In Big Bend National Park’s Santa Elena Canyon, the Rio Grande separates the United States (left) from Mexico (right).
Instead of building a wall on the US-Mexico border, a landscape architect calls for restoring the Rio Grande and turning its course into an international park – an idea first proposed in the 1930s.
Browns Canyon National Monument, Colorado.
Bob Wick, BLM
Within the next month, the Trump administration may move to abolish or shrink up to two dozen national monuments. Our experts explain why these sites matter and whether presidents can undo them.
A red fox listening for prey under the snow in Yellowstone National Park. Noise can affect foxes and other animals that rely on their hearing when they hunt.
A recent study finds that noise from human activities is intruding into many parks and other protected areas. Creating quiet zones and noise corridors can help reduce impacts from noise pollution.
The Trump administration will review the status of The Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, one of the country’s most significant cultural sites.
Bureau of Land Management
Trump wants to scale back national monuments on federal lands in the name of boosting the economy. But this would undo decades of investments to manage our cultural and ecological resources.
Public goods come in many forms, from highways to magnificent mountains.
Road sign via www.shutterstock.com
The U.S. owes much of its prosperity to investment in public goods like highways, parks and schools. Trump's budget poses a threat to these goods, which have already been on the decline.
The Simien mountains in Ethiopia are one of the world’s most threatened natural heritage sites.
Simien mountains image from www.shutterstock.com
You'd hope we wouldn't flatten the pyramids to build a highway. But that's exactly what's happening to the world's natural heritage sites.
Cleared habitat in Niassa Reserve, Mozambique.
Since 1992, an area of land two-thirds the size of Australia has been converted to human use.
There are fewer than a thousand Graveside gorge wattles in Kakadu National Park.
We know very little about Australia's most threatened plants.
A valuable harvest.
American ginseng, a slow-growing native plant long used in traditional medicine, was abundant in colonial times. Now illegal harvesting and other stresses are pushing it close to extinction.
Wild horses are wreaking havoc in Australia’s mountains.
Long Road Photography (formerly Aff)/Flickr
Horses need to be removed from Australia's mountains. The debate now is around ethics and their role in Australian culture.
Zebras are among the larger wildlife doing well in protected areas.
New research shows protected areas are doing well at protecting large, iconic wildlife, but less well at helping smaller species.
Human climate change has shifted vegetation and wildlife upslope in Yosemite National Park.
The National Park Service's principal climate scientist explains why the parks are important laboratories for climate change research, and how climate change is altering the parks.
The endangered Hawaiian monk seal is one of the 7,000 species that gained a measure of protection.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is huge win for preservation, but it also poses outsized management challenges for the National Park Service.
Camping under the Milky Way, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Emily Ogden, National Park Service/Flickr
As the National Park Service turns 100 years old, two conservation scholars and former park rangers respond to critics who support privatizing national parks or putting them under state control.
Cheetahs have experienced severe range contractions, their numbers declining markedly in many protected areas.
60% of the world’s largest carnivores and herbivores are classified as being threatened with extinction
Ancestral Pueblo carving at Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico.
Steven C. Price/Wikipedia
When we think of national parks, many people picture geysers or mountain peaks. But the park system also protects historic sites and objects that show how the U.S. has evolved into a diverse society.
Viewing wildlife in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
National Park Service/Flickr
A study estimates that Americans would pay $92 billion yearly in extra taxes to protect national parks. But the Trump Administration's budget calls for cuts.
Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, built by Anasazi c. 1200. The Antiquities Act was passed to protect such sites from looters.
National Park Service
The 1906 Antiquities Act gives presidents unilateral power to protect land as national monuments. The law has saved important places, but has also fueled intense conflicts over land control.
Sunrise on Angel’s Window, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park.
National Park Service/Wikimedia
Why do Americans revere the Grand Canyon? It taught us to look at nature in a new way, and to respect iconic places by leaving them alone.
The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is part of a complicated history of land in the western US.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Like much federal land in the US West, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has a long history tied to Native Americans’ plight and conflicts between settlers and the federal government.