Archive List

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve is One of the National Park System’s Best Kept Secrets

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve scarcely appears on the national radar screen, and that's a shame. This million-visit park is a real gem.

Can You Find the Desert Five-Spot In Death Valley National Park?

Desert Five-Spot, Jimmie Affholder photo.
With all the talk of late about the prospects for a colorful, and plentiful, bloom in Death Valley National Park, let's start talking flowers in earnest. For instance, have you ever seen a Desert Five-Spot in the park?

Secretary Salazar Calls for Review Of Gun Rules in National Parks

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has asked the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to spend three months looking into the environmental consequences of allowing national park visitors to arm themselves.

Bears with a Foot Fetish? Big Bend National Park Offers New Bear Safety Advice

Black bear.
Officials in Big Bend National Park have issued some slightly unusual guidelines for backcountry campers in parts of the Texas park: "Leave shoes outside tents or in bear boxes if camping in High Chisos backcountry sites." Recent experience suggests this is good advice.

National Park Quiz 42: Rocks and Minerals

This week’s quiz will find out whether you are a rock star. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll give you a sledge hammer and make you turn big rocks into little ones.

Delicate Arch Road at Arches National Park Reopens After Flood-Inspired Improvements

Delicate Arch.
Winter can be a great time to visit Arches National Park, but the off-season is also a good time for maintenance and repairs. The road to Delicate Arch, one of the park's signature attractions, had been closed this month for major work inspired by flooding in 2006, but it's now open again for public use.

Believe it or Not, Yosemite National Park Once had a Zoo

Tourists visiting Yosemite National Park in the 1920s could view mountain lions, a bear, and deer kept in cages and enclosures. Despite drawing heated criticism, this wacky zoo persisted for more than a decade before finally being abolished in 1932.

Grand Teton National Park's Wildlife Brigade – Applications Are Now Being Accepted

A Wildlife Brigade members works a bear jam at Grand Teton NP.
If you've spent much time in Grand Teton National Park during the summer, you've likely been caught in a wildlife jam—or seen visitors doing something really dumb in terms of wildlife safety. Grand Teton is taking a proactive approach to these problems with its Wildlife Brigade, and applications are being accepted for two internships and two volunteer positions for the upcoming summer.

How Will Stimulus Help the Parks? At Great Sand Dunes National Park It Could Mean Reclamation and Restoration

Although the National Park Service didn't receive as many stimulus dollars as it could put to work, that doesn't mean that the $750 million or so won't go to good use across the park system.

Friends of the Smokies to Get First Year Proceeds of Dolly Parton’s New CD

Dolly Parton, official ambassador of Great Smoky’s 75th anniversary celebration, is donating the first-year proceeds from the sale of her new "Sha-Kon-Hey!" CD to Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

With or Without a Stimulus Package, National Parks Can Be Economical Vacation Destinations

With all the economic doom and gloom of late, it'll be a miracle if anyone goes away for a vacation this year. At the very least, folks will be looking for bargains, and that's where the National Park System comes into play.

Major Bike Race Will Affect Yosemite Traffic on February 18, 2009

Scene from a previous Amgen bike race.
If your plans for Wednesday, February 18, 2009 include travel to or from Yosemite National Park, factor in some extra time. The largest cycling event in America, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, will be passing through the Yosemite National Park vicinity.

Is San Juan National Historic Site Haunted?

San Juan National Historic Site celebrates its 60th birthday today, February 14. This remarkable park, America's only national park in Puerto Rico, preserves some of the finest Spanish Colonial-era coastal forts left in the Caribbean. Many people believe that one of these forts is haunted.

Will Recent Storms in Death Valley National Park Fuel A Spring Bloom?

Rain and snow have pelted Death Valley National Park somewhat frequently this winter, which raises the question of whether there will be a tremendous spring bloom in the park?

Two Rangers Have a Narrow Escape with an Avalanche in Alaska

Avalanche blocking road in Washington State.
Your last trip home from a business meeting may have been a bit wearing, but it was probably lacked the drama of a recent drive by two rangers returning home to Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Alaska.

