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National Park Supporters Thrilled With President's FY2016 Budget Proposal And What It Holds

The boost President Obama wants to see in the National Park Service's budget for the next fiscal year is a huge one compared to recent budgets, and his work is being applauded by those who support the national parks. But will it be embraced by the Republican-controlled Congress?
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Photography In The National Parks: My Five Fave Shots of 2014

It's 2015 - a new year with all sorts of new prospects for photography in the national parks. Looking back to the old year, what images did you capture that were your ultimate favorites? Contributing photographer Rebecca Latson shows us her five favorites from 2014 along with camera settings and the reason each is a favorite with her.
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President Obama's FY2016 Budget Request Includes $3 Billion For National Park Service

President Obama's budget request for the 2016 fiscal year seeks $2.6 billion for the National Park Service, an increase of $55 million from current funding levels. That request seeks hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure needs, such as renovations to the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park and for safety, efficiency, and access upgrades to the visitor's center at Gettysburg National Military Park.
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Another "Off-Season" Rescue At Rocky Mountain National Park

The winter season may not be as busy as the summer in terms of total visitation at Rocky Mountain National Park, but the scaled-down "off-season" staff has stayed plenty busy with rescues. The past week brought a multi-day search for a hiker on an ill-advised attempt to cross the park via Trail Ridge Road; that effort was followed yesterday by the rescue of a climber after a fall in the park's backcountry.
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The World's Largest National Park Is "Not Your Typical National Park"

The nation of Greenland only has one national park...but when a park has this many superlatives, one is probably enough. The world's largest national park covers more territory than all but 30 entire countries, and features dramatic scenery and abundant wildlife. However, due to its relative inaccessibility, it is not a national park in the traditional sense, and a visit to Greenland National Park requires plenty of advance planning.
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2nd Annual Essential Guide To Paddling The Parks

Flat water. Whitewater. Tranquil pools and rising tides. All this and more abounds in the National Park System’s water world. Though often described as “more than 84 million acres” of landscape, the system also embraces endless miles of streams, lakeshore, and ocean front. It’s a watery landscape you can explore for half-a-day, or for the rest of your life.
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Blizzard Of '15 Takes Out Nauset Light Beach Staircase At Cape Cod National Seashore

Well, time again to order a new set of beach access stairs for Nauset Light Beach at Cape Cod National Seashore. The staircase, which was replaced in 2013 after a winter storm, was taken out by the "Blizzard of '15," according to Seashore Superintendent George Price.
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Lake Mead National Recreation Area Seeking "Memories" For Exhibits On St. Thomas Townsite

In 1856 Mormon settlers established the small town of St. Thomas, Nevada, at the confluence of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers. After the construction of Hoover Dam, the town was inundated by the rising waters of Lake Mead in 1938. Now a prolonged drought and lower lake levels have once again revealed the site of St. Thomas, and the staff at Lake Mead National Recreation Area is looking for help developing interpretive information about the former town.
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Time To Join Grand Teton National Park Rangers For A Snowshoe Stroll

Cross your fingers for clear skies over Grand Teton National Park this coming Saturday, for park rangers are planning to lead a moonlight stroll. Along with Saturday's planned outing, a Taggart Lake snowshoe walk is scheduled during the day on Saturday, February 7, as a part of Jackson Hole Winter Trails Day celebrations.
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Laughing Birds In The Caribbean

Laughing Bird Caye NP, copyright Kurt Repanshek

A small island, really not much more than an islet, is the landing ground for Laughing Bird Caye National Park in Belize. But to really explore this national park, you need to don fins and mask and dive beneath the waves. Its borders extend to encompass about 10,000 acres of the surrounding Caribbean Sea.

Kurt Repanshek
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Ozark National Scenic Riverways GMP Raises Questions Of Political Pressures

A much-awaited General Management Plan for Ozark National Scenic Riverways, one that in its draft stages drew calls for the park to be given to the state of Missouri, reflects political pressures, not the best environmental protections for the Riverways, according to one observer.
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President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

President Obama, in a move certain to generate controversy, is pushing for the country's largest wilderness designation to be bestowed on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Additionally, the Democrat wants four rivers -- the Atigun, Hulahula, Kongakut, and Marsh Fork Canning -- to be added to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
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Multiple Wildfires Plus Rescue Test The Staff And Cooperators At Buffalo National River

The past week was an especially busy one for park staff and cooperating agencies at Buffalo National River. Dry winter weather set the stage for four responses to wildfires, including multiple fires on the same day, and just to keep life interesting, those incidents overlapped with a call for help when a rider was injured after a fall from a mule on a backcountry trail.
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No Bones, Bullets, Or Bodies Connected With 132-Year-Old Winchester Found At Great Basin National Park

No bones, bullets, or bodies have been connected with that century-old Winchester rifle found propped against a gnarled juniper in the backcountry of Great Basin National Park, but park staff are not finished with investigating the circumstances around how the rifle got there.
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20 Years On, Yellowstone National Park's Experiment With Wolves Continues To Evolve

“…A country without wolves isn’t really good country, it's incomplete - it doesn’t have its full spirit,” said Yellowstone National Park biologist Doug Smith during an interview last year with NPR’s Snap Judgement, about wolves, specifically about the life and death of a famous Yellowstone wolf, 832F, or 06.
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Smoke From Fire Impacts Major Art Collection At Independence National Historical Park

Anyone who has worked in an emergency response job knows that false alarms from fire and security systems are a fact of life, but on Tuesday morning last week, a smoke alarm from a building at Independence National Historical Park proved to be the real deal. Prompt response by firefighters prevented major damage to the historic Second Bank building, but an important collection of artwork received serious smoke impacts.
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Op-Ed| The National Park Service Could Learn A Few Things From Its African Colleagues

America’s National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016. During the upcoming year, it’s expected the NPS will seek public comment on how best to ensure the park system and Service reach their bicentennial. The agency should look to Africa for guidance.
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Comment Period Open For Coral Bay Development Near Virgin Islands National Park

Public comment is being taken by the Army Corps of Engineers on a proposed marina on Coral Bay in the Virgin Islands that could impact Virgin Islands National Park. If the marina is built, according to opponents, it would become one of the largest in the Caribbean and located in "one of the most environmentally sensitive areas of St John."
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Winter Hasn't Been Cold At Kenai Fjords National Park And Preserve In Alaska

Things are warming up in Alaska, and that's not a good thing. At Kenai Fjords National Park, the average monthly temperature in December was nearly 6 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, the same departure noticed in November. Just one day in December saw temperatures dip below freezing, as measured at the Seward airport.
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Desert Lands In Three California Parks Being Protected Through Partnership Efforts

Many national parks include inholdings, privately-owned property which poses a potential threat for development that would be detrimental to surrounding park lands. Unfortunately, Congress often fails to appropriate funds in a timely fashion to purchase these inholdings, even if an owner wants to sell to the NPS. In the case of three California desert parks, a non-profit partner is helping to fill this gap.
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide