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Dienstag, 1. August 2017, 18:30

10 of the most dangerous spots in U.S. national parks

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Dangerous beauties
Every year, America's national park system gets more than 300 million visits. These popular natural attractions are not dangerous on the whole, but there are, on average, 160 deaths inside U.S. parks each year. Most of these fatalities are due to drowning, car accidents or falls. Perhaps surprisingly, deaths from things like grizzly bear attacks or snake bites are extremely rare.
Some of the most dangerous sections of national parks are quite remote, so most people never set foot there. Other spots where deaths have occurred are surprisingly accessible. Many people have likely set foot in these places without being aware of the relative danger. The National Park Service is aware of the dangers, however. They regularly post or broadcast warnings about safe usage of these places and the presence of unsafe conditions, like in instances of flooding in the Narrows of Zion National Park (pictured).
Here are 10 of the most dangerous spots in national parks.

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42

Dienstag, 8. August 2017, 18:21

Glacier National Park

Glacier Park Attracts More than 1 Million Monthly Visitors for the First Time

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Glacier National Park ushered more than 1 million visitors through its gates last month for the first time in history, shattering the previous monthly record and forecasting another groundbreaking summer for attendance.
Nearly 1,010,000 people visited Glacier Park in July compared to 818,500 monthly visitors last year for a 23.4 percent increase, or 191,184 additional visitors, according to National Park Service statistics.
“Surpassing a million visitors is definitely pretty significant for the park, and for the park service,” Lauren Alley, a spokesperson for Glacier, said Aug. 7. “For our staff that haven’t yet seen them, these numbers aren’t going to come as a surprise. It feels as busy as it is.”
Through the first seven months of 2017, Glacier has already attracted 1,998,628 visitors, a 17.7 percent increase over the first seven months of 2016.
After three consecutive years of record-breaking attendance, park officials are beginning to accept the frenetic pace of summer as the new normal, and Glacier Park staff recently hosted an emergency congestion management workshop to help prepare for challenges next year and into the future. Preliminary solutions include reconfiguring some parking areas and providing time-limited parking adjacent to restrooms and camp stores.
In the next week, the park will implement a one-hour time limit for approximately 60 parking spaces at Logan Pass. The intent of the time limit is to provide an opportunity for people hoping to make a quick stop, use the restroom, snap a few pictures, and go for a short walk to do so, according to a press release.
The workshop was hosted by the firm that is helping Glacier with its multi-year planning effort to address transportation and visitor use within the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, which experiences extreme crowding and congestion between June and August.
Visitor pressure has also increased substantially in other corners of the park, including the North Fork Flathead River area and Bowman Lake, the Two Medicine area and the Many Glacier area, stretching thin an already hard-pressed park staff hemmed in by budget reductions.
In addition to the increase in visitors, the park also saw a comparable increase in the number of emergency medical calls and total calls for ranger service. To date, the park has seen a 29 percent increase in emergency medical calls over the same time last year.

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43

Dienstag, 8. August 2017, 19:46

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Elevator contract awarded for Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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California company has been awarded a $4.7 million contract to completely modernize the primary elevators at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.
Tutor Perini Corporation will handle the project, which is expected to be completed by summer 2018.
The caverns’ larger primary elevators went out of service in November 2015 when a motor shaft unexpectedly sheared off, leaving the empty elevator car hanging in the hoistway 600 feet down.
Park officials say the demolition part of the modernization will begin almost immediately, followed by installation of two new motors, elevator cars, sheaves, cables and controllers.

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44

Donnerstag, 17. August 2017, 18:50

The 10 national monuments Trump is most likely to shrink

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is wrapping up his review of nearly two dozen national monuments targeted for downsizing or elimination by the Trump administration.
By next week, Zinke is supposed to send to President Trump recommendations on the future of those land monuments, which were created or expanded by presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Zinke has already said he'll recommend no changes to five monuments, leaving 17 under review, from the California desert to the woods of Maine.
Click through to see the monuments Trump is most likely to downsize or eliminate, in alphabetical order, based on interviews with supporters and opponents of the monuments review:

Environmental groups say more than 2.7 million people submitted comments to the Interior Department on the monuments review, and that that vast majority of them expressed support for keeping or expanding existing monuments. Separately, the Commerce Department is reviewing 11 marine monuments and sanctuaries.
It's not clear whether Trump has the legal authority to eliminate monuments established by previous presidents, but several presidents have reduced the size of monuments.

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