If there are any billion-dollar babies in the National Park System, they would be the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, both of which contributed more than $1 billion in tourism benefits to the communities surrounding their borders, according to a 2015 analysis of the National Park System's value to the national economy.
Noatak National Preserve
National Park Service officials, looking to offset the recent liberalization of Alaska state hunting regulations, are proposing regulations that aim to better protect predators from hunters. The comment period on the proposed regulations runs out Wednesday.
Annual problems with predator hunting in national preserves in Alaska have prompted the National Park Service to propose a permanent federal prohibition against certain hunting practices.
It long has been expected that as the climate warms, vegetation would react by moving. Both north in latitude, and up in elevation. Now new research confirms that "because of the combination of climate change and habitat loss, up to one-quarter of the total area of the National Park System is vulnerable to vegetation shifting up slope and northward."
Did you hear the news? National parks, those wondrous and scenic expanses of Nature's eye candy, those wild and rumpled landscapes that test your skills and will kill you if you're not careful and prepared, or maybe just in the wrong place at the wrong time, are boring. They've been transformed -- or, perhaps, kept since their creation -- as "drive-through museums."
It's been a record-setting year for heat, drought and wildfires in parts of the Lower 48, but Alaska is a different story. By mid-August each year the fire season in Alaska is winding down, and 2012 is headed for one of the quietest summers in years for fire crews.
The National Park Service and the Murie Science and Learning Center are seeking applicants for two research fellowships that are available to individuals wishing to conduct research in Denali National Park and Preserve and other arctic and subarctic Alaska national parks.
A curious set of prehistoric clay disks has been discovered in Noatak National Preserve in northwestern Alaska, leading archaeologists to believe they've encountered a new aspect of the region's past.
In the coming year technicians will install an array of 17 remote automated stations in five national park areas in northern Alaska to help the National Park Service track climate trends.
The U.S. already has a cross-border park arrangement with Canada (Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park) and proposals for some type of agreement with Mexico across from Big Bend National Park have been floating around for decades. Now there's news of renewed interest in expanded cooperation with another country, but it doesn't involve either Canada or Mexico. Can you locate "Beringia" on a map?