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Lava Beds National Monument is a Geologically and Historically Fascinating Place

Lava Beds National Monument, which celebrates its 83rd birthday November 21, is a strange looking place bursting with fascinating stories. As if the largest collection of lava tubes and caves in the coterminous states weren’t enough to make this park very special, it’s also where Captain Jack and his warrior band fought an amazing battle against an attacking force ten times its size during the Modoc War of the early 1870s.

Study Touts Economic Benefits of Mount St. Helens "National Park"

There's an economic report out touting the benefits that a Mount St. Helens "National Park" would bring surrounding communities. And that begs the question of whether units of the National Park System should be viewed largely as economic engines?
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Upon Further Review - What Visited Your Campsite While You Were Sleeping?

Tracks in sand
One of the classic national park experiences is a Colorado River float trip through the Grand Canyon. As one group discovered, however, memorable moments on such trips aren't limited to running the rapids, and some surprising adventures can also occur when you tie up for the night.

Survey Shows Americans Love Bison But Largely Are Clueless About their Plight

Americans overwhelmingly love bison as an iconic image of the West, but are largely clueless over the ecological plight these animals face, according to a national survey.

Welcome to "Paradise on Earth, California style"

The Gillette Ranch.
Here's some good news as we near the end of 2008—you're part-owner of a spot described as "Paradise on earth, California style." Your on-site managers are working on a plan for the place, and you're welcome to give them your ideas.

National Park Service Prepares to Host Millions of Visitors for the Presidential Inauguration and Parade

With crowds predicted to number three-four million or more, the National Park Service is scrambling to accommodate the largest event in its history.

Zion National Park Has Lured Artists For Decades

Kolob Arch, Zion NP. Kurt Repanshek photo.
As you enter Zion Canyon, it's impossible to avert your eyes from the sandstone ramparts that frame the cleft cut by the Virgin River. They're just that impressive.

Good News and Bad News at Vicksburg National Military Park

At Vicksburg National Military Park, a Centennial Challenge project has replaced many of the monuments that honor the brave men who fought there. Unfortunately, inadequate funding and staffing continue to hamper the park’s ability to adequately care for its historic resources while telling the story of the Vicksburg Campaign, the siege of the city, and the Reconstruction period.

National Park Quiz 29: Diving

It doesn't get much publicity, but some of the most interesting scuba diving in the U.S. takes place in our national parks. So grab your fins, masks, snorkels and regulators and have a go at this week's quiz. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll put sand in your wetsuit.

Are Yosemite National Park Officials Overlooking Safety of Curry Village Guests?

How safe is a night spent in Curry Village in Yosemite National Park? According to an analysis done by The Associated Press, in recent years there have been an increasing number of rockfalls from Glacier Point down towards the village and its tent camp.

City of Rocks National Reserve is a Model of Interagency Cooperation

Established on November 18, 1988, Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve is more than just a geologic wonder, a touchstone of our pioneer past, and a magnet for climbers. It’s also a model for interagency cooperation.

"Don't Shoot Yourself in the Foot" is Still Good Advice

Buffalo National River
A recent report from the Buffalo National River in Arkansas confirms the validity of the old expression about shooting yourself in the foot, although in this case a would-be hunter's miscue had both a literal and figurative outcome.
Wood Stork. Photo by Sarah Zenner, NPS.With winter coming on, the wood storks will be more visible in Everglades National Park, as it's a prime wintering grounds for this big bird. But what's the deal with shuffle? Watch this video to get the answer.

Updated: Dueling Judges Push Yellowstone National Park Snowmobile Limit Back to 720 Per Day

In one of the most bizarre public lands dramas in recent history, Yellowstone National Park officials Monday afternoon said they would allow up to 720 snowmobiles into the park every day this winter.
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National Parks the World Over are Preparing for Climate Change

Devils Postpile, Middle Fork of San Joaquin River. Kurt Repanshek photo.
Climate change is global. No one country or hemisphere has a monopoly on calmer or stormier weather, on drier or wetter climates, on higher or lower lake, sea, and river levels. While here in the United States the National Park Service is trying to confront the change, on the far side of the world another country is doing what it can to protect its parks from climate change.

