Archive List

Senators Introduce Legislation To Fund National Park Centennial Initiative

A bipartisan coalition of five U.S. senators has introduced legislation that would enable the government to fully fund the Centennial Initiative proposed by the Bush administration in honor of the National Park Service's upcoming centennial in 2016.
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National Park Centennial Fund Act.pdf53.08 KB

Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks

If you were Interior secretary, how would you respond if seven former National Park Service directors lobbied you on an issue? In the case at hand, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne is being urged not to allow national park visitors to carry weapons.
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NPS Directors-Guns.pdf93.94 KB
Bomar-Guns.pdf41.22 KB

GAO Finds Fault With Management Plan For Yellowstone National Park Bison

The other shoe has dropped in the Government Accountability Office's investigation into the management plan for Yellowstone National Park bison. In a biting report the GAO says the plan has been a failure on numerous fronts and the involved agencies need to come up with a better solution.

Park History: Isle Royale National Park

Journeying to Isle Royale National Park is almost as difficult as visiting a foreign country, perhaps more so, due to its remote location. An island fortress in Lake Superior, the national park has endured so magnificently in large part thanks to its remoteness.

Acreage Donated to Expand Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

With all the news of late about the National Park Service lacking money to buy important lands, it's nice to know that every now and then someone donates some land to the service. The latest involves 35 acres being added to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Who Visits Alaska's National Parks?

Even though the world as a whole is getting smaller and smaller, Alaska still manages to cast an image of being that rugged land far, far away to the north. And yet, quite a few folks are managing to head to Alaska to visit the national parks there.
Day Hiking: Mount Rainier National Park Trails Timing is everything in the publishing world. Sometimes it's a help, sometimes a hindrance. In the case of a new hiking guide to the trails of Mount Rainier National Park, the November 2006 storms that ravaged the park were a tad untimely.

Antietam, Monocacy Battlefields on 2008 "Most Endangered" List

Development pressures, cellphone towers, and mining threats are among the concerns that landed the Antietam and Monocacy national battlefields, a portion of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, and seven other battlefields on the 2008 list of "Most Endangered" Civil War battlefields.
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2008 Endangered Battlefields.pdf1.53 MB

Benefit Planned for Joshua Tree National Park

A benefit concert is planned for mid-April to raise funds to continue the fight against a dump proposed to be located next to Joshua Tree National Park.
Day Hiking North Cascades: Mount Baker, Mountain Loop Highway, San Juan Islands If you're interested in taking a day hike or two in North Cascades National Park, a new guidebook is on its way to bookstores. Though it spans much of northwestern Washington state and is not specific to the national park, Day Hiking: North Cascades offers a few opportunities in the park.

Congress Authorized Expansion of Petrified Forest National Park, But Forgot to Fund It

I've told you about private development and Valley Forge National Historical Park, and about private development and Acadia National Park, and about the National Park Service being so poor it has to turn to commercial interests to preserve history. So does it come as any surprise that Congress approved, but failed to fund, expansion of Petrified Forest National Park?

National Park Boundaries: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Where do you draw the line on national park boundaries? They long have been political creatures, with no regard to traditional wildlife corridors, viewsheds or, in some cases, common sense.
Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West Though most Americans hardly ever glimpse them, wild horses are synonymous with the American West. From John Wayne Westerns to The Electric Horseman, the iconic horse gallops across our memories, wild and free. But how did they arrive in the West? And how have we coexisted with horses?

Our Endangered National Parks

At Yosemite National Park, concern for a river led to a staggering court ruling against the National Park Service. At Grand Canyon National Park, fears of radiation have led to congressional action to protect the park. At Yellowstone National Park, the buzzing of snowmobiles has caused science to be overlooked.

FY2008 Budget Provides Seasonal Increases At Glacier National Park, But Hamstrings Other Operations

Siwftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo
The good news from Glacier National Park is that there will be more seasonal employees on the ground this year. The bad news is that cyclic maintenance projects will continue to suffer.

