The federal government has entered a partial shutdown on 12.22. This means there are some major changes to access to public lands, including NPS and Forest Service lands and sites. Here are 9 things to know:
The Santa Clara Valley, better known by its modern nickname "Silicon Valley," was once also considered the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” due to its abundance of wheat and produce, particularly pears, apricots, French plums (prunes), tomatoes, flowers, and grapes. The region is both agriculturally robust and scenic, home to a wealth of state parks that protect ancient old growth redwoods, and municipal parks with steep, rocky chaparral and riparian corridors
Read Patrick D Hahn's elegant recollection of eagle sightings at the Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station and dam in Maryland, one of the greatest places in all of North America for closeup views of the national bird, the bald eagle. Click here to explore more with Patrick and us!
While we’re currently experiencing a federal government shutdown, most National Park Service lands will remain open but unstaffed. Any portion that requires services (campgrounds, visitor centers, bathrooms, EMS/fire, etc.) will be closed. Risky, dangerous, and sensitive areas will also be closed. If any portion of a park (including the full park, in some cases) is shut and locked during off-business hours, it will be closed during the shutdown. NPS campgrounds are a different matter, with this being the official word from the Department of the Interior: "The NPS will cease providing services for NPS operated campgrounds, including maintenance, janitorial, bathrooms, showers, check-in/check-out and reservations. There is no guarantee their reserved campsite will be ready and available should they arrive during a government shutdown.”
With that in mind, we’d like to offer up some amazing state parks that are great options, and in many cases, close to these semi-closed National Parks. These state parks are also fantastic places to visit on their own, and in no way are we suggesting these as replacement parks, though they are fully open and ready to accept visitors! Click here to read the full list of these majestic parks.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, photo by Doorino / CC 2.0
"I consider myself a champion of curiosity, and the life of Increase Lapham resonates powerfully for me," writes Janet Frost. "I don’t believe that it was an accident that a man driven by curiosity and the yearning for scientific knowledge landed in the territory of Wisconsin." Frost takes P&P readers through Lapham Peak Park, an enchanted wilderness with a prominent peak that rises 1,200 feet above sea level—click here to read more about Lapham's life and this majestic Wisconsin state park!
Stephanie Paterson's moving chronology of many summers spent working at Reid State Park spans from her undergraduate years though completion of her doctorate. Click here to read about her lifelong connection to this remarkable coastal park in Georgetown, Maine.