Here's a Handy Website For Following National Park Issues Concerning World Heritage Sites

Quite a few U.S. national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites, and they're often in the news. There's a handy website out there run by the National Park Service's Office of International Affairs that can help you stay abreast of issues involving this sites.

Yellowstone National Park's First BioBlitz to be Held on August 28 and 29

Researchers in Yellowstone.
Scientists from across the country have come to Yellowstone National Park this weekend for the park's first-ever BioBlitz. Visitors are invited to visit with researchers on Saturday afternoon, August 29th and find out about what they learned. Those results could be pretty impressive.

On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System

The National Park Service's National Leadership Council met in Ohio last week. The meeting of the agency's top management was supposed to be the first under the direction of Jon Jarvis as Park Service director. Political gamesmanship, and apparently a dose of bureaucracy, unfortunately left Mr. Jarvis wearing his Pacific West Region director's hat.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Wolverines of the Northern Rockies

If ever there was an enduring symbol of the wildness of the Rocky Mountains, it would be the wolverine. While wolves and grizzly bears usually come to mind when talk turns to the Rockies’ animals that conjure images of the wild, the diminutive wolverine possesses a legendary reputation for toughness, resilience, and, some would say, cantankerousness.

Thermal Activity Closes One Yellowstone National Park Trail, Repairwork Allows Three Others to Reopen

A newly discovered "hot spot" has led to temporary closure of the Clear Lake Trail in Yellowstone National Park, but elsewhere in the park completed repairs have allowed officials to reopen three other trails.

National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants

Smithsonian high-fives the parks and Yahoo! Travel flips the bird.

Our National Parks: "For the Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People" (If You Don't Mind the Entrance Fee)

While the three "entrance-fee-free" weekends in the National Park System are now behind us, the debate over the propriety of park entrance fees no doubt will go forward, if not heighten, in the wake of some impressive visitor numbers logged by some parks. One organization that you won't hear lobbying for a permanent waiving of the fees, though, is the American Recreation Coalition, which was a strong voice for them more than a decade ago and continues that stance today.

Just Down the Hallway: Saving Money at a National Park Lodge by Choosing a Room without a Private Bathroom

Even experienced travelers often are surprised to learn that some national park lodges still offer rooms without a private bathroom. In fact, in making a reservation at one of the lodges you might discover there is no choice other than a room that requires use of a community bathroom. While European visitors are not surprised and might even expect rooms without a private bathroom, many U.S. travelers don’t look kindly on the need to use a bathroom that is just down the hallway.

Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?

August, thanks to its hot and humid nature in the political capital of the universe, Washington, D.C., usually is the time politicians head to the hinterlands. And while most presidents see the month as their own opportunity to escape the bluster and fury of Washington, President Obama decided to take the opportunity not to flee the spotlight, but take it with him on his windshield tours of Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Grizzly Bears

Natural events — wildfires, floods, windstorms — often leave behind obvious marks on the landscapes they touch. Charred trees and scorched meadows, washed out trails, and swaths of fallen trees are some of the reminders of these powerful forces. The impacts wrought by other naturally occurring events and cycles are not always so easy to discern.

Reader Participation Day, Fine Arts Division: Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, or Maynard Dixon?

If cost were no object, whose national park painting would you hang on your wall? Would it be a Thomas Moran, an Albert Bierstadt, or a Maynard Dixon?

The First Family Plans to Visit Two Western National Parks Next Weekend

President Obama and his family on a trip to Accra, Ghana
If you plan to be in either Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Parks next weekend, you may want to count on a little extra traffic. The first family plans to join you.

Got Plans for the Rest of Summer? Here Are Some Deals and Packages From Around the National Park System

There's still at least a month of great summer weather to be enjoyed before any thoughts of fall or winter will sneak into your mind. And if you're looking for a national park getaway, here are some deals and packages being offered around the National Park System. Some expire right around Labor Day, some run later into the year.

Studies Show Summer Traffic in Yellowstone National Park Not As Polluting As Snowmobiles in Winter

While there are many, many more cars, trucks, and motorcycles traveling through Yellowstone National Park in summer than snowmobiles in winter, the summer traffic is not quite as polluting, according to park studies. Indeed, a greater problem with air quality in summer stems from forest fires.

