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At New River Gorge National River, an Iconic Bridge Attracts Suicide Jumpers

Apr 13th - 10:16am | doesnt matter

Is there a way to contact you? I may be in need of encouragement from a soul who truly understands and will be free of judgement. 

Cleanup From October Storms Continues At Death Valley National Park

Apr 13th - 09:13am | Kurt Repanshek

Yes, just the section that goes over Jubilee Pass is closed, Joyce. From Furnace Creek you can drive all the way south to the Ashford Mill Ruins.

Apr 13th - 08:52am | Joyce Higginbotham

We were just wondering about the status of repairs to both roads.  I was with a group of friends traveling to lunch at Stovepipe Wells from nearby Pahrump.  Is the road to Badwater from Furnace Creek still open and it's just the south access that is closed?  I hope funding will become available so those areas of the park can reopen.   

Apr 12th - 14:36pm | CK Yip

Ouch. So Scotty's Castle won't be re-opened until 3 years later? That's a bummer.

National Park Service Far From Achieving Hydration Station Goals

Apr 13th - 09:11am | ecbuck

Yes Lee, nothing material.  Now show us where conservatives have come unglued over bottle bills.   Which is moot any way since we are not talking about state legislation we are talking about NPS rules. And of course, if the chose is a deposit or a ban, i am sure the industry will be on the side of a deposit

Apr 13th - 08:53am | Lee Dalton

"Banning water bottles and installing water stations will do NOTHING to solve the litter problem." Really? NOTHING?

Apr 13th - 08:07am | ecbuck

Nor anything to do with making a profit Yeah, we wouldn't want any profit to help with the maintenance backlog because profit is the wrong thing.   Can't you guys get over the "right thing" and "wrong thing" and do the effective thing to reach your goals?

Apr 12th - 23:38pm | Rick B.

Nor anything to do with making a profit. We're already talking about the national parks, the value of which is beyond any tangible dollarization nonsense.

Apr 12th - 22:54pm | rmackie

Peggy, one old Fed, nice posts, I agree. Doing the right thing has nothing to do with the national debt, but that is another subject.

Apr 12th - 17:05pm | ecbuck

Have you walked along a highway or city street lately?

Apr 12th - 15:28pm | Lee Dalton

"That kind of thinking is why we are $20 trillion in debt." And that kind of thinking is why our nation is a gigantic garbage dump.  Have you walked along a highway or city street lately? But it's all okay.  Subaru will save us.  Have you seen their commercials about how they are going to teach the National Park Service to eliminate trash from our parks?

Apr 12th - 15:12pm | ecbuck

Sometimes the reason for doing things is because it is the right thing to do. That kind of thinking is why we are $20 trillion in debt.

Apr 12th - 13:56pm | one old fed

Sometimes the reason for doing things is because it is the right thing to do. That some of the parks in the NPS are eliminating the sale of plastic water bottles should be commended whether or not it completely eliminates the waste stream from that park. The cost of installing water stations can be miniscule.

Apr 12th - 13:53pm | Peggy Dolinich

Although water bottle filling stations are nice, any water fountain or bathroom sink works too. So how does the NPS get the support of our visitors?. On a recent trip to Costa Rica where it is expected for visitors to be ecologically minded, we received at our hotels 100% biodegradable water bottles that biodegrade after a lifespan of approximately 3 years.

Apr 11th - 13:20pm | argalite

I would like to see that study on banning plastic and the impact on the environment.  There is one right, I mean, you aren't just saying things without backup?

Musings From Yellowstone National Park's Buffalo Ranch

Apr 13th - 09:09am | Ray Mosher

Thank you Lee, for a great description of our magical week in Lamar Valley.  I'm sure it was difficult to put it into words, but you succeeded marvelously. 

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument Latest Addition To National Park System

Apr 12th - 22:52pm | Murray Aronson

In addition to the Sewall-Belmont House being a National Historic Landmark, it has been an affiliated National Historic Site for a number of years.  This place has  already been recognized, now it's a full-fledged part of the National Park System.  This new designation probably means better opportunities for funding.     

Apr 12th - 08:42am | Lee Dalton

Pssst . . . Hey Mr. Obama, how about a place called Bears Ears in Utah?

Allies Of The Earth - Railroads And The Soul Of Preservation

Apr 12th - 15:23pm | Lee Dalton

And another gem from Jim Hightower that Dr. Runte should enjoy.

Traveler's View: Would You Rather Have Wi-Fi Or Water During Your National Park Vacation?

Apr 12th - 12:35pm | ecbuck

As much as I would like to sit down will Al and share my bottle of Breckenridge bourbon with you, I have a nephew getting married on the east coast and won't be able to make it.  But definately have one of your trips on my bucket list.

Apr 12th - 11:50am | Kurt Repanshek

No, but we have a handful of seats left on our Gates of Lodore trip in mid-June and Al would love to meet you face-to-face to discuss parks and solar energy!

Apr 12th - 10:44am | ecbuck

Kurt - Got any ins at the Majestic?

Apr 12th - 10:40am | ecbuck

I'll just check to make sure Amarillo isn't around ;)

Apr 12th - 10:37am | Lee Dalton

Just don't check your emails without a parachute.  ;-D

Apr 12th - 09:59am | ecbuck

In each of your examples yes, as long as it is not interfering with those around me. (#2 would violate that rule so no on that one)   Reading my email on top of Half Dome doesn't disturb anyone - except those that want to tell others how to enjoy the park. By the way, just got a notice indicating I won the Half Dome Lottery.

