Archive List

Congress Authorized Expansion of Petrified Forest National Park, But Forgot to Fund It

I've told you about private development and Valley Forge National Historical Park, and about private development and Acadia National Park, and about the National Park Service being so poor it has to turn to commercial interests to preserve history. So does it come as any surprise that Congress approved, but failed to fund, expansion of Petrified Forest National Park?

National Park Boundaries: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Where do you draw the line on national park boundaries? They long have been political creatures, with no regard to traditional wildlife corridors, viewsheds or, in some cases, common sense.
Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West Though most Americans hardly ever glimpse them, wild horses are synonymous with the American West. From John Wayne Westerns to The Electric Horseman, the iconic horse gallops across our memories, wild and free. But how did they arrive in the West? And how have we coexisted with horses?

Our Endangered National Parks

At Yosemite National Park, concern for a river led to a staggering court ruling against the National Park Service. At Grand Canyon National Park, fears of radiation have led to congressional action to protect the park. At Yellowstone National Park, the buzzing of snowmobiles has caused science to be overlooked.

FY2008 Budget Provides Seasonal Increases At Glacier National Park, But Hamstrings Other Operations

Siwftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo
The good news from Glacier National Park is that there will be more seasonal employees on the ground this year. The bad news is that cyclic maintenance projects will continue to suffer.

Appellate Court Rules Against Yosemite National Park

In a ruling that stands to have wide implications, a federal appellate court has ruled against Yosemite National Park officials and their Yosemite Valley plan. Today's decision, say park officials, not only will halt more than $100 million in construction work on the valley floor but could lead to visitation limits in the scenic valley.
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YOSE-9th Circuit Ruling.pdf129.76 KB

Encyclopedia of Life Debuts

Though not specifically about national parks, there's a new web portal out in cyberspace that I thought you not only would enjoy, but find useful. It's called the Encyclopedia of Life.

Decommissioning National Parks: Some History, And Some Ominous Clouds

My recent post on decommissioned national parks drew fairly good readership on the Traveler, but it garnered much more outcry on a private listserv delivered to retired National Park Service employees. Which spurs a number of questions, foremost among them being the obvious "Why?"

Virgin Islands National Park: Another Park Threatened By Inbounds Development

Valley Forge National Historical Park isn't the only unit of the national park system threatened by development on private lands that fall within its borders. Far from it. The latest case involves Virgin Islands National Park, where development on roughly 1,400 privately owned acres within the park's borders is harming the park's resources.

Group's Lawsuit Says Wolves, Not Bullets, Should Control Elk at Rocky Mountain National Park

Wolves, not bullets, should be used to cull the elk herds that move through Rocky Mountain National Park, according to a lawsuit filed against the Interior Department and National Park Service.
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WildEarth Guardians-ROMO Wolves.pdf33.99 KB

Valley Forge: Once Again A Battleground, This Time Pitting History Against Development

More than two centuries after General George Washington and his Continental Army somehow endured a bitterly cold and exacting winter at Valley Forge, the landscape is again in turmoil. On one side is a national historical park, one that helps preserve the memory of America's birth. On the other, an organization whose questionable motives could sully that landscape.
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VAFO-ARC Briefing Statement.pdf16.75 KB
VAFO-ARC Implications.doc134.5 KB

Whatever Became of the Decommissioned National Parks?

Once upon a time, there was a national park unit centered around fossilized plants. And there was another -- the country's second national park -- that was located on an island in Lake Huron. But no more.

Missing Cavers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ill-Prepared

Four spelunkers who found themselves stranded in a cave in Great Smoky Mountains National Park were ill-prepared for their adventure.

Missing Cavers Found At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Four cavers, said to be inexperienced, were found wet and cold but uninjured Friday in a cave in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Mount Vernon, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Proposed To Become World Heritage Sites

A remote cluster of islands near Hawaii and George Washington's Virginia home, Mount Vernon, have been proposed by Interior Department officials for World Heritage Site designation.

Vacation Options In Yellowstone, Olympic, and Mesa Verde National Parks

There are chick flicks, and now even chick national park retreats.

Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?

Would you avoid a visit to Grand Canyon National Park if you had to drive past a uranium mine to reach the park?

Paper Calls For Park Service To Protect Wildlife From ORVs on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

A North Carolina newspaper has, figuratively, tossed some gasoline on the simmering dispute over the National Park Service's failure to produce an off-road vehicle management plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore. In an editorial the Raleigh News and Observer says the Park Service is deferring to ORVers to the detriment of wildlife.

Evacuation Plans Prepared For Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Due to High SO2 Levels

A substantial surge in sulfur dioxide gases being vented in the Halema'uma'u Crater at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has prompted park officials to prepare an evacuation plan. For now, though, trade winds and rain seem to be safely dispersing the gases.

Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies

With all the debate lately over whether visitors should be allowed to carry weapons in national parks, much has been said about the need for protection against wild animals, bears in particular. Well, studies show bear spray is a much more effective deterrent than a speeding bullet.
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USFWS Bear Spray vs. Bullets.pdf50.36 KB

Parks and Tribe Establish Plan to Fight Fish Disease in Lake Superior

The National Park Service and the Grand Portage Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa have agreed to work together on efforts to protect park and tribal fishery resources in Lake Superior from a deadly fish disease known as viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS.

Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park

An unidentified man has drowned during a rafting trip through Grand Canyon National Park.

Crews Remove Garbage From Marijuana Farms in Sequoia National Park

Nearly three tons of garbage and almost six miles of hose have been removed from backcountry marijuana farms in Sequoia National Park.

Groups Ask Congressmen To Help Halt Killing of Yellowstone National Park Bison

As the killing of Yellowstone National Park bison continues, a coalition of groups is looking for congressional support to fund a solution.
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MT Delegation RTR letter 3-11-08.pdf20.54 KB

Flood Through Grand Canyon National Park Creates Sandbars

The flood unleashed through Grand Canyon National Park earlier this month appears to have been a stunning success, with sandbars and beaches created as scientists had predicted. Whether it will be repeated on a regular basis is questionable, though.

Olympic National Park Releases General Management Plan

Olympic National Park officials have released the final General Management Plan, a hefty, two-volume document that will guide park operations for the next 15-20 years. Within its 950 pages the document discusses park expansion and improvements at Hurricane Ridge.

National Park Service Revenues Down $1.3 Million On Transition to America The Beautiful Pass

The demise of the beloved National Parks Pass cost the National Park Service more than $1.3 million last year, although agency officials expect revenues to rebound as folks grow accustomed to the America the Beautiful Pass.

Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Parks Tweak Backcountry Wilderness Regulations

If you're heading into the backcountry of either Sequoia or Kings Canyon national parks this year, you'll need to brush up a bit on changes to the parks' backcountry regulations.

Winter '07-08 Snowmobile Use in Yellowstone National Park Dips Slightly, Snowcoach Use Up

Preliminary numbers show rising interest in snowcoach tours of Yellowstone National Park in winter and slightly declining interest in snowmobile tours.

Snowmobilers Continue to Roam Illegally Into Yellowstone National Park

Snowmoble trespass. Bob Peterson photo.
There's a section of Yellowstone National Park not too far south of the park's West Entrance where access is tricky no matter what the season. But in winter, when the snow is deep, rogue snowmobilers find their way into the park to play.