national parks

As more Americans get vaccinated, they're finally preparing for long-delayed vacations. But if they want to visit some big-name national parks in the West, they may need a reservation.

The National Park Service just dropped an early version of its new app.

TCU Press

In 2016, the national park system celebrated its hundredth birthday. When poet karla k. morton learned that there had never been a complete book of poetry written to celebrate all 62 national parks, she decided to do just that, along with her friend and fellow Texas poet laureate Alan Birkelbach.

Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer spoke to the two poets about how their new book, The National Parks: A Century of Grace, came to be.

Vanessa Chavarriaga


Vanessa Chavarriaga loves to be outside, whether it's floating down a river in the desert or ice skating on a frozen alpine lake. And when she posts photos of her adventures, she includes information about where exactly she was.

Jacob W. Frank / NPS

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill being hailed as the biggest public lands and conservation legislation in a generation.

Three visitors and two concessions employees at Yellowstone National Park have tested positive for COVID-19, the park reported on Tuesday.

"Some of these visitor cases had symptoms prior to entering the park," Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement. "If you have symptoms as your visit is approaching, do the responsible thing and don't come to the park. You end up putting our employees, health care providers, and other visitors at risk."

 


The Department of Interior is proposing a rule change that could open the door for more private companies to operate within national parks.

CC0 / Public Domain

The U.S. Travel Association's National Travel and Tourism week is usually a time to highlight the tourism industry in the state but the week will be celebrated a little differently this year.

Jacob W. Frank / NPS

Most national parks around the Mountain West remain closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. And it remains unclear when or if parks will reopen in the coming months. 

Austin Woody

Laramie residents Shealyn and Austin Woody left for a five-day rafting trip on San Juan river in Utah on March 13. They had just eloped and wanted to celebrate that along with some birthdays while relaxing on the water.

March 13 was an important turning point in the U.S. response to COVID-19. That's when the federal government declared a national emergency and Wyoming began to see tighter restrictions. In the five days the Woody's were gone and without cellphone service, Governor Mark Gordon recommended all schools close, created coronavirus taskforces, and ordered the closure of public spaces.

As they returned to Laramie newlyweds, it was already changed.

Main Street, looking south toward Canyonlands National Park, in Moab, Utah
Hurricanehink via CC BY-SA 3.0

Recreation-based counties are seeing higher rates of COVID-19 than other rural counties, according to an analysis from the Daily Yonder, a non-profit publication that focuses on rural issues.

CC0 / Public Domain

Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are officially closed to all visitors indefinitely.

On a recent cold and rainy morning at Zion National Park in Southern Utah, Andrew Smith and Blake Cubria throw a blue tarp on top of their tent to keep the water out. They’re in the midst of an impromptu vacation out West that began after they both lost their restaurant jobs in Chicago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Interior Department has announced it’s temporarily waiving entrance fees for recreation areas, national monuments and national parks. Secretary David Bernhardt said he wanted to make it easier for people to recreate on public lands.

Updated 9:11 a.m. MDT 3/17/2020

“Please. Do. More. Now.” 

That's the message Moab Regional Hospital sent yesterday to Gov. Gary Herbert. In a letter, the hospital’s leadership asked Herbert to close all non-essential businesses in Moab for two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. They wrote that Moab could see up to 6,000 visitors next weekend, based on current hotel bookings. 

A fight is brewing in eastern Utah over whether the National Park Service should include nearly 200 rock art sites in the National Register of Historic Places.

In March of last year, a group of volunteers and preservationists submitted a proposal to add 199 rock art sites to the Register, an effort that took a decade to complete.

Since the 1960s, the National Park Service has partnered with nonprofit organizations to provide environmental education services to the public. But a recent audit from the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General found that some of these Residential Environmental Learning Centers have strayed from their original mission .

The Trump Administration is continuing to deploy park rangers at the U.S.-Mexico border to help with enforcement. And while national parks and other public lands in the West are feeling the effects, it’s unclear just how much.

Flickr

 

Visitors to Wyoming's National Parks could run into the First Lady during their trips this week.

Off-road vehicles such as ATVs and UTVs will soon be allowed on roads in Utah’s national parks after a controversial policy change last week.

 


Taxpayers are willing to spend way more than they currently do to fund and protect national parks, according to a recent economic analysis compiled by professors from Harvard and Colorado State University. 

National Park Service, Public Domain

Legislation making its way through the U.S. Congress would significantly increase funding for roads in national parks.

A new analysis shows that despite record visitation, the National Park Service is hiring fewer rangers and other staff.

 


Parks across our region are seeing dramatic increases in visitation. Land managers are trying to balance visitor experience with conservation, including at the popular Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just west of Las Vegas, Nevada.

MOAB — About 40 miles north from the tourist hordes in town and set against a backdrop of tan clay and red mesas, the vista looked primed for a nature magazine cover shoot: early afternoon, the desert bloom in full force, awash with purple and yellow flowers. Quiet.

National Park Service

Memorial Day weekend kicked off the summer season for national parks in the Mountain West. And according to new data, 2018 was good year for the country and the region.

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UTAH — The dark blue, predawn sky was just beginning to brighten over Mesa Arch — a once-hidden gem in southern Utah — as Jonathan Zhang frantically set up his camera and tripod.

A new report shows that nearly all national parks in the U.S. have poor air quality.

The report from the National Parks Conservation Association says that 96% of our national parks have significant air pollution problems. In fact, it says, 33 of America’s most-visited national parks are as bad as our 20 largest cities.

National Park Service

All across the nation, national parks will be celebrated next week with special events and programs. To kick off National Park Week, park entrance fees will be waived Saturday.

No new oil and gas leases. No more shrinking monuments. Free entrance to national parks.

Pages