Archive List

Hikers in Grand Canyon Resort to PLB To Save Themselves

Personal Locator Beacon
More and more, modern technology allows us to save us from ourselves. A perfect example occurred earlier this week in the Grand Canyon, where hikers beaten down by the heat used a “personal locator beacon” to save themselves. The help, incidentally, came from across the country in Florida.

The Essential Grand Teton

The Tetons are the focal point of their namesake park.
Grand Teton National Park holds up western Wyoming's border, soaring to nearly 14,000 feet. While the young crags with their snowfields hold your eye, there's much more to do in this park than grab a rope and ice axe and climb to the roof.

Mount Rushmore Recreated in Cheese

Mount Rushmore depicted in cheese. AP Photo/The Post-Crescent, Michael P. King
In case you've been wondering, this is what Mount Rushmore would look like if it were cut from Land O' Lakes cheese and not the granite of South Dakota's Black Hills.

Audio Adventure - Solo Hike through Denali

Dirtbag Diaries podcast by Fitz Cahall
Engaging audio program about a solo hiking trip in Denali National Park in which the hiker (a photographer) encounters unexpected challenges on his way back to civilization.

You Want How Much For That Campsite?!?

Ahh, you have to love Americans' capitalistic tendencies. I mean, where else can you spit in the face of someone hoping to enjoy a low-cost stay in a national park by reserving a $20 campsite in Yosemite National Park and then putting it up for auction for $249 on Ebay?

Congressman Calls for Investigation Into Fort Hancock Deal

One of the old buildings at Fort Hancock in need of restoration.
A congressman from New Jersey, calling the Park Service's handling of a lease of three dozen historic buildings at Fort Hancock a "debacle," wants a federal investigation into the matter. Representative Frank Pallone called for the investigation Monday in a letter to the Interior Department's Inspector General.

Be Careful Celebrating the Fourth of July

Heading into the long Fourth of July holiday, fire managers across the West are keeping their fingers crossed that folks are careful when they head into the national parks, national forests, and other public lands. The landscape is, as they say, tinder dry, due to unseasonably dry and hot conditions.

Leatherback Turtle Nests on Cape Hatteras

Whether it's the result of climate change or simply a growing and expanding population of leatherback turtles is for the scientists to determine. For now, just the fact that a leatherback turtle has left a nest of eggs on a beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore is pretty exciting news.

Concessionaire News

After 80 years, Carlsbad Caverns National Park has replaced the Cavern Supply Company. And, at Write Brothers National Memorial, air tours departing from a nearby airstrip have been canceled indefinitely.

Why Is The Park Service Bending Over Backwards For Developer?

Why is the NPS so determined to help a developer who lacks financing?
National Park Service Director Mary Bomar months ago promised that the agency would improve its business savvy. And yet, her agency seems to be ignoring sound business judgment in its blind desire to see a developer who lacks deep pockets turn a portion of Gateway National Recreation Area into a commercial district.

Who is Gen-Y and Should the Park Service Care?

Computer animations can bring 18th-century cannon fire to life, but can they bring Gen-Yers to the national parks? Can an audiocast leading teens across a battlefield entice them enough to set foot in Saratoga National Historical Park? Can tracing a hike in Glacier National Park from the comforts of their homes convince this generation to beg their parents to visit Glacier on their next vacation? Those are questions that have more and more park managers searching for answers.
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No electronics, just an old-fashioned book that sparks youngsters' imaginations, is the driving force behind Tedrick de Bear's travels across the national park system. Teddy's Travels, America's National Parks, is an award-winning book by Trefoni Michael Rizzi that teaches kids a little something about the parks while they're enjoying them.

Alcatraz Event on YouTube

YouTube coverage of the ExpreScion event held on Alcatraz Island recently. I am struck by the comments of one participant who is troubled that a party is happening on a site protected for its past agony.

Congress Takes a Step Toward Restoring the Great Lakes

President Bush isn't going to like this. The House of Representatives has adopted an Interior Appropriations Bill that contains more money than he proposed for the agency. But would the president veto funding that would help clean up sewage in the Great Lakes and work to stop the spread of invasive, non-native species in the lakes?

