Update: Judge Rules Against Environmental Upgrades for Bridge Project in Congaree National Park

A federal judge has ruled that the aging Highway 601 bridge over the Congaree River in South Carolina can be replaced without correcting environmentally harmful features of the causeway-like bridge approach built on a floodplain now within Congaree National Park.

Hawaii and West Coast National Parks Brace for Tsunami Impacts

As Japan reeled from the shock of a magnitude 8.9 earthquake that triggered horrifically destructive tsunamis there, 20 countries prepared to absorb tsunami impacts on their own coasts. Here in America, coastal national parks in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and northern California are in the bullseye.

A Highway Project in Congaree National Park Sparks Legal Challenges

Plans to replace a defective bridge on the Congaree River call for rebuilding a causeway system crossing a flood plain in Congaree National Park. The plan's critics insist that modifications are needed to minimize environmental impacts and improve recreational access.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Brings Blight to the Beach at Hawaii's Kalaupapa National Historical Park

Debris from an enormous trash-laden vortex in the North Pacific is delivered to Hawaiian Archipelago shorelines, making beach cleanups a never-ending task at Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

At Biscayne National Park, Proposed Boat Anchoring Restrictions Trigger Protests and Send Management Back to the Drawing Board

After Miami area boaters complained that a proposed Mooring Buoy & Marker Plan for Biscayne National Park excessively curtailed boat anchoring practices they rely on, the park decided to redraft the plan.

At Ninety Six National Historic Site, Management Strives to Serve Steak on a Mac & Cheese Budget

At South Carolina's Ninety Six National Historic Site, where Americans fought and died in two Revolutionary War battles, the Park Service has been locked in a different sort of struggle. Although critical preservation and interpretation issues must be resolved, the resources available allow for little more than a holding action. It's awfully difficult to serve steak on a mac-and-cheese budget.

The Hurricane Season Just Getting Underway is Likely to be Unusually Active

NOAA's hurricane forecast for the Atlantic Basin calls for an "active to extremely active" season that might very well yield a dozen or so hurricanes. One thing we'll be watching with apprehension is the effects these storms will have on the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Creature Feature: The Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Faces an Uncertain Future

The Kemp's ridley may be little as sea turtles go, but it's got big problems. It was already the world's most endangered marine turtle before the mammoth Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatened to wreak havoc on its vital habitat.

National Park Mystery Plant 6 Revealed: This Freshwater Aquatic Plant is One that You Either Love or Hate

Brazilian egeria is a blessing in the aquarium and a curse in the lake.

Cold Snap Kills Fish and Raises a Big Stink in Everglades National Park

The recent spell of unusually cold weather in South Florida triggered widespread fish kills due to cold water. Biologists are studying the impacts on Everglades National Park. One thing they already know is that the rotting fish are going to stink for a while.

Private Sector Plays Vital Role in Buffering Little River Canyon National Preserve

The battle against encroaching development hasn’t been won at Alabama’s Little River Canyon National Preserve, but the campaign has taken a promising turn. Congress authorized an expansion and The Nature Conservancy and its partners have gotten the land acquisition process well underway.

Everglades National Park Launches “Don’t Let It Loose” Billboard Campaign to Help Battle Invasive Species

Florida’s new “Don’t Let It Loose” Billboard Campaign is further evidence that the National Park Service and other federal and state land management agencies are getting real serious about using public education as a tool to combat the spread of harmful nonnative plant and animal species.

Federal Agency Abandons Plans to Install a Communications Tower Atop Cadillac Mountain

A Homeland Security agency's proposal to install an 80-foot communications tower on the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park was withdrawn after meeting heavy resistance.

In Zion National Park, Wildflower Seed Theft is a Nearly Invisible Crime

The recent conviction of two undocumented aliens for illegally harvesting hundreds of pounds of wildflower seeds in Zion National Park sheds light on a little-publicized criminal activity in our national parks.

Blue Ridge Parkway Bear Poachers Get Prison Time

As a recent court case illustrates, people convicted of poaching animals in national parks face stiff penalties. Two North Carolina men who pleaded guilty to killing a bear on the Blue Ridge Parkway were given prison time to reflect on the error of their ways.

National Park Mystery Plant: 4: This “Tree from Hell” Smells Like Rancid Peanut Butter

This tree is an Asian import that grows fast, spreads fast, damages ecosystems and crop land, and is very tough to eradicate. It stinks, too.

Friends of the Everglades is Down, but Not Out

Friends of the Everglades, a National Park Service partner of 40 years standing, is going through some tough times. Plagued by declining membership and budget shortfalls, the iconic NGO must now regroup and rebuild.

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.

Melting Permafrost May Help Explain Why Many Denali National Park Wetlands Are Drying Up

Scientists working in Denali National Park suspect that melting permafrost might be an important reason why many of Alaska’s shallow lakes and wetlands have shrunk or disappeared. If the trend continues, wetland-dependent wildlife might be severely impacted.

Judge’s Ruling on Drilling Noise May Bode Well for National Park Soundscape Protection

A recent federal ruling on drilling noise in a national wildlife refuge near Great Sand Dunes National Park suggests that the courts may be leaning toward more rigorous protection for natural sound in federal recreation lands.

There Will be No Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio

Gap founder Donald Fisher is dead, and so is his proposal to build an art museum at the Presidio. Fisher’s magnificent collection of contemporary art will instead go to San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.

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.

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.

Update: Presidio Main Post Won’t Be CAMP site

Frustrated by fierce opposition, the Fishers have abandoned plans to build a contemporary art museum at the Main Post of San Francisco's Presidio. Alternative sites at the Presidio and elsewhere will now be considered.

By the Numbers: Lake Mead Quagga Mussels

Do you want to see a LOT of zeroes?

Update: At 25 Years and Counting, Jackson Hole Airport Still Owes For Its Footprint

Jackson Hole Airport still hasn’t compensated the Park Service for the 533-acre footprint it planted inside Grand Teton National Park back in the 1980s. TNC says it’s high time for this 25-year old debt to be paid and suggests how the money can be raised.

Don’t Do This with Your Helicopter

You can’t let people jump out of your helicopter anywhere you please. You can’t buzz the crowd on the shore. You can’t endanger other visitors when you land your helicopter on a houseboat. And if you keep doing this kind of stuff at Glen Canyon, law enforcement rangers will make your acquaintance and a federal court will help to shape your future.

KHV Virus Implicated in Lake Mohave Carp Die Off

Koi herpes virus is what’s killing the carp at Lake Mohave. KHV can’t spread to people or other fish, thank goodness, but this new disease is very bad news for carp.

Should the Jackson Hole Airport Lease Extension Wait for Safety Audit?

An alliance of NGOs has asked the National Park Service to more thoroughly consider safety issues before extending the lease for the commercial airport now operating in Grand Teton National Park.

Yellowstone Poacher Loses Hunting Privileges for Life

Convicted Yellowstone poacher Stephen Slavinsky has been prohibited from hunting or possessing firearms for the rest of his life. If he wants to visit national parks again, he has to wait 20 years.