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Traveler's View

We don't often take sides, but when we do, you can find our position here.

Traveler's View: Is Secretary Zinke Determined To Make His Legacy The Redefinition Of Public Lands?

From dismantling national monuments to privatizing national park operations to skirting the National Environmental Policy Act to open parklands up to hunting and vanquishing wilderness. Is that on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's agenda? It doesn't take much of an imagination to think so.

Analysis: Would A Government Shutdown Usher In A New Vision For The National Park Service?

What would the National Park System be without a National Park Service? Would you treasure Old Faithful, Delicate Arch, or Thunder Hole as much without a nearby ranger to answer your questions, provide some reassurance for your safety, and care for the integrity of the natural resources that drew you to these places.

Traveler's View: Surge Pricing For National Parks Doesn't Pencil Out Or Make Sense

Having to hand over $70 to gain entrance to Yellowstone National Park for a week's stay is not outrageous. Indeed, there are many who say the fee should be higher. But the problems with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's plan to institute surge pricing for 17 national parks during their busiest seasons are many.

Traveler's View: How Much Of Secretary Zinke's Approach To Conservation Can Public Lands Tolerate?

Trying to understand how Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke views himself as a conservationist cut from the mold of Theodore Roosevelt is an ongoing challenge. While he wants to bolster the ranks of hunters and anglers, the secretary also wants to shrink some national monuments, allow target shooting on as many public lands as possible, and allow hunters to chum for bears with donuts and greasy loaves of bread.

Traveler's View: Monument Review Underscores Problem With Politics

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop maintain that they are looking to right problems with the Antiquities Act and how it's used to designate national monuments, but at the end of the day they're simply underscoring how politically divisive this country and Congress have become and are working to cater to special factions.

Traveler's View: If Secretary Zinke Was An Anthropologist, Would Bears Ears National Monument Be Safe?

When Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in Idaho safe from a recommendation that it be downsized, he flashed his geology chops, which raises an intriguing question: Were his educational background in anthropology or ethnology, would Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be safe as well?

Traveler's View: Psst! Our National Parks Are In Danger

During the past six months, the outlook for the National Park System has grown decidedly darker than it had been. Threats to the system's natural resources have grown with the Trump administration's attacks upon environmental regulations, proposed staffing cuts will be numbing if implemented, and there's a heightened prospect of creeping privatization.

Traveler's View: Interior Secretary Zinke Should Measure More Than Just Local Support When Weighing Bears Ears And Other National Monuments

A common, and surprising, thread runs through Grand Canyon, Olympic and Yellowstone national parks, as well as through Canyonlands, Grand Teton and Pinnacles national parks. They all faced measures of local opposition when talk arose about designating them.

House Oversight Committee Investigating Bryce Canyon National Park's Monumental Tweet

With all of Washington, D.C.'s political intrigue -- the seeming commercialization of the White House, the administration's mysterious connections to Russia, and President Trump's ability to be both landlord and tenant on a government property -- why is U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz so curious about the planning and forethought that goes into a Twitter tweet? No, the Utah Republican is not sifting through the president's Twitter feed. Rather, his attention was caught by a seemingly innocuous tweet from Bryce Canyon National Park.
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Traveler's View: A $15 Billion Wall Vs. A $12 Billion Backlog

Somewhere in drawing up the blueprint for making America great again, Donald Trump forgot about America's Best Idea. We can only hope it's a temporary oversight. As for Congress, well, the Republican leadership should know better. But at the moment the inaugural blush is still fresh and House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are more than happy to kowtow to President Trump.

Traveler's View: Passage Of Centennial Act A Good Start, And Hopefully Just The Beginning

Last-minute passage by Congress of the National Park Service Centennial Act stands to have lasting benefits for the National Park System, and we can only hope that it's the first of much-needed legislation to bolster the health and infrastructure of the parks.

Traveler's View: Federal Lands Poised To Suffer Under Next Interior Secretary

As we wait for the incoming Trump administration to identify its nominee for Interior secretary, we can't help but envision what the outcome could be. Among those said to be under consideration, or jockeying for the job, are retiring U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, all Republicans who favor energy exploration over conservation.

Traveler's View: Park Service's Zero Tolerance Policy Good Step Forward, But Not Without Challenges

In outlining a zero tolerance policy for combatting sexual harassment across the National Park Service, Director Jon Jarvis and his National Leadership Council have laid down a roadmap to both support victims and punish those who prey on their coworkers. That they have so many hurdles to clear to succeed is unfortunate.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide