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181

Freitag, 4. Januar 2019, 17:36

Americans may love their national parks, but they can’t be trusted to enjoy them unsupervised

Zitat

As the federal government shutdown approaches the two-week mark, it’s become painfully apparent that the public can no longer run amok virtually unsupervised in the national parks.
What’s the evidence of that? The litter, vandalism and trampled ground. The human feces overflowing the public toilets and the urine along the roads.
Unlike the last lengthy shutdown in 2013, the Trump administration this time has opted to keep the national parks open but largely unstaffed. Private concession operators and nonprofit foundations have helped with maintenance where they can. Some states, including Arizona and New York, have dipped into their own coffers to keep parks staffed and operating — at least for a while. Many other states, including California, have not.
With tens of thousands of park employees furloughed, that means many parks have no workers collecting entry fees at the gates, patrolling the campgrounds or emptying the garbage cans and portable toilets. But the visitors keep coming.
The lack of maintenance and oversight is taking a toll. There are reports of illegal camping and off-road driving in sensitive habitat areas. Unsupervised tourists were harassing elephant seals at the Point Reyes National Seashore, prompting officials to close off part of the beach.
Visitors have posted pictures on social media of overflowing garbage bins. Empty champagne bottles were left strewn on the ground at Joshua Tree. Yosemite officials had to restrict entry to certain areas of the park after the accumulation of human urine and feces became a health hazard.
The National Park Service has the authority to turn away visitors for safety, health or environmental protection reasons. That’s what the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks did Wednesday, when they closed large sections because of concerns that visitors could be endangered on icy roads and hiking trails.
And the threat isn’t just to the natural wonders and to public safety. The national parks are full of cultural and historic resources that could be damaged or stolen with so little oversight and protection.
During the 2013 shutdown, the Obama administration ordered the national park system completely closed. That was a controversial decision at the time. Visitors who had traveled great distances to visit these public treasures were turned away. Local businesses that rely on park tourism suffered. Others saw the closures as a political tactic by President Obama to drum up negative publicity for the Republican-led shutdown.
But given the damage currently being inflicted on the nation’s most majestic open spaces, temporarily closing some parks might be the best way to protect them.
Indeed, as one former National Park Service director said, keeping the parks open but unstaffed is like leaving the Smithsonian open without employees minding the priceless artifacts. It invites abuse and practically guarantees damage to some of the national’s most treasured public lands.
Yes, it’s a loss to the tourists who planned their vacations around a visit to Yosemite Valley, or who had hoped to hike through the forests of Sequoia National Park. Yes, there will be an economic cost for local communities. But that is the cost of a government shutdown. The political stalemate in Washington — the failure of President Trump and congressional leaders to reach a budget deal as they haggle over his insistence on a costly border wall — has real-world consequences.
The nation’s most magnificent public assets shouldn’t be sacrificed to this political battle.
It’s worth noting that the national park system already struggles with an $11-billion backlog of deferred maintenance and with massive crowds that stress existing capacity. There are potholed roads, crumbling trails, aging sewer systems in need of repair to prevent contamination of nearby streams. Throwing open the gates to all comers with little control or oversight only exacerbates those problems.
Americans may love their national parks, but they don’t always treat the parks with the care they deserve. The parks should shut down until the federal government reopens.

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182

Freitag, 11. Januar 2019, 18:47

Ein Park macht dicht
Weil die Politiker in Washington über den Haushalt streiten, fehlen im fernen Joshua-Tree-Nationalpark Mitarbeiter. Die Folge: Müll, Autospuren, verstopfte Toiletten. Nun wird der Park geschlossen.

Zitat

Vier Millionen Touristen kommen jedes Jahr in den Joshua-Tree-Nationalpark. Die Wüstenlandschaft im Südosten Kaliforniens zieht die Besucher aus mehreren Gründen an: die Bäume, die Einsamkeit, die Weite, dazu Wanderpfade und Felsformationen.

