Archive List

Odes to the National Park Rangers Who Wear the Grey and Green

What would a national park be without a national park ranger? Who would we ask for directions to the restroom, or question whether the bear we see is a black or a brown?

Yelllowstone National Park Firefighter "Roughed Up" By Grizzly

The grizzly bear apparently couldn't get away from the "LeHardy Fire" in Yellowstone National Park fast enough. Unfortunately for the firefighter, he was in the way of the bear's path.

What Suggestions Do You Have For the National Park Service?

The National Park Service likes to promote that visitors give the National Park System a 96 percent approval rating. That's pretty lofty, but is it accurate?

Battling Invasive Species in Arches National Park

Our national parks are places of incredible beauty and rich history. But they also are under siege. Across the National Park System, the landscape is being invaded by non-native species that are not just out of place, when you consider what should be growing, but in some cases are actually driving out the natives.

First Lady Visits Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

During her recent visit to Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, First Lady Laura Bush toured Sandburg’s Connemara residence, petted dairy goats, talked with children in the Junior Ranger program, and announced a $50,000 National Park Foundation grant to expand the park’s Junior Ranger and youth education programs.
In our continuing series of how to, and how not to, run rivers in the National Park System we bring you this selection from Canyonlands National Park. As you can probably surmise, the chocolaty Colorado River is best enjoyed from atop, not underneath, the raft.

Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part I

Today, well over a century after the Civil War ended in 1865, it is difficult to imagine the battlefields of Antietam, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga had they been neglected, instead of preserved as military parks. As compelling historic landscapes of great natural beauty and public interest, these early military parks have been familiar to generations of Americans.

Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning

The odds of being struck by lightning once in an 80-year lifetime are about one in 3,000. The odds for two strikes in a lifetime soar to one in nine million. Roy Sullivan, a park ranger at Shenandoah National Park, was struck by seven lightning bolts and survived them all. It just goes to show you something or other.

Fall Kills Woman in North Cascades National Park

A 50-year-old woman has died in North Cascades National Park from injuries sustained in a fall on Klawatti Peak. The woman's husband told authorities he nearly drowned crossing a river while trying to find help.

Yellowstone National Park Officials Scale Back Size of "LeHardy Fire"

Better mapping has led Yellowstone National Park officials to scale back their estimate of the size of the "LeHardy Fire" to just about 500 acres. However, the Grand Loop Road north of Fishing Bridge remains closed because of the blaze.

Pruning the Parks: Delisted Over a Half-Century Ago, Fossil Cycad National Monument (1922-1956) is a Cautionary Tale

South Dakota’s Fossil Cycad National Monument was supposed to protect a geologic treasure when it was established in 1922, but its marvelous surface deposits of fossilized plants had already been stripped from the site. A bill signed into law on August 1, 1956, abolished the park, which has served ever since as a cautionary tale. If you don’t protect park resources, they won’t be there for future generations.

Would You Love Zion National Park As Much If It Were Called Mukuntuweap National Park?

Established by presidential proclamation 99 years ago on July 31, 1909, Zion National Park was originally named Mukuntuweap National Monument. It acquired its present name through circumstances that included unhappy Mormons and an iconic National Park Director who suffered crippling bouts of depression.

Did the NRA Infiltrate Groups Opposed to Overhauling Gun Regulations for the National Parks?

How far will the National Rifle Association go to overthrow gun control measures? Apparently infiltrating groups who favor gun control isn't out of the question. Among the groups infiltrated? Apparently the National Parks Conservation Association.

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Expansion of Visitor Center at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

A group of former National Park Service chief historians and park superintendents are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed Thursday to block expansion of the visitor center at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. At stake, they say, is the historic integrity of the monument.

Coming Saturday: Pilgrim Places, Our Civil War Battlefields and Their Preservation

During his National Park Service career, historian Richard West Sellars examined in-depth many facets of the National Park System and National Park Service. One of those projects focused on Civil War battlefields and how they've been preserved over the years. The Traveler presents this work, Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, in a seven-part series starting Saturday.