Appellate Court Rules Against Yosemite National Park

In a ruling that stands to have wide implications, a federal appellate court has ruled against Yosemite National Park officials and their Yosemite Valley plan. Today's decision, say park officials, not only will halt more than $100 million in construction work on the valley floor but could lead to visitation limits in the scenic valley.
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YOSE-9th Circuit Ruling.pdf129.76 KB

Encyclopedia of Life Debuts

Though not specifically about national parks, there's a new web portal out in cyberspace that I thought you not only would enjoy, but find useful. It's called the Encyclopedia of Life.

Decommissioning National Parks: Some History, And Some Ominous Clouds

My recent post on decommissioned national parks drew fairly good readership on the Traveler, but it garnered much more outcry on a private listserv delivered to retired National Park Service employees. Which spurs a number of questions, foremost among them being the obvious "Why?"

Virgin Islands National Park: Another Park Threatened By Inbounds Development

Valley Forge National Historical Park isn't the only unit of the national park system threatened by development on private lands that fall within its borders. Far from it. The latest case involves Virgin Islands National Park, where development on roughly 1,400 privately owned acres within the park's borders is harming the park's resources.

Group's Lawsuit Says Wolves, Not Bullets, Should Control Elk at Rocky Mountain National Park

Wolves, not bullets, should be used to cull the elk herds that move through Rocky Mountain National Park, according to a lawsuit filed against the Interior Department and National Park Service.
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WildEarth Guardians-ROMO Wolves.pdf33.99 KB

Valley Forge: Once Again A Battleground, This Time Pitting History Against Development

More than two centuries after General George Washington and his Continental Army somehow endured a bitterly cold and exacting winter at Valley Forge, the landscape is again in turmoil. On one side is a national historical park, one that helps preserve the memory of America's birth. On the other, an organization whose questionable motives could sully that landscape.
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VAFO-ARC Briefing Statement.pdf16.75 KB
VAFO-ARC Implications.doc134.5 KB

Whatever Became of the Decommissioned National Parks?

Once upon a time, there was a national park unit centered around fossilized plants. And there was another -- the country's second national park -- that was located on an island in Lake Huron. But no more.

Missing Cavers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ill-Prepared

Four spelunkers who found themselves stranded in a cave in Great Smoky Mountains National Park were ill-prepared for their adventure.

Missing Cavers Found At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Four cavers, said to be inexperienced, were found wet and cold but uninjured Friday in a cave in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Mount Vernon, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Proposed To Become World Heritage Sites

A remote cluster of islands near Hawaii and George Washington's Virginia home, Mount Vernon, have been proposed by Interior Department officials for World Heritage Site designation.

Vacation Options In Yellowstone, Olympic, and Mesa Verde National Parks

There are chick flicks, and now even chick national park retreats.

Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?

Would you avoid a visit to Grand Canyon National Park if you had to drive past a uranium mine to reach the park?

Paper Calls For Park Service To Protect Wildlife From ORVs on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

A North Carolina newspaper has, figuratively, tossed some gasoline on the simmering dispute over the National Park Service's failure to produce an off-road vehicle management plan for Cape Hatteras National Seashore. In an editorial the Raleigh News and Observer says the Park Service is deferring to ORVers to the detriment of wildlife.

Evacuation Plans Prepared For Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Due to High SO2 Levels

A substantial surge in sulfur dioxide gases being vented in the Halema'uma'u Crater at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has prompted park officials to prepare an evacuation plan. For now, though, trade winds and rain seem to be safely dispersing the gases.

Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies

With all the debate lately over whether visitors should be allowed to carry weapons in national parks, much has been said about the need for protection against wild animals, bears in particular. Well, studies show bear spray is a much more effective deterrent than a speeding bullet.
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USFWS Bear Spray vs. Bullets.pdf50.36 KB