Denali NP:
State to sell off Healy coal plant
$50 MILLION: Facility being sold to Fairbanks utility has been idle 8 years.
The state will sell the "clean coal" power plant at Healy to a Fairbanks electric utility for $50 million, settling years of legal wrangling over an expensive white elephant that's sat idle since 2000.

The Rigors of Research in the Cold
Rod Boertje knew it was getting cold when the National Park Service took the dogs inside. Boertje, then a graduate student in wildlife biology at the University of Alaska, was doing a study on caribou in Denali National Park in the early 1980s. Park rangers, saying it was too cold for the sled dogs that had brought Boertje to his study area, mushed the dogs back to a warm kennel. Boertje stayed behind, watching caribou to see what they did in the winter. He's one of a few scientists who have done field work in Alaska on the coldest days of winter.

Grand Teton NP:
Ray and I had spent the better part of two hours breaking trail through deep snow to get to a climb when the final 100 yards stopped us. All we had to do was cross a slope to reach the start of the rock and ice route that we coveted. But the snow was fresh and unconsolidated; the avalanche potential significant. We dug a pit to examine how well the various layers of snow had bonded. The pit wall collapsed like the town drunk. We headed back to the car.

Misc. Parks News:
Hawaii park visitors down nearly 15% in December
Hawaii’s national parks saw 14.7 percent fewer visitors in December, down from 400,571 in 2007 to 341,556, according to monthly data from the National Park Service.

Yellowstone NP:
Yellowstone bison could go to Wyo Reservation (previously reported)
BILLINGS — Forty-one bison that have wandered out of Yellowstone National Park and are currently held in a federal disease quarantine facility in Montana, could wind up on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Money to fund search for life forms in park
Yellowstone National Park will receive $1 million for research that could find new life in and around the hydrothermal vents of Yellowstone Lake.