Apr 12th - 09:08am | Kurt Repanshek

I get what you're saying, EC, but let's take your point other areas:* Should folks sit in a movie theater and conduct work on their cellphones and laptops while you're trying to watch a movie?* Should people take flash photos of theatrical productions where it's banned?

Apr 12th - 08:30am | ecbuck

 But if I ever see some bozo sitting on the edge of Half Dome checking his email, he might get a real quick flying lesson. Once again the attitude of "I know whats best for you better than you"  

Apr 12th - 00:17am | Amarillobymorning

I'll forego both "amenities" in favor of upgrading park infrastructure (including drinking fountains to refill bottles) and hiring more rangers (and paying them more) to provide information, answer questions and intereact with visitors in ways Google never could.

Apr 11th - 20:17pm | ecbuck

Why is this phrased as a binary question? Because the budjet isn't unlimited.  Now perhaps you want both but then something else would need to be eliminated. Suggest where the cuts should be made to fund both.  Kurt was merely assessing the readers preference between these two. 

Apr 11th - 18:50pm | Rick B.

Why is this phrased as a binary question? Kinda like: "Who do you want to spend the weekend with - your mother-in-law or an IRS auditor; there are no other choices."

Apr 11th - 16:45pm | ecbuck

Hiking buddy: Concessionaires pay a concession fee.  Many (most?) times that fee has a component based on sales. Higher sales, higher fees.  Even if there is no sales based fee, the concessionaire bid for a franchise will be based on expected sales.

Apr 11th - 16:41pm | ecbuck

Parks should be places where one can escape the rapid pace of the electronic world.  The only valid use of a smart phone at an overlook should be for taking photos, not instantly posting such photos to social media, or reading e-mail. That is how you want to enjoy the park but what gives you the right to dictate how others enjoy the park?

Apr 11th - 15:43pm | Retired Ethical...

So they're fast-tracking Wi-fi in the National Parks, but falling behind their goals on reducing unnecessary waste from plastic bottles.  Sounds like par for the course.  I appreciate PEER and others who are promoting the water refill stations and plastic water bottle bans.  Besides the litter and solid waste, water in those non-refillable containers has not been shown to be an i

Apr 11th - 15:11pm | Owen Hoffman

I can see wifi being provided at park headquarters, park residences, visitor centers, and perhaps at concession lodges, but that's it.  Parks should be places where one can escape the rapid pace of the electronic world.  The only valid use of a smart phone at an overlook should be for taking photos, not instantly posting such photos to social media, or reading e-mail.

Apr 11th - 14:56pm | Geogypsy

How about WIFI for the benefit of the employees in National Parks?  We all seem to do business that way.

Apr 11th - 13:34pm | Hiking buddy

profit?  How exactly?  Water and soda is sold by concessionaires, not the park.

Apr 11th - 13:25pm | argalite

That is just sick, needing wi-fi to enjoy the outdoors

Apr 11th - 07:43am | dahkota

I can do without the internet for a few days. I can't do without water. But, I typically carry plenty of my own in refillable gallon jugs... I don't think I have been in a national park that didn't have a water fountain. Yes, a little awkward to fill my bottle, but works in a pinch.

Apr 11th - 07:27am | John Veninger

"since the water-filling goal, which has transformed into an aspiration" Bottled water and soda is a profit center for the Park Service. Why would they want to give this up for the good of the visitors and the enviroment......

Photography In The National Parks: Year-Round Photography In Yellowstone National Park

Apr 12th - 10:09am | Jane Timmerman

Good article!  Thanks very much.  Heading there mid-May.

Apr 12th - 08:48am | Lee Dalton

Swimming bison and grizzly making snow angels.  Wow!  Thanks for sharing those two very special shots. (Of course, the others were mighty good, too.)  

Mammoth Cave National Park Looking For Help Battling Pot Growers

Apr 12th - 10:09am | Azle Hill Beckner

You may recognize the pot farmers trucks by the high suspension they require for off the road driving.  The high suspension prevents the damage to the oil pan by rocks when driving off the roads in the back country.

Group Identifies 20 "Anti-Public Lands" Politicians

Apr 12th - 09:46am | Lee Dalton

An article from today's Salt Lake Tribune about some comments made by the Outdoor Recreation Industry Council:

Apr 11th - 12:56pm | ecbuck

While the paper's title calls the politicians the "Anti-Park Caucus," most of the legislation cited by the group involves U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands, not those managed by the National Park Service.)

Apr 11th - 11:11am | Bill G.

While I'm not supporting LaMalfa, he has introduced H.R. 4387: Tule Lake National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2016. The bill would break off the Tule Lake Unit from the WWII Valor in the Pacific NM and make the Tule Lake NHS it's own site. Senator Boxer has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate.

Grizzly Bear Trapping For Research Scheduled In Grand Teton National Park

Apr 12th - 09:19am | Kurt Repanshek

That is a concern, Moe.

Apr 11th - 21:36pm | Moe

Question re: paragraph 1.  It sounds as though hunting grizzly bears in Grand Teton will he permitted if they are delisted.  Is that the case?

Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park Selects Site For New Visitor Center

Apr 12th - 00:27am | Rashelle Leishman  

Op-Ed |National Park Service Undermines America's Best Idea

Apr 11th - 12:46pm | Ray Bane

I fear that it is death by suicide.  The threat is more within than without.

Video Makes Case That Maine's North Woods Is ‘Worth Saving’

Apr 11th - 11:07am | Marsha Donahue

Great piece, Scot.  Such a worthy effort, preserving this piece of the Maine Woods and hoping to share it with the rest of the world.  The economic benefits to the region that could result from an establishment of a national monument, and eventually a park, would be significant and bring people back to the area.  Rural and northern Maine are continually passed over for economic d

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