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NPR on the National Parks


National Public Radio is on the road in the National Park System this week, visiting both iconic and obscure parks. But is there a chink in NPR's coverage?

It's great to hear about the smallest unit in the National Park System, the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, and the behind-the-scenes folks at Grand Canyon National Park, but where are the stories about all the red ink that covers the National Park Service's books? Where are the stories about the infrastructure woes, about the air pollution, about the dwindling interpretive ranks?

The stories NPR is running this week are important, for they open auditory windows into the national parks and enrich our knowledge about these wonderful places. But just as important is telling the stories about the issues that impact the health of the National Park System, and going to Dinosaur National Monument to focus on the Junior Ranger program without delving into the crumbling visitor center or the decline of the paleontological staff tells only half the story.


I'm just happy they are doing the reports at all. If it increases interest & visitation, then maybe these other problems will come to light.

I am still hopeful, there's still a couple more days of their coverage coming. Maybe they have a wrap-up program covering these admin issues??


My travels through the National Park System:

Minnesota Public Radio added its own story about Voyageurs National Park to the National Public Radio broadcast. It included an interview with Mike Ward, the soon-to-be new Superintendent of Voyageurs. The MPR reporter also asked a board member from one of the Park's friends' groups (Voyageurs National Park Association) to talk about some of the challenges facing the Park. You can hear the program at

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