’s national parks in Yosemite is the subject of these two anniversary-related books. For Dayton Duncan, in Seed of the Future, the Yosemite Grant remains the story of a national triumph. For Jen Huntley, in The Making of Yosemite, the act of June 30, 1864, bears irrefutable evidence of a national theft.

Holiday Schedule Posted For National Park Units In North Dakota

The year-end holidays will bring some closures to the national parks in North Dakota.

Everglades National Park Ready With Ranger-Led Programs For The Winter

With winter being the "high season" for Everglades National Park, the staff has lined up a number of ranger-led programs to help visitors get the most from the park.

Motorists Prove A Great Threat To Bison At Wind Cave National Park

It's been a century since bison were returned to Wind Cave National Park via a recovery program for the shaggy animals, and while they're thriving, overall, in the park, motorists are proving to be a great threat to them.

Deadline Extended Over Whether Wolverine Needs Endangered Species Act Protection

A debate over whether the wolverine needs Endangered Species Act protection has prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend its deadline for making the decision on that question.

Climate Change, Drought Behind Drop In Desert Tortoises In Joshua Tree National Park

A long-term study of desert tortoises in Joshua Tree National Park indicates that drought and climate change are behind a decline in their population, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Winter Has Descended On Lassen Volcanic National Park

With storms rolling through with plenty of snow, Lassen Volcanic National Park has been transformed into a winter wonderland ready for visitors interested in snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Sitka National Historical Park Superintendent Wins Latest Battle Against Her Removal

In yet another precedent-setting ruling, the Merit Systems Protection Board has affirmed that the National Park Service must reinstate Mary A. Miller to her position as superintendent of Sitka National Historical Park in Alaska.
MSPB-Miller Final Decision.pdf878.28 KB

Reader Participation Day: What Questions Do You Have For National Park Service Director Jarvis?

As we near the end of 2013, with 2014 on the very near horizon, it's time to reflect on the past year in the National Park System. As you reflect -- on your visits, on the parks you'd like to visit, on budgetary matters and everything else that goes into running the park system -- what questions do you have for National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis?

How To Boost Kids' Science Aptitude? Encourage A National Park Service Career

Earlier this month you no doubt heard that America's 15-year-olds' science scores, when compared to those of their peers in other countries, were just average. How might they be improved? Well, if your daughter or son enjoy visiting national parks, nudge them in the direction of a career as a scientist working in the parks.

NPS Releases Concession Prospectus For Mesa Verde National Park

The National Park Service recently released a prospectus for concession operations at Mesa Verde National Park that for the last 32 years have been managed by ARAMARK.

Christmas Bird Count Coming To Theodore Roosevelt National Park Saturday

Fresh air and birding are on tap this Saturday at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where the annual Christmas Bird Count will be conducted in the park's South Unit.

Four-Acre Slice Of Civil War History Saved At Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Though not quite 4 acres in size, a parcel of land on the western end of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park long has been treasured by the National Park Service for the Civil War battle that raged on that land. Today that land has been protected from development and eventually will be added to the park.

It's Been A Tough Year For Rocky Mountain National Park

As Rocky Mountain National Park and highway officials ponder what to do about reopening the Alluvial Fan area and Old Fall River Road following the destruction wrought by the September floods that scoured so much of Colorado’s Front Range, it is worth noting that Bear Lake Road easily survived the floods.

"Vital Signs" Report Tracks Status Of Wildlife In Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a fully functioning ecosystem, one constantly in motion as wildlife populations ebb and flow, climate slowly changes, and geologic processes continue. Details of some of those changes are reflected in the park's 2013 Natural Resource Vital Signs report.

Seasonal Rangers Who Said They Lost Jobs For Blowing The Whistle Win Their Case

Bruce and Sara Schundler, who alleged they lost their seasonal jobs as rangers at Mesa Verde National Park for bringing attention to suspect spending by the park's superintendent, have been vindicated by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

Audubon Identifies Area Around Canyonlands National Park As "Globally Important Bird Area"

Though located in the arid landscape of the Colorado Plateau, the area around Canyonlands National Park attracts a lot of birds and provides valuable habitat for species such as the Mexican spotted owl. As such, the area has been identified as a "Globally Important Bird Area" by the National Audubon Society

First State National Monument Shines A Light On The Nation's Origins

Whether due to oversight, a lack of political expediency, or inadvertent shunning, the country's first state was last in landing a unit of the National Park System within its borders. And now, though First State National Monument is open for business and shining a light on the country's origins, it continues to struggle.
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