Reader Participation Day: What Is The Most Unusual, Interesting, Or Silly National Park Souvenir You've Seen?

NPS Silly Bandz
National Park Service stores sell books, photographs, postcards and T-shirts. But every once in a while, you can also discover some gems, both silly and fascinating, in the visitor center stores. What have you found?

Group Urges NPS Director Jarvis To Reject ORV Plan For Big Cypress National Preserve

A conservation group in Florida wants National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis to reject the preferred off-road vehicle plan for the Addition lands in Big Cypress National Preserve. In a lengthy letter the South Florida Wilderness Association urges the director to "take a step that will truly fulfill the lofty language of the Organic Act of 1916" by setting aside more of the landscape for wilderness designation.

Big Cypress National Preserve Superintendent Defends "Addition" Lands ORV Use

Amidst charges that he circumvented National Park Service policies on wilderness preservation to provide greater off-road vehicle access to Big Cypress National Preserve, Superintendent Pedro Ramos offers a short history lesson.
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Big Cypress Wilderness History-PEER.pdf89.71 KB
PEER-Big Cypress Complaint.pdf237.11 KB

Group Claims Big Cypress National Preserve Going Too Far With ORV Access, Panther Impacts

Are Big Cypress National Preserve officials going too far in support of off-road vehicle interests?

Florida Officials To Install Panther Detection System With Hopes of Slowing Road Kills

Far and away more endangered Florida panthers die in traffic collisions than from any other fate, according to data tracked by wildlife officials in Florida. With hopes of reducing those collisions, the state plans to install a monitoring system to alert motorists to cats approaching them.

Big Cypress National Preserve Gains 29,000 Acres From State of Florida

A promise made decades ago has finally been kept in Florida, where officials have approved the transfer of 29,000 acres of land to Big Cypress National Preserve.

"Wings of Wonder" Butterfly Exhibit at Big Cypress National Preserve

Birds and human "snowbirds" aren't the only critters that enjoy spending the winter in Florida, and "The Wings of Butterfly Exhibit" at Big Cypress National Preserve offers beautiful photos and useful information about these lovely residents. The exhibit runs through February, and special programs and hikes featuring butterflies will also be offered in the park on December 11.

Park Service Plan for Addition Lands at Big Cypress National Preserve Met With Criticism

While the superintendent of Big Cypress National Preserve says the final management plan for the "Addition" lands within the preserve "provides for strong natural and cultural resource protection," the plan itself states that the preferred alternative is likely to adversely affect endangered Florida panthers.

Circumstances Force National Park Service to Actively Manage Wildlife

Florida panther kittens dosed with dewormers. Black-footed ferrets inoculated against plague. Sterilizing horses at Cape Lookout National Seashore and elk at Rocky Mountain National Park. And now Yellowstone National Park bison that could be vaccinated against brucellosis via air gun.

Oil Coming Ashore at Gulf Islands National Seashore, South Florida Parks Still Oil-Free

A slurry of oil and tar balls roughly 2 miles long and a yard wide from the Deepwater Horizon disaster has been keeping cleanup crews busy at Gulf Islands National Seashore, while other parks in South Florida still have not been impacted.

Three Florida Panthers Killed In Three Days By Vehicle Collisions, One in Big Cypress National Preserve

Perched precariously on the lip of extinction, Florida panthers face staggering odds to exist beyond notations in history books. The loss of three panthers over three days this past weekend certainly won't improve those odds.

National Park Foundation Launches Disaster Recovery Fund Drive For Gulf of Mexico Parks

As millions of gallons of crude oil continue to flow into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the National Park Foundation is mounting a campaign to raise money to help national park units affected by the disaster.
There were, at last count, at least five dens with panther kittens this spring in and around Big Cypress National Preserve, which offers arguably the best habitat for the big cats. But how do biologists keep track of these kittens?

National Parks Rimming the Gulf Coast Watching, Waiting, and Preparing For Oil Slick

With ocean currents, winds, and weather the powers behind the movements of the sprawling oil slick created by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, personnel at national parks along the Gulf Coast can only watch, wait, and prepare for the worst.

