Archive List

University Shooting Doesn't Bring A Halt to Interior Department's Review of Weapons Ban in Parks

This week's deadly shooting at North Illinois University hasn't prompted the Interior Department to table a request that it lift the ban against carrying loaded weapons in national parks. It only spurred the department to postpone consideration of the matter until next week.

Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand on America's National Parks?

Where do America's national parks figure in the minds of the presidential candidates? It's a good question, but one that so far hasn't elicited much more than a sound bite.

Shenandoah National Park Announces Opening Dates

Never mind that the groundhog saw his shadow, or that an ice storm just blew through the mid-Atlantic states. Spring must be near, for Shenandoah National Park officials have announced their opening schedule.

Dinosaur National Monument Superintendent Favors Law Enforcement, Maintenance, Interpretation Over Paleontology

The other day I told you about the diminished role of paleontologists at Dinosaur National Monument. Now I'll touch on the motivation behind that decision.

Trails I've Hiked: Awesome Hiking Along The Blue Ridge Parkway

MacRae Peak. Randy Johnson photo
The Blue Ridge Parkway's half-a-thousand mile ridge-top route between Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains offers countless great hikes. Randy Johnson, author of Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway and Best Easy Day Hikes Blue Ridge Parkway, leads the way to one of the East’s premier national park hiking experiences.

Dinosaur National Monument Cutting Paleontology Staff

The Blue Ridge Parkway without a landscape architect. Grand Canyon without a staff geologist. Mount Rainier National Park without a volcanologist. Dinosaur National Monument without a paleontologist.

National Park Visitation Debate -- Here We Go Again

Did you hear the latest story about national park visitation? It's being threatened by computers and video-games.

Cycling at Haleakala National Park Given "High Risk" Rating

Haleakala Bike Tour; 'neofunkboy' via Flickr.
Bike riding can be as dangerous as climbing Mount Rainier or horseback riding in the Rockies? That's the preliminary finding by a National Park Service team that assessed the risk of commercial cycling at Haleakala National Park.

U.S. Sen. Coburn Runs Poll On Whether "Concealed Carry" Should be Allowed in Parks

When last we left U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, it was believed that he was going to introduce an amendment to legalize the carrying of loaded weapons in national parks. Now he's taking a poll on that question.

Snow Forces Mount Rainier Officials to Close Road to Paradise

Thirteen feet of snow is a pretty good winter for most folks. At Mount Rainier National Park, they received 13 feet of snow in 11 days!

National Park Service Claims to Have Added New Map Feature to Web Sites

National Park Service officials say they've added a new, "high resolution," map feature to each park's web site. Has anyone seen it?

Modeling Mesa Verde National Park With Lasers

Time is constantly a threat to Mesa Verde National Park. As it passes, and brings with it erosion and earthquakes, the park's ruins are at risk of collapse. But a new laser technology is providing the park with, in essence, blue prints of the ruins.

Venturing Into the Backcountry of the National Park System

Now, even though the snow continues to pile up in various parts of the country, is the time to begin planning your backcountry escape into the national park system.

Costs to Rebuild Glacier National Park's "Sun Road" Skyrocket

Skyrocketing construction costs are threatening the ambitious rebuild of Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road, with latest estimates for the job at least $100 million more than initially thought.

What Are Your Priorities For the National Parks?

In the past few days there have been posts about threats non-native species pose to national parks, about rafting permits for the Grand Canyon, and about the president's proposed parks budget. And yet the post that far and away has gained the most attention explored whether we should allow concealed weapons in the parks.

President's 2009 Budget Proposal Lacking for National Parks

President Bush has sent to Congress a proposed 2009 budget for the National Park Service that continues to cannibalize the agency at a time when it can least afford it.

Grand Canyon National Park Opens Lottery for 2009 Non-commercial River Trips

If you've long wanted to run your own trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, now's the time to get your application in. Grand Canyon National Park officials are accepting lottery applications for 2009 non-commercial trips through February 27th.

National Lakeshores Threatened by Non-native Species

Loons, mergansers, cormorants and other waterfowl are dying by the thousands in the Great Lakes due to an invasion of non-native species that are threatening to turn the lakes' ecosystem upside down. At Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore even piping plovers, a threatened species, are dying.
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U.S. Senator To Make Bid to Allow National Park Visitors to Carry Guns

Why would a doctor be determined to provide more access to guns in the country? U.S. Senator Thomas Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, will try to do that by introducing an amendment that would bar the Interior secretary from enforcing the current ban on carrying weapons in the parks.
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How Will the President's 2009 Budget Proposal Treat the Park Service?

On Monday the president is scheduled to release his budget proposal for the 2009 fiscal year. What will be interesting to see is whether he continues to show some love for the National Park Service.

Erosion Forces Temporary Closures of Two Trails in Grand Canyon National Park

Erosion crafted the Grand Canyon, and so it's not terribly surprising that erosion has forced park officials to temporarily close or limit travel on two trails until repairs can be made.

Master Craftsmen Restoring 18th Century House That Survived the Civil War

Somehow, the eight-room house survived the Civil War battle that swept across the Wilderness battlefield in Virginia. Now, master craftsmen are working to see that it survives the test of time.

Kids Think Highly of Our National Parks

Judging from the winners in the National Park Foundation's 2007 Junior Ranger essay contest, school children across the country think a lot about our national parks.

‘Study Group’ Meets to Determine fate of Yellowstone National Park’s East Entrance

Yellowstone National Park officials met earlier this week with several representatives from Wyoming to discuss the options at their disposal for bombing snow-covered mountain slopes in our nation’s first national park. Why? To keep it clear of avalanche danger for the handful of snowmobiles and snowcoaches that enter the park through Sylvan Pass on the park’s east side each day during the winter season.

It's Time to Book Your Summer National Park Vacation

It's only January, the Super Bowl has yet to be played, and the Rocky Mountain states are up to their necks in snow. Sooooooo, it must be time to book your summer national park vacation.

Strange Bedfellows: The National Park Service and the American Recreation Coalition

It's nice to have your cake and eat it too, isn't it? Of course it is. But it's not always appropriate, is it? Take the National Park Service. One of its main jobs is to preserve beautiful places. Can it adequately do that if it cozies up to industries that pollute those places?

Is Mining Threatening Our National Parks in Alaska?

The history of mining in Alaska has left a legacy of pollution and other harmful negative impacts to our lands and waters, including those now protected within our National Park System. While some of these old mines are now being cleaned up, others are creating new problems.

Despite All the Talk About A Bountiful NPS Budget, Not All National Parks Doing Well

We've heard lots about how bountiful the National Park Service's 2008 budget is thanks to the Bush administration. Well, don't let that talk make you think all is great across the park system.

Winter Visits to the National Parks

Planning a national park visit during the winter months is not as easy as it might seem. Do you pack your long johns, or your swimsuit?

Send A Bison Valentine To Your Sweetie And Help Yellowstone's Herds

I've got to hand it to the Buffalo Field Campaign, the group that doesn't believe shooting bison is a smart way to manage Yellowstone National Park's bison herds. The folks there are always thinking of innovative ways to raise money for their efforts.