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Latest News Added 3/24/08

March 24, 2008
National Park System Attendance Rises In 2007

WASHINGTON – More than 275 million visits were recorded in America’s national park system in 2007, an increase of three million visits from the previous year. Read More

March 24, 2008
U.S. National Parks Trivia

With 388 "units" and counting, it's not surprising that some history and trivia in the National Park Service has been conveniently lost over the years. Of the following factoids and trivial pursuits, the NPS provides much of this information for the researcher willing to make even a casual effort. There are a few, however, that the NPS will officially deny or dispute. Those are the most fun, of course. Read More

March 24, 2008
Rockland Lake State Park

People walk the 3-mile loop at Rockland Lake State Park year-round, but they seem more absorbed by the songs on their iPods than the history of the lake they passed.

That's something Timothy Englert, 46, of Valley Cottage wanted to change.

Englert, a developmental specialist with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, started the Knickerbocker Ice Festival at Rockland Lake last year to do just that. It gets its name from the Knickerbocker Ice Co. of the 19th century. Ice from the lake was shipped around the world, with more than 80,000 tons of it harvested in 1866.
Read More

March 24, 2008
Duct tape can only do so much

That's what state park employees have resorted to using, along with the ever-handy foam in a can, to keep some structures standing in New York's sprawling state park system.

Local parks bear the scars of a state system with little money to maintain infrastructure:

- The deep end of Rockland Lake State Park's pool - shut for more than a decade because it didn't meet health department standards - was the scene a near-riot during a 2002 heat wave as a frustrated crowd was kept from a dip in the deteriorating section.
- Brown water flows from the taps at the still-under-repair Bear Mountain Inn, a side effect of a desperately needed water-treatment upgrade and dredging needed at Queensboro Lake and lagoon.
- Worn roads and bathrooms need fixes at Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park.
Read More

March 24, 2008
Criteria for Parklands

Throughout the Nation, people are working to conserve natural resources, protect historic sites, and to provide recreational opportunities for a growing population. Many communities also are looking for ways to combine conservation with efforts to attract visitors who will help support the local economy. The National Park Service is responsible for carefully screening proposals for new park units to assure that only the most outstanding resources are added to the National Park System. Regardless of economic considerations or other factors, a new national park area must meet criteria for national significance, suitability, and feasibility. Various other management options are also weighed. For those with proposals for consideration, this page explains the criteria applied by the National Park Service in evaluating new park proposals, outlines the study process, and lists some of the other ways to recognize and protect important resources outside of the National Park System. Read More

January 6, 2008
You can now receive Parktips in your email

The National Park Service has created an email mailing list called NPSNews. NPSNews subscribers receive via email, Parktips, as well as other timely national park related news items. Using email allows us to communicate this information quickly and efficiently. As fax machines have replaced postal mailing lists, email represents the next generation of information distribution. If you would like to receive NPSNews, just send an email to In the body of the message, write, "subscribe npsnews". You should receive a confirmation message shortly thereafter.

January 6, 2008
Virtual Tour of Acadia National Park

(Maine) -- An e-tour of Acadia National Park is now available on the park’s website. The Flash-based eCruise takes participants on a virtual exploration of the coastal islands and surrounding waters of the Gulf of Maine. Participants can tailor their experience by choosing from a variety of media—audio, video, text, panoramic images, maps, and photographs. The eCruise is available here

January 6, 2008
Switzerland issues speeding tickets on the slopes

Skiers and snowboarders who love the unrestricted thrill of hurtling down alpine pistes on a sunny winter’s day are about to be stopped in their tracks.

Switzerland is introducing speed cameras on the slopes to try to reduce the increasing number of accidents. The first such nationwide controls will treat skiers like cars on the motorway. Speeders will be caught with hand-held radar devices carried by hidden personnel.

September 12, 2007
Trap Pond State Park Named Chesapeake Gateway

On August 23rd, Trap Pond State Park officially joined the National Park Service’s Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network, becoming the first Chesapeake Bay Gateway in the state of Delaware. Read more...

September 12, 2007
NPS Director On "Today Show" On Thursday

Director Mary Bomar will be a Thursday morning guest on NBC’s Today show. Her appearance will be live from Grand Canyon National Park. Read more...

September 12, 2007
Remains Of Missing WWII Airman Found In Park Identified

Last year, a recovery team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command traveled to the park to attempt to locate and recover the remains of four Army Air Corpsmen who perished in a B-24 Liberator crash on December 21, 1943. The wreckage of the bomber is within the park. During their two-week mission, the team found a number of bone fragments believed to be those of one of the members of the crew.Read more...

New 3-mile trail connecting the Warners Creek Trail/Long Path to the Devil’s Path on Plateau Mountain

Volunteers in the northern Catskills have opened up a new three-mile trail that connects the Warners Creek Trail/Long Path directly to the Devil’s Path on Plateau Mountain. For Long Path hikers, this extension over Daley Ridge eliminates a five-mile detour that included a road walk along Rt. 214. It also creates a 23-mile section of Long Path from Phoenicia to Platte Clove without a road crossing. Read more...

July 26, 2007
Orange County preserving another 500 acres

Orange County will spend $1.3 million to preserve about 500 acres of farmland, the third and latest investment of county money to preserve open space in one of New York's fastest-growing counties.
County Executive Edward Diana and other officials announced the purchases yesterday beside a sunny meadow at the McNeil Farm, a picturesque, 150-acre parcel that will be bought and become part of adjacent Goosepond Mountain State Park. Read more...

Pipeline Work Begins in Sterling Forest & Harriman State Parks

A natural gas pipeline that extends through portions of Harriman and Sterling Forest State Parks, is set to be replaced this summer as part of the Millennium Pipeline project.
Some trails may be disturbed and occasionally closed during this project, which, according to a Millennium ewsletter, is expected to take place in the parks this summer and fall. Read more...

NY-NJ Trail Conference Receives $15K Grant

The Trail Conference has received a $15,000 Land Conservation Transaction grant from the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) Northeast Program to assist in the clean-up of the LaFarge property along Route 209 in Mamakating, Sullivan County, New York. This western spur of the Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT) lies at the confluence of the D&H Canal and the abandoned Port Jervis branch of the New York, Ontario & Western (O&W) Railway. The rail-trail runs south through Wurtsboro Ridge State Forest and meets the SRT just north of Route 17. This funding will allow the Trail Conference to remove garbage and other dumping from the site so that it can be sold and turned over to NYS DEC and added to the state park system.

Team JOC joining Team OneFamily

Team JOC will join Team OneFamily will be training for and racing in the NYC Triathlon on July 22nd. This race is SOLD OUT!!! Team OneFamily has a limited amount of slots available.

Click her to Register: or:

Team OneFamily is the endurance sports training and fund-raising program, benefiting the One Family Fund. The program is a fantastic way to get in shape, train with professional certified coaches, and join a great group of people who care about the future of Israel. Team OneFamily members who help raise funds for the OneFamily Fund receive:

* Personalized fitness training by certified coaches
* Training clinics and/or Training Rides
* A personalized Web site for online fund raising
* Support from your Team OneFamily teammates

Training will begin on Tuesday May 1st. This 12-week training program has been specifically designed for Team OneFamily athletes who are competing in the sold-out New York City Triathlon on July 22, 2007. This event is a challenging yet fun Olympic distance race course that demands full preparation. Whether you want to perform your best time yet or completely your first triathlon on July 22nd, be prepared! Use the training program that Terrier Tri developed with first hand knowledge of this race. You will receive a weekly plan, which includes 2 coached weekly sessions (Tuesday and Thursday) coached by Robert Pennino & Sari Levy.

Please contact Sammy Zack with any questions at or (917) 407-5515.

New Google tools for event organizers

Google Earth Layers
Want to scout out some hikes before your next trip? Google Earth's new layer has hundreds of them.
Specifically, the Trimble Outdoors Trips layer features GPS-marked trails for activities including hiking, biking, backpacking and running. The info includes directions to trailheads, a difficulty ranking, and notes on interesting sights to see along the way. Some legs also include photos, audio and even video clips.
Users can, of course, submit their own hike routes as well. To see the new layer in action, fire up Google Earth and look under the Featured Content tree in the Layers pane. Then dig out your backpack.
Read more on Lifehacker
Read more on googleblog
Download Google Earth

Google MyMaps
My Maps is a new feature on top of Google Maps that makes it quick and easy to create your own custom Google Maps just by pointing and clicking. You can add placemarks, draw lines and shapes, and embed text, photos and videos -- all using a simple drag and drop interface. Your map automatically gets a public URL that you can share with your friends and family,
This is an excellent tool to design trip itineraries and sharing with trip participants
Read more on Lifehacker
Read more on googleblog
Google MyMaps user guide

OZ Wilderness & Leadership

New and unique organization which combines a wilderness skills curriculum with leadership training focusing on personal development and spiritual connection inspired by the Jewish code of ethics and value.

OZ teaches skills like Backpacking, Field Navigation, Climbing & Rappelling, Wilderness Survival, Nature Observation & Tracking with a focus on building self confidence and self esteem, pushing and passing preconceived limits, honing leadership style, ability and Team Work. All Courses at OZ are Shomer Shabbat and Glatt Kosher.

We will be running a summer program in Israel this July for Boys high school and post high school ages. The summer program will combine 4 of our courses with a six week Israel journey of cultural, historical and spiritual enlightenment.

For more information contact Adam Poznanski, OZ Wilderness & Leadership,

36th Biennial Conference of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is proud to organize and host the 36th Biennial Conference of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy—a week-long gathering featuring hikes, workshops, and entertainment open to the hiking community and their friends and family. Read more...

Walking Over Grand Canyon Is A Step Closer

An Indian tribe fastened a massive glass-bottomed walkway to the edge of the Grand Canyon on Wednesday as part of an ambitious tourism center that has angered environmentalists and some tribal members. Read more...

Interview with Steve Elkinton, Program Leader for the National Trails System

Steve Elkinton serves as the Program Leader for the National Trails System within the National Park Service. He has held this position since 1989. In 1999, I first interviewed him about National Trails System issues. We spoke most recently in January of 2007. Read More...

President’s Increases NPS Budget

President’s NPS Budget Proposes Record Increases for Park Operations and Centennial Initiative for $3 billion Public-Private Investment Over 10 Years Read More...

Gov. Spitzer wants to boost NY Outdoors

Gov. Eliot Spitzer wants to put more of an upstate economic development spin on programs to promote hunting, fishing and other outdoors activities. Read More...

JOC branches

The JOC spawned the Boston Jewish Outdoors Club (BJOC) a few years back, and they're arranging wonderful outdoor events in the New England region. If you're ever in Boston visiting, send an email to

Former JOCer Jason Rosenbaum, has begun the process of beginning the LA-JOC - the Los Angeles Jewish Outdoors Club. Their inaugural event was a recent hike with 40 attendees!

Other JOCs in the works: Jason Pearlman has been talking up the DC-JOC for a while, now that our resident rock climber extraordinaire is stationed there. Stay tuned for updates on that.


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