The grandeurs and intimacies of nature will, I hope, encourage the spectator to seek for himself the inexhaustible sources of beauty in the natural world around him. Fortunate is he indeed who can see Mount McKinley against the summer midnight sky.... From a 1962 documentary about the photography of Ansel Adams produced by THIRTEEN/WNET. [more inside]
“I have read in my earlier years about prisoners in the revolutionary war, and other wars. It sounded noble and heroic to be a prisoner of war, and accounts of their adventures were quite romantic; but the romance has been knocked out of the prisoner of war business, higher than a kite. It's a fraud.” [more inside]
Heinrich Caesar Berann is known as the father of the modern cartographic panorama and is also credited as the most prolific panorama artist ever. His style and work could be credited with the lasting appeal of stylized panoramic maps that often feature exaggerated or distorted features as the preferred map type for ski resorts and trails (PDF) but Berann's true passion was art, as seen in these collections of his paintings and drawings found on the tribute site maintained by his grandson, Matthias Troyer. [more inside]
Heritage Documentation Programs is part of the National Park service and administers the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) - the United States government's oldest historic preservation program - Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) and Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) [more inside]
In 1975, with $3,000 in savings Roxanne Quimby and her boyfriend moved to Maine. They bought a tract of land on which they built a cabin and an outhouse. Near her Guilford homestead, Quimby later met beekeeper Burt Shavitz and used his beeswax to create candles (making $20,000 in her first year selling at local crafts fairs) -- and later their (yes, the two cofounded a company together) best selling product Burt's Bees Lip Balm (it's Burt's image that still graces many of the company's products). With the phenomenal success that followed, she sold 80 percent of her shares in the company to New York investors in 2003 (eventually the company was sold to Clorox) to help fund significant land purchases. For years Maine sportsmen have been outraged with Quimby for forbidding hunters, loggers, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles on the 120,000 acres of woodlands she now owns. Quimby has recently offered a compromise. She wants to donate 70,000 acres to help create a new national park (Maine Woods National Park) while "setting aside another 30,000 acres of woodlands ... to be managed like a state park, with hunting and snowmobiling allowed." [more inside]
Reenacting slavery at Chickamauga National Military Park. When a reenactor put his knapsack on the ground, the person portraying his slave picked up his knapsack and "moved it before I could say a word. I instantly knew that I had an opportunity to demonstrate the institution's cruelty here, and so I did not acknowledge his act, did not thank him for it, did not make eye contact, did not stop my talk. My own cruelty -- even to make a teaching point to the audience -- made me shudder inside." [more inside]
You know that ranger job in the National Park Service that you're gonna apply for as soon as you get through school or quit waiting tables? Fuhgeddaboutit, unless you've pledged your loyalty to the
Ba'ath party President's Management Agenda and its roster of "faith-based and community initiatives," "competitive sourcing," etcetera, and Interior Secretary Gale Norton's "4C's," which seem to have to do with communication, consultation, cooperation, conservation, and Clinton-bashing. (Oh, sorry, that's 5 C's. It's just that Norton can't seem to stop denigrating "the previous administration" -- while advocating drilling in ANWR -- for such absurd ideas as banning snowmobiles from Yellowstone.)
Faith-Based National Parks? The National Park Service has recently approved the display of three bronze plaques bearing biblical verses at the Grand Canyon, as well as the sale of a creationist book on the canyon's origins (here's a review of the book by a professor of geology,) while at the same time blocking park rangers from publishing a scientific rebuttal to creationism. The NPS also wants to remove images of gay rights, pro-choice and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations from a videotape shown at the Lincoln Memorial, though they may be relenting.
Indepence Hall Finally Liberated? Even as the streets surrounding Independence Hall (the building where the document declaring US independence from Britain was forged) are finally liberated from barriers erected to prevent terror the historic building has been closed by the National Park Service, who prior to 9/11 couldn't even stop a crazy guy with a hammer.
The National Park Service and US Coast Guard are dumping Lighthouses for free. The catch is you need to maintain it. What would you do with a Lighthouse?
Even if you hate San Francisco and think it is filthy, there are some good things there. Unfortunately, there may soon be one less good thing if the National Park Service doesn't make plans to accommodate this historical treasure trove. They want to rebuild the Cliffhouse and have no current space allotted for the Musee Mechanique. As many people will attest , it's a wonderful place for children and adults alike. You can sign the petition if you care or think it will help.
National Park Service removes the Lonely Phone. Thousands mourn.