President's FY15 Budget Proposal For National Park Service Requests Slight Increase

President Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget contains a slight, $55 million increase for the National Park Service, though that number could swell to more than $650 million if Congress goes along with the president's vision.

National Parks Generate Billions In Economic Activity

How far the national parks have come, from being described in the 19th century as unproductive wastelands to get congressional approval to now being described as economic engines that are behind nearly $27 billion in business.

Essential Paddling Guide: Staying Safe On The Water

All throughout our National Park System there are waters perfect for paddling that range from placid ponds and lakes to tumultuous rivers filled with boulder-studded cataracts that require a careful eye and deft paddle. Here are some tips for staying safe on the water.

The Book That Launched A Thousand Parks: Wilderness And The American Mind

Roderick Nash's 5th edition of his seminal work, Wilderness and the American Mind, should serve as a reminder of the underlying value of nature in the raw, a value that shouldn't be trivialized.

Time To Sign Up For Summer Field Courses In The National Parks

Sure, it's winter, but you shouldn't be neglecting your summer fun. Now's the time to be signing up for field courses in the national parks.
Rare Birds of North America What are the rarest birds in North America? If we’re talking about birds that breed on the continent, Whooping Cranes and California Condors come to mind. There are only a few hundred of each alive today. Kirtland’s Warblers are the rarest songbird, with a little more than a couple thousand pairs in existence.

Around The Parks: Paddling Rules, Poster Contests, Grand Canyon's Airshed

Congressional efforts to dictate paddling rules in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, a poster contest at Cedar Breaks National Monument, and cleaner air for Grand Canyon National Park are just some of the topics swirling about the National Park System.

Traveler's Essential Paddling Guide To The National Parks

Paddling down a river or across a lake in a national park setting is truly a wonderful, memorable experience, one that carries thrills and life-long memories. You can retrace the historic 19th-century journey of John Wesley Powell, or land on a lodgepole pine-studded shore where camp is set under swaying trees and the evening brings a vivid sunset.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Guide To Paddling The Parks

Where can you paddle in the National Park System? What sort of paddler are you? Kayaker, canoeist, rafter? Options abound for all of you, as we explain in Traveler's Essential Guide To Paddling The Parks.

Traveler's View: Don't Let The Sportsmen's Heritage And Recreational Enhancement Act Undermine National Parks

The U.S. Senate should strip from the Sportmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act an amendment that would bar the National Park Service from better managing motorboat access in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

Giantess Geyser Offers Winter Visitors To Yellowstone National Park A Rare Treat

Winter visitors to Yellowstone National Park who were fortunate enough to be in the Old Faithful area last week were treated to a rather rare display by Giantess Geyser—the geyser's first reported eruption in well over two years.

Photo History From National Park Lookouts Shows Landscape Changes Over 70+ Years

There's an intriguing page within the vast nps.gov domain that opens a wonderful portal of history, one that allows us to compare today with yesteryear. The site, within the National Park Service Fire and Aviation Management section, compares historic photos taken from fire lookouts in the National Park System with today's landscapes.

Yellowstone National Park Officials Want Someone Else To Tend To Beartooth Highway

The Beartooth Highway that rambles between Red Lodge, Montana, and Yellowstone National Park's Northeast Entrance is the most scenic approach to the park. Unfortunately, this maintenance-heavy route is in need of someone other than the National Park Service to care for it.

Just How Accurate Are National Park Concessionaires' On-Line Reservation Sites?

Are you making your summer park vacation plans? Don't place full faith in on-line reservations sites, as they don't always tell the full story of what's available.

Study Points To Value Of Protecting Migrational Routes Between National Parks

The need to prevent national park units from turning into biological islands, cut off from other wild lands by development, is not a new worry. But a recent study reinforces the value of ensuring migrational corridors survive.

Photography In The National Parks: Going Inside

In early November of every year the gates are closed and the rest of Yellowstone National Park seems to cease its existence for six whole months.

A View From The Overlook: The First National Park (We Think)

After doing a bit of volunteer time last summer at Yellowstone National Park, I decided to do a column on dear old Yellowstone, established way back in 1872, “The World’s First National Park." Or so I thought.

Yellowstone National Park Officials Opt Not To Use "Remote Vaccination" Program For Bison

Saying it doesn't "make sense," Yellowstone National Park officials have opted not to use a "remote vaccination" program in a bid to prevent the spread of brucellosis on the park's bison herds.

Reactions To Yellowstone Supervolcano Study Ranged From Hysteria To Ho-Hum

News from the parks in 2013 offered some fine opportunities for reporters, but for those inclined toward dramatic headlines, few stories could match the release of an updated study on the "Yellowstone Super-Volcano." Depending upon the source, readers might conclude that the end is near...or it's no big deal.

Inspiration For 2014: My Top 10 Family Adventures

If you’re looking for some ideas and inspiration for 2014, here are my 10 favorite family adventures at The Big Outside (another list that will keep growing and evolving), as well as a bonus 11th trip that made this list last year but saw its spot usurped this year.
The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be Is the natural world that surrounds you the same as the one that surrounded your parents, or your grandparents? What about that of your great-grandparents? The short answer, of course, is 'no.'

Photography In The National Parks: Dealing With Dancing Snowflakes

Recently a friend wrote to ask where I was spending the winter and when I replied, "Yellowstone," they appeared to be dumbfounded.

Deadline Extended Over Whether Wolverine Needs Endangered Species Act Protection

A debate over whether the wolverine needs Endangered Species Act protection has prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend its deadline for making the decision on that question.

"Vital Signs" Report Tracks Status Of Wildlife In Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a fully functioning ecosystem, one constantly in motion as wildlife populations ebb and flow, climate slowly changes, and geologic processes continue. Details of some of those changes are reflected in the park's 2013 Natural Resource Vital Signs report.

Yellowstone National Park To Open Winter Season On Sunday

With a snowy fall having laid down a reasonable snowpack on Yellowstone National Park, the park will open for the winter season on Sunday.

New NPS "Wildland Fire Strategic Plan" Offers Some Candid Insights Into Fire Management Challenges

Among the functions performed by the National Park Service, few can top "fire management" in terms of costs, public safety, and impacts on both park and adjacent property and activities. That said, you may wish to take advantage of the opportunity to review and comment on the agency's new Wildland Fire Strategic Plan: 2014-2019.

Essential Park Guide, Winter: Exchange Leafy Summer Trails For Snowy Forests

Winter in the National Park System often brings to mind frosty snowscapes, places where you can skim on skinny skis, or clomp along in snowshoes that, though a bit cumbersome, help you go places you might not venture without them.

Essential Park Guide, Winter: Painting The Parks, Driven By Nature's Beauty

Outdoors, in the majesty of the national parks, masterpieces are created by artists drawn to nature's beauty.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide Winter 2013-14

It was a (hopefully not) one of those once-in-a-lifetime visits to a far off national park, and I was flat on my back. That, however, was not all bad at Virgin Islands National Park on the Caribbean island of St. John, where basking under the February sun on the sugar-sand beaches in between snorkeling adventures is de rigueur. Preferably with a cool drink in hand and a rattan mat beneath you.