Parks in the News

Eight Years After 9-11, National Park Service Lacks Adequate Security Approach, According to GAO Report

Despite years' old concerns that terrorists might strike at iconic units of the National Park System, the National Park Service's approach to security is haphazard, inefficient, and ineffective, according to a Government Accountablity Office report.

U.S. House National Parks Subcommittee To Consider Red Rock Wilderness Act Legislation

Legislation scheduled to be taken up Thursday by a U.S. House subcommittee wouldn't create any national parks if passed, but it would go a long way toward providing some serious buffer zones around four national park units in Utah through the creation of officially designated wilderness.

National Park Service, Advocacy Groups Reach Settlement Over Merced Wild and Scenic River Litigation in Yosemite National Park

After years of at-times acrimonious ligation, a settlement was announced Wednesday between the National Park Service and advocacy groups over development in the Yosemite Valley and how it might impact the Merced River, a wild and scenic stream. It's an agreement that could substantially redefine the human impact on one of the most scenic valleys in the world.
YOSE-Merced_Settlement.pdf1.62 MB

Wintry Weather Knocking Down Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park

A burst of wintry weather Wednesday greatly dampened the Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park, where fire crews were demobilizing while others worked to reopen a section of the Grand Loop Road that had been closed by the fire.

Lost in Time: A Manuscript From Horace Kephart, A Driver Behind the Designation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Horace Kephart is best-known for his role in raising public support for what became the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and as the author of two non-fiction books that have become classics. Tucked away for 80 years was a literary surprise: the completed manuscript for a Kephard novel. It's just been published by the Great Smoky Mountains Association and the timing is appropriate: this year is the park's 75th anniversary.

Updated: Tsunami Waves Slam Into American Samoa and National Park of American Samoa, Leaving Death and Destruction in its Wake

A series of tsunami waves triggered by an earthquake in the South Pacific slammed into the U.S. territory of American Samoa shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday, local time, killing nearly three dozen islanders and reportedly demolishing the headquarters and visitor center of the National Park of American Samoa.

Arnica Fire Continues to Burn in Yellowstone National Park As Weather Begins to Turn

A wildfire ignited by a lightning strike continued to burn Tuesday in Yellowstone National Park, though an approaching storm front could provide much-needed moisture to knock it down.

Coalition Calls for Sen. Feinstein's Rider Extending Life of Oyster Farm at Point Reyes National Seashore To Be Stripped

Some push-back has surfaced against U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein's efforts to see oyster farming continue in an area of Point Reyes National Seashore that has been destined for official wilderness designation.
PORE-Feinstein_Rider.pdf61.46 KB
PORE-Rep._Dicks_Letter.pdf168.48 KB

New Exhibit at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Features 100 Paintings of NPS Areas

Painting of Grand Canyon
In you live in the St. Louis area or will be visiting Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (the "Gateway Arch") between October 1 and December 1, here's a chance to enjoy a free exhibit of 100 paintings of 45 different NPS areas. The works were winners in the 2009 PaintAmerica competition.

Missouri Man Dies in Fall From Cliff at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Bushwhacking across landscapes can be dangerous, particularly if the footing is steep and covered with talus -- areas of loose rock. At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a Missouri man died when he slipped while crossing a talus slope and fell 70 feet into a shallow arm of Lake Powell.

Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park Surpass 9,000 Acres in Size, Travel Pinched

A predicted storm can't reach Yellowstone National Park fast enough to blunt a wildfire that as of noon Monday had reached 9,300 acres in size and had forced the closure of the road between West Thumb and just south of the Lake developed area.

Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park Blows Up to More than 8,000 Acres

Dry, windy weather pushed the Arnica fire in Yellowstone National Park to more than 8,000 acres Sunday, with spotting starting small fires within 1 mile of Bridge Bay on the west side of Yellowstone Lake.

An Analytical Look At The National Parks: America's Best Idea

As The National Parks: America's Best Idea rolls out this week, it leaves in its wake many, many reviews and critiques. In his assessment, Dan Lenihan finds only a few faults with the 12-hour mini-series on national parks.

Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park Now Covering Estimated 1,200 Acres

A lightning-sparked fire in Yellowstone National Park is now covering an estimated 1,200 acres and is impacting traffic flows in the park.

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis Puts Priorities on Workforce, Relevancy, Stewardship and Education

Jon Jarvis, having been waiting in the wings for months, not surprisingly comes to the directorship of the National Park Service with a set of priorities that revolve around his employees, relevancy of the national parks, stewardship of their natural, cultural, and historical resources, and public education.

Another Cellphone Tower OKed for Kings Canyon National Park

One of the last act's Jon Jarvis took as director of the National Park Service's Pacific West office before moving to Washington as the agency's director was to approve the erection of a cellphone tower near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.

Backcountry Fire in Yellowstone National Park At 250 Acres and Growing

A backcountry fire ignited by lightning in Yellowstone National Park is up to 250 acres and growing in the direction of the Grand Loop Road, prompting firefighters to take to the air with water-dropping helicopters.

It's Official – Senate Confirms Jonathan Jarvis as Director of the National Park Service

Jon Jarvis
After weeks of political shenanigans that had nothing to do with Mr. Jarvis himself, the Senate has finally confirmed Jonathan Jarvis as Director of the National Park Service.

Want a Horse? Theodore Roosevelt National Park Will Auction About 90 Wild Horses Oct 23

With too many wild horses on their hands, the folks at Theodore Roosevelt National Park have scheduled an auction for October 23 to sell about 90 head to the public.

A Conversation With Ken Burns on The National Parks: America's Best Idea

Ken Burns does not sit quietly during an interview. Highly animated, expressive with his hands and moving from sitting to squatting then back to sitting, the filmmaker is as entertaining as his projects. During an interview that lasted 30 minutes, maybe 40, he packed more into the discussion than space normally would allow in one story. So here's the transcript.

Ginseng Poachers Nabbed at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

apprehension of the plant poachers
Alert work by rangers at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park resulted in the apprehension of three men who were engaged in a significant ginseng poaching operation in the park.

National Parks Second Century Commission Releases Its Final Report

Second Century Commission Logo
What do a successful business executive, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian and a former Director of the National Science Foundation have in common? They're among the 28 distinguished members of the National Parks Second Century Commission, and after a full year's work, the group has just released its final report.

Going to Denali National Park? Check Ahead – the First Serious Snow of the Winter Has Fallen

Denali National Park scene.
September visits to Denali National Park and Preserve offer their own rewards, but it's important to check ahead about road and weather conditions. The park has reported the first significant snowfall of the season, and that has resulted in a few changes for travel in the park.

Major Sewage Spill Continues at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area after Recent Floods

Flooded picnic area.
Recent heavy rains in the Atlanta area have created plenty of misery for area residents, and cleanup at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area will take some time. Waters have receded, but the river remains closed to the public due to major problems from an ongoing release of raw sewage.

Backcountry Hiker Falls 300 Feet To His Death in Grand Teton National Park

A 24-year-old Pennsylvania man hiking in the backcountry of Grand Teton National Park tumbled 300 feet to his death on Teewinot Mountain.

Is Glacier National Park At Threat From Proposed Mining Operations in British Columbia?

Whether the health of Glacier National Park and its Canadian neighbor, Waterton Lakes National Park, is at risk from proposed mining operations in British Columbia is a question being probed this week by a team of international experts.

Mammoth Cave National Park Follows Ken Burns' Documentary With Its Own Film

Hoping to leverage the buzz over Ken Burns' 12-hour documentary on national parks, a public television station in Kentucky is preparing to release its own documentary, one focused entirely on Mammoth Cave National Park.

Two Historic Lighthouses at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Will Go Dark Next Week – But They'll Be Back

Ocracoke lighthouse.
The Bodie Island and Ocracoke Lighthouses have a long and fascinating history, but their familiar beacons will be missing from the nighttime views at Cape Hatteras National Seashore beginning September 28. Fear not, they'll both be back after renovation work is completed.

Body of Overdue Hiker Found in Remote, Rugged Area of Grand Canyon National Park

The body of a man whose wife reported him overdue from a hike at Grand Canyon National Park was found in a remote and rugged area below the North Rim.

Rockslide Repairs Completed, Weeping Rock Trail Reopens at Zion National Park

Rockslide on trail.
Fans of the Weeping Rock Trail in Zion National Park can rejoice. The trail, closed by a rockslide on September 2, is now open again for visitor use.
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