Archive List

Would You Love Zion National Park As Much If It Were Called Mukuntuweap National Park?

Established by presidential proclamation 99 years ago on July 31, 1909, Zion National Park was originally named Mukuntuweap National Monument. It acquired its present name through circumstances that included unhappy Mormons and an iconic National Park Director who suffered crippling bouts of depression.

Did the NRA Infiltrate Groups Opposed to Overhauling Gun Regulations for the National Parks?

How far will the National Rifle Association go to overthrow gun control measures? Apparently infiltrating groups who favor gun control isn't out of the question. Among the groups infiltrated? Apparently the National Parks Conservation Association.

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Expansion of Visitor Center at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

A group of former National Park Service chief historians and park superintendents are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed Thursday to block expansion of the visitor center at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. At stake, they say, is the historic integrity of the monument.

Coming Saturday: Pilgrim Places, Our Civil War Battlefields and Their Preservation

During his National Park Service career, historian Richard West Sellars examined in-depth many facets of the National Park System and National Park Service. One of those projects focused on Civil War battlefields and how they've been preserved over the years. The Traveler presents this work, Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, in a seven-part series starting Saturday.

"LeHardy Fire" in Yellowstone National Park Explodes to 600 Acres

Gusting winds have fueled a rapid increase in the size of the "LeHardy Fire" in Yellowstone National Park, pushing the blaze to roughly 600 acres in a handful of hours.
What, you might wonder, is a bear jam in Katmai National Park and Preserve? To understand this phenomenon, listen to this podcast in which Ranger Michael Glore differentiates between jamming bears and a crush of tourists anxious to see brown bears at Brooks Camp.

Crews Continuing to Battle Wildlfire in Kings Canyon National Park

Part of a fire burning in the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park is being "managed" for its benefits to the landscape. Unlike the Telegraph Fire outside Yosemite National Park, the "Tehipite Fire" is not threatening structures or human developments.

Everglades Coalition, Foundation Offer State of Florida Suggestions for Managing Land Acquisition

In June the state of Florida announced a bold move to help the Everglades by purchasing nearly 200,000 acres north of Everglades National Park. Now the state is being offered some suggestions on how best to leverage that land acquisition for the benefit of the "River of Grass."
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Downed Power Line Sparks Fire in Yellowstone National Park

A downed power line has sparked a small fire in Yellowstone National Park and forced rangers to close a section of the Grand Loop Road north of Fishing Bridge.

Telegraph Fire Closing in On Yosemite National Park

Firefighters are continuing to struggle with the so-called Telegraph Fire that's burning to the west of Yosemite National Park. While on Monday the fire was estimated to be burning 25-30 miles west of the park, it now is reported to be about 15 miles from the park's western boundary.

Should the National Park Service Drain the Capitol Reflecting Pool to Save Birds?

If you were a duck flying over Washington, D.C., you just might think the Capitol Reflecting Pool would be a pretty good place to splash down upon to give your weary wings a break. Unfortunately, it seems as if that murky pool of water has turned into a deadly disease-carrying environment for waterfowl.

Moron Commits Robbery in Lincoln Memorial Bookstore

Some people are just too stupid to be successful criminals. Consider, for example, the guy who was wearing a court-ordered monitoring device when he robbed a man at the Lincoln Memorial bookstore.

National Park System Quiz 13: Mountains

A mountain is “a natural elevation of the earth's surface having considerable mass, generally steep sides, a discernible peak, and a height greater than that of a hill.” This week’s quiz will see how much you know about mountains in the national parks. Answers are at the end. No peaking, please.

NPS Director Bomar Extends Freeze on Fee Increases at National Parks

With hopes of luring more visitors to the National Park System, National Park Service Director Mary Bomar is extending a freeze on fee increases at the parks through the upcoming fiscal year.

Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Big Bend National Parks Benefit From Donations

In the last week, more than $3 million in donations and grants have been announced to help Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, and Big Bend national parks with a wide range of projects, from habitat restoration to trails work.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park protects and showcases a spectacular volcanic resource. Visit the park and you're able to see lava flows, steam vents, and possibly minor eruptions.

