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Otto

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Dienstag, 5. März 2019, 19:17

20 Amazing Images of US National Parks from Space

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On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone National Park became the nation’s first national park (and perhaps the world).
Today, the National Park Service manages 418 separate units covering more than 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. In addition to 60 more national parks, they include 88 national monuments, 77 historical sites, and 11 national battlefields.
Click through the slideshow below for a look at some of the country’s amazing national parks — from above.

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Mittwoch, 6. März 2019, 19:32

US-Nationalparks verzeichnen Besucherrekorde

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Die bekannten US-Nationalparks freuen sich über mehr Touristen als jemals zuvor, die Gesamtzahl aller Besucher geht jedoch zurück.
Zahlreiche bekannte Nationalparks in den USA haben im Jahr 2018 neue Besucherrekorde verzeichnet. So viele Touristen wie nie zuvor kamen unter anderem in die Nationalparks Arches und Bryce Canyon im Bundesstaat Utah, nach Death Valley und Joshua Tree in Kalifornien sowie nach Grand Teton in Wyoming. Das teilte der US-Nationalpark-Service (NPS) in Washington parallel zum Start der Reisemesse ITB in Berlin (noch bis 10. März) mit. Auf der ITB 2019 ist die hohe Belastung einzelner Reiseziele, die oft mit dem Schlagwort Overtourism beschrieben wird, ein viel diskutiertes Thema.
Die Gesamtzahl aller gezählten Nationalpark-Besucher in den USA ging im vergangenen Jahr zwar um 3,8 Prozent zurück und erreichte 318,2 Millionen. Sie war jedoch die dritthöchste bisher gemessene, und zum vierten Jahr in Folge wurde nach NPS-Angaben die 300-Millionen-Marke überschritten. Insgesamt werden 418 Stätten vom NPS verwaltet, neben den 61 Nationalparks auch zahlreiche Monumente und historische Orte. 385 dieser Stätten zählen ihre Besucher. Nach Angaben des NPS wurden in den Parks zudem 13,95 Millionen Gästeübernachtungen registriert.
Der meistbesuchte vom NPS verwaltete Ort war im Jahr 2018 die Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco mit gut 15,2 Millionen Gästen, gefolgt vom Blue Ridge Parkway (knapp 14,7 Millionen) und dem Great Smokey Mountain Nationalpark in Tennessee und North Carolina (11,4 Millionen). Der Grand Canyon Nationalpark in Arizona, der mit vielen Aktivitäten in diesem Jahr sein 100-jähriges Bestehen feiert, kam 2018 auf die neue Rekordzahl von fast 6,4 Millionen Besuchern.

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Freitag, 8. März 2019, 17:52

This is when cherry blossoms are expected to hit peak bloom in Washington, D.C.

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People flock from all over to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., come springtime. But when will the photogenic trees hit peak bloom in 2019?
This year, peak bloom is predicted for April 3 to 6, according to Jeffrey Reinbold, acting superintendent of the National Park Service -National Mall and Memorial Parks.
The dates were revealed at a news conference hosted by the National Cherry Blossom Festival, an event that's been around for more than 90 years, and will run from March 20 to April 14 this year.
This prediction, however, is only as good as the weather forecast, Mike Litterst of NPS told USA TODAY. He explained that some years the forecast has been spot-on (like in 2015), but that last year, for example, they had to revise the date twice (peak bloom in 2018 fell on April 5). The average dates for peak bloom are April 3 to 4.
How does NPS reach such predictions? Litterst explains: "Our horticulturists look at three main factors: They're looking at the historic record (what's happened in years past as far as temperature trends and bloom dates); we're looking at obviously the forecast short and long-term as we go forward; and looking at the trees themselves."
It was easy to get excited for spring during the festival's presentation: The event featured everything from a drummer on a hoverboard (Malik Stewart) to a woman in a pink wig on stilts. Gwynne Flanagan, a circus performer, sported a cherry-blossom-adorned pink umbrella, tutu and pants. People couldn't help but take pictures and selfies with her.
National Cherry Blossom Festival events will include everything from a parade on April 13 to the Blossom Bash at The Anthem music venue on April 5 featuring pop star Meghan Trainor. Other highlights include the annual Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival and a special "Yappy Hour" at Milk Bar. More than 1.5 million people visit the festival every year, Diana Mayhew, president of National Cherry Blossom Festival told USA TODAY.
Mayhew also made a pitch for the cherry tree endowment campaign from the Trust for the National Mall and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, noting a $1,000 donation can fund a tree (there are 3,800 on the National Mall). Mayhew estimates hundreds of thousands of people have gotten married or engaged under the trees, and she welcomed those people to celebrate their anniversaries with an endowment.

