Archive List

National Parks Spending Bill Explanation

For policy wonks, the accompanying attachment explains how the omnibus spending bill aids the national park system. Within its pages you can find some specific appropriations for historic preservation, construction, and land acquisition.
FY08 Omnibus NPS Explanatory .pdf942.98 KB

Omnibus Bill Provides $2.39 billion 08 Budget for National Park Service

The omnibus spending bill awaiting full Senate action calls for $2.39 billion for the National Park Service in FY08 (which started this past October).
FY08 Omnibus NPS.pdf862.5 KB

Assateague Island National Seashore Rangers Troll Internet For Big Catch

The Internet can be a fascinating place, but for one boastful angler it proved her undoing. The woman in question made the mistake of bragging about catching smaller-than-allowed striped bass from Assateague Island National Seashore.

Park History: Capitol Reef National Park

Walking out of the visitor center at Capitol Reef National Park will be one of the most surreal experiences of your life, as you pass through a portal not only into a red-rock cathedral but also back into the past. The park is a pure slice of heaven in the desert, seemingly waiting for Irma to open up a pie stand.

Dying in the Parks: Park Service Concerned About Suicides

Each year nearly 100 people attempt suicide somewhere in the national park system. That's a troubling statistic for the National Park Service.

Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System

For longer than the National Park Service has been in business, capitalists have pulled at national parks, looking for a way to get their financial cut of natural resources. Should we be surprised at this behavior? Of course not. Disappointed? I'd like to think so.

Congressional Research Service--Recreation on Federal Lands

The growing and diverse nature of recreation on federal lands has increased the challenge of balancing different types of recreation with each other and with other land uses. Motorized recreation has been particularly controversial, with issues centering on access and environmental impacts.
CRS-Recreation on Federal Lands.pdf184 KB
NPS Director Bomar gives Barney a Junior Ranger Ceremony; White House video.As part of the continuing "Holiday in the National Parks" celebration, the White House has released a video called BarneyCam in which we get to see President Bush's dogs get Junior Ranger status. It is corny, probably intended just for kids, but I got a laugh out of it. Maybe you will too.

Are The National Parks Not Part of Our Federal Lands?

A funny thing seems to have happened to U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Mike Crapo on their way to fighting to keep public lands in the public's hands: They overlooked the 84 million acres of the national park system.

Mountain Bike Association Considering Bid To Alter Park Service's Rulemaking Policies

The International Mountain Bicycling Association quietly is exploring a bid to change National Park Service rule-making policies with hopes of cutting through the bureaucracy to open up more park terrain to cyclists.

Secret Service View Teddy Mather As Protestor, Not Presidential Material

In an effort to encourage the presidential candidates to pay attention to national park issues, the National Parks Conservation Association has launched its own candidate, Teddy Mather, a bear named for national parks champion President Teddy Roosevelt, and Stephen Mather, first director of the National Park Service.

Hurricane Ridge Road in Olympic National Park Closed Due to Storm Erosion

A week after a powerful storm pounded Olympic National Park erosion continues to eat away at the Hurricane Ridge Road. Park officials say the road will be closed this weekend while crews work on it.

Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated

Rocky Mountain National Park officials have decided to use a variety of adaptive management tools, including "lethal reduction" and birth control, to manage elk inside their park. The plan could take effect as soon as January.

Entrance Fee Repeal Legislation Would Have Little Impact on National Parks

Legislation introduced to Congress this week by senators from Montana and Idaho would limit the fees land managers could charge for recreation on public lands. However, the measure would have little impact on units of the national park system.
Fee Repeal Act.pdf40.06 KB

How To Buy National Park-Related Gifts Without Leaving Home

This month's roll-out of holiday ornaments from around the national park system spurred one reader to ask where he could buy some of the ornaments.

Cape Lookout National Seashore Visitors Seem to Prefer Things Rustic

For two years officials at Cape Lookout National Seashore have been working on updating their Commercial Services Plan. And from what they've been hearing from members of the public, seashore officials might be best off not to change a thing.
Bird Songs From Around the World: Featuring Songs of 200 Birds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Push and Listen) It's hard to beat a bird book that offers you an opportunity not only to see what they look like but to actually hear the birds' calls and songs. Bird Songs From Around the World does just that, but it might not be your best option.

Park History: Petrified Forest National Park

Stumps of stone. Rock palettes that tell stories. Prehistory frozen in place for hundreds of millions of years. Colorful badlands. That's a pretty good way to sum up what you'll find at Petrified Forest National Park.

Big Cypress National Preserve: Is More ORV Access In Bear Island Unit Wise?

Snowmobiles, off-road vehicles, and personal watercraft are perhaps the most polarizing recreational issues within the national park system. In this guest column, the specter of greater ORV access in Big Cypress National Preserve's Bear Island Unit is examined.

NPCA Proposes Rebuilding Guidelines for the Flamingo Area of Everglades National Park

Gentler on the landscape. That's a key factor in the National Parks Conservation Association's vision for redeveloping the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park that was devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in a one-two punch back in 2005.

Park History: Everglades National Park

Rooted in the "River of Grass' that once was the dominant landmark in south Florida, Everglades National Park is in a state of flux due to environmental pressures.

Conservation Groups Urge National Park Service to Reinstate Jet Ski Bans

A trio of conservation groups is asking the National Park Service to reinstate bans against personal watercraft in Gulf Islands and Cape Lookout national seashores as well as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If the agency balks, the groups say they'll take it to court over the matter.
Jet ski NOI.pdf784.17 KB

Park History: How the National Lakeshores Came to Be

There are parks across the national park system that have decidedly watery settings: Voyagers National Park, Isle Royale National Park, Channel Islands National Park, Acadia National Park, Biscayne National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park, just to name some of the most obvious. And then there are the national lakeshores.

Pacific Storm Shuts Down Most of Olympic National Park

The Elwha River at flood stage on December 3, 2007, NPS photo.
If this keeps up, we're going to have to redefine the "100-year storm." For the second time in 13 months Olympic National Park has been hit hard by a Pacific storm.

Congress Divided on Centennial Challenge Funding for National Parks

With time running out, Congress has yet to commit to funding the president's Centennial Challenge for the National Park Service. While the House has committed $50 million towards the campaign, the Senate has not provided any funding.

Why Is Interior Dragging Feet On Keeping Glacier National Park from Being Shelled?

It's been months since Glacier National Park officials concluded after lengthy environmental studies that snowsheds, not 105mm howitzer shells, should be used to protect freight trains from avalanches sliding off the park's southern flanks. And yet Interior Department officials have yet to sign off on that decision.

Park History: Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

Though not one of the most remote national parks in Alaska, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve isn't at a loss for rugged and spectacular terrain. Across its 4-million-plus acres you can find plenty of places to achieve solitude.

Twenty-seven Years Ago, Eight National Parks Came to Be

Never before have, and probably never again will, so many national parks come into existence on the same date. Given birth by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act were Denali, Gates of Arctic, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Kobuk Valley, Lake Clark and Wrangell-St. Elias national parks.

National Parks Contribute Holiday Ornaments to White House Christmas Tree

Holiday ornaments depicting scenes from the national parks are dangling from the White House Christmas tree, a nod to the National Park Service's upcoming centennial.
Former NPS Director Fran Mainella; NPS Photo.At a time when politics in Washington truly are a “contact sport,” we shouldn’t be too surprised when we learn that science has been trumped when it comes to decisions affecting the national park system. Should we be disappointed? Of course. But surprised? Unfortunately not. Directors Fran Mainella and Mary Bomar provide interviews for this podcast.