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Indiana Dunes National Park Comes at Challenging Time

One of the consequences of the government shutdown is that we just got Indiana Dunes National Park, our 61th National Park. Let me explain a bit. In the 115th Congress, the Indiana congressional delegation pushed hard for the change of designation for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which enjoyed wide local support except for the lone […]

Treasured Lands Book Survey

If you bought a copy of Treasured Lands, I thank you for your interest in my work and your support. I would be even more grateful if you would participate in the following nine-question survey, which should take only a few minutes. As a small token of my appreciation, all respondents are eligible for a […]

Visiting National Parks Responsibly During the Government Shutdown

What have we learned from the fate of the national parks during the government shutdown, should you visit them, and how do you prepare yourself for an enjoyable visit that doesn’t have negative impacts on the parks? The government shutdown A U.S. government shutdown first affects unpaid federal workers, but beyond them, the most visible […]

Happy New Year 2019

In a forest of thousand trees, no two trees are alike. In a year of eight thousand hours, no two of them alike. Even on a dark and cold day, the sun may still shine on you. I hope you enjoy many moments of shining light in the upcoming year. On a December day more […]

2018 in Review, Favorites, and Seasons Greetings

In 2018, I spent less time in the national parks, the sole focus of my efforts for many years, and more time in other public lands. Those include the national monuments, some of which have been under the most serious threats in our history, as illustrated by the evisceration of two of the largest and […]

By the numbers: most/less crowded national parks

Which are America’s most crowded national parks? Less crowded national parks? Can widely-publicized lists be trusted? Based on my visits, I have a good idea, but you don’t have to take my word for it. In my former career, I dealt with numbers quite a bit, and here I pull out precise answers by careful […]

Nine Ways to Give Back to Your National Parks

On National Park Week, you will get plenty of reminders of what makes the national parks one of our greatest treasures, and of how much they have to offer. In this post, instead, I will outline the many ways you can do something for them in return. While the links within are about the national […]

Happy New Year 2018

Today the winter sun rises on the first page of a 365-page blank book. Make it the best you can! After a night in my car, I showed up for sunrise in Lassen Volcanic National Park…. brrr! Lassen Peak has the highest snow accumulation in California, and snow closed the park road, leaving only Manzanita […]

2017 in Review, Favorites, and Seasons Greetings

In 2017, I limited again my travels, in part because of the demands of the book tour for Treasured Lands. Beyond the great critical reviews, awards, and official state recognition, I am most grateful to all of you who have helped make the book a success. This has me considering a follow-up based on solely […]

Giving Thanks

On this Thanksgiving, besides the usual gratitude for family and friends, I’d like to extend my thanks to all the people who have helped make the Treasured Lands project a success. My heartfelt thanks to every person who helped along the way. For most of the project, my travels have been solitary, but I appreciated […]