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Sonntag, 14. März 2021, 20:57

7 Incredible Ancient Ruins To Explore In U.S. National Parks

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Originally established to conserve and preserve some of the most beautiful and unusual wilderness places in America, the National Park System soon grew to include archaeological and historic sites. The first park to preserve “the works of men,” as President Theodore Roosevelt put it, was Mesa Verde, established in 1906. Others followed, preserving and showcasing ancient ruins and archaeological sites throughout the country. Most of them are in the Southwest. And for good reason.
People of the Southwest built their homes and cities in stone, carving them in soft sandstone crevices or building structures up to four stories high from clay and mud bricks. In the bone-dry environment of the desert, these ancient structures baked in the sun but stayed preserved. Visible for miles in the wide-open spaces, they were easy to find, and as settlers moved into the area, they started visiting them -- with no regard to their preservation. Vandalism threatened to destroy structures that stood centuries in the desert sun, and the NPS incorporated them to help preserve them.
Having lived in the Southwest for a few decades, I’ve visited these national parks, and over time a few of them became my favorites, where my family returns year after year -- always finding something new. We’ve taken ranger-led tours through some and explored others on our own. The following are only a few of our favorite national parks preserving ancient ruins in the Southwest.

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Dienstag, 23. März 2021, 19:52

You Can Still Visit These Six Former National Parks

Despite being delisted by the NPS, these spots are worth exploring thanks to their rich history and sheer beauty

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On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill designating Yellowstone National Park as the first national park in the United States. In the nearly 150 years since, hundreds of other parks have joined the ranks, and today the National Park Service is responsible for managing 423 units spread across more than 85 million acres of land. However, while the NPS has always been adding new parks to its inventory, it has also “pruned” a fair amount too (26 to be exact), for reasons that range from low visitor numbers to safety precautions. But that doesn't mean that these locations aren't worth a visit. Here are six former parks worth the trip for their rich history and sheer beauty alone.

Mackinac Island State Park, Michigan
Years in the NPS (Mackinac National Park): 1875-1895
Three years after Yellowstone earned its status as a national park, an island off the coast of Michigan’s upper peninsula became the next in line to join the NPS list. At that time, the approximately four-square-mile island was a popular weekend getaway for the wealthy, who had summer homes (well, mansions) built on the bluffs overlooking Lake Huron. Before that, the island was home to the Odawa, a Native American tribe that was well known as fur traders. However, European colonization pushed them out, and eventually Mackinac Island became an important military stronghold during the War of 1812.
Once the dust from the war settled, Mackinac Island remained home to Fort Mackinac, a military garrison. Seeing an opportunity, in 1875, Congress assigned the U.S. Department of War as the party responsible for managing the new national park, tapping military personnel to help with its operation. But by the 1890s, the military no longer had a need for a base there and threatened to abandon their stewardship, causing Michigan’s governor to petition Congress to turn the park over to the state. In the roughly 125 years since, the island has remained Mackinac Island State Park, a slice of paradise in the Great Lakes region where motor vehicles are banned and visitors travel the rolling two-lane roads via bicycle or horse and buggy. The island has become a popular destination for hikers thanks to its abundance of interesting rock formations, including Arch Rock, a naturally formed limestone arch that rises 146 feet and was one of the geological anomalies that put the island in the running to become a national park in the first place.

Crow Flies High State Recreation Area, North Dakota
Years in the NPS (Verendrye National Monument): 1917-1956
Thanks to its exaggerated craggy shape, which stands in stark contrast from the surrounding flat terrain along the banks of the Missouri River, Crowhigh Butte became a popular point of navigation for pioneers traveling during the western expansion of the 1800s. The notability of the 565-foot landform also caught the attention of Congress, which, by presidential proclamation in 1917, granted it and its surrounding 250 acres as Verendrye National Monument, naming it after French-Canadian explorer and fur trader Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye.
By the 1950s, historians began questioning the accuracy of the explorer’s claims of camping at Crowhigh Butte, and in 1956, Congress declassified the monument, transferring it to the state of North Dakota, which renamed it Crow Flies High State Recreation Area. However, its main draw remains the same with modern-day explorers: The views are worth the journey.

Shasta-Trinity National Forest and Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area, California
Years in the NPS (Shasta Lake Recreation Area): 1945-1948
Out of all the sites once under the NPS umbrella, the Shasta Lake Recreation Area had one of the shortest stints, clocking in at three years. In 1945, the NPS took the property on as national parkland. This was right around the same time that California’s Central Valley Project, a network of dams, reservoirs and canals, broke ground along the Sacramento River. Part of the project was the construction of what would become Shasta Lake, a manmade reservoir, and Shasta Dam. At that time, the curved concrete dam, which sits about 14 miles north of Redding, was considered an architectural marvel. Construction took more than four years to complete, and once finished, the 602-foot spillway made it the second tallest dam in the United States after the Hoover Dam.
Today, the National Forest Service manages most of the property, which has been subdivided into the approximately 2.2-million-acre Shasta-Trinity National Forest and the 246,087-acre Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area. However, the NPS remains in charge of one portion, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, a 42,000-acre area that was once a thriving gold mining town. Years later, the ghost town’s buildings have been submerged by flood waters from the dam but can still be spotted by eagle-eyed scuba divers and snorkelers. All three are popular destinations for boaters and hikers, and wildlife is abundant, ranging from bald eagles and mountain lions to North American river otters and Western pond turtles.

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, Montana
Years in the NPS (Lewis and Clark Cavern National Monument): 1908-1937
Named after Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, this site overlooks the same trail that the American explorers traveled as part of the Corps of Discovery, a U.S. military mission that took place between 1804 and 1806 to explore previously uncharted parts of the West. Interestingly, the duo never set foot inside the caverns, which wouldn’t be discovered for another 86 years by a pair of hunters who stumbled upon them. A few years later, the hunters opened it up to public use, dubbing it Limespur Cave.
In 1908, the NPS scooped the property up and renamed it the Lewis and Clark Cavern National Monument. It would become the system’s 15th national monument. Despite being only 50 miles west of Bozeman, the site never drew crowds, since the roadways to get there were in such poor condition. (There was also a treacherous 45-minute uphill hike involved too.) If they made it to the entrance point, they were on their own, as no park rangers were on site. Couple that with no interior lighting inside the cavern, and it's easy to see why tourists bypassed the park. Because of safety concerns, the NPS officially closed the caverns in 1937.
Soon thereafter, the Civilian Conservation Corps swooped in and added some much-needed improvements to the caverns, and in 1937, Congress transferred the property to the state of Montana, making it the state’s first state park. Now known as Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, the 3,000-acre site claims to be “the most highly decorated limestone caverns in North America,” as it is lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns and helictites.

La Garita Wilderness, Colorado
Years in the NPS (Wheeler Geologic Area): 1908-1950
The future of the Wheeler Geologic Area as a tourist destination was doomed from the start. Despite being visually captivating thanks to its rocky outcroppings and jagged spires, very few visitors were willing to make the arduous journey through southern Colorado to see this natural spectacle. Part of the reason was because there were no good roads leading to it, and by the middle of the 20th century, once car travel was firmly rooted in American culture, many tourists would continue driving past the site in favor of more accessible destinations that were equally stunning, like Pike’s Peak to the northeast.
Because of low visitor numbers (according to one source, only 43 people visited in 1943), Congress transferred the site to the U.S. Forest Service, the same agency that was responsible for it before the NPS. It would be Colorado’s first national monument. Today the site, which sits inside the 1.86-million-acre boundaries of the Rio Grande National Forest, remains in the hands of the U.S. Forest Service and has been merged into the adjacent La Garita Wilderness.
Today, the geologic area is far more accessible and has become a popular destination among rockhounds interested in exploring the unusual geological formations, which are the result of volcanic ash that has been compressed into the rocks and eroded over time, revealing a mesmerizing profusion of spires, domes, caves and ravines known as “The City of Gnomes.”

Chattanooga National Cemetery, Tennessee
Years in the NPS: 1933-1944
After the NPS transferred the Chattanooga National Cemetery to the War Department in 1944, the cemetery retained its name, unlike many other former units. Located in Tennessee, the cemetery has a long and storied history that dates back to the Civil War. In 1863, during the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Union Major General George Thomas called for a cemetery to bury soldiers killed in action during the Battle of Chattanooga and the Battle of Chickamauga. On Christmas Day, Thomas issued an order creating a cemetery on 75 acres of land located a mile’s drive from what is now downtown Chattanooga. All told, tens of thousands of soldiers were buried there, including 1,800 unknowns.
Once the war ended, the U.S. government purchased the land along with some property adjacent to the parcel and began burying disinterred soldiers who hadn’t received formal burials during
The Chattanooga National Cemetery is renowned for several reasons. First, it’s the only national cemetery to contain graves of foreign POWs, including 78 graves of Germans from World War I and 108 POWs from Germany, France, Italy and Poland from World War II. The cemetery is also notable for its interesting layout, the work of U.S. Army Chaplain Thomas B. Van Horne, who was inspired by the area's undulating topography, resulting in burial sections in unique shapes like circles and triangles. There are a number of significant burials within the cemetery, including Master Sergeant Ray E. Duke, who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his service during the Korean War, and Cal Ermer, a Major League Baseball player and Marine Corps vet of World War II.

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Montag, 5. April 2021, 19:47

Utah is getting a new state park named after a dinosaur

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Utah is about to create two new state parks, one of which will be named after a 100 million-year-old dinosaur whose bones were discovered around Moab, which is known as the state’s recreation capital.

Parts of the Dalton Wells area in Grand County will become the Utahraptor State Park, after the bones of an unknown dinsosaur were excavated in the area. According to Smithsonian Magazine, Utahraptor ostrommaysi was a feather-covered bipedal carnivore that stretched more than 20 feet long and weighed more than 600 pounds.
The first specimens of Utahraptor were found in 1975 in the Dalton Wells Quarry, and a large foot-claw and further remains were found in 1991. The remains of approximately 10 additional dinosaurs have since been found in the area, which is adjacent to Arches National Park. The Utahraptor has now become the state's official dinosaur, and the new park named in its honor will cover 6500 acres of land, incorporating 150 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. The new funding and designation will help to protect the land and to prevent fossils being stolen from the area.

The second new state park will be formed from Lost Creek Reservoir in Morgan County, which will become the Lost Creek State Park. Hunting wildlife there will now be limited to waterfowl, and it's a popular spot for trout-fishing rainbow, boating and water sports. The new parks will be the 45th and 46th in the state, and according to a fiscal note attached the bill, they could cost visitors up to $25 in entrance fees and up to $40 for camping in them.

