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The latest news from around the National Park System.

Traveler's Checklist: Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

Touring a Civil War battlefield can be both a somber experience and one that opens doors into incredible history, one that gives you a better appreciation for the growing pains the United States experienced in the past. At Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, four battlefields await your visit.
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Our National Parks: "For the Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People" (If You Don't Mind the Entrance Fee)

While the three "entrance-fee-free" weekends in the National Park System are now behind us, the debate over the propriety of park entrance fees no doubt will go forward, if not heighten, in the wake of some impressive visitor numbers logged by some parks. One organization that you won't hear lobbying for a permanent waiving of the fees, though, is the American Recreation Coalition, which was a strong voice for them more than a decade ago and continues that stance today.
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Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Yellow-Legged Frogs of the Sierra Nevada

The mountain yellow-legged frog was once one of the most abundant vertebrates in the Sierra Nevada. The flash of its yellow legs could be seen and the echo of its croaking could be heard across the Sierra’s alpine lakes, even those nestled at 12,000 feet that contain watery habitats typically too cold for amphibians. Unfortunately, that empire began to crumble as long ago as 1850 when non-native trout were first transplanted into some of those lakes to increase fishing opportunities.
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Nature Can At Times Be An Equalizer For Predator and Prey, As Evidenced By An Incident in Glacier National Park

Nature can be a great equalizer for predator and prey. That was clearly demonstrated earlier this year in Glacier National Park, where an apparent avalanche swept an attacking mountain lion and its bighorn sheep prey to their deaths. Note: The accompanying images are graphic and might not be appropriate for everyone.
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Picking a Lot of Apples This Day Helps Keep the Bears Away in Yosemite National Park

An orchard loaded with ripe apples is more than many bears can resist, so volunteers will help harvest the crop a little early to reduce temptation in Yosemite National Park. If you're in the park on Monday, August 17, you're welcome to help pick some apples...and keep the bears away.
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Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Oysters, Icon of the Chesapeake

Whether you call them Eastern oysters, American oysters, Rappahannock oysters, or simply “white gold,” the iconic shellfish plucked from the Chesapeake Bay are a salty delicacy that some think is best served with a dash of horseradish and a squirt of lemon juice. Sadly, it’s a delicacy that is not as abundant as it once was. The Chesapeake once harbored oyster beds so rich and bountiful that they formed reefs. Now climate change is threatening to wipe them out.
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Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?

August, thanks to its hot and humid nature in the political capital of the universe, Washington, D.C., usually is the time politicians head to the hinterlands. And while most presidents see the month as their own opportunity to escape the bluster and fury of Washington, President Obama decided to take the opportunity not to flee the spotlight, but take it with him on his windshield tours of Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks.
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Is an International U.S.-Mexico Park At Big Bend Moving Closer to Reality?

The idea of an international park along the U.S.-Mexican border around Big Bend National Park has been kicking around for decades. A statement released after the recent North American Leaders Summit has revived hopes of supporters of the concept, but what did that statement really say?
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Web Page Provides Keys To Finding Olympic National Park's Waterfalls

Olympic National Park is a decidedly wet and misty place, one where the thick forests and leafy understory make it hard to see past the bend in the trail. Contributing to this lush, moist setting are some beautiful waterfalls that cascade down moss-covered rocks. These aren't towering falls such as those you find in the Yosemite Valley or the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, but smaller, more intimate "pocket" waterfalls.
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Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Loon and Other Birds of the Great Lakes

Change is under way in the Great Lakes, the source of 84 percent of North America’s fresh water and more than 20 percent of the world’s supply. It is a progressive sweeping change that threatens to greatly transform the ecosystems of these inland seas by warming their waters and supplanting native species with harmful invasives. And it is a change that ultimately may threaten the viability of the common loon and dozens of other birds that depend on the lakes.
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Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Grizzly Bears

Natural events — wildfires, floods, windstorms — often leave behind obvious marks on the landscapes they touch. Charred trees and scorched meadows, washed out trails, and swaths of fallen trees are some of the reminders of these powerful forces. The impacts wrought by other naturally occurring events and cycles are not always so easy to discern.
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