Archive List

Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves

The comment period regarding a proposal to allow national park visitors to carry concealed weapons has been reopened.

National Park Quiz 10: Speak of the Devil

Is your toponymic acuity devilishly good? This week’s quiz will find out. Answers are at the end. It would be a sin to peek.

Climber’s Body May Remain Buried on Mount McKinley Summit in Denali National Park and Preserve

When a climber died on the Mount McKinley summit on July 4th, his companions buried his body in one of the least accessible places on the North American continent. It will probably stay there until at least next year, and might be left there for good.

Another Climbing Fatality Reported on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve

Just three days after an Illinois man died atop North America's highest mountain a second climber has collapsed and died on Mount McKinley.

Should Yellowstone National Park's Elk Herds Be Culled to Fight Brucellosis?

Are Yellowstone National Park's elk as charismatic as the park's bison? That's a good question in light of an outcry over brucellosis-infected Yellowstone elk that could lead to a culling of the park's elk herds.

Illinois Man Becomes First Climber to Die on Summit Of Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve

A 51-year-old Illinois climber who reached the summit of Mount McKinley has become the first mountaineer ever to die on the summit of the 20,320-foot mountain. Due to the danger involved in retrieving the body, Denali National Park and Preserve officials have opted to leave the deceased climber on the mountain at this time.
If you've ever wondered whether it's worth the trek to Biscayne National Park, watching this video surely will convince you to make the journey.

Will The Superintendent's Summit Chart The Path For The National Park Service's Next Chapter?

What does the future hold for the National Park Service and its wonderful system? It's a question worth asking as the Bush administration nears the end of its eight years in office, one that is particularly timely to ponder considering the Superintendents' Summit '08 that will be held at a Utah ski resort later this month.

National Park Service May Reopen the Statue’s Crown at Statue of Liberty National Monument

Public access to the observation deck in the Statue of Liberty’s crown has been banned since September 11, 2001, for safety and security reasons. In response to loud protests, Congress has ordered a study to determine if crown access can be made safe.

Cape Cod National Seashore: How Do You Define Historic?

Walter Gropius, founder of the influential German Bauhaus school of design, implored the managers of the brand new Cape Cod National Seashore to design facilities, such as visitor centers and bathhouses, with an innovative approach. Rustic cabin design found in Western national parks wouldn’t work here, but Modern design featuring modest scale and a light footprint on the land would.

Comment Period for Proposed Gun Rule Change in National Parks Extended 30 Days

Interior Department officials have agreed to extend through July the comment period on a proposal to allow visitors to national parks to carry guns.

Do You Care About Energy Exploration Near Our National Parks?

As energy prices creep steadily higher, there's a growing segment of America that believes short-term relief can literally be tapped from fossil-fuel resources in the Western states. But many of those resources are found on public lands that buffer national parks, national wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas, and their development could have dire consequences for those landscapes.

What do People Take Home from a Visit to Gettysburg National Military Park?

The Battle of Gettysburg, a famously important Union victory, ended 145 years ago on July 3rd. We can more clearly appreciate what happened at Gettysburg by visiting Gettysburg National Military Park and trying to understand the battle as a human experience, not just a mammoth clash of arms.

Yellowstone National Park Sees Record Visitation in June

If you went to Yellowstone National Park in June, you weren't alone. The park saw record visitation last month as more than 610,000 folks made their way to Yellowstone.

Florine and Hirayama Regain the Nose Route Speed-Climb Record at Yosemite National Park

Two fiercely competitive speed-climbers have regained the Nose Route record the Huber brothers wrested from them on El Capitan last October. The new record for the Nose, a big-wall climb that normally takes three or more days to complete, is two hours, 43 minutes, and 33 seconds. While admirers rave, critics grumble.

National Park History: Renaming National Parks Can Show Respect for Native Cultures

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Pu'uhonau o Honaunau National Historical Park both celebrate birthdays in July. These two parks were renamed for cultural-political reasons, underscoring the importance of labels and the need to respect native peoples.

Senators Willing to Legislate Clean Air Over National Parks if EPA Does Protect Airsheds

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has gone on record with the director of the Environmental Protection Agency that they will find legislative solutions to provide clean air over national parks if his agency can't protect those airsheds.
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Mount Rainier National Park Ready to Open Sunrise For Visitors

If you're not interested in heading to Paradise, you can always go to Sunrise at Mount Rainier National Park. Located on the volcano's eastern flanks, the Sunrise area opens for the summer on July 3.

Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End

It took longer than usual, but the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park has been opened from end-to-end.

NPR on the National Parks

National Public Radio is on the road in the National Park System this week, visiting both iconic and obscure parks. But is there a chink in NPR's coverage?

National Park Quiz 9: The American Revolution

With the July Fourth celebration in the offing, we naturally turn our thoughts to national parks commemorating events and people associated with the struggle for independence. This week’s quiz accordingly focuses on the American Revolution. Answers are at the end. No peeking, please.
Northern elephant seals are huge marine animals, with males weighing more than two tons. Point Reyes National Seashore is a great place to view these animals, but not in summer. Rather, come either late or early in the year when the seals congregate on the seashore's beaches to breed and give birth.

Native Hawaiians Don’t Want a Giant Telescope on Their Sacred Mountaintop at Haleakalā National Park

Haleakalā National Park celebrates its 92nd birthday on July 1. Meanwhile, angry Hawaiian Natives continue their struggle to prevent the construction of a giant telescope atop their sacred mountain. The Park Service doesn’t like the project either.

Park History: Mammoth Cave National Park

Long before anyone thought of national parks, folks were heading down into Mammoth Cave to see the sights. And if you've ever visited this incredible underground labyrinth, you'd understand why.
Grizzly bears and wolves don't always get along, but as this video footage obtained by USGS researchers in Glacier National Park demonstrates, sometimes they will tolerate each other.

Park History: Olympic National Park

What is it that intrigues us so about Olympic National Park? To be sure, the park's multiple personalities are alluring. There aren't many national parks that can lay claim to not just sea coast and rain forest but also glacier-coated peaks worthy of mountaineering.

Park History: Would There Have Been a Mesa Verde National Park Without Virginia McClurg?

Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park celebrates its 102nd birthday on June 29. Mesa Verde's 4,000+ archaeological sites document a culture that flourished for centuries before the last generation abruptly and mysteriously abandoned its ancestral home. Did you know there might not have been a Mesa Verde National Park at all if it hadn’t been for Virginia McClurg?

Former NPS Director George Hartzog Passes

George Hartzog, long revered by many in the National Park Service for the way he managed the agency and defended the National Park System, has died. The seventh director of the agency and the first to be fired, passed away Friday.

“10 Best National Parks”? National Geographic, You Have Got to be Kidding!

National Geographic might be considered a gold standard authority on national parks. Why, then, is a hilariously flawed “10 Best National Parks” list included in a recently published National Geographic book? Is NG testing us to see if we’re paying attention?
Curious to see what it looks like when a bison tosses a visitor who gets too close in Yellowstone National Park? Check out this video.