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Donnerstag, 15. April 2021, 19:49

What makes a National Historic Landmark?

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The United States is not as old as some other nations, but it includes many historically important cultural sites. The National Historic Landmarks Program helps preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations.
Each National Historic Landmark represents an exceptional aspect of American history and culture, according to the U.S. National Park Service (NPS).
A historic landmark can be a building, site, structure, object, or district — as long as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior designates it a National Historic Landmark.
The NPS has overseen the care and preservation of National Historic Landmark sites since 1960. The Erie Canal system in New York and Mackinac Island in Michigan were among the first sites designated National Historic Landmarks that year.
The Erie Canal was chosen as a prime example of early 19th-century industrial achievement on the East Coast while the entirety of Mackinac Island — a 19th-century summer colony where, to this day, cars are not allowed — was chosen as one of the gems of the Midwest.
The NPS picks potential National Historic Landmark sites through an annual survey to find places of historic and cultural importance to the United States. After the NPS and its special advisory board determine which sites to nominate, they pass along a list to the Secretary of the Interior to make the final selection.
Owners of private properties are free to accept or decline the National Historic Landmark designation.
There are over 2,600 National Historic Landmark sites in the United States, and the federal government owns fewer than 400 of them. Roughly 85% of them are owned by private citizens, organizations, corporations, tribal entities, or state or local governments — or sometimes a combination.
Even if a National Historic Landmark is owned by a private entity, the federal government can fund a landmark’s preservation. Under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the federal government can provide licenses and grant funding to historic landmarks for owners to maintain the property.
If federal funding is granted, the property is subjected to federal laws and regulations restricting changes that might detract from the property’s character. If a private owner doesn’t receive federal funding, those restrictions do not apply, although local and state laws still do.
Not all historic landmarks are stationary buildings or structures. San Francisco’s cable cars are a historic landmark that anyone can ride. The City of San Francisco owns them, but the federal, state and local governments all pitched in during the 1980s to restore and rebuild the system.
Even if a National Historic Landmark doesn’t receive federal funding and isn’t governed by local or state laws, NPS can check on the property to make sure it’s still standing and hasn’t fallen into disrepair.
The NPS makes suggestions about how to preserve the property, but the owner is under no legal obligation to comply if federal funding has not been granted. Federal funding through grants can assist the maintenance of any National Historic Landmark, which can help prevent it from becoming dilapidated, and therefore less likely to be demolished.
However, even if a building is designated as a National Historic Landmark, it can still be demolished per its city’s laws. New York City’s Grand Central Terminal was almost demolished until former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis successfully championed its survival to both the state and federal governments during the 1970s. To this day, tourists and travelers can visit the historic terminal that will be 100 years old in 2023.

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Freitag, 16. April 2021, 21:13

The Best State Park in Every Single State

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We all know how impressive our national parks system is. But while our Instagram feeds are flooded with awe-striking photos of Yosemite and Bryce Canyon, it can be easy to forget about a less touristed and just as scenic alternative: state parks.
Throughout the U.S., there are over 10,000 state parks, home to thundering herds of bison (like in South Dakota's Custer State Park), colorful thousand-foot-tall cliffs (found in Palo Duro Canyon in Texas), and some of the country's highest waterfalls (at Tennessee's Fall Creek Falls). Plus, state parks are generally less crowded, more affordable to visit, and, often, more pet-friendly than national park alternatives.
Below, we’ve selected the best state park in, you guessed it, every single state—what we consider the best state parks in the country.

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Freitag, 23. April 2021, 20:34

Sollte man in diesem Sommer doch noch in die USA fliegen können und jemand das machen wollen: folgende National Parks haben Reservierungsbestimmungen.

These US national parks require entry reservations this summer

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Outdoor adventures and nature pursuits have gained in popularity in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in national parks seeing a boom in visitation numbers.

As a result, several parks are implementing ticketed entry systems for day visitors to facilitate social distancing and prevent overcrowding. Visitors should bear in mind that most tickets will have to be purchased in advance. Here are the details of the requirements from some of the country's popular parks.

Acadia National Park
The popularity of Acadia National Park in New England means that it is one of the most frequented sites in the country. Visitors can enjoy watching the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain, which gives amazing views over the Atlantic, but vehicle reservations will be required for access from 26 May through October 19. There are two options, the first of which is a two-hour “sunrise” reservation, with the time frame changing from 3.30am to 5.30am as daybreak times alters.
There is also a daytime reservation with a 30-minute entry window, with 30% of entry slots being released 90 days in advance and the remainder two days prior to each date. Reservations cost $6 and do not include park entry fees. Tickets are available online here.

Glacier National Park
Glacier is one of the most spectacular national parks and is located in the Rocky Mountains. It is implementing a ticketed vehicle entry system from 28 May to 6 September for its historic Going-to-the-Sun Road, the 50-mile, vista-laden strip of asphalt, which offers drivers access to some of the most astounding sights in the Rockies.
A $2 entry reservation ticket must be purchased by day visitors entering by car or motorcycle via Camas Road, St Mary or West Glacier between 6am and 5pm, in addition to park entry fees. The tickets are valid for seven days, and 75% of the reservations will be available 60 days in advance from 29 April, with the remaining 25% available here two days in advance.

