Parks in the News

Electronic Portal to Open Great Smoky Mountains National Park To Schools Next Month

Rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park hope to take millions of school children on an adventure into the park next month.

What Now Becomes Of Fort Hancock At Gateway National Recreation Area?

A final decision by the National Park Service that ends an agreement to allow commercialization of historic military buildings at Gateway National Recreation Area leaves one question dangling: What now becomes of the steadily deteriorating buildings?

Adding to the National Park System: Here's One List Of Possibles....

Quite frequently there's talk about adding units to the National Park System. But where do you begin, and where do you draw a line? Well, it turns out the National Park Service has a cheat-sheet of sorts that touches on the timelines of studies into proposed units of the system.

Bad Timing: Road Closures Along the Blue Ridge Parkway During Leaf-Peeping Season

If you're planning to head on down the Blue Ridge Parkway from end-to-end this leaf season, you better read the following regarding road closures and detours.

Point Reyes National Seashore To Mark One-Year Anniversary of Wetlands Recovery

Landscapes can heal themselves if given the tools, which sometimes involve no more than removing litter and pollution. At Point Reyes National Seashore, a wetlands that once had been impacted by levees and dairy operations is luring river otters and even bald eagles just one year after it was restored.

Investigation Of Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Finds Cybertracks to Pornographic Images

A lengthy investigation into allegations that Gettsysburg National Military Park Superintendent John Latschar acted unethically in running the park found no wrongdoing, but it reportedly turned up thousands of instances in which the superintendent's computer was used to access pornographic images.
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Dr. Gary Machlis Has Ambitious Plans As Science Advisor to National Park Service Director Jarvis

It was almost a mantra of the Bush Administration's Interior Department: Best science will guide on-the-ground decisions in the national parks. Some will argue that former Interior Secretary Kempthorne and National Park Service Director Bomar never closely hewed to that pledge. But new Park Service Director Jon Jarvis hopes to put some teeth into that statement, and has hired a science advisor to help him accomplish the task.

Wilderness Designations And National Parks Don't Cross Paths Often Enough

Yellowstone. Canyonlands. Voyageurs. Grand Canyon. Great Smoky Mountains. Glacier. Surprising as it is, none of those parks has so much as a single acre of officially designated wilderness.

Dinosaur Tracks at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Deemed "Important Discovery"

Dinosaur trackway at Glen Canyon.
"Jurassic" isn't just a name from a movie, it's also a term for geologic formations known to contain evidence of dinosaurs. The discovery of a new site with dinosaur tracks at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is being described by scientists as "remarkable," and "an important discovery."

Houseboat Fire at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Injures Six

An effort to siphon gasoline between two containers led to an explosion that injured six -- including two with burns severe enough that they were flown to a Las Vegas burn treatment center -- and destroyed a houseboat at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Elk Herd at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Surpasses 100 In Number

Great Smoky Mountains National Park lures visitors with its rumpled, mist-cloaked mountains, its leaping streams, dense forests, and Appalachian history. The thrill of hearing a bull elk's bugle echoing off the mountainsides also is becoming a powerful lure, thanks to an elk recovery program that's developed a healthy herd of the iconic ungulates in the Cataloochee Valley and Oconaluftee areas.

"Short-Haul" Operation Used to Rescue Backpackers at Kings Canyon National Park

A "short-haul" operation, in which individuals are hooked onto a rope dangled beneath a helicopter, was used to rescue three backpackers from a ledge in Kings Canyon National Park.

Wolf Biologist Killed In Plane Crash in Denali National Park, Pilot Survived

A noted Alaskan wolf biologist has been killed in a plane crash in a remote area of Denali National Park and Preserve. The pilot, though he suffered burns, was able to walk out and alert authorities.

Cades Cove Loop Road at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Set for a Major Redo Next Spring

Cades Cove Loop Road
A popular drive in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is getting an overhaul next spring. Work will close the Cades Cove Loop Road but not other facilities at Cades Cove for about three months, and the project will use a method designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

One Way to Grow the Next Generation of Park Supporters

Participants in camping trip.
How do you grow the next generation of park supporters? One formula is a cookout, s'mores around a campfire, a ranger-guided hike complete with exciting wildlife sightings, and an overnight camping trip. Colorado National Monument recently used grant funding to make it possible for a group of youngsters to enjoy those classic outdoor experiences.

