Over the next week or so Comet PannSTARRS will be visible near the moon after sunset in Asheville and along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Bundle up and head outside at dusk. Although not visible with the naked-eye, it isn’t hard to find with an average pair of binoculars.
Blue Ridge Parkway
There is nothing as traditional as camping out in the national parks for summer vacation. Reserving a campsite on www.recreation.gov can lock in a site long before you hit the road, but sometimes you just don’t get around to doing that. So what to do?
Traveler's 2nd Annual Essential Friends + Gateways publication, a collaboration between the Traveler and a core group of national park foundations, cooperating associations, trusts, friends groups, and gateway communities, is aimed at enhancing and furthering the now nationally significant role of these organizations and entities in the preservation and enjoyment of our parks.
Delaware North Parks & Resorts, which last year landed the contract to run concessions at Shenandoah National Park, has added the Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway to its operations.
Acadia, Yellowstone, and Yosemite are some of the most adored units of the National Park System, but they don't show up in the top 10 list of most-visited parks during 2012. They're quite a ways from the top 10, actually.
Phil Francis, the National Park Service’s superintendent for the Blue Ridge Parkway since 2005, is retiring on April 1st.
The National Park Service recently released a prospectus soliciting proposals for the operation of Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob Cabins; two concessions on the southern Virginia section of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The approximately 15 million visitors expected this year on the Blue Ridge Parkway—the most visited unit of the national park system—will find fewer ranger-led walks and talks, reduced facilities at campgrounds, picnic areas, and visitor centers, and perhaps a shorter full-service season. Superintendent Phil Francis says the goal is limiting the impact on visitors.
In a reversal of seventy years of “vigorously suppressed” fires on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Superintendent Phil Francis has announced that 150 acres will be burned near Doughton Park “to return the site to a more natural vegetation type” and “increase the quality of wildlife habitat.”
Fewer rangers for search-and-rescue missions, closed campgrounds, and possibly more devastating forest fires are facing the National Park Service as a result of the looming budget fiasco, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said Monday.