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park in California is famous for its spectacular waterfalls and massive granite rock formations, notably El Capitan and Half Dome. It is implementing a ticketed system for day visitors entering by private vehicle from 21 May through 30 September. Each $2 permit is valid for three days between the hours of 5am and 11pm and doesn't include park entrance fees. Initial ticket sales open on 21 April here, and a limited number of reservations will become available seven days before the desired entry date.

Rocky Mountain National Park
The crown jewel of Colorado's national parks, Rocky Mountain National Park is hugely popular. To avoid overcrowding, it is introducing a two-tiered permit system from 28 May to 11 October. The regular day reservations are for entry between 9am and 3pm, and they exclude access to the busy Bear Lake Road. Permits for the Bear Lake Road Corridor allow for entry between 5am and 6pm. The $2 day entry permits will go on sale on 1 May, and the park will sell 75% of permits in advance and the remainder at 5pm on the day prior to entry.

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Donnerstag, 3. Juni 2021, 20:06

What it was like to visit American national parks in the 1950s

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Freitag, 11. Juni 2021, 19:02

Lake Mead: Pegel von größtem US-Stausee auf Rekordtief – extreme Ausmaße sichtbar

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Die Dürre trocknet den Lake Mead aus. Der größte Stausee der USA, der in den 1930er Jahren durch den Bau des Hoover-Damms entstanden war, ist elementar für die Wasserversorgung von rund 25 Millionen Menschen.

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Montag, 28. Juni 2021, 19:01

Visitors deface Antelope Canyon with graffiti, human waste

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Rangers at Glen Canyon National Recreational Area in southern Utah say they were recently forced to clean up after visitors left graffiti and human waste in the park.

About 550 square feet of graffiti had to be removed from the walls of Antelope Canyon, according to the park's Facebook page. The vandalism was seen in multiple areas in the canyon.
Photos showed two rangers scrubbing the walls clean of graffiti.
When rangers kayaked to the canyon, "the smell of sewage was robust," the social media post said.
"Our rangers are going to Antelope Canyon as often as they can, but they can’t be there all the time. We are all sharing this beautiful space," the park said. "Please respect everyone else that comes to visit by not leaving illegal graffiti or waste behind."

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Freitag, 2. Juli 2021, 21:51

Gorgeous Timelapse Film Explores America’s Cities and National Parks

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Mittwoch, 25. August 2021, 21:10

Rockslide in Great Smoky Mountains National Park closes a main thoroughfare

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A rockslide in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed a main thoroughfare between Tennessee and North Carolina.

Newfound Gap Road (U.S. Highway 441) is closed from the intersection with Little River Road, near the popular Sugarlands Visitor Center at Gatlinburg, to Smokemont Campground Road. Access to Smokemont Campground is open from the North Carolina side.
The rockslide happened at about 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to a press release from the park. The announcement said crews are working to clear the rocks as quickly as possible, but didn't indicate when the road might reopen.
The road connects Gatlinburg and Cherokee, North Carolina, and is the route visitors use to travel to many of the park's hotspots.

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Samstag, 11. September 2021, 09:58

The most popular historic sites in America

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After experiencing closures and restrictive operations, the National Park System has seen a resurgence in visitor numbers in 2021. More than half of NPS sites were established to commemorate a historical figure or event, like the Lincoln Memorial and Mount Rushmore, two of the most visited sites in 2020. National historic parks, like the Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania, received a total of 20 million visitors in 2020, according to the NPS.

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Dienstag, 14. September 2021, 21:00

Oldest national parks in America

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Using a variety of historical sources such as the National Park Service, Stacker compiled a list of the 25 oldest established national parks in America.

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Freitag, 1. Oktober 2021, 20:04

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupts within national park
The eruption is not in an area with homes and is entirely contained within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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One of the most active volcanos on Earth is erupting on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed Wednesday that an eruption has begun in Kilauea’s Halemaumau crater at the volcano’s summit.
The eruption is not in an area with homes and is entirely contained within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The volcano’s alert level has been raised to “warning” and the aviation code changed to red.
Earlier Wednesday, officials said increased earthquake activity and ground swelling had been detected, and at that time raised the alert levels accordingly.
Kilauea had a major eruption in 2018 that destroyed scores of homes and displaced thousands of residents. Before that eruption, the volcano had been slowly erupting for decades, but not in residential areas. The same area of the volcano that began erupting Wednesday also erupted in December and lasted until May.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said that she had not yet arrived at the park, but that colleagues reported seeing some lava spatter and glow within the summit crater.
“He saw that from Volcano House, which is at least 2 miles away from the eruption site, so I suspect ... we’ll be able to see a pretty glow, and who knows what else,” she said.
The Volcano House is a hotel and restaurant within the national park adjacent to the visitor center. The park is open to visitors.
Ferracane said the area that is erupting is not close to where people can hike or drive. Trails downwind from the eruption have been closed for years.
“The park is open and there are no road closures at this time,” Ferracane said.

