National Park Service asks hikers to be mindful of nature after vandalism incidents

As people head outdoors to escape cabin fever during this stay at home order, local trail systems are seeing more garbage and even vandalism. The National Park Service recently posted pictures on their social media, showing graffiti on trees and rocks. This was done on several parts of popular trails, throughout the United States. NPS Chief of Interpretation and Visitor...

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The Road to Reopening

As superintendent of Glacier National Park, Jeff Mow has grappled with wildfires and wayward bears, flash floods and fatal avalanches. He’s tangled with budget deficits and government shutdowns, climate change and record-setting throngs of visitors that stretch the park’s infrastructure to maximum capacity. He’s modeled scenarios that account for rising temperatures and...

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Deadly Coronavirus Concerns Have National Parks Being Cautious In Planning Reopenings

Overarching concerns for the health of staff, concession workers, and visitors are complicating the reopening of national park sites shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Business won’t return to normal quickly or uniformly, with many parks confronting a unique set of issues they must resolve before they can welcome the public’s return. Exactly when...

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Proposed Budget Cuts Target National Parks

The Trump Administration’s budget plan for 2021 proposes serious cuts to the National Park Service and other federal agencies that if enacted, would jeopardize the protection, maintenance and operation of our more than 400 national parks across the country. The administration’s budget calls for a total cut of $587 million (17 percent) to the National Park Service. The...

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Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Deadly Fire At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the National Park Service stemming from the deadly Chimney Tops 2 fire at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, holding that the park’s Fire Management Plan required that area residents be notified of the wildfire. When the Chimney Tops 2 fire was reported atop one of the many ridges of the...

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Nearly $675 Million Spent On Deferred Park Maintenance, Yet Backlog Still Nearly $12 Billion

Proof of the challenge the National Park Service faces in trying to catch up with deferred maintenance across the National Park System can be found in the agency’s latest report on the matter: Nearly $700 million was spent during Fiscal 2018 on maintenance projects, yet the backlog still is nearly $12 billion. Congress had a chance last year to give the Park...

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Five lessons from the government shutdown about national parks

For now the threat of another government shutdown has ended (even as legal showdown over an emergency wall looms). Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are breathing a sigh of relief — including 16,000 National Park Service employees, most of whom were told to stay home while the parks remained open but understaffed during the longest shutdown in U.S. history. The...

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National Park Service Abandons Defense of Latest Pipeline Permit

The National Park Service has voluntarily abandoned its defense of the agency’s latest permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. NPS issued the revised permit after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in August 2018, vacated its original authorization for the pipeline. On January 16, 2019 the Park Service asked the Fourth Circuit to remand...

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Meet the ‘Art Rangers’ Trying to Save National Parks

Oscar Nilsson and Alex Tatem are trying to save America’s national parks—one photo at a time. Nilsson and Tatem run the Art Rangers, a nonprofit online art gallery that sells national park-inspired works of art, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the National Park Foundation, the official charity of the National Park Service. “At its core, it’s artists...

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What does it take to be a National Park Service law enforcement ranger?

Danielle Breakell graduated from her law enforcement training academy this week. She has the skills to take down an armed fugitive, as well as a black bear or a bison. She’ll be able to read perpetrators their Miranda rights, while also citing the Endangered Species Act. And she will gladly write tickets for littering along with driving under the influence. Breakell, 29,...

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Reckoning with History: The parks have been fixed before

When the Great Depression and World War II concluded, the national park system was in disarray. The extractive industry sought greater access to resources, such as timber in Olympic National Park, while bureaucrats eyed sites for future dams, including in Dinosaur National Monument. Most importantly, the park system was growing as new units were added and more visitors...

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National parks to rethink plan to hike entrance fees after widespread anger

The Department of the Interior said that it planned to revise a controversial proposal to drastically increase entrance fees at some of the most popular national parks in the country. The interior department press secretary, Heather Swift, said the Trump administration decided to rethink its proposal after Americans flooded the National Park Service (NPS) with more than...

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Omnibus spending bill would increase funding for national parks and wildfire suppression

The spending bill passed by the House and Senate on March 22, 2018 would increase funding the National Park Service needs to address its nearly $12 billion maintenance and repair backlog. Under the proposal the Park Service would receive a 9 percent increase to its budget. The measure includes about $160 million to make repairs that would help growing numbers of visitors...

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National Park Service warned lease sale could harm national monument in Utah

The Bureau of Land Management disregarded a request by the National Park Service that it hold off leasing 17,000 acres of public land in Utah because of concerns that drilling there could harm Hovenweep National Monument’s views and air, groundwater and sound quality. All 13 parcels were sold online as part of a broader sale, with the lease prices ranging from $3 to...

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Sen. Alexander introduces bill to restore national parks

Sen. Lamar Alexander has introduced a bipartisan bill to help address the $11.6 billion National Park Service maintenance backlog. The National Park Restoration Act would use revenues from energy production on federal lands to rebuild roads, buildings, campgrounds, trails and water systems in national parks across the country. The Tennessee Republican said the main...

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The National Park Service is stuck in $11.3 billion hole, but jacking up fees isn’t the way out

Three years ago, the National Park Service banned trucks and buses heavier than 10 tons from crossing over the Arlington Memorial Bridge, a major transportation artery connecting Virginia to Washington D.C. And there’s speculation that the U.S. Secret Service now refuses to cross the 82-year-old concrete span, though the agency would not confirm whether this was...

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U.S. national parks are drastically reducing free days in 2018

Visitors to the America’s national parks will have far fewer free admission days to choose from in 2018. National parks in the U.S. will sharply drop the number of days they allow visitors to get in for free, a move that was criticized by opponents of the parks’ plan to raise entrance costs at other times of the year. After waiving fees 16 days in 2016 and 10...

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National Park Service survey finds widespread harassment

Nearly 40 percent of National Park Service employees experienced some form of harassment over a 12-month period, according to long-awaited survey results released by the agency. The survey assessed sexual harassment, hostile work environment and gender discrimination in the nation’s parks, monuments and recreation areas. About 19 percent of respondents reported...

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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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