Top 16 National Park Headlines from 2016

dsc09397-2As we approach the end of 2016, I think this is an opportune time to look back on the Centennial year of the National Park Service. It has been a busy year in the parks, with lots of ups and downs. In case you missed them, these are some of the headlines in the NPS from 2016.

  1. Yosemite Trademark Dispute: The year started off on a low note, with Delaware North Company copyrighted Iconic Yosemite names such as Ahwahnee and Curry Village, forcing the park to change names of the landmarks.


  1. Death Valley Superbloom: A combination of factors created a rare Superbloom in Death Valley, carpeting the desert in wildflowers.


  1. Bison in Car: The first of many incidents in Yellowstone that drew nation wide attention in May occurred when Canadians placed a baby bison in the back of their vehicle because it looked cold. The bison later had to be euthanized.


  1. Men walk across the Grand Prismatic at Yellowstone: Shortly after the bison incident, Yellowstone made headlines once again when members of the High on Life Company walked across the park’s most prized hot spring.


  1. Man Dissolved in Yellowstone Hot Spring: Finally, an Oregon man fell into a Yellowstone hot spring while attempting to hotpot and dissolved.


  1. Obama Visits Parks: In June, President Obama visited Carlsbad Caverns and Yosemite and made speeches about the future of our parks.



  1. Ackerson Meadow acquisition: In September the 400 acre Ackerson Meadow was gifted to Yosemite from the Trust for Public Land.


  1. John Jarvis retires: The current director of the National Park Service announced his retirement in December.


  1. Antelope Flats Purchase: In December, Grand Teton National Park purchased the 640 acre Antelope Flats, forever protecting this sensitive area from development.


  1. New National Monuments: Obama exercised the Antiquities Act and created many new nation monuments, the most recent of these being Bear Ears National Monument in Utah.



  1. First LGBT Monument Created: In June, President Obama designated the Stonewall Inn as a National Monument, creating the first ever monument to LGBT history.


  1. Sexual Harassment Lawsuit: Over the year many Park Service women came forward with sexual harassment and hostile work environment allegations, prompting a congressional hearing on the issue.


  1. Yosemite and Grand Canyon Superintendents retiring: Following the sexual harassment allegations, both the Grand Canyon Superintendent and Yosemite took early retirements.



  1. Smoky Mountain Fires: On November 28, the massive Chimney Tops No. 2 fire burned much of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its neighboring community, Gatlinburg, killing 14.


  1. Legislation passed to raise Senior passes: For decades US residents 62 and older have been able to purchase a $10 lifetime pass, at the end of this year legislation was passed to raise that price to $80.


  1. National Park Service Turns 100: The most significant news of the year, the National Park Service celebrated their centennial on August 25. 100 years since the Organic Act passed. It’s been an eventful 100 years, with many more eventful years to follow. Here’s to the next 100!