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Sonntag, 3. Oktober 2021, 20:38

Woman finds 4.38-carat diamond at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park

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Noreen Wredberg and her husband, Michael, weren't really expecting to find anything at Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park, she said, and she wasn't sure what she had found when she picked up a stone.
Turns out, it was a yellow diamond weighing 4.38 carats.
"I didn't know it was a diamond then, but it was clean and shiny, so I picked it up," Wredberg said, according to a news release from the park.
The diamond is "about the size of a jellybean, with a pear shape and a lemonade color," Park Superintendent Caleb Howell said.
"When I first saw this diamond under the microscope, I thought, 'Wow, what a beautiful shape and color,'" Howell said in the release.
The park allows visitors to keep what they find, and more than 75,000 diamonds have been discovered there since 1906, according to the park.
This year, 258 diamonds have been registered at the park, about one or two a day, weighing in all more than 46 carats.
On Labor Day 2020, an Arkansas man found a 9.07-carat diamond. It was the second-largest ever found at the park.
Wredberg's diamond is the largest found since then, the park said.
Some people never find any, but Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said conditions were perfect for searching when the Wredbergs, from Granite Bay, California, decided to try for the fun of it, since they were nearby at nearby Hot Springs National Park. Wredberg found hers in less than an hour.
It had rained in the days before the couple visited. Then the sun was out on the day they were there, September 23.
"When rain uncovers a larger diamond and the sun comes out, its reflective surface is often easy to see," Cox said.
It's not clear what the diamond is worth. The park said it doesn't do appraisals. A 3.03-carat diamond found in the park in 1990 was later cut into a 1.09 carat with a round shape and set into a gold ring. The park later bought the ring for $34,000 in donations, and it is on display at the visitor center.

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Freitag, 8. Oktober 2021, 22:28

Biden will von Trump verkleinerte Naturschutzgebiete wiederherstellen

In seiner Amtszeit sorgte der frühere US-Präsident Donald Trump dafür, dass mehrere Naturschutzgebiete im Land deutlich schrumpften. Nachfolger Biden macht das nun rückgängig – und sorgt beim Gouverneur von Utah für Ärger.

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Donald Trump hat in seiner vierjährigen Amtszeit als US-Präsident mit seinen Entscheidungen verschiedenste Gruppen gegen sich aufgebracht. 2017 sorgte er für Empörung, weil er mehrere Naturschutzgebiete deutlich verkleinerte. Sein Amtsnachfolger Joe Biden möchte diesen Schritt wieder umkehren.
Der demokratische Präsident beabsichtigt die Wiederherstellung von drei Naturschutzgebieten, die unter Trump massiv geschrumpft waren. Ziel sei der bessere Schutz und die Erhaltung von Land und Gewässern, teilte das Weiße Haus am Donnerstag mit.
Betroffen von der Maßnahme sind zwei Naturschutzgebiete im US-Bundesstaat Utah und eines vor der Küste Neuenglands. Die Gebiete werden den Angaben zufolge von dort lebenden Ureinwohnern als heilig betrachtet.
Das National Monument »Bears Ears« in Utah büßte unter Trump einen großen Teil seiner Fläche ein, auch »Grand Staircase – Escalante« musste deutlich schrumpfen. Beide National Monuments waren von demokratischen Präsidenten unter Schutz gestellt worden – »Bears Ears« im Dezember 2016 noch von Barack Obama, »Grand Staircase - Escalante« im Jahr 1996 von Bill Clinton. Das Meeresschutzgebiet Northeast Canyons and Seamounts wurde in letzter Zeit auch für kommerzielle Fischerei genutzt.

Gouverneur von Utah kündigt rechtliche Schritte an
Biden will nun den Schutz der Gebiete wiederherstellen und Fischereibeschränkungen wieder einführen. Trump argumentierte damals, die Menschen in Utah wüssten viel besser, was gut für ihr Land sei als Bürokraten im fernen Washington. Umweltschützer hingegen erklärten, der Schutz sei entscheidend, um intensiven Bergbau und die Suche nach Bodenschätzen, verbunden mit erheblichen Einflüssen auf Umwelt und Landschaft, zu verhindern. Die Gegenden zählen zu den landschaftlich eindrucksvollsten in den USA.
Der republikanische Gouverneur von Utah hat Bidens Entscheidung kritisiert. Er sei enttäuscht darüber, dass der US-Präsident, die Grenzen der Schutzgebiete wieder ausweiten wolle, sagte Spencer Cox am Donnerstagabend. »Diese Entscheidungen zeigen deutlich, dass die Regierung nicht bereit ist, mit denen zusammenzuarbeiten und ihnen zuzuhören, die von ihren Entscheidungen am stärksten betroffen sind«, sagte Cox und fügte hinzu, dass der Bundesstaat rechtliche Schritte prüfen werde.

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Samstag, 30. Oktober 2021, 20:46

Who will run Georgia’s Confederate-themed Stone Mountain Park?

