Archive List

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ready For Spring Opening

Add Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the growing list of parks that are getting ready for their spring opening. In fact, many of the park's facilities open today, March 7.

Park History: Channel Islands National Park

Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands NP. NPS photo
Early March sure is full of national park birthdays. Today, for instance, is the 28th birthday of Channel Islands National Park, which is composed of a clutch of islands off the California coast. One of the park's claims to fame is the fact that its eight islands are said to host the largest seal and sea lion breeding colony in the United States.

Park History: Hot Springs National Park

If you just focus on its "national park" status, then today is the 87th birthday of Hot Springs National Park.

Violent Deaths in the National Parks

During 2006, 11 homicides were investigated across the national park system. Two involved women who had been pushed off cliffs, one was a suicide, and one was the victim of a DUI accident.

Park History: Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon NP. Pat Cone photo.
Kings Canyon National Park is an alpine wonderland, set amongst the rugged lands of the Sierra Mountains in California, just north of Sequoia National Park and to the southeast of Yosemite National Park. The park, administered with Sequoia, is one of America’s oldest. While it still protects the ancient sequoia trees of the Grant Grove that were the park’s original focal point, it is rapidly becoming known as one of America’s premier backcountry destinations.

Poaching Trees from Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park. NPS photo
Illegal poaching of resources from national parks has a long, unsettling history. In Great Smokies, it’s ginseng poaching. In Petrified Forest, it’s thievery of fossilized trees.

Of Geologists, Paleontologists, And Science in the National Park System

Since boyhood I've embraced a vision of the National Park Service as an agency that not only cared for forested mountains, shimmering lakes, foaming cataracts, dusty trails and a wildlife menagerie that stretched from alligators to wolverines, but also as one with a science mission built around these wonders. How accurate is that vision?

Winter Storm Uncovers 19th Century Shipwreck at Cape Cod National Seashore

A January storm has spit up onto a beach at Cape Cod National Seashore what a similar storm might have taken to the bottom a century ago -- the hull of a 19th century schooner that once plied the Atlantic.

Park History: Mount Rainier National Park

Paradise. NPS photo.
“Does any skeptic suppose that a true mountaineer regrets any heroic mountain exploit because of some mishap…does he suppose that any of the many zealous navigators who sailed in that vain quest, the discovery of the mild open sea about the North Pole, bewailed the suffering he endured or the brave efforts he made? Does he imagine that man will ever cease his attempts…to reach the summit of unconquered peaks, simply because of possible mishaps and sufferings attendant thereon?”

Carrying Guns in the National Parks -- Is This Being Fast-Tracked?

Interior Department officials, no doubt with an eye on the election calendar, are wasting no time in their bid to rewrite laws pertaining to carrying guns in the national parks.
DOI Gun Memo.pdf89.49 KB

Would a Change in Gun Laws Be a Threat to National Park Bears?

Katmai bears. NPS Photo.
Would a change in the national park system's gun laws pose a threat to wildlife? In Alaska, there are some concerns that brown bears at Katmai National Park and Preserve might appear too threatening to some gun owners.

Yellowstone National Park Announces Spring Plowing Schedule

That was a quick winter. I mean, it must be near its end, for Yellowstone National Park officials have announced their spring road plowing plans.

Grand Canyon National Park Officials Take Issue With High Flow Releases from Glen Canyon Dam

A plan by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to send a flood through the Grand Canyon has drawn numerous questions from Grand Canyon National Park officials, who fear the flooding as proposed would impair park resources.
GRCA-BuRec Flood.pdf81.73 KB
Grand Canyon Trust-Flood.pdf260.96 KB

High SO2 Levels Force Road Closure at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Unusually high, and potentially toxic, levels of sulfur dioxide have prompted the closure of a popular drive at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

2007 National Park Visitation Shows 3 Million Visitor Increase

National park visitation during 2007 showed a boost of roughly 3 million visitors over 2006 totals, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park again led all the "national parks" in visits, with 9.4 million.

Western National Parks Contaminated By Airborne Heavy Metals, Pesticides

How do you like your fish seasoned? A little mercury, perhaps some DDT? That's what you might get if you eat fish caught in national parks in the American West.

Former Park Service Director Dickenson Passes Away

Russell Dickenson, who managed to survive as director of the National Park Service under four different Interior secretaries and both a Democratic and a Republican president, has died.

Olympic National Park Entrance Fees to Stay Unchanged Through 2009

Negative public reaction to a proposed increase in Olympic National Park's entrance fees has prompted park officials to leave the current fees in place through 2009.

Keeping Track of Grand Teton National Park's Bighorn Sheep

Tick off a list of Grand Teton National Park's wildlife and bison, elk, moose and bears come immediately to mind. Bighorn sheep? Not so quickly, but they're there.

Park History: Grand Canyon National Park

Toroweap Overlook. NPS Photo
Quick now, how old is Grand Canyon National Park, 100, or 89? Some might say both answers are correct.

Park History: Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton sunrise. Kurt Repanshek photo.
Grand Teton National Park not only is one of America’s most photogenic national parks but, oddly enough, it's one of our most controversial.

Critics: Changing Gun Laws in National Parks Would Open a "Pandora's Box" of Problems

Allowing national park visitors to carry loaded weapons would open a "Pandora's box" of problems, according to four groups hoping to build public opposition to such a change in park rules.

Coalbed Methane Projected Proposed North of Glacier National Park Tabled

Canadian Flathead, Erin Sexton photo.
A plan to develop coalbed methane reserves in British Columbia just north of Glacier National Park have been dropped. However, there still are plans to develop coal reserves in the region.

Rangers Association Points Out Flaws In Secretary Kempthorne's Weapons Logic

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's rationales for potentially opening national parks to concealed weapons are "hypocritical in some cases and just plain wrong in others," according to the president of the Association of National Park Rangers.

Dinosaur National Monument: Paleo's Not The Only Responsibility

Northern Arizona University photo.
Floating the Green or Yampa rivers through Dinosaur National Monument shows a side of this national park unit that is not reflected in its name. Indeed, fossils from the age of dinosaurs are the last thing that crosses your mind.

National Parks Conservation Association: Interior Buckled to NRA Over Park Gun Laws

In a sharply worded statement the National Parks Conservation Association accused the Bush administration of caving into the National Rifle Association in deciding to reexamine current regulations that prohibit the carrying of loaded weapons in the national parks.

Interior Secretary Opens Door for New Gun Regulations in National Parks

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne is calling for a review, and possible overhaul, of federal regulations concerning the carrying of guns in national parks. He wants to see a draft regulation on proposed changes by the end of April.
Kempthorne-Guns.pdf104.5 KB

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Growing by 42 Acres

The site of the first Civil War battle west of the Mississippi is growing by 42 acres thanks to an infusion of federal dollars and work by the battlefield's foundation.

Lodging Deals Can Be Found In Olympic, Yosemite, and Mesa Verde National Parks

If your schedule is flexible, you might want to take a look at these lodging deals at Yosemite, Olympic, and Mesa Verde national parks.

Bush Administration Plan to Remove Wolf Protections Draws Criticism

Gray wolf. Kurt Repanshek photo
If a wolf turns up in Rocky Mountain National Park, it will be protected by the Endangered Species Act. But plans by the Bush administration to remove ESA protection from Yellowstone's wolves could make it incredibly hard for the predators to migrate down to Colorado.
Wolf Delisting Q&A.pdf33.34 KB
NRDC Wolf Delisting Petition.pdf195.56 KB