Great Outdoors Proclamations by President and 50 Governors

Great Outdoors Month® 2017 Proclamations by the President and the Governors.
See the 2017 Presidential Proclamation here.

Special thanks to the American Recreation Coalition for their work to secure and make available these proclamations.  More info about ARC click here.

Storm recovery – Support for Texas state park staff

The record storm has impacted many including our colleagues with Texas state parks. The following link has been set up by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation to provide support to the employees who have had their homes and more destroyed. Please share the link with others.…

TPWD staff and first responders have saved hundreds of lives and as you might imagine, everyone, regardless of their position has a critical role in making this incident response function well, despite many of them having their own homes destroyed. 30 state parks are currently closed due to storm impacts and the other 60+ state parks that remain open are hosting thousands of evacuees. Times like these sure make you proud to be in this profession. #rangerfirst

A 1,000-Year-Old Texas Oak Tree Stands Firm

A natural treasure is weathering the calamitous storm.

TROPICAL STORM HARVEY HAS FORCED people from their homes and patients from hospitals, and turned quiet streets into turbulent torrents. For the city’s 2.3 million residents, it has been terrifying, catastrophic, tragic. Amid this ongoing disaster, one iconic local inhabitant is standing its ground: the 1,000-year-old Big Tree at Goose Island State Park near Rockport.

Big Oak

The 1000-year-old Big Tree at Goose Island State Park near Rockport is okay! Some younger trees are down.  You don’t get old by being weak.

Full Story >>

Learn more about one of the oldest live oak trees in the nation at Big Tree

Boat waste pumpout program secures $2.5 million in funding

Boater sewage, a source of pollution in Washington state waters, can contaminate shellfish beds or spread waterborne diseases at popular swimming beaches.

Washington State Parks Department’s Clean Vessel Act (CVA) program works with the University of Washington’s Washington Sea Grant to help boaters and marinas safely dispose of vessel waste and reduce the amount of sewage entering bays, lakes and Puget Sound, according to a recent UW news release.

Two recently awarded grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will bolster local CVA services, which include installing and operating septic pumpouts and educating boaters and marina owners about the importance of clean water and proper onboard sewage disposal.

Full article >>

Job Opportunity – MT – Parks Administrator Qualifications Updated/Application Deadline Extended

Please note:  This requisition has been revised slightly – the qualifications have been updated since it was originally posted to more accurately reflect the needs of the Agency/Department.

This requisition has been extended those who have previously applied do not need to reapply as their applications are still under consideration.

This position closes at 11:59 PM MDT on September 17, 2017. You must apply through the State of Montana Career site.

You are required to attach a cover letter to your application.  In your cover letter please address the following supplemental questions:

1. Please describe how your past education and experience have prepared you for this position. Be sure to incorporate your management philosophy and supervisory experience.

2. Please describe your experience in establishing performance measures for programs. Include how you evaluate whether they have been successful and how you have adapted programs in response.

Full details and contact info >>


“Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks works to perpetuate all that it means to hunt, camp, fish, hike, ride, float, play, climb, sit, wander, explore and revel – to venture outside and into this land we call Montana.
The outside is in us all.”


The Parks Division is a valuable and integral part of Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks and it works to preserve and protect our state’s heritage and the natural beauty of our public lands for the benefit of our families, communities, local economies and out-of-state visitors. With over 2 million visitors to the Parks each year this Division helps exemplify what it is to recreate in Montana.

The Parks Division Administrator has an exciting opportunity to build on a State Parks program that includes historic sites as well as beautiful natural resource parks and recreational opportunities. The Parks program has 55 parks in 5 regions across the state of Montana. To learn more about the fabulous parks and programs that this position is responsible for please visit:

We are looking for an individual with exceptional leadership skills and a demonstrated ability to foster community and coalition building across a wide range of stakeholders. This position will lead the Parks program and staff forward in their accomplishment of the mission and is responsible for defining the program direction to accomplish the Governor’s outdoor recreation goals as well as those of the Department.

Full details and contact info:

Job Opportunity – ND – 2 Regional Manager Positions

Hiring Salary Range:  $5,687 to $7,583 per month

Positions will be located:

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Washburn, ND and Grahams Island State Park, Devils Lake, ND

Travel will be required – could be up to 40 percent of the position.

The State Parks Regional Manager provides oversight and management for multiple state parks, recreational areas and natural areas in one of two regions of North Dakota.  Additionally, the State Parks Regional Manager is a member of the statewide leadership and operations teams tasked with the development and implementation of statewide policy and guidelines.

  • Provide administrative oversight and supervision of assigned state parks, including planning, management, maintenance, operations, visitor services, interpretive programs and law enforcement; monitor field operations to ensure compliance and consistency.
  • Serve on agency leadership teams and participate in setting statewide policy for state parks and programs.
  • Oversee the development, maintenance, implementation, and communication of policies, procedures, and guidelines that apply to the administrative operations, facilities, and property management required for each park, related facilities and programs to ensure consistency.
  • Oversee and manage regional budget and fiscal operations including revenue collection, program expenditures, data collection, reporting, etc.
  • Prioritize park facilities’ maintenance and equipment needs; coordinate regional capital development project proposals; work with park managers to set short and long-term goals and plans.
  • Recruit, hire, train, supervise, and evaluate staff.
  • Oversee the preparation and implementation of park plans; confirm plans are consistent with statewide objectives.
  • Direct overall planning, organizing and administration of special events at parks.
  • Promote public compliance with laws, rules and regulations through education and law enforcement; provide support to park managers through policy interpretation and problem resolution; manage emergency and/or conflict situations within region.
  • Coordinate activities with internal and external stakeholders that involve or may influence park operations, resources and programs.
  • Respond to formal and informal inquiries, questions, concerns, and issues from the public, internal or external stakeholders, and political entities as related to park programs.
Minimum Qualifications

Requires a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation or closely related field and five (5) years of work experience in a management level position within a similar organization that included management of human, fiscal, and facilities/material resources.

