If you want to visit a National Park, and don't mind crowds, Saturday is the day for you.
Via the NPS:
There are many ways to participate in National Public Lands Day.
You can visit a national park for free.
You can take part in a volunteer work project.If you volunteer on this day, you will receive a fee-free day coupon to be used on a future date.
You can share your favorite outdoor activity on social media channel with the hashtag #NPSVolunteer, #FindYourPark and #NPLD!
National Public Lands Day is organized annually by the National Environmental Education Foundation, in cooperation with Department of the Interior, Department of the Army, and Department of Agriculture. The National Park Service is one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. Other participating federal agencies include the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, and US Army Corps of Engineers.
Warning: Parking will be a disaster at many of our popular parks. Read the rest
Embattled Trump Secretary of the Interior chair Ryan Zinke (previously) unveiled a plan to raise the service charge for using our nation's parks to $70/day (it's currently $25/day), a move that would price access to national parks out of the budgets of 71% of working-class Americans.
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I've just learned about the Art Rangers program. It's a cool non-profit, founded by Oscar Nilsson and Alex Tatem, that allows artists to donate fine art photo prints inspired by the National Parks. Folks can then buy the prints to help save our park, as all of the proceeds benefit the National Park Foundation. You can look at the art here and you can become an Art Ranger yourself here.
(The listserve) Read the rest
More Than Just Parks is a wonderful channel that showcases the incredible natural beauty of America's national parks. Their latest video celebrates Rocky Mountain National Park. Read the rest
The famed Yosemite Firefall (previously) is a rare phenomenon when the setting sun hits Horsetail Fall with its dying light. Rogelio Bernal Andreo just took it to next level, capturing the even more rare moonlight firefall. Read the rest
The latest stunning video from artistic collaborators in the dark sky movement is Kaibab Elegy by Harun Mehmedinovic, shot at the Grand Canyon. At about a minute in, there's a rare and hypnotic full cloud inversion worth the wait. Read the rest
A point of American pride, our national park system, is sadly underfunded and lost. The Seattle Times shares one piece of the story, corporate sponsorship.
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Captured at Katmai National Park in Alaska. Read the rest
Number 10 — a Yellowstone Park elk famous for fighting with other elk, grade-school volleyball nets, and R.V.s — has died. Estimated to have been between 15 and 18 years old, he apparently lost a battle with a vehicle. Read the rest
Good news for ladies who like the woods—your period is (probably) not something that attracts (most) bears.
There are not a lot of studies addressing this particular topic, but a National Park Service paper published this year took a look at all of them and put the scattered pieces information together into a single puzzle. It's probably not a complete picture, but it's certainly better than hearsay and random, sexist stories you heard from your grandpa's drinking buddy. More importantly, even when there is a documented risk between menstrual blood and bears, that shouldn't be construed as a reason to keep women out of the wilderness. After all, bears are attracted to food, and we don't tell people they shouldn't eat while backpacking. Instead, we have practices that reduce risk. Same thing applies here.
Here's what we learn:
1) You can menstruate freely and without fear in the contiguous 48 United States. Grizzlies, and particularly black bears, don't seem to be interested in what's happening in your pants. Evaluating hundreds of grizzly attacks found no correlation between menstruation and risk of attack. In the case of black bears, this has actually been tested experimentally, with researchers leaving used tampons from various stages of menstruation out in the wilderness and watching how the bears respond. (Science!) The bears completely ignored the tampons.
2) Yellowstone data suggests food is a much bigger risk than menstruation. Analysis of bear attack data from Yellowstone National Park doesn't even consider attacks that happened before 1980. Why? Read the rest