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America's National Parks Podcast
15 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
The Carriage Roads & Bridges of Acadia National Park
Winding through Acadia’s forests and mountains are 45 miles of historic roadways that are only for pedestrians, bicyclists, horseback riders, and carriages. These roads were carefully designed to follow the contours of the landscape and reach scenic vistas. Though enormously popular for recreation today, until recently it was not well-known who had the most prominent role in the development of these roads: John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
9 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
National Park News | Record Crowds, Biden's Budget, a Grim Anniversary
Yellowstone and Grand Teton shatter April attendance records, Zion sees a four-hour wait for its most popular hike, Biden’s 2022 budget sees the largest appropriation for the National Park Service ever, an Instagramer apologizes, and so much more. It’s time for this month’s news round-up episode of the America’s National Parks podcast.
15 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Buffalo Bird Woman
In the middle of North Dakota, one of the least visited states in the nation, sits one of the smallest and least visited National Park Service Sites. It’s the place where Earthlodge people, the Hidatsa and Mandan, who lived along the Missouri River and it’s tributaries, hunted bison and other game. The site was a major Native American trade center for hundreds of years prior to becoming an important marketplace for fur traders after 1750. Today on America’s National Parks, the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, and the story of Buffalo-Bird Woman, one of the last Hidatsas born in the Knife River villages, in her own words, as portrayed by Grace Henry in the park film.
13 minutes | May 25, 2021
Synchronous Fireflies in the Smokies
In 1680, one of the earliest Western accounts of coordinated fireflies flashing was recorded by a Dutch physician while traveling down the Meinam River in what is now Thailand. He wrote, “A whole swarm of these insects, having taken possession of one Tree, and spread themselves over its branches, sometimes hide their Light all at once, and a moment after make it appear again with the utmost regularity and exactness.” More than 300 years later and the synchronized flashing of fireflies is still a mystery.
15 minutes | May 17, 2021
Spring Migration in the Parks
Point Reyes National Seashore has recorded more than 450 species of birds, including 38 that are threatened or endangered. There are multiple factors that make it such a popular and birdy destination. For one, it has many unique habitats that provide food and shelter, such as coastline, forest, wetland, and open fields. The park’s peninsula also juts out into the ocean, scooping migrants into the park as they travel along the coast. Due to these special features, the National Audubon Society has also named it an Important Bird Area.
14 minutes | May 10, 2021
Restore Hetch Hetchy
It might not be common knowledge that the Yosemite Valley one of the crown jewels of the American landscape, known for towering natural splendor in its pristine condition, has a sister valley, within the National Park, that was flooded to create a water reservoir for the city of San Fransisco. For over 100 years, Hetch Hetchy canyon, named with an indigenous word for a type of wild grass, has been called Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. And while turning back is a real possibility one day, Hetch Hetchy is still an amazing place to visit. Or it would be if it were a little easier. Restore Hetch Hetchy is an organization with a plan to do just that, and Executive Director Spreck Rosekrans is our guest today on the America's National Parks Podcast.
11 minutes | May 3, 2021
Driverless Shuttles, Murder in Hot Springs, Pike Trail | National Park News
Driverless National Park Shuttles are being tested, a new national trail is proposed, a homicide at Hot Springs, and more. It’s time for this month’s news round-up episode of the America’s National Parks podcast.
17 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
In the late 1800s, Hansen’s disease (also known as leprosy) was reaching epidemic proportions in the Hawaiian islands. Bacteria cause nerve damage in patients and can lead to crippling of the hands and feet, paralysis, and blindness. At the time, there was no cure and no known effective treatment, and health officials had no idea how the disease was spreading. This frightened officials in Hawaii, and in a desperate act to save their native populations, isolation seemed to be the only answer.
9 minutes | Apr 18, 2021
National Parks That Need Entry Tickets or Reservations for Summer 2021
Some National Parks will require entry reservations this summer — in this episode, we'll tell you which ones, and break down all the details.
12 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
The Day it Rained Rocks
It was, literally, earth-shaking; so much so that a seismometer thousands of miles away picked up the vibrations. It contained enough force to push debris a mile under water, heaving it uphill onto the opposite shore, and generate a tsunami high enough to rival Seattle’s Space Needle. But this was no earthquake. Today on America's National Parks, they Icy Bay Landslide, a 60-second deluge of boulders, earth, and trees in a remote slice of Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve on October 17, 2015.
15 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
Protecting Alaska for Generations to Come
One of the most significant land conservation measures in our nation’s history was an act that protected over 100 million acres of land, doubled the size of the country’s national refuge system, and tripled wilderness areas. It created or expanded nine national parks and preserves, six national monuments, sixteen national wildlife refuges, twenty-five wild and scenic rivers, and two national forests, including our nation’s largest: the Tongass in Southeast Alaska. This legislation also created a compromise between the needs of development and conservation and the competing interests that fought for them. While it was not perfect, it has shaped the history of our public lands and the National Park Service system itself. This week on America’s National Park: the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, or ANILCA.
8 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
Yellowstone Boosts Cell Service, Glacier East Opens, Condors Return to Redwood | National Park News
A collared Yellowstone wolf has been killed...by the governor of Montana, Yellowstone is seeking to improve communication services, Glacier National Park has re-opened the East entrance after over a year of closure, a man is sentenced for stealing over $3000 from Grand Canyon, Wind Cave tours resume, and more. All on this episode of National Park News. Public comment on the Yellowstone communications plan can be submitted here: parkplanning.nps.gov/fiberEA
18 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Community Science in National Parks
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are spending their free time counting birds, measuring water quality, or monitoring pollinators. They may also be counting asteroids, collecting bugs, measuring air quality, reporting wildlife sightings, or tracking monarch migration. The amazing thing is that these people are not career scientists. They live in the city and in the country, go backpacking or have picnics in the park. They vary in age and it doesn’t matter what their job is. They are community scientists. Community science is the practice of data collection by everyday people, that is, people who aren’t scientists. Community scientists volunteer their time to help collect data, analyze results, and solve problems about important issues facing our natural world, and that includes our national parks. Sometimes, the best and easiest way to collect data is to involve volunteers. For example, if a park manager needs to know what areas of the park need better protection, they may need to know where rare plants are blooming each year. A mobile app can support volunteer scientists to record when they see those flowers, and if hundreds of people get involved in the project, there will be more data than if the single scientist tried to explore the entire park alone. This can also be a great way for visitors to learn, get excited, and be involved in something important. By taking part in real science in the park, visitors can learn to appreciate their national parks in new ways. This week, on America’s National Parks Podcast, we’re exploring stories of community science in our national parks. Lindsey Taylor's blog: https://curiositychroniclesblog.wordpress.com/
13 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
The Battle of Bunker Hill
On June 17, 1775, New England soldiers faced the British army for the first time in a pitched battle. Bloody fighting took place throughout a hilly landscape of fenced pastures that were situated across the Charles River from Boston. Though the British were victorious, the psychological toll inflicted by American soldiers from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire was staggering. Of the 2,400 British Soldiers and Marines engaged, 1,000 were wounded or killed. Today on America's National Parks, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Bunker Hill Monument, part of the Boston National Historical Park.
17 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
Restoring the Everglades
One and a half million acres of shallow-water marine habitats, freshwater marshes and prairies, saltwater wetland forests, and pine and hardwood forests provide refuge for threatened and endangered animals in the Gulf of Mexico. The green sea turtle, American crocodile, West Indian manatee, Everglade snail kite, and piping plover all depend on critical habitat within Everglades National Park. 1.3 million acres of the park is designated wilderness, making it the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River.
8 minutes | Feb 28, 2021
100.Years of Hot Springs, New Filming Rules | National Park News
Visitor statistics have been released for 2020, and visitation to parks was down about 1/3, thanks to park closures. There's a new National Park Service app, new rules for anyone taking video in parks, and Hot Springs National Park is about to celebrate a huge milestone.
17 minutes | Feb 21, 2021
Scandal and Special People of Effigy Mounds
More than a thousand years ago in the Upper Midwest, indigenous people were moving mountains—literally. The Mound Builders changed the landscape by piling earth into tall shapes that could only be truly appreciated from up above. In our time, one Ho-Chunk woman lived a special life in this area, and one National Park Service superintendent went to prison for stealing the bones of her ancestors.
17 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
100 Years at Mount Rainier
This week on America's National Parks, a great mountain of the west, and conservation lessons learned over the course of a century.
15 minutes | Feb 6, 2021
Digging Up Dinosaurs
Much of the western United States was once blanketed in hundreds of feet of sand. The unforgiving sun beat down on the landscape for 20 to 30 million years during the early Jurassic period. Thin layers of rock allowed water to collect even in the dry desert, though sometimes it was hidden a few inches below the surface. Dinosaurs and other animals were able to survive the harsh conditions, and as the sand slowly turned to sandstone, traces of these animals were caught and preserved in the rock, creating fossils. More than 150 million years later, a man named Earl Douglass was born in Medford, Minnesota in 1862. He didn’t know it yet, but his fate was already entwined with the dinosaurs that once roamed the earth. This week on America’s National Parks: Earl Douglass and Dinosaur National Monument.
15 minutes | Jan 31, 2021
Mask Mandate, Commercial Filming Permits Struck Down | National Park News
It's time for this month's "news from the parks" episode. Today, we cover President Biden's new executive order requiring masks-wearing on federal lands, and a landmark ruling from a judge striking down the National Park Service's commercial film permit rules.
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