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Millions Found Their Park In 2016, And Now Park Staff Are Struggling To Manage Them

Mar 24th - 12:28pm | Carolyn McCartney

I wish our President and Congresional people who want to cut funding  to our National Parks System could read this.  As usual, laws are made by people who have never visited these parks as a "visitor", not  as a "special visitor."  President Trump needs to read this  

Mar 21st - 19:02pm | ecbuck

 If I am saying you are right twice, you ought to head to Vegas.  You're not that far away. In a couple of weeks.  But more for the people watching and food than the gambling.

Mar 21st - 18:39pm | Mike S

As an Arizona resident, I avoid the western national parks & find freedom from crowds in National Forests & National Monuments.

Huge Increase In Tour Bus Traffic At Yellowstone National Park

Mar 24th - 12:21pm | Susan in Pittsburgh

imagine if all of those bus travelers came in rental cars! Many parks are using or considering shuttle buses anyway as a more effienct means of transporting visitors. However, I do hope that for-profit tour companies are being charged a premium for the use of our public resources.

Mar 23rd - 21:02pm | Mel

In 2015, I spent 10 daysa in the park----3 nights at Canyon----I apreciated the new rooms made available, but to get a seat at the restaurant was very difficult, since I don't think they expanded in that area to ofset the additional rooms.

Mar 23rd - 14:44pm | wild places

I can sympathize with you Cory, however I think we also need to understand that many of these groups also plan far in advance. Many are not even from this country and many don't drive. I'm not sure a tour bus is worse than having that many more additional cars filling the parking lots or the behemoth motor homes and campers that clog the parking areas either.

Mar 23rd - 10:31am | Cory in STL

We stayed at Mammoth Hotel in June 2016, and I was stunned by the number of tour buses we saw and the volume of humanity that poured out of them. The day we checked out, three large buses pulled in, and the front desk told me they were taking up the entire second floor of the hotel. No wonder it can be so hard to get a room even 9 months ahead of time.

Campgrounds Set To Open At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Mar 24th - 09:47am | beachdumb

 Will the NPS ignore resource protection regulations when a PIPL nests within 100 yards of the Cape Point campground. I would be very leery of reserving a site between April and June.

THIRTEEN's Nature Explores The Impact Of Climate Change On The Ecosystem Of Yosemite

Mar 24th - 09:43am | beachdumb

Despite the recent heavy rains and snowfall, scientists are finding that water is scarcer and the threat of fire is more likely as the area continues to experience rising temperatures upsetting that important balance. 

Traveler's View: Don't Gravel Over Paradise

Mar 24th - 09:34am | tahoma

I don't see how a mandatory mass-transit system could work in Yellowstone.  Would it include lodging guests, RV & car campers, stock users, backpackers, bicyclists, canoeists, or visitors who had planned to transit the park from one side to another as part of a larger itinerary?  If not, then you have a built-in double-standard favoring some visitors over others.

Mar 24th - 07:20am | Pam Sohan

Yes its disppointing to not get to see the things you traveld to a National Park to see, but paving over acres of grass isn't the solution. Who wants to go to a NAtional Park to commune with nature and see amusement park sized parking lots everywhere?   

Mar 24th - 05:13am | Joan

Let's expand the park system to spread out the impacts - add new parks and monuments, and expand the size of those that we have. Yellowstone needs to be expanded just to support the winter habitat of the wildlife that lives there! If it were larger, people would spread out somewhat into the new area, and put a bit less pressure on the existing sites.

Mar 23rd - 19:53pm | Steve Nelson

Assuming this situation continues, I think they'll have to have mandatory shuttles and ticketing for the big famous parks. If you want to stay in the park, you'll be reserving lodging two years out.

Mar 23rd - 16:46pm | Eliza J.

Exactly my thought, thank you!

Mar 23rd - 16:13pm | Peter

hhaving spent last season in Yellowstone I can tell you that there was way more than 4.3 million visitors. when most people get to the 'must-see' spots like grand prismatic there is no parking so they make their own parking along the roads sometimes a mile long i  either direction. this causes an enormous amount of destruction to the lanscape both physically and visually.

