NPCA's Park Advocate News and views of the National Parks Conservation Association Fri, 04 Sep 2015 14:01:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Small Wonders: The 12 Teeniest National Park Sites Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:55:52 +0000 National parks encompass vast wilderness areas and grand landscapes, yet so many of America’s greatest treasures come in much smaller packages. Twelve national park sites measure less than one acre each, though they share enormous stories of struggle, leadership, tragedy, and creative spirit in less space than a football field. Here are the teeniest spots, […]]]> 4 Why Are We Neglecting One of Our Country’s Greatest Rivers? Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:44:51 +0000 The Colorado River is like a miracle in the arid Southwest, bringing melted snow from its headwaters inside Rocky Mountain National Park across the dramatic desert landscapes of the Colorado Plateau on its path toward the Gulf of California. It is no exaggeration to call the Colorado one of our nation’s most important river systems. […]]]> 0 The ‘Outrageous Evil’ That Led to the Birth of the National Park Service Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:17:31 +0000 Today, the National Park Service celebrates its 99th birthday. Establishing an agency dedicated to the care of America’s national parks is one of our country’s most visionary accomplishments. The lands and landmarks our park rangers protect are among the world’s greatest wonders. Long before families loaded up station wagons to head to places like Grand […]]]> 3 Trivia Challenge: A Stockpile of Cold War History Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:26:39 +0000 Q: Numerous national park sites commemorate military engagements. Only one specifically interprets the history of the standoff that estranged two superpowers for more than four decades and threatened the future of life on Earth: the Cold War. Can you name this national park site?   A: Just northeast of Badlands National Park in western South […]]]> 1 The Elk Can’t Speak: Denying Pollution Doesn’t Help National Parks Wed, 12 Aug 2015 13:22:19 +0000 Advocating for better air quality is something I do for a living. I recently worked with a team of experts to release a report that found a shocking number of our national parks—75% of the 48 we researched—have significant air pollution problems. Problems that could worsen asthma attacks in children. Problems that could irritate the lungs […]]]> 0 Parks after Dark: 9 Ideas for Nighttime Fun Mon, 03 Aug 2015 12:15:54 +0000 Summer nights may be short, but national parks often host extra activities to educate and entertain visitors during this popular tourist season, including more fun things to do after dark. Whether you’re exploring on your own or hanging out with a ranger, try a few of these excuses to stay out late in special places. […]]]> 0 Parks, Not Pipelines! Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:56:23 +0000   It’s a crisp day in late October as you hike your way up a steep stretch of the Appalachian Trail, hugging the bends of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. The whistle of a cedar waxwing mingles with the crunching of leaves beneath your feet. Coming to the summit of Three Ridges, a spectacular […]]]> 0 Meet the Three People Least Impressed with the Grand Canyon Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:28:36 +0000 The Grand Canyon is a jaw-dropping place. Unless you’re a six-year-old. At that age, you’re interested in bugs and boogers, stuffed animals and Starburst candy. Pretty much everything in life is bigger than you, except for maybe your little sister. So the canyon that your parents drove hours to visit becomes just another large thing […]]]> 0 On the Eve of the National Parks’ Centennial, We Must All Work to Make Parks More Diverse Fri, 24 Jul 2015 07:57:38 +0000 Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. I cannot imagine a world without the beauty these spaces offer us. We have inherited these remarkable places from those who came before us, those who saw the need to honor the history that is represented at public lands like the Statue of Liberty, […]]]> 8 Trivia Challenge: Telling a Supreme Story Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:03:01 +0000 Q: The U.S. Supreme Court plays a critical role in upholding the Constitution, shaping national policy, and defending the promise of equal justice under U.S. law. In its most recent term, the court issued key decisions on a range of important national issues, including health care, marriage, air pollution, and more. Despite the enduring importance […]]]> 0