Archive List

Hurricane Ike Storm Debris Creates a Mammoth Cleanup Problem at Padre Island National Seashore

Hurricane Ike storm debris has drifted southwest along the Texas Gulf Coast and littered the beaches at Padre Island National Seashore. Cleaning it up is a mammoth task that must be done quickly. Protecting seashore wildlife is a major concern.

Steamtown National Historic Site Schedules Leaf Peeper Excursions in the Poconos

Steamtown National Historic Site has scheduled eight steam-powered train trips to two popular destinations in the Poconos during the fall foliage season. Critics complain about Steamtown’s sparse excursion schedule, but there’s little to dislike about these leaf peeper outings.

Singer Dolly Parton Named Ambassador for Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Anniversary

Dolly Parton grew up in Tennessee not far from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, she's sung My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy, Mule Skinner Blues, My Tennessee Mountain Home, and Tennessee Homesick Blues, so should it be any surprise that the singer has been named ambassador for the park's 75th birthday?

North Cascades National Park – Forty Years on the Map, Seventy Years in the Making

Washington’s North Cascades National Park sits peacefully along the Canadian border. The serenity of this park, which marks its 40th birthday October 2, masks the story of a 70-year struggle to protect one of the most indomitable mountain landscapes in America.

Maintenance Worker Finds a Hand Grenade in Rock Creek Park

Finding a hand grenade is a cause for pause. A maintenance worker who found one in Rock Creek Park had to be thinking: Good Lord! Could this thing possibly be real?!

Young Panther is Killed Crossing a Road in Everglades National Park

A car struck and killed a panther kitten Monday night in Everglades National Park. There are probably fewer than 100 panthers left in south Florida, so the death of even a single youngster is very sad.

Park History: The Appalachian Trail

Zigzagging 2,175 miles between Mount Katahdin in northern Maine and Springer Mountain in Georgia, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail gained life through an article Benton MacKaye wrote for the Journal of the American Institute of Architects in 1921. In it the forester ruminated on the need for Americans to spend more time at leisure, preferably in the outdoors.

Backcountry Skier Dies in Rocky Mountain National Park

A backcountry skier has died in an accident in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 40-year-old was skiing alone on Taylor Glacier and reported missing late Tuesday.

Updated: Groups Claim Yellowstone National Park Officials Abdicating Responsibility Over Snowmobile Access Issue

Officials for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks announced Wednesday that they would prepare yet another environmental study to clear the way for recreational snowmobiling and snowcoach traffic in the parks this winter.

50-year-old Man Reporting Missing in Shenandoah National Park

Searchers are on the ground in the Cedar Mountain area of Shenandoah National Park today looking for a 50-year-old man reported missing on Monday.

Fall Is A Great Season in Glacier National Park

Fall is a great time to visit many parks, and Glacier National Park in Montana is no exception. Summer crowds are gone, the weather is often great, and although it's not New England, there's also some fine fall color to enjoy from aspen, cottonwood, and birch. Larch also provides magnificent shades of yellow, and this conifer is unusual because it loses its needles after they change color.

Park History: Yosemite National Park

Older than Yellowstone National Park in terms of being set aside for the public's enjoyment, Yosemite National Park could fairly be called the elder statesman of the National Park System. And, no doubt, there are those who would say Yosemite's scenery is second to none in the system.

Pruning the Parks: Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Was a National Park for Just Five Years

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in Utah-Wyoming had been in the National Park System for only five years when, on October 1, 1968, Congress transferred it to the U.S. Forest Service. There was little sense of loss. Congress hadn’t mandated NPS administration and the NPS wasn’t deeply committed to reservoir recreation management.

National Park Quiz 22: Angels and Saints

Quiz 10 on July 9 was “Speak of the Devil.” Fair is fair, so this week we’ll turn the focus in the heavenly direction and deal with angels, saints, and such. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write “The cognitive complexities of the term ‘saint’ render lexical disambiguation extraordinarily challenging” 100 times on the whiteboard.

World Heritage Site Photography Exhibit On Display at Interior Department

Washington, D.C., is awash with museums. Some are easy to find and worth visiting, some are near-impossible to find and occasionally worth visiting. The Interior Department's museum is in the latter category.

Uranium Exploratory Drilling Near Grand Canyon National Park is Halted Pending a Full Environmental Review

The Forest Service illegally approved 39 uranium exploration drilling holes in the Kaibab National Forest near Grand Canyon National Park. Now a court challenge has produced a settlement that stops the drilling and calls for full environmental and public reviews. Many fear that uranium development may contaminate water in the park and the Colorado River.