Mar 23rd - 15:57pm | Greg

The NPS should interpret the population trend of Homo sapiens and point out the correlation to extinctions of other species and greenhouse gas measurements. The "loved to death" parks are overrun by Sapiens.

Mar 23rd - 15:19pm | Kurt Repanshek

For what it's worth, Ricky, one shuttle possibility might be to base shuttles out of lodging areas. For instance, have a shuttle from Old Faithful that runs down to Madison Junction, stopping at the pertinent spots to let people out, collect those going back to Old Faithful.

Mar 23rd - 15:11pm | RickyAZ

Curious how a shuttle would work at Yellowstone with over 250 miles of road:  To and from the Old Faithful Visitor center could take hours, to say nothing of taking it from Gardiner, Jackson, etc.  Maybe time restrictions on a certain amount of parking lots (say 1 hr limit in the popular areas) might be workable, encourage the long term usres to park further out.  Who knows, but

Mar 23rd - 14:12pm | Rodney M.

Build the parking lots and make them large enough for RVs. Most of the parks are hundreds or thousands of acres and theres no reason I can think of that more and larger parking areas can't be made. It is much safer for pedestrians to walk in parking lots than along the edge of roadways. Especially families with young children. Safety first!

Mar 23rd - 13:25pm | Branden B.

I love our National Parks and have visited over half of them with the goal of someday seeing them all.  I get one 2 week vacation each summer to travel.  While the parking lots are unsightly and adverse to the natural environment, I would be devastated if I arrived at a park on the other side of the continent only to be denied entry because the park is full.

Mar 23rd - 12:35pm | Sharon P.

There's a song about this, "Big Yellow Taxi".  Some of the verse is; ".. they paved paradise and put up a parking lot...".  We don't need more parking lots in paradise. 

Mar 23rd - 12:24pm | Trish Murphy-Cone

You will never buld enough lots in the right places.....and the cost of decimating our precious park areas is too high of a price!  Get out of your cars and hop on a shuttle or walk!  

Mar 23rd - 11:36am | Maureen Adams

These areas have not been set aside to create parking lots. What a waste of beauty and natural resource just to allow more people to pack in. Would rather see permit only, or daily limits out on traffic than see areas wasted in parking lots. It will never be enough, and soon, there will be nothing but parking facilities. 

Mar 23rd - 11:29am | John Poynton

Why not expand public transportation within the parks so people don't have to drive in.  Hybrid buses would cause less pollution.  I would love it if I didn't have to drive in.  Pick up points at the entrances would lessen the traffic, buses taking park goers to all of the attractions would be so much nicer than lines of cars waiting for parking spaces.  Would have loved tha

Mar 23rd - 10:47am | Kathy Dimont

Good luck. The obvious solution (shuttles and other forms of public transit to/from/in the parks) was fought tooth and nail even by more environmentally concerned administrations. People love their cars and the freedom they offer and won't give them up without a fight.

Mar 23rd - 10:46am | Julie Macefo

Perhaps we can look at out of park structures like Hoover Dam and trolleys to carry people in the parks. 

Rep. Grijalva Wants Interior Secretary To Testify On Trump Budget

Mar 23rd - 20:24pm | Greg

Checking the NPS Green Book budget document shows the NPS budget has increased on average 3.5% per year and added 281 FTEs in the last few years. Would rolling that budget back to the 2014 level be catastrophic? The country''s debt to GDP ratio is over 100% and servicing that debt will grow substantially as interest rates rise. How do we get out of this hole?

Mar 23rd - 05:35am | beachdumb

Eliminate all support of the fake climate change initiatives would be a good start. That's about 20% of the budget? 

Mar 22nd - 20:24pm | Lee Dalton

Thank goodness for Grijalva. But it's probably an exercise in futility.

Bending The River At Gates Of Arctic National Park

Mar 23rd - 10:15am | tahoma

I think this marvelous photo is perhaps of an incipient pingo?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pingo

Lifetime "Senior" and "Access" Park Passes Now Available By Mail

Mar 23rd - 09:20am | Kevin Neil

Can I buy a pass  before my Birthday in May

President's Budget Proposal Viewed As Overly Harsh For National Parks

Mar 22nd - 19:34pm | justinh

I agree, Rick.  Disney's a for-profit company and charges I think something like $100 per person per day. America's "best idea" that the national parks be available to all Americans regardless of their wealth is an idea I'd say is worth sustaining/aspiring to. 

