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National parks inspire a lot of things, from great adventures and beautiful landscape paintings to the names of cars and trucks to even music. In this week's podcast we invite you to tap your feet to the music as Lynn Riddick shares the stories of two vbands whose monikers and tunes are inspired by the national parks: National Park Radio, and the N…
 
Everglades National Park very easily can be viewed as the poster child for invasive species. It’s infested with non-native Burmese pythons, Argentine black and white tegus are making inroads, there is invasive vegetation like Melaleuca and Brazilian pepper, and nonnative fish are making their way into the park’s ecosystems. Kurt Repanshek, editor o…
 
One trail you must take when you visit Everglades National Park is the Anhinga Trail at Royal Palm. You'll find a short boardwalk that takes you out over the waters of Taylor Slough and quickly discover that the mangroves and other trees that rise above the water are popular with anhingas, one of the park's most popular birds.…
 
Lake Powell long has been the shimmering heart of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah and Arizona, but it’s not the only asset of the NRA that covers 1.25 million acres. This is Kurt Repanshek, your host at the National Parks Traveler. Last year I had the good fortune to visit Glen Canyon NRA twice –- once in May to kayak Lake Powell -- an…
 
Lyndon Baines Johnson had a staggering impact on the United States during his time as president. Much of his approach to government was instilled during his early life in Texas. In this, part two of her podcast on the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, the Traveler's Lynn Riddick visits the president's boyhood home and ranch. The LBJ Ranch…
 
Those who have ascended to the presidency of the United States are products of the environments in which they were born, raised, and educated. Their early experiences usually have a significant effect on how they manage their presidency and the subsequent policy and programs developed under their watch. Lyndon Baines Johnson is a fitting example of…
 
Some 615,000 visitors a year flock to the hard-packed gray sands of Padre Island National Seashore along the Gulf Coast of Texas. This undeveloped national seashore boasts an abundance of natural wonders in its tidal flats, dunes and grasslands. Ample solitude can be found on it 65-mile stretch of beach, including 60 miles that are only accessible …
 
Near the very tip of Everglades National Park, the interior wetlands of Cape Sable have long been viewed as one of the most ecologically productive environments left in Florida. It could become even more so thanks to an upcoming restoration project. Dr. Jerry Lorenz, head of Audubon's Everglades Science Center, explains the project.…
 
Nearly 200 countries have developed various forms of biodiversity strategies, but the United States is not one of them. What exactly would a "national biodiversity strategy" look like? What would it entail? To explore those, and other, questions about biodiversity we’re joined by Robert Dewey, vice president of government relations at Defenders of …
 
From coast to coast, national parks, national forests, and state parks are being crowded, if not overrun at times, by visitors. One part of the country that has seen record-breaking visitation has been the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and the Wright Brothers Memorial comb…
 
Across the roughly 85-million-acre National Park System there are, in theory at least, some 70 million acres envisioned as official wilderness. Forty-four million acres have received Congressional blessing as such, while another 26 million acres are in something akin to administrative limbo. Some of those 26 million acres -- including roughly two-t…
 
How many are too many? That’s the question to mull in the wake of news from the National Park Service that nearly 300 million visited the National Park System last year. What is the perfect number for annual visitation to the park system’s 423 units? To help sort out the pluses and minuses of 300 million visitors a year to the park system, and to o…
 
Should Yellowstone National Park have more bison, should it have less? Just recently the park embarked on an environmental impact statement to examine that question. Dr. James Derr, a professor of veterinary genetics at Texas A&M University who has spent more than a quarter century directing worldwide research projects in wildlife and livestock con…
 
RVing –- traveling by recreational vehicle –- has exploded along with the coronavirus pandemic. Sales have gone through the roof, inventory has been depleted, and would-be customers often have to wait months before they can hit the road with their new rig. Many, if not most, of those RV enthusiasts are heading into the National Park System. And why…
 
With the great rush to the outdoors that we’ve seen since the Covid pandemic erupted, there have been many calls for more space in the National Park System. While there are places in the West that seem to be logical additions to the parks there, that's not the case in the East. So, if we want more park lands east of the Mississippi, how could we ga…
 
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the great hiking destinations in the mid-Atlantic region, if not the entire East Coast. Across its rumpled 522,427 acres there are more than 800 miles of trails. They range from relatively short footpaths to scenic payoffs like Rainbow Falls and Abrahams Falls to the more than 70 miles of the Appalachia…
 
