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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!!

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

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.

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. 

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

Jul 6th - 17:51pm | Anonymous

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

Jul 4th - 21:17pm | joselyn

The right to freedom is not regulated by if someone finds an act annoying. If that was the case you'd be violating my freedom right now. 

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.

Jul 5th - 17:01pm | SMTrudeau

Its also possible to camp/hike across the island either the short or long route. You'll carry all your gear on your back. When you land at one of the drop-off/pick/up docks you'll tell the captain when and where you wish to be met by the boaT. You better be on time because if you miss the boat it won't be back around for 2-3 days! A beautiful hike for backpackers!

Jul 5th - 14:47pm | Judy McGuire

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.    

Group Identifies 20 "Anti-Public Lands" Politicians

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.

Jul 5th - 15:58pm | With apologies ...

OHillary! Dear Hillary! Your fearful trip is done! Your ship has weathered the FBI! The prize you seek can now be won! You'll be queen of the realm, including our parks, which you promise to ring with solar!

Jul 5th - 12:13pm | ecbuck

What's the double standard?  Lyman was excercising his rights under RS 2477.  The hikers were trespassing.  Their treatment sounds a bit harsh but I suspec there may be more to the story.  

Jul 5th - 11:08am | Lee Dalton

Here's the latest news from around the Big Salty Puddle:    

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.  

Jul 5th - 16:21pm | rmackie

I believe you are correct, the NEPA process requires public input and the gathering of the best information available, but once the process is completed, management makes the decision. You cannot sue on the decision in NEPA, only the process, at least that is my understanding. I would be opposed to charging hiking/backpacking fees, but feel charging for the reservations is reasonable.

Jul 5th - 15:06pm | SmokiesBackpacker


Jul 5th - 12:18pm | Judy Clare

our National Parks are the very best thing we have in the United States. They need to be handled and maintained to the very highest standards there are. Corruption, Cronyism, corporate greed, a lack of ethics, etc cannot and should never be acceptable! The American people and our environment deserve the very best Of the best!! Why is this happening?

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?

Delaware North Companies Sues United States Over Loss Of Yosemite National Park Contract

Jul 5th - 20:36pm | rmackie

I agree EC, on the issue of railroads, I think they made some significant contributions to our first National Parks, the nation as whole for that matter. I know the President of the Southern Pacific was extremely instrumental in getting the California State Senate to cede the Yosemite Valley/Mariposa Grove grant to the Federal Government (do I have that right Alfred?).

Jul 5th - 19:38pm | ecbuck

Matt - while there are many areas where those private companies can do a better job than public ones - concessions, hotels, et al.  I don't think the primary mission - preservation - would be well served by the profit motive.  

Jul 5th - 19:26pm | Matt1974

I think the NPS does such a poor job managing our public land that it should lose the privilege of managing them.  I think the DNC, Xanterra or Aramark should be sub-contracted to run all Park operations.  The NPS has already ruined Yosemite and Yellowstone.  The accountability required by the Private-sector far surpasses the complacency and ineptitude of the Public-sector.

Flood Recovery Continuing At National Park Units In West Virginia

Jul 5th - 12:41pm | Kurt Repanshek

Love Dolly Sods! It was my introduction to wild and wonderful West Virginia backcountry so many years ago when I was a freshman at WVU. 

Jul 5th - 12:36pm | Katie @k8tlevy

Thanks for reporting on this! We were up in the Dolly Sods Wilderness and I was worried we'd see some of the flooded territory around there, but it was just about normal mudiness  :)

Opening Of New Campground At New River Gorge National River Pushed Back To Next Year

Jul 5th - 12:22pm | donald havens

has anyone been to this new campground . I have driven by and as of yet ir does not appear to be open. July 5th 2016

Too Many Retirements Impacting National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranks

Jul 4th - 20:49pm | rmackie

Thank you Mr. James Longstreet. I agree, "no net loss" is a bad policy, you lay it out nicely. I retired after 37 years as a NPS Ranger, LE/Fire. Still occasionally get employed as an emergency hire for fire operations. In Yosemite National Park, I worked for 10 superintendents, all were ethical and qualified for their positions., I was closer to some than others, but that is human.