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Freitag, 8. März 2019, 19:55

‘Super bloom’ covers US desert in vivid gold and purple flowers after weeks of heavy winter rains
Phenomenon usually only appears once in a decade but latest bloom is second in two years

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A “super bloom” of wildflowers that can be seen from mountaintops thousands of feet above has appeared across California‘s Anza-Borrego desert after weeks of heavy rain.
The state park to the east of San Diego is covered in swathes of the purple, yellow and orange flowers including Bigelow’s monkey flower, evening primrose and desert lilies.
The phenomenon usually occurs only once in a decade in California, but this year’s bloom is the state’s second in two years.
The 2017 super bloom was the best seen in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in 20 years and drew mass crowds.
This year’s bloom followed heavy rains and warm temperatures since October that caused seeds dormant for decades under the desert floor to flower.
Jim Dice, reserve manager of the Anza-Borrego Desert Research Centre, said: ”It’s a painting of colours at the moment out there in many of the areas.”
He said that six times the amount of rain fell in the desert over the winter compared to last year.
It is believed that if caterpillars and freezing temperatures stay away, the wave of wildflowers could intensify and spread into other areas for months to come.
A research associate at the Desert Research centre hiked up to the top of Coyote Mountain where he took a photo of the flowers that could still be seen 3,000 feet below.
Visitors to the desert have been taking advantage of the natural phenomenon to take floral-themed selfies.
Bright orange poppies are also covering the sides of Southern California motorways.
Betsy Knaak, the executive director of the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, which tracks the blooms said: “There’s just an abundance in where it’s blooming and it’s coming in waves.”
Stephen Rawding drove out from Carlsbad, north of San Diego, to take photos in the desert after a friend told him it was better than the super bloom in 2017.
“It’s unreal,” he said. “It’s just like they said – so beautiful.”

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Freitag, 15. März 2019, 18:34

President Trump signs bill that makes 2 SC historic sites national parks

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Two South Carolina historic sites became national parks on Tuesday after President Trump signed a Congressional lands bill into law.
The new law establishes Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park in the Charleston area and the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park in Beaufort. Both had been designated as national monuments and were already managed by the National Park Service.
The U.S. Senate overwhelming passed the bill — which includes other National Park Service designations, protects more than a million acres of wilderness and reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund — on Feb. 12. The bill then passed the U.S. House of Representatives handily late last month before it went to the president.
Dawn Davis, a spokesperson for the park service, said the primary difference the name change will bring to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie is the potential to reach more visitors.
“It can change how the public perceives the park and give it better recognition,” she said.
The new name can be especially helpful for Fort Moultrie, she said. Though the Sullivan’s Island fort was part of Fort Sumter National Monument, it wasn’t included in the overarching name.
Fort Moultrie is one of the oldest forts on the U.S. coast, and Fort Sumter, which is located on a small island in Charleston Harbor, was where the first shots of the Civil War rang out in 1861.
The recognition that comes with being known as a national park could also help officials when they’re trying to secure funding for projects, said Paula Ogden-Muse, the head interpreter for Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie.
For example, they hope to restore the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, which is included in the national park as part of the historic Sullivan’s Island Life Saving Station.
In Beaufort, the new law will also establish a network of historic sites. The national park in Beaufort will serve as a hub for a Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, which would connect other sites around the country that are important to the period of U.S. history following the Civil War.
“It’s going to allow us to link all these stories related to Reconstruction,” Davis said. “This story is way bigger than one park.”
The new legislation makes it easier for the park to possibly expand, too, Davis said, though it doesn’t automatically change its boundaries.
At the statewide Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel hosted last month in Columbia, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, praised the park developments in Beaufort. He described its potential for tourism growth in the state as “unlike any since golf.”
Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, had echoed Clyburn, saying that Reconstruction “could be to Beaufort what civil rights is to Selma.