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The only bidder for management of Georgia’s Confederate-themed, state-owned Stone Mountain Park is a new firm created by an official of the company that’s pulling out, the park’s governing board said Monday.
The Stone Mountain Memorial Association board voted Monday to choose Thrive Attractions Management LLC as the finalist to run the park near Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
That opens the way for negotiations with Thrive, led by Michael Dombrowski — Stone Mountain Park’s general manager for seven years as a vice president of Herschend Family Entertainment.
Management companies have little, if any, direct control over Confederate imagery at Stone Mountain Park, and state law bars any change to the enormous mountainside carving of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.
Such companies also have no role in the board’s current initiatives to loosen ties to the Confederacy, such as dropping the carving from its logo and moving Confederate flags from a busy walking trail.
Dombrowski said he “absolutely” supports such efforts, which also include creating a new museum exhibit about the park’s and carving’s history and long ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
“We can’t do anything about a rock,” he said. “But we can do something about the living human beings and the community that’s in front of that rock. The way we love our employees, the way we welcome our community, the way we invite our community.”
Bona Allen is a leader with the Stone Mountain Action Coalition, which has been pushing for major changes to Confederate tributes. He said Monday that he hopes the new management company will encourage them, too.
“Stone Mountain Action Coalition wants Stone Mountain Park to be successful,” Allen said. “And the only way we think it can be successful is to be inclusive, which means get rid of the Confederacy and everything that it stands for.”
Dombrowski told the newspaper that with Herschend soon leaving the park, he was heartbroken that Stone Mountain might not be part of his life. That’s what prompted him to create Thrive to bid on the new contract.
Herschend’s lease ends July 31. The company has said it will leave, citing decreased revenues and “protests and division” fueled by the park’s Confederate imagery.
Herschend has run attractions like the laser show and the Skylift, as well as special events, shops and convention space, since the 1990s.
The authority in July made a formal call for proposals from would-be operators for the park, which lies below the world’s largest Confederate monument — an enormous mountainside carving of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee..
Four companies expressed interest but only Thrive made a bid, said memorial association CEO Bill Stephens.
Dombrowski’s “deep experience” and “unmatched depth of knowledge” made Thrive the right partner, officials said.
Press releases credited Dombrowski, who developed popular attractions including Snow Mountain and Stone Mountain Christmas, with turning a money-losing park into one that made a profit for the six years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Sonntag, 31. Oktober 2021, 22:11

New Alcatraz Exhibit Delves Into U.S. Prison History

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Incarceration in the United States takes on an educational role at Alcatraz Island, where a new exhibit delves into the legal, social, and political issues of being locked up.
The Big Lock Up: Mass Incarceration in the United States is a permanent multimedia exhibit developed by the National Park Service in consultation with dozens of community members and academic experts with support by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
The exhibit is located in the historic Band Practice Room on the basement floor of the Cell House and is available as a free optional offering to park visitors. Through text, photographs and interactive content, it follows the legal, social, and political issues of incarceration in the United States. The Big Lock Up, which replaces an out-of-date exhibit by the Bureau of Prisons from the 1990s, invites visitors to develop their own thoughts about topics surrounding the country’s prison system.
The exhibit engages audiences on the history of incarceration in the United States, both before and after the period during which Alcatraz Island was a military prison in the 1860s, a federal maximum security prison from 1934 to 1963 and later the site of a Native American protest between 1969 and 1971.
“The Big Lock U tells untold stories important to our nation’s history concerning the complex issue of incarceration and furthers the park’s mission to provide transformative and thought-provoking experiences,” said Michele Gee, chief of interpretation and education for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. “While the island has hosted many prison-related art exhibitions, installation of this permanent exhibit represents the completion of a major visitor enhancement.”
The Big Lock Up is available following the popular Cell House audio tour describing the daily conditions and prisoner life, as told by those formerly imprisoned and guards, at Alcatraz during its federal penitentiary era. It joins the temporary exhibit Red Power on Alcatraz: Perspectives 50 Years Later, which chronicles the 1969 occupation through photographs and primary source materials contributed by scholars and those that lived through the experience.
The Big Lock Up, which was funded through a combination of monies from the NPS, donations through the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Alcatraz City Cruises concessions fees, furthers the mission of the NPS to tell every side of the complex stories that surround our parks.

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Mittwoch, 24. November 2021, 21:08

8 Places To Learn About Native American Culture In Arizona

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Long before Arizona became a U.S. state, diverse groups of indigenous people made their homes here, living in villages all throughout the region. The Ancestral Puebloans, Hohokam, Patayan, and Mogollon people left their legacy on the land, and their descendants still live in the same areas, keeping their culture and customs alive.
Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized sovereign Native Nations, who all add their rich traditions to the cultural diversity of the state. No matter where they go, visitors of Arizona have opportunities to get a first-hand understanding of the Native American culture of the region in hands-on museums, cultural centers, and on the tribal land of these nations.

1. The Heard Museum In Phoenix
The best place in the state to get an overall view and in-depth knowledge of all the Indigenous People and cultures in Arizona is the Heard Museum in Phoenix. One of the oldest museums in the city, it showcases the cultures of the Native Americans of the state, while adding both historical and geographical perspectives.
The best way to gain a thorough understanding of the native tribes of Arizona is the HOME exhibit on the first floor. A map of the state offers a clear view of the areas each of the tribes live in, while the exhibit takes visitors through all these lands, showcasing artifacts representing the concept of home for each indigenous nation, from ancient times to today.
The museum also hosts temporary exhibits showcasing the work of indigenous artists, and native cultural events. If possible, try to catch some of these events for a better understanding of the native cultures. Besides traditional dances, over the years, I’ve watched tribe members enact or tell ancient legends and other stories accompanied by music.

2. The Museum Of Northern Arizona In Flagstaff
Another museum in the state that hosts Native cultural events is the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. Over the years, I’ve seen many Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni traditional dances, shows, and demonstrations there. I tried traditional food items from the different nations, including Hopi Piki bread and Navajo fry bread, watched native artists make traditional jewelry, baskets, and other crafts. While showcasing their work, native artists talk about the process and the object’s significance. We’ve learned a lot about several Katsina dolls in this setting from artists who carved them, about their original purpose, and the stories surrounding them.
Besides hosting these events, the museum itself has an extensive collection of tribal artifacts, showcased in the Native Peoples of the Colorado Plateau exhibition. This exhibit reflects the histories, values, and cultures of 10 tribes living in Arizona, with material from the Zuni, Acoma, Southern Ute, Southern Paiute, Hopi, Havasupai, Hualapai, Yavapai, Dilzhe’e Apache, and Diné (Navajo) communities. Exhibited objects include traditional basketry, pottery, weaving, clothing, jewelry of fine silverwork, toys, and tools.

