Junior Ranger Discovers Important Saber Tooth Fossil at Badlands National Park

Kylie Ferguson in Badlands N.P.
Many seven year olds—or adults—probably can't spell "paleontologist," but one Junior Ranger from Georgia knows her fossils. The youngster discovered a saber tooth fossil in Badlands National Park that scientists are calling "a find of high importance."

"Why I Want To Be a Park Ranger When I Grow Up"

During her recent residency at Badlands National Park, artist and poet Kathleen Heideman wrote an ode in honor of national park rangers titled "Why I want to be a park ranger when I grow up." In honor of National Parks Week, we offer it to you.

Jane Goodall, Tom Mangelsen Choose Hope Over Spite

In the language of conservation biology, there is a term called “the Lazarus Syndrome.” It pertains to a species, written off as extinct, that later is found to exist. Today, ornithologists are debating and hoping that the near-mythical Ivory-billed woodpecker might qualify.

On Bison Science, Bison Politics, and the Rebisoning of the West

A new IUCN publication reports on the status of wild and conservation-herd bison, makes bison conservation recommendations, and stirs controversy over emotion-charged issues such as the possible "rebisoning" of large areas of former bison range.

Columbus Day is also Native American Day

The Columbus Day celebration forces the National Park Service to deal with two conflicting themes – joyful celebration of Columbus’ “discovery” of the New World, and somber reflection on the Native American holocaust that ensued.

Visiting Badlands National Park is Like Stepping Into the Past

Copyright QT Luoung, www.terragalleria.com/parks
The last time I visited Badlands National Park was back in 1963. I remember a twisty labyrinth of narrow canyons, spires, and geologic formations reminiscent of Bryce or Cedar Breaks, soft crumbly sedimentary rock that in many places erodes too quickly for plants to put down roots. Vistas that stretched from the high plateau along the north of the park out to the southern plains. Sagebrush, prairie dogs, and antelope

This Big Bang at Badlands National Park Wasn't Just a Theory

Badlands N. P.
Unexploded military ordnance turns up in parks from time to time, and a recent find in Badlands National Park was handled cautiously. That proved to be the right call.

World's Wildlife Populations Are Struggling Despite Global Pledges to Protect Biodiversity

Seven years ago, governments around the world pledged to achieve a "significant reduction" in the ongoing loss of biodiversity by 2010. Unfortunately, the latest IUCN report says that goal will not be met, and that the wildlife crisis is greater than the world's economic crisis.

Update: Sylvatic Plague and Tularemia Afflict Prairie Dogs in Badlands National Park

Officials have confirmed the presence of sylvatic plague and tularemia in Badlands National Park. That’s bad news for the park’s prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets, but visitors should be OK if they use common sense safety precautions.

Survey Shows Americans Love Bison But Largely Are Clueless About their Plight

Americans overwhelmingly love bison as an iconic image of the West, but are largely clueless over the ecological plight these animals face, according to a national survey.

Plague Kills Many Prairie Dogs and Black-Footed Ferrets in Grasslands Near Badlands National Park

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.

Oglala Sioux Just Might Reclaim Southern Half of Badlands National Park

The Oglala Sioux Tribe might regain exclusive control of 133,000 acres of tribal land that was incorporated into Badlands National Park and is being jointly managed with the National Park Service. If the tribe gets its land back it will establish a major precedent.

Coal-Fired Plants Obscuring National Park Vistas

On a clear day, you often can see for miles and miles. But as a report from the National Parks Conservation Association points out, clear days are harder and harder to find in our national parks under the Bush administration's relatively laissez-faire approach to coal-fired power plants.

Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks

Dozens of movies have depicted actors and actresses cavorting, romancing, running, hiding, fighting, and yes, even dying in national parks or places destined to become national parks. Here are ten of Traveler's favorite movies with a national park connection of some sort. Note that we don’t restrict the field to films shot on location in parks.

Park History: Badlands National Park

Mykl Roventine photo.
Given birth as a national monument in 1939 and then transformed into a national park in 1978, Badlands National Park marks its 29th birthday today. Across its 244,000 acres you'll find vestiges of prehistoric life, the largest expanse of protected prairie in the park system, and a rebounding mammal once thought bound for extinction.