Doch im Moment bietet der Park auch allerlei Unappetitliches: Müllhaufen und verstopfte Toiletten. Viele Besucher erleichtern sich am Wegesrand. Doch das ist nicht alles, wie der freiwillige Helfer John Lauretic dem Sender KRDO erzählt: Die Leute würden ihre Zelte aufschlagen, wo sie nicht sollten, und in Parkabschnitte fahren, die eigentlich nicht zugänglich sind. Im Joshua-Tree-Nationalpark sind in den vergangenen drei Wochen neue Trampelpfade entstanden, Autospuren finden sich überall. Selbst die namensgebenden Bäume blieben nicht verschont - Besucher ritzten ihre Initialen ein.

Auf unbestimmte Zeit geschlossen
Es sind die Folgen des Haushaltsstreits im fernen Washington. Der Regierungsapparat steht still, weil Präsident Donald Trump sich weigert, einen Haushaltsentwurf zu unterschreiben, in dem nicht mehr als fünf Milliarden Dollar für den Bau einer Mauer an der Grenze zu Mexiko vermerkt sind. Knapp 800.000 Staatsbedienstete sind betroffen, darunter auch 16.000 Park-Mitarbeiter, die nach Hause geschickt wurden. Es fehlt nun an Personal, das den Park in Schuss hält, die 30 Dollar Eintrittsgeld abkassiert, Toiletten reinigt oder aushilft, wenn sich jemand verletzt.
Bereits in der vergangenen Woche wurden aus Sicherheits- und Hygienegründen die Campingplätze im Joshua-Tree-Nationalpark geschlossen. Nun entschied die Bundesverwaltung, den Park ganz dicht zu machen. Am Donnerstagmorgen um 8 Uhr Ortszeit senkt sich der Schlagbaum - auf unbestimmte Zeit.
Die Zeit wollen die verbliebenen Park-Mitarbeiter nutzen, um aufzuräumen und aufzupäppeln. Lauretic sagt, die Landschaft sei sehr empfindlich und brauche nun Zeit sich zu erholen.

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Dienstag, 22. Januar 2019, 18:36

Photography In The National Parks: My 10 Fave Photos From 2018
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Sonntag, 27. Januar 2019, 19:39

Smithsonian, National Zoo and national parks prepare to reopen

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After 35 days, shuttered parts of the U.S. government are slowly coming back to life, and tourists in Washington will once again get to see some of its most famous attractions.
The longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended on Friday when President Trump signed a bill passed by Congress to temporarily open the government for three weeks. The wall on the Mexican border, a key campaign promise, remains unfunded.
As lawmakers take that time to battle it out, key D.C. institutions that are managed through federal agencies are preparing to go back to business as usual.
The Smithsonian, a complex of 19 different museums, which also operates the National Zoo, tweeted: "All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 29 at their regularly scheduled times."
The National Air and Space Museum, which is operated by The Smithsonian, will also re-open on Tuesday.

The country's public lands were also starting to re-open, although the National Park Service cautioned that the process may take time.
"Following the enactment of the continuing resolution, the National Park Service is preparing to resume regular operations nationwide though the schedule for individual parks may vary depending on staff size and complexity of operations," deputy director P. Daniel Smith wrote in a statement on the NPS website.

Not all parks were closed during the shutdown -- some were open with skeleton crews and basic services. NPS also manages the National Mall, an open-air park near the key D.C. Monuments, the White House and the U.S. Capitol.
Tourists should check to make see when a particular park will open, Smith advised.
"Visitors should contact individual parks or visit park websites for their opening schedules and the latest information on accessibility and visitor services. Some parks which have been closed throughout the lapse in appropriations may not reopen immediately, but we will work to open all parks as quickly as possible," Smith added.

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Freitag, 1. Februar 2019, 19:29