Are There Really 391 Units in the National Park System? You Won’t Think So After You Read This!

The National Park Service says there are 391 units in the National Park System. If you take a close look at how that number is derived, you won’t know whether to laugh or cry. Have the inmates taken charge of the asylum?

A Florida Keys National Park? Good Conservation or Florida Bail-out?

Officials in Monroe County, Florida, which includes the Florida Keys, are caught in a classic land management dilemma—how to manage growth in an orderly manner and pay for the high cost of protecting environmentally sensitive lands in an area that is ripe for development. One solution is a controversial proposal by local officials to ask the National Park Service to acquire some of the property.

Padre Island National Seashore Offers Lots of Fun for Visitors and Lots of Problems for Managers

Padre Island National Seashore celebrates its 46th anniversary on September 28. Extending along the Texas Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to the Mexican border, this narrow coastal barrier offers plenty of high quality recreation. There are many managerial difficulties, though, and some may get lots worse.

National Accessibility Achievement Awards Recognize Accomplishment in an Area of Vital Concern to the National Park Service

The National Park Service began making National Accessibility Achievement Awards in 1999 to recognize outstanding accomplishments in architectural design, program design, and sustained efforts to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities. For the FY 2008 awards round, a five-member panel of experts will vet 14 nominations in four categories.

Grand Canyon Railway May Expand Rail Service to the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon Railway currently operates two trains daily between Williams, Arizona and the Grand Canyon’s South Rim tourist hub. Now the Park Service is considering whether to allow a third daily train and an evening excursion trip from the South Rim.

Appellate Court Upholds Lower Court Ruling on Development at Gateway National Recreation Area

A federal appellate court in New Jersey has upheld a lower court's finding that the National Park Service was within its rights to lease nearly three dozen historic buildings at Gateway National Recreation Area to a commercial developer.

Public Hunt Scheduled to Reduce Grand Teton National Park Elk Herd

It's that time of year grizzly bears and hunters love in Grand Teton National Park -- time for the annual elk reduction hunt. Mandated by the park's enabling legislation and fueled, more than a few believe, by the state of Wyoming's elk feedlots and the National Elk Refuge, the hunt is scheduled to open October 11.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: It's Really About the Islands

No one postcard can fully capture Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Indeed, "lakeshore" might just be the wrong category for this jewel of Lake Superior, as the park's essence is an archipelago of 21 islands.

At Statue of Liberty National Monument, Save Ellis Island, Inc., Works to Restore Ellis Island’s Time-Ravaged Buildings

When Ellis Island became part of Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, its buildings were in terrible condition. By 1990, only the Main Building and some other north side buildings had been restored. In 2000, Save Ellis Island, Inc. and its partners began the expensive task of stabilizing and restoring the south side buildings.

Heavy Rains and Flooding from Hurricane Ike Remnants Left a Mess at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

The torrential rains, high winds, and flooding that plagued northwest Indiana as the remnants of Hurricane Ike passed through were some of the worst on record. They left a big mess at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, too. The big storm came at an awkward time, necessitating hurry-up cleanup and repairs to get the new Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk ready for dedication ceremonies on October 16.

Update: At Grand Canyon National Park, an Abandoned Uranium Mine Must be Cleaned Up

The Orphan Mine, which produced uranium during 1956-1969, is situated on and below the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park. Abandoned in 1969, the site is contaminated with hazardous materials, some of which are radioactive. Now the site must be cleaned up, and it’s a time-consuming, complicated process.

Devils Tower National Monument has a Climbing Management Plan that Takes Native American Cultural Values into Account

Devils Tower National Monument, the first national monument, celebrates its 102nd birthday on September 24. The tower is a mecca for climbing, but managing the sport requires the National Park Service to respect Native American cultural values and traditions. The annual June closing of recreational climbing is designed to do that.

Archaeological Survey At Big South Fork River National River and Recreation Area

The National Park Service is seeking to inventory and preserve archaeological sites across the National Park System until funding permits their excavation. With the largest number of archaeological sites in the Southeast, the spotlight is turned on the relatively humble Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

How Far Should National Park Rangers Go To Safeguard Your Life?

How many hats should we expect national park rangers to wear? Already we expect them to cover law enforcement, interpretation, and backcountry patrols, and to be quick to put on their "search and rescue" hat when need arises. Should they also be lifeguards or, perhaps more generally, safety officers to protect park visitors, at times from themselves?