The Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum - Fine Art Landscape Photography

Nov-Dec 2008 National Park News

Posted By: James Morrissey

Nov-Dec 2008 National Park News - 12/01/08 05:47 AM

Hi Everyone,

These are the headlines that I thought were interesting over the last couple of weeks. As always, if you see something, post it or send me a note for the next news letter.



When pristineness attracts the crowds: "Eco-resort" stirs debate in Maine
WINTER HARBOR, Maine - More than an hour's drive from the bustle of Bar Harbor and the well-trodden trails of Mount Desert Island lies a secluded part of Acadia National Park. Here, the loudest sound is the surf as it crashes against the craggy granite rocks of the Schoodic Peninsula.

Residents of Maine town want to keep stars in their eyes
BAR HARBOR, Maine - On a clear night, the Milky Way cuts across the sky and down to the horizon like a celestial lightning bolt, a giant, luminescent spear shrouded in a graceful veil of back-lighted stardust.


Banff's jewel-- the accidental ski hill
In 1981, Banff poet and mountain chronicler Jon Whyte wrote that downhill skiers notoriously have no sense of history--at least while they are being skiers.

Three autumn hikes in the Canadian Rockies
BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA — For beautiful blue-green lakes, snowy mountain vistas and fall foliage, Banff National Park can't be beat. Here are three trails to put on next fall's itinerary.

Banff: A winter star
Canada's Jasper and Banff National Parks shine in winter, when the chill draws skiers and explorers.

Death Valley:

Abandoned mines a deadly hazard on public land
Here in ghostly Skidoo, the holes and tunnels are everywhere, nearly a thousand of them puncturing mountains and cratering the desert. Cold winds blow through darkened shafts. Bats flutter in and out at twilight.

Death Valley: Winter’s Warm and Affordable Wonderland
f your ideal winter holiday includes bikinis over blizzards, golf clubs over ski clubs, and a suntan over a wind burn–not to mention savings over spending–consider California’s Death Valley National Park where hiking, swimming, golfing, and affordable fun are backed by temperate days and gorgeous eves.


It's first come, first served on McKinley
National Park Service initiates limit of 1,500 climbers

Judge says Iditarod winner guilty of moose kill in Denali
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A federal magistrate says four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race winner Jeff King is guilty of illegally killing a moose inside Alaska's Denali National Park.


Get close to alligators in the Everglades' Shark Valley Loop
The most exciting place to pedal a bicycle in Florida, if not the galaxy, is in Everglades National Park on the Shark Valley Loop. A bike path, it begins off the Tamiami Trail, halfway between Miami and Naples, and slithers 7 1/2 miles into the heart of the River of Grass. Then it circles back to where it began.

Two meetings bring fisheries conservation to forefront
Fisheries conservation moves to the forefront this week with rulemaking bodies meeting concurrently in Key West and in Wilmington, N.C.

GPS malfunctions cause Florida Bay problems
Some misread them, sometimes they misread

Volunteers enjoy helping to maintain Everglades National Park
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK - Retired Bell South training manager Dick Johnson stood in a remote wilderness campsite earlier this week , aiming the nozzle of a pressure washer at a wooden platform for a tent. A few yards away, his wife, Joyce, was scrubbing picnic tables, preparing for busloads of area elementary school students who soon will begin arriving for two-night stays through the winter.,0,17706.story


Charges to be filed for Glacier Park elk shooting
WEST GLACIER — A bull elk is dead and a young Flathead Valley man is awaiting charges in what appears to have been a poaching case in Glacier National Park.

Jenna Otter returns to scene of grizzly bear attack
Three years after her father got between her body and the bear's jaws, Jenna Otter agrees to join him on a hike to the spot in Glacier National Park.,0,7358562.story

Glacier coffee shop gets historic status
The Daily Inter Lake. It may be just a coffee shop, but now it has the distinction of being on the National Historic Register.

Glacier road in funding limbo
WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) - Reconstruction of Glacier National Park's historic Going-to-the-Sun Road will not be finished on schedule.

Proposed EPA rules may effect Glacier
Glacier National Park may have problems with air quality if new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules are passed.

Grand Canyon:

Grand Canyon park to close main North Rim road
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) - The main roadway leading to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is set to close for the winter on Monday.

Small fire at Grand Canyon National Park
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. (AP) - A small lightning-caused fire has been discovered on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Report: Bad practices led to plague death
A U.S. government wildlife expert at the Grand Canyon who died from the plague after touching a dead cougar wasn't properly supervised, an agency report said.

Grand Teton:

Perfect Landing: Snake River Landing a new commerce epicenter
Watch out Grand Teton Mall, you’ve got serious competition on the horizon. Snake River Landing, an ambitious multi-use development encompassing 400 acres between the Snake River and the I-15 is headed into Idaho Falls.

