Archive List

North Cascades Institute Offering Earth Day "Stimulus" Package

What beats a family weekend at a national park? Getting $100 knocked off the price tag of that weekend. And that's the Earth Day present being offered today by the North Cascades Institute.

What Not to Do with an Old Cannonball

old cannonball
On the morning of April 21, 2009, a local homeowner arrived at the visitor center at Fort Smith National Historic Site in Arkansas with the best of intentions but the worst of plans—he was carrying an old cannonball he'd dug up in his garden.

National Park Quiz 51: Administrivia

This week’s quiz is about all things administrative. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: The word administer derives from the Latin administratum, which means “to screw up beyond repair.”

Traveler Checklist: Arches National Park In May

It's purely personal opinion, but I believe May to be one of the best months of the year to visit Arches National Park. It's not too hot, the spring rebirth is evident in the vegetation, and the crowds haven't yet arrived.

Celebrate Wildlife Day at Grand Canyon National Park – May 2, 2009

The staff and friends of Grand Canyon National Park will be celebrating their second annual Celebrate Wildlife Day on Saturday, May 2, 2009. The event will include special exhibits and programs, live animal demonstrations and fun for the entire family.

Yellowstone National Park: No Cellphone Towers in Campgrounds or Recommended Wilderness, Limits on Wi-Fi

Yellowstone National Park officials, in an effort to limit electronic intrusions in the park, are banning cellphone towers in campgrounds and recommended wilderness and limiting wireless access in some hotels.

National Park Superintendents Have Authority To Allow Bear Spray

While federal regulations prohibit bear spray in national parks outside of Alaska, park superintendents have the authority to override that ban within their parks, according to officials at Grand Teton National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park Storm Totals: Roughly 4 Feet

If you're heading to Rocky Mountain National Park this week you just might want to pack some snowshoes or skis. This past weekend's snowstorm dumped roughly 4 feet of snow in the park!

National Park Service Concerned Over Solar Power Plans on BLM Lands in West

DEVA-Artists Palette, Kurt Repanshek photo
The National Park Service has been trying to raise its "climate friendly" image in recent months, but it's concerned about the potential impact huge solar power arrays on Western lands could have on national parks.
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Jarvis-Solar Energy Memo.pdf19.24 KB
Feinstein-New Monument.pdf74.67 KB
Wind  Cave  National  Park:  The First  100  Years  (SD) (Images of America) After deciding to write a memorable book about Wind Cave National Park, Peggy Sanders selected old photos with great care and then added skillfully crafted captions and explanations. The result is a photo-dense book that’s fun to read and hard to put down. Thank you, Peggy.
For years the folks at Yellowstone National Park have been encouraging backcountry travelers to carry bear spray, as this video clearly shows. But would you be breaking the law by doing so?

Are National Parks That Recommend Bear Spray Encouraging You To Break the Law?

"Bear spray" long has been recommended by national parks in the West as a great deterrent against grizzly and black bears. A check of the Code of Federal Regulations, though, shows those parks just might be encouraging you to break the law.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Looking For Volunteers To Help With Elk Education

Head to the Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and you'll find one of the most beautiful low-country settings in the park. And if you're willing, you can spend a lot of time there this year helping to educate visitors on the valley's elk herds.

Might The Obama Administration be More Invested in Everglades Restoration Than Its Predecessor?

Everglades National Park, Rodney Cammauf photo.
Different administrations in Washington have different sets of priorities. While the Bush administration talked about helping restore the massive Everglades ecosystem, the Obama administration is sending signals it will work harder to push the project forward.
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Everglades_Policy_White_Paper27Feb09.pdf57.79 KB

Snow Storm Still Battering Rocky Mountain National Park

Winter continues to deliver a few well-placed, late-season kicks to Rocky Mountain National Park, where plow crews are struggling to keep up with nearly 3 feet of snow that have fallen in some areas of the park in the past 24 hours.

