Once considered largely to be worthless, national parks today are economic engines that generate $26.5 billion for the nation's economy.
Impacts of climate change on the National Park System are such that it is "no longer ecologically viable to manage resources solely within park boundaries," according to a study that found parks "are overwhelmingly at the extreme warm end of historical temperature distributions..."
I write this from the south shore of Lake Superior, not far from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Two days ago, while casually birding the lakeshore, my wife Sarah spotted a Black-crowned Night-heron. That’s an extremely unusual bird to find as far north as the Superior shore.
Did you hear the news? National parks, those wondrous and scenic expanses of Nature's eye candy, those wild and rumpled landscapes that test your skills and will kill you if you're not careful and prepared, or maybe just in the wrong place at the wrong time, are boring. They've been transformed -- or, perhaps, kept since their creation -- as "drive-through museums."
Climate Change Poses Risks Of Flooding, Erosion, And Fires To National Park Units And Their Treasures
Treasures of history, culture, and natural beauty contained within the National Park System are increasingly at risk to the perils of climate change, with flooding and wildfire likely to sweep numerous park sites across the country, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Springtime is a great time to take photos in the national parks, but are you prepared for that task? Rebecca Latson has some suggestions for what you need to consider before heading off into the parks.
Summer arrives today at Everglades National Park, where the park staff has transitioned its operations to the summer hours.
On a windless morning, under the kind of flawless blue sky that always appears in ads for Florida vacations, our paddles send quiet ripples across the otherwise glassy surface of Chokoloskee Bay. As our two canoes glide past a signpost marking the Indian Key Pass water channel, two ospreys lift off from their nest atop the post and flap lazily over the water.
Rivers run fast and tumbling throughout the National Park System, there are streams with lazy meanders, and placid lakes perfect for dipping a paddle. This diversity poses a delightful dilemma when you have the urge to float and paddle. What follows is just a sampling of the experiences that await you, whether you have hundreds of watery miles under your paddle, or are looking for calm waters to take your youngsters.
“I get by with a little help from my friends,” sang the Beatles. When it comes to national parks, it had better be a lot of help. The National Park Service often struggles with funding. Now, with tighter budgets and more demands, friends groups are proving invaluable in helping out parks.
When capturing those landscapes and wildlife images in a national park, don't forget to throw in a few macro-type shots for good measure. Contributing photographer Rebecca Latson demonstrates different ways to achieve these "super" close-ups.
I spend quite a bit of time talking about Everglades National Park, and with good reason. I doubt there’s a birder in the country who would rank it out of the top five national parks in the country for birding. It’s that good.
What looks like a crocodile and moves like a crocodile, but doesn't belong in Everglades National Park?
You have to get wet to truly appreciate Biscayne National Park in South Florida. Gazing out across Biscayne Bay, and beyond Hawk Channel into the Atlantic Ocean, you can take in the expanse of the park’s surface, but none of the wonders that lurk beneath.
All throughout our National Park System there are waters perfect for paddling that range from placid ponds and lakes to tumultuous rivers filled with boulder-studded cataracts that require a careful eye and deft paddle. Here are some tips for staying safe on the water.
Roderick Nash's 5th edition of his seminal work, Wilderness and the American Mind, should serve as a reminder of the underlying value of nature in the raw, a value that shouldn't be trivialized.
Paddling down a river or across a lake in a national park setting is truly a wonderful, memorable experience, one that carries thrills and life-long memories. You can retrace the historic 19th-century journey of John Wesley Powell, or land on a lodgepole pine-studded shore where camp is set under swaying trees and the evening brings a vivid sunset.
Where can you paddle in the National Park System? What sort of paddler are you? Kayaker, canoeist, rafter? Options abound for all of you, as we explain in Traveler's Essential Guide To Paddling The Parks.
Much of the northern half of the country is locked into winter now, which makes it a perfect time to plan your birding trips for the rest of the year.
Everglades National Park officials are mulling an option to acquire a transmission corridor along roughly 7 miles along one edge of the park, and are collecting public comment through mid-March on the matter.
Beginning Saturday you'll be able to get a lift from Homestead, Florida, to either Everglades or Biscayne national parks courtesy of a partnership between the community and the two national parks.
Sit back for the next half hour and learn about efforts to rescue sea turtle hatchlings in the Florida Keys and the territorial habits of the Three-spot Damselfish in this production from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Everglades National Park and The US Environmental Protection Agency.
A popular day-use area in Everglades National Park that was scheduled to open this month will not due to budget shortfalls, according to park officials.
Essential Park Guide: Winter Doesn’t Have To Mean Cold, Snow And Ice During Your National Park Adventure
Cold, snow, and ice aren’t the only backdrops to a winter’s visit to the National Park System. There’s a flip side to the Glaciers, Yellowstones, and Mount Rainiers of winter park vacations. They’re found in the Caribbean, south Florida, and even Nevada and Arizona.
It was a (hopefully not) one of those once-in-a-lifetime visits to a far off national park, and I was flat on my back. That, however, was not all bad at Virgin Islands National Park on the Caribbean island of St. John, where basking under the February sun on the sugar-sand beaches in between snorkeling adventures is de rigueur. Preferably with a cool drink in hand and a rattan mat beneath you.
In the following video, produced by the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, the National Park Service’s Interpretive Development Program, and the NPS Climate Change Response Program, how climate change might impact Everglades National Park is examined.