Parks in the News

Third Year of Fisher Recovery Program Begins At Olympic National Park

They might not be the economic draw that wolves are to Yellowstone National Park, but fishers seem to be taking to Olympic National Park just about as favorably as the larger predators did to Yellowstone in their recovery program. This week a third batch of the cat-sized predators will be set free in Olympic to build on two successful years of a recovery program designed to repopulate the park with fishers.

Looking Back Two Decades On Managing The Greater Yellowstone Ecoystem

It’s almost funny sometimes to look back at commotions that were made about relatively small things within a bigger picture. Twenty years ago, a controversy erupted over a mere term and a concept that now, in hindsight, makes all of the resistance and wasted time marshaled by politicians to stop it, seem rather silly. And yet, it marked a turning point in the region that includes America's mother of national parks.

Key Partner Groups at Yosemite National Park Announce Merger

Yosemite Falls.
In today's world, non-profit "partner" groups play an increasingly important role in providing funding for a variety of activities in many national parks. Two key players at Yosemite National Park have announced they are joining forces and merging into a single organization.

Updated: Big Bend National Park Draft Wilderness Proposal Draws Attention For Road Corridors

Big Bend National Park officials are drawing up a wilderness proposal that could come into play if someone in Congress proposes wilderness legislation for the park. While many have been calling for officially designated wilderness in the park, the proposal is drawing some concern for the wide buffer zones it would create for roads. Park officials, though, maintain the wide corridors are needed to address such things as archaeological and paleontological sites as well as flash-floods.

Grand Teton National Park Researchers Keeping an Eye on Pikas

Climate-driven change in mountain ecosystems is readily visible across the National Park System. In Glacier National Park rivers of ice are shrinking, in Rocky Mountain National Park bark beetles are ravaging forests, and in Yellowstone National Park atypically warm stream waters in summer are stressing fish. To better gauge the climate's impact on pikas in their park, Grand Teton National Park biologists are working to establish baseline data for these tiny creatures.

Colorado National Monument Hosts Park Manager Delegation from Mongolia

Mother Nature doesn’t give a hoot about international park exchanges. When a Mongolian delegation recently visited Colorado National Monument, they were greeted by minus-four cold and foot-deep snow. This didn’t deter them, their TNC sponsors, or the park staff.

Disappointing Visitation Trend Spurs Elimination of Entrance Fee at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

The National Park Service hopes that the metaphorical turnstile at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park will spin faster now that the park’s entrance fee has been abolished, but broad cultural trends auger against a return to the halcyon days.

Ice Blamed for Partially Derailing Grand Canyon Railway Locomotive, No One Hurt

A buildup of ice on the tracks was blamed for partially derailing a locomotive pulling a passenger train to Grand Canyon National Park. No one was hurt in the incident, and buses were summoned to take the 70 passengers the rest of the way to the park's station.

Superintendent Named for Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Karen Taylor-Goodrich, who has spent the past six years as the National Park Service's associate director for visitor and resource protection, is heading West to become superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, Park Service Director Jon Jarvis announced Monday.

New Mapping Shows Depth Of "Hot Spot" That Fuels Yellowstone National Park

Detailed mapping shows the "hot spot" that fuels Yellowstone National Park's geothermal features is more than 400 miles deep, and might have been responsible for volcanic activity in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho 17 million years ago.

'Tis The Season For Birding Across the National Park System

Birds are usually the last thing on people’s minds during the Christmas holiday season. Between traveling, get-togethers, presents and New Years, who has time to think about wildlife? The National Audubon Society hopes that you will! This holiday, join tens of thousands of naturalists around the country to monitor the health of birds in the United States in general and in the national parks specifically.

Winter, A Season of Discontent When It Comes to Travel in Yellowstone National Park

Lone Star Geyser and skiers.
There are times during the hardest of Rocky Mountain winters, when the mercury slides far below zero, that Yellowstone Lake’s heavy mantle of ice grinds and groans under the pressure of shifting flows. Snow can fall so deeply on Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming’s northwestern corner that workers at times must clamber onto the rooftops of lodges and cabins to shuck off the fluff so it doesn’t collapse the roofs.

New Trail Crew at Colorado National Monument was Shovel-Ready

The new trail crew at Colorado National Monument.
Like most parks, Colorado National Monument has a lot of trails that can use some work. In 2009 the park had its first trail crew in decades, and visitors can already enjoy the results of some projects that were ready for pick and shovel.

