National Park Service

Who Should Be Allowed to Purchase Privately Owned Lands in National Parks?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | November 15th, 2012 | 7 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: America, Bryce Canyon National Park, civilization, construction, developers, Eco Travel, environment, government spending, homes, HOPE, housing developments, Kolob Canyon, Land and Water Conservation Fund, landowners, National Park Service, national parks, nature, offshore drilling royalties, oil companies, private lands, spirituality, subdivisions, travel, United States, wild lands, Wilderness Act, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Our national parks are our soul-restoring places; the spots we run to when we need to escape the constant clatter of civilization. They are where we go to see the last vestiges of wild America. And each of our national parks seems to have at least one iconic image that lives in our consciousness, whether we’ve actually seen it in person or not: landmarks such as El Capitan in Yosemite, the bubbling hot springs in Yellowstone, or the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon.

Now picture yourself standing on the rim of one of our national parks’ stunning canyons, looking out on nature’s beauty. You’re awed and inspired by the scene in front of you, until your eyes begin to register a structure that doesn’t seem to belong. Then you suddenly recognize what it is: a huge trophy home, with windows from floor to ceiling and a wraparound deck.

That could never happen, right? It could, and it almost did last month in one of our most treasured natural spaces.

14 Stellar Spots to See the Stars

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | August 19th, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Eco Travel | tags: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, archaeoastronomy, Arizona, astronomy, astrophotography, Atacama Desert, Australia, Bryce Canyon National Park, California, camping, celestial, Chaco Canyon, Chaco Culture National Historic Park, Cherry Springs State Park, Chile, conservation, Eco Travel, ecotourism, europe, Flagstaff, galaxies, Galloway Forest Park, Goldendale Observatory State Park, Green Living, Haleakala National Park, hawaii, hiking, Hungary, International Dark Sky Association, International Dark Sky Community, Lake Tekapo, light pollution, Mackinaw City, Maui, Mauna Kea, Milky Way, Mont-Megantic International Dark Sky Reserve, Mount Cook, Mount Haleakala, National Park Service, New Mexico, New Zealand, NSW, Pennsylvania, planets, protection, Quebec, Scotland, stargazing, Starlight, stars, telescope, The Headlands, trip, UK, UNESCO Starlight Reserve, United Kingdom, urban sprawl, Utah, vacation, Washington, Wiruna, Zselic Starry Sky Park

Milky Way from Atacama Desert, Chile

Ecotourism often focuses on vanishing natural resources, such as rainforests and glaciers. It’s not often, though, that we think of looking up when we ponder the fate of the natural world under threat. Yet the starry night sky is disappearing as rapidly from human experience as vast tracts of the Amazon or the Arctic ice cap.

Light pollution is growing at the rate of four percent per year, according to the International Dark Sky Association. It is so pervasive that if you were to stand on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, you would see less than one percent of the stars that Galileo Galilei saw through his telescope in 1610.

Part One of this series explored the movement to protect the earth’s natural nightscapes. Here in Part Two, you’ll find suggestions for stargazing destinations that will open up the universe to whole new realms of perception. Escape the orange glow of interstates, car dealerships and mall parking lots, and discover the wonders of our twinkling galaxy!

Searching for the Sound of Silence: Finding the World’s Quietest Places

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | November 1st, 2010 | 1 Comment
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Big Bend National Park, civilization, encroachment, Gobi Desert, Gordon Hempton, Hoh Rainforest, Kalahari Desert, Mother Teresa, National Park Service, nature, noise pollution, Olympic National Park, One Square Inch Project, overpopulation, quiet, silence, silent, sound, travel, Washington, wilderness

Hoh National Rainforest

The Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park in northwest Washington

In the first part of this two-part blog series, Wendy Worrall Redal explored our vanishing quiet places and what that loss could mean for us. Now she shares the secrets of some of Earth’s most tranquil spots.

Searching for the Sound of Silence: Earth’s Vanishing Quiet Places

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | October 22nd, 2010 | 3 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: Cirque of the Towers, civilization, encroachment, Gordon Hempton, National Park Service, nature, noise pollution, overpopulation, quiet, silence, silent, sound, travel, wilderness, Wind River Range, Wyoming

Cirque of the Towers

In this two-part blog series, Wendy Worrall Redal explores our vanishing quiet places and what that loss could mean for us.

Can “Glamping” Truly Be Considered Nature Travel?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | September 15th, 2009 | 6 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: camping, conservation efforts, cruise, glamorous camping, glamping, Internet, luxury camping, National Park Service, national parks, Nature Consservancy, nature travel, Patagonia, yurt

“Glamping” is camping in high style. ©Wilderness Safaris.

“Glamping” is camping in high style. ©Wilderness Safaris.

There used to be two opposite ends on the travel-comfort continuum: Starting on the left, there were those who didn’t mind camping out in the backcountry. And at the far right terminus were those who preferred a private cabin on a luxury cruise, complete with a bed dressed in Egyptian cotton sheets and a down blanket. Never, it seemed, would the two types of traveler meet. The new trend of “glamping,” however, has changed all that.