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Feb 25th
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Efforts to recover the body of Mount Rainier National Park Climbing Ranger Nick Hall continued Sunday, June 24, 2012, with bad weather and predictions of more snow and clouds hampering operations.

Hall, 33, fell approximately 2,500 feet down the Emmons Glacier on Mount Rainier on Thursday, June 21, during a rescue attempt in which four climbers fell into a crevasse on the glacier.
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White-out conditions at 10,000 feet continue to hamper rescue efforts to bring the final climber off Mt. Rainier, a rescue attempt that claimed the life of National Park Service Ranger Nick Hall on Thursday, June 21, 2012.

As of late afternoon Friday, a spokesperson for Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington said efforts to bring both climber Stacy Wren safely off the mountain, and recover the body of Hall, were continuing.
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A hand-crafted reproduction of a Civil War-era ambulance wagon is now on exhibit at Fort Scott National Historic Site in Kansas and will enhance visitor understanding of Fort Scott's role in America's bloodiest conflict.

The ambulance, historically used to transport wounded soldiers to hospitals, accommodates four patients on stretchers and up to six seated in front and back.
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Washita Battlefield National Historic Site near Cheyenne, Okla. will initiate its regularly scheduled summer interpretive talks and tours beginning Memorial Day weekend May 26, 2012.

The site protects and interprets the setting along the Washita River where Lt. Col. George A. Custer led the 7th U.S. Cavalry on a surprise dawn attack against the Southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle on Nov. 27, 1868.
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The USS Arizona Memorial turns 50 years old this year, and to commemorate the 50th anniversary, and to recognize Memorial Day 2012, the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii will be hosting a number of special events from May 25 to May 28.
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Golden Spike National Historic Site near Brigham City, Utah,will commemorate the 143rd anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 2012 with a variety of fun activities.

This year's observance will include a special ceremony with guest speakers, honoring those that lost their lives while building the transcontinental railroad, two re-enactment ceremonies, and live music.
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Explore what a visit to the doctor really was like on the frontier during the 1880s by making a trip to the Fort Davis National Historic Site in Texas.

Fort Davis is one of the best surviving examples of an Indian Wars' frontier military post in the Southwest.

New exhibits in the fort's Post Hospital now give a realistic look at how medicine was practiced, including the medical equipment available at the time.
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Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is offering a limited number of backcountry ranger-guided hikes in 2012, including the chance to see the rarely-visited Mug House cliff dwelling.

These ranger-guided hikes include a two-hour hike to Square Tower House, a two-hour hike to Mug House, and a four-hour hike on Wetherill Mesa offered in September. Details of each hike are listed below.
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Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, Kansas is starting its prescribed fire season, with burn periods running from March 26 through mid-April 2012, Superintendent Wendy Lauritzen said.

Prescribed fire is a management tool used to promote a healthy prairie, she added.
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Zion National Park in Utah has changed its wilderness permit system to allow visitors to reserve last minute slot canyon day use permits via an online reservation system.

This new system will eliminate the need for visitors to wait in line at the visitor center for permits.
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The Hawaii Island Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project has recorded one of its most historic sea turtle nesting seasons in 22 years, including the first recorded green turtle nesting on the island of Hawaii.

The project also recorded a rare daytime nesting by a hawksbill turtle, and an increase in the number of newly tagged female hawksbills.
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Dinosaur National Monument is one of the West's most thrilling places to see, offering visitors the chance to see the bones fossils they left behind to help tell their story.

Noted paleontologist Earl Douglass started excavations at the site in 1909. He found numerous fossil specimens ending up in museums around the world. When excavations eventually ended, more than 1,500 fossils were left in place on the cliff face so visitors could see them exactly as they were found.
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A $27.7 million reconstruction project of the lower portion of Rocky Mountain National Park's Bear Lake Road begins March 5, 2012 and visitors should expect major construction work delays for the next two years.

The construction will take place on Bear Lake Road from the junction of Trail Ridge Road/Highway 36 to the Park & Ride - Glacier Basin Campground intersection, covering 5.1 miles.

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In honor of Black History Month, Homestead National Monument of America is offering two special programs in February about the African American experience in Western expansion.

On Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 at 1 p.m., Historian Blake Bell will offer a special program about the African American Exodus out of the post-Reconstruction South. Bell will cover this short, but important era in American History.

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Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico will host a World Heritage 25th Anniversary Celebration on Feb. 24, 2012 with an all-day commemoration.

The 25th anniversary celebration will bring renewed attention to the honor of World Heritage designation. Entrance fees will be waived all day on Feb. 24 so the public can attend the celebration for free. Aztec Ruins will offer a unique World Heritage junior ranger badge and certificate all day and show documentary videos about World Heritage.
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"Mr. Elusive" now has a new lease on life thanks to volunteers and staff members from Point Reyes National Seashore and The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) who were able to catch the elusive northern elephant seal and remove the plastic strap entangled around his neck.

On Jan. 10, 2012, the happy ending was achieved when park rangers from Point Reyes spotted the elephant seal nicknamed Mr. Elusive near Drake's Beach above San Francisco and called veterinarians and volunteers from TMMC.
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Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico reopened to the public Jan. 10, 2012 following completion of repair work to the West Fork Bridge on Highway 15.

The repairs were necessary due to damage caused by flooding in 2008 and 2010, said Gila Cliff Dwellings. Superintendent Steve Riley.
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The staff of George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Mo. is inviting visitors to have "Coffee with Carver" at 10 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2012, inside the visitor center.

This new program will feature a different topic of conversation each third Thursday, from January through March.

January's conversation is the "Usefulness of All Things." A park ranger will give a short talk showing examples of how George Washington Carver found value and beauty in common materials.
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Four pages of American history which changed the shape of the nation will be on display at Homestead National Monument in America located in Beatrice, Neb. from April 25 through May 28, 2012.

Those four pages made up the Homestead Act of 1862, which is considered one of the 100 most important documents in the National Archives. When not on display the document is housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
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The entire ground floor of President Lyndon Johnson's Texas White House, including Johnson's bedroom suites, are now open for the public to tour.

While visitors could tour the ranch lands, the Texas White House, located near Stonewall, Texas, remained closed to the public through the life of Mrs. Johnson.

Following the death of the former first lady in July 2007, the first room, President Johnson's office, was restored to its 1960s appearance and opened for tours in August 2008.
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