"LeHardy Fire" in Yellowstone National Park Explodes to 600 Acres

Gusting winds have fueled a rapid increase in the size of the "LeHardy Fire" in Yellowstone National Park, pushing the blaze to roughly 600 acres in a handful of hours.
What, you might wonder, is a bear jam in Katmai National Park and Preserve? To understand this phenomenon, listen to this podcast in which Ranger Michael Glore differentiates between jamming bears and a crush of tourists anxious to see brown bears at Brooks Camp.

Crews Continuing to Battle Wildlfire in Kings Canyon National Park

Part of a fire burning in the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park is being "managed" for its benefits to the landscape. Unlike the Telegraph Fire outside Yosemite National Park, the "Tehipite Fire" is not threatening structures or human developments.

Everglades Coalition, Foundation Offer State of Florida Suggestions for Managing Land Acquisition

In June the state of Florida announced a bold move to help the Everglades by purchasing nearly 200,000 acres north of Everglades National Park. Now the state is being offered some suggestions on how best to leverage that land acquisition for the benefit of the "River of Grass."
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Downed Power Line Sparks Fire in Yellowstone National Park

A downed power line has sparked a small fire in Yellowstone National Park and forced rangers to close a section of the Grand Loop Road north of Fishing Bridge.

Telegraph Fire Closing in On Yosemite National Park

Firefighters are continuing to struggle with the so-called Telegraph Fire that's burning to the west of Yosemite National Park. While on Monday the fire was estimated to be burning 25-30 miles west of the park, it now is reported to be about 15 miles from the park's western boundary.

Should the National Park Service Drain the Capitol Reflecting Pool to Save Birds?

If you were a duck flying over Washington, D.C., you just might think the Capitol Reflecting Pool would be a pretty good place to splash down upon to give your weary wings a break. Unfortunately, it seems as if that murky pool of water has turned into a deadly disease-carrying environment for waterfowl.

Moron Commits Robbery in Lincoln Memorial Bookstore

Some people are just too stupid to be successful criminals. Consider, for example, the guy who was wearing a court-ordered monitoring device when he robbed a man at the Lincoln Memorial bookstore.

National Park System Quiz 13: Mountains

A mountain is “a natural elevation of the earth's surface having considerable mass, generally steep sides, a discernible peak, and a height greater than that of a hill.” This week’s quiz will see how much you know about mountains in the national parks. Answers are at the end. No peaking, please.

NPS Director Bomar Extends Freeze on Fee Increases at National Parks

With hopes of luring more visitors to the National Park System, National Park Service Director Mary Bomar is extending a freeze on fee increases at the parks through the upcoming fiscal year.

Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Big Bend National Parks Benefit From Donations

In the last week, more than $3 million in donations and grants have been announced to help Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, and Big Bend national parks with a wide range of projects, from habitat restoration to trails work.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park protects and showcases a spectacular volcanic resource. Visit the park and you're able to see lava flows, steam vents, and possibly minor eruptions.

Lightning Strike Kills Park Visitor at a Sandy Hook Beach in Gateway National Recreation Area

A deadly lightning strike killed one visitor and injured two others Sunday afternoon on a Sandy Hook beach in Gateway National Recreation Area. The lightning hazard is worse than most people think, but putting lightning safety precautions into practice dramatically lowers the risk of injury and death.

Grand Teton National Park Will Celebrate National Astronomy Day on Aug. 3

If you've been lucky enough to visit Grand Teton National Park, you know how sparkling clear the skies can be at night. If you're lucky enough to visit Grand Teton this coming Sunday, you'll be able to take a close-up look at the celestial wonders overhead.

National Park Service and US Border Patrol to Share a New Operations Center at Lake Amistad National Recreation Area

The National Park Service and the U.S. Border Patrol have agreed to jointly fund and occupy a new 30,000 square-foot operations center at Lake Amistad National Recreation Area. Both agencies stand to gain a great deal. The new arrangement will not only consolidate and upgrade scattered facilities, but also foster interagency cooperation in an area of the U.S.-Mexican border that is difficult to manage and patrol.