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The latest news from around the National Park System.

Ruminating On Interior Appropriations, Bishop's PLI, And Political Convention Platforms

In its rush Thursday to take the rest of the summer off, Congress left behind a pile of unfinished work, some of which reaches into the National Park System. There's the Interior appropriations bill, which would roll back some environmental protections, and a controversial Public Lands Initiative for Utah that quickly drew fire. And then there's the draft platform for the Republican Convention, which holds freight aimed at fleecing federal lands and tying presidents' hands.
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A Brief History Of Whiskey Use And Alcohol Bans In Yellowstone National Park

In the days of Fort Yellowstone (1886-1918), drinking was not permitted on any military grounds. Violation of this rule could result in fines or imprisonment, though not for more than a year. Additionally, if a soldier was found drunk at his post, he could have been punished by depriving him of passes to visit Gardiner, the nearest town, for a month. As a result of these rules, records and stories seem to indicate that many army soldiers would make the walk from Fort Yellowstone, located at Mammoth Hot Springs, to Gardiner for a drink and some company.
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UPDATED: PEER: National Park Service Ignoring Requirement To Establish Visitor Carrying Capacities

Nearly four decades have passed since Congress directed the National Park Service to establish visitor carrying capacities for the National Park System, yet few parks have done so, according to a review by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
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The Hour Of Land: A Personal Topography Of America’s National Parks

Anyone who has heard Terry Tempest Williams speak or who has read her writing knows how personal her approach is to her subject, thus the “personal topography” of the subtitle of this book. Visits to 12 units of the National Park System, including seven national parks, two national monuments, a national military park, national seashore, and national recreation area, provide grist for her exploration of this topography and a sampling of different elements of the system.
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Birding In The National Parks: Finding Birds With The National Park Service's Help

Proper preparation often makes the difference between merely seeing some good birds and coming home with a trip list bursting at the seams and a few lifers to boot. It’s easy to enjoy a birding trip without studying your field guides and knowing your geography, but to many birders the prep is half the fun.
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Estes Park Builds On National Park Service's "Every Kid In A Park" Program

Students participating in the national fourth-grade “Every Kid in a Park” campaign are running out of summer days to use their vouchers for free admittance to national lands. To encourage fourth-graders to use their passes in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Estes Park Visitor Center is giving each fourth-grade student a free Estes Park backpack filled with goodies that can be used while visiting the area.
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Friends Of Acadia Launches $25 Million Campaign To Address Acadia National Park's "Most Urgent Challenges"

Recalling the conservation and philanthropy that launched Acadia National Park a century ago, Friends of Acadia has marked the park's 100th birthday with a campaign to raise $25 million to tackle the park's "most urgent challenges ... and ensure that Acadia will thrive for many years to come."
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide