Archive List

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.

Yellowstone National Park Bison Unhappy With Photo Shoot Tosses Pennsylvania Boy

A 12-year-old Pennsylvania boy has been hospitalized after a Yellowstone National Park bison, evidently perturbed that he was part of a family photo shoot, tossed the boy about 10 feet into the air.

Prescribed Fire in Grand Canyon National Park Now Out of Control

Best laid plans literally have gone up in flames in Grand Canyon National Park, where a prescribed fire has blown out of control. The Walla Valley Fire on the park's North Rim is burning across 225 acres and is just 15 percent contained. It's located about 9 miles west of the North Rim's developed area.

Park Advocates Rallying Around Theodore Roosevelt National Park

A friends group is forming to support Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The group, Friends of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, is holding an organizational meeting on Sunday, June 29.
Sweltering in another heat wave on the East Coast? Tired of the rain in the Midwest? Fed-up with wildfires in California? If you'd prefer snow, head to Glacier National Park. Check out this video to see how just much snow still remains to be cleared from Glacier's Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Celebrating Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road

It's an engineering wonder, one that not only delights, but also perplexes and confounds, both motorists and road crews. And today the 75th birthday of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is being celebrated. It's a time to both reflect on the history of this 50-mile pathway across the park's interior and look as well at the effort to rebuild it.
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Comment Period For Revised Gun Regulations for National Parks About to Close

Barring a last-minute change of heart, the Interior Department on Monday will close the public comment period on a proposal to allow national park visitors to arm themselves.
Ever wonder what bears do when we're not watching them? This remote USGS footage obtained in Glacier National Park shows how bruins scratch some of their itches.

National Park History: Prince William Forest Park Was a Top Secret Spy Training School

Virginia’s Prince William Forest Park became a national park in 1940 and acquired its present name 60 years ago this month. Many people know that the park offers solitude, scenery, and recreation. Most don’t know it was a top secret training school for OSS spies during World War II.

Recalling Yellowstone National Park's Historic 1988 Fire Season

No one realized it at the time, but when a lightning strike ignited a single tree in Yellowstone National Park's Lamar Valley 20 years ago, it was a dire harbinger of what would become a historic fire season.

Eight of California’s 800+ Wildfires Started in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Electrical storms of remarkable ferocity surged in from the Pacific this past weekend and started more than 800 wildfires in California. At least eight fires were started in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in Shasta County. Four fires still burning Wednesday are uncontained and expected to merge.

National Park Quiz 8: Firsts

There is a first time for everything -- every innovation, every event, every development, every activity, every you-name-it. The storied history of the National Park System is loaded with firsts. Take this week's quiz and see if you can be the first to answer all the questions correctly. Answers are at the end. No peeking!

Deal to Close Sugar Plant and Preserve 187,000 Acres Should Benefit Everglades National Park

In what's being called an unprecedented chapter in land conservation history, the state of Florida has agreed to buy 187,000 acres north of Everglades National Park and preserve the land to help ensure water flows into the park from Lake Okeechobee.

Oglala Sioux Just Might Reclaim Southern Half of Badlands National Park

The Oglala Sioux Tribe might regain exclusive control of 133,000 acres of tribal land that was incorporated into Badlands National Park and is being jointly managed with the National Park Service. If the tribe gets its land back it will establish a major precedent.

NPCA Report Offers Poor Grades For Protection of National Parks

If the National Park Service were graded on how it's managing the National Park System, its latest report card would reflect a mediocre student, one with poor attention to detail.

Mount Rainier National Park Officials Mulling Future of Carbon River Road

Heavy rains frequently wash out sections of the Carbon River Road in the northwestern corner of Mount Rainier National Park. In fact, the road has been closed since torrential rains destroyed sections in 2006. Now park officials are wondering whether they should even try to reopen the road to vehicles.

Park History: Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park celebrates its 40th birthday on June 28. Situated just a few miles south of Miami, and encompassing most of Biscayne Bay, it is one of the largest marine parks in the National Park System It is also an ecological treasure and a marvelous playground.

Creature Feature: The Pacific Treefrog

If you've ever heard a frog doing its “ribbet” thing anywhere along the Pacific Coast, it's probably been a Pacific Treefrog. And if you’ve ever seen one of these little critters up close, you know why many consider it one of the most fascinating of all the amphibians.

At Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio Trust Ponders Where to Put a New Art Museum

The Presidio Trust must decide where to put a new art museum to be built at the Presidio unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The donor-specified site is problematic, and some critics argue that the museum complex’s massive scale and modern appearance are incompatible with the Presidio’s historic milieu.

A Solution to the National Park Service's Funding Woes Lies Within Each of Us

A few weeks ago, a colleague and I were discussing the financial plight of the National Park System and I wondered aloud how it possibly could be improved. After all, this country has some enormous bills, starting with those from the Iraq war and running on down to Social Security and the national infrastructure, just to name the most obvious.

Director Bomar Suggests Special "Parks Edition" Mountain Bike

National Park Service Director Mary Bomar not only sees a "special bond" between her agency and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, but can even picture a special "parks edition" mountain bike.