If you’re planning a visit to Hawaii, or if you’re fortunate enough to call the islands your home, you don’t want to miss out on Hawaii’s seven national parks. Three of them are located along the western coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i: Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, and Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. All three preserve Hawaiian culture and traditional lifestyles. They also offer recreational opportunities such as wildlife viewing, hiking, picnicking, fishing, and cultural demonstrations.
At Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, you can attend the annual Ho`oku`ikahi Hawaiian Cultural Festival to celebrate the unification of the Hawaiian Islands by Kamehameha the Great. This year’s free festival takes place August 14 and 15. It will feature cultural ceremonies, crafts and games, rides in double-hulled canoes, and hands-on demonstrations.
The Obama Administration is conducting dozens of "listening sessions" across the country as a part of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative. This new initiative is a collaborative effort that seeks the best ideas on conservation, ways in which those ideas can be pursued so that local communities embrace them, and thoughts on how the administration can better promote conservation.
The listening sessions aim to discover how to reconnect Americans to the outdoors, and how to build upon state, local, private, and tribal conservation initiatives targeted at protecting both public and private land. NPCA staff and supporters have attended multiple listening sessions around the country this summer and, at each session, we're making sure the administration understands how national parks can play a prominent role in the President's initiative.
Promoting National Parks Online
NPCA is also providing feedback to the administration online. And we're asking Americans--like you--to join us in ensuring that national parks will be an integral part of the final report to the President. By clicking here, you can see a list of NPCA's recommendations for the administration. Click on the ones that you like best to promote those ideas on the America's Great Outdoors IdeaJam, set up by the Department of the Interior. The more ideas get promoted, the higher they rise on the list!
So, start promoting our national parks online today, because we all know that national parks are definitelyAmerica's Great Outdoors!
PARKS IN THE NEWS
Protecting Sea Turtles from the Gulf Oil Spill
National Park Service employees are making heroic efforts to keep endangered sea turtles safe from the toxic aftereffects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The nests on the beaches of Gulf Islands National Seashore contained thousands of Kemp's Ridley sea turtle eggs, some of the most endangered sea turtles in the world. The Park Service is working to ensure the turtles survive the disaster by carefully moving them to safer beaches along the coast.
Nests of endangered sea turtle eggs in the path of the oil spill were transported via Styrofoam cooler and climate-controlled FedEx truck from beaches along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast to a secure hatching facility at NASA. The eggs are being relocated to the beaches of Canaveral National Seashore and a nearby wildlife refuge on Florida's Atlantic coast.
Upon reaching Kennedy Space Center, the delicate eggs continue to incubate under the quiet watch of biologists. NASA is currently hosting more than 1,000 turtles-to-be at the site and has successfully released its first hatchlings over the past weeks. These actions are all part of a team effort involving the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and FedEx to protect and relocate some 70,000 sea turtle eggs to help ensure species reproduction and survival over this difficult summer.
In addition to these efforts the National Park Service has established protocols to protect sea turtles, their nests, and eggs from beached oil and oil cleanup activities around sensitive sites. Turtles are of particular concern as summertime is nesting and hatching season for these large reptiles.
If your travels this summer take you to the beach, the Park Service reminds all visitors not to disturb turtle nesting sites.
To report oiled or distressed wildlife, including turtles and their nests call: 866.557.1401.
Learn More To learn more about sea turtles click here. To learn more about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and our national parks visit NPCA online.
Most Americans are familiar with Alcatraz Island as the former home of infamous criminals such as Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. They might not realize that before it housed a prison, the island was used by the military during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. In addition, the island was the site of a 19-month American Indian occupation that commenced in November 1969. Alcatraz Island become part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972, and it opened to the public the following year.
NPCA's Center for State of the Parks recently completed an assessment of Alcatraz Island's cultural resources, as well as an overview of the population status and management of the island's western gulls.
Read the full report to learn more about the challenges the Park Service faces in caring for Alcatraz Island's cultural and natural resources, as well as the work being done to protect those resources into the future.
PARK VICTORY Landmark Legislation Passes in the House
Recently NPCA, working with our members and partners, successfully worked with Congress to pass landmark legislation for permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
Many national parks have benefited from LWCF over the years, but the fund rarely receives all of the funding for land acquisition that was originally intended.
