Archive List

National Park Service Admits Mistakes With Proposed Little Bighorn Visitor Center Expansion

In an about-face, National Park Service officials have admitted they erred in pushing an expansion of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument visitor center and are reversing course. "Sometimes you just have to admit that you didn't do your homework as well as you might have thought," says Intermountain Regional Director Mike Snyder.

Pruning the Parks: Six National Parks Acquired via Transfer in 1933 Were Subsequently Abolished

The National Park System grew by 69 units via the Reorganization of 1933, which was signed August 10, 1933. However, six of the “1933T” national parks were subsequently abolished. This serves to remind us that periodic pruning is a natural and healthy function of large, complex systems.

Grand Canyon National Park "Short Haul" Operations

The thrills didn't end for a group of 16 Colorado River rafters when high water stranded them at the bottom of Grand Canyon National Park. As the accompanying picture shows, their rescue was just as, if not more, thrilling as bucking the river's rapids.

Super Storm Impacts Linger at Guam’s War in the Pacific National Historical Park

Guam's War in the Pacific National Historical Park, which celebrated its 30th birthday August 18, was so badly mauled by supertyphoons that its visitor center, bookstore, museum, and research library have all been put out of action. But visitors are back, so rangers serve them while keeping a wary eye on the weather.

Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Working to Rescue Stranded Colorado River Rafters

Efforts were under way Sunday evening to rescue 16 Colorado River rafters who apparently were stranded by high water flows in Grand Canyon National Park. Rangers planned to use a helicopter to "short haul" the 16 one-by-one to safety.

Paddling Dinosaur National Monument and Niobrara National Scenic River

When folks think about paddling trips in the National Park System, quite often floating the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park rises to the top of the mind. But there are other paddling treks out there, trips that are just as beautiful and inspiring and which just might offer a tad more solitude.

Will Second Century Commission Succeed With Its National Parks Assessment and Recommendations?

Call it a $1 million question. Will the National Parks Second Century Commission make a difference in the future of the National Park System, or will its findings and suggestions simply collect dust on a back-room shelf as some other studies have done?

Visiting the Parks: Petroglyph National Monument

Too often a unit of the National Park System is overlooked because its name doesn't end in "National Park." Petroglyph National Monument is one such place.

That Booming You Hear in the Skies Over Yellowstone National Park? It Soon Could be the Sound of Artillery

Ahh, the sounds of winter in Yellowstone National Park. The raspy rustle in the wind of dried leaves that forgot to fall from aspens. The trickling of a creek beneath its sheath of ice. The eruption of a geyser, the gurgling of mudpots. The explosion of a howitzer round as it smacks into a mountainside.

Saguaro National Park Officials Considering Use of Microchips To Slow Theft of Namesake Cactus

A needle prick in the not-too-distant future just might safeguard Saguaro National Park's namesake cactus from thieves.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part III

As with the southern Pennsylvania countryside surrounding the town of Gettysburg, the struggles between the United States and Confederate armies from 1861 to 1865 often brought war to beautiful places, with many battles fought in the pastoral landscapes of eastern, southern, and middle America— in rolling fields and woods, along rivers and streams, among farmsteads, and often in or near villages, towns, or cities.

Toyota's Donation to Yellowstone National Park: Corporate Greenwashing, or Good Partner?

What do you say about Toyota giving an $800,000 check -- along with the keys to five rigs -- to the Yellowstone Park Foundation? Thank-you-very-much, or thanks, but no thanks? Was this corporate green-washing at its worst, or a wonderful gift that will benefit Yellowstone National Park and children who know too little about the natural world?

What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?

The spit of sand that buffers the North Carolina coast from the worst the Atlantic Ocean can toss at it carries a wide array of contentious issues that seemingly have no easy answers. And as with most contentious issues, there's no doubt a measure of spin when talk comes to access at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
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CAHA-ORV Map.pdf1.31 MB

Seventy-Five Years Ago, the Reorganization of 1933 Impacted the National Park System Like No Other Event Before or Since

What’s the single most significant date in the evolution of the National Park System? It’s hard to argue with August 10, 1933. That’s when the Reorganization of 1933 took effect, and no other event in the history of the national parks before or since can match it for the sheer scale and portent of its long-lasting impacts.

