The 8 Most Endangered National Parks

The U.S. government has failed to protect our national parks in these times of disastrous wildfires, drying rivers, and melting glaciers. The parks also contend with pollution issues, budget shortfalls, a scourge of invasive plant and animal species, and now a global pandemic. In a controversial move made during the spread of COVID-19, Secretary of the Interior David...

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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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‘We’re closed for your hiking business.’ Communities near national parks urge non-locals to stay away.

Josh Berman, a Spanish teacher from Boulder, Colo., had been looking forward to his rafting trip with his 12-year-old for more than a year. As a father of three daughters, he annually alternates taking each one on an outdoor adventure. This year’s 45-mile rafting trip on the Green River from Colorado to Utah was easily the most off-the-grid excursion yet, and he and his...

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The National Park Service is selling out to telecom giants

There aren’t many places people can go these days to escape completely from the ubiquitous influence of social media, smartphones, Big Tech and telecom companies. The blank spots on the coverage maps are constantly shrinking, though not equally, and not everywhere. In many cases, the expansion of broadband coverage is necessary; telecom providers too often underserve...

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All National Parks Are Free on Monday, Nov. 11 (For the Last Time in 2019)

Consider it your free national parks pass: On Monday, Nov. 11, 2019 all national parks across the nation will be free to enter. Every Park Service site that usually charges an entrance fee will offer free admission to all visitors as part of NPS’ Free Day program. This last free National Parks day of 2019 also marks Veterans Day. In addition to the role national parks...

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WiFi, Amazon and food trucks: Trump team’s vision for national parks

  A team of Trump administration advisers – consisting mostly of appointees from the private industry – are urging “modernization” of national park campgrounds, with a vision of food trucks, WiFi and even Amazon deliveries. “Our recommendations would allow people to opt for additional costs if they want, for example, Amazon deliveries at a particular campsite,”...

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day on September 28, 2019

National parks will offer free admission, wellness events, and stewardship activities for National Public Lands Day on Sept. 28, 2019 – the country’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors. “It is always energizing to see people, parks, and communities unite in support of public lands,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “The variety of...

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The Best Hike in Every National Park

From Alaska’s remote bush to downtown Cleveland, our national parks provide us with millions of acres of public land to explore. We compiled a list of the best hikes in each park, according to the wilderness guides, park rangers, and hikers who know them. Penobscot and Sargent Mountain Loop at Acadia. Summit two of the park’s highest peaks on this 9.5-mile loop through...

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Study finds 96% of national parks have hazardous air quality

Millions of tourists will head out into America’s national parks this summer in search of fresh mountain air. But according to a new report they should instead expect dangerous levels of pollution; roughly 96% of the nation’s parks are struggling with significant air quality issues. The report, released by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), found that...

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The 12 Best Hikes in Utah’s National Parks

From natural arches, hoodoos, and hanging gardens to balanced rocks and towering mesas, slot canyons and vast chasms, the desert Southwest holds in its dry, searing, lonely open spaces some of America’s most fascinating and inspiring geology. The writer “Cactus Ed” Abbey no doubt had this region in mind when he said there “are some places so beautiful they can make a...

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Park Staff Ordered to Violate Laws and Stand Aside as People Trashed Parks During Shutdown

Rangers describe the despair of watching national parks sustain preventable long-term damage, as well as the terrible effects the historic standoff has had on morale. The partial government shutdown is over, but some of the damage national parks sustained during the 35-day standoff will last long into the future. During the shutdown, the Trump administration directed...

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Shutdown thefts and odd animal crimes in Smokies; Tennessee NPS sites “lucky”

Thefts, break-ins, and odd crimes involving animals have surfaced in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) as rangers take stock of any damages during the government shutdown. GSMNP spokesperson Dana Soehn said rangers discovered the theft of several tools from a facility in Cosby. The rangers had not determined the total value of stolen items. There was also a...

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National Park Superintendents stay mum during ‘blackout on news’

There’s an easy reason to explain why National Park Service superintendents have suddenly gone mum: They’re scared. That’s according to former National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “In my conversations with folks that are in the field, there is an element of fear that has been conveyed down, that you’ll be punished if you speak...

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Park Service takes ‘extraordinary step’ of dipping into entrance fees to bolster operations at popular sites

The National Park Service will take the unprecedented step of tapping entrance fees to pay for expanded operations at its most popular sites as the federal government shutdown threatens to degrade some of the nation’s iconic landmarks. Under a memorandum signed by the Interior Department’s acting secretary, David Bernhardt, park managers will be permitted to bring on...

