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Celebrating the great state parks of the US
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OREGON: Help for Oregon's rarest lily

OREGON: Help for Oregon's rarest lily | State parks | Scoop.it

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will improve habitat for the endangered western bog lily at two state parks along the coast this winter.  Work of this type is conducted in the winter when the lily is underground and dormant, the department said.  The flower (Lilium occidentale) is Oregon's rarest lily, and lives in a narrow band of the Pacific coast from the Coos Bay area to Eureka, California.

 

Other plants can overshadow the bog lily, interfering with pollination and stunting its growth.  It is believed that Native American burning practices kept these habitats open in the past...  This year's western bog lily habitat restoration is primarily paid for by a grant from the USFWS Coastal Program.

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CONNECTICUT: Camper killed when tree falls on tent

-Judy Benson

The woman killed early Sunday at Selden Neck State Park had been camping overnight with five other people when a tree fell on her tent shortly after midnight.  Ruth Byrne, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene, an uninhabited 607-acre island in the Connecticut River accessible only by water.  Her companion in the tent, Mark Benedict, 59, of Essex, was severely injured...  One of the other campers telephoned for help after the tree fell, and the group lit a large fire near their campsite to help the emergency crews find them in the dark.

 

The tree that fell... had been growing on an outcropping with no visible signs of weakness until it toppled.  "It was just a freak thing."

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Picture of the Day: Merchants Millpond State Park, North Carolina

Picture of the Day: Merchants Millpond State Park, North Carolina | State parks | Scoop.it

-Micah Mullen

The sunken cypress trees and spanish moss created beautiful pictures which opened me up to all kinds of painting possibilities.  The painting shown is the first of many that will materialize from the trip to this park. Glazing and impasto work along with vibrant colors make this work pop off the wall and come to life.

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CALIFORNIA: Trip review – Redwood National and State Parks

CALIFORNIA: Trip review – Redwood National and State Parks | State parks | Scoop.it

-J.W. Ocker

All it took was a few hours in the Redwood National and State Parks for me to hate every single tree on the East Coast.  I mean, redwoods… those trees… those sky-spearing, transcendent, prosaically named giants.  They’re the tallest trees in the world, soaring up to some 380 feet, are as wide as 26 feet, and live up to two millennia.  Walking among them makes you feel as if your senses aren’t working properly. Like everything you thought you knew about the Earth was wrong. Like you’ve been shifted into a prehistoric age or warped into a dimension of crazy geometry or transported to an alien planet.  Like, I don’t know, the forest moon of Endor.

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CALIFORNIA: Occupy Hendy Woods group to protest state park closures

-Matt Weiser

A group of park supporters plans to occupy Hendy Woods State Park in Mendocino County this weekend to draw attention to the closure of 70 state parks next year...  Organizers expect 50 to 200 people will camp in the park Friday through Sunday, even though the park is closed to camping for the season.

 

Cyd Bernstein, spokeswoman for the group, said its aims are not disruptive.  Participants will practice "leave no trace" camping, she said, and leave the park better than they found it...  Bernstein said her group informed park officials of its plan and will pay all required park fees during the occupation "because we support the parks completely."

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COLORADO: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signs off on Christo Arkansas River art exhibit

COLORADO: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signs off on Christo Arkansas River art exhibit | State parks | Scoop.it

-Allison Sherry

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar gave a final nod Monday to artist Christo to produce his “Over the River” art exhibit over the Arkansas River.  The proposed massive art exhibit, which will span for miles along the banks of the Arkansas, went through all sorts of environmental impact assessments and had already been approved by Colorado Parks and Wildlife...  The Over The River exhibit will likely draw 400,000 visitors during construction and display. The construction will likely start in 2012, and will be displayed for two weeks in August 2014...  The BLM jointly manages the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

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SOUTH DAKOTA: Bucket List Item: Buffalo Roundup @ Custer State Park, Part One

SOUTH DAKOTA: Bucket List Item: Buffalo Roundup @ Custer State Park, Part One | State parks | Scoop.it

-Harleywoman

On the last weekend of September my husband and I attended the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival in South Dakota.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years, but as a teacher I never could, since it’s always held during the last weekend of September...  It was everything I hoped it would be, and more.  The Roundup is held annually in the fall... and has a specific purpose: to maintain a healthy herd that the resources in the park can support.

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IOWA: Some Backbone State Park cabins may be demolished

IOWA: Some Backbone State Park cabins may be demolished | State parks | Scoop.it

-Pat Curtis

Seven cabins constructed more than 70 years ago at Iowa’s oldest state park could become history.  The cabins at Backbone State Park in northeast Iowa... are in need of expensive repairs or they could be demolished...  “We’re reaching out to the people of Iowa and people who’ve actually stayed in them to ask what do we do with these historical features?”  The cabins, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and 40s, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Szcodronski says that distinction makes this a difficult decision.  “We’ll only tear them down and replace them with something completely different if there’s just absolutely no other option or public safety becomes such a concern that we have to do something like that,”

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NEW JERSEY: Public-private partnerships to emerge in state parks in early 2012

-Juliet Fletcher

Governor Christie’s zeal for public-private partnerships has resulted in a pattern of cases where private or non-profit firms provide state services but avoid full transparency...  The first state parks to receive private operators will be Liberty State Park, Island Beach State Park and Wharton State Forest.  The deadline means private operators may be in place providing catering and equipment rentals by next tourist season.  “Non-mission critical” amenities will be the ones to be privatized. So far, food concessions, kayak rental and lifeguard staffing are suggested targets for private operators.  Wedding and event planners may also be sought for major venues.  Asked what other services might be open to privatization, DEP spokesman Larry Ragonese said, “In the longer term, that would be open for interpretation.”  The state at the same time plans to raise 2012 prices for many amenities beyond park admission and parking, which officials say will remain flat for now.

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MISSOURI: Trail review – Whispering Pine Trail North Loop, Hawn State Park

MISSOURI: Trail review – Whispering Pine Trail North Loop, Hawn State Park | State parks | Scoop.it

–Craig Gulley

This is the hike everyone has been waiting for all season. The longer 6 mile hike at Hawn...  This trail can be a little more rugged than the usual day hike the group takes and it didn't disappoint in a few places.

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FLORIDA: Park review – Torreya State Park is a hiking challenge, but fun

FLORIDA: Park review – Torreya State Park is a hiking challenge, but fun | State parks | Scoop.it

One of the most challenging trail systems in Florida is Torreya State Park... The park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It consists of 12,000 acres and is a U.S. National Natural Landmark and historic site.... Torreya State Park resembles trails in the Appalachian Mountains.  There are deep ravines, streams, red sandstone cliffs and bluffs that overlook the Apalachicola River, Florida’s largest river.  The park is named for the extremely rare species of Torreya tree that only grows on the bluffs along the Apalachicola River.

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CALIFORNIA: You'll Always Strike Gold with California's State Parks

CALIFORNIA: You'll Always Strike Gold with California's State Parks | State parks | Scoop.it

With more than ten state parks with gold rush history, there’s no excuse not to get out and learn…even if school is out for the summer.  So read-up on the following sample of state parks that tell an interesting narrative on California’s History of Gold.

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INDIANA: Portrait of Richard Lieber added to Governor's Office

INDIANA: Portrait of Richard Lieber added to Governor's Office | State parks | Scoop.it

A portrait of Col. Richard Lieber, founder of Indiana's state parks whose name adorns Lieber State Recreation Area in southern Putnam County, is the newest addition to the Hoosier Heritage Gallery displayed on the south wall of the Governor's Office...  Inspired by a visit to Yosemite National Park, Lieber became active in the conservation movement and promoted creation of a state park system to coincide with Indiana's centennial celebration in 1916.  He was named the first chairman of the Indiana State Parks Committee and opened Turkey Run and McCormick's Creek in 1916 without the use of public funds.  Lieber championed the creation of a state department of conservation, serving as chairman of the new department until 1933.  During his reign, he oversaw creation of 10 state parks and five state memorials.

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TEXAS: Get Cooking in Texas State Parks

TEXAS: Get Cooking in Texas State Parks | State parks | Scoop.it
Grilling on an outside pit and gathering around a warming campfire to swap stories or roast marshmallows rank as two of the more popular reasons for camping out. But as Texas state parks prepare for a busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend, visitors to some parks will face a variety of challenges to those two favorite pastimes due to the ongoing drought and continued wildfire dangers. More than 200 of Texas’ 254 counties are currently under a burn ban, affecting campers in dozens of Texas state parks, but restrictions vary as to the types of fire allowed.
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NEVADA: Lair of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Possibly Discovered

NEVADA: Lair of Ancient 'Kraken' Sea Monster Possibly Discovered | State parks | Scoop.it

-Jeanna Bryner

A giant sea monster, the likes of the mythological kraken, may have swum Earth's ancient oceans, snagging what was thought to be the sea's top predators — school bus-size ichthyosaurs with fearsome teeth.  The kraken, which would've been nearly 100 feet (30 meters) long... likely drowned or broke the necks of the ichthyosaurs before dragging the corpses to its lair...

