The Latest News & Views

This House Belonged to "The Most Powerful Family in America"

Vanderbilt mansion portico
A former president, a cult and "the most powerful family in America" all had a role in the story of this park, which celebrates its 68th anniversary today. For a look at the lifestyle of the formerly rich and famous, you're welcome to drop by a take a look—during park hours.

When You Really Want A Park To Yourself, Consider Capitol Reef National Park

Think of Capitol Reef National Park and, if you're familiar with this isolated outpost in Utah's canyon country, you'll likely envision soaring reefs of rock. But few would even imagine battles between mountain lions and lynx.

Everglades Land Bill Approved, But With a Caveat

A massive real estate deal with U.S. Sugar Corporation that is envisioned as being key to protecting the Everglades and Everglades National Park has been approved, but with a caveat that allows Florida officials an escape clause.

Updated: Salazar Pick For Interior Secretary Labeled a Failure

The pick of U.S. Senator Ken Salazar as the next Interior secretary is being labeled a failure by the Center for Biological Diversity. But the folks at The Wilderness Society say it's a great choice.

Will Delaware Finally Get Its "National Park"?

The Common in New Castle, Delaware
Delaware is the only state in the union without a unit of the National Park System. A recently completed study moves boosters for a "national park" in Delaware a bit closer to their goal. Is this an idea whose time has come—or one with more political than practical merit?

Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration

What does the apparent pick of U.S. Senator Ken Salazar for Interior secretary in the Obama administration mean for public lands management? Well, surely it can't be worse than what's transpired the past eight years, can it?
A Natural History Guide: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Usually when I visualize Great Smoky Mountains National Park, what comes to mind are heavily forested mountains cut by leaping creeks, roamed by black bears, and packed with salamanders. But if you talk to Donald Linzey, he'll open your eyes to a lot more of the park's natural history.

Does Your National Park Offer a Book Club?

It really shouldn't come as a surprise that in places where winters are long, hard, cold, and snowy that your best recourse is to settle down before the fire with a good book. At Voyageurs National Park this winter you'll even be able to discuss that book with the park naturalist.

Is Florida's Blockbuster Sugar Deal to Help the Everlgades In Danger of Collapse?

With a critical vote looming Tuesday on whether the state of Florida will move forward with its buyout of U.S. Sugar properties to benefit the Everglades and Everglades National Park, the $1.34 billion deal no longer seems like a surety.

Thailand Struggles With Overcrowding Of National Parks

While national park visitation concerns in the United States frequently revolve around visitor declines, in Thailand the parks are being overrun by tourists.

Musings from Death Valley National Park

Badwater, Death Valley National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo.
Having not played golf in at least 15 years, I couldn't tell if the elevation of the Furnace Creek Golf Course was responsible for my lackluster drives, or whether they were the product of operator failure.

Re-enactment of General Washington's Arrival at Valley Forge Set for Dec. 19

If you've ever wondered about General George Washington's arrival, along with his troops, at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777, you might want to visit the park this coming Friday, December 19th. That's when a re-enactment of the troops' arrival will be staged at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

Everglades Coaltion's Annual Meeting In Early January

The annual meeting of the Everglades Coalition, which works for the health of the ecosystem that includes Everglades National Park, is set for early next month.

Glacier National Park's Centennial is Fast Approaching – Don't Miss These Upcoming Deadlines

Two Medicine Lake.
One of the "crown jewels" of the national park system will celebrate its centennial in 2010, and when you're talking about planning a celebration of that magnitude, there's plenty of work to do. Glacier National Park is off to a great start in that regard, and you may want to know about upcoming deadlines for some activities that are already underway.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Working on Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan

From now through January 10 the folks at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve will be open to your thoughts on six alternatives aimed at managing recreational off-road vehicle use in the Nabesna Road area.

Yellowstone National Park's Winter Season Needs Help From Predicted Storm

Yellowstone National Park is scheduled to open its winter season on Monday, and a storm forecast for this weekend could give the park a big boost in terms of snow cover. Without additional snow, the season might open without enough of the white stuff for snowmobiling.

Wilderness Designation for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Will Have to Wait

It will take just a bit longer for nearly 12,000 acres of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to gain official wilderness designation. The kiss of death for the legislation intended to accomplish the deed was its attachment to the massive Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008.

Trails I've Hiked: Golden Canyon, Death Valley National Park

You won't find many long-distance hikes in Death Valley National Park, which probably is a good thing considering how hot it can get during the summer months. But for those looking to stretch their legs, the trail through Golden Canyon is viewed by many as the "to-do" hike in the park.

This Park Has Scenery, History and a Treasure Trove of Art and Photos

Jackson painting of covered wagons. NPS image.
This park offers dramatic views from a trail named Saddle Rock, formations with names such as Eagle Rock, and compelling tales of pioneers who made their way over Mitchell Pass. It also houses the world's largest collection of original sketches, paintings, and photographs by a famous American artist and photographer.

On the Political Front: Good And Bad News From the Bush Administration

There's mixed news today on the environmental front. On one hand, the Bush administration has pulled back a proposal that would weaken air quality rules for coal-fired power plants. But on the other it has moved forward with a rule to weaken the Endangered Species Act.