Full Posting and Application Procedure >>


Summary of Work


  • Respond to formal and informal inquiries, questions, concerns, and issues from the public, internal or external stakeholders, and political entities as related to park programs.

Things to know about park rangers (NC)

What do park rangers really do?  It’s more than you think.  Yes, they do get to wear a cool ranger hat and spend a lot of time outdoors.  But what you may not know is it is a position held by highly-educated and trained individuals.  Men and women who are passionate about their parks and are selfless in their quest to maintain and preserve the naturally wonderful spaces in North Carolina.

firstdayhikes3firstdayhikes3Park rangers see, hear, smell and sense all manner of wildlife and the environment.  They get to know the park up close and personal over extended periods of time.  They teach and manage the natural resources with this knowledge and experience.

Park rangers are the first responders in a park for any emergency. They communicate with local fire, EMS, and police when there is an emergency in or near the park. Since many parks are more than 30 minutes from the closest town or hospital, many rangers are also trained Emergency Medical Technicians.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPark rangers are certified as Environmental Educators, Emergency Medical Technicians, Canoe/Kayak Instructors, Wild-land Firefighters, Pesticide Applicators, Wastewater Treatment Operators and many other things.

Full Story >>


South Dakota Finds That Overtourism Can Even Hit Small Local Sites

Skift coined the phrase “overtourism” and we’ve led in covering it. While we have often focused on big spots like Venice, even smaller sites can get overrun with tourists. Creative fixes are needed.

— Sean O’Neill

Associated Press

– Aug 01, 2017 5:00 pm

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 8.53.32 AM

South Dakota Finds That Overtourism Can Even Hit Small Local Sites

Associated Press

– Aug 01, 2017 5:00 pm

Technology and social media have turned little-known natural spots in South Dakota into not-so-secret tourist destinations, much to the dismay of some locals.

The Rapid City Journal reports that one such spot includes a natural swimming hole known as Devils Bathtub, where user-created footpaths lead to a tributary that’s sometimes clogged with people.

Wyoming resident George Dunlap said he has had difficulty driving through all the parked vehicles to reach his cabin for the past several years. He has also seen people dumping garbage into the creek.

“It’s an unfortunate deal that so many people have found out about it,” Dunlap said. “Now it’s not hidden. It’s not anything right now except a mess.”

Other public sites in the Black Hills that have seen a rise in popularity from social media include Poet’s Table, a high granite alcove in Custer State Park; Hippie Hole, a natural swimming hole near Rockerville; and the Rock Maze, a labyrinthine cluster of rock formations in the Black Hills National Forest.

The management of such sites has come under scrutiny. With no infrastructure at any of the sites to control the flow of visitors, the increased visitation has caused congestion and public safety concerns.

Environmental damage also occurs — sometimes by accident, and sometimes by vandalism. Both Hippie Hole and the Rock Maze have been victims of graffiti.

The issues are causing some land managers to switch from loosely permissive oversight of the areas to aggressive intervention.

No-parking signs recently were installed along a highway curve near the gravel road that leads to Devils Bathtub’s unofficial trailhead. Last week Custer State Park officials removed in-ground fire pits and a shelter that were constructed by Poet’s Table visitors.

“We can either do nothing and let the damage occur, or we can manage it,” said Jim Hagen, secretary of the state Department of Tourism. “And I think the responsible thing to do is to manage it the best that we can.”

VISTAS – America’s State Park Newsletter, July 2017


Summer Greetings!

VISTAS Newsletter, July 2017

It is indeed the traditional season to enjoy the great outdoors. May your plans for the summer include visiting one or more of America’s State Parks. State parks across the country provide wonderful outdoor recreation experiences and unique historic, scientific and environment education opportunities. The 18 million plus acres provide for great diversity — from the vastness of a half a million acres mountainous landscape, to the colorful intricacies of a living coral reef, to the world’s longest stalactite formation, to historic locations where European settlers first came to America, and much, much more.

Thank you for your interest in the VISTAS newsletter, another voice for America’s State Parks. Our goal is to provide you with these brief updates regularly. Please share items of interest, and know that your feedback and advocacy are welcomed.

The mosaic of natural resources and the cultural fabric of America and the splendor of the beauty of state parks are grand. Both remote and resort in their offerings, America’s State Parks are yours to explore and experience!

All 42 [Colorado] state parks open to the public for free Monday

Forget Valentine’s Day, Colorado Day is a holiday to celebrate love.  After all, Colorado never lets us down.

Cherry Creek State Park (Photo: Andrew Novinger)

Monday marks the annual Colorado Day and the mutual affection means all 42 state parks will be open to the public, no entrance fee required.

Colorado Day is a celebration of the actions of the state legislature, marking the anniversary of statehood.

The official recognition was granted in 1876 by President Ulysses S. Grant.

Full story >