Posted on July 3, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists track impacts to ecoystems as temperatures rise
How will global warming affect wildflowers in Great Sand Dunes National Park?
FRISCO — National Parks across the country are facing an era of change because of global warming, scientists concluded in a new study showing that many parks are already experiencing temperatures that are near the extreme high end of the scale, based on measurements going back to 1910.
The report by National Park Service scientists concludes “that climate change is happening in America’s national parks, and in some cases in rapid and concerning ways,” and that “measurable plant and animal responses to recent climate change have already been documented.”
“This report shows that climate change continues to be the most far-reaching and consequential challenge ever faced by our national parks,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a statement “Our national parks can serve as places where we can monitor and document ecosystem change without many of the stressors that are found on other public lands.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Environment, global warming, national parks, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Big sky, no drones. Photo by @cotravgirl.
Agency to develop comprehensive long-term policy for new class of aircraft
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — If you’re visiting Yosemite, the Grand Canyon or other iconic American national parks this summer, you may have to contend with the normal problems like crowded parking lots, but at least you won’t have to dodge low-flying unmanned aircraft.
The National Park Service has issued a blanket ban on drones, as they’re popularly called, directing individual parks to draft written statements explaining how the ban is consistent with existing regulations. The new directive came from National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: drones, drones banned in national parks, national parks, public lands, Unmanned aerial vehicle | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Badlands National Park — not a place for drones.
Yosemite, Zion national parks issue reminders on aircraft regulations
FRISCO — Citing impacts to wildlife and other concerns, the National Park Service has cracked down on the use drones in Yosemite and Zion national parks under existing rules that regulate aircraft in the parks.
According to a press release from Yosemite National Park, drone use has skyrocketed the past few years, as visitors use them to film rock climbers and to get other aerial footage. Along with concerns about impacts to nesting raptors, park service officials said drones can impact the natural soundscape, which the agency is required to protect. Continue reading
Filed under: national parks, public lands | Tagged: drones, national parks, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 5, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Early morning kayaking near Frisco, Colorado.
New handbook to help guide management and development of launch sites
FRISCO — Hoping to stay ahead of the growing and diversifying demand for boating opportunities, the National Park Service is partnering with the River Management Society to help develop guidelines for new launch sites and access points.
Under the collaboration, the park service announced publication of Prepare to Launch as a resource to help river managers, planners, boaters and water trail leaders plan for and build access to waterways.
“‘Prepare to Launch!’ will help water resource managers provide safe and sustainable launches that strengthen connections to the nation’s waterways,” said National Park Service river programs manager Joan Harn. “By collaborating with the River Management Society and our state, local and national partners, we can expand everyone’s capacity to access and enjoy America’s rivers and waterways.” Continue reading
Filed under: boating, national parks, public lands, recreation, rivers | Tagged: national parks, public lands, recreation, rivers | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Proposal released for local review and comment
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — After a year of local input and discussions, Colorado lawmakers this week took the next step toward redesignating Colorado National Monument as Rim Rock Canyons National Park.
U.S. Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat, and Republican Congressman Scott Tipton unveiled a bipartisan proposal driven by community recommendations. According to joint press release from Udall and Tipton, the proposal reflects local residents and stakeholders’ concerns and interests about a possible redesignation.
Filed under: national parks, public lands | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction, national parks, public lands | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 27, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
New policies encourage reduction of solid waste
Colorado National Monument has banned the sale of disposable plastic water bottles.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Another half-dozen national parks ended the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in 2013, bringing the total number of parks with bans to more than 20.
For most parks, disposable plastic water bottles represent one of the biggest sources of trash, but the move toward ending sales of plastic bottles in national parks has been hampered by resistance from Coca Cola, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
The watchdog group has tracked the halting progress of the agency’s move to limit the environmentally damaging bottles. By some estimates, more than 16 million barrels of oil are needed annually to produce the plastic for all the disposable bottles sold in the U.S. in one year. That production process also requires twice the amount of water that’s actually contained within the bottles.
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: disposable water bottles, Environment, National Park Service, national parks, solid waste | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Government dysfunction hurts gateway towns near parks
The Grand Canyon, bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Visits to National Parks in the U.S. fell slightly in 2013, mainly due to the government shutdown in October, when the National Park Service turned away millions of visitors.
In total, 273.6 million total visits were recorded during the year at the 401 parks, down 9.1 million visits from 2012. The shutdown also resulted in an estimated loss of $414 million in visitor spending in gateway and local communities across the country when comparing October 2013 to a three-year average (October 2010-12). Continue reading
Filed under: national parks, tourism, Travel | Tagged: Government shutdown, national parks, Tourism, Travel | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 29, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Your lands: 84 million acres, 17,000 miles of trails
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:
Filed under: national parks, Travel | Tagged: Crater Lake National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, national parks, public lands, Travel, Yosemite National Park | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 11, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A new study says trees in some national parks in the U.S. are already being damaged by deposition of ammonia and nitrogen compounds stemming from agriculture.
Depositions already exceeding critical thresholds in some parks
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — From the high country of the Pacific Northwest to the hardwood forests of New England, airborne deposition of ammonia and nitrogen are already taking a toll on national parks.
In Great Smoky Mountain National Park, for example, the amount of nitrogen being deposited per hectare already far exceeds the threshold that causes damage, according to a study led by Harvard University scientists.
Hardwood trees start to suffer when nitrogen deposition reaches approximately 3 to 8 kilograms per hectare, per year. According to the new study, the actual rate of deposition is about 13.6 kilograms per hectare, per year. In the forests of Mount Rainier National Park, it’s the lichens that suffer first as the critical limit is passed. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, air quality, Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: air pollution, ammonia, Environment, national parks, Nitrogen oxide | 1 Comment »