Archive List

A Solution to the National Park Service's Funding Woes Lies Within Each of Us

A few weeks ago, a colleague and I were discussing the financial plight of the National Park System and I wondered aloud how it possibly could be improved. After all, this country has some enormous bills, starting with those from the Iraq war and running on down to Social Security and the national infrastructure, just to name the most obvious.

Director Bomar Suggests Special "Parks Edition" Mountain Bike

National Park Service Director Mary Bomar not only sees a "special bond" between her agency and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, but can even picture a special "parks edition" mountain bike.

Yellowstone National Park Relocates the 45th Parallel

Geographers might blanch at the thought, but Yellowstone National Park officials have pushed the 45th Parallel a bit north in an effort to make park visitors safer.

New Movie “To the Limit” Shows Record Speed-Climb of El Capitan Nose Route at Yosemite National Park

On October 8, 2007, the Huber brothers set a new speed-climbing record of two hours, 45 minutes, and 45 seconds for El Capitan’s Nose route, one of the world’s most difficult big wall climbs. The event was captured on film, and you won’t believe your eyes.

Backpackers Rescued at Denali National Park Didn’t Know How Lost They Really Were

The two lost backpackers rescued Wednesday in Denali National Park were far from where they thought they were and didn’t know they were the subjects of a massive search lasting four days and costing an estimated $120,000. But as they say, all’s well that ends well.

Congressman Calls for Emergency Declaration to Protect Grand Canyon National Park from Mining

The chairman of the House national parks subcommittee believes sufficient threat exists to Grand Canyon National Park to withdraw more than 1 million acres from the possibility of being mined for uranium.

Threats to the Parks: Biscayne National Park

Situated a few miles south of Miami, Biscayne National Park is the only place in the world where a living coral reef lies adjacent to a large metro area. Biscayne’s metro periphery location, fragile resources, and heavy visitation make it one of our most vulnerable parks.

Park History: Director Hartzog and the Automobile

How's that saying go, the more things change, the more they stay the same? That certainly seems to be the truth in the case of national parks jammed with automobiles.

Lost Backpackers Reunited with Families at Denali National Park

Backpackers Abby Flantz and Erica Nelson were rescued in good condition after being lost for six days in the Denali National Park wilderness. The two women, who had used a cell phone to help searchers locate them, were reunited with family members Wednesday afternoon.

Bodies of Three Mexican Nationals Found in Big Bend National Park

Rangers at Big Bend National Park have recovered the bodies of three Mexican nationals who illegally entered the United States and tried to make their way across the park’s desert terrain in searing summer heat. Officials suspect there may have been other fatalities.

Threats to the Parks: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Struggles with Invasive Plants

Many nonnative plant and animal species that have invaded our national parks pose a danger to the native species. On Hawaii’s Big Island, invasive plants are threatening to wreak ecosystem havoc in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. To combat this onslaught, the Park Service uses manual and mechanical removal, herbicide spraying, and biological controls.

Lost Backpackers Are Reported Alive and Well at Denali National Park

Two backpackers missing at Denali National Park since Friday are alive and well.

Fresh Search Teams Arrive at Denali National Park to Help Locate Missing Women

Tuesday’s efforts to locate two missing backpackers in Denali National Park were fruitless, despite the best efforts of eleven ground teams and four aircraft crews. Today’s operation will more thoroughly search high priority areas and send ground teams into higher terrain. Five new teams will help out.

National Park Service Issues Beach Access Report for Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Users

The National Park Service Beach Access Report for June 12, 2008, provides detailed background and regulatory information concerning ORV use at the popular Cape Hatteras National Seashore under the terms of the consent decree signed on April 30. The Park Service is soliciting your opinion about modifying the format and content of the Beach Access Report.

National Park Quiz 7: Islands

The national parks have islands galore. There are islands in the ocean, islands in rivers, islands in lakes, and even islands in lakes on islands. Take this week's quiz and see how much you know about these islands. Answers are at the end. No fair peeking!

Search and Rescue Trivia From the National Parks

Ever wonder what's the most dangerous day to be in a national park? That would be Saturday. And the most dangerous region of the National Park System? That would be the Intermountain Region, home to Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Grand Canyon national parks.

