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UPDATED: PEER: National Park Service Ignoring Requirement To Establish Visitor Carrying Capacities

Jul 14th - 14:54pm | Alfred Runte

I'm with Kurt. Expanding the national park system isn't going to reduce overcrowding at the most popular parks. They remain the most popular for a reason--they are the icons of the system, and always will be. What is more, Industrial Tourism now depends on those parks. Welcome, Chinese visitors!

Jul 14th - 13:10pm | Zack Frank

Kurt, I would argue that the reason people travel primarily to Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is because they don't know that Bridger-Teton, Ancient Forest, Coal Mine Canyon, and High Allegheny exist within the same regions as those parks.

Jul 14th - 12:24pm | Bill

Actually entrance fees and fees for concessionaires are a major factor of the system, so it's not so much funded by tax payers any more as it is by entrance fees from those that visit whether they be citizens or not.  But I agree with your observation that there are a lot of foriegn visitors. 

Jul 14th - 11:50am | Kurt Repanshek

Zack, it could be argued that there are plenty of units now over which the visitation can be spread...but those parks drawing the greatest visitation -- the Yellowstones, Yosemites, Grand Canyons, Blue Ridge Parkway -- will likely continue to be the great draws no matter how many units you add.

Jul 14th - 11:46am | Zack Frank

We should create many more National Parks to spread the annual visitors over a wider array of parks, thus reducing the impact on the parks with highest visitation.

Jul 14th - 10:45am | j gamble

I have lived near Yellowstone for most of my life.  I see that the influx of foreigners, tho appreciate their interest, has created the overcrowding issue as of late.  Our family has had many conversations about this issue.  Most Americans would, no doubt, feel it unfair that a US citizen be turned away from their own park but carloads of say Chinese get in.

Centennial Series | How Strong Is A Conservation Mandate In National Park Service Legislation?*

Jul 14th - 12:58pm | Owen Hoffman

Very thoughtful article John.  It reminds me of many conversations we had in the Mather Ranger Club of Yosemite some decades ago.

The Hour Of Land: A Personal Topography Of America’s National Parks

Jul 14th - 12:24pm | Mike Painter

I just started reading this and am enjoying it. So thanks for the review. 

Illegal Campfires Increase In Rocky Mountain National Park

Jul 14th - 12:22pm | Bill

You could also end up in prison, which is a possibility for 2 people that failed to properly exstinquish a fire near Boulder that burned down 3 homes, several hundred acres and involved hundreds of fire fighters.  

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

Jul 14th - 12:19pm | Lamar Henderson

As a Sacred Rok board member my passion for this work stems from my experience as a young African American teen trying to navigate a life of trauma and stressors. Having experienced the healing powers of nature I am so humbled to play a role in delivering this experience to other young men who are experiencing similar challenges.

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.

Our Perfect Wild: Ray And Barbara Bane's Journeys And The Fate Of The Far North

Jul 14th - 10:29am | Mark Schattenburg

Picked up this book during a recent trip to Hawaii and read it cover-to-cover on the return flight.  A fascinating book you just can't put down ...

Creature Feature: The Desert Tarantula Looks Big, Hairy, and Scary

Jul 13th - 23:42pm | Jera

we have one of these guys that has come back to live in our yard for the last three summers. I continue to worry about the fact that we have 5 dogs but so far they don't seem to mind each other? Our hound was actually standing about a foot away from him last night and hardly seemed to notice the spider. Not sure if I should remove him though?

Is NPS Getting Ready To Toss Bluffs Lodge On The Scrap Heap?

Jul 13th - 22:13pm | Ryan Meacham

I  hope that someone will step up to save this incredible place that I have so many fond memories of. I began visiting in the early 1970's as a small child and continued  with my wife into the early 2000's. I have wonderful memories of climbing the rock wall  to the terrace as a child and sitting by the fire that I wish I could share with my own children.

