You want to get out on the water, preferably for a few days at least. Scenery, wildlife, and solitude are on your checklist. Here’s where to go in the National Park System.
North Cascades National Park
In one of the largest expansions of the National Park System in decades, a nearly 1,700-page bill to fund the Defense Department carries amendments to add roughly a half-dozen units to the park system and add acres to others. But the measure also raises concerns over whether Congress is micro-managing National Park Service decisions when it comes to wildlife management under the Endangered Species Act, and how donors to the system should be recognized.
In what could be the most significant legislative action pertaining to national parks since 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives is being asked to approve a defense authorization bill that has been amended to create a number of new units of to the National Park System, from a Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park in New York to a Manhattan Project National Historical Park spread across a handful of states.
Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection
Whether climate change is adversely impacting wolverines, something the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes is uncertain, is being challenged by a coalition of conservation groups that is suing the agency to provide Endangered Species Act protection to the small carnivores.
Floods. Windstorms that down trees. Wildfires. Millions of feet. Hiking trails take a pounding from all these things. And while the paths are the responsibility of the National Park Service, the agency often lacks money and staff to tackle all but the most pressing needs. That’s where national park friends groups come into play with their financial resources and, at times, volunteers.
As National Park Service Looks At Grizzly Bear Recovery In North Cascades, What's The State Of The Endangered Species Act?
News that the National Park Service wants to consider whether grizzly bears should be restored to the North Cascades ecosystem in Washington state is a big step towards bolstering the region's ecological integrity, but recent events surrounding the Endangered Species Act raises questions about whether the Park Service can succeed if it decides grizzly recovery is in the ecosystem's best interests.
Mountain goats are spectacular animals, even iconic in places such as Glacier National Park, but they can cause problems in parks where they don't belong. At Olympic National Park, where a 1920s era introduction project brought non-native goats into the landscape, officials are embarking on a management plan for how to deal with the animals. Adding weight to the need for such a plan was the fatal goring of a hiker in the park four years ago.
Is that a black bear cub? A badger? No, it’s a wolverine! Wolverines have distinct color patterns on their face, neck and chest making each individual animal unique, and are referred to as “skunk bears” by the Blackfeet Indians. Though their appearance leads most to believe them to be a relative of bears, they are the largest members of the weasel (mustelidae) family that exclusively live on land.
Washington state’s Puget Sound is a forested metropolis, braided with inlets and bays and ringed by steep, glacier-clad peaks. On the west skyline, the stately, wet Olympic Mountains grab moisture from the ocean clouds to nurture the temperate rain forest of Olympic National Park. To the east the queen-mother’s throne, nearly three-mile-high Mount Rainier, holds court on clear days in its namesake park.
Work to make substantial repairs to the Cascades River Road will shut off access to the Boston Basin and Cascade Pass areas of North Cascades National Park in Washington state this fall.