Judge Mulling Request To Address Yellowstone National Park's Wandering Bison

When last we left the issue of free-roaming bison in Yellowstone National Park, there was controversy over how the animals were being "hazed" back into the park from a place called the Horse Butte Peninsula in Montana. Now the Montana Stockgrowers Association has gone to court to force the hazing to follow a more specific schedule, even though no cattle are grazed on the land in question.

Major Road Closure Coming to Yellowstone National Park

A key section of the Grand Loop road system in Yellowstone National Park will be closed to traffic for the rest of the summer beginning August 17. While that won't keep you from reaching all front-country areas of the park, it will require some substantial detours.

Snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Environmental Extremists in the Obama Administration

What are we to think when a U.S. senator brands Jon Jarvis, a highly respected regional director of the National Park Service, as representing "the extreme policies of the Obama administration"?

Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park Agree to work on LUST Together

LUST is a serious problem in Yellowstone National Park. No, not THAT kind of LUST, but rather Leaking Underground Storage Tanks. And officials from the national park and the state of Wyoming have pledged to work together on cleaning up the problem.

National Geographic Magazine Revisits Yellowstone National Park's Supervolcano

There's nothing earth-shatteringly new in National Geographic Magazine's latest article on the slumbering supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park. But that doesn't mean it's not a good read.

American Recovery Act Putting Your Tax Dollars To Work in National Parks

True, when you consider that the maintenance backlog across the National Park System is some $8 billion or so, the $750 million-$920 million being spent in the parks courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act isn't that significant. Still, some good work is being done with the money.

Jon Jarvis Questioned During His Confirmation Hearing On Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park

Jon Jarvis found himself navigating a tricky path Tuesday during his confirmation hearing as the next director of the National Park Service when questioned about recreational snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park.

State of Wyoming Heads Back to Court To Argue Higher Snowmobile Numbers in Yellowstone National Park

Wyoming officials, clearly unhappy with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's take on snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park, have gone back to court to bump up the numbers all the way to 740 per day.

Interior Secretary Scales Back Snowmobile Use in Yellowstone National Park, Calls for More Public Comment

With a new administration in Washington the pendulum on snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park is swinging back towards fewer machines. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday directed the National Park Service to follow a course that could limit recreational snowmobile use in Yellowstone to 318 machines per day for each of the next two winters.

Catch Live Yellowstone National Park Webcasts, Live, Twice a Week

Twice a week for the next three weeks you'll be able to bring a live Yellowstone National Park ranger into your home.

California Man Becomes Second Yellowstone National Park Visitor To Be Gored By Bison This Year

Despite all the warnings passed out by Yellowstone National Park officials and rangers, from time to time visitors looking for that perfect photograph overlook the fact that the park's bison not only are wild, but can be highly temperamental. A California man discovered that in a most painful way Wednesday when looking for a close-up and the bison he was focusing on decided he wanted no part of a photo shoot.

Tinder-Dry Conditions Prompt "High" Fire Danger Warning in Grand Teton National Park

Building summer heat and declining moisture are combining to produce dangerous fire conditions in Grand Teton National Park and the adjacent Bridger-Teton National Forest. The potential for wildfires has been bumped up to "high" in those two preserves.

Are Our National Parks No Longer for the People?

Chesler Park, Canyonlands National Park, Kurt Repanshek photo.
Are national parks no longer for the people? Have environmental groups succeeded in legally creating roadblocks to prevent their enjoyment? An Ohio man believes so. But what do you think?

National Park Quiz 63: Pools

The theme of this week’s quiz is a term that has at least 13 different meanings. We’ll pretty much stick with the standard connotation, but not entirely. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you clean the Traveler wishing well and count all the pennies.

Visitation On Record Pace in Yellowstone National Park

If Yellowstone National Park could be viewed as a bellwether, then those who fear the national parks are suffering from a decline in visitors will be relieved. The latest figures show that a visitation rebound in Yellowstone that started in May has now reached a record pace.

Construction Shuts Off Some Access to Norris Geyser Basin In Yellowstone National Park

Ahhh summertime. The best time of year to visit national parks, and the time when most folks do just that. Unfortunately, if you're heading to Yellowstone National Park part of the Norris Geyser Basin is closed for about a month due to reconstruction of some 400 feet of boardwalk.