Parks in the News

Another Gettysburg Witness Tree is Lost

The bad news: Another Gettysburg witness tree has been felled. The good news: The wood harvested from this arboreal geezer will help raise money for the park.

Rock Slide Expected to Keep Zion National Park's Weeping Rock Trail Closed At Least Through Labor Day

Folks planning to head to Zion National Park this Labor Day holiday weekend will have to forgo a walk to the Weeping Rock, as a rockslide has closed the trail for the immediate future.

Being Prepared And Keeping Cool Leads To Happy Ending For Man Injured High In Rocky Mountain National Park

There's little worse than a successful summit of a classic Colorado 14er than suffering an injury on the way down. But thanks to being prepared and thinking calmly, an Illinois man will heal and no doubt notch many more summits following a tumble on the flanks of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

PFDs Are Proven Lifesavers. Should Boaters be Required to Wear Them?

Two men in canoe tipping over.
Personal flotation devices (PFDs), otherwise known as life jackets, are proven lifesavers for boaters—if they're properly worn. Should boaters be required to wear them? A recent incident at the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River confirms that's a good idea.

Illegal Guiding Service Busted in Zion National Park

Despite being warned about running an illegal guiding service in Zion National Park, a Utah man continued to do just that. Last month he paid the price when he was convicted for doing so.

Mammoth Cave National Park Finds "Sister Parks" In China

Geologically similar parks with strikingly different perspectives -- Mammoth Cave National in the United States and China's Shilin Stone Forest National Park, Libo Zhangjiang National Park, and Wulong National Park -- have signed sister park agreements that open up avenues for the sharing of research and management styles.

Yellowstone Park Foundation Campaign Aims to Furnish Bear Boxes in Campgrounds

Some of the most-read stories on the Traveler revolve around bears. Folks seem to love to hear about what bruins are up to, or are outraged when they're killed because they've become problem bears. Well, the Yellowstone Park Foundation is mounting a campaign to help the bears in Yellowstone National Park avoid the temptations of human food.

Yosemite National Park Employee Dies in Climbing Accident

A Yosemite National Park wildlife biologist has been killed in a climbing accident in the park's backcountry.

Cape Lookout National Seashore Marking Lighthouse's 150th Birthday With Juried Art Exhibit

For 150 years, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse has alerted mariners to the shoals off the North Carolina coast. Among the many events Cape Lookout National Seashore is holding this anniversary year is a juried art exhibit open to painters and photographers alike.

National Park Foundation, Armed With $500,000 Grant, Working To Bring More Minorities into National Parks

It long has been recognized that the National Park System appeals heavily to Anglo-Americans, and less so to minorities. Head away from the metropolitan areas of California and the East Coast and it often becomes more and more difficult to see many Hispanics, Asians, or African-Americans in the parks. The National Park Foundation hopes to reverse that trend through a grant program fueled with a $500,000 grant from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr., Fund.

Marine Sciences Group Renovating Historic Fort Hancock Building at Gateway National Recreation Area for HQ

Controversy was ignited when the National Park Service tendered a six-decades-long contract to a developer who wanted to turn rundown historic buildings at Gateway National Recreation Area into restaurants, B&Bs, and lecture halls. The same can't be said about a marine sciences group's renovations to another historic building at Gateway.

National Park Service Reaches Final Agreements To Obtain Land Needed for Flight 93 Memorial

A long, sometimes acrimonious, effort to secure land for the Flight 93 Memorial came to fruition Monday when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the government has reached agreement with all the affected landowners for the properties needed to build the memorial honoring those who died in the western Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001.

Great Smoky’s Highway 441 to be Closed Temporarily for 75th Anniversary Rededication Ceremony

Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441), the only highway crossing Great Smoky Mountains National Park between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, will be closed from sunset Tuesday, September 1, until late afternoon Wednesday, September 2.

Another "Inland Tsunami" Damages Facilities at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

damage to facilities
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in Washington State has experienced several impressive waves caused by large landslides on the adjacent shoreline. The latest occurred last week, when a slide-triggered wave damaged shoreline facilities at a park campground.