Backpackers Remain Missing at Denali National Park & Preserve

Hikers Abby Flantz and Erica Nelson remain missing since failing to return last Friday from an overnight backpacking trip in Denali National Park & Preserve. Rescuers continue to search a 100-square mile area of the Savage River drainage.

National Park Service Open to Cutting Single-Track Bike Trails in the Parks

National Park Service officials say they are not averse to cutting single-track mountain bike trails in the park system, as long as "potential impacts" don't arise.
Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering How truly self-reliant are we, really? When you head down the trail, do you go confident that you can manage any situation you find yourself in? If you "push the envelope" by embarking on, say, a remote canyoneering adventure, a summit climb, or a river trip, how much confidence should you place not just in your own ability but in search-and-rescue teams to quickly respond when the unimaginable occurs?

Denali National Park Officials Intensify Search for Missing Backpackers

Searchers in Denali National Park have been unable to locate two female backpackers missing since Friday when they didn't return from a scheduled overnight trip in the park. Officials have intensified ground and aerial search efforts in a 100-square mile area of rugged, trailless terrain.

Flood Watch Continues at Heartland National Parks

It’s “so far, so good” for national parks in the flood-weary Heartland. Only Indiana’s George Rogers Clark National Historical Park has experienced significant flooding.

What's In Your National Park Reading Room?

After tramping through national parks for upwards of four decades, I've understandably picked up a few books on the parks. Among my collection are the usual trail guides and park guides, natural history selections and park histories. While many folks no doubt have a few park-related texts on hand, such as hiking guides and park guides, how might the park aficionado round out their library?

Air and Ground Search Under Way for Missing Backpackers in Denali National Park and Preserve

An air and ground search is under way in Denali National Park and Preserve for two backpackers missing in the Savage River drainage.

Commentary: Who Runs the National Park System?

Who runs the National Park System? Is it the National Park Service, or communities that fuel their economies off the parks? That's a good question to consider in the wake of the moxie and clout that tiny Cody, Wyoming, summoned to turn the heat up on its golden goose, Yellowstone National Park.

Park History: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established 74 years ago this month. Now this big, automobile-convenient park attracts more than 9 million visitors a year and entertains them with forested mountainsides, winding roads, flowering shrubs, pioneer-era relics, and other delights. Great Smoky has great scenery, interesting history, and amazing biodiversity.

Exploring the "Other Half" of Our National Parks: Stargazing Under Protected Dark Skies

The renowned amateur astronomer and telescope maker, John Lowery Dobson, 92, once said, "National Parks are special places where dark skies and curious minds collide." Dobson and the famed Sidewalk Astronomers have spent three decades taking their home-made telescopes to the national parks to meet park visitors willing to stay out after dark to help them explore the "other half" of their parks.

Powerful Storm Spares Witness Trees at Antietam National Battlefield

The powerful storm that struck the National Capital Region on June 4 damaged many park units. Antietam National Battlefield was hit very hard, but it could have been worse. The park’s witness trees escaped unscathed.

Rare Leatherback Sea Turtle Nest Discovered at Padre Island National Seashore

A leatherback sea turtle nest has been discovered at Padre Island National Seashore. This is the first time since the 1930s that a leatherback has nested on the Texas Gulf Coast. What are we to make of this remarkable event?

Yellowstone's Latest Snowmobile Decision for Cody: Politically Motivated or Simply Neighborly?

Were Yellowstone National Park officials simply being neighborly when they reversed themselves recently on whether to keep Sylvan Pass open for snowmobile traffic during the winter months? Or were their feet being scorched by the political fires that too often seem to influence management decisions?

Mount Rainier National Park Shuttle System Stretching to Ashford

So many folks flock to Mount Rainier National Park, and Paradise, specifically, in summer that the park uses an electric sign at the Nisqually Entrance to alert incoming visitors to parking problems at Paradise. Well, on weekends a new shuttle line could make that sign inconsequential for the informed traveler.
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MORA-Paradise Shuttle Schedule.pdf53.65 KB