For Contrarians, Winter Is The Perfect Season To Hit The Road To The National Parks

Winter is not the season to leave the rig in the driveway. Across the National Park System there are wonderful places to explore while half the nation is locked in snow and cold.

Birding In The National Parks: The Birds No One Seems To See

I’ve spending an awful lot of time thinking about the birds no one sees. That’s not something birders, or anyone, ponders often. We like to think about our lists, talk about the birds we’ve seen and the ones others have seen that we just missed. We don’t talk about the birds that no one ever sees, mostly because we don’t know anything about them.

Essential Winter Guide '14: Winter Doesn't Have To Be An Off-Season

When it comes to construction skills, male Anhingas are slackers. Oh, they’re good at pulling together nesting materials, but that’s about it. Instead of turning the sticks, twigs, and leafy greenery they collect into a nest for their mates, they stash the materials in trees and let the females build the actual nest.

"To Conserve Unimpaired...", Unless Told Otherwise By Congress

Students of National Park Service history are well-familiar with the National Park Service Organic Act, particularly the section of it that reads that the agency's primary mandate is, "....to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein..." But there should be a caveat inserted, one that permits the agency to look away from that mandate.

Judge Asked To Reconsider Certain Aspects Of Big Cypress National Preserve Addition Lands Ruling

A coalition of conservation groups that came out on the short end of a ruling pertaining to off-road vehicle use in the Addition Lands section of Big Cypress National Preserve has asked the judge to reconsider four aspects of his decision.

Op-Ed|The National Park Service And Wilderness: 50 Years Of Neglect

After 50 years, you would expect that the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), which administers the largest inventory of wilderness in the world, would have the best wilderness management program in the world. But, you would be very wrong.

Friends Group Sends Nearly $200,000 To South Florida Parks For Programs

Nearly $200,000 is flowing to four south Florida national park units to help underwrite habitat restoration, protect wildlife, and support visitor programs.

UPDATED: Court Upholds National Park Service Decision To Put Recreation Above Preservation

A ruling on off-road vehicle access at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida supports the park's expansion of ORV routes in lands eligible for wilderness designation and that serve as habitat for endangered and threatened species is seen by some as chipping away at the longstanding mandate that the National Park Service prioritize preservation over recreation.
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Big Cypress National Preserve To Limit Secondary Off-Road Travel Indefinitely

Environmental organizations are claiming a victory over a settlement that will indefinitely close some off-road vehicle trails in Big Cypress National Preserve until officials can complete their Backcountry Access plan.

Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory

As part of its backcountry access plan, Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida will also conduct a wilderness eligibility assessment for lands within the original boundaries of the preserve.

Mile Marker 63 Rest Area In Big Cypress National Preserve Back In Business

After nearly $9 million worth of improvements, the rest area at Mile Marker 63 along Interestate 75 in Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida is back in business.

Winter's A Great Time To Star Gaze At Big Cypress National Preserve

Winter might seem too cold to set outside to star gaze, but it's the perfect season at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, where special astronomy programs are on tap in the coming months.

Information Sought On Apparent Shooting Of Florida Panther In Big Cypress National Preserve

Authorities are investigating the apparent shooting death of an endangered Florida panther in Big Cypress National Preserve.

Guided Ranger Tours, Educational Programs In Florida National Parks Underwritten By South Florida National Parks Trust

More evidence of the value of national park friends groups can be seen in Florida, where the South Florida National Parks Trust is underwriting environmental education programs, ranger-guided tours, and resource protection projects in the parks.

Hunting Season At Big Cypress Preserve Extended Due To Government Shutdown

To offset hunting days lost in Big Cypress National Preserve due to the closure of the National Park System, the National Park Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have agreed to extend the hunting seasons in the preserve.

Camping Fees Increasing At Big Cypress National Preserve

It's going to get a little more expensive to camp in Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, where new fees will take effect October 1.

Butterflies Native To South Florida Most Likely Extinct

Two butterflies native to South Florida are most likely extinct, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Python Challenge 2013 Results Offer Help For Florida Parks – And Bad News For Pythons

The results of Python Challenge 2013, a multi-agency effort that offered cash prizes to promote the removal of non-native Burmese pythons from the greater Everglades area in southern Florida, are now in the books. Although the end result was bad news for exotic pythons, winners included the successful hunters, scientists and parks—and three lucky snakes.

Big Cypress National Preserve Facing Lawsuit Over Off-Road Vehicle Networks

National Park Service officials are facing a lawsuit over off-road vehicle access in Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, where opponents say preserve officials are over-reaching with trail networks.
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Everglades National Park's Wading Birds Nesting Success Falls Far Off Average

South Florida, including Everglades National Park, has seen a precipitous decline in nesting success among wading birds, according to a report by the South Florida Water Management District.

Florida National Scenic Trail To Turn 30 In 2013

The Florida National Scenic Trail will mark its 30th anniversary during 2013, and a special event is scheduled for January 4 to dedicate the trail's Southern Terminus with a monument at the Oasis Visitor Center in Big Cypress National Preserve.

When Ordering The "Everglades Pizza," You Might Want To Hold The Python

The "Everglades Pizza" might be the rage in some parts of Florida, but before you sink your teeth into the pie with frog legs, gator meat, and ground python, check where the python came from, because the big snakes slithering through Everglades National Park are incredibly high in mercury.

South Florida Snake Hunt Aims To Dent Population Of Pythons Slithering About The Everglades

A python hunt, with cash rewards, will be held in south Florida beginning in January and running into February with hopes of denting the population of non-native pythons slithering around the Everglades, though the national park will be off-limits to most hunters.

National Park Service Urged To Follow The "Precautionary Principle" In Overseeing Cultural, Ecological Systems In The Parks

Can the National Park Service more fully embrace the "precautionary principle," the concept that it err on the side of "science-informed prudence and restraint," as suggested by Revisiting Leopold: Resource Stewardship in the National Parks?

How Have National Parks And Public Lands Fared Under The Obama Administration?

With the Obama administration nearing the end of its first term, it has a track record for its stance on public lands in general and national parks specifically, and it's not as rosy as many conservationists had hoped for when the president came into office.

Wolf Trap Foundation For The Performing Arts To Present Face Of America: Spirit Of South Florida

Inspired by graceful herons, crawling insects, and even alligators, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is focusing on south Florida's national parks in its latest edition of Face of America.

Scientific Panel Calls On NPS To Recommit To, And Reemphasize, Science In The Parks

A year-long review of how wildlife management and other sciences are studied in the National Park System has produced a call for the National Park Service to both recommit its staff to the sciences and to reemphasize science in the park system.

Federal Court Tosses Out ORV Plan For Bear Island Unit Of Big Cypress National Preserve, Says Park Service Acted Without Reason

A federal judge has ruled that the National Park Service acted without sound reasoning in 2007 when it reopened more than 22 miles of off-road vehicle trails in Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida and ordered that the routes be closed before month's end.
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Birding In The National Parks: Top 10 Birding Spots In The National Park System

Spring migration is winding down across much of North America, and it’s time for birders to relax and reflect. I’ve been contemplating happy thoughts such as where I would go if given an all-expenses paid birding trip to any U.S. National Park in the next 12 months. No one has offered this to me yet, but I made up a list in my head.
One Night in the Everglades (Long Term Ecological Research) Much time is spent wondering how to connect today's youth with national parks, how to instill a life-lasting bond between these wondrous places and younger generations, to give them places to enjoy and appreciate, and to nurture tomorrow's stewards. Laurel Larsen, with the help of Joyce Mihran Turley, make strides in that direction with One Night in the Everglades.