Cedar Breaks National Monument About to Turn 75

In geologic time, something that's quite evident at Cedar Breaks National Monument, 75 years is pretty insignificant. But that doesn't mean the folks who operate the monument and those who take pride that it's in their backyard aren't going to throw a heck of a birthday party.

Summer Slump? Lodging Deals To Be Found At Shenandoah National Park

Could high gas prices be impacting national park visitation as the last gasp of summer sets in? That question comes up in the wake of a pretty impressive lodging deal being offered in Shenandoah National Park.

MSNBC’s Top 10 National Park Lodges List Draws Curmudgeonly, but Gentle Criticism

MSNBC has compiled a Top 10 National Park Lodges list for the purpose of helping us choose where to “sleep in style on a summer escape to our nation's national parks.” They might want to re-state that. Two of the lodges aren’t in the United States and another is said to be in a park that, technically speaking, doesn’t exist yet.

Remnants of Golf Course Being Removed from Rocky Mountain National Park

Nearly 50 years after the thwack of a golf club meeting a little white ball could be heard near Rocky Mountain National Park, the remnants of the 9-hole course are being erased by park crews.

National Park Quiz 15: Ring of Fire

This week’s quiz tests your knowledge of geologic features and processes in the national parks that lie within the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that rings the Pacific Basin. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we'll make you write "convergent boundary" 100 times on the whiteboard.

Federal Judge Refuses to Let County Cut Highways in Roadless Section of Death Valley National Park

A desire by county officials in California to open roads in roadless areas of Death Valley National Park has been doused by a federal judge, who says the officials missed their opportunity years ago.
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Vets To Determine Whether Bear That Attacked Father and Son in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Had Rabies

Veterinarians at the University of Tennessee are performing a necropsy on a black bear that attacked a boy and his father in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to determine whether the bruin had rabies or some other health problem.

Sierra Club Regrets Use of Mesa Arch Photo

A spokesman for the Sierra Club says the organization never intended to use a photo of a hiker atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park to lure new subscribers.

Commission Formed To Explore Future of National Parks

Noted biologist E.O. Wilson and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor are among the notables on a non-partisan commission appointed to study the future of the National Park System.
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Traveler's Picks for Where to Get Wet in the National Park System

We definitely are in the dog days of summer. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park the temperature's been well into the 90s, and with the high humidity, well, you really do need to find a place to cool off. With that understood, here are Traveler's Top Picks for where to get wet in the National Park System.*

Black Bear Attacks Child at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

An 8-year-old Florida boy sustained minor injuries Monday evening when attacked by a young black bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A bear thought to have been behind the attack was later killed by rangers.

Accidents Happen at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Usually Because People Break Commonsense Water Safety Rules

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which celebrated its 61st birthday August 11, attracts almost 8 million visitors a year. Nearly all return home safely with fond memories of fun on or in the park’s two huge lakes. Accidents do happen, though, and nearly always because people violate commonsense safety rules.

Sierra Club Caught Standing Atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park

What were they thinking at the Sierra Club when they dreamed up their latest solicitation for new members? Did the organization, which touts itself as America's "most influential grassroots environmental organization" and "Good Stewards of the Environment," really intend to use a photo of a hiker atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park?

Why You Should Not Store Food in Your Car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Travel to just about any park with black bears and you'll either be handed information or see signs clearly detailing how to protect yourself and your belongings in bear country. While the accompanying video of a bear breaking into a car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park is nine years old, it could have been taken yesterday.

Climber Dies In Accident In Grand Teton National Park

Three climbers stood helplessly near the roof of Grand Teton National Park as their friend tumbled 800 feet to his death. The quartet was crossing between the South Teton and Cloudveil Dome when the Montana man slipped on the snow and was unable to halt his slide with his ice axe.

Having Suffered Severe Storm Damage, a Witness Tree at Gettysburg National Military Park is Unlikely to Survive

A huge old honey locust tree that was a silent witness to the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has been so severely damaged by a storm that it will probably not survive.