Bringing Families Together

Like many families, the pandemic kept us grounded in our home on the East coast and separated from family who live on the west coast. This summer, it was important for us to reconnect with those we had not been able to see for too many years. The excitement of finally boarding the plane and

Camp Hale

It is not a family secret that my grandfather served with the Navy SeaBees in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Although he had one or two anecdotes that he would retell, his time of service remained a mystery, and he refused to discuss the war in any real detail. After having our questions

Enhancing Federal Efforts on HAB and Hypoxia

The end of August saw more devastating environmental news from California with stories of toxic algal blooms along the Southern California coast stranding and sickening sea lions and thousands of fish dying in San Francisco Bay. The harmful effects on human, animal, and ecological health of growing harmful algal blooms (HAB) and hypoxia continue to

The Second Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act

As we approach the second anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act, I am happy to report that one beneficiary of this groundbreaking legislation is the George Washington Memorial Parkway. My family drives often drives along the Parkway, and we have many favorite sites. We watch planes take off and land from Gravelly Point and

Coalition Supports Bills Before Subcommittee On National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, Committee on Natural Resources.

On Tuesday, June 14, the House Subcommittee On National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, Committee on Natural Resources, held a hearing to consider eight bills pending before the Subcommittee. The Coalition submitted written testimony for the record in support of H.R. 7615, the Lodging Options Developed for Government Employees (LODGE) Act; H.R. 7693, the National

In Honor of the Antiquities Act

Years ago, my husband and I planned a vacation through Colorado and New Mexico. I suggested stopping at the Great Sand Dunes. He gave me an odd look and questioned why I would want to detour there, but ultimately agreed. During our trip, I learned that this landscape was originally designated as a national monument

Our Country’s Broken and Outdated Oil and Gas Leasing System

A top Coalition priority continues to be reforming our country’s broken and outdated oil and gas leasing system. When these leases neighbor national parks, the results can bring harm to our precious wildlife and their habitat and compromise air quality. Many reports over the years from various government entities, including the Department of the Interior

2021 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results

The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday, April 28, published the 2021 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Results. The complete report can be found on the OPM website. The survey does not separate out employee responses of the National Park Service from the rest of the Department of the Interior. Overall, the responses from the employees

Celebrating National Park Week

As we celebrate National Park Week, I would like to offer a sincere thank you to all the dedicated National Park Service employees who provide park visitors an exceptional and unparalleled experience every day. My family’s incredible experiences with our national parks are what compelled me to pursue the opportunity to join the Coalition’s staff

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH AND OUR NATIONAL PARKS

  Our national parks are often referred to as America’s Best Idea and they have been set aside for the enjoyment of everyone. People of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the United States and across the world, visit our national parks. However, according to a recent article from National Geographic, roughly 78 percent

THE NPS CAMPGROUND EXPERIENCE

  What is it that makes a traditional camping experience in a national park unique and memorable?  And how does a camping experience in a national park differ from a typical commercial campground or a Walmart parking lot? The differences are significant and important. First of all, the goal of the commercial campground is profit

I’M JUST A BILL: UPDATES ON THE LWCF AND MAINTENANCE BACKLOG

  With the recent (and rare) good news on the progress of bills set to address the deferred maintenance and the continued funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), we wanted to share some background and the recent updates regarding these two critical issues. The LWCF: What Is It and Why Do We

FROM BEARS DEN TO OVAL OFFICE

  9/29/20 Sheridan Steele has seen and done a lot of things over his 38-year career with the National Park Service (NPS). From winter research trips to bear dens to hosting presidents and dignitaries, Steele had a truly remarkable run. He documents his unique experiences in his new memoir, From Bear Dens to the Oval

FOCUS ON FRIENDS- THE CONSERVANCY FOR CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

  August 27, 2020 Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a sprawling 33,000-acre park in northeastern Ohio. Its diverse resources range from waterfalls and winding trails to historic structures such farmhouses and covered bridges. The park works closely with numerous partner groups that help to operate a railroad, preserve the stories of the canal, and connect

