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The latest news from around the National Park System.

Poll Says Westerners Want Public Lands Protected, But Will It Matter?

Polling in seven Western states shows a strong majority of voters value clean air and water and outdoor recreation above energy development on public lands. And while the results showed eight in 10 voters want to retain, not decommission, national monuments, Utah officials were working to ask the Trump administration to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument designation and shrink the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
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Apply For Your Grand Canyon River Trip Beginning Wednesday

On Wednesday, February 1, the National Park Service will begin accepting applications for noncommercial river trip permits to raft the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. The permits are for specific launch dates within calendar year 2018. A total of 463 permits will be available for 12- to 25-day river trips.
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Traveler's View: A $15 Billion Wall Vs. A $12 Billion Backlog

Somewhere in drawing up the blueprint for making America great again, Donald Trump forgot about America's Best Idea. We can only hope it's a temporary oversight. As for Congress, well, the Republican leadership should know better. But at the moment the inaugural blush is still fresh and House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are more than happy to kowtow to President Trump.
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Black History Month Marked With Programs At New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

In celebration of Black History Month in February, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park will offer several programs to recognize and honor the remarkable achievements of African-Americans from New Bedford. All events are free and will be held at the visitor center located in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
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Everglades Coalition Urges Florida Legislature To Buy 65,000 Acres To Help River Of Grass

Legislation calling for the purchase of 65,000 acres of land just south of Lake Okeechobee in Florida would bolster the flow of fresh water through the "river of grass" and is being supported by the Everglades Coalition, which wants the Florida Legislature to adopt the measure.
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Op-Ed | There’s No Place Like Home

I can never go home again. The land that I grew up on, an estate not far from NYC that my parents cared for, but that belonged to someone else, is now in the hands of a new owner and a new family entrusted with its care. That land, to some degree, told me who I am. The trees, the ground beneath my feet and the wildlife provided the details to a family story that grew and changed over time, as family stories do. It held the particulars of my parent’s journey from a small, southern town to New York in the 1950’s, as a poor black couple with big dreams for themselves and their children. Without access to that story, it would be easy to feel unmoored, rootless, and insecure about my place, my past and my future. Who am I? Where did I come from? What does the future hold?
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Another Mountain Lion Killed Near Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

A young female mountain lion was recently struck and killed by a vehicle on State Route 118 to the north of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California, marking the third time a mountain lion was hit by a vehicle on the same stretch of freeway since December, according to the National Park Service.
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UPDATED: Hiring Freeze Blocks National Park Service Permanent Hiring, Seasonal Jobs Up In The Air

National Park Service officials have been told to stop filling vacant permanent positions throughout the National Park System under the federal hiring freeze President Trump ordered, though it remained unclear Wednesday which, if any, seasonal positions would be granted a waiver from the freeze.
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