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Mount Rushmore National Memorial Parking Fee Reduced Under New Contract

Jul 11th - 15:36pm | PaulAZ

Plenty of views from outside the "park" if you don't want to pay. Think of it as a way of keeping the Highway from being overwhelmed with parked cars/ RVs etc. If you've driven the area it's worth the $10 just to keep the road clear

Jul 11th - 13:48pm | Jim S

Entry to Mt. Rushmore is free.  Parking is the only fee you'll pay.  

Jul 9th - 12:34pm | ecbuck-alt

You now have to pay to park at a national park? You have had to pay to park at Rushmore for some time.  I was told my annual pass wasn't good because the lot was privately owned.  Obviously that isn't the case if the NPS is awarding the franchise.  Go to Crazy Horse.  Its far more interesting - but will cost you $20.

Jul 9th - 11:54am | Sylvia Hix

What?  You now have to pay to park at a national park?  What on earth is going on?  

Jul 9th - 08:55am | ecbuck

The Mount Rushmore Society is a fundraising organization on behalf of the park.  They have lost the parking contract to Xanterra.  I would be interested to know whether its anticipated that the Xanterra parking concession fees will make up for the losses of the Society funding. Hard to see how those economics would work unless the Society is extremely inefficient.  

Jul 9th - 08:54am | ecbuck

The Mount Rushmore Society is a fundraising organization on behalf of the park.  They have lost the parking contract to Xanterra.  I would be interested to know whether its anticipated that the Xanterra parking concession fees will make up for the losses of the Society funding. Hard to see how those economics would work unless the Society is extremely inefficient.  

Cyclist in Yosemite National Park Dies in Collision With Auto

Jul 11th - 12:13pm | Rick B.

Very true. In my street medic days I once saw a helmet split in two on impact, falling to the side like two clamshells, but the head inside was left intact. The impact on that same head without the helmet would have been gruesome.

Jul 11th - 08:02am | Biker.Will

Very sad to read this, and also disappointed Mr Ku wasn't wearing a helmet. Probably would have saved his life. I always wear my helmet, actually feel naked on the bike if I'm not wearing it, along with my gloves. Learned the hard way once, and that was enough!

Former Effigy Mounds National Monument Superintendent Sentenced To Jail Time

Jul 11th - 09:34am | SmokiesBackpacker

If any one of us were to do anything remotely similar, we would go to federal prison for eternity.  Good ole double standard for the NPS management.  Feds taking care of feds.

Jul 11th - 07:23am | Biker.Will

Poor old fella, it could have happened to any of us. He was just taking a short cut to save some time and work for everyone i in relocating scone old bones that no-one even, knew who they belonged to anyway.

Jul 10th - 15:13pm | Rick B.

His actions were absolutely outrageous, and he got off very lightly.

By the Numbers: Memorial Day Weekend at Yosemite National Park

Jul 11th - 07:57am | Biker.Will

Owen seems to have quite the memory - from nearly 40 years earlier, Wow, I'm impressed! I would love to read about the famous Stoneman Meadow Riot, sounds like a trip! Though at such a busy time of the year, I don't think you can Blame it all on youth from the Bay area. But i Always wondered about why the roadways became one-way at the time. Now i know!

Western Charm And Personality, Cody, Wyoming

Jul 10th - 22:38pm | Marilynn Rupp

Just came back from Cody and Yellowstone.  Cody was a nice break from the park.  The Cody Muesum has so much in it.  What a lovely surprise. Really enjoyed the rodeo and dinner/show as well.  Finally, if you enjoy history, you have to visit Heart Mountain.  It tells about a part of our history we need to learn from. It is a full day to say the least.

Petrified Forest National Park is Still Being Stolen One Piece at a Time

Jul 9th - 07:52am | Steven Neul

I remember going to the park when I was a teenager with my parents in the late 1960's or early 1970's and the grounds near the visiter center was nearly completely covered with petrified wood small enough a person could pick up. Then I went back in June of 2016 with my own family and was very distressed. I think in that time 75% of the petrified wood has been hauled off.

Helping Kids Experience The Healing Ceremony Of Nature - Ron Kauk And Sacred Rok

Jul 8th - 15:13pm | MK Gilbert

Being out in unadulturated nature is so very theraputic and healing! I don't believe humans were meant to live in cities...

Jul 8th - 11:34am | Janet Barker

Pure inspiration. Bravo. In light of all the darkness dominating the media and our hearts these days, we need more examples of goodness and genuine spiritual light. Ron and his Nature-oriented non-profit is the tonic we need. Thank you for the story and details of Ron's important work. All children deserve a chance.

Jul 7th - 22:31pm | rmackie

Agree Rick B., an excellent program led by a very talented and fine person, Mr. Ron Kauk. 

Jul 7th - 18:09pm | Rick B.

I just love these outreach efforts. Hooking kids up with the parks, in particular kids at risk is so worth it.

Jul 7th - 15:41pm | Hilary Hopkins

So happy to see this! About 6 six years ago my husband and I visited Yosemite from our home in Massachusetts and saw and heard Ron's presentation at the Visitor Center. We have been faithful supporters of Sacred Rok ever since, and are very glad to support all the goodness that flows from this program.

Jul 6th - 19:57pm | Marlyn Kauk

What a wonderful program.  I hope this work continues for those who would not have the opportunity to visit a park and enjoy nature.

Jul 6th - 08:32am | Lee Dalton

What a great story to enjoy over breakfast.  What was it Muir said about going to the mountains and glad tidings?  Sounds like someone is helping others do exactly that.  We need more people like Ron Kauk.

June Brought Record-Breaking Heat To Death Valley National Park

Jul 8th - 14:53pm | Andrew Prestwich

Please double check the record books as they also recorded a record high of 120 degrees on June 2, 2016.

Ranger Of The Lost Art: National Park History Preserved In Historic Posters

Jul 8th - 11:41am | Anonymous

Looking at these gorgeous posters, we are reminded of what the Park Service could have done for its centennial, especially to renew the agency's commitment to "interpretive" services. Hats off to Doug Leen for this remarkable contribution to history and historic preservation. Fortunately, the images I emphasize, produced by America's railroads, were printed in larger runs.

Jul 7th - 17:54pm | Rene

Kurt your profile of Doug is fantastic! Love all the detail you included. It was such a hoot to meet Doug last winter while we were camped next to him in Texas. His passion for the WPA posters is contageous. The parks are so fortunate to have such a great advocate like him.

When Did Dancing In The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Become A Crime?

Jul 8th - 01:32am | dave

It really is the initial arrest that caused the court ruling that bugs me the most. Those original 17, of which one was arrested, then the charges dropped, were there on TJ's birthday to celebrate his birthday, yet the park service found it fitting to arrest them even though it was late at night and there was no problem with creating a scene.

Jul 6th - 17:51pm | Anonymous

Yeah, there's just too much tolerance in this country!  MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!

Group Identifies 20 "Anti-Public Lands" Politicians

Jul 7th - 13:26pm | Lee Dalton

Here is a copy of an email received at the Utah Capitol recently:

Jul 6th - 11:52am | Lee Dalton

Still another chapter from Southeastern Utah's bin of lunacy:

Jul 5th - 20:51pm | Another Anonymous

I think Congressman, Paul Cook (R-CA) is getting a bad rap being lumped into a nefarious group including Reps. Rob Bishop and Don Young.  i consider Cook to be supportive of National Parks, but skeptical of Park expansion into areas with competing interests.  Cook has also taken heat for his opposition to Presidential proclamations of new National Monuments in the California Desert.

3 Perfectly Blue Days At Crater Lake National Park

Jul 7th - 12:55pm | [email protected]

The Annie Springs Entrance station Operation needs to be re-evaluated.  There have been intolerable wait times for visitors attempting to enter on both Memorial Day and July 4th Holiday Periods.  Traffic has been backed up all the way onto Hwy. 62.

Nine National Park System Units To Split $2 Million In Grants

Jul 7th - 12:40pm | Amelia Wright


NPCA Report Looks At Creating A National Recreation Area Along the Texas Coast Near Houston

Jul 7th - 10:56am | Anonymous

The area in question is a very rich wetland area that is viable for the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. There are some areas included here that have done more damage than good for the area with their major concerns of making money. Example being the City of Freeport, which has hastened beach erosion by continually removing the seaweed that washes on shore.

