Nearly every conversation that includes the words "Yellowstone" and "winter" also includes the words "snowmobiles." Well, for a change, I'd like to present this short 3 minute journey into the snowy winter season in Yellowstone National Park, that includes no snowmobiles! (You would have heard them had I left the audio unedited, but at least you want see any in this short movie.) Buffalo still roam, rivers still flow, but the entire place in winter is surrounded in mist and snow, which totally change the outlook on the landscape. And, as my colleague Rich Deline is heard to exclaim at the end of the video, the erupting geysers are pretty cool.
This week marks the beginning of the winter visitation season in Yellowstone National Park. Thanks to Rich Deline who has generously made available to the National Parks Traveler some of his footage for us to enjoy.
NPT 15 : Fran Mainella Speaks About Snowmobiles and Science
't realize the in-depth that the good stewards in the national parks went to. Often, we'd be accused of studying things to death. If you didn't hold that position during her tenure as director.
When I reached Ms. Mainella at Clemson University, where she’s a visiting scholar, she explained that as Park Service director she did not hold the final decision on snowmobiling in Yellowstone.
MAINELLA: All I can say is that those decisions, I chose to have my discussions in the 'll do another study. But I will say over time that I've come to really appreciate that, that we make good decisions based on good information.
KURT: Despite those words, don’t you still wonder whether science or politics are guiding snowmobiles in Yellowstone?
SOUND: Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park.
KURT: At the National Parks Traveler, I’m Kurt Repanshek
A 3 minute video postcard from a recent visit to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas. I had the privilege of visiting this unit of the parks recently. Park interpreters led a tour of the historic house and barn, followed later by a bus tour of the prairie. I happened to be on the very last bus tour of the season, the next one won't be until April.
The park itself is pretty remote. I was traveling through Wichita and decided to take the side trip. The park is approximately 90 miles (one-way) from Wichita. Considering the drive consumed 3 hours of my time (round trip), I am glad I made the trip, it was worth it to see the area. Kansas isn't nearly as flat as I had thought it would be.
Photography, Edits - Jeremy Sullivan
Music - John Fleagle, "Da Day Dawn", Magnatune.com
- Julie Miller
- Interpreters of the Tallgrass Prairie
Take a few minutes out of your day and enjoy a 5 minute video tour of the Lake Quinault region of Olympic National Park. We start with a look at the historic Lake Quinault Lodge. Manager Dave Huber gives us a look around and describes some of the more interesting aspects of the lodge's past. Next, we catch up with Roger Blain, a former ranger with the Park Service, he now provides interpretive tours of the area with the lodge. Roger leads us through the Maple Glade trail, a short nature loop near the lake that contains quite a lot of green hanging moss and lush sword fern. Along the way, we catch sight of an Osprey, Roosevelt Elk, and even a couple Banana Slugs.
The video for this production was shot in early June, 2007.
l Park Service
In this program, we hear from Eugene Sayles, a survivor of the accident; US Congressmen Grijalva and George Miller; Dr Robert Allen, noted book author; and Neal Desai of the National Parks Conservation Association.
Take a minute to relax next to the cascading waters of Frijoles Creek in Bandelier National Monument. This short recording was made under the shade of the trees along the picnic road next to the creek. You'll be able to hear some birds chirping along, as well as a child's call about half-way through. And while it is anything but quiet, I think this is the type of natural soundscape that draws people out of the cities in search of the "peace and quiet" found in our national parks.
This podcast was inspired by a website I've just recently stumbled across called 'quiet american'. I like very much the section called 'one-minute vacations'.
NPT 9 : A Park Remark : Nancy Bandley and Park Passport Stamps
At the new National Parks Traveler, Kurt Repanshek and I have as a goal to provide original multimedia content about our parks. It's an advantage of the web that we can bring you audio and video programs from time to time. As part of an ongoing series, we'll provide interviews with folks who have special insight on the parks. Today I have a conversation with Nancy Bandley. Nancy has accomplished something very few others have done, she has visited every single unit of the National Park Service, all 391 of them. On her travels to the parks, she collects park passport stamps, and is very involved in a large community of folks who do the same. When she's not on the road traveling, she has found time to write a series of articles about travel to Alaska's National Parks for our website. If you've ever collected those little stamps in the Visitor Center, I think you'll enjoy what Nancy's got to share today.
Nearly one year ago, on the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service that Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, while visiting Yellowstone National Park, introduced a program which would bring upwards of $3 Billion dollars in new funds for our parks. The ambitious program, called the Centennial Challenge, is geared to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Park Service in 2016. Over the last year, the National Park Service has conducted listening sessions around the country, and talked with their parks to figure out the best programs on which to spend this money. We are expected to hear which programs have been selected at the end of this month, I'm guessing it will be on the 25th, on the 91st anniversary of the Park Service, and one year after the program was announced. Congress has not yet approved the Centennial Initiative yet. Yesterday, the National Park Service, represented by director Mary Bomar, and other groups met in subcommittee hearings for both the House and the Senate to answer questions regarding the program. The audio from the Hill is of the Senate hearing. The complete hearing was 90 minutes long. I have selected only a select few questions from Senators to Director Bomar for this program. We hear first from the chairman of the Senate Subcomittee on National Parks, Senator Daniel Akaka, Democrat from Hawaii. We will also hear from Senator Richard Burr, Republican from North Carolina, and also Senator John Barrasso, the newly appointed Republican Senator from Wyoming.
Sol Duc Valley is part 1 of a three part series about the West Side lowlands of Olympic National Park. Take a drive up the valley and stop at the Salmon Cascades, Sol Duc Hot Springs, and Sol Duc Falls along the way.
In this third edition of the Park Remark audiocast, I have a phone conversation with Andrea Lankford who is the author of the book Haunted Hikes: Spine-Tingling Tales and Trails from North America's National Parks. Andrea and I have some fun covering some of the scary stories in her book. We also take a few minutes to cover the larger scope of these stories as they relate to cultural resource protection within the National Park Service. Our program starts with a reading from one of the stories in the book.
Anrdea's set up a website with a little more detail on the book, which can be found at HauntedHiker.com. If you'd like to "try before you buy", she has a number of excerpts that are worth checking into. And while you there, have a look at some of the additional photos she has gathered on her journeys around the country.
NPCA Discusses Storm Damage and Listening Sessions
Last week I had a chance to sit down and have an interview with Sean Smith, the Northwest Regional Director of the National Parks and Conservation Association. Sean was a lot of fun to talk to, I found him to be very knowledgeable about many park issues. I've edited our conversation down to 11 minutes 30 seconds, but there was a lot of the interview I had to leave on the virtual cutting room floor. Perhaps down the road, I'll reassemble the extras and create another audiocast.
Today's conversation covers two big topics, the November storms which did many millions of dollars worth of damage to Northwest National Parks, and also covers the ongoing Park Service listening sessions.
I hope you find the topic for the first show interesting -- if you recreate on federal lands, including the National Parks, it's at least topic that your wallet is already familiar with: entrance fees. I had the opportunity to speak with Washington State Representative Maralyn Chase who has co-sponsored a House Memorial which asks that federal fees collected under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) be abolished in the State of Washington.
This weekend Devils Tower celebrated its 100th anniversary as National Monument. It is significant, because it was the first federal land to be set aside as a monument by Teddy Roosevelt under the Antiquities Act. Based on the write-up in the Rapid City Journal, it sounds as if there was quite a bit of pomp and circumstance going on. The keynote speaker was Theodore Roosevelt IV. Special guests including the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks Craig Thomas (R., WY) and even a special video welcome from former Wyoming resident Vice President Dick Cheney.
In honor of the anniversary, I have included for your enjoyment some time-lapse photography that I took while working on a project in Devils Tower a couple years ago.
I met a lot of folks along the trail who's dedication to the Lewis and Clark story inspired me. In August I introduced you to one of these guys, Craig Rockwell of the Army Corps of Engineers who portrays Captain Clark. Today, I would like to introduce you to a living history interpreter who I think is as talented as anyone I've ever met at his craft. This fellow is named Hasan Davis, he is an educator and makes his home in the St. Louis area but has traveled coast to coast telling the story of York, Captain William Clark's slave. I recorded this performance in July at the Signature Event at Pompey's Pillar in Montana. This recording was part of a larger program which also included performances by Hal Sterns as Captain Clark, and Amy Mosset as Sacagawea. This segment below is the 10 minute presentation given by Hasan. Have a listen, I think you'll hear why I think this guy is so good.
When I was at the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial event in Billings, MT recently, I brought along a portable audio recorder. I had the opportunity to chat with a fellow who has portrayed William Clark across the country at nearly all of the national Lewis & Clark events the last few years. The person's name is Craig "Rocky" Rockwell and he is an interpreter who works for the Army Corps of Engineers. Rocky's got a lot of good stories to share about his experience traveling the trail, and he agreed to share some of them in an informal interview. The running time of the interview is about 25 minutes total. The recording happened at an outdoor booth, so there was a lot of extra background noise. I've tried to edit out of as much of that extra noise as possible.