National Parks


Tue May 19, 2015
National Parks

Farmers Step Up To Solve Rocky Mountain National Park's Pollution Problem

Jim Cheatham, a biologist with the National Parks Service, wants Rocky Mountain National Park to stay beautiful. That's why he's working to prevent excess nitrogen from coming into the park.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn KUNC

It’s May in Rocky Mountain National Park, but on a mountainside 10,829 feet above sea level, snow is falling. It’s pelting Jim Cheatham, a biologist with the National Park Service. Shrugging off the cold, Cheatham seizes a teachable moment. This snow, he said, holds more than just water.

“Chances are it’s carrying the excess nitrogen we’re talking about,” mused Cheatham.

For the past eight years, the biologist has spent most of his time thinking about how nitrogen pollution is changing the park’s forests, wildflowers, and alpine lakes. He’s also been looking for a way to stop it.

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Thu January 22, 2015
National Parks

Visits To Rocky Mountain National Park Rebound In 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park

Taking advantage of warm autumn weather and newly rebuilt roads, more than 3.4 million people spent time at Rocky Mountain National Park in 2014. That’s the highest number of annual visitors since 2000.

Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said pent-up demand following the September 2013 floods could be a factor.

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Thu January 15, 2015
Mountain Life

Free-Climbers Make It To Summit Of Yosemite's El Capitan

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 12:02 pm

Tommy Caldwell (top) climbs what is known as Pitch 17 and Kevin Jorgeson handles the line as they free-climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite's El Capitan.
Tom Evans AP

Update at 6:46pm ET:

On their 19th day of climbing, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the top of El Capitan in California's Yosemite National Park at 3:25 p.m. PT. The Los Angeles Times reports the climbers' families were waiting for them at the summit. From The New York Times:

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Sun January 11, 2015
Movie Interviews

A Half-Century Of Battles For The Biggest Rock Walls

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 8:00 pm

Tommy Caldwell trains on El Capitan's Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park. Caldwell and fellow climber Kevin Jorgenson are currently attempting the first free climb of the wall.
Brett Lowell

Right now, two men are hanging out on the side of a 3000-foot cliff in Yosemite National Park, hoping to make history. For the last two weeks, they've been free climbing the Dawn Wall of El Capitan. If they succeed, it will be the most difficult climb ever completed.

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Tue January 6, 2015

Free-Climbing Yosemite's El Capitan Takes A Team — And Time

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:19 pm

Tommy Caldwell says he prefers to climb at night when the rock is cooler, his hands sweat less and the friction is better. He and Kevin Jorgeson have been trying for seven years to scale the whole Dawn Wall in one shot.
Corey Rich Courtesy of Corey Rich Productions

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are midway through the adventure of a lifetime. The professional climbing partners have spent the last 10 days making their way up the Dawn Wall of El Capitan, the granite monolith in California's Yosemite National Park.

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