Great American Outdoors Act Poised to Pass Congress Despite Last Minute Effort to Block It

Great American Outdoors Act Poised to Pass Congress Despite Last Minute Effort to Block It

The Great American Outdoors Act, which provides $900m annually for parks and conservation of lands and billions to repair our national parks, is expected to pass the House of Representatives today despite a last-ditch effort to stop it by Congressman Rob Bishop of Utah. 

Why This Matters:  Permanent funding for parks and conservation is long overdue — on top of the environmental benefits, it creates jobs and helps ensure that every American has access to nature.

Continue Reading 420 words
Historical Hero of the Week: Colonel Charles Young

Historical Hero of the Week: Colonel Charles Young

Black and minority Americans are woefully underrepresented in the conservation and outdoor recreation worlds. Some of our most important environmentalists were people of color and this week we wanted to highlight the conservation contributions of Col. Charles Young.  Born into slavery in Kentucky, Young became the third black American to graduate from West Point and […]

Continue Reading 235 words
One Cool Thing: Wildlife Comes Out At National Parks

One Cool Thing: Wildlife Comes Out At National Parks

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
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.

Continue Reading 550 words
Visitors Surging To National Parks, Forcing More To Close Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Visitors Surging To National Parks, Forcing More To Close Due to Coronavirus Concerns

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
One Cute Thing:  International Puppy Day

One Cute Thing: International Puppy Day

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

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.