Officials Working to Ensure Recovery Of Endangered Fishes In Upper Colorado River Basin

A longstanding problem for fisheries in the Upper Colorado River Basin is the competing demands for water. It's needed for irrigation, it's needed to generate power, and it's needed, not surprisingly, to sustain fisheries. With drought a frequent visitor to the states of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, how that huge watershed is cooperatively managed is critical for all these demands.

Big Meadow Fire At Yosemite National Park Up to 4,382 Acres, Restricted Access Monday Along Tioga Road

The Big Meadow Fire in Yosemite National Park has grown to nearly 4,400 acres, and fire bosses plan to institute restricted access along the Tioga Road between Crane Flat and White Wolf beginning Monday and continuing indefinitely.

70-Year-Old Backpacker Airlifted Out of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Spam, fruit, and rainwater sustained a lost 70-year-old backpacker in Great Smoky Mountains National Park who was hoisted to safety Sunday morning by a Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter after being stranded atop an outcrop for the past week.

Here's a Handy Website For Following National Park Issues Concerning World Heritage Sites

Quite a few U.S. national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites, and they're often in the news. There's a handy website out there run by the National Park Service's Office of International Affairs that can help you stay abreast of issues involving this sites.

FAQs About the Out-of-Control Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park

Whenever something doesn't go according to plan, people understandably want to know what went wrong. And so the officials at Yosemite National Park have put together this list of frequently asked questions about what went awry with the Big Meadow fire -- a prescribed burn that quickly got out of control.

Proposed Power Lines at Everglades National Park Highlight Several National Issues

What would you think of a utility building a lengthy power-line transmission corridor through Everglades National Park on land that's highly valuable for restoring the "River of Grass"? And what would you think if such a project set a precedent that could jeopardize other National Park System lands across the nation?

Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park Now at 3,500 Acres, Some Evacuations Ordered

Fire bosses predict that it could take nearly two weeks before they'll have the Big Meadow Fire in Yosemite National Park contained.

Updated: Missing Backpacker Found in Good Condition in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A backpacker missing since Tuesday in the rugged backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been found in good condition but will have to spend another night in the woods, officials said Saturday afternoon.

Civil War Preservation Group Working to Save 93 Acres of Wilderness Battlefield From Development

In the wake of the decision by Virginia planning officials to allow Wal-Mart to build a Supercenter on hallowed ground next to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park comes word that a nearby 93-acre plot on the historic Wilderness Battlefield is on its way to being purchased by a historic preservation group.

Searchers Set to Resume Search For Backpacker Missing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Searchers who have been scouring parts of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in search of a missing backpacker hoped to be aided Saturday by dogs trained to pick up the human scent.

Wet, Rugged Conditions Make Search Tricky For Missing Backpacker at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Wet and extremely rugged conditions were hampering a search Friday at Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a 70-year-old backpacker who had been expected to return from a trip on Tuesday.

Updated: Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park Reopens Following Temporarily Closure Due to Rockfalls

dust from rockfall
The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park is known to travelers from around the world, but even an iconic park hotel has to defer to the forces of nature. The hotel was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after a series of rockfalls. Following a geologic assessment of the area, the hotel is scheduled to reopen Friday afternoon.

Yellowstone National Park's First BioBlitz to be Held on August 28 and 29

Researchers in Yellowstone.
Scientists from across the country have come to Yellowstone National Park this weekend for the park's first-ever BioBlitz. Visitors are invited to visit with researchers on Saturday afternoon, August 29th and find out about what they learned. Those results could be pretty impressive.

Prescribed Fire In Yosemite National Park Out of Control, More Than 20 Times Its Intended Size

A full-on assault is under way on a fire in Yosemite National Park that started out to be a prescribed burn of 90 acres but now has charred more than 2,200 acres.

Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park

The latest chapter in the battle against marijuana farms in national parks led to the temporary closure of Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park while rangers swooped in on a growing operation with an estimated street value of $20 million.

Bronze Spike Ceremony Marks Trail Completion at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

SCA volunteers.
How many hours of hard work by volunteers and student interns does it take to build a trail? In the mountains of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, the answer is: a lot. Visitors can now enjoy the result, following a ceremony which included the driving of a bronze spike to celebrate completion of the project.
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