National Park Service

NPS

The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has announced his retirement. Dave Uberuaga will step down next month. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move comes after a federal investigation of sexual abuse within the park’s river district.

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

An Arizona Republican Congressman has condemned the National Park Service for adding the Oak Flat campground to the National Registry of Historic Places.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar called the campgrounds a "bogus" historic site that's meant to sabotage a mining company's efforts to reach a 1.7 billion-ton copper ore deposit that sits deep underneath the area.

Jeff Martz/NPS

Paleontologists have identified a new species of an extinct, crocodile-like creature in Petrified Forest National Park.


Earth Notes: Restoring Heiser Spring

Feb 3, 2016

Life flourishes near water in the desert. From rare plants to insects that begin their lives in water to the colorful warblers that eat them, healthy springs are hotspots of biodiversity.


U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Federal officials have proposed a sweeping new plan to manage Glen Canyon Dam for the next two decades. They want to be more proactive in their efforts to restore fish and animal habitat as well as beaches that have degraded in the Grand Canyon since the dam became operational in the 1960s. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Jim Roth

Many of the country's most prominent national parks, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Zion, set new visitation records in 2015 and are bracing for what could be an even busier new year.

 

The National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016 and has been urging Americans to rediscover the country's scenic wonders or find new parks to visit through marketing campaigns that include giving free passes to every fourth-grader and their families.

So the attendance records could be shot lived, with even bigger crowds expected next year.

A walk in the woods doesn’t usually happen in a landscape of starkly beautiful desert mesas dotted with narrow-leafed yucca and rabbitbrush.


The Baca Ranch was long a landmark of northern New Mexico—a swath of high-elevation forests and open parks that sprawled across 89,000 acres. But for a long time, too, it was a landmark that was hard to get a look at because it was closed to most public access.


It’s an iconic southwestern scene: the glimmer of green or yellow cottonwood leaves fluttering against the backdrop of Zion Canyon’s tremendous red- and cream-colored cliffs. Along southwest Utah’s Virgin River, groves of cottonwood trees please the eye, offer very welcome shade, and provide habitat for numerous types of animals.

But Zion’s cottonwoods are in trouble. Big as they are, the cottonwood trees along the river aren’t particularly long lived. Worse yet, as they die they are not being replaced by younger trees.

Michael Quinn/NPS

Over Labor Day Weekend, Grand Canyon National Park had a record number of visitors. Officials say an improving economy and the National Park Service’s upcoming centennial are responsible for the spike. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

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