Archive List

Gulf Coast National Parks Prepare for Possible Arrival of Hurricane Gustav

As Tropical Storm Gustav nears the Gulf of Mexico, three Gulf Coast national parks in the projected landfall zone of the soon-to-be hurricane have moved to a higher level of hurricane preparedness and are making preparations for possible closure and evacuation. Five other national parks within the five-day forecast cone are in planning and monitoring mode.

Reclaiming Ground in Yellowstone National Park

Crews in Yellowstone National Park are working on turning back the clock on some lands that had once been used as agricultural fields. A pilot project getting under way north of Mammoth Hot Springs aims to restore native vegetation on 22 acres.

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Park Police Arrest Men Who Brought a Loaded Submachine Gun to a Playground in National Capital Parks-East

Policing National Capital Parks-East can be downright scary at times. On August 21, for example, Park Police officers patrolling Anacostia Park arrested two men who had brought a loaded submachine gun to a picnic area playground.

Video: Birds and Bike Paths in Grand Teton National Park

It was big news when the decision was announced to install some bike paths in Grand Teton National Park. But how might those affect ground-nesting birds and other park wildlife? This video looks into that question.

Flooding Nurtures Life in Congaree National Park

The Congaree River is flooding again, and as far as Congaree National Park is concerned, that’s a good thing. Periodic flooding is the very lifeblood of the extraordinary river bottom forest that the park preserves.

Body of Kayaker Missing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Recovered

Rangers in Great Smoky Mountain National Park have recovered the body of a kayaker who was reported missing during a short paddle on the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River.

First Piping Plovers, Now Sea Turtles Descend on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Call it serendipity, the fate of the gods, or simple biology, but it seems that Cape Hatteras National Seashore is undergoing an invasion of sea turtles. And that means more beach closures to off-road vehicles and pedestrians.

National Park Quiz 17: Presidents

This week’s quiz tests your knowledge of national parks related to the presidents. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you memorize the entire 42-person list in chronological order.

Grammar Vigilantes Busted in Grand Canyon National Park, Barred from Park System

Missing commas and wayward apostrophes are an endangered species when confronted by Jeff Michael Deck and Benjamin Douglas Herson. But that was before the grammar vigilantes ran afoul of the law after editing an historic sign in Grand Canyon National Park.
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NPS-Sign Vandals.pdf251.83 KB

Presidential Politics and the National Parks

With the Democratic National Convention under way, and the Republican National Convention soon to follow, it's natural to wonder what these two parties are thinking of in terms of the environment in general and national parks specifically.
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2008 Draft Democratic Platform.pdf253.24 KB
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Glacier National Park Officials Plan to Scale Down Search for Missing Hiker

Glacier National Park officials, frustrated by six days of fruitless searching for a missing hiker, say they'll scale back efforts on Tuesday unless new leads are discovered.

The Economist Warns that America’s National Park System is in Deep, Deep Trouble

Is the National Park System primed for decline? One of the world’s most respected international periodicals thinks so. The Economist blames shifting public interests and anti-development environmentalists for falling attendance and warns that public support for national parks may quickly erode.

Find Me, Spot. Staying Found in The National Parks

Backcountry rangers in some Alaska national parks routinely signal their position with "Spot," a personal locater beacon that can be used to summon help or to simply let friends know you're OK. Recently, Spot helped rangers find two backcountry travelers in Sequoia National Park who found themselves in trouble.

North Cascades National Park Officials Over a Barrel With Stocking Trout

Yellowstone has its snowmobiles, Cape Hatteras has its piping plovers, and North Cascades National Park has its trout. Or maybe it doesn't, and that's the problem.

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

Once the national cemeteries were established, they were effectively the only areas of the battlefields in a condition adequate to receive the public in any numbers, and they became the focal points for official ceremonies and other formal acts of remembrance. Most widely observed was Decoration Day, begun at about the end of the war in response to the massive loss of life suffered during the four-year conflict.

