Rocky Mountain National Park

Size Of Cow Creek Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park Greatly Reduced

Fire bosses on the Cow Creek Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park once again have revised the size of the wildfire. This time, though, they nearly halved the previous measurement, dropping what once was thought to be a 1,500-acre blaze to 888 acres.

Update: Backcountry Fire At Rocky Mountain National Park Now At 1500 Acres

Erratic winds have blown up the Cow Creek fire in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park to at least 800 acres, forcing the closure of a ranch road and leading fire bosses to keep firefighters off the front lines.

Updated; Fire Burning in the Backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park

A relatively small forest fire was burning Friday in the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park. A small contingent of firefighters, aided by helicopter and air-tanker support, were battling the flames.

Would Year-Round Access To Old Faithful Compromise Yellowstone National Park's "Frontier"?

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, copyright Kurt Repanshek
In Dances With Wolves, Lt. John Dunbar requests a posting on "the frontier" because he "wants to see the frontier before it's gone." It's not too difficult to put Yellowstone National Park, between the months of December and April, as being on the last frontier of the Lower 48.While it would be relatively easy to maintain wheeled-access to Old Faithful year-round, with apparently few environmental consequences, should we shrink what little "frontier" we have left in the National Park System?
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ReserveAmerica Can't Find a National Park Campground It Likes

ReserveAmerica, the company that manages camping reservations for the National Park System and other federal agencies, can't seem to find a national park campground it likes. In listing its "Top 100 Family Campgrounds," the company doesn't cite a single national park campground.

Let's Stay Safe In the National Parks This Summer, Okay?

Summer's arrival and the height of the vacation season is filling the National Park System with folks and families looking to relax, kick back, and enjoy being together in fabulous settings. Let's just not forget to be safe out there, though.
Dream Hikes Coast to Coast: Your Guide to America In Dream Hikes Coast to Coast author Jack Bennett has done something more than a few folks would like to do: Head out on some great hikes, and then write about them. In assembling his hiking list, he took an approach that is both laudable...and disappointing.

Circumstances Force National Park Service to Actively Manage Wildlife

Florida panther kittens dosed with dewormers. Black-footed ferrets inoculated against plague. Sterilizing horses at Cape Lookout National Seashore and elk at Rocky Mountain National Park. And now Yellowstone National Park bison that could be vaccinated against brucellosis via air gun.

National Park Quiz 83: Reproduction

Let's see how much you know about the intricate business of passing along genes in our national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: "Bacterial conjugation, which is sometime erroneously characterized as the bacterial equivalent of sexual reproduction, cannot succeed unless the donor bacterium hosts a plasmid, transposon, or similar genetic element that is conjugative or mobilizable."

Battle Against Mountain Pine Beetles Launched at Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mountain pine beetles, Kurt Repanshek photo.
They're inventorying trees at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, with an eye out for trees that are infested with mountain pine beetles.

Rocky Mountain Nature Association Receives Unusual $53,000 Gift For Next Generation Campaign

A $53,000 gift has been made to the Rocky Mountain Nature Association for its Next Generation Fund, a gift that came from a very unusual donor.

Help Friends Groups Help the National Parks

Throughout the year my mailbox is filled with solicitations from various causes, among them national park-related events and projects. Here's a look at just some of the latest you might consider giving to.

Spring is a Great Time To Watch For Migratory Birds in the National Parks

Spring is a fantastic time to be outdoors. Along with the beauty of plants in bloom, a trip to a national park can reveal mammals emerging from their hibernation and frogs singing up a storm. But the one spring event that brings countless new and life-long nature lovers to our nation’s parks is the return of migratory songbirds.

Bark Beetle Battles Continue This Year At Rocky Mountain National Park

If you're planning a visit soon to Rocky Mountain National Park, you might want to read the following carefully and look at your calendar. Park crews plan to be spraying trees around the park through most of May in an ongoing battle against bark beetles.

How Will Wildfires Impact The National Park Landscape This Summer?

Winter has been pretty fluky across the United States, with heavy snows taking aim at the Mid-Atlantic and Sierra states, cold weather diving deeply into the Southeast, torrential rains hitting the Northeast, and quick warming baking the Midwest. With such a mix, what might we expect from the coming wildfire season across the National Park System?

Temporary Climbing Closures In Place at Rocky Mountain National Park to Protect Nesting Raptors

Some temporary climbing closures have been placed into effect in Rocky Mountain National Park to give raptors some relative peace and quiet during their nesting season.

Is The American Pika Really On The Road To Extinction Due to Climate Change?

