Scientists fear that sylvatic plague may decimate the black-footed ferret population of Badlands National Park. The deadly disease began killing prairie dogs and ferrets in the Conata Basin area of nearby Buffalo Gap National Grasslands last spring. Now an aggressive spray-and-vaccinate campaign is the last line of defense for the remaining ferrets.
Threats to Parks
Oregon Caves National Monument celebrated its 99th birthday July 12. The park’s marble cave has suffered significant physical damage and secondary effects since its discovery in 1874. Resource managers are using a survey method called Visitor Impact Mapping to better understand where and how visitors have affected the condition of the cave.
In a move certain to dismay many national park advocates, the National Park Service has proposed to convert to commercial use a number of buildings on Alcatraz, a popular component of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The proposed developments would include souvenir stands, special venues, and lodging facilities.