Another Look at Those GPS Rangers in the National Parks

It was just about a year ago that I wrote about the invasion of "GPS Rangers" into the national parks. Back then I wasn't so keen on this hand-held electronic tour gizmo, but there does seem to be a hidden blessing in it.

A Century of National Parks in Utah To be Celebrated Labor Day Weekend

A little more than century after President Theodore Roosevelt designated Natural Bridges National Monument, making it the first National Park System unit in Utah, the monument will serve as the backdrop for a celebration of 100 years of national parks in the state.

"Designing the Parks"

For three years National Parks Traveler has served as a forum not just to inform the general public about issues concerning the National Park Service and its system, but to encourage debate and discussion over how the agency and its parks can become stronger. Now there's another forum with that goal in mind.

National Park Quiz 16: Waterfalls

A waterfall is defined as a steep descent of water from a height. Whatever you call these falling waters, they delight the senses. This week’s quiz will see how much you know about waterfalls in the national parks. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, you’ll be assigned plunge pool cleaning duties.

National Park Service Admits Mistakes With Proposed Little Bighorn Visitor Center Expansion

In an about-face, National Park Service officials have admitted they erred in pushing an expansion of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument visitor center and are reversing course. "Sometimes you just have to admit that you didn't do your homework as well as you might have thought," says Intermountain Regional Director Mike Snyder.

Pruning the Parks: Six National Parks Acquired via Transfer in 1933 Were Subsequently Abolished

The National Park System grew by 69 units via the Reorganization of 1933, which was signed August 10, 1933. However, six of the “1933T” national parks were subsequently abolished. This serves to remind us that periodic pruning is a natural and healthy function of large, complex systems.

Grand Canyon National Park "Short Haul" Operations

The thrills didn't end for a group of 16 Colorado River rafters when high water stranded them at the bottom of Grand Canyon National Park. As the accompanying picture shows, their rescue was just as, if not more, thrilling as bucking the river's rapids.

Super Storm Impacts Linger at Guam’s War in the Pacific National Historical Park

Guam's War in the Pacific National Historical Park, which celebrated its 30th birthday August 18, was so badly mauled by supertyphoons that its visitor center, bookstore, museum, and research library have all been put out of action. But visitors are back, so rangers serve them while keeping a wary eye on the weather.

Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Working to Rescue Stranded Colorado River Rafters

Efforts were under way Sunday evening to rescue 16 Colorado River rafters who apparently were stranded by high water flows in Grand Canyon National Park. Rangers planned to use a helicopter to "short haul" the 16 one-by-one to safety.

Paddling Dinosaur National Monument and Niobrara National Scenic River

When folks think about paddling trips in the National Park System, quite often floating the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park rises to the top of the mind. But there are other paddling treks out there, trips that are just as beautiful and inspiring and which just might offer a tad more solitude.

Will Second Century Commission Succeed With Its National Parks Assessment and Recommendations?

Call it a $1 million question. Will the National Parks Second Century Commission make a difference in the future of the National Park System, or will its findings and suggestions simply collect dust on a back-room shelf as some other studies have done?

Visiting the Parks: Petroglyph National Monument

Too often a unit of the National Park System is overlooked because its name doesn't end in "National Park." Petroglyph National Monument is one such place.

That Booming You Hear in the Skies Over Yellowstone National Park? It Soon Could be the Sound of Artillery

Ahh, the sounds of winter in Yellowstone National Park. The raspy rustle in the wind of dried leaves that forgot to fall from aspens. The trickling of a creek beneath its sheath of ice. The eruption of a geyser, the gurgling of mudpots. The explosion of a howitzer round as it smacks into a mountainside.

Saguaro National Park Officials Considering Use of Microchips To Slow Theft of Namesake Cactus

A needle prick in the not-too-distant future just might safeguard Saguaro National Park's namesake cactus from thieves.