President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Bison Range on May 23, 1908, when he signed legislation authorizing funds to purchase suitable land for the conservation of bison – making it the first time that Congress appropriated tax dollars to buy land specifically to conserve wildlife. Since then, the National Bison Range in Montana has played an important role in the successful recovery of these magnificent animals. Today, 350-500 bison call this refuge home. Photo courtesy of Bob Wick.
Summer green becomes autumn orange in the blink of an eye at Denali National Park in Alaska. Termination dust – what Alaskans call the high altitude snow that signals the end of summer – coats mountains and sprinkles onto valleys. The red leaves of blueberry bushes carpet the landscape and offer bears a last dessert before hibernation. It’s a feast for the eyes. Photo from a previous fall by Tim Rains, National Park Service.
Curecanti National Recreation Area in Colorado is a series of three reservoirs along the once wild Gunnison River. The reservoirs that make up Curecanti today are a destination for water-based recreation high in the Rocky Mountains. Best known for salmon and trout fishing, Curecanti also offers opportunities for hiking, boating, camping and bird watching. Photo by Paul Santellan, National Park Service.
The first touches of fall are in the air at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. While most of the trees in this Colorado park are still green, snow showers dusted the Sangre de Cristo Mountains over the weekend, and the highest aspen groves are beginning to turn gold. This photo was taken south of the dunes looking toward California Peak at 13,855 feet. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.
Be careful taking a trip to the National Park of American Samoa. You might not want to come back. With 9,000 acres spread across the islands of Tutuila, Ofu and Ta‘ū, it’s the only national park south of the equator. Snorkeling and hiking are popular activities in this tropical paradise, as well as soaking up the welcoming Samoan culture. Photo from the Tuafanua Trail by National Park Service.
Take a trip to gold country in Alaska. Canoeists along the Fortymile River can see modern prospectors working the river gravels, as well as remnants of several large historic dredges, as they float through thick stands of black spruce and tussocks that grow above the permafrost. It never truly gets dark here in summer, making more time for fun and exploring. The long days melt into a pink dusk that slowly transitions into a lengthy dawn. This is the longest river in the system with the main stem and tributaries stretching for almost 400 miles. #FindYourWay on more wild and scenic rivers: https://on.doi.gov/2vBIC9K
Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” -John Muir
In 1984, Congress designated the Table Rock Wilderness in Oregon. A remnant of a lava flow that once covered this region along the western foothills of the Cascades, the “fortress” of Table Rock stands at 4,881 feet above the northeastern portion of this small Wilderness. On this steep and rugged terrain you’ll find a quiet forest of Douglas fir and western hemlock, with noble fir at higher elevations and crowds of rhododendron on many of the upper slopes, an island of old growth in an ocean of forest development. At least two endangered plants bloom here: Oregon sullivantia and Gorman’s aster. Deer and elk wander about in winter, and the northern spotted owl has been spotted among the old trees. Photo by Bureau of Land Management.
Summer showers bring relief and a rainbow at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. With over 40 percent of the park water, Voyageurs is a maze of interconnected water highways. These waters were the transportation corridors for Native Americans and the park’s namesake – the voyageurs – and they are the basis for recreation in the park today. So, grab your paddle and get out there! Photo by Sam Brueggeman (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Meet us at the Cuyahoga River for a picnic, a bike ride, a hike or an afternoon of fun! Twenty-two miles of the Cuyahoga River wind and weave through the Cuyahoga Valley, forming the backbone of Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. This landscape gives way to deep forests, rolling hills and open farmlands. No matter where you end up in the park, it’s sure to be beautiful! Photo by Jeffrey Gibson, National Park Service.
Located along the lower Detroit River and western shoreline of Lake Erie just 20 miles south of Detroit, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is truly unique. The refuge was established in 2001 as a result of binational efforts from politicians, conservation leaders and local communities to build a sustainable future for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie ecosystems. Because of this collaboration, international status was given to the refuge, making it the first of its kind in North America. The refuge consists of nearly 6,000 acres of unique habitat, including islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals and waterfront lands within an authorized boundary extending along 48 miles of shoreline. It’s home to 300 species of birds, including 30 species of waterfowl, 23 species of raptors, and 31 species of shorebirds, plus 117 kinds of fish – all within an urban area of six million people. Photo by Volunteer Tom Kachelmeyer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.