Photography In The National Parks: Don’t Forget To Pack Your Flash Or Reflector For Some Fill Light

Jul 7th - 10:26am | Daystar

I actually think that the pictures without the flash look better and more natural.

Oil Refinery Proposed Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park Gets Necessary Zoning

Jul 7th - 09:08am | Kurt Repanshek

John, the plant site is 3 miles east of the park entrance. NPCA has not specifically identified other locations in the state where an oil refinery would be suitable -- they have said they don't flatly oppose a new refinery, just the proposed siting of this one -- though that's not their responsibility, either.

Jul 7th - 08:55am | JohnBick

The location is variously described as "several miles form," "near" and "next to" the park. How close/far is it, exactly? Five miles, or fifty? It makes a difference. Clearly there is already industrial activity going on at the site if there is an existing rail loading facility. So while a refinery would add to the potential for problems, it would not be desecrating virgin soil.

Jul 6th - 23:17pm | Barb Zachow

No, no, a thousand times no. Billings County Commissioners should be ashamed.

Jul 6th - 22:32pm | Lee Dalton

The God of Money has spoken -- again.  

Jul 6th - 19:08pm | Yvonne

This is HORRIBLE!! I've been there and the park is very different from any other. Lots of wildlife and native flora and fauna. There should be a large outcry against such a close development. Wake up, PEOPLE!!

Public To Decide How $2 Million In Grants Will Be Split Among National Parks

Jul 6th - 19:04pm | ecbuck


Jul 6th - 18:46pm | ecbuck

quite - 2 million is 2 million more than you contributed in grants. I am sure, unlike you, the park units will accept the funds with graciousness.

Jul 6th - 18:02pm | quite please

How sad that the rich think  so little  of our national  treasures. WOW 2 mil is pocket change  to them and a tax break at that. They spend  more for a weekend  party on the yacht Gee thanks for the gift     

Jul 6th - 16:17pm | Kurt Repanshek

Full story tomorrow, EC, with details of the projects....

Jul 6th - 16:15pm | ecbuck Clingmans was one winner, who were the others. 

Exploring The Parks: A Stay In Isle Royale National Park

Jul 6th - 13:14pm | Anonymous

Isle Royale is best known for it's long term (50+ years) study on the moose and wolf population, one of the most interesting ecological real time studies anywhere.  Anyone who goes to Isle Royale will want to learn more.

Yellowstone Ranger

Jul 6th - 10:25am | rmackie

Thank you Traveler for this book review. Yellowstone Ranger is a really fun read, rings true of the duties park rangers encounter on a daily basis.  As Lee Dalton pointed out, Mr. Mernin was simply top flight. 

Jul 6th - 08:28am | Lee Dalton

Wonderful news.  Jerry was a mentor to many of us in Yellowstone.  He was a ranger's ranger.  This is one book I'll have to buy. Jerry's too young passing after a battle with Parkinson's was a tragedy that I'm sure was felt by a lot of people.  It's great to think he will live on through his book.  The cover photo captures Jerry as I remember him.

UPDATED: Congressman Asks For National Park Service Director's Resignation

Jul 6th - 10:01am | siglin1

Since Hartzog retired few NPS Director have made the big decsions regarding NPS management. The have ususally been made by the Secretary of Interior and other politicians. What we will probably never know is how many of the Director's problems are occurring because of the direction he has received from Interior.

Jul 6th - 09:04am | SmokiesBackpacker


Jul 5th - 23:09pm | Rick B.

Judy -   Please don't take the sour grapes personal opinion of one chronic complainer that there is no maintenance backlog as an axiomatic fact. There is an extensive maintenance backlog coast to coast, and congresscritters keep medling with the budget to their own advantage, and to the NPS' disadvantage.  

Farm Dating To Revolutionary War Added To Minute Man National Historical Park In Massachusetts

Jul 5th - 21:08pm | G M Joyner

Outstanding news to have the Barrett House added to the MMNHP.    BTW, Visiting the Parkls?

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide