National Park Quiz 33: Colors

This week’s quiz explores many colorful aspects of our national parks. We’re going to depart from custom here and mix in some true-false and short-answer items. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking we’ll confiscate your crayons.

Yellowstone National Park's Winter Season Needs Help From Predicted Storm

Yellowstone National Park is scheduled to open its winter season on Monday, and a storm forecast for this weekend could give the park a big boost in terms of snow cover. Without additional snow, the season might open without enough of the white stuff for snowmobiling.

At Yellowstone, It’s Fluffy the Snuggle-Bud One, Coyotes Zero

I wish that Fluffy could talk. Maybe then we could find out how in the world she managed to do it.

National Park Service Draws Criticism for Winter-Use Plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

National Park Service officials have finalized winter-use rules for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, and quickly drew condemnation for ignoring what's best for the parks' natural resources.

NRDC Calls For Endangered Species Act Protection for Whitebark Pine Tree

While most often we hear about fish, bird, or animal species needing Endangered Species Act protection, today a group is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend that protection to a tree, the whitebark pine.
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Bush Administration: Slash and Burn on The Way Out of Office?

As the end of the Bush administration nears, it's natural for many to look back on the past eight years and try to assess the sum impact. In the case of public lands and natural resources, it's relatively easy to castigate the outgoing administration for its seemingly heavy hand on that landscape.

From Job Creation to Everglades Czar, Green Groups Have Lengthy National Parks Wishlist

Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo.
A coalition of nearly 30 "green groups" has a lengthy to-do list for the incoming Obama administration when it comes to the National Park System. For starters, they say, let's include the parks in the economic stimuli being proposed, expect more from National Park Service leadership, and protect the natural resources.
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Survey Shows Americans Love Bison But Largely Are Clueless About their Plight

Americans overwhelmingly love bison as an iconic image of the West, but are largely clueless over the ecological plight these animals face, according to a national survey.

Updated: Dueling Judges Push Yellowstone National Park Snowmobile Limit Back to 720 Per Day

In one of the most bizarre public lands dramas in recent history, Yellowstone National Park officials Monday afternoon said they would allow up to 720 snowmobiles into the park every day this winter.
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It's been more than a decade since the wolf recovery program was launched in Yellowstone National Park. The results have been nothing short of remarkable.

Bison Might be Allowed to Range Further Beyond Yellowstone National Park Borders

Work is under way on a proposal to give bison more room to roam outside of Yellowstone National Park this winter without being killed or hazed back into the park. Though still in the preliminary stages, the proposal would help expand safe winter range for the iconic animals.

Yellowstone National Park Releases Winter-Use Proposal

Yellowstone National Park officials, having had their initially preferred winter-use plan shot down by a federal judge, are back with another proposal. This one would allow up to 318 commercially guided snowmobiles, and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches, into the park each day.

Thanks to the California Desert Protection Act, Death Valley National Park is the Biggest Park in the Coterminous U.S.

On October 31, 1994, the California Desert Protection Act redesignated Death Valley from National Monument to National Park and added 1.3 million acres to the new National Park’s holdings. In one fell swoop, Congress had transferred bragging rights for “biggest park in the 48-state U.S.” from Yellowstone to Death Valley.

National Park Quiz 26: Frightful Places and Scary Stuff

Halloween is the day after tomorrow, so let’s turn to the scarier side of national park visitation for this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end, but please don’t peek. Cheaters never prosper – unless, of course, they work on Wall Street.

National Park Quiz 24: Old, Older, Oldest

Are you chronologically challenged? Take this week’s quiz and find out. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write 100 times on the whiteboard: “Isotopic stratigraphy, a branch of chemostratigraphy, should not be confused with lithostratigraphy or cyclostratigraphy”.

Imagine the Impacts of Climate Change on the National Park System

Waterless Yosemite Fall, Kurt Repanshek photo
Imagine Yosemite National Park without Yosemite Fall. Or Glacier National Park without glaciers. Or Old Faithful becoming less faithful. Across the National Park System, the effects of climate change could be quite dramatic.
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Wyoming Congressional Delegation Pushing Interior Secretary To Move on Yellowstone Snowmobile Plan

Wyoming's congressional delegation, concerned about the winter economies of Cody and Jackson, have asked Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to, essentially, order Yellowstone National Park open to snowmobiling this winter.
Hawks Rest: A Season in the Remote Heart of Yellowstone Eleven weeks spent in what arguably is the most remote corner of the continental United States taught writer Gary Ferguson that, sadly, some who pass through the landscape take it too much for granted.

Updated: Groups Claim Yellowstone National Park Officials Abdicating Responsibility Over Snowmobile Access Issue

Officials for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks announced Wednesday that they would prepare yet another environmental study to clear the way for recreational snowmobiling and snowcoach traffic in the parks this winter.

National Park Quiz 21: Railroads

You don’t need to be a railfan to do well on this week’s railroad-focused quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you polish the brass in Traveler’s private rail car.

Musings From Yellowstone National Park

Lower Falls. Kurt Repanshek photo.
Despite all the issues that constantly swirl around the National Park System -- funding constraints, staffing woes, rising fees -- there's still more to be proud about than disappointed.

Yellowstone, Grand Teton Officials Searching For Snowmobile, Snowcoach Solution

Officials at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, concerned about a judge's ruling that blocks recreational snowmobiling and snow coach use in the parks, are searching for a way to get around that ruling.

The Wild Side of Yellowstone National Park

Bigger than a saucier pan, the paw print held in the wet sand of a beach deep in the South Arm of Yellowstone Lake was unmistakable: here was the home of Ursus arctos horribilis, aka grizzly bear.

Federal Government to Back Off on Wolf Delisting In Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Federal wildlife authorities who once were so confident the gray wolf could survive without Endangered Species Act protections now say they didn't do all their homework as completely as they should have.

How Did The National Park Service Err So Badly On the Yellowstone Winter-Use Plan?

How did the National Park Service err so badly in developing a winter-use plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks? According to a federal judge who blocked the plan from taking effect, the agency overlooked its own science and its own mission.

Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park

A federal judge, ruling that Yellowstone National Park's decision to continue recreational snowmobile use in the park runs counter to science and the National Park Service's conservation mission, has tossed out the park's winter-use plan.
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Greening the National Parks: Environmental Achievement Awards Highlight Sustainable Design, Energy-Efficiency, and Recycling

To encourage eco-friendly operations, the National Park Service presents Environmental Achievement Awards each year to parks and concession companies that have excelled in incorporating high environmental standards into their operations. The 2007 awards were presented to Blue Ridge Parkway, Yosemite National Park, Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, and Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

National Park History: “The Spirit of the Civilian Conservation Corps”

The year was 1932, and America was in the midst of the worst economic downturn in history. Unemployment stood at 25 percent; homelessness at two million people. When Americans went to the polls, they overwhelmingly elected Franklin D. Roosevelt president. FDR immediately sought 'relief, recovery, and reform' to rebuild America's tattered economy. FDR was not interested in merely handing out money to people. Instead, he wanted to put them to work.

National Park Quiz 19: Trails

You’ll have fun with this week’s quiz, even if you don’t stride or ride the national park trails. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you remove the meadow muffins from our favorite hiking trail.