Park Rangers at National Parks that have been closed for many weeks have observed things they had never seen before. For example, pronghorn antelope in the sun-scorched lowlands of Death Valley National Park, and at Yosemite, with traffic a distant memory, deer, bobcats, and black bears have made their way into Yosemite Valley and are […]Continue Reading 173 words
- Grand Canyon
- National Park Service
- National Parks
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.Continue Reading 550 words
Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Smoky Mountains National Parks closed on Tuesday due to coronavirus concerns, joining Yosemite National Park, the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island because of concerns of crowding in public spaces leading to spread of the disease.
Why This Matters: As is true with so much of the Trump Administration’s attitude toward containing the spread of the virus, they have left each Park to decide on its own, causing confusion and sending mixed signals to the public and leaving local officials struggling to respond.Continue Reading 520 words
Want the planet in your inbox?
Stay in the know, empower yourself to be a #FriendOfThePlanet, sign up to receive ODP in your inbox each morning!
Yesterday was National Puppy Day and there were plenty of cute pics on social media (check out our Instagram for Monica’s dogs). These two photos come from the National Park Service’s tribute to dogs of the Parks on this day in 2018. Cooper of Lake Mead National Park, above, was the single most clicked-on photo […]Continue Reading 101 words
Florida is (finally) closing its beaches. The National Park Service has waived all park entrance fees but closed some parks and most of the facilities in the parks that remain open (check each park’s web site for more details) — they are taking “extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing.”
Why This Matters: It is spring break for many people across the country and the warming weather may make outdoor activities tempting, but unless we maintain our distances we won’t flatten the curve of exposure.Continue Reading 590 words
Although he has repeatedly called for cutting its funding by as much as 97 percent year after year including in his most recent budget proposal, on Tuesday President Trump called on Congress to pass a law to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Why This Matters: President Trump is no friend of land conservation — it is tragic that he has vastly increased oil and gas drilling on public lands and even in formerly protected areas, but based on this one tweet will now argue that he supports parks. Nothing could be further from the truth.Continue Reading 563 words
- carbon offsets
- gift guide
- green products
- National Parks
- plant-based diet
- single use plastic
Hey #FriendsOfThePlanet, if you’ve been reading the email all week then you will have seen our picks for meaningful green gifts for you and your loved ones. We’ve compiled all of our recs into this handy guide and hope that if you’re looking for gifts, that you love all of these items and experiences as […]Continue Reading 1431 words
CNN reported last week that a new study warns that the unaddressed problem of invasive (non-native) animal species in National Parks is threatening many parks — that are now being overwhelmed with rats, domesticated cats, feral hogs and many other non-native animals that also thrive there. Scientists from within the Department of Interior and several universities found that of the 1,409 reported populations of invasive species in National Parks, only 11% are under control.
Why This Matters: There is a backlog of maintenance projects at National Parks across the U.S. totaling nearly $12B – and those are just for maintenance of roads and facilities, not eradicating invasive species.Continue Reading 379 words
The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is having difficulty implementing a policy change it made back in August to allow e-bikes on federal lands — there is confusion regarding whether e-bikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.
Why This Matters: The Trump Administration argues that it is just following the lead of many states and wanted to allow e-bikes as a way to increase access to parks and recreational lands. But there is a downside — if e-bikes are allowed in the backcountry, it will fundamentally change the experience of these wild and natural places. And for now, the Administration has lifted the restrictions on e-bikes immediately without putting a new policy regarding their use in place, leaving everyone in limbo.
Continue Reading 463 words
The Hill reports that an advisory committee recommended to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt that he should privatize campgrounds within national parks, cut benefits for senior visitors, and allow food trucks into Parks as a way to bring increase money coming into the Parks system, according to the panel’s memo.
Why This Matters: This recommendation is likely to be extremely divisive — with environmental groups and advocates for seniors arguing that this is likely to hurt low and middle-income Americans and benefit the President’s rich benefactors.
Continue Reading 429 words
Last Friday, in the midst of a snowstorm that dumped up to four feet of snow in some areas of Montana, Governor Steve Bullock announced the second major policy proposal of his Presidential campaign, a policy on public lands management and ownership. Bullock’s plan has three main principles: (1) tackling climate change; (2) honoring our heritage of public land ownership by restoring and increasing public lands; and (3) making sure that all Americans get a fair shot at enjoying the opportunities that public lands provide.
Why This Matters: As a western governor whose state consists of some of the nation’s most beloved and beautiful national parks, Bullock is in a good position to speak to the issue of whether the federal government should own and should conserve (rather than develop) more land.Continue Reading 434 words