National parks rush to repair damage after shutdown

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National parks across the United States are scrambling to clean up and repair damage that visitors and storms caused during the recent government shutdown while bracing for the possibility of another closure ahead of the busy Presidents Day weekend later this month.
Visitors left human waste, piles of trash, graffiti, used unauthorized trails and damaged Joshua trees at the namesake park in California during the 35-day shutdown. Many of the parks went unstaffed, while others had skeleton crews with local governments and nonprofits contributing money and volunteers.
National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst in Washington, D.C., declined to provide a full accounting of the damage at more than 400 locations, saying it was isolated and most visitors took good care of the land.
But conservationists warn that damage to sensitive lands could take decades to recover. Even before the shutdown, national parks faced an estimated $12 billion maintenance backlog that has now grown.
President Donald Trump has said another shutdown could start Feb. 15 if he and Democratic leaders can’t agree on funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, compounding the pressure the park service faces to catch up on repairs and maintenance.
Hiring seasonal workers who typically start in the spring as rangers, fee collectors and hiking guides also has been delayed.
“We’re kind of ready to just have a bit more stability,” said Angie Richman, a spokeswoman at Arches National Park in Utah.
Arches visitors left human waste outside a restroom, stomped out five trails in a permit-only area that was supposed to be closed and damaged an entrance gate to allow vehicles to drive on snow-covered roads when the park was closed after a storm, Richman said.
At Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California, one of the iconic twisted-limbed Joshua trees was run over by an off-road vehicle and a juniper tree was cut down, said park superintendent David Smith. Several other Joshua Trees were damaged, including one that was spray painted, but the park has yet to determine the exact number, he said. Off-road vehicles created extensive unauthorized trails in the park’s deserts, with wheel marks dug into the delicate soil nearly a foot deep in some spots, Smith said.
Employees at Death Valley National Park found human waste and toilet paper scattered in the desert and evidence people tried to kick in locked restroom doors, said David Blacker, executive director of the Death Valley Natural History Association. The group kept the visitors center open during most of the shutdown, where tourists got information on packing out trash and digging a hole to use the bathroom.
A time-lapse video on Death Valley’s Facebook page showed how it took staffers two hours to clean a restroom overflowing with trash and splashed with waste. Crews also have to rake and replant vegetation to repair ruts from off-road vehicles, which delays work elsewhere in the 3.4 million-acre park.
“It became pretty depressing the kinds of things people will do when they are unsupervised,” Blacker said.
People in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park drove around locked gates and through meadows, spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said.
At Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddling the North Carolina-Tennessee line, visitors cut locks on some gates to closed roads and stole about $5,000 in maintenance tools, spokeswoman Dana Soehn said.
Winter storms damaged some parks that lacked enough staff to make repairs quickly.
Officials at Zion National Park in Utah, Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado and Olympic National Park in Washington were fixing trails, roads and campgrounds. Mesa Verde wasn’t set to open until Monday, and some areas were still closed at Zion and Olympic.
Campgrounds, visitors centers and trails that seasonal workers help prepare could face delayed openings, and families planning spring break or summer vacations might think twice about visiting national parks if they don’t think they’re safe or fully staffed, said Phil Francis, chairman of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks.
“There are a lot of impacts that will be felt in the future that aren’t being felt or even talked about now,” he said.
In some parks, animals that typically don’t interact with visitors claimed the space.
A colony of elephant seals took over a Northern California beach in Point Reyes National Seashore without staffers to discourage the animals from congregating in the popular tourist area.
Meanwhile, the prospect of another shutdown looms.
Grand Canyon National Park could miss out on its main centennial celebration Feb. 26 and other related events.
“It’s a big deal, and we are looking forward to celebrating it in whatever way we can,” park spokeswoman Emily Davis said.
Elizabeth Jackson, a spokeswoman for Guadalupe Mountains National Park on the Texas-New Mexico border, noted the stress it places on workers.
“It’s a way of life if you’re a federal employee,” Jackson said. “Not to be glib, but it’s something we face every year.”

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Sonntag, 3. Februar 2019, 14:19

gut zu wissen

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A Red Rock Pass (or America the Beautiful Interagency Pass, Golden Age or Golden Access) is required when recreating on National Forest land in Red Rock Country. The pass must be displayed in the windshield of the vehicle.
Vehicles parked on the National Forest in the red rock area that do not display a valid pass in the windshield are subject to receiving a citation.
A pass is not required for incidental stopping to take a photograph or to enjoy a scenic vista (approximately 15 minutes or less).
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187

Montag, 4. Februar 2019, 18:23

Heavy Rains Cause Road Closures In Joshua Tree National Park

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Due to heavy rain activity on Saturday, February 2, park officials have closed all dirt roads in the park. The south entrance, off of I-10 is open but is reduced to one lane in certain areas. Oversize vehicles and RVs are recommended to use an alternate route to enter the park. The Keys Ranch Tour has been cancelled for Sunday, February 3, 2019.

