July 27, 2006
Fran P. Mainella, director of the National Park Service since 2001, will resign from the agency that has been at odds with environmentalists and Westerners. Critics have said the agency put too much emphasis on recreation, shifting its focus from conservation. Mainella recently oversaw a controversial rewrite of park management policies. A Park Service news release said Mainella was leaving to devote more time to her family.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 2006 |
National Park Service crews clearing brush this week stumbled onto World War II-era trenches hastily dug after the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were intended to be the last lines of defense against a Japanese attack that never hit the shores of the continental United States. The dozen trenches are about 5 feet deep, and some still bear remnants of mounts for .30-caliber machine guns. The park service is not releasing the precise location of the trenches until archeologists sweep the area.
May 1, 2006 |
A federal judge has ordered the National Park Service to pay $4 million to the owners of an observation tower that once stood near Gettysburg National Military Park. The federal government acquired the land by eminent domain in 2000 and demolished the steel structure as part of a campaign to restore the area to the way it looked during the Civil War. Creator Thomas R. Ottenstein called the 393-foot tower, which opened in 1974, a "classroom in the sky."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2005 |
A House committee chaired by Rep. Richard Pombo is considering a list of budgetary actions that includes selling off 15 national park sites around the country, requiring the park service to raise money by selling millions of dollars in advertising, and opening coastal waters and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.
June 5, 2005 |
On a recent visit to Yosemite National Park, I was enchanted by new paved trails and boardwalks that meandered through towering pines, shady glades and rippling streams at the base of Yosemite Falls. Along the way, I also found new interpretive plaques, one of which alerted me to a small granite spur near the Upper Falls called Lost Arrow. "Its name comes from a story about a deer hunter who was in the high country celebrating his conquests," the plaque said.
March 18, 2004 |
Some national park superintendents are being told to cut services without letting on they are making cuts. Former employees of the National Park Service, critical of how cuts are being handled, released a memo sent last month to park superintendents in the Northeast from the Park Service's Boston office. The memo suggested possibly shuttering visitor centers on federal holidays, closing parks Sundays and Mondays, and eliminating all guided ranger tours and lifeguards at some beaches.