Archive List

There's Plenty to Talk About

Plenty Magazine
The "green" magazine 'Plenty' recently published an interview with Kurt. See what he has got to say about the site, and some thoughts for future features we are considering here on the 'Traveler'.

Like No Other Park in the System (I Hope)

eltonlin Photo
Can you imagine a national park where you'd be able to learn about the life of Walt Disney? A park where you can pose with Yoda? A park where you can set up your high-tech business next to others like Alexa, and Discovery Mining? And a park where can you relax with a round of golf? Imagine no more, because this park unit actually exists and is managed by the NPS.

Candlelight Vigil Planned for Harpers Ferry

Candlelight; Stephie189 Photographer.
It's been a year since a 45-foot-wide, 2,000-foot-long trench was blazed, without permission, through a portion of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to lay utility lines for a commercial development. And still the government has not taken any action against the developers. To call attention to this, a candlelight vigil is planned for August 17th at the park.

Going Above and Beyond; Stewardship in the National Parks

Yosemite National Park, El Capitan with Clouds; Jim Brekke Photo
Parks are famous as travel destinations, but for many of us, they represent more than just a road-trip. This fall, rock-climbers in Yosemite, backcountry hikers in Olympic, and students in Kentucky and Tennessee are gathering together in their favorite parks to give back to the places which have provided so much for them. You are welcome to join in.

Glacier NP Is Open For Business

While Montana has been much in the news lately, courtesy of all the forest fires burning in that state, the folks at Glacier National Park want to assure you that the park is open for business and flame-free.

Mammoth Cave Offering Free Tour on August 25

If your schedule allows you to be in the vicinity of Mammoth Cave National Park on August 25th, you'll be able to go on one of the cave tour's for free in celebration of the 91st birthday of the National Park Service.

Vice President Cheney To Dedicate Grand Teton Visitor Center

If you're planning to be in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday, you'll be sharing the park with the vice president of the United States, the Department of Interior secretary, and the National Park Service director. All will be at Moose to dedicate the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

Are Yellowstone's Geysers At Risk From BLM's Leasing Proposals?

Yellowstone Thermal Feature; Kurt Repanshek Photo.
The geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park were largely responsible for its designation as the world's first national park in 1872. These features are a global treasure. Nowhere else in the world can you find the array or number of geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles found in Yellowstone. More than 75 percent of the world's geysers, including the world's largest are in Yellowstone’s seven major basins.

How Much is that Campsite--Update

As a follow-up to my post a month ago about Yosemite campsites winding up on Ebay, I've discovered that the folks in Sequoia don't allow the sale or transfer of backcountry permits.

Russian Provides Perspective at Minuteman Missile Park

Heavy Door at Minuteman Missle National Historic Site; Jason Stajich Photo.
A Russian volunteer helps round out the Cold War story at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota.

Search For Missing 80-year-old Yosemite Hiker Unfruitfull

It's been a week since an 80-year-old hiker vanished in Yosemite's backcountry, and officials are scaling back the search for her. While they're not giving up entirely, search officials say they have to weigh the risks searchers are being exposed to against the likelihood of finding Ottorina Bonaventura.

Must We Clearly Set Out "Principles of Parks"?

For more than a century the United States has been in the national park business, and for nearly a century the National Park Service has been guided in managing those parks by the National Park Service Organic Act. Some groups, though, question whether another road map of sorts, a declaration of principles, should also be referred to when managing the parks.

Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail Ready for Hikers

Here's a sign things are getting back to normal at Mount Rainier: Repairs to the Wonderland Trail have made it possible for hikers to take to the 93-mile-long Wonderland Trail that wraps Rainier.
Mary Bomar, Director of the National Park Service; NPS PhotoYesterday, the National Park Service, represented by director Mary Bomar, and other groups met in subcommittee hearings for both the House and the Senate to answer questions regarding the Centennial Challenge. The audio from the Hill is of the Senate hearing. Listen to a few select questions Senators asked Director Bomar during this edited audio program.

Mountain Lion Kittens Collared in Grand Canyon

When I think of wildlife in Grand Canyon National Park, I typically think of condors, lizards, and mules. Mountain lions are not high on the list. But apparently they should be, as park biologists have just placed tagged three five-week-old lion kittens.

S&R Blotter

Search and rescue season is heating up in the parks, with rangers having to respond to a visitor who fell off the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and one lost in Yosemite.

What's Your Vision for the Centennial Initiative?

National Park Service Centennial Logo
How do you think the National Park Service's Centennial Initiative (or Challenge, depending on whom you ask) should be funded? And how do you think those funds should be spent? There were quite a few suggestions tossed about in Washington today as both the House and Senate held hearings on legislation proposing ways to fund the Centennial Initiative.

Protecting Grand Teton from Drilling Projects

Wyoming is home to some of the Lower 48's greatest energy resources, particularly natural gas. The southwestern corner of the state currently is the hot spot in terms of energy exploration, and one area companies have their eyes on is the Wyoming Range. Some Interior Department officials, however, are opposed to drilling there, saying it could be detrimental to Grand Teton's wildlife and scenery.

Setting Precedents in the Parks

There's a passage in Director's Order 53, one of the many documents that guide National Park Service management decisions, that warns of proverbial icebergs ready to assail superintendents who truly believe their mission is to "conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

RS2477 And the National Parks

East Rim Trail in Zion; East Zion Tourism Council Photo
The other day a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit that aimed to open Surprise Canyon in Death Valley National Park to ORV traffic. That post generated a lot of debate over the propriety of a road in that rugged canyon. Those who filed the lawsuit claimed they had a right to the road thanks to a Civil War-era statute known as R.S. 2477. Well, Death Valley isn't the only park that could suffer from this statute.

Y2Y On Display in Seattle

Seattle-area residents who've heard about the Yellowstone to Yukon initiative but want to learn more have a golden opportunity from now through the end of the year. A collection of Florian Schulz's photographs that captures the heart and soul of Y2K are on display at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle.