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The latest news from around the National Park System.

An Extra Month To Comment On Interior Secretary Zinke's Surge Pricing Proposal For Parks

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's proposal to have 17 national parks move to "surge pricing" for entrance fees will be open for another month of public comment due to keen interest by the general public and Congress, the National Park Service announced Tuesday.
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C&O Canal Park Ranger Honored For Interpretation And Eduction Excellence

A park ranger from Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park has been honored with the National Park Service's highest honor for excellence in interpretation and education. Hollie Lynch, the park's education coordinator, received the 2017 Freeman Tilden Award for her role in developing and implementing a series of innovative curriculum-based park programs for 200 schools in Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
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Op-Ed | Volunteers In The National Parks

More and more people are visiting our national parks, and some parks are not just busy but getting overwhelmed and overcrowded. Meanwhile, the prospect of more money being budgeted for more staff is unlikely. Consequently, many parks should begin considering using volunteers, and those that do….should consider using more volunteers and using volunteers in more meaningful ways.
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The Congressional Anti-Parks Caucus In Power

Who in Congress can be described as having an "anti-parks" voting record? With 535 members of Congress, that could be a difficult question to soundly answer. But the Center for American Progress has come up with a list of 19 members who, perhaps emboldened by the Trump administration's views on public lands, it has defined as the "anti-parks caucus" in Washington, D.C.
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Stewart Udall: Steward Of The Land

Stewart Udall served as Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969, leading advocacy and politics of conservation and environmental protection in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He was, by all accounts, one of the most significant Interior Secretaries in American history, sharing that status with Harold Ickes, Secretary in the FDR administrations. While very different in background, temperament, and style, both men were masterful politicians who saw their role as stewards of American public lands, and we enjoy many legacies of their work today.
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Study Finds That Giant Sequoias Are Being Impacted By Drought Driven By Climate Change

Giant sequoias, long viewed as majestic, impervious guardians of the high Sierra, are beginning to struggle with the multi-year stretches of drought, according to research conducted in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks and elsewhere in the Sierra.
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Natchez Trace: It's A Parkway, Not An Interstate

Do you know that the Natchez Trace Parkway is one of the 417 units managed by the National Park Service? Do you know that the National Park Service includes iconic parks, such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon, and smaller units such as the .2-acre Thaddeus Kosciusko National Memorial in Philadelphia PA (where they pronounce it Kosh-chush-ko)? Do you know that even the White House is part of the National Park Service? Do you know that the Parkway was created as a scenic by-way to commemorate the Old Natchez Trace?
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Climate Change Is Driving Changes In Wildflowers At Mount Rainier National Park

Riots of blooming wildflowers are one of the joys of visiting national parks, but climate change is tinkering with the schedule of some of those flowers. At Mount Rainier National Park, for instance, all wildflower species are blooming earlier than in the past, roughly half have extended their season, and a little less than half shortened theirs, according to research conducted by University of Washington personnel.
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National Park Service Seeking Public Comment On Mine Road To Cross Gates Of Arctic National Preserve

It's not a question of whether a mine access road will be built across a section of Gates of the Arctic National Preserve in Alaska, but exactly how it is constructed. National Park Service staff say they are required by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act to allow the road, but they have some control over the logistics of that construction.
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National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide