Archive List

Bringing Zebra Mussels to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Could Cost You $2,500

Bringing non-native zebra mussels into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area can be a costly proposition. One individual who failed to decontaminate their boat of the mussels recently was ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution costs.

Shuttles Make Visiting Cades Cove In Great Smoky Mountains National Park A Bit Easier

If you've ever driven through Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you know how slow that can be due to all the vehicles trying to negotiate the 11-mile loop road. Well, things are going to be a bit easier now thanks to a shuttle service that debuted today.

Upon Further Review – The Whirlwind Tourist

Most national parks offer enough things to see and do to fill a vacation, and one solution to higher gas prices is to spend more time enjoying a single destination. Many of us like to visit new places, however, and the siren song of "just one more stop" can be hard to resist.

The Underground Ansel Adams – Famous Photographer's Cave Photos Now Available for Public Viewing

Ansel Adams photos of Carlsbad Caverns, photos courtesy of Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The work of photographer Ansel Adams is recognized and admired throughout the world, but the place most commonly associated with Adams is Yosemite National Park. A new exhibit opening at Carlsbad Caverns National Park this weekend will give the public its first look at a different part of the natural world through the eyes of this master of photographic art.

Trails Forever Program Facilitates High-Priority Trail Improvements at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Friends of the Smokies created their Trails Forever program to help with high-priority trails projects at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Trails Forever endowment goal is a hefty $4 million. Trails Forever is currently seeking volunteers to help with two major trail projects in the park.

Capturing Fall's Splendor in the National Park System

A few years ago we decided to brave the throngs of visitors and see Virginia’s fall display in Shenandoah National Park (where, ironically, the highest visitation month is October!) and drive the famed Skyline Drive. With the colors at their peak around our home in Pennsylvania, we figured that Shenandoah's forests would be nearing their peak as well.

National Park Quiz 25: Threatened and Endangered

This week’s quiz focuses on troubled species. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write “Encountering a four-meter Crocodylus acutus can cause severe de-puckering of the anal sphincter” 100 times on the whiteboard.

Natchez Trace Parkway – Colorful Choice for a Southern Fall Trip

Fall scene, Natchez Trace Parkway.
George Washington may not have slept here, but Davy Crockett, Andrew Jackson and plenty of other notables passed this way. A fall trip on the Natchez Trace Parkway provides a leisurely drive through a colorful landscape.

Pruning the Parks: Mar-a-Lago National Historic Site (1972-1980) Was a Gift the National Park Service Couldn’t Afford to Keep

Established October 21, 1972, and abolished in 1980, the Mar-A-Lago National Historic Site is an interesting story. Marjorie Merriweather Post’s opulent Palm Beach estate first became a magnet for socialites, then a national park the NPS couldn't afford, then a Donald Trump estate, and finally the lavish Mar-a-Lago Club.

The Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Invites You to Climb, Run, Jump, Slide, Roll, Whoop, and Holler

Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which celebrates its 38th birthday October 21, has a dune system to marvel at. One of its major attractions, the Dune Climb, is loads of fun for the young and young at heart. Wear comfortable clothes and get ready to climb, run, jump, and roll. Yahoo!!!

How Will the Next Administration Deal With the Environment?

After eight years of highly questionable management of public lands by the Bush administration, the next administration will face myriad environmental issues when it takes office in January. But how will it respond?

Voyageurs National Park Not Overlooking Halloween

Looking for a way to mark Halloween in the National Park System? Consider a visit to Voyageurs National Park this Friday for a holiday-theme naturalist hike.

Moton Field Ceremony Highlights Grand Opening of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, the park that commemorates the first all-black American fighter squadron, is finally up and running at historic Moton Field. Unfortunately, relatively few of the Tuskeegee Airmen have lived long enough to see their story told in the national park established to honor them.

Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Celebration Begins

As the country careened toward what is beginning to look like a second Great Depression, citizens in North Carolina and Virginia paused on October 9 and 10 to consider the history of one of the great public accomplishments of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal 75 years ago: the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

IMBA: Not Every Park Suitable For Mountain Biking, No Interests, Currently, For Trails in Wilderness Areas

Spend time poking around the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s website and you might start to wonder about the group’s thoughts regarding pedaling in proposed wilderness and officially designated wilderness. After all, head over to their “frequently asked questions’ and you’ll find the following position regarding “Wild Places.”

Park History: Fort Scott National Historic Site Tells Many Interesting Stories

Fort Scott National Historic Site in eastern Kansas celebrates its 30th birthday today, October 19. The frontier fort this park commemorates was a crossroads of American history from 1842 to 1873, being associated with the opening of the West, the “Permanent Indian Frontier,” the Mexican-American War, Bleeding Kansas, the Civil War, and the expansion of railroads.

Colorado Man Falls to His Death in Zion National Park

A 34-year-old Colorado climber working on one of Zion National Park's more popular climbing routes has fallen an estimated 300 feet to his death.

Park History: Biscayne National Park

Having already seen snow this fall in the Rockies, the thought of heading to a nice, warm patch of sand being slapped by warm Atlantic waters sounds pretty good right about now. And if airfares weren't what they are, a quick jaunt to Biscayne National Park to commemorate the park's birthday would seem just about right.

A Surprising Option for a Western River Trip

Black Canyon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area. USGS photo by Phil Stoffer.
This short float trip on a desert river offers dramatic cliffs, wildlife and bird watching, and side canyons with hot springs. Its location in a heavily-visited Western park may surprise you.

Francis Beidler’s Long-Ago Decision Saved the Forest that Became Congaree National Park

In an action unusual for its time, timber tycoon and early conservationist Francis Beidler put his vast holdings of South Carolina forestland in timber reserve status in the early 1900s. Six decades later, Congaree Swamp National Monument, now Congaree National Park, was created from the remnants. The park celebrates its 32nd birthday today, October 18.

Update: Virgin Islands National Park Takes a Swipe, not a Direct Hit, from Hurricane Omar

Damage surveys and cleanup work are underway at Virgin Islands National Park after Hurricane Omar passed thorough the islands on Thursday. It appears that main park facilities on St. John escaped a major hit.

Beach Cleanup is Focus for National Parks America Tour Stop at Padre Island National Seashore

The Unilever-sponsored National Parks America Tour, a volunteer program with over 25 scheduled stops in the national parks this year, has organized a beach cleanup at Padre Island National Seashore for Saturday, October 18. The huge volume of storm debris left by last month’s Hurricane Ike has been very difficult to deal with and continues to wash ashore daily.

How to Hijack a National Park

Gateway Arch and grounds. NPS photo.
From time to time we see a news story about some government project or proposal that causes us to think, "That sure doesn't sound right," and wonder how it happened. Here's a current example.

Rockfalls Down Upon Curry Camp in Yosemite National Park Are Not Unusual

The most recent rockfalls from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park are not the first to shower Curry Camp and certainly won't be the last. With that in mind, geologists are taking a close look at Glacier Point to try to determine just how safe, or unsafe, its rock face is.
YOSE Rockfalls-USGS.pdf581.68 KB

"Talking" Buoys Deployed Along Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

It'd be impractical for the National Park Service to station interpretive rangers at various points along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. But that hasn't stopped the agency from providing that interpretation to boaters in the Chesapeake Bay.

Conservation Groups Sue to Cut Air Pollution Over Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Whenever talk turns to air pollution and impacts on national parks, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the first parks mentioned. A coalition of conservation groups went to court today with hopes of preventing the park's pollution problems from growing.

Damage from Tropical Storm Hanna Created Expensive Repair Problems at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

It’s unusual for a national park in the Mid-Atlantic region to suffer tropical storm damage, but that’s what happened last month to Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park near Washington, DC. Flooding due to torrential rains from Tropical Storm Hanna breached the towpath wall, necessitating repairs that could well be in excess of $1 million.

Visit Savannah’s Fort Pulaski National Monument and See Why Brick Masonry Forts Became Obsolete in April 1862

Savannah’s Fort Pulaski National Monument celebrates its 84th birthday today, October 15. Brick masonry harbor forts like Fort Pulaski were thought to be impregnable until an astonishing thing happened on April 11, 1862. After that day it would never again make sense to build a harbor fort of brick masonry.

New BLM Management Plans Could Have Major Impacts on Utah National Parks

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park.
If you want to enjoy some of those iconic views from places like Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, you might want to plan your trip sooner rather than later. While most Americans and their elected officials have been mesmerized by the economic crisis and the upcoming election, enormous changes in the management of public lands in Utah are afoot. The effects on a number of national parks could be substantial.

Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems

A survey stemming from the Bush administration's plan to allow concealed carry of guns in national parks and national wildlife refuges predicts the result will be more wildlife shootings and management problems.