3. The Tribal Lands Of The Indigenous People Of Arizona
While the above museums offer a great introduction to the native cultures of Arizona, visiting the tribal lands gives travelers an opportunity to understand these nations better. Most tribes have museums or cultural and heritage centers where visitors can learn more about their history, traditions, and way of life.

4. The Museums Of The Navajo Nation
The largest Native tribe in the state — and in the country — the Navajo Nation comprises much of Northern Arizona and includes some of the most distinctive landmarks of the U.S. Southwest, like Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and Canyon de Chelly. Visiting any of the Tribal Parks offers opportunities to learn about the Diné (Navajo) people. But several museums on the Navajo Nation offer a more in-depth understanding of their history and culture.
Window Rock, named after a distinctive rock formation, is the capital of the nation and home of the Navajo Nation Museum And Visitor Center. Focusing on the unique culture of the Diné nation, the center features several collections and traditional museum exhibits, as well as a research library and programs that help preserve the Diné language. An interpretive video, photographs, a variety of artwork, jewelry, and textiles describe the history, legends, and lives of the Diné.
Created with the help of leading Navajo scholars, and the nation’s artistic community, the Explore Navajo Interactive Museum in Tuba City showcases the journey the Diné people take through life. Housed in a dome-shaped structure meant to recall the traditional hogan, the museum is divided into four parts, corresponding to the four directions. Visitors enter on the east side and walk clockwise to the south, west, and north, introducing the land, language, history, culture, traditions, family system, and ceremonial life of the Diné. Admission includes entry to the small Navajo Code Talkers Memorial Museum next door, housed in the Tuba City Trading Post.
You don’t have to drive all the way to Window Rock or Tuba City to experience Navajo culture, though. The Navajo Village Heritage Center in Page offers another opportunity to engage with this unique culture through authentic Navajo food, dance performances, and storytelling while learning about the Diné history and traditions.

5. The Hopi Cultural Center On Second Mesa On The Hopi Nation
The Hopi people are known as the oldest of the native people of North America who have lived continuously on the same land, in the same villages. In fact, the village of Oraibi, dating from 1100, is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the U.S. Although you can drive on the main road through all the Hopi villages, including Old Oraibi, you can only visit them or drive off the main road with a guide. As old as the structures are, people still live in them, and they value their privacy.
The Hopi live in 12 villages on three mesas in northern Arizona, and the best way to learn about their culture and history is by starting a visit to their land at the Hopi Cultural Center on Second Mesa. Here, a small museum offers an introduction to their history and culture, where you can also learn about the villages and book a tour to visit them. A restaurant on the premises offers traditional Hopi fare, while the gift shop features artwork and crafts from several local Hopi artists, including Katsina dolls and pottery. To make the most of your visit, you can stay overnight at the hotel on the premises.

6. Grand Canyon West On The Land Of The Hualapai Nation
Famous for its Skywalk, a glass bridge over the Grand Canyon, and a popular tourist destination, Grand Canyon West also offers an insight into the life of the Hualapai Nation. Besides the exhibits at the visitor center, Eagle Point offers an immersive look into the lives of the Hualapai and other Native people of the area. Walk through traditional homes of different tribes of the region on a paved path, and watch traditional songs or dances in the outdoor amphitheater. Depending on your timing, this could be a simple drumming/singing by one member of the tribe, or spectacular Hualapai dances performed by a group. A small gift shop offers traditional handmade objects made by the Hualapai, Hopi, and Mojave tribes.

7. The White Mountain Apache Cultural Center And Museum
If you drive through eastern Arizona, stop at the Fort Apache Historical Park to learn about the White Mountain Apache people. Within the park, the Cultural Center and Museum offers the perfect place to experience Apache history and culture. Called Nohwike’ Bágowa (House of Our Footprints), the building reflects a traditional Apache holy home, gowa. Inside a traditional gowa, the exhibit Ndee Bike’ (Footprints of the Apache) showcases a multimedia presentation of the Apache Creation Story. Traditional objects, artwork, historic and contemporary photographs, and interactive computer and audio stations offer a glimpse into the history and lives of the Apache people. Besides these exhibits, the Cultural Center hosts traditional demonstrations and special events. You’ll also find Apache baskets, beadwork, and other arts and crafts items, books, and music in the museum’s gift shop.
Besides the Cultural Center, you can visit Fort Apache, and learn about its history and its impact on the Apache people, and Kinishba Ruins, once occupied by the ancestors of the Hopi and Zuni tribes.

8. National Parks And Monuments In Arizona
Besides cultural centers and museums on and off tribal lands specifically dedicated to the Native Nations of Arizona, visitors to the state have opportunities to learn about their rich culture in every corner of the state.
Most national parks and monuments in Arizona feature exhibits relating to contemporary native tribes, and regularly host native events, like traditional dances, music, and storytelling.
Grand Canyon National Park has cultural and historical connections to 11 modern tribes, reflected in the architecture and artwork of the Desert View Watchtower and the Hopi House, and several exhibits at the visitor center.
Besides showcasing ancient structures, Wupatki National Monument, Walnut Canyon, Montezuma Castle/Tuzigoot, and Casa Grande Ruins, also reflect stories and the cultures of the modern-day Arizona tribes.