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States are out of money to keep national parks safe during shutdown

We are now 11 days into this partial government shutdown, and our beloved national parks are really feeling the hurt. These shutdowns are not without consequences. Key scientists had holiday plans canceled and are being forced to work without pay. The Violence Against Women Act was allowed to expire. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency ran out of money. Many...

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Veterans Day Is Fee Free at Our National Parks

Many national parks have direct connections to the American military—there are dozens of battlefields, military parks, and historic sites that commemorate and honor the service of American veterans. In addition, every national park is part of our collective identity that defines who we are and where we came from as a nation. They are tactile reminders of the values, the...

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Study: National Parks Bearing The Brunt Of Climate Change Impacts

Yellowstone National Park escaped the summer without any large conflagrations in its forests, but that could be an anomaly under the current pace of climate change. Pikas could vanish from parks such as Lassen Volcanic and Great Basin. Glaciers and Joshua trees could be seen only in photographs and paintings in their namesake parks, and Virgin Islands and Hawai’i...

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10 (Truly) Hidden National Park Gems

The wonders of the National Park System don’t generally play hard to get. Want to see the Grand Canyon? It might be a haul to get to the park, but it will be hard to miss once you’re there. Some park jewels, however, are simply out of reach for almost every visitor. The reasons for this are multiple. In some cases, the Park Service consciously keeps the location of...

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You’ve Never Seen National Parks Looking Like This Before

The world’s national parks are a unique natural resource. Not only for their biological diversity but also for their beauty and accessibility – many are otherworldly, an environment alien to our everyday but close enough to travel to with relative ease. Every park is different too. So whether you’re looking to explore waterfalls or lakes, jungles or deserts, glaciers or...

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New national parks around the world

Southern Chile is famous for Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia but much more of the region’s spectacular landscape is now being made accessible. Donations of vast tracts of wilderness by foundations run by US philanthropists and environmentalists to the Chilean state has led to the creation of national reserves covering 4.45m hectares. 17 national parks and...

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The 10 National Parks with the Most Endangered Species

National parks are critical for protecting the animals and plants that live in them, and no park denizens need that protection more than endangered species. The Endangered Species Act has helped boost the populations of numerous imperiled species since it became law in 1973, and it has contributed to the recovery of iconic species such as the bald eagle, which was...

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Tips and Tricks for Visiting 26 National Parks, Straight From Park Employees

Each of the National Park Service’s 417 locations, from national parks and monuments, has unique sights and activities — that can be best appreciated with a few insider tips. For example, a hidden gem at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan is Port Oneida Rural Historic District, which is filled with turn-of-the-century farmhouses, beautiful views of Lake...

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Why Artists are Heading to National Parks and Monuments

When the sun rises at Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), it slowly peaks out from behind Eagle Cliff, casting a pink-orange morning glow onto the pine-flecked slopes of the Continental Divide. The William Allen White Cabin, once owned by the eponymous Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, has a front-row seat to the grandeur. Inside, the scene is just as...

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A Perilous Shutdown Plan for National Parks

During the 21-day government shutdown of 1995-1996, an enormous blizzard left up to three feet of snow in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park—and no one was there to shovel the parking lots. But that was the least of Bill Wade’s problems. The park’s superintendent at the time, Wade knew that several campers had entered the Shenandoah backcountry before the shutdown....

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National Parks to Waive Entrance Fees on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, national park units across the country will offer visitors free entrance into the parks on Monday, January 15, 2018. Martin Luther King, Jr. day will be the first of four fee-free days this year. Those days include April 21 to celebrate the start of National Park Week, September 22 for National Public Lands Day and November 11 in...

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Wire the wilderness? As cell service expands, national parks become the latest digital battlegrounds

When John Muir helped establish the National Park Service, he argued that such parks were vital to help people unplug from the world. “Break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods,” Muir was quoted as saying in 1915. But these days at Yosemite National Park, hikers to Half Dome are likely to encounter people talking on cell phones...

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10 best national parks for sunrises and sunsets

Have you ever spent several pre-dawn hours climbing to the summit of a mountain so that you can get the best angle to see the sunrise? Some people will go to great lengths to witness the daily dramas of sunrise and sunset. It’s not just about watching the big yellow ball appear or disappear over the horizon, but about the surrounding landscapes and clouds at the...

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Love the Outdoors? The U.S. National Parks Are Hiring

Have you ever wished you could spend your workdays surrounded by awe-inspiring nature? You can now make that dream a reality: the National Park Service is hiring for a variety of positions across its U.S. parks for next year. California’s Yosemite National Park, for example, is currently taking applications for roughly 300 different jobs for next summer. The positions,...

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