Less than a month after a conservation group expressed its displeasure with the Obama administration for not providing Endangered Species Act protection to the American pika due to the plight it might face due to climate change, a new study suggests the tiny mammals are more widespread than thought and seem to thrive in a temperature range greater than long thought possible.
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Reader Participation Day: Where Are the Best Waterfalls In the National Park System?

Waterfall Ohe o Gorge, Haleakala National Park, copyright Q.T. Luong
Two of the most incredible waterfalls in the National Park System can be found in Yellowstone National Park. But it certainly doesn't have a monopoly on waterworks. Olympic National Park boasts the beautifully secluded Marymere Falls, Glacier National Park the towering Bird Woman Falls, and Great Smoky Mountain National Park the comparatively small but gorgeous-just-the-same Abrams Falls. What other waterfalls in the park system deserve to be singled out for their beauty?

Some Biologists Envision Wolves Controlling Elk in More National Parks, Others Say That's Impractical

There was a paper that zoomed around cyberspace a couple weeks ago, one that roamed far and wide, not unlike a young wolf seeking a territory of its own. It gathered speed as it was flicked around the Twittersphere because it focused on two subjects that captivate more than a few people -- national parks, and wolves.
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Reader Participation Day: Are We Overreaching With Wildlife Management in National Parks?

How far should national park managers go when it comes to wildlife management issues? That's a controversial issue in some circles, as evidenced by the concern being raised over a proposal at Cape Cod National Seashore to poison some crows that have developed a knack for preying on piping plovers, a threatened species along the Atlantic Seaboard under the Endangered Species Act, whose nests are seemingly protected by enclosures.

Frogs Are A Sure Sign of Spring, But That Doesn't Mean You Won't Hear Them Now

If you want to know whether Spring is on the way, don’t look to groundhogs for the answer. Instead, listen for the frogs. Certain species of frogs, such as the wood frog, begin singing even when there is still snow on the ground.

"Disabled Traveler's Companion" Offers Valuable Accessibility Insights for Visiting National Parks

Let's face it, the National Park Service is making strides in addressing ADA needs, but has a ways to go. One couple that frequently travels to parks is making it easier for disabled travelers to anticipate what their visits will be like through websites that assess individual park's accessibility factors.

Obama Administration Draws Criticism for Declining ESA Protection To Pikas

A diminutive creature that struggles with warmer temperatures brought on by climate change will not receive Endangered Species Act protection for its predicament, the Obama administration has decided in a move that brought quick condemnation from some corners.
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Rocky Mountain National Park Marks 95th Birthday, Superintendent Invites You to The Park

It was almost a century ago that President Woodrow Wilson signed the enacting legislation that created Rocky Mountain National Park. With its 95th birthday now here, Rocky Mountain Superintendent Vaughn Baker is inviting you to visit the park and explore its beauty.

Looking To Gain A Little Structured Education On Your National Park Trip?

Can you tell by looking at a wildflower in Yellowstone National Park what the underlying geology is? Or, while hiking through Great Smoky Mountains National Park, can you identify a bird simply by its song? Do you want to get relatively up close to the elephant seals at Point Reyes National Seashore? Here's how you can do all those things and more.

Anonymous Benefactor Pledges $1 Million To Rocky Mountain Nature Association

How many folks, if they had an extra million dollars, would offer it to a national park's friends group? At least one person is holding out that check to the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, which can claim the $1 million by matching it dollar-for-dollar by year's end.

Rocky Mountain National Park Offering Snowshoe Hikes, XC Skiing With Rangers This Winter

Winter is starting to pack its full fury in the Rockies, with the snow piling up across the region. In Rocky Mountain National Park you can enjoy that snow by heading into the park on a snowshoe hike or cross-country ski led by rangers.

National Park Mystery Plant 5 Revealed: It’s the Red Baneberry

Did you identify the red baneberry as the mystery plant in yesterday’s quiz? Here are some more interesting facts about this widely-distributed plant and its toxic effects.

"Core Ops" Budgeting in the National Park System Goes Silently Into the Night

A succinct, four-paragraph memo from National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis two weeks ago spurred an outpouring of comments from Park Service employees and marked, potentially, a sea change in how park superintendents go about budgeting for their parks. But is it something the general public should take note of?

Holiday Activities Abound at Rocky Mountain National Park

If you find yourself near Rocky Mountain National Park during the holidays, you might want to consider one of the following activities. With the snow piling up, there will be lots of outdoor activities, but the park also is planning some indoor fun for families and kids. Some require reservations, so don't wait until the last minute.
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