Parks in the News

Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park Surpass 9,000 Acres in Size, Travel Pinched

A predicted storm can't reach Yellowstone National Park fast enough to blunt a wildfire that as of noon Monday had reached 9,300 acres in size and had forced the closure of the road between West Thumb and just south of the Lake developed area.

Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park Blows Up to More than 8,000 Acres

Dry, windy weather pushed the Arnica fire in Yellowstone National Park to more than 8,000 acres Sunday, with spotting starting small fires within 1 mile of Bridge Bay on the west side of Yellowstone Lake.

An Analytical Look At The National Parks: America's Best Idea

As The National Parks: America's Best Idea rolls out this week, it leaves in its wake many, many reviews and critiques. In his assessment, Dan Lenihan finds only a few faults with the 12-hour mini-series on national parks.

Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park Now Covering Estimated 1,200 Acres

A lightning-sparked fire in Yellowstone National Park is now covering an estimated 1,200 acres and is impacting traffic flows in the park.

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis Puts Priorities on Workforce, Relevancy, Stewardship and Education

Jon Jarvis, having been waiting in the wings for months, not surprisingly comes to the directorship of the National Park Service with a set of priorities that revolve around his employees, relevancy of the national parks, stewardship of their natural, cultural, and historical resources, and public education.

Another Cellphone Tower OKed for Kings Canyon National Park

One of the last act's Jon Jarvis took as director of the National Park Service's Pacific West office before moving to Washington as the agency's director was to approve the erection of a cellphone tower near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.

Backcountry Fire in Yellowstone National Park At 250 Acres and Growing

A backcountry fire ignited by lightning in Yellowstone National Park is up to 250 acres and growing in the direction of the Grand Loop Road, prompting firefighters to take to the air with water-dropping helicopters.

It's Official – Senate Confirms Jonathan Jarvis as Director of the National Park Service

Jon Jarvis
After weeks of political shenanigans that had nothing to do with Mr. Jarvis himself, the Senate has finally confirmed Jonathan Jarvis as Director of the National Park Service.

Want a Horse? Theodore Roosevelt National Park Will Auction About 90 Wild Horses Oct 23

With too many wild horses on their hands, the folks at Theodore Roosevelt National Park have scheduled an auction for October 23 to sell about 90 head to the public.

A Conversation With Ken Burns on The National Parks: America's Best Idea

Ken Burns does not sit quietly during an interview. Highly animated, expressive with his hands and moving from sitting to squatting then back to sitting, the filmmaker is as entertaining as his projects. During an interview that lasted 30 minutes, maybe 40, he packed more into the discussion than space normally would allow in one story. So here's the transcript.

Ginseng Poachers Nabbed at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

apprehension of the plant poachers
Alert work by rangers at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park resulted in the apprehension of three men who were engaged in a significant ginseng poaching operation in the park.

National Parks Second Century Commission Releases Its Final Report

Second Century Commission Logo
What do a successful business executive, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian and a former Director of the National Science Foundation have in common? They're among the 28 distinguished members of the National Parks Second Century Commission, and after a full year's work, the group has just released its final report.

Going to Denali National Park? Check Ahead – the First Serious Snow of the Winter Has Fallen

Denali National Park scene.
September visits to Denali National Park and Preserve offer their own rewards, but it's important to check ahead about road and weather conditions. The park has reported the first significant snowfall of the season, and that has resulted in a few changes for travel in the park.

Major Sewage Spill Continues at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area after Recent Floods

Flooded picnic area.
Recent heavy rains in the Atlanta area have created plenty of misery for area residents, and cleanup at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area will take some time. Waters have receded, but the river remains closed to the public due to major problems from an ongoing release of raw sewage.

Backcountry Hiker Falls 300 Feet To His Death in Grand Teton National Park

A 24-year-old Pennsylvania man hiking in the backcountry of Grand Teton National Park tumbled 300 feet to his death on Teewinot Mountain.

Is Glacier National Park At Threat From Proposed Mining Operations in British Columbia?

Whether the health of Glacier National Park and its Canadian neighbor, Waterton Lakes National Park, is at risk from proposed mining operations in British Columbia is a question being probed this week by a team of international experts.

Mammoth Cave National Park Follows Ken Burns' Documentary With Its Own Film

Hoping to leverage the buzz over Ken Burns' 12-hour documentary on national parks, a public television station in Kentucky is preparing to release its own documentary, one focused entirely on Mammoth Cave National Park.

Two Historic Lighthouses at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Will Go Dark Next Week – But They'll Be Back

Ocracoke lighthouse.
The Bodie Island and Ocracoke Lighthouses have a long and fascinating history, but their familiar beacons will be missing from the nighttime views at Cape Hatteras National Seashore beginning September 28. Fear not, they'll both be back after renovation work is completed.

Body of Overdue Hiker Found in Remote, Rugged Area of Grand Canyon National Park

The body of a man whose wife reported him overdue from a hike at Grand Canyon National Park was found in a remote and rugged area below the North Rim.

Rockslide Repairs Completed, Weeping Rock Trail Reopens at Zion National Park

Rockslide on trail.
Fans of the Weeping Rock Trail in Zion National Park can rejoice. The trail, closed by a rockslide on September 2, is now open again for visitor use.

Thoughts on the National Parks....

With a year's worth of publicity finally culminating this week with The National Parks: America's Best Idea, it seems fitting to look back at some of the poignant statements made in connection with the national parks down through the years.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

National parks represent a spectacular legacy handed down to today’s generations, but it is one that also carries a hefty responsibility of stewardship. That becomes quickly obvious in Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. This notion of responsible stewardship is not new at all. In many ways it’s trite.

New “Roots in the River” Documentary Chronicles Congaree National Park History

South Carolina ETV’s new documentary “Roots in the River: The Story of Congaree National Park” will be aired in association with Ken Burns’ six-part documentary on America's national parks. A sneak preview of clips from both documentaries will be screened for the general public at the Congaree National Park visitor center on Sunday, September 20.

Hubbell Trading Post Holds Native American Art Auction on September 19

Auction scene.
If you're interested in Native American art but are hesitant to purchase such items for fear they're not authentic, here's a chance to get the real deal, right from the artists themselves. The Friends of Hubbell Trading Post are holding their semi-annual Native American Art Auction at the national historic site on Saturday, September 19.

Joshua Tree National Park Nabs Man Accused of Scattering Thousands of Golf Balls in the Park

Joshua Tree National Park
Most of us are familiar with the adage for visits to parks: "Take only photos, leave only footprints." Unfortunately, a California man decided to leave something else during repeat visits to Joshua Tree National Park: thousands of golf balls.

Updated: Federal Judge in Wyoming Says He Can't Boost Snowmobile Numbers in Yellowstone National Park

A federal judge in Wyoming who in the past has supported higher numbers of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park ruled Thursday that he could not overturn the National Park Service's decision to cap daily snowmobile numbers at 318 this coming winter.
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Historic Railroad Bridge in New York State Becomes Part of National Trails System

Is an old railroad bridge a hiking trail? Come October 2 and that could be a new national park trivia question now that the Poughkeepsie-Highland railroad bridge in New York State has been designated a National Recreation Trail by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Research Points to Canine Distemper As Cause of Low Wolf Pup Survival in Yellowstone National Park

Canine distemper, not parvovirus, apparently was behind the high wolf pup mortality rates in Yellowstone National Park in 1999, 2005 and 2008, according to new research.

Grand Canyon National Park Crews Installing, Ahem, New Vault Toilets on South Rim

Call it a slow news day, but those heeding the call of nature no doubt will be pleased to hear that new vault toilets are being installed along Desert View Drive on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. And the restrooms at Desert View are being renovated as well!

Free Firewood At Mammoth Cave National Park

While quite a few national parks frown on you hauling trees out of their woods, at Mammoth Cave National Park officials are giving it away.
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