Keeping Track of Panther Kittens At Big Cypress National Preserve

There were, at last count, at least five dens with panther kittens this spring in and around Big Cypress National Preserve, which offers arguably the best habitat for the big cats. But how do biologists keep track of these kittens?

Is There Good News, Or Bad News, To Relate Concerning the Florida Panther?

Among the pine forests and palmetto thickets of south Florida something of a miracle in wildlife biology has played out during the course of three decades. A creature once thought destined to endure a fate similar to that of the Passenger Pigeon has rebounded and seems poised to move towards a sustainable population.
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Florida Panther Recovery Plan.pdf1.74 MB

Mark Your Calendars: 10th Annual March for the Parks Visits Big Cypress National Preserve

If you're going to be in southern Florida in mid-month, you might consider celebrating the 10th Annual March for the Parks with a hike into Big Cypress National Preserve.

Missing Hunter Found Alive in Big Cypress National Preserve

A deer hunter who survived four days in the snake- and alligator-infested sloughs of Big Cypress National Preserve by drinking swamp water and eating a catfish was found in relatively good condition Friday, officials said.

Search Now In Its Third Day for Missing Hunter At Big Cypress National Preserve

Searchers headed out for a third day Thursday morning to look for a 30-year-old hunter who walked away from his camp Monday in Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.

Search Under Way For Missing Hunter In Big Cypress National Preserve

An intensive search is under way in Big Cypress National Preserve for a hunter who walked away from his camp and hasn't been seen since.

To Drill Or Not To Drill For Oil Beneath Big Cypress National Preserve, That Is The Question

If there weren't enough controversial issues swirling about Big Cypress National Preserve, a cash-strapped Miami-Dade County has been mulling the possibility of drilling for oil beneath the preserve.

Road Work to Close Section of Road At Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve Superintendent Pedro Ramos says that as of noon on November 2 the portion of Loop Road south of the Gator Hook Strand site and west of the Loop Road Education Center will be closed to vehicle traffic.

New USGS Study Says We Have Good Reason to Worry About Giant Snakes Loose in America

A new USGS report with a long title has this short take-away message: All nine giant constrictor species capable of colonizing areas of the United States pose moderate to severe ecological risks, and some pose a credible risk to humans.

Eradicating Everglades Pythons Will be a Formidable Task

Federal officials are finally fast-tracking efforts to eradicate Burmese pythons from the Everglades. If this can be done, and that’s a very big if, it will take teamwork, technology, hard work, and good luck.

Big Cypress National Preserve Proposal Would Greatly Expand Hunting, ORV Use To the Detriment of Florida Panthers

A proposal drafted by planners at Big Cypress National Preserve would greatly expand hunting and off-road vehicle use in the preserve, moves that would pose a "moderate adverse" impact to the endangered Florida panther.

National Park Quiz 62: Paired Parks

This week’s quiz deals with National Park System units that are linked to each other in some way. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “The efficient enzymatic resolution of conduritol B and C derivatives is an important step in synthesizing all possible enantiomeric pairs of conduritol stereoisomers.”

Predictions for the 2009 Wildfire Season

Firefighter and brush fire.
What might 2009 hold for wildfires, in parks and other areas? Experts at the National Interagency Fire Center have issued a fire season outlook for the next several months that provides an educated guess.

Where There's Smoke There's...a Closed Interstate Highway Known as Alligator Alley

Firefighter with drip torch.
Smoke from a wildfire in Big Cypress National Preserve has prompted closure of a major interstate highway connecting the east and west coasts of Florida. The shutdown of Interstate 75, also known as Alligator Alley, is into its fourth day, and may continue through the weekend.

National Park Mystery Plant 2: There’s Good Reason They Call This Thing "the Death Apple”

This tree, which can be found growing in a few of our national parks, is one you’ll want to treat with respect. Its various parts are full of toxins that can irritate your skin, temporarily blind you, make you very sick, or even kill you.

Might The Obama Administration be More Invested in Everglades Restoration Than Its Predecessor?

Everglades National Park, Rodney Cammauf photo.
Different administrations in Washington have different sets of priorities. While the Bush administration talked about helping restore the massive Everglades ecosystem, the Obama administration is sending signals it will work harder to push the project forward.
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Everglades_Policy_White_Paper27Feb09.pdf57.79 KB