Cast Your Vote for the Future of Gateway National Recreation Area

Should a unit of the national park system, once created, be redesigned? When the unit in question is Gateway National Recreation Area, the folks at the National Park Conservation Association think so. And they're asking for your input on how that makeover should be handled.

Great Smoky Trails Reopened

It took nearly a month, but all the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that were closed by the Buck Shank fire have been reopened.

Selling Scions by the Seashore

Toyota Scion
Alcatraz Island was used for a special private party on Saturday with the purpose of marketing the Toyota Scion to a youthful audience. Since when did the Park Service decide that 'car lot' was an appropriate use for our public lands?

Glacier's Sun Road Could Be Open End-to-End on July 1

It's been a long time coming, but Glacier National Park officials are cautiously optimistic that they'll be able to open the Going-to-the-Sun Road from end to end this coming Sunday. That, of course, is barring any unexpected torrential downpours or snowstorms.

Your Chance To Help Guide Everglades' Future

What comes to mind when you think of Everglades National Park? What sort of experiences would you want to encounter when you visit the park? How should the lands within the park boundaries be managed? Should powerboats have unlimited freedom? Should there be more designated wilderness? These are some of the questions you can provide input on as Everglades officials chart the park's next 20 years.

The Political Blotter

Too often politics and management of the national parks are entwined. Doubt it? The fingerprints of Vice President Dick Cheney are all over the Yellowstone snowmobile fracas, as well as on failed efforts to safeguard the park's famed cutthroat trout populations.

Welcome to the National Parks Traveler 2.0

Logo, National Parks Traveler
Welcome to National Parks Traveler 2.0, which is a significant upgrade from the original version launched in August 2005 that we believe will provide you with even more value from the site.

Is the Everglades Out of Danger?

Is "almost" good enough when you're talking about the health of a World Heritage Site such as Everglades National Park? Apparently the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne think so. On Sunday, UNESCO officials voted unanimously to remove the Everglades from its "sites in danger" list.

Let the Bidding Begin

There's an interesting poker game under way in Washington, D.C., and the national parks are right smack dab in the middle of it. The question, of course, is who will blink first?

Paying to Enjoy The Parks

A National Park Service lifeguard watches visitors; NPS Photo
How much would you pay to hike a trail in Shenandoah, or Great Smoky Mountains or Sequoia? What do you think is a reasonable fee to take a dip at Cape Cod or Cape Hatteras national seashores?

Hawaii Volcanoes Displaying its Geologic Might

Hawaii Volcanoes; USGS Photo
Things are rockin' and rollin' at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where new vents have been spewing hot lava for much of the past week. While witnessing these geologic machinations in person would be pretty cool, park officials are urging visitors to take special care in some sections of the park.

Senate Appropriations Committee Backs Snowmobiles in Yellowstone

1997 Arctic Cat ZR 580 snowmobile
What do the National Park Service hierarchy and members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee know about snowmobiles and their impacts that Yellowstone's scientists, the Environmental Protection Agency, and seven former NPS directors don't know?

Repairing Rainier: A Question of Values

Road repairs in Mount Rainier National Park; NPS Photo
While park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga wants to rebuild a section of the road, the storm redesigned the Carbon River, in some places sculpting deep pools valuable to bull trout, a species protected by the Endangered Species Act.

A Modern History Of Public Lands Mismanagement

What's become of our public lands, you wonder? Why has there been so much pressure in recent years to drastically rewrite the National Park Service's Management Policies? What was the point behind a congressional committee's review of the National Park Service Organic Act?

Mammoth Cave Ferries Docked Due to Low Water

Green River Ferry at Mammoth Cave National Park; NPS Photo
Rainfall at Mammoth Cave National Park this year has been so low -- 10 inches below normal since the start of the year -- that the Green River is too low for the Green River Ferry and Houchins Ferry to operate.

Yosemite Fee Hike Spiked

A Twenty Dolar Bill
Under pressure from the gateway towns surrounding Yosemite, Director Bomar agreed to spike the proposed increase in the park's entrance fee, from $20 to $25.