All is not well at Point Reyes National Seashore, as a years-long battle continues over ranching at Point Reyes, how it’s impacting the seashore’s environment, and how the National Park Service is trying to manage it. To sort through some of these issues, we’re joined by Laura Cunningham, California director at Western Watersheds Project.…
 
Last week the National Parks Traveler took you to Big Bend National Park in far west Texas with a discussion with Chief of Interpretation Tom Vandenberg. This week, Traveler's Lynn Riddick provides a first-hand, more personal glimpse into this vast remote park. Afterwards, Traveler Editor Kurt Repanshek shares a short conversation he had with Charl…
 
The National Parks Traveler’s Lynn Riddick begins a two-part series about her recent trip to Big Bend -- a vast wilderness in the Chihuahuan Desert along the Rio Grande. She meets up with the park’s chief of interpretation, who offers an overview of the park’s varied geology and diverse ecology, its human history and what the future may hold for vi…
 
In this episode of the Arizona Highways podcast, editor Robert Stieve sits down with photographer Mike Buchheit, who’s working on a new project called “The Temples Within.” It’s a collection of essays and photographs focused on 23 of the rock monoliths within the Grand Canyon. An excerpt of that project appears in the January issue of Arizona Highw…
 
This has been one of the most newsworthy years in recent memory for the National Park Service and the parks. There’s finally a Senate-confirmed director at the helm, billions of dollars are flowing into the parks for a variety of projects, wildfires chewed through Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Lassen Volcanic national parks, lakes Powell and Mead are s…
 
As the global human population continues to increase, as sprawl continues to wash over natural areas, the amount of space needed for flora and fauna to thrive and, even, in some cases, survive, is steadily being squeezed by the human footprint. Kristine Tompkins knows a little about protecting landscapes for nature. She and her late husband, Doug T…
 
When you visit Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, after you’ve gazed into the Kīlauea crater itself if it’s erupting, you should make a point to hike the Kīlauea Iki Trail. Starting from an overlook near Nāhuku (aka the Thurston Lava Tube), the trail goes down through the rainforest and out across a crater floor created back in 1959 by one of the mos…
 
There is no shortage of hiking trails in the National Park System. From coastal walks and boardwalk trails to trails that run the ridges of the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park and the wildly popular hike to the top of Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park, the options can be overwhelming even if you had endless time to explore the park…
 
Camels, lions, and mammoths once roamed the landscape around Las Vegas, Nevada. Such was the case during the latter part of the Pleistocene era, which spanned a period of time between 11,000 years and 2.5 million years ago. The area -- known as the Upper Las Vegas Wash –- is rich with the fossils of these and many more creatures as well as ancient …
 
Today we’re talking adventures, friendships, and the environment with Rick Ridgeway, who has traveled the world seeking adventure and, along the way, debated and discussed environmental consciousness with his friends, colleagues and peers. Rick, a climber, kayaker, explorer, filmmaker, and thoughtful writer, has a new book out, Life Lived Wild, tha…
 
It’s been said that the night sky represents the other half of the National Park System. It’s in the national parks where you can experience some of the darkest skies you’ll find anywhere. Our guest this week knows all about that. Artist, author, astronomer and Night Sky Ambassador Doctor Tyler Nordgren talks with the Traveler’s Lynn Riddick about …
 
Feral hogs are just one of several species of invasive mammals that are posing immense challenges for national park managers. Unlike invasive insects or reptiles, invasive mammals are often larger and more “charismatic” animals, difficult for parks to eradicate from a logistical, financial, and emotional perspective.…
 
Enter the National Park System and you won’t come away disappointed when you realize all that awaits you. At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it’s impossible not to be awed by the volcanism that created the Hawaiian islands, and which is on full display at the crater atop the Kīlauea volcano. Jessica Ferracane, the park’s public affairs specialist, …
 
For Grand Teton National Park, this year has, to put it bluntly, been crazy busy. In September the park counted 570,584 visitors, the second-highest tally for that month in park history. Notably, it pushed the park’s year-to-date visitation to 3,493,937, a record for an entire year, and with October, November, and December to go. Grand Teton Superi…
 
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee questioned Mr. Sams this past week during his confirmation hearing. He’s an interesting nominee. He’s from outside the National Park Service, and if confirmed he would be the first Native American director of the Park Service. Discussing his nomination are Phil Francis of the Coalition to Protect Am…
 
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