House Natural Resources Committee To Hold Field Hearing In Maine

Jul 13th - 19:13pm | Lee Dalton

Rob Bishop, Utah's District 1 Congressman, receives 93% of his campaign contributions from out of state.  Here's cartoonist Val Bagley's take on that news as he asks "When Is A Bishop A Pawn?: http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/4109989-155/bagley-cartoon-when-is-a-bishop

Rangers Seize $8,000 In Mushrooms Illegally Harvested From Crater Lake National Park

Jul 13th - 13:41pm | [email protected]

Adverse Effects of Mushroom Collecting on Forests   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/oct/24/wild-mushroom-foragi...

Jul 13th - 08:21am | Kurt Repanshek

For what it's worth, rules about collecting mushrooms in national parks differ across the system. At Mammoth Cave National Park, for instance, it's legal to do so.

National Park Basics For RVing Newbies

Jul 13th - 10:23am | Cathi

I would suggest you consider renting a car for a few days. Park the RV and then explore.  That will save you the extra driving if you took a second car with you.  We were okay in Zion, because we stayed in an RV park and use the park shuttle system to get to and around Zion.  Arches would have been better explored in a car.

Yellowstone Ranger

Jul 13th - 09:31am | Rick Smith

I had the pleasure of working for Jerry for several summers.  He was a superb ranger and excellent mentor.  This is a great book, one that's hard to put down.        

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

Jul 13th - 06:24am | Rebecca Latson ...

I understand totally, Daystar.  But, it's nice to be able to see the differences between a shot made without a flash and a shot made with a flash, isn't it?  Sometimes I like one over the other.  Photography is a subjective art and the use of a flash is just another aspect of that art.

Grizzly Bear Shot and Killed By Hikers In Denali National Park and Preserve

Jul 13th - 04:06am | Nelson

Actually, the Supreme Court overruled all state's and federal laws several times about 100 years ago, ruling that; 1. D. Beard V U.S., There is no duty to retreat before using deadly force;  2. I. Allen V U.S., Self defense decisions can be made in a hurry, there is not duty to retreat on public property; and each these decisions were backed others, namely, A. Gourko V U.S., B.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Parking Fee Reduced Under New Contract

Jul 13th - 03:03am | cYNTHIA

Goodness, we've had to pay for parking since the built the new parking garage about ten years ago.  It's awful.  There is free parking, but it's about a half mile away and the hike is difficult for people with mobility problems.  In the off-season, you can park on the street, but space is unlikely.  Thank goodness the fees are going down and half price for seniors!

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.  

Traveler's View: National Park Service Wrong To Permit Zion Bike Race

Jul 12th - 23:53pm | quite please

I always felt the National  Parks to be places for peace and tranquility. It's all about the money friends for special events such as this.  Yes, I enjoy the Tour de France but I don't see them using any of Frances National Parks 

Jul 12th - 12:46pm | Mabel McGillicutty

Utah has a lot of beautiful scenery, find somewhere else to race.

Jul 12th - 08:12am | ecbuck

Kathy, other than the authors opinion, what makes you believe the Utah delegation has any more influence than any other delegation?

Jul 11th - 16:07pm | Kathy Omy

It is interesting that the Utah delegation had this power over the leadership of the NPS, when the same type of proposal was made for a park in Colorado and flat out denied.  Does the Colorado delegation have to threaten to take over the parks in Colorado in order for the leadership of the NPS to even entertain their request?

Former Effigy Mounds National Monument Superintendent Sentenced To Jail Time

Jul 12th - 23:02pm | Anonymous

From Friends of Effigy Mounds 

Jul 12th - 12:44pm | Mabel McGillicutty

I actually think his sentence is pretty fair. He's still being punished, but at less expense to tax payers than if he did real time in jail. 

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.

Mount Baldy At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore To Remain Off-Limits Indefinitely

Jul 12th - 13:47pm | Mike Stewart

Well, now it's FOUR years Baldy has been closed. And on top of that, narby Central Beach (and it's parking lot) have been closed also, due to "hazardous conditions".

Traveler's Gear Box: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cook Kit

Jul 12th - 12:41pm | Mabel McGillicutty

My family has been using this cookset for several years. Overall, we are happy with it, too. Ours is an older model with plastic lids for the pots - I have inadvertently melted the edge of one lid, but it is still usable.  We also find the cups a little difficult, but often just drink from our water bottles anyway.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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