National Parks

Meg Lessard via Flickr CC

The National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday on Thursday.  New Hampshire’s only national park is Saint-Gaudens, the home, studio, and gardens of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, located in Cornish. 

Elias Levy via Flickr CC /

There are a lot of adjectives used to describe great white sharks:  Giant. Fearsome. Deadly.  But author and naturalist Sy Montgomery has seen sharks up close and might choose another word - like sublime. Today, the ocean's most mysterious and misunderstood predator gets a closer look.

Then, maybe you heard about the guy visiting Yellowstone who put a cold, abandoned baby buffalo in his car and drove it to a ranger station.  Attempts to reunite the little guy with its herd failed and it was euthanized - inciting an online riot over how humans interact with wild animals. 

5.04.16: National Parks Are Awesome & The Bookshelf

May 4, 2016
Rob via Flickr CC /

With spring springing and trees budding, it's time to think about spending some serious time outdoors. With so many choices, we asked a seasoned travel writer where to go. From Acadia to Yosemite, today we’re unpacking some of the practical and philosophical questions to ask when planning a trip to a national park...including how a park system founded a century ago coexists with our changing population, and an exploration of the national park's premise: creating a contained wilderness. 

National Park Service

Starting this month, fourth graders and their families are now able to get into the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish free of charge.

That’s thanks to the federal Every Kid in a Park Program, a White House initiative granting fourth-grade students across the country free admission to all national parks.

The program began Sept. 1.

Al_HikesAZ via Flickr CC / //

The National Park Service reports that only 7% of annual park visitors are African American. On today’s show, we delve into environmental and cultural history to find out why the story of the American outdoors is so white.

Then, from clamshell tweezers to electrolysis, we’ll take a look at America’s history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status.

Plus, is technology killing the jewelry industry? We’ll find out why global sales of fine jewelry have been sluggish since the global recession.

Mark Stevens via flickr Creative Commons /

According to a report from the National Park Service only 7% of annual park visitors are African American. On today’s show, we delve into environmental history and cultural studies to find out why the story of the American outdoors is so white.

Then, environmentalists have taken many tacks to get people to be “greener”: the doomsday approach, education, shame. Now new research suggests another way to increase green behaviors: a salary. Why paying people an hourly wage decreases environmentally-friendly behaviors.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Walsh TD via Flickr Creative Commons

If the federal government shuts down at midnight it will affect the White Mountain National Forest at a time when many tourists are headed there for fall foliage.

The White Mountain National Forest covers about 800,000 acres and normally has about 120 full or part-time employees, says Tom Wagner, the forest supervisor.

If the federal government shuts down more than 100 of them will be off work.

“Sixteen of those employees between our law enforcement and our line officers at each office will continue to work if this is an extended shutdown," Wagner said.

Redbeard Math Pirate via Flickr Creative Commons

The National Parks Service has introduced a major change-up to their fifty-nine park locations nationwide. In collaboration with Michelle Obama’s healthy diet initiative, visitors will have the option to choose from a bevy of healthy, fresh meals at each concessionary. The new program gives new variety to those hungry visitors with no other culinary options, and for the twenty-three million people who visit their locations annually, this health-conscious movement will result in the loss of billions of collective calories. Steve Vogel is a reporter for the national staff of the Washington Post where he frequently covers the federal government, and he joined us to tell us a little more about this change.

iStock Photo

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What ever happened to the idea of turning Mt. St. Helens into a national park? -- Esther Monaghan, Boston, MA