Reader Participation Day

Reader Participation Day: How Would You Cut the National Park Service's Budget?

Granted, the National Park Service's budget is little more than a rounding error when it comes to the entire federal budget. But as the deficit continues to swell, and Republicans promise better budgeting in the coming Congress, the Park Service can be expected to identify some savings. But where?

Reader Participation Day: What is the Most Iconic Image Associated With the National Park System?

Yellowstone has Old Faithful, in Yosemite looms Half Dome, and Arches has Delicate Arch. Those are just three settings that are readily identified with national parks. But which view in the National Park System do you think is the most iconic of all when talk turns to parks?

Reader Participation Day: Do We Need More Interpretive Rangers, Or Law Enforcement Rangers, in National Parks?

Do you wish there were more interpretive rangers, or law enforcement rangers, in the national parks? Do you find yourself looking for an "LE" ranger when you're visiting a park, or wish you could find a park interpreter to help you better understand your surroundings?

Reader Participation Day: Where Is the Best Boardwalk In the National Park System?

There are many boardwalks to be found throughout the National Park System, from more than a few in Yellowstone National Park to a nice one in Olympic National Park. But where is the best one, in your opinion?

Reader Participation Day: What is the Greatest Threat To Our National Parks?

It seems not a week goes by without some dire issue being identified as a threat to the national parks. One week it might be funding woes, another week pollution, another diversity concerns, and then, of course, there's climate change.

Reader Participation Day: How Do You Build Diversity in the National Parks?

In the wake of Oprah Winfrey's recent trek to Yosemite National Park, the question of how the National Park Service can build diversity in the park system again is spurring some debate. How can that mission be accomplished?

Reader Participation Day: Do You Love Fall Colors, or Spring Blooms?

During my recent hike in Shenandoah National Park along the Appalachian Trail, I came upon a tight crook in the trail that carried Ivy Creek downhill amid a flurry of gold, red, orange and yellow leaves of fall. There can be no more spectacular setting that the hardwood forests of the East. Unless it's set ablaze by the pastel daubs of spring wildflowers in places such as Glacier, Saquaro or Canyonlands national parks.

Reader Participation Day: Does Hunting Season Move You Out of National Forests and Into National Parks?

With hunting season opening in more areas across the country as the days tick by, are you staying out of national forests and heading into national parks when you head out onto the public landscape?

Reader Participation Day: What Parks Lure You In Winter?

Winter is but two months or so away, which prompts the question: Do you plan any winter national park adventures, or do you simply dream about them?

Reader Participation Day: Can We Afford to Save All Historic Lodges in National Parks?

Whether you hold a sentimental tie to national park lodgings, or look at them nostalgically, can we afford to hold onto all historic lodge facilities in the National Park System?

Reader Participation Day: Help Us Name the Best Adventures In the National Park System, Lower 48 Edition

What are the best adventures in the National Park System in the Lower 48? For sure, three weeks floating the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park has to be one, and climbing the Grand Teton in its namesake park is another. But then what?

Reader Participation Day: Which Issue Resonates More: Yellowstone Snowmobiles or Cape Hatteras ORVs?

Two of the most contentious issues in the National Park System is the debate over snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park and the one over off-road vehicle management at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Which is more important to you?

Reader Participation Day: Where Was Your Worst Dining Experience in the National Parks?

So many superlatives swirl around the national parks that at times we forget that things aren't always so rosy. So, tell us where you encountered your worst dining experience in the parks this year.

Reader Participation Day: Help Plan Our Special Fall in the National Parks Series

We're planning a special fall-in-the-parks series, and we'd like your input on our story line-up. While we've got the obvious parks covered -- Great Smoky, Shenandoah, Grand Teton, etc -- what park do you think should definitely get some attention for a fall visit?

Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite Season in the National Parks?

Summer's running out of time, fall is on the way, winter's months away, and spring isn't even a thought. That said, which season is your favorite to visit a national park?

Reader Participation Day: Acadia National Park, or Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

Glance at a map of the Eastern Seaboard and a number of intriguing national parks jump out: Acadia National Park, Shenandoah National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Everglades National Park. But which one to visit? If you had to choose between Acadia and Great Smoky, which of the two would be at the top of your list?

Reader Participation Day: Visit Wyoming's National Parks, or Those in Washington State?

It was quite a battle last week when we asked whether you would rather visit Utah's national parks or those in California. Well, here's another head-scratcher: Would you first head to Wyoming and Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, or Washington State with Olympic, North Cascades, and Mount Rainier national parks?

Reader Participation Day: California, or Utah, For A National Park Trek?

If you had the option of either traveling to Utah for a swing through its national parks, or to California to sample its national parks, which would you choose?

Reader Participation Day: Preservation, or Enjoyment?

From time to time the ongoing debate is renewed over whether the National Park Service is supposed to be managing the National Park System primarily for the public's enjoyment, or with an eye on preservation so future generations can also enjoy the parks. What do you think?

Reader Participation Day: Should Rangers Cite, or Merely Warn, Visitors For Their Wrongs?

What should National Park Service rangers do when they come across a visitor who has gone astray of park regulations? For instance, should they have cited those women in Glacier National Park who squeezed off a round from a .357 to scare a deer, or was the warning enough?

Reader Participation Day: How Many of the 392 National Park System Units Have You Visited?

Here is the list of all 392 NPS units. How many have you visited? Start counting, and let us know.

Reader Participation Day: Best and Worst Values in National Park Lodging

The quality and rates of national park lodges span a wide range from rustic cabins in several parks renting in the $60 - $80 range to suites at Yosemite’s Ahwahnee that rent for approximately $1,000 per night. The differences in service, amenities, comfort, and atmosphere are substantial, but is a night in an Ahwahnee suite worth ten nights in a cabin at Maswick on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim?

Reader Participation Day: What Memorabilia Do You Take Home From A National Park Vacation?

Enter a gift shop in a national park and your senses are overwhelmed with memorabilia for sale that years down the road will, hopefully, remind you of your vacation. What do you look for?

Reader Participation Day: Do You Send National Park Postcards?

Once upon a time, sending postcards from national parks was a way to let friends and family back home know what a great time you were having in such gorgeous settings. But is that still a time-honored tradition?

Reader Participation Day: Which Is Your Favorite National Park Gateway Town?

If you had to pick a gateway town to live in -- not because of its associated national park, but because of its atmosphere -- which would you choose?

Reader Participation Day: Has Arizona's Approach To Controlling Illegal Immigrants Led You To Cancel a Grand Canyon Trip?

Are you rethinking that trip to the Grand Canyon or Saguaro National Park due to the approach Arizona officials are taking towards illegal immigration?

Reader Participation Day: Has The Change In Gun Rules Changed Your National Park Plans?

Since late February it's been legal for properly permitted concealed weapons owners, and rifle and shotgun owners, as well, to bring their weapons into a national park if the surrounding state law allows such carry. Has that change in national park gun regulations changed your thoughts about visiting a national park?

Reader Participation Survey: Which National Park Has the Best Wildflower Blooms?

Every year it seems talk begins in January about how spectacular the wildflower bloom in Death Valley National Park will be. And Great Smoky Mountains National Park has its Wildflower Pilgrimage, while Shenandoah National Park has a wildflower festival. Which leaves us wondering, which national park is best for wildflowers?

Reader Participation Survey: How Much Local Control Should Be Exerted Over National Parks?

Should there be more uniformity across the National Park System when it comes to regulations pertaining to such activities as air tours, mountain biking, and personal watercraft use, just to name three sensitive issues?
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