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Freitag, 15. März 2019, 20:10

Grand Teton National Park

Proactive Road Preservation Scheduled in Park this Year

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A large pavement preservation project is planned in Grand Teton National Park this summer in an effort to proactively protect and preserve asphalt road surfaces throughout the park The work will take place on U.S. Highway 89 and in other highly visited locations and include some temporary delays and closures. Work is anticipated to begin in early May and completed in September, but it is dependent upon weather conditions. The project will be funded and managed in partnership with the Federal Lands Highway Program.

The initial work will include patching holes and sealing cracks in the pavement surface. A contractor will then apply a chip seal or micro seal on the road surface, followed by a fog seal to reduce airborne gravel. Striping will be the final action.

Chip sealing is a cost-effective way to provide an improved road surface and preserve the underlying pavement. When proactive preventative maintenance activities are completed on park roads, more serious and costly damage to the pavement structure will be averted.

Road work will generally occur between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, including weekends. No work will be permitted Saturday through Monday of Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27, or over the Independence Day Holiday, Wednesday afternoon through Sunday, July 3-7.

The chip sealing work is a rolling construction operation that will gradually proceed from south to north on U.S. Highway 89. Visitors can expect temporary delays and reduced speed limits in these mobile construction zones. Work at parking lots will be managed by sections so that a portion of the lot will always be accessible.

Weather permitting, work will occur at the following locations and dates listed:

U.S. Highway 89

South Boundary to Antelope Flats
Begin early May and complete by July
Maximum 15-minute delays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Maximum 30-minute delays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Antelope Flats to East Boundary near Moran
Completed by mid-July
Maximum 15-minute delays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Maximum 30-minute delays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Gros Ventre Road (Kelly Road)
Completed by mid-July
Maximum 15-minute delays

Colter Bay Entrance Road
Completed by mid-July
Maximum 15-minute delays

Colter Bay Visitor Center Parking
Completed by mid-July
Work will be completed in six phases to allow for visitor parking and access.

Leeks Marina Access Road
Prior to June 15 or after September 15, or completed at night 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Maximum 15-minute delays during daytime hours
Work on the Leeks Marina Access Road and the Colter Bay Entrance Road will not be performed concurrently.

South Jenny Lake Access Road and Parking
Completed by July
Work will be completed in four phases to allow for visitor parking and access.

Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center Parking
Completed by July
Work will be completed in two phases to allow for visitor parking and access.

Additional road preservation work may happen this summer if funding is available. Updated road status and conditions will be available by calling the park road information line at 307-739-3682 and on the park’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In addition to the pavement preservation work, the final phase of emergency repairs related to the June 2017 washout of the Gros Ventre Road will occur late this summer. Work is expected to begin in late July and continue into November. The work will focus on realigning the road to restore the original 45 m.p.h. speed limit and replacing the concrete barriers with a guardrail. Additional stream bank armoring will occur upstream and downstream from the work that was completed in the fall of 2017.

Traffic delays associated with this repair project will be limited to 15 minutes. Daily work will occur between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Delays will be encountered both during the day and at night depending on the phase of the project.

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Gestern, 19:26

Immer noch aktuell:

Access Horseshoe Bend via city shuttle

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The iconic Horseshoe Bend is a busy place. Improvements at Horseshoe Bend Overlook are currently underway, including a new accessible trail, shade structures, and a larger parking lot. A new viewing platform at the rim opened Summer 2018.
The City of Page requires Horseshoe Bend visitors to park in a temporary parking lot and travel by shuttle to the Horseshoe Bend trailhead. The parking shuttle will continue for the duration of construction of the new facilities at Horseshoe Bend Trailhead. The temporary parking lot for the Horseshoe Bend Trailhead shuttle is located 2.5 miles northeast of Horseshoe Bend, on the north side of Route 98, just east of Route 89A.

Shuttle Schedule : January 30th to April 15th 2019
First Shuttle Departs Temporary Parking Lot 10:00am , Last Shuttle Departs Horseshoe Bend Trailhead 5:00pm
Shuttles will depart Shuttle Parking Lot approximately every 15 minutes.
Fees and policy:
$5/guest, roundtrip shuttle from Temporary Shuttle Parking Lot to Horseshoe Bend Trailhead and back.
Guests can buy shuttle tickets online or pay cash on site.
Children under 2, who do not require their own seat, are free.
Strollers and collapsible wheelchairs can be placed in the luggage storage area of the shuttle.
No glass containers on the shuttle. No food or drink on the shuttle, besides water. No smoking on the shuttle.

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