Tag Archives: national parks

Photos of all 59 parks in 59 weeks

Logging Lake in Glacier National Park, USA - National Park Service
Logging Lake in Glacier National Park, USA – National Park Service

So, these two guys quit their jobs and headed out to take photos of all 59 U.S. national parks in 59 weeks. Their web site already has an impressive collection of photos . . .

This summer, the National Park Service turns 100. It’s safe to say that lots of Americans will be celebrating by visiting a national park.

But two friends — Darius Nabors and Trevor Kemp — are marking the occasion by visiting all of them.

That’s 59 parks, from Joshua Tree to Shenandoah, and from remote Alaskan wilderness to Virgin Island beaches. And Nabors and Kemp are crossing them off the list in 59 weeks.

They quit their jobs to make the journey, which is partially crowd-funded, and are documenting the process on their website, 59in59.com.

Read more . . .

House passes salvage logging bill, with extras

The U.S. House recently passed a bill to ease salvage logging restrictions for trees burned in last year’s Rim Fire in California. It also has a few extras regarding grazing and the easing of activity restrictions in certain national parks. The bill is very unlikely to get through the Senate, but is worthy of note as a sort of position statement on certain issues . ..

The House approved a wide-ranging public lands bill Thursday that would speed logging of trees burned in last year’s massive Rim Fire in California.

The measure also allows vehicular access to North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras National Seashore, extends livestock grazing permits on federal land in the West and lifts longstanding restrictions on canoes, rafts and other “hand-propelled” watercraft in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

The House approved the bill, 220-194, on a largely party-line vote. It now goes to the Senate, where it is considered unlikely to pass. The White House opposes the bill but has not issued a veto threat.

Read more . . .

Vandalism a growing problem in national parks

U.S. national parks are seeing increasing problems with vandalism . . .

When Steve Bolyard checked out a report of black paint on some of the park’s majestic saguaros — cactuses whose towering bodies and upraised arms are as emblematic of the American West as red-rock buttes and skittering tumbleweeds — he did not expect to see ganglike calligraphy covering more of them than he could easily count.

Continue reading . . .

Common sense in wild country

Timothy Egan posted an interesting “Opinionator” piece to the New York Times today titled “Nature Without the Nanny State.” It discusses the rising incidence of city-bred visitors ignoring common sense precautions when visiting national parks, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Here’s the meat of the piece . . .

More than ever, an urban nation plagued by obesity, sloth and a surfeit of digital entertainment should encourage people to experience the wild — but does that mean nature has to be tame and lawyer-vetted?

My experience, purely anecdotal, is that the more rangers try to bring the nanny state to public lands, the more careless, and dependent, people become. There will always be steep cliffs, deep water, and ornery and unpredictable animals in that messy part of the national habitat not crossed by climate-controlled malls and processed-food emporiums. If people expect a grizzly bear to be benign, or think a glacier is just another variant of a theme park slide, it’s not the fault of the government when something goes fatally wrong.

Continue reading the full article . . .

Details of national parks documentary preview posted

We’ve finally gotten more information on the local previews of the new Ken Burns documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”

The screening in Whitefish is on August 29th, at 5 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center. Cost is $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Tickets are available at all four Montana Coffee Trader locations.

There’s also a showing in Missoula on August 30th at 5 p.m. at the UC Theater on the University of Montana campus. There’s no charge at the Missoula venue.

See our earlier post for more information on the documentary.

National parks documentary sneak preview coming to the area

Here’s a little, low-profile news item that should probably be getting more coverage. A new Ken Burns documentary series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” will start playing on PBS late next month. A sneak preview of the series will be shown in Whitefish August 29th and in Missoula on the 30th. Dayton Duncan, a writer and Burns’ long-time collaborator, will host the sneak previews. Burns directed the series; Duncan wrote and co-produced.

According to an AP article making the rounds, the documentary is “about America’s national parks and the people who devoted their lives to preserving them for the public.”

Both of these guys are heavy-hitters. Burns is a well-regarded maker of documentaries, with two Oscar nominations and a handful of Emmys. Duncan is a first-rate writer (his “Out West…” is my favorite) whose interest in American history and the regular folks who move it along nicely complements Burns’ views.

For those of you wanting a quick peek, Amazon has a film trailer online.

For more information, visit the PBS site on the documentary, which has lots of material, including several video excerpts

No word yet on the venue or on whether they are going to show the full, six-hour documentary at the preview. We’ll post more information as it becomes available.