COMMEMORATING A LEGACY- JULIUS ROSENWALD AND THE ROSENWALD SCHOOLS

  July 29, 2020 UPDATE: 12/21/2020 The Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools Study Act has passed the Senate! This is a critical step in establishing the first National Historical Park to honor the legacy of a Jewish American and preserve the stories and accomplishments of the Rosenwald Schools. Julius Rosenwald was born in Springfield, Illinois, in

FOCUS ON FRIENDS- GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION

  May 26, 2020 Great Basin National Park is one of the most remote parks in the National Park System. But visitors who make the trip are rewarded by beautiful scenery and some of the most stunning dark skies in the country. And this incredible national park has certainly benefited from the passion and dedication

FOCUS ON FRIENDS- GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS

  May 4, 2020 Welcome back to our Focus on Friends series! This time around, we’re turning the spotlight on Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP), a group that has been a partner of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). I’m excited to share this post because it provides us an opportunity to explore a little

FOCUS ON FRIENDS- NATIONAL PARK TRUST

  March 2, 2020 This week’s post in our Focus on Friends series gives us a broad perspective on the support that organizations can provide national parks. We reached out to the National Park Trust (NPT) after reading about their incredible success at Valles Caldera National Preserve. As you may have seen in a recent Weekly

THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, THREE YEARS LATER

  January 22, 2020 Given all the hype surrounding the impeachment trial of President Trump, it’s prudent not to lose sight of the many other issues of concern that should demand our attention and response. Our national parks and public lands, for example, continue to fall victim to the continued attacks that have been levied

FOCUS ON FRIENDS: THE HARPERS FERRY PARK ASSOCIATION

  January 16, 2020 Welcome back to our Focus on Friends series! Our first installment in the series for 2020 highlights an incredible group, The Harpers Ferry Park Association. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Catherine Baldau, the Association’s Executive Director. Cathy and her family relocated to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in 2001.

KEEP ON KEEPING ON

  November 21, 2019 It has been a little quiet on the blog front recently, so I just wanted to jump on and post a quick update. We are working overtime on numerous actions and items as 2019 reaches the homestretch. Several members of our Executive Council have met with editorial boards at newspapers from

A HAUNTING VISIT TO A HISTORIC VILLAGE

  October 30, 2019 “Another of his sources of fearful pleasure was to pass long winter evenings with the old Dutch wives, as they sat spinning by the fire, with a row of apples roasting and spluttering along the hearth, and listen to their marvellous tales of ghosts and goblins, and haunted fields, and haunted

FOCUS ON FRIENDS- FRIENDS OF ARCHES AND CANYONLANDS PARKS

  Welcome to the second issue of our Focus on Friends series. We’re keeping the ball rolling, highlighting an incredible group who supports several national parks in southeast Utah… The Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks (FOACP) is a friends group that works with the NPS Southeast Utah Group (SEUG), made up of Arches and

HILL DAY

  September 26, 2019 There’s nothing like September in D.C. The crisp fall air, the cool morning breeze… just kidding. September in Washington is terrible. At least it was a few weeks ago when several of us ventured to our nation’s capital to walk the corridors of power and meet with our members of Congress.

FOCUS ON FRIENDS- THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY FOUNDATION

  September 16, 2019 The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long and connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The Parkway was the first national rural parkway intended to be a leisure-type driving experience. It is celebrated around the world as a roadway that “lies easily”

AUGUST ACTIONS

  August 11, 2019 Every year, Congress recesses for the month of August. This time of year allows members of Congress to head back to their home states and meet with constituents. They want to hear from residents (i.e., constituents) about issues that matter to them. For many of us at the Coalition, these are

ADVOCACY IN AUGUST

  August 1, 2019 School’s out for summer… and so is Congress. August recess has officially commenced, and our Congressional representatives are heading back to their home districts until the middle of September. Life slows down in Washington, D.C., but it picks up for those members in their respective home states. Members of Congress want

