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The latest news from around the National Park System.

Appeals Court Rejects Bid To End Backcountry Fees At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Southern Forest Watch, an organization that has long fought to bring an end to backcountry user fees at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, lost its latest bid when the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the group's appeal from a lower court.
PDF icon grsm-6th_circuit_fee_ruling.pdf
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Groups Sue National Park Service To Prevent Hunting Inside Grand Teton National Park

Concerned that the proposed delisting of grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem could soon be followed by a grizzly pelt being hauled out of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, two conservation groups have sued the National Park Service in a bid to force the agency to take back its authority to manage wildlife on all lands within the park's boundaries.
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Backpacking At Mount Rainier National Park To Be First-Come, First-Served

Hoping to snag a backcountry permit in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state this year? It could be challenging. Park officials say the park will process wilderness camping and climbing permits on a first-come, first-served basis only in 2016, including permits for hiking the Wonderland Trail.
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UPDATED: Biscayne National Park Threatened By Discharge Waters From Nuclear Reactors

Waters discharged from the Turkey Point nuclear power plant in Florida are contaminating Biscayne Bay and pose a threat to Biscayne National Park, according to studies commissioned by the state of Florida.
PDF icon 2016-03-11_rg_letter_to_gina_mccarthy_r.e_bay_contaminated_water_discharge.pdf
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National Park Service Announces Visitor Services For 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Park Service will offer a number of special programs and services during the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival, including festival-related lantern walks, ranger talks, and tours around the Tidal Basin and National Mall. National Park Service festival events will be held through April 3 and are free of charge.
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Celebrate Patriots’ Day 2016 At Minute Man National Historical Park

Each year in mid-April, thousands of people flock to historic Lexington and Concord and Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts to celebrate Patriots’ Day, a special Massachusetts State holiday commemorating the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War, back on April 19, 1775.
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Desert Bighorn Sheep Spotted In Tucson Mountain District Of Saguaro National Park; First Sighting In Six Decades

A sharp-eyed visitor, and a motion-triggered camera, have confirmed the presence of desert bighorn sheep in the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park, sightings that are the first in the district in 60 years.
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PEER Calls On Grand Canyon National Park To Withdraw Report On Bison, Says They're Not Native

Bison are not native to Grand Canyon National Park and a report that claims they are should be withdrawn by the National Park Service and not relied upon as the park staff debates how to handle a bison herd on the North Rim, maintains Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
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Legislation Could Provide More Revenues For National Park Service

Slightly higher park entrance fees for senior citizens, more funds for the Centennial Challenge program, and improved interpretative staff are among the provisions of the National Park Service Centennial Act moving through Congress.
PDF icon nps_centennial_bill-h4680.pdf PDF icon nps_fy16_centennial_challenge_project_list.pdf
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Get Trash(ed) At Assateague Island National Seashore

More than two million people visit Assateague Island National Seashore annually to experience its many miles of pristine beach, watercolor sunsets, and the chance to view wild horses galloping along the sand dunes. Unfortunately, the barrier island is also the last stop for copious amounts of trash that is washed ashore or, worse, left behind due by visitors.
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