From the outside it looks pretty much like any other composting toilet in the National Park System. But the new $70,000 'loo' at Mount Rainier National Park has been deemed worthy of a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
After a two-year hiatus, you can now return to Paradise. Mount Rainier National Park's Paradise Inn, that is. Following much-needed structural repairs, the beautiful inn will open for business on Friday.
Timing is everything in the publishing world. Sometimes it's a help, sometimes a hindrance. In the case of a new hiking guide to the trails of Mount Rainier National Park, the November 2006 storms that ravaged the park were a tad untimely.
If you've ever entered Mount Rainier National Park's Nisqually Entrance via Ashford, Washington, you're well aware of the long corridor of trees you pass through. Now, thanks to the Nisqually Land Trust, you don't have to worry about those trees being reduced to stumps.
“Does any skeptic suppose that a true mountaineer regrets any heroic mountain exploit because of some mishap…does he suppose that any of the many zealous navigators who sailed in that vain quest, the discovery of the mild open sea about the North Pole, bewailed the suffering he endured or the brave efforts he made? Does he imagine that man will ever cease his attempts…to reach the summit of unconquered peaks, simply because of possible mishaps and sufferings attendant thereon?”
Did you watch all 15 hours of the Ken Burns mega-series "The War" which wrapped up last night on PBS? I did! Having watched the series, I have wondered, what are the World War II sites managed by the National Park Service? I've come up with this list, with some parks units that you might not expect.
While park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga wants to rebuild a section of the road, the storm redesigned the Carbon River, in some places sculpting deep pools valuable to bull trout, a species protected by the Endangered Species Act.
It's been a rough few days in the national parks. A three-day search in Mount Rainier has led to the discovery of the body of a missing hiker, while in Yosemite another hiker has died while trying to negotiate Half Dome.
Last week I had a chance to sit down and have an interview with Sean Smith, the Northwest Regional Director of the National Parks and Conservation Association. Sean was a lot of fun to talk to, I found him to be very knowledgeable about many park issues. Today's conversation covers two big topics, the November storms which did many millions of dollars worth of damage to Northwest National Parks, and also covers the ongoing Park Service listening sessions.
I'm excited to offer the first official audiocast today! If you recreate on federal lands, including the National Parks, there is a topic that your wallet is already familiar with: entrance fees. I had the opportunity to speak with Washington State Rep Maralyn Chase who has co-sponsored a House Memorial which asks that federal fees collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) be abolished in the State of Washington.