A massive omnibus budget bill, if passed by Congress, promises to deliver some early holiday cheer to the National Park Service with a nearly 10 percent increase in discretionary funding, according to an analysis by the National Parks Conservation Association.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Over the last decade, the explosion of books related to birding has seen the formation of a subgenre focused on the GISS concept. GISS (typically pronounced jizz) is an acronym for General Impression, Size, and Shape. This refers to the method of identifying a bird by visible features other than the color and markings. It’s how most seasoned birders make split-second identifications in the field. Over time, GISS has come to be a catch-all term for the holistic approach to bird identification where distribution, time of year, habitat, and behavioral considerations blend with size and shape (and good old fashioned field marks!) to make a bird knowable in an instant.
A tropical storm bearing down on Florida is prompting the closure of Everglades, Dry Tortugas, and Biscayne national parks until at least noon on Tuesday.
The deafening roar of the 225-horsepower Mercury engine propelled our skiff across the turquoise expanse of Biscayne Bay. It was hard to imagine that less than an hour earlier I’d been sipping a café cubano in the heart of downtown Miami. Here we were though, making headway toward an offshore reef to explore some of South Florida’s renowned marine habitat.
President Obama's budget request for the 2016 fiscal year seeks $2.6 billion for the National Park Service, an increase of $55 million from current funding levels. That request seeks hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure needs, such as renovations to the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park and for safety, efficiency, and access upgrades to the visitor's center at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Nearly $200,000 is flowing to four south Florida national park units to help underwrite habitat restoration, protect wildlife, and support visitor programs.
A problem roughly a century in the making that left Grand Canyon National Park in a nearly $200 million hole is impacting parks from coast to coast, with superintendents forced to find programs and projects they can postpone, cutback, or simply cut.
“I get by with a little help from my friends,” sang the Beatles. When it comes to national parks, it had better be a lot of help. The National Park Service often struggles with funding. Now, with tighter budgets and more demands, friends groups are proving invaluable in helping out parks.
Around The Parks: Ice Bridges At Isle Royale, Sea Turtle Record At Dry Tortugas, Scotty's Castle Delays
Watching Lake Superior ice at Isle Royale National Park, counting sea turtles at Dry Tortugas National Park, and road work woes for Scotty's Castle visitors at Death Valley National Park are just some of the other stories around the National Park System this week.
Guided Ranger Tours, Educational Programs In Florida National Parks Underwritten By South Florida National Parks Trust
More evidence of the value of national park friends groups can be seen in Florida, where the South Florida National Parks Trust is underwriting environmental education programs, ranger-guided tours, and resource protection projects in the parks.