Last month's vote in the House of Representatives is the first big step in getting LWCF fully and permanently funded and our national parks better protected for future generations.
This victory is far from final or permanent, and many significant actions remain--including getting a similar bill passed in the Senate. With your help NPCA will continue to advocate for our national parks as the Senate considers LWCF funding later this fall!
There's no denying the popularity of the state quarters with Americans of all ages--an estimated 147 million people collected the coins.
Now a new quarter series featuring our beloved national parks is in full swing. You can join the excitement in collecting them all and support NPCA, too!
Order your collectibles through Coins of America, one of our newest sponsors, and a portion of proceeds will benefit NPCA. Whether you purchase a single collection or you pre-order to save on the entire series, you’ll be supporting NPCA and helping to protect our parks for future generations.
Click here to view the entire line of National Park Quarter items that include a contribution to NPCA.
Charitable Gift Annuities Now Offer Higher Rates of Return
Receive Income for Life and Help Protect Our National Parks
NPCA is now offering higher rates of return for participants of our Charitable Gift Annuity Program.
As of July 1, 2010, the American Council on Gift Annuities recommended some increases in the rates, which are based on the donor’s age at the time the gift is made. With a gift of $10,000 or more, you can receive a sizable charitable tax deduction and receive quarterly income payments for life. A portion of that income will also be tax-free for a number of years. Rates range from 5.5% at age 65 to 9.5% for individuals age 90 or older.
NPCA recently announced its 2011 ParkScapes tour collection. With eight carefully selected departures, these tours offer experiences in our American national parks and a few Canadian national parks, too. Participants will witness the destinations in their best season, from the desert bloom in Saguaro and the rushing falls of Yosemite to the fall colors in the Columbia River Gorge and the snowy landscapes of Yellowstone. Each itinerary has been enhanced with unique opportunities to highlight the full spectrum of treasured resources protected by the park.
Among the eight departures, travelers will go behind the scenes with naturalists and historians on:
Winter Wonderland in Yellowstone (Feb. 3-8, 2011, from $3,095 per person)
National Parks of the Virgin Islands (Feb. 26-Mar. 4, 2011, from $3,995 per person)
Wildflowers & Cacti Abound in Southern Arizona (Mar. 20-27, 2011, from $2,795 per person)
Springtime in Yosemite (May 22-27, 2011, from $3,295 per person)
Isle Royale Wilderness Sojourn (July 23-30, 2011, from $3,195 per person)
A Voyage Along the Columbia & Snake River: In the Wake of Lewis & Clark (Sept. 23-29, 2011, from $3,320 per person)
Canadian Rockies & Glacier National Park (Sept. 3-10, 2011, from $1,883 per person)
New Year’s in Yellowstone (Dec. 28, 2011-Jan. 3, 2012, from $3,595 per person)
For more information on individual trips, call toll-free 800.628.7275 or visit www.npca.org/travel.
YOU'RE INVITED Free Admission Days!
Earlier this summer Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a schedule of free admission days to many of the lands managed by the Department of the Interior, including our national parks!
There are still three free days this year. We hope you can take advantage of this opportunity to get out and experience your national parks.
All national parks offer free admission in 2010 on these dates:
August 14th -15th
November 11th, in honor of Veterans Day
Visit www.nps.gov for more details about the fee-free days and activities available in our national parks.
National Parks, our award-winning quarterly magazine, is an exclusive benefit of NPCA membership. Read about the Park Service's efforts to appeal to more diverse visitors, plan a trip to Hawai'i (and watch a stunning video featuring its most dramatic landscapes), and learn about plans for a new park unit in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Are you having trouble making a donation online? Call us at 1.800.628.7275 Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and one of our representatives will be able to assist you.
From All the Staff at NPCA,
Thank you for your time and dedication in helping to enhance and protect our national parks for present and future generations. NPCA's park-protection work is made possible by the generous support of people like you. Membership is just $25, and includes a subscription to our award-winning National Parks magazine, recently recognized for excellence in coverage of environmental tourism by the Society of American Travel Writers.
Park Lines is a publication of the National Parks Conservation Association. E-mail us at TakeAction@npca.org, write to us at 1300 19th Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036, or call us at 800.NAT.PARK (800.628.7275).