You are here

Traveler's View

We don't often take sides, but when we do, you can find our position here.

UPDATE | Traveler's View: Did Washington Hear About Yellowstone's Disaster?

Neither Interior Secretary Deb Haaland nor National Park Service Director Chuck Sams has publicly commented on the catastrophic flooding at Yellowstone National Park, if only to express their deep concern and intentions to rally government resources around the beleaguered park known around the world and often credited with spurring the global national parks movement.

Traveler's View: America's Outdoor Recreation Act Of 2022 Needs Help

Recreational interests were understandably thrilled when the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee sent to the Senate floor America's Outdoor Recreation Act of 2022, but there are flaws with the measure that heighten risks to federal lands and the flora and fauna that depend on them.

Traveler's View: Has The Golden Age Of National Parks Slipped Away While We Weren't Watching?

Is it just a pandemic phase we're going through, or has the golden age of national parks slipped away while we struggled with reservations for camping and even entering parks, when the Instagram age has made photos seemingly more important than experiences in the parks, and when a Facebook page that tracks the "dumb, dangerous, illegal, and what-where-they-thinking exploits" of Yellowstone National Park gained traction?

Traveler's View: Interior Needs To Stand Up For Big Cypress National Preserve

For too long Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida has been treated akin to a sacrificial lamb by the National Park Service and Interior Department, as decisions on issues such as wilderness designation and oil exploration have gone against the Park Service's prime directive, which is to preserve nature for future generation's enjoyment.

Traveler's View: Study Air Tour Management Plans Carefully

Though we had paddled halfway down Yellowstone Lake into an area of Yellowstone National Park that is managed as wilderness and where it would take you a day or more to reach on foot, we hadn't entirely escaped the 21st century. From time to time throughout our five days on the lake the throb of planes fell down upon us from high overhead.

Traveler's View: Economics Are Nice, But How About Ecology?

While the National Park Service recently made news by promoting the economics tied to the National Park System -- last year visitation to the parks generated an estimated $28.6 billion for the country's economy -- just as, if not more, important would be framing the parks' contribution to the natural world.

Traveler's View: Biden Administration Should Block Big Cypress Oil Drilling

Whoever is confirmed as Interior secretary for the Biden administration should shut down Burnett Oil Co.'s plans to drill for oil in Big Cypress National Preserve and bring an end to any new prospecting or drilling in the biologically diverse and ecologically vital park in South Florida.

Traveler's View: Big Cypress National Preserve Drilling Plan Needs EIS

Once the Biden administration has a Senate-confirmed Interior secretary, that person needs to see that the National Park Service conducts an environmental impact statement, not a less rigorous environmental assessment, on the current plans to drill for oil in Big Cypress National Preserve.

Traveler's View: There's No Need For Mountain Bike Trails At Great Smoky Mountains

Is there really a need for 13 miles of mountain bike trails, with more asphalt and supporting infrastructure, to be cut into an undisturbed section of the Foothills Parkway at Great Smoky Mountains National Park? How would the "experience of riding a narrow roller-coaster with a rhythm of twists and turns" enhance the visitor experience at this wondrous realm of nature?

Traveler's View: The National Park Service Shouldn't Weaken Sea Turtle Science

The National Park Service should strive to protect a critically endangered species, educate the public, and contribute to research into species such as the Kemp's ridley sea turtle, not diminish the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Program at Padre Island National Seashore.

Traveler's View: The Coronavirus Fallout

During the past few months of watching the coronavirus pandemic roil the National Park System and those who love to visit it, a couple things have bubbled to the surface that the National Park Service should act on: Extend annual passes that are to run out in 2020 for two or three months, and make park reservations a norm where obviously necessary.

Traveler's View: Interior Department Is Wasting Time On Caneel Bay Resort

After seven years of intransigence by the private equity firm that controls the Caneel Bay Resort at Virgin Islands National Park, top Interior Department officials continue to hold out hope they can convince the firm to become an official park concessionaire in late 2023. They could likely speed that agreement on by beginning the process to find a concessionaire for the resort that currently is that in name only.

The Essential RVing Guide

The Essential RVing Guide To The National Parks

Exploring the National Park System by RV is one of the quintessential approaches to visiting national parks, monuments, national recreation areas, and other park system units that combined represent what Wallace Stegner defined as the best idea America ever had. To help RVers explore these lands and destinations, the National Parks Traveler editors and writers have sifted through the National Park System and come away with the definitive RVing guide to the parks. This Essential Guide To RVing In The National Park System presents RV enthusiasts with a rich collection of articles exploring the park system by RV, camper, or trailer that is supported by a directory packed with RVing specific details on more than 250 campgrounds in more than 70 parks.

Order your guide, either as an ePub ebook for your Kindle or as a PDF version.