Nesting Peregrine Falcons Lead To Trail Closures At Big Bend National Park

Some temporary trail closures have been implemented at Big Bend National Park to give nesting peregrine falcons some peace and quiet.

GAO Study Says More Interagency Coordination Needed To Address Illegal Border Crossings in Southwest

Six years after a Government Accountability Office review found poor coordination between federal land managers and Border Patrol officials tasked with combating illegal border crossings in the Southwest, a new analysis finds not much has changed.

House Republicans Continue To Blame Environmental Regulations for Border Security Woes

Despite two Government Accountability Office reports that say environmental regulations are not impeding the work of the Border Patrol, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee are standing by that claim.

Watching Shorebirds in the Desert? Boardwalk Popular with Birders Reopens in Big Bend National Park

Birdwatchers in search of herons, bitterns, ducks, and kingfishers could consider a beaver pond to be promising territory, but they might not expect to find either the birds or the pond in the West Texas desert. Big Bend National Park offers all that and more for visitors with the reopening a boardwalk across a beaver pond on the Rio Grande Village Nature Trail.

Want to Escape the Cold? Winter is a Great Time to Visit These Desert and Coastal Parks

For some park travelers, winter trips conjure up images of snow-covered landscapes, but for others the season means sun and sand. Here are some suggestions for NPS sites where milder winter weather offers a fine time to enjoy parks that are just too toasty or buggy for most of us during the summer.

Winter, A Season of Contrasts Across the National Park System

This week the Traveler offers you a series of stories to help you enjoy the coming months in the national parks. We'll take a look at some great lodges to call home for your visit, point out some cold-weather -- and warm-weather -- parks to enjoy (and how to enjoy them), touch on seasonal wildlife moves, and even offer some suggestions on how to stay safe in the parks.

Republicans On House Natural Resources Committee Planning Big Changes For Public Lands

Fresh off their Election Day tidal wave, and energized by it, Republican members of the House Natural Resources Committee are planning big changes for public lands in the West, changes that could greatly impact national parks.

GAO Report: Environmental Laws Don't Greatly Impede Border Security In the Southwest

A nearly year-long review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office determined that while environmental regulations at times slowed Border Patrol operations in the Southwest, a strong majority of agents-in-charge "reported that the overall security status of their jurisdiction is not affected by land management laws."

Report Counters GOP Arguments That Environmental Regs, Agencies Hampering Border Security

For months Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee have claimed that environmental regulations are hampering border control in the Southwest. But a new study notes that "there are numerous examples" of how various federal agencies are working together on border control.
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Major Redo of Popular Emory Peak Trail at Big Bend National Park Completed

At 7,832 feet, Emory Peak is the highest point in Big Bend National Park. The hike to the top of Emory Peak is now easier on both people and the terrain, thanks to a recently completed multi-year project to reroute the popular trail.

Visiting Big Bend National Park in October? Be Aware of Road Work in the Chisos Basin

Big Bend National Park is currently undergoing some much-needed maintenance on roads throughout the park, but visitors who want to include the Chisos Basin in a trip later this month need to plan ahead. Here's what you need to know.

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?

The Role of Partnerships in the National Park System

Can you imagine what would be missing in the national parks if not for partnerships forged with non-profit groups?

Dumb Crooks, National Parks Version

One might think that people who are involved in illegal activities would try to avoid attracting the attention of the Proper Authorities, but fortunately for the sake of law and order, that's not always the case. Three cases of Dumb and Dumber from separate parks confirm that crime still doesn't pay.

Easy Park Hikes- The Window View Trail at Big Bend National Park

Sometimes a short, easy hike is just what you need for a nice change of pace during a park visit. The Window View Trail at Big Bend National Park is a great leg-stretcher to begin or end your day, and it has a bonus—an outstanding view, especially at sunset.

Can U.S., Mexico Forge International Park Along Texas Border?

If you're a regular National Public Radio listener, you likely caught John Burnett's story this morning on the prospects of the United States and Mexico creating a sprawling international peace park along the Texas-Mexico border.

It's Darker in Big Bend National Park, Thanks to a Light Reduction Project in the Chisos Basin

comparison photos before and after project
Big Bend National Park has long been known as a great place to enjoy the night sky, and thanks to a recently completed project, nighttime has gotten even darker, especially around the park's main developed area in the Chisos Basin.

