Archive List

National Park Quiz 33: Colors

This week’s quiz explores many colorful aspects of our national parks. We’re going to depart from custom here and mix in some true-false and short-answer items. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking we’ll confiscate your crayons.

Sen. Salazar Seems to be the Interior Secretary Pick For the Obama Administration

What does the apparent pick of U.S. Senator Ken Salazar for Interior secretary in the Obama administration mean for public lands management? Well, surely it can't be worse than what's transpired the past eight years, can it?
A Natural History Guide: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Usually when I visualize Great Smoky Mountains National Park, what comes to mind are heavily forested mountains cut by leaping creeks, roamed by black bears, and packed with salamanders. But if you talk to Donald Linzey, he'll open your eyes to a lot more of the park's natural history.

Does Your National Park Offer a Book Club?

It really shouldn't come as a surprise that in places where winters are long, hard, cold, and snowy that your best recourse is to settle down before the fire with a good book. At Voyageurs National Park this winter you'll even be able to discuss that book with the park naturalist.

Is Florida's Blockbuster Sugar Deal to Help the Everlgades In Danger of Collapse?

With a critical vote looming Tuesday on whether the state of Florida will move forward with its buyout of U.S. Sugar properties to benefit the Everglades and Everglades National Park, the $1.34 billion deal no longer seems like a surety.

Thailand Struggles With Overcrowding Of National Parks

While national park visitation concerns in the United States frequently revolve around visitor declines, in Thailand the parks are being overrun by tourists.

Musings from Death Valley National Park

Badwater, Death Valley National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo.
Having not played golf in at least 15 years, I couldn't tell if the elevation of the Furnace Creek Golf Course was responsible for my lackluster drives, or whether they were the product of operator failure.

Re-enactment of General Washington's Arrival at Valley Forge Set for Dec. 19

If you've ever wondered about General George Washington's arrival, along with his troops, at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777, you might want to visit the park this coming Friday, December 19th. That's when a re-enactment of the troops' arrival will be staged at Valley Forge National Historical Park.

Everglades Coaltion's Annual Meeting In Early January

The annual meeting of the Everglades Coalition, which works for the health of the ecosystem that includes Everglades National Park, is set for early next month.

Glacier National Park's Centennial is Fast Approaching – Don't Miss These Upcoming Deadlines

Two Medicine Lake.
One of the "crown jewels" of the national park system will celebrate its centennial in 2010, and when you're talking about planning a celebration of that magnitude, there's plenty of work to do. Glacier National Park is off to a great start in that regard, and you may want to know about upcoming deadlines for some activities that are already underway.

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve Working on Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan

From now through January 10 the folks at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve will be open to your thoughts on six alternatives aimed at managing recreational off-road vehicle use in the Nabesna Road area.

Yellowstone National Park's Winter Season Needs Help From Predicted Storm

Yellowstone National Park is scheduled to open its winter season on Monday, and a storm forecast for this weekend could give the park a big boost in terms of snow cover. Without additional snow, the season might open without enough of the white stuff for snowmobiling.

Wilderness Designation for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Will Have to Wait

It will take just a bit longer for nearly 12,000 acres of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to gain official wilderness designation. The kiss of death for the legislation intended to accomplish the deed was its attachment to the massive Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008.

Trails I've Hiked: Golden Canyon, Death Valley National Park

You won't find many long-distance hikes in Death Valley National Park, which probably is a good thing considering how hot it can get during the summer months. But for those looking to stretch their legs, the trail through Golden Canyon is viewed by many as the "to-do" hike in the park.

This Park Has Scenery, History and a Treasure Trove of Art and Photos

Jackson painting of covered wagons. NPS image.
This park offers dramatic views from a trail named Saddle Rock, formations with names such as Eagle Rock, and compelling tales of pioneers who made their way over Mitchell Pass. It also houses the world's largest collection of original sketches, paintings, and photographs by a famous American artist and photographer.

On the Political Front: Good And Bad News From the Bush Administration

There's mixed news today on the environmental front. On one hand, the Bush administration has pulled back a proposal that would weaken air quality rules for coal-fired power plants. But on the other it has moved forward with a rule to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

What's the Latest On The Search for An Interior Secretary?

As cabinet post after cabinet post is filled by the incoming Obama administration, one role key to the national parks remains up-in-the-air: that of Interior secretary.

Did Mount Rainier National Park Leave Contractor Holding The Bill?

There are few things as bad as doing some work for someone and then not getting paid what you believe you're owed. Such a scenario has developed around the renovated Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier National Park, and a roofing contractor says he might have to lay off 40 workers if he doesn't get paid soon.

Don't Overlook Park Advocates and Friends Groups When You Make Your Charitable Donations

Programs to lure youngsters into the parks. "Healthy Kids/Healthy Parks." Research to gauge the impact of visitation on park natural resources. Restoration work. These are just some of the projects that your taxable donations allowed to occur across the National Park System in 2008.
Glacier National Park, thanks to its rivers of ice, is one of the perfect spots in the continental United States to watch climate change at work.

At Yellowstone, It’s Fluffy the Snuggle-Bud One, Coyotes Zero

I wish that Fluffy could talk. Maybe then we could find out how in the world she managed to do it.

Wal-Mart Request Would Put a Super Center Next to The Wilderness Battlefield

Northern Virginia is a much more crowded place than it was during the Civil War. But Civil War historians, preservationists, and buffs, as well as National Park Service officials, are still flummoxed by Wal-Mart's wish to place a super center next to one of the most poignant battlefields of the Civil War.

Cedar Breaks National Monument Calls It A Season For Its Roads

If you didn't find time to drive up to Cedar Breaks National Monument this year, well, you have missed your opportunity for 2008. With winter closing in on Utah's high country, the roads leading to the colorful monument have been closed for the season.

Saddle Up and Ride for the Inauguration

USPP mounted unit.
The upcoming inauguration continues to attract a lot of attention, and a recent article in Traveler reported on some of the preparations for what could be a record crowd for such events. Plenty of work continues to take place behind the scenes, and somel of the government representatives who are training for the big day aren't even human.

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is Established by Presidential Proclamation

The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument recently proclaimed by President Bush incorporates the USS Arizona Memorial and eight other historic sites in Hawaii, Alaska, and California closely associated with the Pacific Theater of Battle. Adding this Monument to the National Park System helps people appreciate the tremendous geographic scale and complexity of the war and its aftermath.

Petrified Forest National Park is Still Being Stolen One Piece at a Time

A decade ago, visitors at Petrified Forest National Park were stealing the park’s petrified wood at the rate of 12 tons a year. Warning signage, hefty fines, legal purchase options, and other countermeasures have done some good, but losses continue to mount.

National Park Quiz 32: Survival

This week’s quiz is about surviving – or even better, avoiding – dangerous situations in national parks. Answers are at the end. This is serious stuff, so you’re welcome to peek all you like.

National Park Service Draws Criticism for Winter-Use Plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

National Park Service officials have finalized winter-use rules for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, and quickly drew condemnation for ignoring what's best for the parks' natural resources.

NRDC Calls For Endangered Species Act Protection for Whitebark Pine Tree

While most often we hear about fish, bird, or animal species needing Endangered Species Act protection, today a group is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend that protection to a tree, the whitebark pine.
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Zion National Park Looking for Help With Annual Bird Count

Like to count? Like birds? Like to count birds in Zion National Park?