Potential Slide Forces Closure of Short Section of Blue Ridge Parkway near Ashville, NC

Blue Ridge Parkway in fall
Fall color season is a busy time on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but busy or not, officials at the Blue Ridge Parkway aren't taking any chances with the risk of a potential landslide on the scenic roadway. An emergency closure of a short section of the parkway near Ashville is in effect.

Plane Missing at Denali National Park and Preserve With Noted Wolf Biologist Aboard

An aerial search was under way Thursday across the northern half of Denali National Park and Preserve where a single-engine plane with a noted wolf biologist went missing.

Adventurous Teens Need To Be Rescued From Precarious Perch on Ledge at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

If you've spent anytime around cliffs, you probably can appreciate that climbing up is a lot easier than climbing back down. Well, for three teens and their mother at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, getting down required quick assistance from park rangers who were able to rappel down and safely get the four back on firm ground.

Updated: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Release Winter-Use Plan That Reduces Snowmobile Numbers

As expected, National Park Service officials Thursday approved a winter-use plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks that reduces snowmobile numbers in Yellowstone from past years. The intent is that this plan remain in effect for two winters while Park Service teams develop yet another environmental impact statement on winter recreation in Yellowstone.

"Red Tide" Prompts Visitor Advisory at Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island fisherman
Officials at Padre Island National Seashore are cautioning visitors about the occurrence of the natural phenomenon known as "red tide." The situation is causing a significant fish kill and officials are warning visitors about possible hazards to people and pets.

Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park

Searchers looking for three missing backpackers in Kings Canyon National Park spotted a trio of men matching the missing hikers' description perched on a ledge above Roaring River Falls around noon Thursday. Due to their location, rangers were working on a technical rescue to get the three off the ledge.

Standing Tall for 150 Years, the Lighthouse At Cape Lookout National Seashore Will Be Repaired and Reopened to the Public

It's no surprise that after 150 years the lighthouse at Cape Lookout National Seashore is in need of some repair work. Well, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has come up with nearly $500,000 to handle those repairs so the lighthouse can be reopened to the public.

Winter Reaches the High Country Of Yosemite National Park

Well, obviously not wanting to play second fiddle to the Rockies, which already has received its first snowstorm or two of the season, the High Sierra is showing off its wintry coat today. Check out this shot of Yosemite National Park from the webcam at the Tioga Pass Entrance station.

Search Under Way For Missing Backpackers in Kings Canyon National Park

A search is under way in the high country of Kings Canyon National Park for three young men who failed to return Monday from a planned 65-mile trek.

An Unusual View of the Arnica Fire That Burned in Yellowstone National Park This Past Summer

This unusual photo of the Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park was taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees

U.S. Forest Service managers in parts of Montana and Idaho are working to ban mountain bikes on landscapes that some day could merit wilderness designation, a move that isn't sitting well with the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Over at the National Park Service, meanwhile, officials have no intention of letting mountain bikers access lands eligible for wilderness designation.

It's Official: Picky Yosemite National Park Bears Prefer Their Meals in Minivans

Fuel economy, it seems, is just as important to black bears in Yosemite National Park as it is with many visitors. And so when the bruins shop for fuel, more and more they tend to find themselves munching out in minivans, according to a study published in the Journal of Mammalogy.
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Is It "Elitist" To Try to Visit All 58 National Parks?

There was a disconcerting column in the Utne Reader the other day, one that dubbed those who tried to visit all 58 national parks "elitist." "Determined," is one adjective that comes immediately to mind when talk turns to visiting all 58, but "elitist"?

National Park Service Looking For Ideas For Managing the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail

How do you manage a 3,000-mile-long historic trail that is largely water-based and touches three states? The folks running the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail are open to your suggestions.
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What to Do With the "Dune Shacks" At Cape Cod National Seashore?

They are simple structures, and "shacks" is no doubt a good way to describe them. Built more than a century ago to house members of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, these board structures hidden amid the dunes of Cape Cod National Seashore have taken on a second, or third, life as artists' roosts. But what should the national seashore do with them?
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