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Montag, 4. Februar 2019, 19:15

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Castillo by Candlelight: The Mose Story 2019

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In honor of the important African American heritage of this community, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument will host a special evening event on Saturday, February 16, 2019. This event is made possible through a partnership with the Fort Mose Historical Society and the Florida Park Service.

Volunteers will bring to life the important legacy of Fort Mose as the first legally-sanctioned free African settlement in what would become the United States. Follow the dangerous journey of a Freedom Seeker escaping from a life in slavery to a new life of freedom in Spanish Florida. Overhear the conversations of people met along the way – some hoping to help the Freedom Seeker, others hoping to return the slave to owners in the English colonies to the north. Meet Governor Montiano and hear his reasons for establishing this important settlement, and learn how Fort Mose and its militia played a critical role in turning the tide of the 1740 British siege on St. Augustine.

Programs will last about 40 minutes each, departing from the ticket booth at 6:15 6:30, 6:45 7:00, 7:15, and 7:30 pm. Nonrefundable tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and go on sale two weeks prior to the event. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the ticket booth or over the phone by calling (904) 829-6506 ext. 239 between 9 am and 3 pm, Monday through Friday. Space is limited. The cost is $15 per adult ages 16 and up, $5 per child ages 5 to 15, and children under 5 free. For questions, please call (904) 829-6506 ext. 233.

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Mittwoch, 6. Februar 2019, 19:43

At Last, A Good News Story About U.S. National Parks As Snow Brings Jaw-Dropping Sights
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Freitag, 8. Februar 2019, 18:44

National Park Service Begins Restoration and Cleaning of Thomas Jefferson Memorial

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e National Park Service has begun a 15-month project to restore the roofs, repair the stone, and clean the marble at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The memorial will remain open for the duration of the project, although some areas will be inaccessible.

The roof restoration and repair will consist of replacing the two flat upper and lower roofs that circle the dome to keep the building watertight and dry. Additionally, the large marble “tiles” covering the portico, the dramatic front entry that projects towards the Tidal Basin, will be lifted to replace the deteriorated water-proofing below. Stone will also be repaired under the portico and along the colonnade ceilings. Improvements to roof drains, downspouts, and gutters will also be completed.

Cleaning the visible marble on the dome and roof of the memorial will utilize specialized lasers to remove the black biofilm (a microbial colony of algae, fungi and bacteria) seen growing on upper portions of the memorial. The biofilm was first noticed in discrete areas of the white marble in 2006 and has become more pronounced in recent years. The National Park Service studied this growth since 2014 to determine the best treatment options.

Access to the front of the memorial, including the steps, accessible route, chamber with the statue of Thomas Jefferson, exhibit area, restrooms and elevator will remain open to the public during the construction. The east side of the memorial will be closed for construction staging.

The contract for this work was awarded on September 19, 2018, to Grunley Construction for $8.750 million. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial roof replacement, stone repair and biofilm removal project expected to be complete by May 2020

Zitat

The Washington Monument is closed until spring 2019
The National Park Service is modernizing the elevator to increase long term reliability and safety.

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Freitag, 15. Februar 2019, 20:31

Joshua Tree and Death Valley national parks are getting bigger under new conservation legislation

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New conservation legislation passed by the US Senate will see national parks, rivers and bird habitats being protected across the country. Under the Natural Resources Management Act, Joshua Tree and Death Valley national parks in California will be enlarged by almost 43,000 acres. In addition, 350,000 acres of public lands between Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley will be protected, increasing the connectivity of the three sites.

Three national parks in Georgia will be significantly expanded, including Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Ocmulgee Mounds National Park and Fort Frederica National Monument. The act has authorised a program that will see offshore-drilling revenue spent on conservation efforts. It will also see the establishment of four new national monuments honouring heroes in California, Utah, Mississippi and Kentucky, including Civil War soldiers and a civil rights icon.

