Tag: National Parks

‘127 Hours’ Fan Rescued in Canyonlands National Park

Move over, McCandless pilgrims: With the success of last year’s 127 Hours, there just might be a new breed of death-defying travel movie fans on the block. The Guardian reports that a solo hiker was attempting to retrace Aron Ralston’s route through Little Blue John Canyon when he fell and broke his leg. The hiker, Amos Richards, hadn’t told anyone where he was going—he crawled in search of help for four days before being found by park rangers who’d noticed his abandoned campsite. Richards was treated at a hospital and has, thankfully, been released with all four limbs still attached. (Via Gawker)

National Parks, as Seen from Space

That’s Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Over at Wired, Betsy Mason pulled stunning images of 20 more parks

The Sounds of Zion

Interesting plans afoot at Zion National Park to protect the park’s natural soundscape. The “Soundscape Management Plan,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune, is the first of its kind.

Frank Turina, of Fort Collins, Colo., a planner with the natural sounds program for the National Park Service and project manager for the Zion document, said an area’s soundscape is as valuable as air quality and watershed although, unlike those resources, it is intangible.

“Sound has an inherent value to the park that we want to preserve and protect for the future,” Turina said in a telephone interview.

He said the new plan uses the science of acoustics to specify conditions under which park managers would need to act to protect and preserve the soundscape of Zion. That science gives the plan objectivity and credibility.

“It is a very interesting and new application of old science to protect natural areas in the park,” he said. “This (project) is on the cutting edge.”

Free Admission This Saturday at all National Parks

The latest in a series of fee-free days falls this Saturday at all 392 U.S. national parks. Enjoy. (Via Arthur Frommer)

Yosemite Through the Eyes of a Chinese Artist

Lovely piece in The Smart Set about Chinese artist Xie Zhiliu’s renderings of Yosemite National Park, which are now part of an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Xie visited Yosemite in 1994, a few years before his death.

There, he produced a series of paintings that are a testimonial to cognitive dissonance. He paints the mountains and trees of Yosemite, but they look vaguely Chinese. The vegetation looks sparse, like in the drawings that accompany Chinese calligraphy. The stones of Yosemite rise up with the stalagmite abruptness we expect of Chinese art.

Cognitive dissonance at work on a canvas can be a beautiful thing. I’m reminded of these impressionistic West-meets-East paintings by Van Gogh.

New National Monuments in the Works

New National Monuments in the Works Photo of Nevada's Great Basin by Alaskan Dude via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo of Nevada’s Great Basin by Alaskan Dude via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The federal government has drawn up a list of potential new national monuments, mostly in the southwestern states—and this New York Times story explains why some local politicians see the move as “a land-grab device for East Coast politicians.” Regional politics aside, shouldn’t “Lesser Prairie Chicken National Monument” be something we can all get behind?

Six Cities to Explore Martin Luther King’s History

Lorraine Hotel National Civil Rights Museum Photo by Victor Chapa, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

From Atlanta to Washington, D.C., Larry Bleiberg highlights the must-see places where the civil rights leader lived and made history

Read More »

Video You Must See: People in Yosemite

(Via The Daily Dish)

Canada Makes the Next Move in Northwest Passage Dispute

Time for another round of diplomatic maneuvering as the ice recedes around the long-sought northern shipping route. The latest move? Canada has announced plans to create a formal marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound, in waters which the American and Russian governments claim are international. The change would allow shipping but make waste dumping, mining and oil and gas development in the area illegal under Canadian law.

Should Billy Carter’s Service Station Become a National Historic Site?

The Plains, Georgia gas station once run by the former First Brother could become part of a proposed Jimmy Carter National Historic Site—and, predictably, not everyone thinks that’s an appropriate use of taxpayer funds.

Photos: 10 All-American Must Sees for All Americans

yellowstone Photo by Sophia Dembling

Flyover America's Sophia Dembling shares the sights that will make you swoon

Read More »

Travel Movie Watch: ‘The Canyon’

This one’s for all the low-grade horror fans. When a newlywed couple heads for the Grand Canyon on their honeymoon, things, predictably, go awry—cue the rattle snakes and the inexplicable pack of man-eating desert wolves. The IMDb page for “The Canyon” doesn’t offer much detail, but apparently the film was released last weekend. Straight to DVD, perhaps? Here’s the trailer:

Don’t Bring Your Minivan to Yosemite

Why not? Because the park’s resident bear population prefers breaking into the vehicles over other models. Seriously.

Ken Burns: ‘An Unauthorized Green Room Documentary’

The Colbert Report had a little fun with Ken Burns when he appeared on the show to promote his PBS series The National Parks. The swelling music. The sepia tones. The slow pans. It’s all there. Oh, and there’s potty humor.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Exclusive - Backstage with Ken Burns

National Parks Travel Posters, Resurrected

National Parks Travel Posters, Resurrected By Doug Leen

Doug Leen helped rescue some WPA travel posters from oblivion. Here's a look at 11 of his stunning originals and re-creations.

Read More »

Interview With Doug Leen: The Lost National Parks Travel Posters

Eli Ellison learns how the former National Park ranger resurrected a long-forgotten series of Depression-era prints

Read More »

It’s Been a Great Year for America’s Parks

It’s Been a Great Year for America’s Parks Photo by Christmas w/a K via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Christmas w/a K via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The travel industry as a whole may have struggled through 2009, but the country’s national parks are on track for record attendance numbers this year. The AP offers some thoughts on what’s driving the increase.

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, California REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

A youngster walks along the banks of the Merced River in Yosemite National Park

See the full photo »

Ken Burns on National Parks

Ken Burns on National Parks Photo courtesy of PBS.
Photo courtesy of PBS.

This week, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, which designates more than two million acres as wilderness and creates new scenic, historic and recreational trails. His stimulus plan also includes sinking some badly needed money into our national parks.

Read More »

Civil War Parks Need You

Continuing on a theme, this Saturday, April 4, is the 13th annual Park Day, an event sponsored by the Civil War Preservation Trust and the History Channel that invites volunteers to help clean and tidy Civil War sites from Florida to Illinois and numerous points between.

Last year’s Park Day attracted a couple of thousand volunteers. Talk history with like-minded folks while you help preserve it. Check the CWPT website for locations, times, activities.