Retiring Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent reflects on 37 years with the National Park Service

Mark Woods will retire as superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway on July 3, 2017, but on July 4 he’ll don the flathat one last time as grand marshal of the Lake Junaluska Fourth of July Parade. Woods was still in college when he started working for the Park Service, knowing he wanted to do some type of conservation work but not exactly sure what form that would take....

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Agencies and Partners Launch #FindYourWay to Celebrate America’s National Trails and Wild & Scenic Rivers Systems

Several federal agencies and their nonprofit partners announced the launch of #FindYourWay to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the Wild & Scenic Rivers acts in 2018. Over the next two years, #FindYourWay will invite visitors from all backgrounds to explore America’s trails and rivers. The National Park Service, the Bureau of...

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A message from former Director Jon Jarvis about recent events involving the National Park Service

   “I have been watching the Trump administration trying unsuccessfully to suppress the National Park Service with a mix of pride and amusement. The NPS is the steward of America’s most important places and the narrator of our most powerful stories, told authentically, accurately, and built upon scientific and scholarly research. The Park Ranger is a...

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700 percent increase coming in cost of senior passes to national parks

Perhaps you are 62 or older and think you might want to visit a national park or two before you die. Let us offer you some advice: Get thee to a federal recreation site – be it a national park, national forest or Bureau of Land Management office – and buy a lifetime senior pass that gains you entrance to all federal lands that charge entrance fees, for as long as you...

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National Parks are free on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees on Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Monday, January 16, 2017. As part of the park service’s centennial, national sites will be free to the public 10 days in 2017. The waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Reservation, camping, and tour fees will still be collected. If you’re...

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National Park Service Sets Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy

The National Park Service (NPS) today released its strategy that connects cultural resources and climate change. The Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy (CRCC Strategy) is a landmark statement for the NPS and its historic preservation and climate change partners about how to anticipate, plan for, and respond to the effects of climate change on cultural resources....

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National Park Service to Update Smoking Regs to Include E-Cigarettes

The National Park Service (NPS) proposed revisions to the regulations that address smoking in national parks. The proposed revisions would change the regulation that defines smoking to include the use of electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). The proposed revisions would also allow a superintendent to close an area, building,...

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Park didn’t heed Gatlinburg firestorm ‘call to action’

Officials should have doused a 1.5-acre fire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park days before high winds created a megafire that swept into Gatlinburg, former U.S. Forest Service firefighters said . At the very least, said retired employees with almost 200 years of firefighting experience, officials in the National Park should have summoned every resource available...

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Proposed National Park System Addition in South Carolina

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will be in South Carolina Thursday, December 15, 2016 at the invitation of U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC) to hear comments on proposals to add Reconstruction Era sites in Beaufort County to the National Park System. The Reconstruction Era began during the Civil War and lasted until the dawn of Jim Crow racial...

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Your National Park Guide to Hiking in the Winter

National parks in some parts of the country are already locked under snow and ice, and many more soon will be. Your chance to enjoy the outdoors doesn’t end with the arrival of cold weather, though. Winter offers a unique opportunity to experience your national parks, so consider this your national park guide to winter hiking. The landscapes of many national parks...

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National Park Service Invites Everyone to #FindYourPark During the Centennial Birthday Month

The National Park Service invites visitors of all ages to join in the celebration of its 100th birthday throughout the month of August. With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28, 2016, the NPS is encouraging everyone to #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque for the centennial. “August – our birthday...

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Mortal Fall by Christine Carbo

In Christine Carbo’s exciting suspense novel Mortal Fall, a wildlife biologist’s shocking death leads to chilling discoveries about a home for troubled teens in this haunting and compelling new crime novel set in the wilds of Glacier National Park. Park police officer Monty Harris knows that each summer at least one person—be it a reckless, arrogant climber or a...

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National Park Service archive opens in Townsend, TN

Officials unveiled the new National Park Service Collections Preservation Center in Townsend, Tennessee during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, May 6, 2016. “We’re all excited to announce the completion of this new facility that will enable us to better protect and preserve the cultural treasures in our care,” Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius...

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National Park Service Announces Centennial Challenge Projects

This week, the National Park Service (NPS) announced nearly $48 million of Centennial Challenge projects to help parks across the country improve visitor services and support outreach to new audiences. The projects, many of which tackle deferred maintenance, come as the NPS kicks off its second century of service. Congress provided $15 million for the projects which will...

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National Park Service makes recommendations for hikers in bear country

The Board of Review with the National Park Service reissued safety recommendations for hiking in bear country after a Montana man was mauled to death in Yellowstone National Park last summer. The report states most hikers are not following the precautions, despite warning and education. Of the six fatalities caused by grizzly bears in Yellowstone since 2010, five...

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National Park Service faces crowding now. Apathy to come in its second century?

The National Park Service handled a record number of visitors in 2015 and park crowding has achieved epic proportions at some of Utah’s marquee destinations. But crowding can be reduced through smart planning and outreach that spreads use into less busy times and less visited places, according to director Jonathan Jarvis. Not so easily fixed, he said, is young...

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National Park Service to update Oil and Gas Regulations

The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to modernize regulations for non-federal oil and gas rights exercised in national parks. The proposal would update current regulations that are now 36-years-old. The proposed updates will provide greater clarity and certainty to industry while improving the National Park Service’s ability to protect park resources and the...

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Free admission for National Park Service birthday

The National Park Service is almost a century old and that means a gift is in store for citizens. The National Park Service is celebrating its 99th birthday on August 25, 2015 with free admission, not including amenity or activity fees, to its 408 sites nationwide. In preparation for the centennial celebration next year, the National Park Service also partnered with the...

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National Parks Losing Rangers Just When They’re Needed the Most

America’s national parks have never been so popular: Last year saw the highest-ever level of daily visits and campers to Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, and the 57 other nature reserves. Yet the number of park rangers available to help travelers find the perfect trail, answer questions about area flora and fauna, and enforce rules to protect the environment (and other laws) is...

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National Park Week 2015

The nation is buzzing about National Park Week, America’s largest celebration of national heritage, April 18–26, 2015. It’s about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations and enhancing America’s best idea—the national parks. It’s all happening in your national parks. The National Park...

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National Parks Call on Americans to ‘Find Your Park’

After nearly 100 years, the National Park Service holds some of the most beautiful and historic places in the country, though there’s also an $11 billion backlog of unfunded maintenance and a visitor base that’s aging and mostly white. With its centennial approaching in 2016, the park service will launch a major campaign this week in New York City to raise...

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National Park maintenance backlog totals $11.49 billion

Like road-trippers with balding tires, Americans are loving their national parks into disrepair. The National Park Service released a list of maintenance projects that have been postponed and put off for years. The backlog of 2014 projects nationwide totals $11.49 billion — up nearly $200 million since 2013. Dave Nimkin, southwest senior regional director for the...

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National Park Service Transportation Funding – Roads and Bridges

The National Park Service currently receives $240 million through the Federal Lands Transportation Program within the federal surface transportation law. The NPS has estimated that it needs more than four times that amount per year through 2024 to restore its transportation systems into good condition and to meet growing visitor access needs. It is estimated to take $244...

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Does the National Park Service have a youth problem?

In 2014, America’s national parks attracted a record-setting 292.8 million visits, but the typical visitor to the country’s biggest parks is edging closer to retirement age. the average age of visitors to Denali is 57 years. In Yellowstone it is 54. But in the past decade, the number of visitors under the age of 15 has fallen by half. It’s not just the...

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American Express Announces $5 Million Grant to Increase Volunteering in America’s National Parks

American Express (AXP) and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced a multi-year partnership to increase volunteerism in National Parks and Public Lands. The $5 million grant over four years from American Express will help the Department of the Interior (DOI) and National Parks Service (NPS) build volunteer coalitions to preserve and sustain America’s...

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National Park Service Map Shows The Loudest, Quietest Places In the U.S.

There’s a new map created by the National Park Service’s (NPS) Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division that shows where the country’s loudest—and quietest—places are located. Not surprisingly, the loudest spots are clustered around cities, while the quietest are relatively wild–but the map also shows that even some rural locations have fallen victim to...

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National Park Service Centennial to Include Youth Outreach, Backlog Reduction

The White House used the FY2016 budget request to outline plans to keep parks relevant to an increasingly urban and diverse nation and to invite all Americans to help support their parks. The requests include $20 million annually to transport over a million urban youth to national parks and public lands, with dedicated youth coordinators to welcome them and their...

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Muir Beach fight illustrates National Park Service tension

The freethinkers and eccentrics who live in the tiny, eclectic community of Muir Beach have united with other Marin County residents in a bitter struggle against what they see as an enduring threat to the culture and fabric of their fog-shrouded coastal village – government meddling. The National Park Service wants to ease what everyone agrees is a growing traffic...

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NPS Implements Interim Policy Prohibiting Unmanned Aircraft on Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The National Park Service has developed an interim policy prohibiting the use of unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, on NPS managed lands of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This is a new park use that could affect park resources, staff, and visitors in ways that the National Park Service has yet to identify, analyze and examine. It is the National Park...

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Celebrate and Support National Park Week

Each spring, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation invite everyone to celebrate National Park Week. This year, from April 19 – 27 you are invited to celebrate all that America’s more than 400 national parks have to offer with the theme “National Park Week: Go Wild!” From diverse wildlife and iconic landscapes to vibrant culture and rich history, our...

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