Archive List

Pruning the Parks: Whatever Became of Marble Canyon National Monument (1969-1975)?

Outgoing presidents long have made a practice on January 20, their last day in office, of leaving parting gifts. For Lyndon Johnson, his gift to the nation 40 years ago was a national monument that served to protect the Grand Canyon from further dam building.

This Park Can Lay Claim to "Tallest" and "First" – and It Was a Real Bargain to Boot

Eagle Lake, Acadia N.P.
Home to the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast, the first national park east of the Mississippi River celebrates an anniversary today. It's had three different names during its 93-year history—and the taxpayers got a real bargain when this area was added to the National Park System.

Update: Deal Seems to Clear The Way For Construction of the Flight 93 Memorial

Land acquisition snags, private fund-raising shortfalls, and related problems long have plagued efforts to build the Flight 93 Memorial. But agreement finally has been reached between all parties on a deal that seems to clear the way for the project to move forward.

Humans as "Super-Predators" – New Study Offers Startling Information about Hunting and Fishing

Bighorn sheep
Most areas of the National Park System are closed to hunting, a long-standing policy which is the subject of ongoing debate. A recently released study offers compelling reasons to continue that policy—and it includes some startling information about the impacts of humans as the "Super-Predators" in today's world.

Glacier Bay National Park Issues New Cruise Ship Contracts

Officials at Glacier Bay National Park have signed off on a small set of 10-year contracts for cruise ship operations. Is that a good thing?

Upon Further Review: Preferential Treatment for Local Residents at National Parks?

reserved parking sign
A basic principle of national parks is that they're just that—national, rather than local sites—so a family from Houston has the same opportunity to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains as one from Gatlinburg. Officially, there's no preferential treatment in national parks for local residents, but it's only human nature for some people who live near a park and use it on a regular basis to develop a sense of "ownership" of the area.

National Park Icons: Yellowstone’s Roosevelt Arch

The National Park System’s built environment sports two iconic arches. One is the Gateway Arch at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and the other is the Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone. Some think that the Gateway is just eye candy, but everyone knows that the Roosevelt is history with a capital H.

Sen. Salazar Sails Through Confirmation Hearing

The Obama administration's nominee for Interior secretary, U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, today sailed through his confirmation hearing. Along the way he spoke of supporting an economic stimulus package for the national parks.

Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Parks Low on Snow For Holiday Weekend

It might be cold and snowy in some parts of the country, but it's comparatively dry and mild in the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. As a result, if you're heading into a national park in the West this long weekend don't expect premium snow conditions.

Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park

Got time for a mid-winter break? Over 60? Then the folks at Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch in Death Valley National Park have a slight break on lodging to offer you.

Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?

Back in 1925 Glacier Bay National Monument was established, in part, to protect "a number of tidewater glaciers ... in a magnificent setting of lofty peaks ..." Well, as these photos show, those glaciers are slip-sliding away.

Friends of Big Bend Land Grant to Help Fund New Orientation Film

Every little bit helps, particularly in these challenging times. Just ask the folks at Friends of Big Bend, who just received an $8,000 grant to help pay for a new orientation film for Big Bend National Park.

Why On Earth Would Anybody Want to Do That?

At War in The Pacific National Historical Park, vandals and thieves have desecrated memorials erected in honor of the more than 16,000 Chamorros and American servicemen who suffered and died on Guam during World War II.

Those Dogs Could Hunt! But Not in Glacier National Park

In the case at hand, the dogs could hunt. They just didn't know they weren't supposed to go into Glacier National Park in their pursuit of mountain lions.

Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws

For all, including Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, who thought the rules change concerning carrying concealed weapons in national parks would simplify life, Yellowstone National Park is proving the case of some of what's wrong with that rule change.

Echoes of the Cold War in the Tropical Warmth of Everglades National Park

Former missle base in Everglades NP.
For most people, the name Everglades National Park conjures up a variety of mental images: alligators, birds and other wildlife; tropical swamps and a "River of Grass." The Everglades may not immediately bring to mind a historical site from the Cold War, but that's the latest visitor attraction at the Florida park.

National Park Quiz 37: Search and Rescue

Being lost in the wilderness is a fearful thing, even worse if you’re injured and wondering if anyone is looking for you. Each year, hundreds of people go missing or are injured in America's national parks. Test your knowledge of search and rescue facts and trivia with this week's quiz.

Second Round of National Park Service "Centennial Projects" Produces $27 Million Worth of Improvements

Rehabilitation projects, invasive species eradication and biodiversity research were among the $27 million worth of Centennial Initiative projects for the National Park System announced Tuesday by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and NPS Director Mary Bomar.
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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.