Archive List

Photography in the Parks: How To Solve Exposure Problems in Snowy Landscapes

Winter photography is a wonderful thing. I love putting on my macro lens and looking for frost and ice. The macro world of frost and snow really is quite amazing. That said, cold weather itself presents two very real challenges: fogging and battery life.

Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?

Mug House, Mesa Verde National Park, Kurt Repanshek photo.
Ever since the phrase "economic stimulus" was launched last year, there seems to have been more and more clamoring for these kinds of bailouts, or incentives, or infusions of capital, or whatever you want to call them. Conservation groups haven't been silent in this arena, either.

Yellowstone National Park's Wolf Population Down More than 25 Percent

Disease and infighting are being blamed for a drop of more than 25 percent in the wolf population of Yellowstone National Park.

Forget the Camp, Send Your Kid to Yellowstone National Park This Summer

Want to help your kids fight nature deficit disorder? If they're old enough, have them apply to the Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps for a summer job this year.

University Researchers Suggest Solution To Yellowstone National Park's Bison Problem

It's been relatively quiet so far this winter on the front lines of the battle over Yellowstone National Park's bison and their migratory desires. While various groups continue to search for a long-standing solution to this dilemma, some researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, believe they have the most cost-effective answer.

What Priorities Should The Next National Park Service Director Address?

Kurt Repanshek photo.
Yellowstone snowmobiles. Guns in the parks. Climate change. Infrastructure in shambles. These are just some of the issues the next director of the National Park Service will inherit. But how should he or she prioritize their approach to managing the National Park System and addressing its problems?

Greening the Parks: APS Gives a Solar Boost to Grand Canyon’s South Rim Visitor Center

Thanks to APS, Arizona’s major power utility, solar panels will be supplying about 30% of the electrical power for the Grand Canyon’s South Rim Visitor Center by March. APS considers this a wide investment, since the project will show millions of park visitors that Arizona takes solar energy very seriously.

Colorado Man Dies While Snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park

A 55-year-old Colorado man out snowshoeing with his family Saturday in Rocky Mountain National Park collapsed and died on the Longs Peak Trail.

Deadly Threats You Never Heard of Lurk in Our National Parks

Some deadly diseases you’ve never heard of lurk in our national parks. It's extremely unlikely that you'll ever be infected, but the odds are not zero. And if you are among of the unfortunate few, may the Good Lord have mercy on you.

Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks

How will families with youngsters feel about attending interpretive programs in national parks when the person next to them might be armed? Will the National Park Service have to install metal detectors in parks to ensure gun owners don't enter buildings with their sidearms?

Muir Woods National Monument is More than Really Old, Really Big Trees

Muir Woods National Monument, which celebrates its 101st anniversary today, is swarmed by visitors who admire the giant redwoods but pay little heed to the ecosystem’s lesser publicized features. A profusion of life surrounds those big trees, interacts with them, and participates with them in the intricate processes of energy flow and matter recycling that sustain the ecosystem.

Judge Plans to Hear Arguments on Gun Rules for National Park

A federal judge is working on a schedule to hear arguments on the Bush administration's decision to allow national park visitors to carry concealed weapons. With no injunction in sight, that means park managers across the nation should be taking down their "no guns allowed" signs today.

One of Our Oldest National Parks was Also the First of Its Kind in the World

A western version of the Hatfields vs. the McCoys played a role in establishment of this site, which was the first cave in the world to be designated as a national park. It was also among the first NPS areas to use fire as a natural tool to maintain the landscape—but not inside the cave!

Here's a Cheat-sheet For Tracking Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Birthday Celebrations

If you're a fan of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, then you know that it marks its 75th birthday in just a little more than six months. Did you also know all the special events the park is planning?

Fake USGS Site Urges Evacuation of Yellowstone National Park

It's big, it's bad, but it's not gonna blow. That's what the USGS is saying to counter a fake website that's calling for evacuation of Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas due to an impending eruption.

National Park System Would Gain Official Wilderness Under Omnibus Lands Bill

A massive lands bill introduced today by Senator Jeff Bingaman would, if passed by Congress and signed by the president, designate hundreds of thousands of acres of official wilderness across the National Park System.

NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules

Another lawsuit has been filed in a bid to prevent a change in national park gun rules. Late Tuesday the National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees filed their lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington. Back on December 30 the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence filed a similar lawsuit.

National Park Quiz 36: Management

Take this week’s quiz and see how much you know about the various managerial arrangements for our national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking we’ll make you write “The National Park Service manages St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site under a cooperative agreement with the Society of the National Shrine of the Bill of Rights at Saint Paul's Church, Eastchester” 100 times on the whiteboard.

Avalanche Awareness Clinic Set for Olympic National Park

With all the recent talk about the Hurricane Ridge ski area, is it merely a coincidence that the folks at Olympic National Park are helping sponsor an avalanche awareness clinic this Friday?

Ski and Snowshoe Outing at Cedar Breaks National Monument Set for Saturday

While winter got off to a slow start in Utah, things are starting to pick up in terms of snowfall. In fact, there's enough snow at Cedar Breaks National Monument that the superintendent will lead a cross-country ski and snowshoe hike this Saturday.

The 110th Congress is Now History – What Were the Results for the NPS?

U. S. Capitol.
A report released by the NPS Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs offers a summary of park-related actions by the 110th Congress, which ended its work last month.

How Many National Park Rangers Does It Take to Cut Down a Tree?

How many national park rangers does it take to cut down a tree? Well, before you can answer that question, you need to prepare a 100+ page document that not only identifies which trees need to be cut down, but explains how to go about cutting them down.

Accessibility in the National Park System

The other day I read a story about efforts at Cape Lookout National Seashore to install an ADA accessible ramp. And that got me to wondering about how accessible the National Park System is.
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Rules! Rules! Rules!

Yes, yes, I know that you always consult the Superintendent’s Compendium of designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions as required under Title 36 Code of Federal Regulation § 1.7(b) before visiting a national park. But do you really know all you need to know to be a responsible park visitor?

This Park Combines Scenery and History on a Desert Island

Coral reefs and desert islands, legends of pirates and sunken gold, an old military fort that housed a famous prisoner, and world-class bird watching—you'll find them all at this park.

Get Me to the Park on Time……..

The trooper who pulled us over said he’d clocked us at 91 miles an hour. Our tour bus driver later told us that it was probably closer to 95, and we believed him.

Affiliated Area Review: Chicago Portage National Historic Site

It’s sometimes said that national parks “tell America’s story.” Of course, lots of sites outside the National Park System also tell America’s story. From the geographical perspective, none of these “other sites” is more interesting than Chicago Portage National Historic Site, an Affiliated Area that celebrates its 56th anniversary today.

Earthquakes Continuing to Rattle Yellowstone National Park

Call it an earth scientist's dream: Swarms of earthquakes are continuing to rattle Yellowstone National Park. What they're indicating is the question we're all waiting to hear an answer to.

Weekly Snowshoe Treks Coming to Glacier National Park

Winter is one of the easiest seasons to follow the movements of wildlife in the national parks. Not only can their every move be captured in the snow, but on rare occasions you can follow the interplay between animals.

Upon Further Review - Let Sleeping Snakes Lie

What do Hoover Dam, cold water and a rattlesnake have in common? They're all elements in a story that confirms the wisdom of a good rule for any outdoor trip: Let sleeping snakes lie.