Archive List

At Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Old History Made Way for New History

Dozens of historic riverfront buildings in St. Louis were demolished in the 1940s to make room for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Boosters insisted that this was basically a matter of breaking a few eggs to make an omelet. Many preservationists think it was deplorable.

What Were the Top Stories Across the National Park System in 2008?

What were the top stories across the National Park System in 2008? That's a good question, but unfortunately one that brings to mind many stories we at the Traveler wish never arose.

The Interior Building in Washington, D.C. Gets a "Green Roof"

Green roof atop Chicago City Hall
The National Park Service's parent agency, the U. S. Department of the Interior, recently completed a project with both literal and symbolic "green" benefits. Earlier this week, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne helped unveil a "green roof" located on the 3rd wing of the Main Interior Building in Washington, D.C.

Range of Lodging Deals and Events Appearing on the National Park Landscape

If you're kid-free or otherwise not bound to school calendars, there are a number of lodging specials and seasonal events in the National Park System in the coming months.

Twenty Boats Destroyed by Fire in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Federal investigators were joining Utah authorities Friday to determine the cause of a fire in a remote area of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that destroyed as many as 20 boats.

Upon Further Review – Does the River Run Downstream?

Delaware Water Gap
Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area, on the Pennsylvania—New Jersey border west of New York City, is a popular location for "float trips" in the northeastern United States. On a nice autumn day, a couple I'll call Jack and Jill decided to take a canoe trip on the Delaware River. At the time, it seemed like a good idea.

Take a Walk Through a 700-Year-Old House

Spring flowers at Tonto National Monument. NPS photo.
One of the oldest national monuments in the country celebrates its anniversary today, and it's been around for over a century. The primary attraction in this park has been around a lot longer, and if you're up to a bit of a hike, you can take a walk through a house built 700 years ago.

More Fishers Soon To Be On the Loose in Olympic National Park

Earlier this year a fisher recovery program got under way in Olympic National Park with the release of 18 of the furry mammals that are kin to weasels. This weekend another 15 or so will be set free to set up home in the park.

An Ancient Road System Still Puzzles Us at Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Scientists continue to puzzle over the extensive, carefully engineered road system that Ancestral Puebloans built ten centuries ago in the San Juan Basin of the Colorado Plateau. What functions did this prehistoric road system serve, and what accounts for its quirky design features?

Bush Administration Publishes Proposed Rule For Mountain Biking in National Parks

In what's being described as another example of the Bush administration whittling away the conservation ethic of the National Park Service, the Interior Department today published a proposed rule to "streamline" the regulatory landscape regarding mountain bikes in national parks.
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Gun Rules for The National Parks: Will They Really Make It Easier To Pack in the Parks?

The impending change of rules that would allow national park visitors to arm themselves stands a good chance of being placed in limbo, if not overturned, by legal challenges in the coming weeks and months. But if that doesn't happen, it'll be interesting to see how many gun owners actually follow the rules.

This House Belonged to "The Most Powerful Family in America"

Vanderbilt mansion portico
A former president, a cult and "the most powerful family in America" all had a role in the story of this park, which celebrates its 68th anniversary today. For a look at the lifestyle of the formerly rich and famous, you're welcome to drop by a take a look—during park hours.

When You Really Want A Park To Yourself, Consider Capitol Reef National Park

Think of Capitol Reef National Park and, if you're familiar with this isolated outpost in Utah's canyon country, you'll likely envision soaring reefs of rock. But few would even imagine battles between mountain lions and lynx.

Everglades Land Bill Approved, But With a Caveat

A massive real estate deal with U.S. Sugar Corporation that is envisioned as being key to protecting the Everglades and Everglades National Park has been approved, but with a caveat that allows Florida officials an escape clause.

Updated: Salazar Pick For Interior Secretary Labeled a Failure

The pick of U.S. Senator Ken Salazar as the next Interior secretary is being labeled a failure by the Center for Biological Diversity. But the folks at The Wilderness Society say it's a great choice.

Will Delaware Finally Get Its "National Park"?

The Common in New Castle, Delaware
Delaware is the only state in the union without a unit of the National Park System. A recently completed study moves boosters for a "national park" in Delaware a bit closer to their goal. Is this an idea whose time has come—or one with more political than practical merit?

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.