Yellowstone and Grand Canyon Re-Open – But Can Public Parks Safely Meet Increasing Users?

Yellowstone and Grand Canyon Re-Open – But Can Public Parks Safely Meet Increasing Users?

More of the most famous and most visited National Parks are beginning to re-open as summer tourist season looms, but they will open sections of the parks in phases, with concessions and other public spaces also re-opening within the open areas, but there is no requirement for visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Why This Matters: What the pandemic and social distancing requirements are revealing is that many communities do not have enough park and open space — both large cities and suburbs.

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How Deep Is the Trail?  Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Atlantic Pipeline Case

How Deep Is the Trail? Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Atlantic Pipeline Case

The Supreme Court heard oral argument on Monday in a case challenging the authority of the National Park Service, which administers the Old Appalachian Trail as a park, to block a permit granted by the Forest Service that allowed the Atlantic pipeline to pass 600 feet below ground under the trail through the George Washington National Forest (which the trail traverses).  The Justices, even some of the liberal ones, were skeptical that the Park Service’s authority over the trail (and thus its ability to block the permit) extended to “the center of the Earth” according to the SCOTUSblog, and thus it appears that the Supreme Court will side with the pipeline in this case.  

 

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Water Found in Hawaiian Volcano – Is It Going To Blow?

Water Found in Hawaiian Volcano – Is It Going To Blow?

The lava-spewing eruptions of the Kilauea volcano may be set for a reprise — scientists warn that the area could experience another dangerous eruption because a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater, according to the National Park Service. 

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Hipsters fueling illicit cactus trade

Hipsters fueling illicit cactus trade

Cacti and succulents have rapidly grown in popularity in the past few years and it turns out that the insatiable demand to have the trendy plants adorn homes is driving poachers to dig them up from the wild and increasingly on public lands. The Guardian recently reported in its in-depth piece that “in the US […]

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Shutdown Leaves National Parks a Mess

Shutdown Leaves National Parks a Mess

As of last Friday, the government shutdown has gone on for 13 days, with no end in sight. The shutdown has meant that national parks have been severely understaffed as trash and restroom waste have been allowed to pile up. As the Washington Post explained, no one is at the gate. No one is collecting a fee. The visitor centers are closed. There are some law enforcement and emergency personnel on site, but certainly nothing as standard as a park ranger who can answer a question.

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