While every day of the year offers opportunities to explore the National Park System and learn something about this unique collection of properties, once a year the president proclaims "National Park Week" with hopes folks will get out and enjoy the parks. This year that week starts Saturday, April 18, and runs through next Saturday, April 26.
With national park redesignation back in the news, this seems like a good time to remind Traveler readers just how nonsensical National Park System unit nomenclature has become. Why can’t Congress and the National Park Service put their heads together and come up with a designation system that actually makes sense?
There's just something about a lighthouse that appeals to history buffs, romantics, and lots of other people. The National Park System includes some great lighthouses, but the NPS can't save them all. Sometimes, the best way for the feds to preserve one is to give it away.
Though it's been a mostly quiet winter on the coast of North Carolina, things might get a bit testy in the coming weeks as Cape Hatteras National Seashore releases its pre-nesting closure plans to protect piping plovers, a threatened species.
Winter is still raging in some parts of the country, but that doesn't mean a respite isn't in the offing. Proof of that is news of the opening dates of the campgrounds at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
There was an essay recently that brought to my attention a startling figure: Even though there are nearly 1,700 marine protected areas in U.S. territorial waters, 99.9 percent of all our territorial waters were open to fishing in 2008.
Today the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands is scheduled to consider HR 6233, a bill that would reinstate the Interim Management Strategy for ORV beach use at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. There are heated arguments on both sides of this issue, which has strong implications for wildlife management, beach access, and tourist spending.
In the 1930s the National Park Service’s first plane, a 1928 Fairchild FC-2W2 piloted by legendary aviator Dave Driskill, shuttled passengers, mail, and other stuff to and from CCC camps in the Outer Banks. Now privately owned, it is still flying.
Tropical storm Hanna's approach to the Carolinas has forced some evacuations and closures at Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras national seashores, and more steps could be taken depending on the severity of the storm.
Call it serendipity, the fate of the gods, or simple biology, but it seems that Cape Hatteras National Seashore is undergoing an invasion of sea turtles. And that means more beach closures to off-road vehicles and pedestrians.
The spit of sand that buffers the North Carolina coast from the worst the Atlantic Ocean can toss at it carries a wide array of contentious issues that seemingly have no easy answers. And as with most contentious issues, there's no doubt a measure of spin when talk comes to access at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
How is life at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the wake of travel restrictions aimed at protecting shorebirds and sea turtles that nest along the coast? As with many matters, it depends on whom you ask.
Fierce winter storms and shifting shoals gave birth to the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," where thousands of ships have foundered since record-keeping began in the 16th century. Beginning late in the 18th century, rescuers began patrolling the East Coast in search of such wrecks.
The National Park Service Beach Access Report for June 12, 2008, provides detailed background and regulatory information concerning ORV use at the popular Cape Hatteras National Seashore under the terms of the consent decree signed on April 30. The Park Service is soliciting your opinion about modifying the format and content of the Beach Access Report.
Who runs the National Park System? Is it the National Park Service, or communities that fuel their economies off the parks? That's a good question to consider in the wake of the moxie and clout that tiny Cody, Wyoming, summoned to turn the heat up on its golden goose, Yellowstone National Park.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that Cape Hatteras National Seashore has made the top ten in Dr. Beach’s 2008 list of America’s Best Beaches. To put a finer point on it, Cape Hatteras Beach is ranked number eight.
Bridges are among the most favored of all human structures. They serve us well, make a bold visual statement, and open the door to a storehouse of memories. Who doesn’t admire the elegant lines of a suspension bridge? Who can look at a covered bridge without thinking of a time when life was simpler and slower and friendlier? This week's quiz will find out how much you know about the bridges and bridge-related things in our national parks. Answers are at the end. No peeking.
A settlement intended to resolve conflicts between off-road vehicle users and breeding birds and sea turtles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore seems to be having the opposite effect. Vandals have torn down signs designating buffers around nest sites and business owners say the settlement will devastate them.
Birds on Cape Hatteras National Seashore will get more protection from off-road vehicles under a proposed settlement filed in federal court. If Judge Terrence Boyle signs off on the 23-page document, seasonal restrictions will be implemented to see that ORVs don't trample bird habitat.
A North Carolina newspaper has, figuratively, tossed some gasoline on the simmering dispute over the National Park Service's failure to produce an off-road vehicle management plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore. In an editorial the Raleigh News and Observer says the Park Service is deferring to ORVers to the detriment of wildlife.
For years folks have used off-road vehicles to negotiate some of the farther reaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. And for years the National Park Service failed to develop a management plan for those ORVers. And now it's time to pay the piper.
For years, summer trips to Cape Cod were an annual ritual for my family. My parents had retired to the Cape, and our boys loved romping in the surf and building castles in the sand. Lobster feasts, game-fishing, and whale watching were added benefits, as were exploring the seashore’s lighthouses, roaming its dunes, and looking for sea creatures in its mudflats.
Back in July I predicted that the managers of Cape Hatteras National Seashore would be sued for allowing off-road vehicles to navigate the seashore without a valid ORV management plan in place. Well, that lawsuit has arrived in court.
It's no secret that I've been troubled by the National Park Service's seemingly quick reliance on the private sector to preserve historic buildings on its properties. The agency's ongoing efforts to allow a private developer to lease three dozen buildings at Fort Hancock in Gateway National Recreation Area are being done in the name of preservation. Yet there are parks that are managing restoration without resorting to privatization.