River landscapes deemed “wild and scenic” across seven states will be protected from damming and other development, including the Amargosa River in California, the Green River in Utah and tributaries of the Rogue River in Oregon, known for its vibrant salmon populations. It also includes the Nashua River, which flows from Massachusetts to New Hampshire and is popular with kayakers. There will be a permanent withdrawal of mining claims around two national parks, North Cascades National Park in Washington and Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

Nature-lovers will be delighted to learn that the bill will fund the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act through 2022, which provides habitat protection for more than 380 bird species. It has also passed the Every Kid Outdoors Act, a signature program of the former president, Barack Obama, that will allow US fourth-graders and their families to visit national parks for free.

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Sonntag, 17. Februar 2019, 18:37

Indiana Dunes Becomes National Park

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Pesident Donald Trump has signed the new appropriations bill, which has a major impact on one of Indiana's most popular attractions. The bill included a provision that officially turns the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore into the state's first national park.
The area in Porter County is known as the Indiana Dunes National Park. The change follows a years-long effort by members of Indiana's congressional delegation, led by Congressman Pete Visclosky (D-1), to turn the site into the 61st National Park in the United States.
"I am heartened that because of the support of our U.S. Senators, the entire Indiana Congressional delegation, and numerous Northwest Indiana organizations, we have successfully titled the first National Park in our state," said Visclosky. "This action provides our shoreline with the recognition it deserves, and I hope further builds momentum to improve open and public access to all of our region’s environmental wonders."
Indiana Dunes Tourism also celebrated the designation Friday. Executive Director Lorelei Weimer says the state's first national park will be a "signficant boon to Indiana's economic development, specifically tourism, which already pumps $476 million into our economy annually."

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Sonntag, 17. Februar 2019, 19:49

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

National parks reopen

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A bit more of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has become accessible.
The park announced through social media Saturday that a 0.8-mile section Halema‘uma‘u Trail opened, which brings visitors from the rainforest summit of Kilauea to the floor of the caldera.

The trail can be found by following Crater Rim Trail to Halema‘uma‘u Trailhead on the west side of Volcano House.
Additionally, another section of the Ka‘u Desert Trail was opened.
According to the park, that trail is open from Pepeiao Cabin/Ka‘aha Trail intersection and to Hilina Pali Overlook.
As of Friday, the park listed the following areas as closed on its website:
— The Pu‘u Pua‘i Overlook (to protect Nene);
— Jaggar Museum (indefinitely);
— Crater Rim Drive between Kilauea Military Camp and Jaggar Museum;
— Hilina Pali Road past Kulanaokuaiki closed to vehicles but open to pedestrians and bicycles;
— Crater Rim Trail beyond Kilauea Military Camp;
— Iliahi Trail;
— Crater Rim Trail from Volcano House to Kīlauea Iki;
— Kilauea Iki Trail;
— Thurston Lava Tube;
— Mauna Loa summit.
Thurston Lava Tube is one of the areas closed due to safety concerns following the collapse events.

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Sonntag, 17. Februar 2019, 20:15

New Lodging In America’s National Parks

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During our early years exploring the national parks it was difficult to imagine new lodging being constructed in the parks. Upgrades and maintenance, of course, but new lodges didn’t seem in the cards, at least to the two of us. It was as if the lodges we visited had been in place since the parks were established and would remain there forever.
We were wrong and several lodges would vanish during the two decades following our 1996 national park lodging tour. Everglades National Park's Flamingo Lodge was trashed by weather, two lodges on the Blue Ridge Parkway were closed for lack of concessionaires to operate them, two lodging facilities on Lake Mead closed when low lake levels made them less appealing to travelers, and a Yellowstone National Park lodge was traded for a new model. The loss of these lodges was discussed in our previous Traveler article of February 10.
Fortunately, the same two-decade period witnessed a number of parks benefiting from major investments in new and improved lodging. Glacier National Park properties, including Lake McDonald Lodge and Rising Sun, received impressive upgrades from a new concessionaire. Several modern replacement cabins appeared in Glacier’s Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, Grand Teton National Park's Signal Mountain Lodge, and Olympic National Park’s Log Cabin Resort. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone is currently undergoing upgrades that will result in all of the hotel rooms having private bathrooms (and undoubtedly, be more expensive). The result will be a loss of 18 guest rooms at Mammoth.
Major structural work resulted in partial or entire closure at Yellowstone’s Lake Hotel, Mount Rainier National Park's Paradise Inn, Glacier’s Many Glacier Hotel, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's Volcano House. Considerable renovation accompanied the structural work on each property, especially Many Glacier, where workmen were able to restore the historic helical staircase between the main and lower lobby levels.
This is a brief rundown on national park lodging facilities that have come online following our 1996 trip.