Slice of Americana amid autumn beauty
The American economy may be in a gloomy descent toward recession as the nation slogs through the final days of a bitterly divisive presidential election, but it was hard to find anything to say but "oooh and ahhh" during a 10-day fall road trip through two of those United States of America.

Cutting Pow with Fat Skis
My main mission for this ski season is to have as much fun as possible skiing everyday. This upcoming winter will be my fourth year skiing/living at one of the best places in the world, Jackson, Wyoming.

Elk refuge to release more hunting permits
The National Elk Refuge will release additional elk permits for both the north and south units from Nov. 16 through the end of the refuge elk hunting season on Dec. 5, refuge officials announced today.

Great Smoky:

Smokies' formation began 500 million to 600 million years ago
As the Great Smoky Mountains National Park prepares to celebrate its 75th year, students of history and geology are pondering questions that go back much farther than the park's creation in the 1930s. The most fascinating queries to them concern the actual formation of the mountains, their age and topography.

Andrew Johnson's life, legacy marked
It's not often that the celebration of the 200th birthday of a U.S. president and the 100th anniversary of a major landmark occur at the same time.

Tourists seeking snow frustrated by Smoky Mountain road closures
Snow has officially taken the place of leaves as one of the Great Smoky Mountains' main attractions.

Misc. Parks News:

BLM, Park Service at odds over drilling near Utah parks
A high-level fight has erupted within the Interior Department between the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service over plans to sell leases for oil and gas drilling near Arches, Canyonlands and Dinosaur National Monument.

Want To Learn How to Walk on Snow (Olympic and Mt. Rainier)?
If you've been paying attention, you checked out some new snowshoes on these pages last week. This week, you'll find out where you can learn how to use them.

Mount Rainier:

Volunteer brigade makes a difference at Rainier
Nearly 1,840 volunteers gave 70,130 hours of their time at Mount Rainier National Park this last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. That translates into $1.37 million worth of work, representing more than 10 percent of the park’s annual operating budget.

Highway 123 in Rainier National Park expected to open today (note, Nov 25)
Highway 123 in Mount Rainier National Park will open at noon after crews finish stabilizing the roadway following last week's washouts.


The spotted owl disappearing act
The number of spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest is dwindling. Some experts think an aggressive owl cousin, not logging, is to blame.,0,2327294.story

Washington's Olympic National Park makes a gorgeous, low-budget getaway
When the economy gets tough, it's time to get going on cheap trips.

Mass transit possibly in Olympic National Park's future
PORT ANGELES -- Olympic National Park will explore a federal grant to help fund mass transportation to various sites in the park -- including Hurricane Ridge for skiers.


Balancing Access, Protection
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK - Shenandoah National Park wants input on how to best protect pristine areas while still allowing visitors to enjoy them.

Saving a Civil War Legacy In Va.'s Shenandoah Valley
In 1762, the Huntsberry family settled the land along Redbud Run, outside Winchester, with a deed from Lord Fairfax. Eight generations later, Bob Huntsberry spent his summers there as a child, finding rusted Minie balls that had been fired from the muskets of Civil War soldiers. He grew up steeped in elders' stories of the day, late in the summer of 1864, when Union Gen. Philip Sheridan and 39,000 troops came marching in.

Hikers and Campers Are Damaging Terrain
The steady trek of hikers and campers is taking a toll on the craggy ridges of Shenandoah National Park.


In Yellowstone, cellphones, debate are heard
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - Natural forces over millennia created the geysers, peaks, and canyons that fascinate visitors here. But a newer feature is emerging on this stunning landscape - cell-phone towers.

YNP superintendent in Bozeman, touches on winter use controversy
The superintendent of Yellowstone National Park was in Bozeman Tuesday where she spoke to a packed room at the Museum of the Rockies.

Commission passes revision of wolf plan
Game and Fish officials hint that lawmakers might need to eliminate unregulated killing area.

View from the top at Yellowstone
Middletown residents Anne and Tom Cafiero stand at the Yellowstone River Overlook in Yellowstone National Park.


Rock threat danger closes part of Yosemite lodging
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — An unstable cliff prompted officials Friday to permanently close some cabins in a popular Yosemite National Park lodge complex that has a long history of rockslides.

Falling boulders endanger lives at Yosemite
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — For a decade, the National Park Service has known that the 3,000-foot granite cliff hanging over a tourist village at Yosemite is susceptible to colossal rockslides like one last month that crushed cabins and sent schoolchildren running for their lives.


Zion Park bus program will need additional money
On a busy summer day in Zion National Park, 16 propane-powered shuttle buses do the work that 5,000 cars once did.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - 12/04/08 10:38 PM

Update - 12/4/08

Glacier National Park:
Most Glacier Park roads closed
WEST GLACIER — Glacier National Park officials have restricted traffic on most park roads after heavy snowfall Tuesday.

Mount Rainier NP:
New pamphlet warns against feeding wildlife in national park
The pamphlet is filled with photos of some of the animals that call Mount Rainier National Park home.

Volcanoes National Park:
Park officials await branch of lava flow slowly approaching
A slow-moving tongue of molten rock that recently broke off from the main flow of lava on the Big Island is inching its way closer to the boundary of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and, not far from there, the Pacific Ocean.

Yosemite National Park:
Winter Getaway: Yosemite National Park
Whether coated in white snow or shrouded in stark winter gray, Yosemite National Park takes on a serene identity from December through February. Without summer crowds or hot sun, the park is prime for skiing, skating and quiet hikes to majestic sequoia trees—weather permitting. Suit up in waterproof attire, equip your car tires for icy conditions and prepare to be awestruck by the winter scene at Yosemite.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - 12/05/08 05:35 PM

Canyonlands NP:

Protests pour in against drilling leases:
Protests rolled in Thursday against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's upcoming oil and gas lease sale: Preservationists, conservationists, archaeologists, businesses, river runners, anglers and hunters criticized plans to allow drilling in some of Utah's most sensitive and popular public lands.

Miscellaneous Parks:
National parks can be wonderlands in winter
When bison snort out steam at Yellowstone, snow bunnies traverse Yosemite's slopes, and mosquitoes vacate the Everglades, it's nature's way of telling travelers to consider a counterintuitive winter trip to a national park.

National Mall will be open for Obama inauguration
In a change from tradition, the entire length of the National Mall will be open to the public during the upcoming presidential inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural committee announced Thursday.

National Park Foundation and National Park Service Present 85th Anniversary of the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree

Yellowstone NP:
Group seeks to reverse park snowmobile ruling
BILLINGS, Mont. » An environmental group wants a federal judge in Wyoming to dismiss his November order allowing up to 720 snowmobiles daily into Yellowstone National Park.

Yosemite NP:
Target shooter who sparked Yosemite fire sentenced
ReprintPrint Email Font Resize
Target shooter who sparked Yosemite fire sentenced
The Associated Press
Posted: 12/04/2008 07:00:28 PM PST

MARIPOSA, Calif.—A 29-year-old target shooter convicted of sparking a wildfire that burnt down 30 homes outside Yosemite National Park has been sentenced to 60 hours of community service.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - 12/07/08 02:23 PM

December 7, 2008 - Update

Cape Cod National Seashore
That old Cape Mod
Once slated for demolition, Modernist cottages in National Seashore in line for preservation

Misc. National Parks:
Guns will be allowed in national parks
Campers may now pack heat along with their sleeping bags when they travel to national parks.

Saguaro National Park
Our sunny winter wanderland
Desert hiking — like many other things in life — is all about timing. • Trek the Hugh Norris Trail in Saguaro National Park West on a blazing 108-degree day in June and you could end up feeling like a piece of meat coming off a steakhouse grill. • Ramble that same saguaro-studded trail on a 68-degree day in December and you might think you had landed in hikers' heaven. • The timing is right — now and for the next three months — to hike the many beautiful desert-elevation trails around Tucson. • From gentle, kid-friendly routes such as the Cactus Forest Trail in Saguaro National Park East to the steep Finger Rock Canyon Trail in the Catalina Mountains, our area is a winter-hiking wonderland.

Yellowstone NP:
Limited access to private property cited as elk movement contribution (not quite YSNP)
HELENA, Mont. - Access to private property during the hunting seasons has contributed to a change in elk movement patterns and brucellosis risk, according to the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - 12/08/08 04:31 PM

Just a couple of updates today:

Update December 8th, 2008:

Misc. Parks
Concealed Guns to be Allowed in National Parks (Same info reported on 12/7, BUT written from a slightly different perspective).
Visitors to U.S. national parks and wildlife refuges will be allowed to carry concealed weapons under an updated regulation (.pdf) announced on December 5 by the Department of the Interior (DOI). Under the new regulation, individuals will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in a national park or wildlife refuge only if they are authorized to carry a concealed weapon in the state in which the park or refuge is located and the state where the park or refuge is located allows guns in parks.

Weekend Window: Gwaii Haanas
In Awe of Gwaii Haanas National Park in Canada
In the chilly waters just south of the Gulf of Alaska and a few miles off British Columbia's western coast lies a smattering of pristine, nearly undisturbed land masses known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Yellowstone National Park:
Yellowstone-area grizzly deaths see uptick
POWELL - The number of grizzly bear deaths in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem increased markedly this year, but the population continued to grow.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - 12/09/08 06:58 PM

December 9th Update:

Joshua Tree NP:
Joshua Tree: ‘Layer up’ and other tips for winter camping
With camping options year-round, we Southern Californian campers have it pretty good. When the coast is too soggy and the mountains too snowy, we can head to the desert for gorgeous scenery, sunny days and starry nights.

Misc Parks:
Park Service Targets 100s Of Deer Near Camp David
Sharpshooters would kill more than 2,000 white-tailed deer over 15 years to curb tree damage in Catoctin Mountain Park, the federal woodland surrounding Camp David, under a National Park Service plan awaiting final approval.

