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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.

National Parks in the News: Did You Say that Park Police Officer Mary Jane Hempfield is a Turtle?

It was an event certain to send chills down the spine of evil doers everywhere. For the first time ever, the Park Police used information gathered with the help of a radio transmitter-outfitted box turtle to arrest a man growing marijuana in a national park.

Backcountry Volunteer Survives 100 Foot Fall While Canyoneering at Zion National Park

A 23-year old canyoneer is badly hurt after a botched rappel sent her tumbling 100 feet into Zion National Park’s Pine Creek Canyon.

Is It Time to Overhaul the National Park Service and the National Park System?

With the National Park Service's centennial eight years off, it's not too early to take the measure of both the service and the National Park System it manages. Has the time arrived to overhaul and strengthen this venerable agency?
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Fort Donelson National Battlefield Commemorates the North’s First Major Victory in the Civil War

In February 1862, the Battle of Fort Donelson yielded the North’s first major victory of the war and propelled General Ulysses S. Grant into the national spotlight. Today you can visit Fort Donelson National Battlefield, which celebrated its 23rd anniversary August 9, and see where the Union’s greatest military hero earned the nickname “Unconditional Surrender” Grant.

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

The event in American history prior to the Civil War that had the most potential to inspire the preservation of historic places was the American Revolution. Yet, between the Revolution and the Civil War, historic site preservation in America was limited and sporadic.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more dynamic setting than at ocean's edge at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park when a river of molten lava is pouring into the Pacific Ocean.

Man Falls 250 Feet To His Death in Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park rangers were working Friday to recover the body of a young man who accidentally fell about 250 feet to his death from Yaki Point.

Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park

One minute it was there, the next it was gone. The collapse of "Wall Arch" at Arches National Park proves once again that gravity does work, even though you might wonder after gazing at the "rockitecture" of this dazzling Utah park.

Salt Lake City Woman Injured During Descent From Grand Teton In Grand Teton National Park

A Salt Lake City woman had to be airlifted off the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park after breaking several bones while descending from the summit.

Decisions on Controlling Elk in Theodore Roosevelt, Wind Cave National Parks Likely to Linger Into 2009

Don't expect a final decision this year on how the booming elk populations at Theodore Roosevelt or Wind Cave National Parks will be brought under control. National Park Service officials say they don't expect to have the National Environmental Policy Act process completed before year's end for either park.

Visiting the Parks: Yellowstone National Park's Shoshone Lake

Bats, of all things. Deep in Yellowstone National Park's outback, where we had hoped to see wolves and grizzlies and elk and moose, we seemingly were under siege by a bevy of bats.

Creating Cape Cod National Seashore Forced the National Park Service to Think Outside the Box

Cape Cod National Seashore was established 47 years ago on August 7, 1961. To create the new park, the National Park Service had to “think outside the box” and employ greenlining and cooperative stewardship.

Saturday: Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, Part II

Where, and when, did Americans first think of preserving places for history's sake? In part two of his look at the history and preservation of America's Civil War battlefields, historian Richard West Sellars takes a look at efforts in the United States to preserve places of history prior to the Civil War.

Tumacacori National Historical Park Commemorates Arizona’s Oldest Spanish Mission

“God, Gold, and Glory” motivated Spanish exploration and settlement of the New World. Arizona’s Tumacácori National Historical Park, which was established August 6, 1990 (superceding the Tumacácori National Monument established in 1908), does a fine job of commemorating three missions that helped shape the history of the Southwest.

National Park Quiz 14: Historic Houses

There are lots of interesting historic houses in our national parks, and if you know a thing or two about them you’ll do just fine on this week’s quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you wash windows.

Oklahoma City National Memorial is a Fine Memorial, But It's Not a National Park

Oklahoma City National Memorial is not a national park. One might therefore reasonably ask why the National Park Service advertises this site as though it were part of the National Park System.

How is Cape Hatteras National Seashore Faring Under Travel Restrictions?

How is life at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the wake of travel restrictions aimed at protecting shorebirds and sea turtles that nest along the coast? As with many matters, it depends on whom you ask.

Odes to the National Park Rangers Who Wear the Grey and Green

What would a national park be without a national park ranger? Who would we ask for directions to the restroom, or question whether the bear we see is a black or a brown?

Yelllowstone National Park Firefighter "Roughed Up" By Grizzly

The grizzly bear apparently couldn't get away from the "LeHardy Fire" in Yellowstone National Park fast enough. Unfortunately for the firefighter, he was in the way of the bear's path.

What Suggestions Do You Have For the National Park Service?

The National Park Service likes to promote that visitors give the National Park System a 96 percent approval rating. That's pretty lofty, but is it accurate?

Battling Invasive Species in Arches National Park

Our national parks are places of incredible beauty and rich history. But they also are under siege. Across the National Park System, the landscape is being invaded by non-native species that are not just out of place, when you consider what should be growing, but in some cases are actually driving out the natives.

First Lady Visits Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

During her recent visit to Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, First Lady Laura Bush toured Sandburg’s Connemara residence, petted dairy goats, talked with children in the Junior Ranger program, and announced a $50,000 National Park Foundation grant to expand the park’s Junior Ranger and youth education programs.
In our continuing series of how to, and how not to, run rivers in the National Park System we bring you this selection from Canyonlands National Park. As you can probably surmise, the chocolaty Colorado River is best enjoyed from atop, not underneath, the raft.

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

Today, well over a century after the Civil War ended in 1865, it is difficult to imagine the battlefields of Antietam, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga had they been neglected, instead of preserved as military parks. As compelling historic landscapes of great natural beauty and public interest, these early military parks have been familiar to generations of Americans.

Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning

The odds of being struck by lightning once in an 80-year lifetime are about one in 3,000. The odds for two strikes in a lifetime soar to one in nine million. Roy Sullivan, a park ranger at Shenandoah National Park, was struck by seven lightning bolts and survived them all. It just goes to show you something or other.