A long April weekend spent exploring Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument revealed the wondrous nature of this arid Sonoran landscape that prompted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to set it aside as part of the National Park System 80 years ago, and underscored the incalculable worth of the Antiquities Act that enabled him to do so.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Throughout the past century, the NPS has excelled at providing opportunities for adventure, beauty, and shared experience. Looking forward, I challenge the agency to embrace its role in providing a place where the global public can step outside the social trappings that obscure their vision in everyday life in order to address the most challenging social issues of our day.
As the snow continues to pile up in the Rockies, thoughts not surprisingly turn to warmer settings, and Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona is a great place to explore in early spring. Wildflowers are coming up, temperatures are warming, but not too hot or too cold, and crowds seemingly have gone elsewhere.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in far south Arizona will see a small boost in its entrance and camping fees beginning this October.
Critics Say Legislation Penned In The Name Of Homeland Security Could Trample National Parks, Other Federal Lands
Legislation written with the intent of bolstering homeland security wouldn't succeed at that, but could trample national park lands and other federal acreage, according to critics.
New units to the National Park System, a face-off over concession fees at Grand Canyon National Park that impacted nearly a quarter of the park system, and even the basic relevancy of national parks were among the top stories of 2014 involving the park system.
There's an oasis at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, one where birds and wildlife are drawn for a drink and where prehistory is measured. It's one where, until just recently, the public was largely prevented from traveling due to dangers created by illegal border crossings.
Fire danger in the Southwest has gotten so bad that a ban on campfires is being implemented in a handful of national park units, including Saguaro National Park and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
Just in case I wasn’t aware that I very badly need to do more birding in the Southwest, a copy of Birding the Southwestern National Parks by former Park Service employee Roland Wauer arrived in my mailbox. Now I find myself checking plane fare to Las Vegas, El Paso, and Los Angeles. This may be one of the most expensive book reviews I’ve ever written.