Lightning Strike Kills Park Visitor at a Sandy Hook Beach in Gateway National Recreation Area

A deadly lightning strike killed one visitor and injured two others Sunday afternoon on a Sandy Hook beach in Gateway National Recreation Area. The lightning hazard is worse than most people think, but putting lightning safety precautions into practice dramatically lowers the risk of injury and death.

Grand Teton National Park Will Celebrate National Astronomy Day on Aug. 3

If you've been lucky enough to visit Grand Teton National Park, you know how sparkling clear the skies can be at night. If you're lucky enough to visit Grand Teton this coming Sunday, you'll be able to take a close-up look at the celestial wonders overhead.

National Park Service and US Border Patrol to Share a New Operations Center at Lake Amistad National Recreation Area

The National Park Service and the U.S. Border Patrol have agreed to jointly fund and occupy a new 30,000 square-foot operations center at Lake Amistad National Recreation Area. Both agencies stand to gain a great deal. The new arrangement will not only consolidate and upgrade scattered facilities, but also foster interagency cooperation in an area of the U.S.-Mexican border that is difficult to manage and patrol.

"Telegraph Fire" Having Minimal Impacts on Yosemite National Park

A wildfire burning west of Yosemite National Park has forced operations in the Yosemite Valley to run off of generators, and smoke is cutting visibility in some areas of the park. However, everything remains open in the park and all roads leading to it remain open.

Rookie Firefighter from Olympic National Park Killed by Falling Tree in California

An 18-year-old hired at Olympic National Park in June to fight fires has been killed on the fire-lines in California. Andrew "Andy" Palmer died shortly after a tree fell on him during his team's first day on the fire.

Howdy Ranger! You Too, President Ford

We’re going to direct you to a website where you can watch a really neat slide show depicting rangering through the years. See if you can spot President Gerald Ford, then 23, the only President ever to serve as a national park ranger. Ford called it “one of the greatest summers of my life,” and his supervisor called him “a darn good ranger.”

Delaware Can Relax; The New National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Series Will Celebrate “National Sites” Too

Congress is likely to authorize a national parks quarter dollar coin series. Emulating the popular 50 States Quarter® Program, the proposed series would issue five new park quarters per year beginning in 2010. Each state, territory, and the District of Columbia would be represented. Even Delaware.

Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park

For the second time this summer a black bear in Yellowstone National Park has been put down for developing too great a taste for human food. Park officials say the bear was killed after breaking into the backpacks of a "large group" of hikers.

Any Question About Who's Calling the Shots in Yellowstone National Park?

While the National Park Service might be an apolitical agency, it's nothing if not a hot property in the political world. So is it any surprise that a pro-business, anti-environment administration in the White House would have the final say over snowmobiling in the world's first and best-known national park?

Did Gusty Winds Cause a Fatal Climbing Accident at Grand Teton National Park?

Why did a man who had nearly three decades of experience teaching others to climb fall to his death in Grand Teton National Park? The only thing investigators can be sure of is that free solo climbing like George Gardner was doing leaves no appreciable margin for error or misfortune. This unattended death might have been caused by a gale force gust of wind.

At Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Things are Not Always as They Seem

A Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area visitor summoned police after spotting a group of armed men apparently getting ready to execute a handcuffed man. Quickly arriving on the scene, police officers arrested one guy and gave the others tickets and a stern lecture.
There are more than a handful of national parks that seemingly were dreamed up with thrill-seekers in mind. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is one of them, particularly if you like getting wet.

Texas Coast National Parks Brace for Hurricane Dolly

Two Texas Gulf Coast national parks have implemented plans to deal with the impacts of Hurricane Dolly, which is expected to make landfall Wednesday afternoon near Brownsville. Damage is expected to be minimal at Padre Island National Seashore and at Brownsville’s Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site.

National Park Quiz 12: The Fair Sex

Women’s achievements are underrepresented in the National Park System, but some parks have been dedicated for that purpose and some others include exhibits, statues, or other features honoring women. Take this week’s quiz and see if your left-brain thinking is up to speed. Answers are at the end. No peeking, please.