It's a good news, bad news story. The good news is that the National Park Service's revenues increased 15 percent between 2005 and 2014. The bad news is that the increase didn't keep up with inflation, and in the end total funding for the agency actually went down by 3 percent, according to an investigation by the General Accounting Office.
Yosemite National Park
A petition drive launched soon after Yosemite National Park officials said they would change the names of historic lodges rather than entertain DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite Inc.'s request for $51 million in exchange for the trademarks and other intellectual property is gaining momentum.
Yosemite National Park officials, looking to avoid a costly trademark fight with DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, announced Thursday that it would change the names of iconic lodges in the park. The Ahwahnee Hotel, for instance, would be known going forward as the Majestic Yosemite Hotel.
Surprisingly quick work had Yosemite National Park officials saying the El Portal Road into the park would reopen Saturday night after being closed for two days by a rockslide.
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite officials quickly responded to the government's request that their claim for more than $10 million in damages tied to the loss of the Yosemite National Park concessions contract be dismissed, denying that their valuation of intellectual property was overvalued and accusing the National Park Service of "flip-flopping" when it comes to trademark issues.
Charging that Delaware North Companies seeks to bolster its bottom line by securing trademarks to iconic U.S.-owned properties, and then "wildly inflates" their value, the U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal claims court to toss out DNC Parks & Resort's multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the government.dnc_parks_and_resorts_vs._u.s._govt_govt_response.pdf
Yosemite National Park rangers through late December had sworn in 22,600 Junior Rangers, a record for the highest number of Junior Rangers sworn in in a year.
How are we to act in a national park? That might seem to carry an obvious answer, but it's not always so obvious these days. As different generations, different racial groups, and different cultures enter the National Park System, not all seem out to enjoy the natural beauty on display in the landscape parks simply by walking about and gazing at the setting, hiking or backpacking, paddling or climbing, or watching wildlife.
Books with ties to national parks are too numerous to count. But we did receive a fair number in 2015, and found many of them worth your while. Let's take a look back through Traveler's Fireside Reads for 2015.