Jul 4th - 17:43pm | Retired Ethical...

While there are a lot of Rangers retiring, this is but one element of a crisis caused mostly by both poor management and inadequate attention by Congress.  The NPS always seems to have higher priorities than its LE field personnel, or to its committments such as "No Net Loss".  This includes maintaining a top-heavy organizational structure in which many manage

Shenandoah National Park Bears Getting Bold

Jul 4th - 20:49pm | George J. Dagis

We saw loads of bears on our two week stay from May 15th to Memorial Day. My friend was even charged once when he didn't notice the Cubs in a tree behind him!

Boating Industry Aims To Block Marine Reserve At Biscayne National Park

Jul 4th - 17:22pm | ecbuck

 those with the dollars will find a way to get their feet and fingers and fists into the door -- and into our wallets. The only way they get into your wallets is if you open your wallet to them. Now how about that "baseless accusation" I made.  Please identify it or admit, that was just another of your baseless accusations.  

Jul 4th - 16:00pm | Alfred Runte

Again, good points from both of you. Then how are we to know, as Lee puts it, exactly "what they are really doing?" The late Garrett Hardin suggested we look at the adjectives, in short, how adjectives are applied to establish a taboo. His favorite phrase, not actually an adjective, was "You can't fight City Hall." Of course you can and you must.

Jul 4th - 15:22pm | Lee Dalton

Agreed, Alfred, with a couple of corrections.  It's not only Democrats.  It's all of them regardless of party.  It's not only the president nor current Secretary of Interior.  It's all of them, regardless of party.  Somehow, we have to find a way to teach voters to look beyond the propaganda spewed by both parties and learn what they are REALLY doing.

Jul 4th - 14:18pm | ecbuck

Alfred, you may not have voted for Obama and his co-conspirators but more people did than voted for the other guy.  The result is not the fault of GE or any other corporation, its the fault of those that voted these globalists, entitlement driven, we know what good for you people in.     

Jul 4th - 11:35am | Alfred Runte

I don't know, EC. I never "voted" to give General Electric, et al. carte blanche over my public lands. As you argue, "the only things" wealthy individuals and corporations are "entitled to is what they have earned." How did they "earn" that right? The truth is: They didn't earn it; President Obama gave it to them, along with Interior Secretaries Salazar and Jewell.

Jul 3rd - 19:19pm | ecbuck

Well Lee I see we have crickets on your accusation.  I guess we can rack that up to another of your baseless accusations.

Jul 3rd - 17:29pm | Lee Dalton

I have to agree with our Esteemed Comrade.  He is completely correct when he talks about the entitlement mentality of our corporations and wealthy individuals.  And while corporations don't vote directly for legislators, they certainly do vote with campaign dollars and other contributions.  Those people sure do get what they vote for -- or manage to purchase.

Lake Mead Wants To Make Summer Closures Permanent At Two Dangerous Trails

Jul 4th - 16:48pm | TheBP

I am an avid hiker and anything but a novice.  I feel slighted when these trails are closed because of the uneducated.  I carry at least a minimum 1/2 gallon of fluids on my back.  I start all my summer hikes before 6 a.m.

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

Jul 4th - 16:45pm | Alfred Runte

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. All survive.

Photography In The National Parks: From Banff National Park To The Border Of Jasper National Park - An Armchair Photographer’s Guide Part 1

Jul 4th - 08:00am | Leo de Groot

One thing to note about a pass to a Canadian National Park is that it gives you access for those days to all the Nations Parks in the country.  The pass you purchased going onto the Ice fields Parkway was thus good for both Banff and Jasper Parks (as well as for the adjoining You and Kootenay Parks if you had wished) rather than for one particular park only.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide