If you live in the Tennessee-North Carolina area, tune in Thursday night to support Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Imagine, for a moment, that you're in charge of setting fees for the National Park System. What would you charge for, and how much would you charge? Or would you charge anything at all?
Bison madness is in full swing in Yellowstone National Park with snorting, groaning, spitting, bison bulls chasing the girls (cows) down the roads, much to the delight of many park visitors who gladly park their vehicles in the road and film the action. No family vacation is complete without getting caught in a Yellowstone bison jam.
In this age of informational instant gratification, how has your national park experience changed? For Millennials, who grew up with smartphones, texting, and Facebook, not so much. For Baby Boomers, who learned to read with actual newspapers, books, and magazines in their hands, whose phones were attached to the wall by a cord, a great deal. Is that change for the good, or the bad?
Legislation introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives would, if enacted as drafted, require the National Park Service to determine "a nationally consistent entrance fee policy and corresponding rate structure" for the 401 units of the National Park System, a potentially sweeping requirement that seemingly could generate tens of millions of additional dollars for the parks.
Making sense out of National Park System visitation statistics can be tough due to faulty counters, late opening dates, and storms that close parks. All that considered, though, attendance at the parks seems to be up a bit this year through the first six months.
Once considered largely to be worthless, national parks today are economic engines that generate $26.5 billion for the nation's economy.
Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem
In a 25-page motion attacking not just the propriety but also the legality of a backcountry user fee at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a group of backpackers has not only asked that the fees be tossed out, but shined some light on the conundrum of how to afford our public lands.
Horses have a long, long history in America. They came to the New World with the Spaniards, and have carried riders ever since. In many national parks horses are icons, seen as both honorable steeds that carry mounted rangers and as work horses that carry both visitors and gear. But they also have impacts on the landscape, and there have been calls to ban them from the parks. But should they be banned?
Seasons in the Smokies, the second in the Smoky Mountain Explorer Series from Great Smoky Mountains Association, will make its first appearance on the big screen during a premiere showing of the film Thursday, July 17.
Bears have a sweet tooth, too. And that's why the Gregory Bald area at Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been temporarily closed to humans. The reason is the cherry crop that has attracted black bears looking for a tasty meal.
Take A Minute To Help Friends Of The Smokies Land $5,000 For Work In Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Take a minute this week to help out Friends of the Smokies. All week the First Tennessee Foundation is taking votes for its 150 Days of Giving. This week's winner receives $5,000. Friends of the Smokies can put that money to good work in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Fontana Lake, which ebbs along the southern border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, is a watery aspect to the park that might get lost among the forests and mountains. But it offers a rich recreational side to the park, as this video shows.
People have been collecting stuff forever. When adults visit national parks, they can collect passport stamps or pamphlets. Children earn Junior Ranger badges, though getting one takes a lot more effort and time than a passport stamp. But there’s something else out there to collect, too, and it looks a lot like baseball trading cards
Sometime in recent years two trails running more than a mile-and-a-half was cut into the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, allegedly for the use of a private resort that borders the park, according to court documents.
National Park Service rangers from across the park system have been honored by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for valor in the line of duty.
Friends Of The Smokies Use Proceeds From Specialty License Plate Sales To Put SCA Interns To Work In Great Smoky Mountains National Park
When you purchase a specialty license plate in North Carolina to show your love for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, that $35 you spent helps fund a number of projects in the park. For instance, the Friends of the Smokies use some of the money to underwrite seasonal internships in the park and wildlife management programs.
A landslide has closed the Gunter Fork Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park indefinitely.
Work On Chimney Tops Trail At Great Smoky Mountains National Park Will Require Weekday Closures Into October
Extensive rehabilitation work on the Chimney Tops Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will require that it be closed to the public Mondays through Thursdays through mid-October.
Growing up, chasing fireflies was a popular after-dusk summertime activity. But our fireflies didn't blink in unison, which is what makes the fireflies at Great Smoky Mountains National Park such a big deal.
Celtic music, traditional mountain music, and bluegrass tunes will waft from the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park next weekend during its 10th annual Music of the Mountains festival.
An anonymous benefactor has greatly helped the National Park Service with its facility needs at Great Smoky Mountains National Park by writing a check for $2.2 million for the park's benefit.
Spring is an exciting time for both birds and birders across North America. The colorful songbirds are on their way back to their northern nesting grounds after spending a lazy winter in the tropics. Warblers, with a rainbow of plumages and equally diverse collection of songs, are the most sought-after birds during migration.
“I get by with a little help from my friends,” sang the Beatles. When it comes to national parks, it had better be a lot of help. The National Park Service often struggles with funding. Now, with tighter budgets and more demands, friends groups are proving invaluable in helping out parks.