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Dems Slam 'Extraordinary' Move to Keep Parks Open

Is it illegal for officials to tap entrance fees?

(Newser) - The National Park Service is taking an extraordinary—and, it turns out, controversial—step to keep its most popular sites open and safe for visitors during a prolonged government shutdown, the Washington Post reports. The Interior Department's acting secretary, David Bernhardt, has agreed to let park managers use entrance... More »

What Park Visitors Are Finding on 'Shutdown' Day

Here's what's open and what's closed

(Newser) - The huddled masses are still able to visit the Statue of Liberty. The Grand Canyon is open for business. The government says other national parks "will remain as accessible as possible," although some roads at Rocky Mountain National Park are closed as snow goes unplowed, the AP reports.... More »

Canada Makes a 'Globally Significant' Conservation Move

Protected boreal forest will cover 26K square miles in Alberta, Canada

(Newser) - Canada will soon be home to the largest protected boreal, or coniferous, forest on the planet. On Tuesday, the Alberta government announced a plan for the creation of three new provincial parks bordering on Wood Buffalo National Park, as well as the creation of a fourth park to the south.... More »

In Paris, a New Place for Nudists

Section of Bois de Vincennes park will be open to naturists (but not voyeurs)

(Newser) - A parks and rec official in Paris is lauding an "open-minded vision" for one of the city's parks—specifically, an out-of-the-way section of the Bois de Vincennes park that is open to nudists until Oct. 15. AFP reports on the naturism experiment, which permits visitors to strip down... More »

Anchorage Reels From Mysterious Spike in Murders

The city has tallied 25 homicides for the year, 15 since late June

(Newser) - "The homicide rate in Anchorage has always run between 12 and 24," that city's police chief from 2010 to 2015 tells the Alaska Dispatch News . "That was sort of the rule of thumb. We rarely did better than 12. And we rarely did worse than twice... More »

Manhattan May Get World's First Underground Park

Remote skylight solar tech could allow enough natural sunlight for photosynthesis

(Newser) - In 2009, right around the time the first section of the much-lauded High Line project opened to the public, offering New Yorkers access to an unused section of elevated railroad tracks in Manhattan that had been transformed into a green space, a couple of guys chatted one night over "... More »

Woman Found Pushing Her Dead Boy on Swing

Sheriff's deputies make grim discovery at Maryland park

(Newser) - In a tragic and bizarre case, authorities yesterday found a woman pushing her dead son in a park's swing, the AP reports. She may have been at the Maryland park for hours or even overnight, they say. The story began with a call to sheriff's deputies regarding the... More »

Sledding Skids to Halt on Cities' Liability Fears

Fearing lawsuits, officials shut down hills

(Newser) - When a childhood pastime comes with a million-dollar price tag, sometimes the pastime loses out. In recent years, a 5-year-old's sledding injury led to a $2 million lawsuit against Omaha, Neb., while another case saw Sioux City, Iowa, paying $2.75 million. Such cases are prompting cities in states... More »

Mystery Solved of Piano in Seattle's Woods

It's perched between pair of large Douglas Firs

(Newser) - The mystery behind an old out-of-tune piano that appeared in early August in Shoreview Park just north of Seattle has been solved, and nobody had to pull any strings. The piano itself, which was not a part of the local "Pianos in the Parks" program, came with a clue:... More »

Gold Rush Barons Give Away Last of Their Land

300 acres donated to San Francisco park authorities

(Newser) - A single family has controlled large swaths of Bay Area land since the Gold Rush, but that era ended this week, the San Francisco Chronicle reports: The Pattersons have donated the last of their land—almost 300 acres—to the East Bay Regional Park District. The $10 million donation is... More »

Falling Tree Kills Pregnant Woman in NYC Park

Yingyi Li-Dikov, 30, dead on arrival at Queens hospital

(Newser) - A 60-foot oak tree crashed onto a New York City woman who was sitting on a bench in a Queens park last night, killing her before she reached the hospital. Making the tragic story even crueler: 30-year-old Yingyi Li-Dikov was 6 months pregnant. A witness describes an awful scene to... More »

Brooklyn Honors Beastie Boy With a Park

Adam Yauch gets honor a year after his death

(Newser) - Beastie Boy Adam Yauch died almost exactly a year ago of cancer, and today he got a nice tribute from his hometown of Brooklyn. The parks department renamed a small park in his honor, reports USA Today . "This is real! And it is awesome," declares Daily Intel . (Here'... More »

City's Novel Way to Oust Perverts: Build a Tiny Park

... because sex offenders can't live nearby

(Newser) - Los Angeles has started building a city park that will be smaller than some backyards, only one-fifth of an acre in size. No matter, explains the LA Times . The point isn't to celebrate the great outdoors, it's to force 33 registered sex offenders out of an apartment building... More »

New York City's Neglected Killers: Trees

'Times' reveals overstretched, dangerous system of risk management

(Newser) - Over the past decade, at least 10 lawsuits have been filed over deaths or injuries from falling tree limbs or branches in New York City, a disturbing problem kept rather quiet by the city. In an extensive piece on the subject—the first in a series of three—the New ... More »

Pistol-Packin' Visitors Now Allowed in National Parks

Congress ditches federal gun restrictions

(Newser) - Be extra nice to the people you meet in Yellowstone—it's now legal for visitors to carry loaded, concealed guns there and in other national parks. Congress has stripped federal firearms restrictions in the parks, leaving limits up to the states where they're located. For nearly a century, the National... More »

Parks Boss Had 3400 Porn Pics; Feds Avert Gaze

Report overlooks Gettysburg chief's thing for on-the-job sex shots

(Newser) - A federal investigative report has cleared a parks official even though he pored over thousands of porn pics on his computer while he was supposed to be working. The superintendent of the popular Gettysburg National Military Park was cleared of misconduct accusations linked to financial dealings with the Gettysburg Foundation,... More »

NYC Seeks Smoking Ban for Parks, Beaches

Smokers grumble over plan to make outdoors virtually smoke-free

(Newser) - Smokers banished outdoors by New York City's 2003 smoking ban may soon find much of the outdoors off-limits for lighting up as well, the New York Times reports. The city's health commissioner said yesterday that he plans to push for a full smoking ban in all the city's parks and... More »

Boys Stomp Newborn Fawn to Death

(Newser) - British police are on the hunt for three boys who stomped a newborn fawn to death, reports the BBC. A dogwalker, too frightened to confront the violent gang, witnessed the attack in a park in Dorset. "In 23 years I have never seen anything quite as barbaric and horrendous... More »

San Diego Vows to Dress Down SoCal Nudists

But skinny dippers promise a fight over famed beach

(Newser) - Officials in San Diego County are drawing battle lines over those who give up tan lines. For years, naturists have flocked to San Onofre State Beach to skinny dip in seclusion—but after Labor Day, park rangers will issue citations to nudists at the iconic getaway, which even Richard Nixon... More »

'Unicorn' Deer Spotted in Italy

Similar anomalies may have inspired myths, experts say

(Newser) - A deer with a single horn in the center of its head has been spotted in an Italian nature preserve, triggering speculation that such anomalies may have helped give rise to unicorn myths, the AP reports. Experts say the year-old deer, born in captivity and nicknamed “Unicorn,” likely... More »

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