Parks Are Well-Represented in the Latest National Register of Big Trees

The General Sherman tree.
How would you determine if a tree qualifies as a "national champion"? The National Register of Big Trees has the answers, and the 70th anniversary edition of that list just been released in a new online format. Sites in the National Park System are well-represented, including the home of "the earth's largest living thing."

Spring is a Great Time To Watch For Migratory Birds in the National Parks

Spring is a fantastic time to be outdoors. Along with the beauty of plants in bloom, a trip to a national park can reveal mammals emerging from their hibernation and frogs singing up a storm. But the one spring event that brings countless new and life-long nature lovers to our nation’s parks is the return of migratory songbirds.

Heavy Rains and Flash Floods Lead to Backcountry Road Closings at Big Bend National Park

At Big Bend National Park, heavy rains and flooding have forced the closing of some backcountry roads. Motorists planning to use the park’s roads should check with the park for updated road information and plan accordingly.

Reader Participation Day Bonus Survey: Should Border Security Trump Wilderness, Endangered Species?

Should The Wilderness Act and the Endangered Species Act be suspended in areas along the U.S.-Mexico border to allow the Border Patrol to perform its job?
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Traveler's Tips for a Spring Break Visit to Big Bend National Park

Campground full sign at Big Bend
The annual travel rite known as "Spring Break" isn't limited to students headed for the beach—it's also peak season for Big Bend National Park. Is that park is too crowded to enjoy a visit in March? Here are some observations from the Traveler, along with tips to help make a future spring trip to Big Bend a lot more fun.

It Must be Spring at Big Bend National Park—Multiple Incidents Challenge the Park Staff

Sunrise at the Basin in Big Bend NP.
Poets tell us where young men's thoughts turn in the spring, but the staff at Big Bend National Park knows the arrival of warmer weather means life in that park is going to get crazy. Big Bend's busy season is here, and a spate of recent incidents proves it must be spring in the desert.

Big Bend National Park Offers A Drastic Change From Vistas This Easterner is Accustomed To Seeing

South Rim Trail view, Danny Bernstein photo.
It's not easy to get to Big Bend National Park. Located in the crook of Rio Grande River in West Texas where the river turns from a southeast to a northeastern direction, the park promises spectacular vistas, river canyons, and desert plants. But it's a 225-mile drive from Midland-Odessa and 325 miles from El Paso, the closest airports, so no one goes there on a whim.

Return of the Peregrine Prompts Viewing Opportunities and Seasonal Closures in Several Parks

Peregrine. NPS photo.
Peregrine falcons have long fascinated humans with their beauty, speed and dramatic dives, but the birds had all but disappeared from much of North America only a few years ago. They're making a dramatic comeback, and seasonal closures of key nesting areas in several parks are both helping in that recovery and offering opportunities to see the birds.

Big Bend National Park Completes New Wildlife Viewing Platform at Rio Grande Village

Beaver Pond at Rio Grande Village.
The lower elevation areas in Big Bend National Park are popular with winter visitors, especially during the week between Christmas and New Years. An added attraction this year will be a new wildlife viewing platform at Rio Grande Village.

Updated: Big Bend National Park Draft Wilderness Proposal Draws Attention For Road Corridors

Big Bend National Park officials are drawing up a wilderness proposal that could come into play if someone in Congress proposes wilderness legislation for the park. While many have been calling for officially designated wilderness in the park, the proposal is drawing some concern for the wide buffer zones it would create for roads. Park officials, though, maintain the wide corridors are needed to address such things as archaeological and paleontological sites as well as flash-floods.

Where to Find Your Christmas Feast in the National Park System

'Tis the season for quiet and peace, snowy woods, frosty starry nights, time with loved ones, festive activities, and eating way too much food. What better way to accomplish all that than to spend the holidays at a national park?

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.
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Pancho Villa, the Army Air Corps and Big Bend National Park

Douglas airplane on the field at Johnson's Ranch.
Every NPS area, even if it wasn't created specifically to commemorate a historical event, includes some interesting tales from the past. At Big Bend National Park, one of those stories involves Pancho Villa and the Army Air Corps.