Pro Tips
No matter where you go in Arizona, you have opportunities to interact with native tribes and learn about their cultures. To make the most of these learning experiences and interactions, especially on tribal lands, respect their rules and customs. Some tribes restrict taking photos and videos, so always ask beforehand. If you are lucky enough to attend dances and ceremonies open to the public, be aware that they have certain expectations. Try to learn about them beforehand, or follow the lead of tribal attendees.
Note: Before visiting the sites, especially those on the native lands, please check the websites for opening times and the latest closures.

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Sonntag, 28. November 2021, 21:47

Reservation system will return to Rocky Mountain National Park in 2022

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Rocky Mountain National Park will bring back its reservation system for a third summer as park officials begin plans to manage growing crowds for the coming years.
Rocky representatives spoke with the Estes Park town board on Tuesday, outlining the success of this year’s timed entry system. Visitor Use Management Specialist John Hannon said that the reservation system for 2022 would look pretty similar to 2021 with minor tweaks, including a slight increase in available reservations.
With 3.3 million visitors in 2020, Rocky was one of the most trafficked parks in the National Park System despite closing down due to COVID-19, the East Troublesome Fire and the implementation of a timed-entry system.
Of the 62 places designated a “national park” across the country, only the Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone and Zion saw more visitors than Rocky last year. Rocky saw more people than even the Grand Teton and Grand Canyon National Parks.
Rocky was the first national park in the country to implement park-wide timed entry permits, though Yosemite National Park added day-use reservations last year that continued through this year. A number of other national parks implement reservation systems for popular park features or close access once a certain number of visitors has been reached.
Hannon outlined the visitor management strategies Rocky has utilized in recent years on high use areas like Bear Lake Road, Wild Basin Area and the Alpine Visitor Center.
“These management strategies, they’re not necessarily that new in the park,” he said.
He explained that the first come, first served method for these areas have had limited success and typically takes a lot of staff time to implement successfully. Rocky introduced a pilot timed entry system for the whole park for the first time in 2020, requiring reservations from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. from late May through mid-October.
This summer, the park altered the reservation system with the lessons from 2020. There were two types of reservations this year, one that controlled access to Bear Lake Road from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and another that capped access to the rest of the park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hannon said the park found that this system worked a lot better.
“It spread that use well throughout the day,” Hannon said. “That allows us to protect the park resources that we have, but also helps us better utilize the park infrastructure.”
The reservations were released on a monthly rolling basis, but the park also offered a number of “day before” passes. In June, park officials noted that about 30% of daily reservations were no shows. The number of reservations available in July the day before entry was increased with this in mind to better reach the park’s target level — 85% of capacity.
“That 30% no show rate stayed consistent throughout the summer,” Hannon said. “I thought we’d see some fluctuation in different months, but we didn’t. It was very consistent.”
The park found that the visitation levels worked well with the shorter reservation window, though there were consistently spikes in visits just before 9 a.m. and just after 3 p.m. Hannon said the window helped with traffic flow inside and outside the park, while still allowing for more spontaneity in visits.
“That shorter window really allowed those people who didn’t have a reservation, didn’t know about reservation system the opportunity to come back after that reservation period,” Hannon said.
Next summer, Rocky plans to target 90% of the park’s parking and transit capacity. That’s equal to about 7,200 vehicles or 20,000 visitors a day.
“We’re pretty confident that 90% is kind of going to be that sweet spot for us,” Hannon said.
He said there might be minor adjustments to the reservation windows and numbers, but that the system would look very similar to this past summer. Also, the park is going to add the option to purchase entrance passes along with the reservations on Recreation.gov, which should help speed up the entry process.
Reservations will be required from May 27 through Oct. 10 next year. They will continue to be released on a rolling monthly basis, meaning June reservations will become available May 2, July reservations will become available June 1 and so on.
With the park preparing to roll out a third summer of reservations, Rocky is also getting started on longer range visitor planning efforts to find a more permanent solution to crowd management.
Hannon said the park is currently in the pre-National Environmental Policy Act phase, gathering data, civic engagement and public comments on these strategies. A report will be coming out in January on this work, with officials planning to complete the Visitor Use Management Framework this spring.
Next year, he said the park will put out another survey and complete a socioeconomic study to evaluate the economic impacts of a management strategy for gateway communities and surrounding areas.
Hannon predicted that the formal NEPA process would take place in winter 2022-2023. Then, the park will take another round of public comments in spring 2023. The hope is to have a final decision document by the end of 2023.
Also, the park announced earlier this month that certain fees would be going up. Specifically, some campsites would see fee increases along with day use passes. The only national park with daily passes, entrance fees will go from $25 to $30 a day. Weekly and yearly entrance pass fees will not be affected.
“These fees really help us to maintain and improve our visitor services,” Park Superintendent Darla Sidles said.
The park is accepting public comments on the proposed fee increases through Jan. 7, which can be submitted to https://parkplanning.nps.gov/RMNP_FEES_2022.
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act allows the park to collect entrance and amenity fees, and parks like Rocky Mountain National Park can retain 80% of the fees collected in park for projects that directly enhance the experience. The remaining 20% is distributed throughout the National Park System.

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