Parks generate $485M for Utah
National study » Nonlocal visitors drive local economies.
tah's national parks enrich not only our souls but also the economy. Parks infuse more than 11,000 jobs and nearly $485 million into the Utah economy, says a new study. Nationally, the parks accounted for 188,000 jobs and more than $18 billion in economic activity.

Yosemite NP:
Frozen in time at Yosemite National Park
Skaters enjoy 80th season of Curry Village Ice Rink after delay.
YOSEMITE VALLEY -- The spectacular views of Half Dome don't include snow at the moment, but skaters are still seeing it daily as they glide on a famous piece of ice in Yosemite National Park.

New acting superintendent to head Yosemite
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif.—An interim superintendent for Yosemite National Park is scheduled to arrive within the next few weeks.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - 12/11/08 11:29 PM

12/11/08 Update

Misc. National Parks:
Historians fight proposed Wilder
ORANGE, Va. (AP) - Many of the nation's top historians are urging Wal-Mart not to build a 53-acre Supercenter complex near the Wilderness battlefield, the site of a pivotal Civil War skirmish.

Kalaupapa resident promoted park plan
Richard Marks lived out his life in a remote corner of Hawaii, but he had a global impact.

Yosemite NP:
Yosemite National Park’s Outdoor Ice Rink Opens for Winter Season
osemite National Park, CA – December 2008 – The brisk, fall weather in the Sierra Nevada mountain range heralds the annual opening of a Yosemite icon each November. The Curry Village ice rink in Yosemite National Park is one of the last remaining outdoor ice skating venues still operating in California. After much anticipation, it opened Thursday, November 27, on Thanksgiving Day, for the holidays and the 2008 -2009 winter season.

EPA Abruptly Backs Away From Proposals to Alter Air-Pollution Rules
The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday abandoned its push to revise two air-pollution rules in ways that environmentalists had long opposed, abruptly dropping measures that the Bush administration had spent years preparing.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - 12/14/08 01:22 AM

Update 12/13/08

Grand Teton NP:
Murie Ranch gets $30K in grants
The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole has awarded two grants totalling $30,000 for a trail from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center to the Murie Ranch and for improvements to some of the ranch buildings.

Yellowstone NP:
Commission supports bison plan
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - An arrangement allowing some Yellowstone National Park bison to cross a ranch just north of the park has been approved by Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - 12/15/08 04:42 PM

Update 12/15/08

Everglades NP:
Good news for Everglades: Interior gives Army $1 million for restoration
People who care about Everglades National Park, a major South Florida tourist attraction, received some good news on Friday, December 12, as one federal agency gave another $1 million to help restore the Everglades.

Outside the NPS System:
Gorillas caught in Congo's gorilla war
Past some of the greenest hills, poorest villages and roughest roads in Africa, a machete-wielding ranger hacks his way deep into the jungle until a canopy of giant ferns and bamboo eclipses the sun.

WA climber tells of brother's death fall
An Australian climber who watched his brother fall to his death on New Zealand's highest mountain thought he would also perish on the treacherous peak.

New Garden Route National Park gets stamp of approval
Garden Route - The proposal for proclaiming the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) was finally gazetted on the 21st of November and the proclamation of the Park is now only months away.

Fight for National Park of the East must be waged, Catholic Church says
SANTO DOMINGO.- The president of the Catholic Church’s Pastoral for Ecology and Environment said the case of the National Park of the East, the State must "wage the fight with all the authority because we cannot be at the mercy of the marketing of all these influence traffickers and money"

Yellowstone NP:
Yellowstone legal battle poised for next round
Group seeks dismissal of 720- snowmobile rule

Zion NP:
Author of new Zion book available to meet
SPRINGDALE - A new book on Zion National Park featuring over 200 historical photographs has been selling well at a Springdale bookstore and anyone interested in meeting the author will have the chance tonight.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: November 2008 National Park News - Updates - 12/17/08 06:30 PM

Dec 17th Update:

Great Smoky Mountain NP:

Declining park visits hurt WNC
Visitors spent more money in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding communities than in any other national park unit in the United States last year, according to a report released this month by the National Park Service.

Misc. Parks (Dept) News:

Park service marks 105th anniversary of NC flight
The National Park Service is hosting a celebration of the 105th anniversary of the Wright brothers' historic flight on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Yosemite National Park:
Tioga and Glacier Point roads close for winter in Yosemite National Park
The two main roads across the high country of Yosemite National Park closed for the winter season on Tuesday.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: Nov 08 NP News - Updates - 12/18/08 09:36 PM

Update December 18, 2008:

Arches and Canyonlands NP:
Environmentalists file 11th-hour lawsuit to block proposed lease sales in Utah
Reporting from Denver -- Environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday as a last-ditch effort to block the sale of leases for 110,000 acres of federal land in Utah that the Bush administration plans to auction off on Friday.,0,3382731.story

Lawsuit seeks to halt gas and oil drilling in Utah
Seven environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the federal Bureau of Land Management, hoping to stop the sale of leases to oil and gas companies on land in Utah that includes what some call the "world's longest art gallery."

Misc. National Park News:

National park supporters plan statewide fundraising push
The group, which financially supports the three large national parks in the state, hopes to raise more than $625,000. The money will be used to fund almost 20 projects and programs at Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic national parks.

Ocmulgee takes step to become national park
A proposal to turn the Ocmulgee National Monument into a national park took a big step Wednesday as a local authority committed money to the vision.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park:
ND park to take comment on elk options
The superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park says the park will take comments on proposals for controlling its elk herd.

Yellowstone National Park:
Winter brings Yellowstone wildlife close to road
We were expecting to see plenty of wildlife on a winter outing to Yellowstone National Park, but -- silly us -- we thought we might have to get through the entrance first.

Yosemite National Park:
Sierra winter wonderland
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK -- Visitors to the floor of the Yosemite Valley on Tuesday were pretty much contained to one intense photographer shooting the snow and ice-covered Merced River and a couple of thieving crows, but the sights in the national park were Christmas-card perfect.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: Nov 08 NP News - Updates - 12/19/08 08:16 PM

Misc. Parks News:
Expansion of Biking in Parks Is Proposed
DENVER — Mountain bikers, now barred from most backcountry areas in national parks, could have thousands of miles of trails opened up to them under a rule change proposed Thursday by the Interior Department.

Park Themes Get Nod for New Coin Series
Just as the 50-state coin program ends, and the year-long six-coin territorial quarter program begins, Congress has approved a series of National Park quarters to begin in 2010.

Yellowstone NP:
Bison get new access
State and federal agencies, after signing an agreement Wednesday in Montana, will begin tolerating some bison that wander out of Yellowstone National Park to winter range near the north and west entrances.
Posted By: James Morrissey

NP News Updates - 12/20/08 - 12/21/08 01:32 AM

Glenn Canyon National Recreation Area:
Fire at Glen Canyon marina destroys 20 boats
PAGE, Ariz. » The National Park Service says a fire at a remote marina in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has destroyed as many as 20 moored boats.

Misc. Parks News:
Utah oil drilling leases go fast -- fishily fast in some cases, authorities say
Reporting from Denver -- Bidders at a federal auction Friday snapped up oil and gas leases in Utah's red-rock country, despite a legal challenge that ultimately could prevent them from drilling there.,0,6269753.story

Impostor disrupts lands bid
Civil disobedience » U. student drives up bids, may face charges.
He didn't pour sugar into a bulldozer's gas tank. He didn't spike a tree or set a billboard on fire. But wielding only a bidder's paddle, a University of Utah student just as surely monkey-wrenched a federal oil- and gas-lease sale Friday, ensuring that thousands of acres near two southern Utah national parks won't be opened to drilling anytime soon.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: NP News Updates - 12/21/08 - 12/21/08 05:08 PM

Big Bend NP:
Big Bend's rugged beauty is a winter draw
Late fall and winter are the best time of year in the rugged desert land of Big Bend National Park. Moderate weather — the average daytime high temperature in December is a comfortable 70 degrees at park headquarters — allows exploration of the area’s often-sizzling lower elevations.

Death Valley
Death Valley Park struggling to keep its sky black
Light pollution from far-away Las Vegas now intrudes
High atop Dante's View, overlooking sheets of salt flats and ribbons of sand dunes, night watcher Dan Duriscoe shone a laser beam at the North Star and steadied his digital camera at the starry heavens.

Great Smoky NP:
Gatlinburg: Gateway to the Smoky Mountains
When the widow Martha Jane Huskey Ogle and her extended family arrived at the foot of east Tennessee's Smoky Mountains in the early days of the 19th century, things looked a little different. The majestic, verdant mountains, cut by numerous clearwater, boulder-strewn streams, and the host of wildlife living there were still the same, but the town of Gatlinburg was nonexistent.

When the name Ken Salazar comes up, most Americans would offer one response:

Misc. Parks News:
Bush Hearts Mountain Biking, Lifts Restrictions in National Parks
On Thursday, Assistant Interior Secretary Lyle Laverty ordered the National Park Service to ease existing mountain biking restrictions, possibly opening nearly eight million acres of recommended or proposed wilderness lands in approximately 30 parks to mountain biking.

Settling in: From subsistence farming to hopes for a national park
In the late 1780s, John Jacob Mingus and his family moved into Oconaluftee, a North Carolina valley that had been Cherokee territory for thousands of years. Among the first known white settlers of the area that would become the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mingus became a prosperous farmer and miller.

National parks still await tourist boom
You might think that fewer airline flights and higher air fares would mean more Americans taking road trips to the national parks.
Posted By: James Morrissey

NP News Update - 12/22/08 - 12/22/08 09:38 PM

Glacier NP:
Glacier National Park ready for winter
Winter has officially arrived in Glacier National Park as new-fallen snow has blanketed trails just in time for skiers.

Misc Parks News:
Massive task awaits Salazar at Interior
Sen. Ken Salazar has some homework to do.
If he's confirmed as interior secretary, he inherits a massive bureaucracy beset by perennial headaches, and some of the toughest issues are far outside his Colorado comfort zone.

Utah oil-and-gas auction marked by bogus bidder, Robert Redford and heated protest
More than 100 protesters outside a U.S. Bureau of Land Management oil-and-gas drilling lease auction Friday in Salt Lake City charged the federal government with selling off 164,000 acres of public land for private profit, potentially defiling some of the state’s most treasured national parks.

Mount Ranier NP:
Mount Rainier shows off new visitor center
Winter recreation provides only a tiny fraction of the annual visitation to Mount Rainier National Park, but on some days travelers would never know it.

Yellowstone NP:
Airport moves forward with pricey safety audit
Members of the Jackson Hole Airport board will go forward with a safety audit despite worries over a preliminary price tag that tops $700,000.
Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: NP News Update - 12/22/08 - 12/23/08 03:24 AM

Thanks for posting these links, they are very helpful!

Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: NP News Update - 12/22/08 - 12/23/08 03:55 PM

Thanks, Tony. I like the additional updates, and it seems that folks are reading it. So, that is a good thing. :P

Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: NP News Update - 12/23/08 - 12/23/08 04:04 PM

I guess that if one headline prevailed today, it would be to simply say it is really really cold out there. :P


Death Valley National Park:
Board Denies Off-road Vehicle Access to Death Valley National Park
A Unique Oasis in Southern California's Wildlands Protected Once Again
DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif.— The Interior Board of Land Appeals has denied yet another attempt by extreme off-road vehicle enthusiasts to gain access to Surprise Canyon, a rare, fragile desert stream in Death Valley National Park. This is the third failed attempt in the past two years by off-roaders to gain motorized access to the creek, which begins in Death Valley National Park and flows through an area of critical environmental concern managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management.

Haleakala National Park
Skip winter this year, visit Maui instead
It's only about half as big as Rhode Island, but it more than makes up for its size with diverse attractions running from beaches to scenic mountains.

Lake Powell National Recreation Area:
No signs of arson or dead fish after Lake Powell fire
Fire marshals investigating the blaze that destroyed 15 boats at Lake Powell found no obvious signs of arson, the National Park Service said Monday.

Yellowstone NP:
Sylvan Pass opens for winter season
Yellowstone's east entrance opened for the winter season Monday morning.

Winter warnings issued
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings above 6,000 feet until 6 a.m. Tuesday and winter weather advisories below 6,000 feet until midnight.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: NP News Update - 12/24/08 - 12/24/08 06:36 PM

Christmas Eve Update:

Glenn Canyon National Recreation:
Glen Canyon marina fire damage set at $3-5 mil
The National Park Service says last week's fire at a remote marina in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area destroyed boats and facilities valued at between $3 million and $5 million.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Video):
The sounds of the season fill the voggy air at the Kilauea Military Camp Theater inside the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Lassen Volcanic National Park
Storms close road through Lassen park, but feel free to bring cross-country skis
The highway through Lassen Volcanic National Park is snowed in, but the park itself is anything but closed.

Redwood National Park:
Redwood National Park looks to cut trees to improve forest
Redwood National Park is looking to nudge 1,700 acres of cut-over forest back toward what it once looked like 100 years ago.

Rocky Mountain National Park:
September 5, 1915: A park in the Rockies
Colorado acted on a passion for preserving its most cherished wild places even at a time when the state was still struggling to tame old frontiers.

Shenandoah National Park:
Identity of body released by police
The name of the Maryland woman whose body was found in the Shenandoah River in Harpers Ferry was released Tuesday by police.

Yellowstone National Park:
New hunt changes elk migration habits
Animals pick up on shift along their routes, take additional time to arrive on south end of refuge.
Jackson Hole elk migration habits have changed this year due in part to good forage, light snowfall and a new hunt on the south end of the National Elk Refuge, biologists say.

Avalanche danger closes YNP's east entrance
Just one day after opening for the winter season, the east entrance into Yellowstone National Park over Sylvan Pass has been closed to all traffic due to avalanche danger.
Posted By: James Morrissey

NP News Update 12/25/08 - 12/25/08 09:38 PM

Rocky Mountain NP:
Rocky Mountain National Park thankful for supporters
On behalf of Rocky Mountain National Park, I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks to all of those who supported the park this past year. We at Rocky are blessed to have a great staff, tremendous volunteers, and the strong support of our local communities as well as park visitors near and far.

Yellowstone NP:
Montana: Lawsuit Over Roaming Bison
Lawyers for Montana’s cattle industry asked a state court to block a new agreement that would allow more bison to roam freely outside Yellowstone National Park.

YNP reopens east entrance
The on again, off again status for Yellowstone National Park's east entrance over the Sylvan Pass continues.

Zion NP:
Off Off Road Use of Snowmobiles Prohibited in Zion National Park
Zion National Park Superintendent would like to remind park visitors that the off road use of snowmobiles in the park is strictly prohibited.
Posted By: James Morrissey

NP News Update 12/26/08 - 12/26/08 08:07 PM

12/26 Update

Great Smoky NP:
Smokies elk herd growing
CATALOOCHEE VALLEY – An eight-year long effort to reintroduce elk into Great Smoky Mountains National Park has nearly doubled the number of animals in the park, boding well for the great mammals' future in Cataloochee Valley.

Annual event celebrates greatness of the Smokies
Wilderness Wildlife Week marking its 19th year as park reaches its 75th
Wilderness Wildlife Week began 19 years ago as a half-day program held in a conference room at a Pigeon Forge motel.

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area:
River turbine roils the waters as officials fear for fish
An experimental turbine is being installed in the Mississippi River just downstream from Lock and Dam No. 2 in Hastings...With it, the city hopes to earn extra money by selling electricity to Xcel Energy.

Mount Rainier NP:
Forecast: Snowfall in the mountains, puddles in the lowlands
Skiers and snowboarders are in for a treat this weekend: Three feet of new snow is expected to fall in the mountains between this afternoon and Sunday. But anyone who hits the slopes should forgo backcountry excursions because the danger posed by avalanches will increase through the weekend.

Yosemite NP:
Pageantry in motion: Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite
Did you have Peacock Pie ready for Christmas dinner?
Posted By: James Morrissey

NP News Update 12/27/08 - 12/28/08 02:09 AM

Banff NP:
National park avalanche risk rising (Banff + Other Canadian NPs)
The avalanche danger for treeline and alpine terrain will rise to considerable by sunday for Banff, yoho and kootenay national parks, according to a Parks canada bulletin.

Glacier NP:
Huge stimulus package could help Sun Road
A stimulus package under consideration by president-elect Barack Obama aimed at getting the economy going again could provide needed money for Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Grand Teton NP:
Mead named chair of Grand Teton foundation
Jackson Hole resident Kate Mead will take over as chairwoman of the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, board members announced last week.

Misc. National Parks News:
Outlet eyed near Civil War battlefield
Historians up in arms
It's the Battle of Bookworms vs. the Big Box.
Preservationists and prominent historians are waging a dogged campaign against a proposed 138,000-square-foot Wal-Mart supercenter next to the Civil War's Wilderness Battlefield in Orange County, Va.

Olympic NP:
Low-budget beauty
Rugged Olympic National Park makes a gorgeous getaway
SEATTLE - When the economy gets tough, it's time to get going on cheap trips.

Zion NP:
Books: Historic looks at Zion National Park
Two illustrated photo books of Zion National Park are out just in time for Utah's first national park to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2009.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: NP News Update 12/27/08 - 12/29/08 01:49 AM

Big Bend NP:
Scaling Chisos Mountains a challenge worth trying
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK — Reaching the South Rim of the Chisos Mountains is like breaking the surface of water. First you gasp for air, and then you marvel at the grandeur.

Misc Parks News:
Families Ask Bush to Seize Land Parcel for 9/11 Memorial
It has been more than seven years since 20-year-old Deora Bodley and 39 other passengers and crew died in the fiery crash of United Airlines Flight 93, their hijacked plane disintegrating in a grove of hemlock trees outside Shanksville, Pa.

Small projects enriching S.F.'s Presidio
Thanks to a tactical retreat this month by Gap founder Don Fisher, there's now a chance to craft a large art museum that deserves to reside within San Francisco's historic Presidio.

Yellowstone NP:
Small earthquakes in Yellowstone
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) - The University of Utah Seismograph Stations report a swarm of small earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park.

Zion NP:
Snow-frosted Zion — Winter casts park under its magical spell
When morning temperatures hover around 20 degrees and even the Virgin River bottomlands are under a white blanket, with drifting snow and crunchy ice prompting the few drivers on the road to be extra-cautious, you know you are in Zion National Park at a special moment.,5143,705273258,00.html
Posted By: James Morrissey

Nat Park News 12/28/08 - 12/29/08 03:51 PM

Please note that we occasionally have been publishing some editorials. It just occurred to me that I should make a disclaimer stating that the views expressed in the clippings presented here do not necessarily represent our own thoughts...


Aransas National Wildlife Refuge:
Whooping crane count in Texas up to record 270
The whooping crane population has set another record with 270 of the endangered birds wintering on the Texas Coastal Bend.

Grand Canyon NP (Opinion Piece):
A chasm in funding
Grand Canyon National Park is a stunning example of the grandeur of America's public treasures. It's an equally striking example of the desperate shortfall in maintaining these assets.

Great Smoky NP:
Park plans urged to help boost economy
Group says projects would create 57,000 jobs, address critical needs
A new report by a park advocacy group urges Congress and the incoming Barack Obama administration to look no further than the national park system for projects that can help jump-start the economy.

Misc. Parks News
National Park sites lift local economies (note, we have published similar material before)
$11.8 billion boost, study finds
The country's national parks have become a valuable asset during the recession - drawing thousands of visitors and propping up local economies, a new study shows.

Rocky Mountain NP:
Denver, CO (AHN) - An avalanche in Colorado killed two snowmobilers Saturday afternoon.

Yellowstone NP:
Vice president defends his record
In an interview with the Star-Tribune last week, Vice President Dick Cheney spoke about his future plans, why his term in office has been so controversial, and the role his office played in keeping the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park open in winter. Cheney spoke with the newspaper from his home in Teton County, where he was spending time with family.

Yosemite NP:
It's California cold rush in Yosemite Valley
Walking along the snowy banks of the Merced River as it winds below cliffs, it's obvious why Yosemite Valley's original American Indian inhabitants felt they lived at the center of the universe.,0,4621346.story
Posted By: Don Edwards

Re: Nat Park News 12/28/08 - 12/29/08 09:47 PM


I know it's be posted before but wanted say it again anyway

Thanks for all you do in getting the park news out to us all it's much appreciated. I'm sure it's not as easy as it looks.

Posted By: James Morrissey

Nat Park News 12/30/08 - 12/30/08 06:21 PM

Thanks, Don. It is appreciated. They actually do take a bit of work, but I will admit that it is rewarding seeing how many times in a month the thread has been clicked upon. I plan on doing this every month, as time allows, from now on.

Posted By: James Morrissey

Nat Park News 12/30/08 - 12/30/08 06:42 PM

Misc. Parks News:
Looking ahead to summer trips to national parks
If you're thinking about a trip to a national park next summer, you may want to start researching your itinerary now. Campsites and cabins can be secured up to six months in advance at and the National Park Service has a wealth of free information online for individual parks.

Olympic NP:
Owls on Peninsula under pressure
PORT ANGELES -- The northern spotted owl is being driven off its territory by a larger, more aggressive cousin, say wildlife biologists.

Stones River National Cemetery
Historic Weathervane Towers Over Battlefield
A piece of history returned to its place high above the hallowed ground of Stones River National Cemetery as employees replaced a repaired weathervane atop the cemetery flagpole.

Yellowstone NP:
Gray wolves becoming star attraction at Yellowstone
More than 350 now roam the park
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. - It is a sunny winter afternoon, and Simond Raymond has a problem.
His flight home to Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland leaves this evening from Bozeman, Mont. But at the moment, Raymond is standing in the snow of the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park, 120 miles away.

Scientists eye unusual swarm of Yellowstone quakes
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third straight day Monday, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come. Swarms of small earthquakes happen frequently in Yellowstone, but it's very unusual for so many earthquakes to happen over several days, said Robert Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

Zion NP:
Under the Dixie SUN: Charting the Course of History
Zion National Park Begins its Centennial Year
One hundred years ago, a St. George man was working on a report that would forever change the course of Southern Utah history.
His name was Leo A. Snow and he was a United States deputy surveyor who had been detailed to survey Township 40 South, Range 10 West from Salt Lake City.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Nat Park News 12/31/08 - 12/31/08 08:17 PM

Great Smoky NP:
A 75th celebration
Will the new president come to wish Smokies a ‘Happy Birthday?
Millions come to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park every year. This year, 2009, will certainly be no exception as the park prepares to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the official proclamation that gave birth to the park.

Haleakala NP:
Nene killed on the road in Haleakala National Park
HALEAKALA — An adult nene was killed on the road at Haleakala National Park on Dec. 28. Motorists traveling to the park are asked to drive slowly and cautiously.

Mesa Verde NP:
Mesa Verde National Park: Protecting the Culture of Ancient Native Americans
The park has more than five thousand ruins from the time of the Ancestral Puebloan people. Transcript of radio broadcast: 30 December 2008

Misc. Parks News:
Brady Campaign Sues to Stop National Park Gun Rule
The new rule applies to rural and urban national parks. If it goes into effect on January 9, it would allow concealed firearms on the National Mall just eleven days before the Obama Inaugural Celebration.

Health perks of the park
Take a healthy holiday vacation and visit a park. Sure, parks are pretty to look at. And they make neighborhoods much more desirable. But according to the University of Glasgow study recently published in The Lancet medical journal, they can also do wonders for your health.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR (Washington Times): National parks, an American heritage
our article "National Park sites lift local economies" (Page 1, Monday) raises one of my long-standing pet peeves.
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