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Rocky Mountain National Park Considering Changes To Trails Damaged By September '13 Flooding

Every now and again, nature rises up and lets you know you didn't build something in the right place, or sturdy enough. At Rocky Mountain National Park, that message came through clearly in September 2013 when torrential rains spawned massive flooding that erased parts of some trails. Now park officials are wondering how best to reroute and repair those trails.
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Grand Canyon National Park Proposing Increase In Fees To Help Pay For Repairs, Maintenance

Need evidence that Congress isn't fully funding the national parks? In their proposal to raise entrance fees, Grand Canyon National Park officials say the higher fees would be put to use, in part, on "repair and maintenance of park facilities" as well as "restoration and rehabilitation of visitor service buildings."
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Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Confident There Will Be No Lapse In Concession Services

Dave Uberuagua could be viewed as a poker player facing the slim prospects of filling an inside straight draw. The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park doesn't like, or agree with, the analogy, but in less than two months concession services on the South Rim of his park will be shuttered unless he can do in that period what the National Park Service has failed to accomplish for three years: negotiate a concessions contract.
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Valley Forge National Historical Park Offers Interesting Options For Veterans Day Activities

Veterans Day will be observed by special programs at numerous locations around the country on November 11, and Valley Forge National Historical Park will take in interesting approach next Tuesday when park staff, volunteers, and veterans will present America's military history from the perspectives of a variety of conflicts including the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War II, and Vietnam War.
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Alaska Trip Helps High School Students Learn About Climate Change

A dozen days spent in national parks in Alaska this summer helped high school students from Ohio learn a little bit more about climate change up close. Their experience was part of the first “Climate Change Academy,” an immersive, comprehensive climate change course offered through the National Park Service.
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Deadline Looming For Concessions At Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim

Barring a temporary agreement, mass layoffs stand to cripple concessions operations at Grand Canyon National Park on December 31, shuttering hotels and dining rooms, ending mule rides and bus tours, and canceling some memorable New Year's Eve celebrations on the South Rim.
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Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Plan To Restore Road Overrun By Lava Not Without Ecological Hazards

A proposal to build an emergency access route across a lava-covered section of Chain of Craters Kalapana Road at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is not without hazards to the environment in the form of "potentially ecosystem altering" invasive species such as fire ants and coqui frogs.
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UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees

Yellowstone National Park officials, seeking to cover more of their bills, are proposing sweeping changes in their fees, from higher entrance fees to backcountry user fees. If all the proposals were instituted, it would generate roughly $3 million for the park, which currently spends about $4 million a year in existing fees on projects ranging from campground upgrades to road repairs.
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Birding In The National Parks: The Birds No One Seems To See

I’ve spending an awful lot of time thinking about the birds no one sees. That’s not something birders, or anyone, ponders often. We like to think about our lists, talk about the birds we’ve seen and the ones others have seen that we just missed. We don’t talk about the birds that no one ever sees, mostly because we don’t know anything about them.
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Cold As Ice...At Gates Of Arctic National Park And Preserve

GAAR-Permafrost NPS

Cold as ice. That pretty much sums up permafrost at Gates of Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska. This photo from the park staff shows a  wonderful example of permafrost; you can easily make out the frozen, and unfrozen, soils. With such a short summer season, much of the ground in the Arctic stays permanently frozen, creating conditions for shallow root systems and low growing plants, the park says.

National Park Service
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Next Time You Visit Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park...

The next you find yourself in Vermont to visit Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, be sure to spend a little time checking out Woodstock. And to help you on your exploration of the town, pick up the 32-page New Birth of Freedom: A Walk Through the Civil War Home Front in Woodstock, Vermont, at the park.
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Essential Winter Guide '14: Winter Doesn't Have To Be An Off-Season

When it comes to construction skills, male Anhingas are slackers. Oh, they’re good at pulling together nesting materials, but that’s about it. Instead of turning the sticks, twigs, and leafy greenery they collect into a nest for their mates, they stash the materials in trees and let the females build the actual nest.
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New Maps Promote Lake Mead National Recreation Area's "Accessible Wilderness"

Lake Mead National Recreation Area has just released a set of six maps that describe "self-guided adventures that range from quick trips by car, to peaceful raft trips down the river to a four-wheel-drive backcountry trip to Lake Mead." What makes these maps unique is the fact they're being used to promote the park's nine wilderness areas.
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"To Conserve Unimpaired...", Unless Told Otherwise By Congress

Students of National Park Service history are well-familiar with the National Park Service Organic Act, particularly the section of it that reads that the agency's primary mandate is, "....to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein..." But there should be a caveat inserted, one that permits the agency to look away from that mandate.
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To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question

Should the National Park Service work to see 4G coverage extended to as much of the National Park System as possible? Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility doesn't believe that should happen, and is behind a petition drive to have that idea spiked before we find visitors experiencing the parks in the palms of their hands, and not by using all their senses.
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Essential Park Guide, Winter '14: Your Guide To Exploring The Parks This Winter

When it comes to construction skills, male Anhingas are slackers. Oh, they’re good at pulling together nesting materials, but that’s about it. Instead of turning the sticks, twigs, and leafy greenery they collect into a nest for their mates, they stash the materials in trees and let the females build the actual nest.
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UPDATED: National Park Foundation Head Resigns, Yellowstone Superintendent To Take Job Temporarily

Neil Mulholland announced his resignation Friday as president and chief executive officer of the National Park Foundation, a surprise development that comes just as the Foundation is entering a "critical phase" for fund-raising keyed to the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. Replacing him on a temporary basis was Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk.
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Judge Asked To Reconsider Certain Aspects Of Big Cypress National Preserve Addition Lands Ruling

A coalition of conservation groups that came out on the short end of a ruling pertaining to off-road vehicle use in the Addition Lands section of Big Cypress National Preserve has asked the judge to reconsider four aspects of his decision.
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Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change

Adam Markham, director of climate impacts for the Union of Concerned Scientists' Climate and Energy Program and a co-author of the report “National Landmarks at Risk," has written the following rebuttal to Dr. Daniel B. Botkin's column on climate change and his thoughts on what is, and isn't, driving it.
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide