Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

A Year In The Parks, From Cape Lookout National Seashore To Glacier Bay National Park

The past year took me across the National Park System, from Cape Lookout National Seashore on the North Carolina coast to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The stories that spooled out from these trips into the National Park System told of advocacy and nurturing, of history and recreation, and even of controversy. Here's a look back.

Birding In The National Parks: Where Are All The Kittlitz's Murrelets Going?

Data being gathered to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decide whether the Kittlitz's murrelet should have Endangered Species Act protection shows an alarming direction in the species' population trend.
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By The Numbers: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Johns Hopkins Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Though its name inspires thoughts of massive rivers of ice, Glacier Bay National Park is much, much more than glaciers. With its borders you'll find some of the country's tallest mountains, tangles of temperate rain forest that harbor brown and black bears, and rich waters that attract both birds and whales. Here's a glimpse of some of the park's significant numbers:

Birding in the National Parks: Puffins, Murrelets And More In Glacier Bay National Park

I wasn't really sure what to expect from Glacier Bay National Park, outside of glaciers, of course, but it didn't take long for me to realize this Alaskan park is a birder's paradise. From the "poor man's puffin" to dwindling numbers of Kittlitz's murrelets, I was rewriting my birding success, and not in days, but in minutes.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Water and ice are prominent features of Glacier Bay National Park. Photo copyright QT Luong, www.terragalleria.com/parks, used with permission.

Though a harbor for the country's greatest collection of tidewater glaciers, Glacier Bay National Park is more than just ice and water.

National Park Quiz 97: Ships

This month's quiz will test your knowledge of ships and their role in the National Park System. Answers are at the end. If you peek, we'll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: "A ship is a vessel of considerable size, usually designed for deep-water navigation."

Calling All Pee Wee Rangers To the National Parks

Is your young-un too young to get involved in the National Park Service's Junior Ranger program? Well, here's news that some parks have created a "Pee Wee Ranger Program" for kids aged 3 and 4.

By the Numbers: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Glacier Bay National Park, the core attraction of the Inside Passage coastal cruise ship route, is noted for its tidewater glaciers, abundant watchable wildlife, and gorgeous mountain-backed scenery. Here are some statistics that reveal the character of this remarkable park.

Humpback Whale from Glacier Bay National Park is a Regular Winter Resident of Hawai'i

Hawaii's lure as a wintertime destination isn't limited to humans, and researchers recently spotted a regular seasonal visitor to island waters. A humpback whale that's regularly seen in and near Glacier Bay National Park each summer has been making the annual trek for at least two decades.

A Canadian Park Grizzly Study Underscores the Need to Minimize Human-Caused Mortality in Highway-Served Peripheral Areas

A study in Canada's Kluane National Park and Reserve investigated grizzly bear habitat and mortality losses in peripheral areas that function as "attractive sinks."

Easy Park Hikes – Forest Loop Trail in Glacier Bay National Park

Forest and pond
Sometimes a short, easy hike is just what you need for a nice change of pace during a park visit. Here's a suggestion for a trip to Glacier Bay National Park.

Traveler's Checklist: Glacier Bay National Park

Half again as large as Yellowstone National Park, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve can be a conundrum for visitors. If you arrive via cruise ship, how can you possibly get a good taste of this 3.3-million acre landscape of ice, ocean, and forest?

Coast Guard Wants To Install Search-And-Rescue Communication Towers At Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking National Park Service approval to install one or two search-and-rescue communication towers in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

National Park Quiz 50: Wilderness

This week’s quiz deals with wilderness in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you memorize the entire list of designated wildernesses.

Are We Properly Caring for Our Ocean-Based National Parks?

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.
Glacier Bay National Park's main attraction are the rivers of ice that course atop the landscape. But what lurks beneath the waters of the bay? This brand new 26-minute video from the National Park Service helps answer that question.

Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

Back in 1925 Glacier Bay National Monument was established, in part, to protect "a number of tidewater glaciers ... in a magnificent setting of lofty peaks ..." Well, as these photos show, those glaciers are slip-sliding away.

28 Years Ago, the National Park System Gained Millions of Acres

Imagine if the National Park System could grow, overnight, by 43 million acres. That's exactly what happened nearly three decades ago in a place called Alaska.

Greening the National Parks: Environmental Achievement Awards Highlight Sustainable Design, Energy-Efficiency, and Recycling

To encourage eco-friendly operations, the National Park Service presents Environmental Achievement Awards each year to parks and concession companies that have excelled in incorporating high environmental standards into their operations. The 2007 awards were presented to Blue Ridge Parkway, Yosemite National Park, Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, and Xanterra Parks & Resorts.

National Park Quiz 15: Ring of Fire

This week’s quiz tests your knowledge of geologic features and processes in the national parks that lie within the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that rings the Pacific Basin. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll make you write "convergent boundary" 100 times on the whiteboard.

Who Visits Alaska's National Parks?

Even though the world as a whole is getting smaller and smaller, Alaska still manages to cast an image of being that rugged land far, far away to the north. And yet, quite a few folks are managing to head to Alaska to visit the national parks there.

Twenty-seven Years Ago, Eight National Parks Came to Be

Never before have, and probably never again will, so many national parks come into existence on the same date. Given birth by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act were Denali, Gates of Arctic, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Kobuk Valley, Lake Clark and Wrangell-St. Elias national parks.

Marketing Alaska's National Parks; Why Not All National Parks?

I hate jumping to conclusions. But that apparently is exactly what I did when I surmised that the proposed $1.5 million centennial project involving the Alaska Travel Industry Association would benefit the cruise-ship industry more than the parks.

Climate Change in Alaska Opens Window to the Past

Warming temperatures are remaking the Alaskan landscape. Sea ice is shrinking, permafrost is melting, glaciers are retreating, polar bears are changing their habits. In Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the warming trend is opening a window into the past, as melting glaciers are revealing artifacts from both the somewhat recent past and prehistoric cultures.
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Backcountry Bear Basics: The Definitive Guide to Avoiding Unpleasant Encounters (Mountaineers Outdoor Basics) One of the most direct books I've read on avoiding bears in the backcountry is Dave Smith's Backcountry Bear Basics, which just came out in its second edition.
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