Parks in the News

Lack of Snow Could Hamper Winter Season Kickoff in Yellowstone National Park

While it's been mighty cold in the Rocky Mountains these past few weeks, there's been a shortage of snow, and that could greatly affect the opening of the winter season in Yellowstone National Park.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Officials Concerned Over Indiana's Plans for Seawall

Plans by the state of Indiana to build a hardened stone seawall along a portion of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore don't sit well with lakeshore officials, who cite a number of problems, including the lack of permits from the National Park Service and requisite environmental studies.

Gold Strike Just North of Glacier National Park Another Concern for Park's Environmental Health

Copyright Joe Riis/ILCP
A gold strike in the rugged mountains of British Columbia just across the U.S.-Canadian border from Glacier National Park is yet one more concern for the park's environmental health, which already is being threatened by another mining project eyed in the same general area.

Interior Secretary Calls For More High Colorado River Flows Through Grand Canyon National Park

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is calling for more high-flow releases of the Colorado River down through Grand Canyon National Park and believes they can be done to benefit the national park's resources while also meeting energy and water needs.

The New River Raisin National Battlefield Park Highlights One of the Bloodiest Conflicts of a Seldom Mentioned War

In January 1813, a British and Indian force destroyed an American army on the north bank of the Raisin River in southeastern Michigan. Now a new national park will commemorate one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812.

Ecologists at Point Reyes National Seashore Testing Ways to Restore Native Dune Grasses

Ecologists at Point Reyes National Seashore this month are experimenting with ways to remove non-native vegetation that is invading the habitat of native dune plants such as Tidestrom’s lupine.

Tough Times or Wanton Poaching Along the Blue Ridge Parkway?

The sour economy has created tough times across the country. Whether that was behind an apparent poaching incident along the Blue Ridge Parkway is hard to say.

Dark, Starry Skies Above National Parks Celebrated by Posters, Forthcoming Book

Some of the best star gazing can be had in national parks. Proof of that can be found at Natural Bridges National Monument, Yellowstone National Park, Big Bend National Park, even Acadia National Park. Those and other park settings are celebrated in a series of night sky posters issued in conjunction with the International Year of Astronomy.
Night_Sky_Program_Brief.pdf197.58 KB

Wind Cave National Park Plan Calls For Culling Elk Herd To Between 232-475 Animals

A mixed bag of tools -- hunting outside the park, roundups and sharpshooters inside the park -- will be available to Wind Cave National Park officials as they work to reduce their 750-head elk herd to possibly as few as 232 animals, according to a management plan recently approved.

“Festival of Christmas Past” at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

music group at last year's event
An upcoming event at Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers the combination of Smoky Mountain culture and a holiday celebration. The 34th annual "Festival of Christmas Past" will be held on Saturday, December 12 at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Could the Diminutive Pika Succeed Where the Polar Bear Failed In Battling Climate Change?

During my six-month internship with the Student Conservation Association, I had the opportunity to collect data for a field study on the habitat effects of climate change. Our crew of four searched for pikas while backpacking along the rocky slopes of California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada. We came to understand several traits of the pika that could make this elusive alpine mammal an important ally in the movement to stop climate change.

National Park Lodging Rates, On Average, Stay Ahead of Inflation

Regular guests of national park lodges have undoubtedly noticed persistent increases in room rates. Although we no longer have the receipt, it seems that we paid $225 per night during our 1996 stay in Yosemite National Park’s Ahwahnee for a room that now goes for approximately $500 per night. It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that during the past decade lodging rates in national parks have risen faster than the Consumer Price Index.

A New Exhibit at Ellis Island Tells the Story of the Lenape, the People Who Were There First

A new exhibit at the Ellis Island Museum sheds light on a seldom-noted fact; when Henry Hudson discovered New York Harbor, the Lenape were already there.

Old Ironsides Has New Duties

You probably knew that the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and a premier attraction of Boston National Historical Park. But did you know that “Old Ironsides” is also America’s Ship of State?

National Park Service Hires Software Company to Help Track Emergency Medical Data

It's good to know that the National Park Service has hired a software company to track data related to search-and-rescue incidents. Let's just hope their work is a little more accurate than their press release.

Interior Secretary Praises Groundbreaking of Tamiami Bridge, Effect it Will Have on Everglades National Park

The groundbreaking Friday for a 1-mile-long bridge along the Tamiami Trail is a key step toward reviving the Everglades, according to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

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.
Jarvis-Core_Ops.pdf436.48 KB

County In Wyoming Sues National Park Service Over Snowmobile Numbers in Yellowstone National Park

Although only a fraction of the snowmobile traffic that enters Yellowstone National Park comes in through the park's East Entrance, the Wyoming county that is the gateway to that entrance has sued the National Park Service over limits on how many snowmobiles can enter the park.

Annual Holiday Gift Sale Coming to Olympic National Park

Here's a sale not to be missed if you find yourself near Olympic National Park in mid-December.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Receives Its Annual Poinsettia And A Plaque

This time Wanetta Johnson brought her son, Eric, and a plaque to thank Great Smoky Mountain National Park rangers for saving her son and a friend stranded in the park's backcountry by a snowstorm 35 years ago.

Shelton Johnson Honored As National Park Service's Top Interpreter

Poet, ranger, author, documentarian. Shelton Johnson has done it all. And now he's been recognized for his excellence as a national park interpreter with the Freeman Tilden Award.

Glacier National Park Proposing Changes to Fishing Regulations

If Glacier National Park officials have their way, you'll be able to keep more of the brook trout you catch in the park than you have been able to in the past. A lot more.

New River Gorge National River Proposing Hiking/Biking Trails

As evidence that there's more to meet the eye than just a river, the folks at New River Gorge National River are talking about creating some shared-use trails for hikers and mountain bikers.

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.
hottestspecies.pdf1.92 MB

Kalaupapa National Historical Park Honored By Sainthood Bestowed On Father Damien

Sainthood recently bestowed on a 19th century Catholic priest who cared for Hawaiians afflicted with leprosy was celebrated at Kalaupapa National Historical Park, which tells the stories of those who were isolated on the northern shores of Molokai.

Thirty-Five Years Later, Great Smoky Mountain National Park Rangers Still Being Thanked for Rescue

Can you ever say "thanks" enough to those who have saved your life or the life of a family member or friend? The parents of two 15-year-old Boy Scouts who were stranded in the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park by a blizzard 35 years ago evidently don't think so.

$25,000 Gift Made To Grand Teton National Park

Christmas has arrived a bit early for Grand Teton National Park, which has been given $25,000 to help support the park's search-and-rescue program.

Nearly $900,000 Will Help Connect, Improve Trails in National Park System

Trails across the country will receive funding for infrastructure needs, promotions, interpretation and other needs under the National Park Service's just-announced "Connect Trails to Park" grants for 2010.

National Park Service Revising Regulations To Better Manage Oil And Gas Exploration in Parks

Call it long overdue housekeeping, but the National Park Service is working to revise 30-year-old regulations that affect non-federal oil and gas development that could occur, or already is occurring, in some of its units. In other words, energy development within a park on lands owned by anyone other than the federal government, such as states or even private landowners. The bottom-line of the revisions is to better protect parks from energy development.

Looking for Special Holiday Programs? Here's a Sampling at Parks from Coast to Coast

Painted Desert Inn in the snow.
Looking for a break from shopping, football, and end-of-year hustle and bustle? December is prime time for special programs and events in a number of parks. Here's a sampling in areas from coast to coast.
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