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Let the crowds wait for Old Faithful: Experience the rugged side of Yellowstone National Park by trekking past steaming creeks and old-growth lodgepole en route to the sprawling Heart Lake and the regal Mount Sheridan on this 23.2-mile out-and-back. Check out more trip details, maps, and photos at backpacker.com/hikes/300069
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Monday, December 21, 2009 in:
, Hike of the Day
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You may not have heard, but Saturday kicked off the first National Park Week
, a Presidentially-endorsed celebration of our many natural and historic national parks. National Park Week runs through Sunday, April 27. From the mouth of President Bush himself:
"Our National Parks belong to each of us, and they are natural places to learn, exercise, volunteer, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the magnificent beauty of our great land. During National Park Week and throughout the year, Americans of all ages can pledge to help maintain and enhance America's national treasures for future generations.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 19 through April 27, 2008, as National Park Week. I invite all my fellow citizens to join me in celebrating America's national parks by visiting these wonderful spaces, discovering all they have to offer, and becoming active participants in park conservation."
That sounds serious — we better get out there. Several national parks have scheduled official events
for National Park Week, including outdoor skills schools, nature walks, and Junior Ranger days. And, in another bit of auspicious timing, the first roads have opened up in both Yellowstone
. The holiday seems a bit early, considering that summer remains the busiest season for most national parks, but maybe even the Fed prefers to avoid bear jams on Going-to-the-Sun road.
Considering Bush's wildlife/conservation record, this isn't much more than a nice gesture, but if he can take out some time this week to bail out the park service with some much-needed cash for acquisitions
, then we'll be talkin' 'bout some serious steps toward redemption.
(Note to self: Ask the Boss
if we can make National Park Week a company holiday...)
— Ted Alvarez
National Park Week (White House)
National Park Week Events (NPS)
Some Yellowstone Park Roads Reopen (Salt Lake Tribune)
Some Glacier National Park Roads Reopening (CBS Montana)
Monday, April 21, 2008 in:
, National Parks
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Two women who chained themselves to a stairway inside a Yellowstone visitor center to protest the slaughter of buffalo in the park were freed from their bonds and then arrested
by park police yesterday. West Yellowstone residents Catherine Simonidis, 22, and Miriam Wasser, 20, were charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with agency functions and taken to the Mammoth Hot Springs jail, which raises an inevitable question:
Mammoth Hot Springs has a jail
But seriously, folks: Simonidis and Wasser haven't been the first protesters to hit the clink this year. Several groups and individuals have cried out against the park's Interagency Bison Management Plan, which protects grazing cattle near the park from contracting the disease brucellosis through buffalo contact. Bison suspected of brucellosis exposure are quarantined and then slaughtered if tests confirm they've been exposed to the disease. More than 1,200 bison have been killed this year — mostly through the management plan, though some from hunting.
Nathan Drake, a member of the conservation group Buffalo Field Campaign, was arrested in February for a similar protest wherein he chained himself to a gate used to capture and keep bison.
Brucella bacteria can sometimes cause domestic cattle to abort calves if contracted, but the likelihood that buffalo can transmit brucellosis to domestic cows is very low. Still, Montana ranchers fear the costs involved with testing and quarantining exposed cattle, and they can be prevented from shipping livestock out of state until the rigorous quarantining and testing requirements have been fulfilled.
Yellowstone enacted the Interagency Bison Management Plan in 2000 to help mitigate bison/cattle contact, which can be difficult to manage since roaming bison regularly move beyond the park borders and into private ranch land that now occupies their historic range. — Ted Alvarez
Bison protesters arrested at Yellowstone National Park (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
Thursday, March 27, 2008 in:
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