Survey Spots 45 Moose in Voyageurs National Park, Which Puts Total Population Around 80

How many moose reside in Voyageurs National Park? Well, the 2009 winter survey spotted 45 Alces alces, but biologists believe that translates to a park-wide population of at least 80.

NPCA Applauds National Park System's Cut of Stimulus Package, But Says Much Remains to Do

In a short, to the point, and politically understandable statement, the National Parks Conservation Association applauded the National Park System's share of the stimulus package funding. But it added that much more work needs to be done across the park system.

New Lodge Gives You an Opportunity to Better Know Kenai Fjords National Park

For more than a few of us, visiting many of our national parks can only be done vicariously -- most often while we're firmly seated in our most comfortable armchair, at that. So many far off places -- whether you're in Florida wondering about Denali or Glacier Bay national parks in Alaska, or in Alaska wondering about the Everglades or maybe Biscayne national parks in Florida -- can only be visited through words, videos, or audio.

Upon Further Review: Pocahontas meets Hollywood

National parks and historical events which occurred at those sites have provided the setting or the inspiration for dozens of movies, as Bob Janiskee has previously discussed on the Traveler. Fame can be a mixed blessing for the staff of the featured parks, however, as employees at Colonial National Historical Park learned a few years ago when Hollywood decided to bring Pocahontas to the big screen.

Heavy Metals Detected in Wildlife of Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Heavy metals are turning up in wildlife of a unit of the National Park System that's so far removed from most Americans that it might as well be on the other side of the world. But that shouldn't be cause for ignoring the report.

Bush Administration's Haste Could Doom New Gun Rules In National Parks

In its apparent haste to rewrite the rules so national park visitors could arm themselves, the Bush administration might have shot itself in the foot.

Ginseng Poachers At Great Smoky Mountains National Park Receive Jail Time

Poaching "sang" in Great Smoky Mountains National Park rewarded two North Carolina men with time in jail and fines.
How to manage the elk in Rocky Mountain National Park has been in the news lately, what with the beginning of culling operations. But the decisions on how to manage the elk herds were not made overnight.
Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer The 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth began with a bang. Given the historic ascension and rise of the first African American to the presidency of the United States, Lincoln’s relevancy is perhaps more essential today than ever before.

Apparent Clumsiness Claims Life Of Famed Bull Elk In Yellowstone National Park

It's difficult to imagine an elk being clumsy, especially one that has lived 15 years, carried an impressive rack, and sired who knows how many offspring. But that apparently is behind the death of a bull elk at Yellowstone National Park.

Rare Motion Pictures Show Civil War Veterans at the 75th Gettysburg Battle Anniversary Reunion

Gettysburg National Military Park celebrates a birthday today, its 114th, but it was the battle anniversaries that interested the Civil War veterans. In 1938, the 75th anniversary of the battle, motion picture crews filmed the aged veterans at the battlefield as they gathered for their final reunion. There’s some amazing film footage on the Internet.

More than Just Another Pretty Lake - Curecanti National Recreation Area

Curecanti National Recreation Area, East Portal.
Curecanti National Recreation Area includes not one, but three mountain lakes, and can claim bragging rights in several categories. It also offers some surprising attractions not found in most reservoir-based recreation areas, including a "fluffy muffin" and a treat for railroad history buffs.

National Park Quiz 41: Lincolnalia

Tomorrow is the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. If you’re up to snuff on your Lincolnalia, you’ll do just fine on this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you recite the Gettysburg Address backwards.

NPCA, Congressman Issa Battle Over Propriety of Stimulus Funding for National Parks

Congressman Darrell Issa's continued assault on the propriety of national park stimulus funding in House of Representatives legislation drew a harsh response Tuesday from the National Parks Conservation Association, which accused the Republican of libeling the organization.
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Humane Society of America Critical of Culling Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

What doors will the culling of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park open? Is it possible that, in the wake of sharpshooters turning up shortly before sunrise in Rocky Mountain to shoot an elk or two, similar "management" actions will pop up in places like Yellowstone, Theodore Roosevelt, or Wind Cave national parks, or any other park where the natural balance of wildlife is skewed?