 

Evidence for the kraken and its gruesome attacks comes from markings on the bones of the remains of nine 45-foot (14 meter) ichthyosaurs of the species Shonisaurus popularis, which lived during the Triassic...  McMenamin was interested in solving a long-standing puzzle over the cause of death of the S. popularis individuals at the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada...  The etching on the bones suggested the shonisaurs were not all killed and buried at the same time, he said.  It also looked like the bones had been purposefully rearranged, likely carried to the "kraken's lair" after they had been killed.  A similar behavior has been seen in modern octopus.

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MISSOURI: Roaring River State Park is perfect place for autumn scenery

MISSOURI: Roaring River State Park is perfect place for autumn scenery | State parks | Scoop.it

-Brent Frazee

As he hiked a trail in Roaring River State Park, Dusty Reid paused to admire an Ozarks masterpiece.  In the distance, a steep hillside was splashed with the bright yellows, reds, and oranges of leaves turning colors...  Fall in the Ozarks.  It’s a time of color, tranquility and getting in touch with nature.  And at a park that is one of the most heavily used in the state, that peace and quiet is never lost on Reid, who is the superintendent at Roaring River.

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INDIANA: Brown County State Park Receives 'Epic' Honor

Brown County State Park’s mountain bike trails have won the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s honor of offering enthusiasts an “epic” ride...  IMBA’s description of Brown County explains why its trails warrant the recognition.  “This is flowing singletrack at its best, built in one of the largest contiguous hardwood forests east of the Mississippi River. The trail designers used every bit of the 600 feet of elevation change available to create five independent loops and three connector trails. Difficulty ranges from a beginner-friendly loop to black diamond fare. Expect to drop into valleys and creek crossings before climbing to overlooks with vistas of the surrounding hills...  Brown County State Park mountain bike trails are the only Indiana trails on the list.

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NORTH CAROLINA: Chimney Rock is first state park to Offer PepsiCo's Dream Machine

Chimney Rock State Park is the first among America’s state and national parks to offer PepsiCo’s Dream Machine recycling program, which helps to raise funds for disabled veterans...  The Dream Machine is situated in the park’s top parking lot...  The Dream Machine recycling initiative, created by PepsiCo in partnership with Waste Management, is introducing thousands of recycling bins and kiosks at popular public locations across North America. The kiosks are computerized receptacles that include a personal reward system, powered by Greenopolis, which allows users to earn points for every bottle or can they recycle in the kiosk. The points can be redeemed for discounts on entertainment, dining and travel.

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Photo of the Day: Letchworth State Park, New York

Photo of the Day: Letchworth State Park, New York | State parks | Scoop.it

–Del Higgins

Letchworth State Park, known as the "Grand Canyon of the East."

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WYOMING: Ranch has place in Wyoming history but state will have to decide if it has place in budget

Recording artist James Guercio... has offered the property up to the state — all for free — on the condition that they do something to preserve the site...  Completed in 1910, the ranch saw use up until the '70s. After 40 years of vacancy, tall grass and shrubs rise out of the grounds, surrounding the empty structures...  When the ranch opened, the governors of South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming had attended because John Kendrick, then the Wyoming governor, owned the land...  If the state ever decided to bring the ranch to its original luster, the bill would fall at an estimated $1.5 million. That would include the likely expense of replacing the floor. Once the state had the ranch, the next question would be who would use it. A historical, museum-type property is one possibility for the site, although the river crossing and the remoteness would present obvious obstacles.

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ILLINOIS: Man dead inside Frank Holten State Park was trapped under car

Authorities have identified the man who was found dead at Frank Holten State Park early Friday after he was pinned under a vehicle he was working on.  The victim is Thomas Y. Knowles, 37, of Mt. Olive, Ill., according to state police...  After a preliminary investigation, officials are calling it an accident.  Knowles was found by park staff at 7:05 a.m. with a screwdriver in his hand. The position of his body led investigators to believe he had slid under the car to work on it...  "It looks like the vehicle fell off the parking block," McCloud said...  It's unclear how long he had been dead before he was found. However, investigators found two walkers who said they saw the car parked there at about 5 a.m.

 

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ALABAMA: A national recreation area in our backyard? A history of Oak Mountain State Park

ALABAMA: A national recreation area in our backyard? A history of Oak Mountain State Park | State parks | Scoop.it

–Kathryn Acree

As we welcome the beautiful colors of fall and the cooler temperatures, there is no better place in our area to enjoy being outdoors than Oak Mountain State Park. Did you know that until the 1940’s, plans were in the works for it to be a national park?.. Oak Mountain State Park remains the largest state park in Alabama, and with its ideal location south of Birmingham just off I-65.

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