National Park Service

The Trump Administration has finally nominated a director for the National Park Service. The new director will manage a public lands system facing record-breaking visitation and $11 billion in maintenance backlog.

 


Jacob W. Frank / Rocky Mountain National Park

Before sunrise on a cool fall day, Jacob Job and Carlos Linares woke up, packed up their bags and headed into Rocky Mountain National Park. Job, a researcher at Colorado State University, and Linares, his student assistant, are hunters.

Their weapons: microphones. Their prey: the sounds of the elk during the fall mating season.

Ashley Jefcoat / KUNC

Brant Porter, the supervisory ranger at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, is contending with a very Colorado kind of problem: people, a lot more of them than in years past.

So far this year, the park has attracted 55 percent more visitors compared to the same period a year ago. The park isn't alone. That trend is taking place at most of the state's national parks, monuments, historic sites and other areas.

Courtesy of CSU

A new safety campaign from Colorado State University’s communications and natural resources departments is teaching national park visitors about safe selfies.

The Safe Wildlife Distance program includes educational materials for park staff, as well as ads and social media campaigns explaining how to get a good photo of wild animals without putting yourself -- or the animal -- at risk.

“Potentially people didn’t know what a safe distance was,” said Katie Abrams, an assistant professor in CSU’s Department of Journalism and Media Communication. “So, they would look to try to read the cues of the wildlife and see if they could make a determination or they would approach the wildlife to a distance that felt safe to them.”

National Park Service / Flickr

The National Park Service has released a report on how sea level rise could impact its sites. The publication was delayed by about a year, and as we’ve reported, there were concerns over possible censorship in earlier drafts.

Maria Caffrey worked for years with the National Park Service researching and writing the report, only to wait for months for its actual release.

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau

Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling for an investigation into the National Park Service, pointing to a report they say follows a "pattern" of censoring scientists who study climate change. So I checked in with the scientist who wrote the latest report and is now worried about her future.

Patrick Myers / National Park Service

The Bureau of Land Management plans to put up more than 20,000 acres of Colorado land for lease by oil and gas drilling companies. Much of that land sits near the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

Matt Bloom

Speak now or forever pay more to enter the country’s most popular national parks.

Friday, Dec. 22 is the last day to submit a public comment on a proposal to increase entrance fees at 17 parks, including Rocky Mountain National Park. After that, the National Park Service will determine if - and by how much - it will ramp up the cost during parks’ peak seasons.