New Coalition Brings Groups Together to Push for Water Stewardhip in Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, Everglades, and Puget Sound

There was a news event earlier this week that seemed to sail under the radar, but it's something to keep an eye on. A large coalition of groups has come together to lobby for the waters that flow through Everglades National Park, the parks and lakeshores that dot the Great Lakes and touch the Chesapeake Bay, as well as many other watery ecosystems across the country.

Lack of Snow Could Hamper Winter Season Kickoff in Yellowstone National Park

While it's been mighty cold in the Rocky Mountains these past few weeks, there's been a shortage of snow, and that could greatly affect the opening of the winter season in Yellowstone National Park.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Officials Concerned Over Indiana's Plans for Seawall

Plans by the state of Indiana to build a hardened stone seawall along a portion of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore don't sit well with lakeshore officials, who cite a number of problems, including the lack of permits from the National Park Service and requisite environmental studies.

Gold Strike Just North of Glacier National Park Another Concern for Park's Environmental Health

Copyright Joe Riis/ILCP
A gold strike in the rugged mountains of British Columbia just across the U.S.-Canadian border from Glacier National Park is yet one more concern for the park's environmental health, which already is being threatened by another mining project eyed in the same general area.

Interior Secretary Calls For More High Colorado River Flows Through Grand Canyon National Park

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is calling for more high-flow releases of the Colorado River down through Grand Canyon National Park and believes they can be done to benefit the national park's resources while also meeting energy and water needs.

The New River Raisin National Battlefield Park Highlights One of the Bloodiest Conflicts of a Seldom Mentioned War

In January 1813, a British and Indian force destroyed an American army on the north bank of the Raisin River in southeastern Michigan. Now a new national park will commemorate one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812.

Ecologists at Point Reyes National Seashore Testing Ways to Restore Native Dune Grasses

Ecologists at Point Reyes National Seashore this month are experimenting with ways to remove non-native vegetation that is invading the habitat of native dune plants such as Tidestrom’s lupine.

Tough Times or Wanton Poaching Along the Blue Ridge Parkway?

The sour economy has created tough times across the country. Whether that was behind an apparent poaching incident along the Blue Ridge Parkway is hard to say.

Dark, Starry Skies Above National Parks Celebrated by Posters, Forthcoming Book

Some of the best star gazing can be had in national parks. Proof of that can be found at Natural Bridges National Monument, Yellowstone National Park, Big Bend National Park, even Acadia National Park. Those and other park settings are celebrated in a series of night sky posters issued in conjunction with the International Year of Astronomy.
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Wind Cave National Park Plan Calls For Culling Elk Herd To Between 232-475 Animals

A mixed bag of tools -- hunting outside the park, roundups and sharpshooters inside the park -- will be available to Wind Cave National Park officials as they work to reduce their 750-head elk herd to possibly as few as 232 animals, according to a management plan recently approved.

“Festival of Christmas Past” at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

music group at last year's event
An upcoming event at Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers the combination of Smoky Mountain culture and a holiday celebration. The 34th annual "Festival of Christmas Past" will be held on Saturday, December 12 at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.

Could the Diminutive Pika Succeed Where the Polar Bear Failed In Battling Climate Change?

During my six-month internship with the Student Conservation Association, I had the opportunity to collect data for a field study on the habitat effects of climate change. Our crew of four searched for pikas while backpacking along the rocky slopes of California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada. We came to understand several traits of the pika that could make this elusive alpine mammal an important ally in the movement to stop climate change.

National Park Lodging Rates, On Average, Stay Ahead of Inflation

Regular guests of national park lodges have undoubtedly noticed persistent increases in room rates. Although we no longer have the receipt, it seems that we paid $225 per night during our 1996 stay in Yosemite National Park’s Ahwahnee for a room that now goes for approximately $500 per night. It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that during the past decade lodging rates in national parks have risen faster than the Consumer Price Index.

A New Exhibit at Ellis Island Tells the Story of the Lenape, the People Who Were There First

A new exhibit at the Ellis Island Museum sheds light on a seldom-noted fact; when Henry Hudson discovered New York Harbor, the Lenape were already there.

Old Ironsides Has New Duties

You probably knew that the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and a premier attraction of Boston National Historical Park. But did you know that “Old Ironsides” is also America’s Ship of State?

National Park Service Hires Software Company to Help Track Emergency Medical Data

It's good to know that the National Park Service has hired a software company to track data related to search-and-rescue incidents. Let's just hope their work is a little more accurate than their press release.

Interior Secretary Praises Groundbreaking of Tamiami Bridge, Effect it Will Have on Everglades National Park

The groundbreaking Friday for a 1-mile-long bridge along the Tamiami Trail is a key step toward reviving the Everglades, according to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
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