Public Lands

May 24, 2019

This Initiative Is Helping to Offset Overuse on Colorado’s Highest Peaks

Hikers stand along the top of a ridgeline, looking and pointing every which way under a bright-blue sky.

Like many Coloradans, Ben Hanus was on a mission to bag some fourteeners. Unlike many Coloradans, his incentive to summit the 14,000-foot peaks wasn’t personal; it was about preservation. From 2011 to 2013, Hanus served as the sustainable trails coordinator for the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI), a role that led him up 42 of the […]

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April 29, 2019

Mikah Meyer: Why I Visted All 419 National Park Sites in the United States

Tall Trees Grove of Redwood National Park

“Who’s gonna stay with George?” My fellow rafters and I asked each other, knowing full well one member of our group couldn’t complete the strenuous side canyon hike—and we didn’t want him pooping in the boat in our absence. It’s not a question most expeditions grapple with, yet it was our reality after a Canada […]

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March 20, 2019

Life on the Road, Kids in Tow

Imagine stepping outside to find the perfect sunset, unobstructed by buildings and electrical wires; spending an entire day exploring a forest far from the place you once called home; and forming deep, fast friendships with different people who love adventure as much as you. This is the life being led by many full-time families, the […]

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March 13, 2019

The Story Behind Indiana’s First National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park

The vast lands of the Midwest host fewer than a dozen national parks. But on February 15, Indiana Dunes officially became the nation’s newest and 61st national park. The designation marks the final chapter of a century-old conservation story that is also the story of Chicago, and a reframing of wild places beyond the traditional […]

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March 6, 2019

National Park Service Saw More Than 300 Million Visits in 2018

Hikers in Grand Canyon National Park

The National Park Service (NPS) saw 318.2 million recreation visits in 2018, according to an announcement released yesterday. This is the third highest number of annual visits on record since 1904 (when the NPS started tracking visitation numbers), though it is about 12.67 million visits fewer than 2017. The announcement also showed that visitors spent […]

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February 5, 2019

The Great American Rail-Trail Is on the Way

The Casper Rail Trail in Wyoming.

A new multiuse trail connecting Washington state to Washington, D.C., is more than halfway complete. Called the Great American Rail-Trail, the route makes use of old railway corridors that have fallen into disuse and abandonment, converting them to pathways—separate from roads and cars—for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians. Once complete, proponents say the Great American Rail-Trail […]

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January 23, 2019

The Trust for Public Land: Crisis in our National Parks

A view of the "High Road" trail in Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains NRA, CA. National Park Service, NPS. 2000, CA

This Op-Ed represents the opinions of The Trust for Public Land. On average in January, nearly half a million people visit our national parks every day. This year, as a result of the federal government shutdown, now the longest in our nation’s history, park-goers have been greeted not just by nature’s majesty, but by mounting […]

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November 27, 2018

The Wilderness Society: Speak Up to Protect Your Favorite Outdoor Places

As the #OptOutside movement continues to grow, it’s a fitting moment to recognize the outdoor places that make our adventures possible. Although the 610-million-acre federal public lands system has no limit to the way it tests our grit, this unique arrangement requires constant champions to boost policies that keep the system accessible, safe and well maintained. The […]

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November 14, 2018

New Analysis Reveals Top 50 Cities for Access to the Outdoors

St. Paul, Minnesota

As millions of Americans prepare to #OptOutside on Black Friday, a new analysis reveals the top 50 large U.S. cities to #OptOutside based on their park access and proximity to public lands. The Urban Outdoor Access Analysis—conducted by the Trust for Public Land and supported by REI—placed equal weight on the per-capita acreage of public […]

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