What Do GOP Politicians Have Against Protecting National Park Landscapes?

Can the irony be any richer? A Republican congressional candidate in North Dakota has suggested drilling for oil and natural gas beneath Theodore Roosevelt National Park. But then, Rick Berg is only the latest GOP candidate to cast eyes on a national park for energy exploration.

Eat a Lionfish, Help National Parks, And Win Cash Prizes!

A series of lionfish fishing derbies is scheduled for the coming weeks with hopes the poisonous fish that is invading coastal national parks in Florida and the Virgin Islands can be cut down before it gains a significant foothold and impacts native fishes and corals.

Updated: NPCA Names Dirk Kempthorne to Its Board of Trustees

Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the National Parks Conservation Association, a somewhat curious, and likely controversial, move in light of his oversight of the national parks.

Land Deal To Help Save Everglades Moving Forward, But Scaled Back

A $197 million land purchase aimed at restoring water flows through the Everglades has been approved by the South Florida Water Management District, but it falls far short of the original proposal. Still, groups are applauding it as a step in the right direction.

Flamingo Master Plan For Everglades National Park Proposes New Lodge, Cottages, Upgraded Marina

A vision for rebuilding the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park calls for an "eco-friendly" destination, one with a 30-unit lodge, two dozen cottages, "eco-tents," and a new marina.

Odds and Ends from Around the National Park System: Interior's Transparency Woes, Plowing Hurricane Ridge, and More

A look around the National Park System finds an interesting potpourri of issues, from the Interior Department's struggles with transparency and a move to see Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park kept open-year round to campfire restrictions in Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks.

National Park Quiz 85: Trees

True to its title, this quiz tests your knowledge of trees in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: " Quantified Tree Risk Assessment provides a framework for assessing the three components of tree-failure risk; probability of failure, impact potential, and target value."

Interior Sec Salazar Glad to See Everglades National Park Returned to "In Danger" List

While the Bush administration worked to see the United Nations remove Everglades National Park from its list of World Heritage Sites "in danger," the Obama administration applauded the UN's decision to again give the park that tag.

Independent Review Calls on National Park Service To Bolster Its Natural Resource Stewardship and Science

National Park Service managers must do a better job "to advance natural resource stewardship and science" throughout the agency, according to an independent review of the Park Service's Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate.

Photo Collage of Florida's Coastal Seabirds Reminds Us of What's At Stake With Deepwater Horizon

Passage of time can, on occasion, be an insidious eraser of events. As we near the two-month "anniversary" of the blowout of the Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, are we becoming numbed to its impacts, realized and potential?

Waldo the Robot’s Adventure at Dry Tortugas National Park

There were great expectations when Mote Marine Laboratory launched an underwater robot nicknamed Waldo to look for oil and dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico just west of Dry Tortugas National Park.

As Oil Comes Ashore at Gulf Islands National Seashore, Republican Calls for Renewed Drilling Along Outer Continental Shelf

More oil was coming ashore Friday in parts of Gulf Islands National Seashore, with tar balls several inches in diameter seen near Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, a top Republican was calling for the Obama administration to lift the moratorium on off-shore drilling.

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.

Monitors Ringing Dry Tortugas, Everglades, and Biscayne National Parks Ready to Detect Deepwater Horizon Impacts

A series of paint-can-sized pails are bobbing in the Straits of Florida where the Gulf of Mexico mingles with the Atlantic Ocean, ready to chronicle what impacts, if any, will descend on Dry Tortugas, Everglades, or Biscayne national parks from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Environmental Groups Cite Public Treasures Threatened By Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster

Hoping to raise the nation's -- and politicians' -- awareness of the rich resources in the Gulf of Mexico, two environmental groups Wednesday released a list of 15 state and federal properties that could be fouled by oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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.

National Park Service Calls For Additional Bridges Along Tamiami Trail To Help Everglades

With work now proceeding on a mile-long bridge along the Tamiami Trail to help improve water flows through the Everglades, the National Park Service is calling for another 5.5 miles of bridges to be built.

On Endangered Species Day, Recognizing the Cost of Oil Spills

This coming Friday, May 21, is Endangered Species Day. It is a day to both celebrate the amazing successes achieved for wildlife protection ... and to reflect on the work still left to be done.

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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Celebrate Earth Day With A Trip To Florida Bay And Everglades National Park

If you're in south Florida later this month, you'll be able to celebrate Earth Day with a paddling trip to Florida Bay or a hike. You also can applaud the creation of a private fund set up to benefit the bay.

Creature Feature: The American Crocodile is Florida’s Comeback Kid

There are crocodiles, including some genuinely huge ones, living in South Florida. Not everyone is happy about it, but these fascinating creatures have made a dramatic comeback from near extinction.

Has Winter's Unusually Cold Weather Tamped Down Python Population in Everglades National Park?

Has this winter's unusually cold weather in Florida tamped down the python population in Everglades National Park?

National Park Quiz 80: Water

All of these statements about National Park System water bodies are true except one. Can you find the ringer? The answer and explanations are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “If there is any magic on this planet, it is water.”

House Republicans Say Interior Secretary's Proposed Snake Ban Bad for Business

Republican members on the House Natural Resources Committee seem never to be at a loss for words when it comes to Democratic initiatives. This week the GOP members are shaking their heads over Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's efforts to get a grip on invasive snakes invading national parks in Florida.

Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes to List Loggerhead Turtle Species As Endangered

Loggerhead sea turtles, one of four turtle species that have come ashore to nest from Cape Hatteras National Seashore south to Gulf Islands National Seashore, are not doing well, population-wise. The species currently is being proposed for listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act.
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Comments Being Taken on Proposal To Stop Importation, Transportation of Burmese Pythons

The public comment period is now open on a proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ban the importation and interstate transportation of the Burmese python and eight other larger constrictor snakes.

Everglades National Park Introduces Newcomers to Camping via Reality TV and CAMP

CAMP kids on a wet hike in the Everglades. NPS photo by Allyson Gantt.
Camping in the Everglades doesn't hold much appeal for many Americans today, especially if they're city dwellers. Throw in worries about bugs, alligators and giant pythons, and a campout in the 'Glades can be a hard sell. Everglades National Park is overcoming those hurdles with a new approach that started with a reality TV program and an approach called CAMP.

Unlikely Weapons Against a Deadly Exotic Species: Cat Food and Ants

Adult cane toad
From large Burmese pythons in the Everglades to tiny Quagga mussels at Lake Mead, exotic animals are a growing problem in our national parks. A recent story from Australia demonstrates that the battle against exotics can sometimes employ some low-tech weapons, including cat food and ants.