Interior Department Agrees To Conduct EIS on Gun Rules for National Parks

Perhaps recognizing the writing on the wall, the Interior Department has decided to conduct an environmental impact statement on a rule change that would allow national park visitors to arm themselves.

Worth Considering: A Trip To Canyon de Chelly National Monument

If you're searching for a unique spot in the National Park System to visit, you might want to seriously consider Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Located in eastern Arizona, this monument provides a portal into the past when ancient civilizations lived in cliff dwellings and coaxed life out of a demanding landscape.

Creature Feature: Feral Burros are "Equina Non Grata" in the National Parks

Guys who holler “watch this!” just before they do something incredibly stupid aren’t the only jackasses in our national parks. We’ve got the real kind too, and where there are feral burros the habitat is degraded and native wildlife suffer. Cute though they may be, burros are unwelcome in our national parks.

National Park Week: Lot's Going On Out There Across the System

While every day of the year offers opportunities to explore the National Park System and learn something about this unique collection of properties, once a year the president proclaims "National Park Week" with hopes folks will get out and enjoy the parks. This year that week starts Saturday, April 18, and runs through next Saturday, April 26.

Rescue of Injured Woman from Isolated Canyon at Death Valley National Park

Canyon at Death Valley.
A 58-year-old woman sustained serious injuries earlier this week in an isolated canyon at Death Valley National Park. Two rangers on patrol in the area heard calls for help and set a rescue into motion.

National Geographic's New Geotourism MapGuide of Yellowstone and Grand Teton – It's Free

Grand Teton National Park
Planning a trip to Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park? For some hints from the locals on where to go and what to do in the parks—and the surrounding area—you might want to get a free copy of National Geographic's newest Geotourism MapGuide.

Keys to Booking Your National Park Vacation

Many Glacier Hotel, copyright Kurt Repanshek
Making a lodging reservation at a national park these days is almost child's play. A few clicks on your keyboard and you're booked and your credit card charged. But there are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when making your plans that could save you a bit down the road.

The Next Director of the National Park Service Will Be....

Apparently Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has settled on his choice for the next director of the National Park Service and only the formalities of nomination and Senate confirmation remain to be done.

Missing Kayaker’s Body Found After Extended Search at Saint Croix National Scenic River

searchers in boat.
Authorities at Saint Croix National Scenic River in Wisconsin have recovered the body of a missing kayaker after an extended search. In a bizarre twist, the search was complicated by the theft of the kayak involved in the incident.

Taxpayers Get a Nice Present on April 15th

Big cypress tree in the Big Thicket.
Most taxpayers don't associate April 15th with good news, but national park supporters received a nice present on "Tax Day 2009," thanks to a major donation from the Conservation Fund at the Big Thicket National Preserve.

Tiny Toads To Slow Traffic At Cape Cod National Seashore

Piping plovers and sea turtles have halted traffic at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, lava flows and their gases have done the same at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and floods have shut down traffic at Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park. At Cape Cod National Seashore, a tiny toad has the power to divert traffic.
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Eastern Spadefoot Toad.pdf93.19 KB

What's The Latest On Search For New National Park Service Director? No One's Saying

"Process" is the answer given when you ask folks at the Interior Department why Secretary Ken Salazar hasn't settled on a new director for the National Park Service.

Sour Economy Has Created Lots of Availability At Yellowstone National Park Lodges

It's long been written in guidebooks that if you want to stay in Yellowstone National Park during the summer months, you must reserve your rooms well in advance. While that's still a good idea, the sour economy has created quite a bit of availability for this summer, meaning your hunt shouldn't be so difficult.

Clock Ticking On Decision Regarding Stocking North Cascades National Park With Non-Native Fish

Should North Cascades National Park remain the only national park that stocks non-native fish in its waters? Or should it adhere to the National Park Service's policies that prohibit such activity? Those are explosive questions in Washington state.

National Park Quiz 50: Wilderness

This week’s quiz deals with wilderness in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you memorize the entire list of designated wildernesses.