Fewer than 12 months separate the National Park Service's 99th birthday and its 100th. What happens over the course of the next year will go a far way to determining if it will be a happy birthday or not.
We don't often take sides, but when we do, you can find our position here.
There has been lots of discussion and debate on the Traveler in recent months over the size of the National Park System as well as the propriety of some of the units in that system. Most recently, a reader took issue with a piece looking at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site that questioned what the goal of the historic site really was.
Fewer than 100 miles separate Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida from Biscayne National Park, yet when it comes to views on preservation the two parks are light-years apart.bicy-donahue_wilderness_survey.pdf
Is that number, $2.5 million, accurate, Budweiser, or is there a zero missing? I mean, you get to be a proud partner of the world's most incredible national park system for two years, get to have your corporate logo on the same page as the National Park Service arrowhead, and all it costs you is $2.5 million?
On a day set aside to celebrate the Earth and the environmental movement, the Interior Department and National Park Service gave us dollars and cents.
There are at least 75 million reasons why the U.S. Senate should either fully fund the national park projects contained within the defense authorization bill, or strip them out.
Confusion, misspoken words, and fear mongering swept the public lands landscape this past week following word that the U.S. Forest Service was planning to squash your right to snap a photo in the woods if you didn't pony up $1,500 for a picture-taking permit. The uproar stemmed from a poorly worded Federal Register notice, and was fanned by media worried about their First Amendment rights and very possibly by federal government critics.
Traveler's View: National Park Service Logos Lack Creativity, Fail To Celebrate "America's Best Idea"
National parks, it's held up, are "America's best idea," but logos chosen for the National Park Service to celebrate its centennial and to use in other venues fail to reflect that belief. Indeed, they ignore the rich heritage and beauty of the National Park System in a curious attempt to "engage and connect with new audiences."
At Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, the National Park Service should welcome a discussion into a form of backcountry travel that, if properly managed, need not alter the decades-long experience of visiting these two magnificent parks, but rather enhance it for a small number of wilderness travelers.
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."
Bryce Canyon National Park officials, rather than forcing private equestrians to pay a guide to lead them on trail rides, should see the marketing and PR value in having rangers saddle up to lead rides much as they lead hikes, for free.
U.S. Rep. Jason Smith is misguided in thinking tourism would be helped by transforming Ozark National Scenic Riverways into a Missouri state park.
At National Parks Traveler, we don't profess to have all the answers to issues and controversies swirling about the National Park System. But there were a handful of times in 2013 when we felt it necessary to raise concerns about what was transpiring in the parks.
The National Park Service has a serious image problem, part of it earned, and part of it manufactured, that it needs to address.
Traveler's View: Congress, National Park Service Need To Restructure Fees For Centennial Celebration
"Mountaineers are always free" is West Virginia's state motto, but that sentiment is getting harder and harder to find in the National Park System, where an imbalance in fee structures charges you for sleeping on the bare ground but not for burning gas as you negotiate the 11-mile loop of Cades Cove.
While the National Park Service is moving ahead to test expanded cellphone and Wi-Fi service in some units of the National Park System, it should consider that testing carefully and measure it against the relative solitude and release from the seemingly nonstop attention wireless technology can demand that park visits provide.
Traveler's View: National Park Service Is Sending Conflicting Messages Concerning Bike Race At Colorado National Monument
Sadly, in less than four months the National Park Service seemingly has reversed itself and cracked open the door to a professional bicycle race climbing through Colorado National Monument.