THE POWER OF A GOOD STORY

  A friend of mine (Annie) just returned from a trip to Savannah, Georgia. Annie and her husband loved the graceful architecture, gorgeous green spaces, and the creative and fresh meals they enjoyed at restaurants throughout the city. But the other experience they raved about? Their visit to an historic home and the incredible guide

FOCUS ON FRIENDS- ST. CROIX RIVER ASSOCIATION

  Welcome to the inaugural issue of our Focus on Friends blog series. We are truly excited to bring you this guest blog post by Emilee Martell, an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the St. Croix River Association. The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is not a well-known national park. I can say this with confidence

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

  June 11, 2019 The arrival of June is a goldmine for outdoor enthusiasts. Not only has June been christened Great Outdoors month, June is also known as National Camping month. I suppose the two go hand-in-hand (unless you subscribe to the whole “camping out in the living room” model), though it appears that National Camping

THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

  5/30/2019 Cue the music… school’s out for summer and we’ve officially entered vacation season. Families across the country are planning their adventures, booking flights and mapping out road trips. Some hit the beach. Others the amusement park. But millions of people will visit national parks this summer, to camp and hike, swim and kayak…

LWCF AND THE PUSH FOR FUNDING

  May 14, 2019 There’s been some movement on appropriations for fiscal year 2020 (FY20) in recent days. Last week, Secretary Bernhardt testified before the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. But, as E&E News reported, his testimony “failed to satisfy Democrats’ concerns over his ethics, an expensive proposed reorganization and his department’s approach toward climate change.”

THE NATIONAL PARKS AND OUR AMERICAN STORY

  May 10, 2019 Mikah Meyer recently wrapped up an extraordinary journey; he visited all 419 units of the national park service in a three-year span. Meyer’s odyssey was a tribute to this father, a lover of road trips who died of cancer. Meyer not only wanted to pay tribute to his father but encourage

Making it Count

  April 3, 2019 The Coalition has come a long way since its inception in 2003. What was the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees has become the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks. Our organization now welcomes current national park service employees, in addition to retired and former members of the NPS workforce. And

Let’s Talk Budget

  February 26, 2019 The recent government shutdown continues to have far-reaching impacts on our national parks and national park service employees. And it continues to impact the operation of the federal government. Though it’s nearly March, the FY 2019 appropriations bill just went into effect, and the administration is delayed in releasing their budget

The Unseen Impacts

  2/8/19 “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” – Thomas Jefferson The damage assessment from the recent government shutdown is just beginning. We’ve read about people who treated our irreplaceable resources terribly, damaging delicate vegetation, dumping waste, and leaving graffiti. The

Protecting Alaska’s Carnivores

  1/31/19 Guest Blogger: Sanford (Sandy) Rabinowitch To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world. – John Muir Large carnivores, including brown bear, black bear, and wolves, are under attack in Alaska. They are in danger even on some National Park Preserves and National Wildlife Refuges. Alaska’s approach

Help Us Continue To Protect Our Parks

  December 1, 2018 Just a quick note that our annual Giving Campaign has officially begun. Our current members have already received an email and you’ll receive more reminders in the coming weeks. We know that many of you are engaged in a host of issues, particularly as more and more troubling legislation and policies

Fall for a National Park

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~George Eliot Autumn is a magical time of year. The brilliant colors are awe-inspiring and there’s something about a chill in the air that feels invigorating. It’s a time to

HELP PROTECT OUR PUBLIC LANDS ON NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY

  Once our natural splendor is destroyed, it can never be recaptured. And once man can no longer walk with beauty or wonder at nature his spirit will wither and his sustenance be wasted. – President Lyndon Johnson Where do you go to enjoy the great outdoors? Do you set out on a hike through the

The Power of Presidential Sites

  2/10/18 The recent death of former President George H.W. Bush was a temporarily unifying moment for our divided country. His funeral brought together members of both political parties to pay tribute to a statesman and a leader. Politicians and the public may have disagreed with former President Bush’s policies and actions, but most people