Wuksachi Lodge (Sequoia National Park, California) – Sequoia’s replacement for the lost Giant Forest Lodge opened in May 1999 with three attractive cedar lodge buildings offering approximately approximately 100 guest rooms. A nearby registration building houses the restaurant, gift shop, small lounge, and comfortable lobby.

John Muir Lodge (Kings Canyon National Park, California) – Located in Grant Grove Village, John Muir Lodge opened the same month and year as Wuksachi. The rustic-style building contains 34 guest rooms on 2 floors. The building enjoys a large lobby with a huge wood-burning fireplace, but has no dining facility. Both John Muir Lodge and Wuksachi are open year-round.

Canyon Lodge and Cabins (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming) - The Canyon area of Yellowstone was transformed with five modern lodges replacing 350 Frontier and Pioneer cabins that had grown long in the tooth and were removed. The new lodges completed in 2016 were additions to two smaller but similar lodge buildings constructed at Canyon in the 1990s. The Western Cabins remain. The new buildings are quite attractive and a major improvement in what is the park’s most central visitor lodging location. The total number of guest rooms in Canyon remained unchanged.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming) – The new Snow Lodge opened in 1999 as the first full-service lodge constructed in Yellowstone since the old Canyon Lodge was built in 1911 (and burned in 1960). Snow Lodge has 100 rooms and is located in a relatively quiet section of the Old Faithful area.

The Argonaut (San Francisco National Maritime National Historical Park, California) – The Argonaut opened in 2003 in a large brick building on Fisherman’s Wharf that originally served as a Del Monte warehouse. The converted warehouse is now a nautical-themed hotel with 252 rooms directly across from Hyde Street Pier.

Cavallo Point, The Lodge at the Golden Gate (Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California) – This upscale resort is located just north of the Golden Gate Bridge on property that had once been a US Army post. The resort opened in 2008 with 142 guest rooms in historic military quarters and newly constructed contemporary buildings.

Inn at the Presidio (Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California) – The Inn opened in 2012 with 22 guest rooms and suites in what was once the former military post’s bachelor officer quarters. In addition to guest rooms in the main building, the inn offers rooms in an officer’s family home from the 1860s. A complimentary breakfast and an evening reception are included in the cost of a room at both the Inn and the Lodge noted next.

Lodge at the Presidio (Golden Gate National Recreation Areas, California) – The lodge opened in 2018 with 42 guest rooms in a converted 1895 military barracks located on the Presidio’s Main Post. Like the Inn, the lodge offers a complimentary breakfast and evening reception. The nightly parking fee for both the Inn and the Lodge is a bargain for San Francisco.

Inn at Death Valley (Death Valley National Park, California) – Eleven duplex casitas (small homes, but without kitchens) were added to the Inn property and opened in 2018. We have not visited the new casitas, but in photos they appear similar to cottage units at Yosemite Majestic Lodge (formerly, the Ahwahnee). The casitas rent for about the same price as rooms at the inn.

Cedar Pass Lodge (Badlands National Park, South Dakota) - Twenty-three new cabins were brought into Badlands National Park’s Cedar Pass Lodge in 2012 and 2013 to replace 24 small cabins from the late 1920s. These new cabins are much larger and nicer than the cabins they replaced, but we had actually grown fond of the funky older units that seemed to put us in the proper mood for enjoying our favorite meal of Indian tacos in the Cedar Pass restaurant.

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Donnerstag, 21. Februar 2019, 11:16

Gefunden bei.... uns (:fluecht:)

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Die Familie der National Parks hat wieder Zuwachs bekommen. Am 15.02.2019 wurde aus dem Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore der Indiana Dunes National Park!
Er liegt - wie der Name schon vermuten laesst - im US-Bundesstaat Indiana, direkt am Suedufer des Lake Michigan und ist der 61. National Park der USA. Mit nur etwa 61 km² ist er aktuell der fuenft-kleinste US-National Park.
Aber natürlich gibt es auch was Offizielles...*Link *

oder beim Wiki Peter - allerdings nur auf den US-Seiten. Die deutsche Seite zu den US-National Parks spricht noch immer von 59 Parks...
(:hutab:) Viele Grüße
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Desert & Dust 2015, Tex-Mex 2016, Sunshine Week 2016, Red Rock Tour 2017, Sand & Stones 2018, Fun in the sun 2018

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Dienstag, 26. Februar 2019, 18:22

Wahweap South Entrance Temporarily Closed Feb26-March 15 2019

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Visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation are advised that the South Entrance to Wahweap will be closed from February 26 – March 15 due to an ongoing construction project taking place along Lakeshore Dr. Visitors will need to use the North Entrance to access the park. The park apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Dienstag, 26. Februar 2019, 20:14

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park plans reopening of lava tube

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Officials say they plan to reopen a popular cave-like attraction in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park later this year.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the Thurston Lava Tube, also known as Nahuku, has been closed since the Kilauea volcano eruption in May 2018.
Officials at the Big Island park closed the site out of fear its structural integrity might have been compromised from the thousands of earthquakes that occurred during the eruption.
Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane says a scan of the tube's interior is being compared to one taken before the eruption to determine if any structural changes would threaten safety.
She says the park also plans to improve parking near the site before the lava tube is reopened.

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Donnerstag, 28. Februar 2019, 19:26

10 places that will be protected by Congress’s new public lands bill
A sweeping package protects over two million acres across the U.S. We highlight some of the places that won big.

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On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a sweeping public lands package that protects over two million acres across the U.S. Every single state gained new protected areas, from slivers of land padding out already existing parks; to new national monuments designations; to vast expanses of new wilderness areas. Conservationists, hunters and anglers, historians, and local communities have been pushing for some of these designations for years, and the passage marks a remarkable cooperative affirmation of the value of public lands, says Lynn Scarlett, a government affairs expert at the Nature Conservancy.
Both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives have now approved the package. Up next is a signature from President Donald Trump, which he is expected to make soon.
Here, National Geographic highlights 10 of the places across the country that will benefit the most if the package gets signed into law.

Wilderness for all
Across the country, over 1.3 million acres will receive “wilderness” designations, the highest level of protection government can apply to public lands (currently, across the country, about 109 million acres already fall into this category). That means that no mining, timber farming, motorized vehicles, or bikes will be allowed in the vast areas, but hiking, hunting, fishing, and other gentle-on-the-land uses are welcomed.

1. Utah’s Emery County will get a grand expansion of their wilderness lands. Along the Green River, across the San Rafael Swell, and through the Labyrinth Canyons, about 660,000 acres of wilderness lands will be created—sweeping across nearly a quarter of the entire county. Emery County also gets a new National Monument: roughly 2,500 acres around the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry will be set aside for the new Jurassic National Monument. The quarry has yielded over 12,000 bones since it was discovered in the 1920s.

2. New Mexico also carves out some massive new wilderness areas, some of which have been in limbo for a decade, from areas that are currently designated as national monuments. In all, about 275,000 acres within the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monuments will gain wilderness status.

3. Oregon also gained about 30,000 acres of wilderness in its dramatic Coast Range. The newly designated Devil’s Staircase Wilderness area includes steep, slippery swaths of the last untouched old-growth rainforest in the coastal zone.

4. Not to be left out, California will also gain about 375,000 acres of new wilderness lands. Death Valley National Park’s wilderness zone—already the largest contiguous wilderness area in the continental U.S.—will expand by nearly 90,000 acres, and eight other new patches of wilderness will be sprinkled across the state. And the wilderness expansions aren’t happening in a vacuum: in the inland deserts, a coordinated plan to link the Mojave, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley protected areas via wildlife and conservation corridors will roll out, underscoring that the agencies involved are interested in using a comprehensive approach to land management.

Mining projects stymied
Other areas got protections against mining or other resource extraction.

5. Near the gates of Yellowstone National Park, about 30,000 acres have been closed to mining. That means that two big proposed mining projects in the region won’t move forward—and that the corridor leading up to the park will remain protected into the future. (Read about why that’s a big deal).

