Joshua Tree National Park in southern California encompasses parts of both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. This unique ecosystem conjures images of the iconic trees, desert washes, wondrous boulders, rattlesnakes, and cactus blooms. But long before it became a national park (or even a national monument prior to that), this area was home to people, from Native Americans to pioneers – cattlemen, homesteaders, and miners – and where you find people, you find music.
Nestled between the San Bernardino and Coxcomb Mountains lies the confluence of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, where the wind rushes through the rocks and valleys. At night it’s the only sound, other than the occasional hoot of an owl and the sound of your own breath. This is the soundtrack of Joshua Tree National Park.
There's a newly nominated candidate for NPS Director, a position that has been vacant for more than 4 years. Meanwhile, well over half of Lassen Volcanic National Park has been burned by the Dixie Fire. It's time for this month's National Park News.
In early June 1912, residents of southeast Alaska began to feel earthquakes daily. Earthquakes are common in this region, which is well-known for its geologic instability, though these were getting stronger. The remaining two families at Katmai village evacuated, and they were just in time. On June 6th, the largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century exploded. The skies darkened and the sun disappeared for more than 60 hours, and the aftermath of the explosion was felt hundreds of miles away.
This week on America’s National Parks: the Novarupta volcano in Katmai National Park.
As fires rage across the west in what will likely be the worst year for wildland fires on record, brave people face them head-on, to save our structures and our lives. The fraternity of American firefighters has always been a boys club — today only about 4% are women. And wildland firefighters even more so. In the early 1980s, one woman was among the first to join the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots, an elite National Park Service crew, stationed at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in California.
The text of today's episode comes from Women’s Voices: Women in the National Park Service Oral History Project and the audio comes from an oral history interview conducted by Lu Ann Jones and Leah Baer of the National Park Service Park History Program earlier this year.
Under the light of the moon, shelled creatures emerge from the ocean and make their way onto the sandy shoreline. They drag their bodies through the sand until one by one, they stop. Each migrant reptile will use her back flippers to dig a hole in the sand, depositing up to 100 eggs before covering them again for protection. The new mother will then follow the moonlight back into the safety of the ocean. It's early summer along this seashore, and something spectacular is occurring: it’s sea turtle nesting season along the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
A couple of months later, tiny turtles will emerge from the sand and their shells and begin the seemingly impossible journey back into the ocean, on the same sand their mother did years or even decades earlier. Although they face many challenges, these magnificent creatures are worth protecting.
This week on America’s National Parks: the sea turtles of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Hottest days on record, new mask-wearing requirements, Congress has hearings on park crowding, lightning strikes several visitors to the Grand Canyon, and a whole slew of terrible park visitors.
It’s time for the latest in National Park News.
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Situated within the spray of the picture-perfect Nevada Fall stood a pioneer hotel that, for almost 20 years, welcomed guests to Yosemite National Park. Named La Casa Nevada or The Snow House, owners Albert and Emily Snow, like so many innkeepers of the late 1800s provided a valuable service to those wanting to escape city life in search of nature’s stunning beauty and peace. If you were willing to make the trek, there was a moderately comfortable bed and a warm meal waiting for you. But as romantic as that all sounds, life as a Yosemite innkeeper was not for everyone. It was tough, rugged, work in a landscape that required determination not many could withstand.
The sun can rise and set on this island nation in the middle of the Pacific. Known for its rainforest paradise and tropical reefs, these islands were originally settled by Polynesians more than 3,000 years ago, and continue to carry traditional Polynesian culture today. Colorful tropical reefs are part of the 4,000 acres of National Park that is underwater, though even reefs are threatened by human-caused climate change. Though we love to travel by RV here at America’s National Parks, this one is only accessible by plane.
This week on America’s National Parks, we take a deep dive into the American Samoa.
A flash flood tears through Zion, Karens build Cairns in Petroglyph, endangered frogs are gettin’ it on without any assistance in California, Grand Teton gets one BIG Teton of a new dump truck, a drunken kayaker gets 60 days in Jail and a 5-year ban from Yellowstone, a massive bear spray recall, and more. It’s time for the latest in National Park News.