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Travel: 9 free days at U.S. National Parks in 2014!

Your lands: 84 million acres, 17,000 miles of trails

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Badlands National Park, South Dakota. bberwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — This year, you’ll have nine chances for a fee-free visit to one of America’s 401 national parks, starting as soon as Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 20, 2014). The park service recently announced the 2014 schedule of free days, offering the fee-free visits as a way to encourage visitation.

The 2014 entrance fee-free days are:

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Bat-killing disease spreads to Mammoth Cave NP

White-nose syndrome threatening new populations of bats, including endangered species

Visitors explore the Broadway section of Mammoth Cave. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

Visitors explore the Broadway section of Mammoth Cave. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The news that white-nose syndrome has spread to a second cave in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park triggered renewed calls for action from conservation advocates.

“A northern long-eared bat, showing symptoms of white-nose syndrome, was found in Long Cave in the park,” said Mammoth Cave National Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead. “The bat was euthanized on January 4 and sent for laboratory testing. Those tests confirmed white-nose syndrome.”

Long Cave, an undeveloped cave 1.3 miles long, is the park’s largest bat hibernaculum and houses endangered Indiana bats and gray bats, along with other non-threatened species.  Long Cave is not connected to Mammoth Cave and has not been open to visitors for more than 80 years. Continue reading

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