Mar 22nd - 19:16pm | Rick B.

No, Robert. What the parks do NOT need is a more business mode of operating. The parks are a part of our national wealth and heritage which are worth our investing in for their intangible value as well as tangible, and which we are entrustusted to protect and preserve.

Mar 22nd - 16:22pm | Robert K

What I am not understanding is why these parks are not self-sustaining?  Disneyworld, Disneyland, Lego land, etc, all are private and able to make profits, where the parks are subsidized to maintain their ability to stay open.  Maybe the national park service should try and look at that buisiness model in order to stay open instead of "conservationists" whining about budget cuts.

Senior Pass Price Won't Jump To $80 Until October 1

Mar 22nd - 14:44pm | nelda mcgovern

I Have boughtthe Senior Pass 2 times while on vacation, both times when I have gotten home and some how have no pass, I do have a receipt with the last one with a member number on it, Will that be OK to use and get A DUPLICATE ONE WITH,  

David Rockefeller, Benefactor Of Acadia National Park, Passes At 101

Mar 22nd - 12:21pm | Jim Linville

Was wasn't the Rockdefeller family also instrumental in the developement of Colonial Williamsburg?

Mar 22nd - 09:00am | David Crowl

I visited Virgin Islands National Park in December and was impressed with their philanthropy. I hope the news of his passing will show the families great contributions to our National Parks and inspire others who can follow in their example.

Mar 22nd - 08:33am | justinh

I'm impressed by Rockefeller's sensibility when overseeing the construction of the carriage roads of Acadia NP: winding a road around a tree to preserve it rather than uproot it, using native stones to construct bridges, etc.  Wonderful legacy.

Drive Under Way In Colorado To Gain License Plate Honoring Rocky Mountain National Park

Mar 22nd - 09:38am | ecbuck

Didn't notice the story date.

Mar 22nd - 09:11am | David Crowl

It already is approved...this is an old story.

Mar 22nd - 08:21am | ecbuck

Shouldn't be hard to get approved.  CO has dozens of specialty plates although most require annual donations of $50-100.  NP plate holders will be getting off cheap.  

Mar 21st - 21:40pm | LR

Love the idea! Just a few  thoughts, wouldn't  columbines be a more appropriate flower? And what about the other Colorado parks? Could they all be on one plate ?  Anyway, love the idea.   Thanks  

UPDATED: Price Of Senior Pass Going To $80; Buy It Now For $10

Mar 22nd - 08:29am | Ranger1

Not quite true-Must be US citizen or permanent resident alien

Mar 21st - 23:15pm | Fred

You need to call ahead if you want to buy a Senior Pass in person. Not every National Park Service site sells them. My local national park, Minute Man National Park in Massachusetts, doesn't sell them now.

National Parks Continue To See Gains From Growing Popularity Of Camping

Mar 21st - 20:23pm | ecbuck

But Rick, these folks know best how you should be camping.  You know, tolerance, as long as you do it my way.  

Mar 21st - 19:48pm | Rick Werth

Seems unfortunate and not at all helpful to anything that the National Parks stands for and that are owned by all of us that Mr. Scott defines his camping as the only real camping. We camped for many years in tents, tent trailers and now travel in a motorhome volunteering with state parks and federal agencies.

Mar 21st - 16:04pm | Scott Johnson

Donald and Rick - The report includes data about all types of campers. According to results, 60 percent primarily camped in tents, with 22 percent in RVs and 17 percent in cabins.

Painting The National Parks With Wildflowers

Mar 21st - 18:24pm | Buffalo Patty

Let the wildflower season begin!!!

Inspector General: National Park Service Lacks Sound Oversight Of Funds Donated to Cooperating Associations

Mar 21st - 18:04pm | Gene S.

I would think that those associations would be classified as 501(3) Charitable Organizations and subject to IRS oversight. If not, it should be a requirement. Their filings would be public record through their Form 990. Anyone who would be on their trustee board would be personally responsible for any improprieties.

Fire Burning In Big Cypress National Preserve Covers More Than 3,000 Acres

Mar 21st - 16:28pm | Margaret S.

Yes, block the oil rigs.

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