Posted on October 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Flash floods in October scoured roads and bridges from the landscape in Death Valley National Park. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
Autumn tourism affected by road damage, but many attractions still open
A series of El Niño-fueled storms in October ravaged parts of Death Valley with floods and mudslides, leading to serious road damage and impacting other park resources, including Devils Hole, a spring that’s home to endangered fish.
According to the National Park Service, flash floods heavily damaged historic structures at Scottys Castle. In a press release, the park service floods pushed over a wall and buried some buildings with about five feet of mud.
The park often sees weather extremes, including flash flooding, but geologists said October’s events were near the edge of the historic envelope. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño, extreme weather, global warming, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Death Valley, El Nino, extreme weather, flash floods, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A fracking boom near national parks has already degraded air quality and fragmented wildlife habitat around some of the country’s most cherished public lands. @bberwyn photo.
Agency acknowledges potential for adverse impacts to park values
The recent surge in fossil fuel exploitation on public lands near national parks has raised serious concerns about air quality, wildlife and scenic values — to the point that the National Parks Conservation Association outlined threats in a report a few years ago.
Now, the National Park Service wants to tackle some of the concerns by updating drilling regulations. The proposal would revise current rules that are 36 years old, predating the modern fracking area. The agency hopes the update will give the fossil fuel industry more certainty, improve the agency’s ability to protect park resources and the values for which the parks were set aside, and protect visitors from potentially adverse impacts associated with fossil fuel development. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, national parks, oil drilling, public lands, Uncategorized | Tagged: fracking, National park fracking rules, national parks, oil and gas drilling, public lands | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Light pollution is a growing challenge
Night skies over Arches National Park. Photo courtesy NPS.
FRISCO — The National Park Service says that recent surveys show that efforts to protect nighttime skyscapes from light pollution are valued by park visitors.
A new study, published Sept. 4 in Park Science, suggests that almost 90 percent of visitors to Maine’s Acadia National Park interviewed for the study agreed or strongly agreed with the statements, “Viewing the night sky is important to me” and “The National Park Service should work to protect the ability of visitors to see the night sky.” Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Dark Skies, Environment, light pollution, national parks, night skies, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Snowmobilers in Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
Strict rules in place to manage winter motorized use
FRISCO — Under strict new rules for winter travel in Yellowstone National Park, the park service started accepting applications for permits for non-commercially guided snowmobile trip into the park during the 2015-2016 winter season.
A permit is required for all non-commercially guided snowmobile groups to enter the park. The permits will be allocated through a lottery with applications being accepted online at www.recreation.govv through September 30, 2015. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Environment, public lands, Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone snowmobile permits | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
National Park Service officials have trapped a grizzly bear that may have been involved in a fatal attack in Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy USGS.
Lance Crosby was a 5-year seasonal resident of Yellowstone; park rangers say they will euthanize the bears responsible for the death
FRISCO — Yellowstone National Park officials have identified the 63-year-old man who was killed Aug. 7 by a grizzly bear. The victim was Lance Crosby, a long-time employee of Medcor, the company that operates three urgent care clinics in the park.
According to a park service press release, Crosby had worked and lived in Yellowstone for five seasons and was an experienced hiker. Park officials continue to investigate the death, with preliminary results showing that Crosby was attacked by at least one grizzly bear. His body was found partially consumed and cached, or covered, and partial tracks at the scene indicate that an adult female grizzly and at least one cub-of-the-year were present and likely involved in the attack. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands, wilderness, wildlife | Tagged: grizzly bear attack, grizzly bear fatalities, hiking, wildlife, Yellowstone National Park | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘Places reflect the creativity and ingenuity of the American spirit …’
Red Rocks has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Photo courtesy www.denvergov.org.
FRISCO — During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps transformed a red, rocky local park on the outskirts of Denver into a renowned metropolitan park and outdoor center of the arts.
This week, the National Park Service recognized the enduring values of Red Rocks Park, along with the historic Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, with a designation as a National Historic Landmark. The designation recognizes sites that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, national parks | Tagged: Colorado, Denver, national historic landmarks, National Park Service, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Snowmobile use in National Parks is strictly managed, like this tour in Yellowstone, but in some national forests, more management is needed to protect the environment and make sure there are opportunities for quiet, non-motorized use.
Adaptive management plan requires ongoing monitoring and public involvement
FRISCO — National Park rangers in Yellowstone are still grappling with winter use rules in an effort to balance protection of resources with recreation. As part the efforts to finalize an ongoing adaptive management plan, Yellowstone will hold an Aug. 10 public meeting to take more input. The meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center in West Yellowstone, Montana.
The draft plan under discussion outlines a strategy to identify which affected resources should be most closely monitored and evaluated, how these resources should be monitored, and how the NPS will continually engage the public throughout the process. It was developed with input from working groups comprised of members of the public who contribute expertise across six impact topics. Continue reading
Filed under: national parks, public lands | Tagged: adaptive management, Environment, North Park snowmobile poker run, public lands, Yellowstone National Park | Leave a comment »