Mammoth Cave National Park Produces Its Master Trails Plan

After much work and public input from nearly 3,000 folks, Mammoth Cave National Park officials have released their comprehensive trails plan. And the solution they've chosen is not the park's preferred alternative, but rather one supported by the public comments.

The Ex-Soldier Who Bought a Battlefield

Bill of sale of Washington's purchase of the Great Meadows.
Throughout history, military leaders have inevitably been linked to the scenes of their battles. General Douglas MacArthur is remembered for his "I shall return" pronouncement, but one famous American military figure went even further. He returned as a civilian and purchased a battlefield where he had fought—and lost—an engagement sixteen years earlier.

Keeping History Honest When It Comes to Sight Lines In Civil War-era National Parks Is Not Without Controversy

When General Robert E. Lee's troops were battling the Union forces at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 13, 1862, his cannons atop Lee's Hill and nearby Howison Hill had clear lines of fire. Today they'd be lucky to hit the proverbial broad side of a barn.

Backpacker's Most Dangerous Hikes: The National Parks are Well-Represented

Today's younger generations want thrills? Well, the National Park System has plenty of them, from incredible white-water opportunities and climbs to some of what Backpacker magazine calls the most dangerous hikes in America.

End of a Curious Era at Mount Rainier National Park

Moving at a pace several months ahead of schedule, construction crews on Monday are scheduled to mark the end of a curious architectural era at Mount Rainier National Park.
It's been more than a decade since the wolf recovery program was launched in Yellowstone National Park. The results have been nothing short of remarkable.

That Ringing Heard by Backcountry Visitors in Glacier National Park Wasn't in Their Ears

Woman next to bell on Piegan Pass in 1942.
Julie Andrews made some Austrian mountains come alive with the sound of music, but for seventeen years visitors to the backcountry in Glacier National Park played a different kind of tune. That ringing sound heard in some pretty remote sections of the park wasn't exactly melodious, since it was limited to a single note from a large bell, but it was apparently dramatic.

Updated: Mount Rainier National Park Remains Closed Due to Flooding

Kautz Creek flood. NPS photo.
Heavy rains and flooding that hit Mount Rainier National Park this week will keep much of the park closed to automobile traffic at least through November 21, park officials said Friday afternoon.
Half Dome by Scott1956.People the world over travel to Yosemite National Park to stand before Half Dome. And a lucky few manage to climb to the top of this iconic loaf of rock.
Submerged: Adventures of America I always liked the acronym, SCRU, the best, I thought, in the federal government. It stood for the Submerged Cultural Resources Unit, a collection of National Park Service world-class divers stationed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who also happened to be professional archaeologists, anthropologists, and illustrators.

This Park Wins the "Most Visits by a President" Award

Catoctin Mountain Park view.
Which unit in the national park system outside of Washington, D.C., has received the most visits by presidents and other heads of state? Here are two clues: An answer to the question, "Where in blue blazes…" is found in this park, and in years past Shangri-La was just up the road.

Greening the Parks: A Former Brownfield is Converted to a Lakefront Gem at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

A former brownfield on the Lake Michigan shoreline now sports a marvelous new recreational facility. The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is finally up and running, thanks to years of planning, an innovative partnership, and a $10 million construction project incorporating green technology.

Director Bomar Extends Freeze on Fee Increases Through 2009

National Park Service Director Mary Bomar has extended her previous freeze on higher entrance and "amenity" fees through the end of 2009.

Fifty Year Ago Today, Warren Harding and His Buddies Conquered “Unclimbable” El Capitan

November 12, 1958, was an auspicious day for the climbing world and Yosemite National Park. Using siege tactics now considered primitive, a team led by Warren Harding finally conquered El Capitan, a granite monolith that was considered unclimbable. The Nose Route that Harding established is now a classic climb attracting talented weekend climbers, pros, and audacious speedsters.

Flooding Forces Closure of Mount Rainier National Park

Two years after torrential rains unleashed flooding across Mount Rainier National Park heavy rains have returned and forced the park's closure.