6. Washington State’s Methow Valley, near the North Cascades, is close to a national park and a wilderness area—but the valley itself hadn’t been protected. In 2014, a company began exploring whether to site a copper mine in the region, but encountered strong pushback from the community. Now, about 340,000 acres of the valley along the Methow River’s headwaters are closed to mining for 20 years.

Wild and Scenic Rivers recognized nationwide
Over 600 miles of rivers from Connecticut to Washington gained protections under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers program.

7. About 250 miles of Oregon’s rivers, primarily along tributaries to the Rogue River and home to critical spawning grounds for salmon, will be protected. A 63-mile stretch of Utah’s Green River also gained status, as did a bundle of eastern rivers: the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in Connecticut; the Wood-Pawcatuck Rivers that wind through Connecticut and Rhode Island; and farther north, the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In the 1960s, the Nashua River was so polluted that barely anything could live in it, but decades of environmental activism and restoration have transformed the river.

And let’s not forget history

8. In Mississippi, the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home will be named a national monument. The Evers’s, civil rights heroes who established an NAACP chapter in Jackson, pushed to improve conditions for African Americans in the state and beyond. Medgar was shot and killed in his driveway in 1963. The Evers home has up until now been a National Landmark—a lower-level designation—and if the package gets signed into law, it will join about 160 other sites of great cultural or historical value.

9. Kentucky also gets two national monuments rife with Civil War history. Camp Nelson was a Union supply site that became a crucial safe space within the slave-holding state for African-Americans fleeing slavery, and became a major training recruitment center for black Union soldiers. And the Mill Springs Battlefield was the site of one of the first important Union victories of the war.

10. Georgia’s Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, a national park site north of Atlanta, will expand by a few acres—a tiny bite compared to some of the park expansions in the western states, but significant for the historic site, which encompasses a battle site home to one of the deadliest days of the Civil War.

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Montag, 4. März 2019, 19:15

The 25 Best Campgrounds at America’s National Parks

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Not all campgrounds are created equal. Here’s our definitive guide to the best of the best in America’s national parks.

Even at America’s national parks, where the bar is raised for everything from hiking to views, disappointing campgrounds are more common than one might expect. So what makes a good campground? For some of us, it’s flushing-toilets and RV hookups, while others seek solitude no matter how primitive the facilities. Whatever your preferences, all campers can agree on two things: a good campground should be spacious (no one wants to hear their neighbor snoring) and, of course, scenic. Here are our 25 favorite campgrounds in America’s most spectacular national parks.

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Montag, 4. März 2019, 19:45

Glacier National Park

Glacier Park Plan Addressing Overcrowding Moves Forward

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A plan that could change how visitors travel along the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor is among several projects Glacier National Park announced Monday they’re moving ahead with this year.
The plan to reduce issues of overcrowding along the park’s popular throughway has been in the works for years.
Lauren Alley is a spokesperson for Glacier National Park.
"What this plan looks at is really a series of strategies," says Alley. "You know that you can't solve crowding in Glacier National Park with just one thing."
Alley says the proposed plan includes multiple options like funding for more shuttles, enforced time-limits on parking, increased parking in certain places, and increased mitigation measures for trails that get hard hit each year.
"So it really takes a look at a lot of those areas along the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor and thoughtfully thinks about what might be needed to sustain such a level of visitation."
The current plan to manage overcrowding along the Going-to-the-Sun corridor got started back in 2012. In 2015 the park released some preliminary alternatives for managing the corridor and told the public they anticipated completing an environmental impact statement, or EIS, that year.
But the EIS was never released.
Alley says a major setback in the process has been the increase in park visitation from 2.3 million visits when the planning started to the record-breaking 3.3 million visits in 2017.
"This rather unprecedented growth over the course of about five years has been a challenge with this planning effort," says Alley.
The park now says they’re moving ahead and plan to release an environmental assessment (EA) for public comment in the next few months, instead of an EIS.
Alley says that switch is because analysis of the proposed plan so far has not found environmental impacts significant enough to require the more-detailed EIS.
Another project the park hopes to open up for public comment this spring proposes using a targeted fish toxin to kill off a non-native trout species in the area around Camas Lake.
That plan is intended to help the park’s native fish species thrive. It would also call for adding more native westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout to the area to boost their populations.

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