National Park Service

Zinke Perdue Agriculture Interior
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Friday morning two U.S. Cabinet members visited Boise: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. 

In a conference room high about the Boise State University football stadium, Secretaries Perdue and Zinke spoke about land management.

They were introduced by Celia Gould, Idaho's Director of Agriculture, who observed that the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture cover a lot of ground in the state. "This is possibly the first time in Idaho's history," she quipped, "that we have had the two largest land-owners in the state."

Timelapsed / Flickr

Visitors to National Park Service land in Idaho brought in almost $40 million to the state economy last year.

A new report from National Parks found that almost 629,000 people came to Idaho monuments and historic sites in 2016. They spent $31 million and created 525 jobs. That had a cumulative benefit of almost $40 million to Idaho’s economy.

There are seven facilities in Idaho managed by the National Park Service. That includes the Minidoka National Historical Site and Craters of the Moon National Monument.

AP

President Donald Trump is donating the first three months of his salary to the National Park Service.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer handed an oversized check for $78,333.32 to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke during Monday's briefing.

The billionaire businessman turned president had promised to forgo his presidential salary. By law he must be paid, so he is donating the money. Taxpayers can write off such donations, potentially lowering their income taxes.

AP

Visits to U.S. national parks set a record in 2016 for the third consecutive year as landmarks such Zion, Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain experienced historic levels of popularity that brought collateral headaches stemming from overcrowded roads and trails and increasing visitor misbehavior.

At many parks, visitors waited an hour or more in cars to get through entrance gates and then spent the day trying to outmaneuver fellow visitors for parking spots and room on popular trails. They left behind enormous amounts of trash and sometimes, human waste.

nps.gov

National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis has had a higher profile than most people who’ve held his position. That’s because the National Park Service this year turned 100 years old. Events to honor the centennial included a summer-long celebration and a push to get more people to connect with America’s outdoor treasures.

Tonight, Jarvis will offer a lecture as a guest of Boise State’s Andrus Center for Public Policy.

Ahead of his visit, our Frankie Barnhill spoke with Jarvis, a 40-year national parks employee. You can hear their conversation below.

Happy 100th Birthday, National Park Service!  

We asked, and you provided. Earlier this week we put out a request to our audience to send in their favorite memory from one of the 58 national parks in the U.S. Turns out, ya'll *love* national parks. (Some of us at BSPR even shared our best vacay pics.) 

So without further ado, below are your photos, videos, memories -- and even a painting! -- gratefully shared with the world. Thanks for contributing to our "birthday gift!"

Department of Interior

In an address at the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C., Interior Secretary Sally Jewell stressed the need for what she characterized as a "major course correction" in conservation. Despite her location at the nation's capital, the majority of her comments were about places thousands of miles away. 

Craters of the Moon National Monument / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Parks Service (NPS) is offering free admission to all parks, preserves, monuments and historical sites through April 24. The annual week of freebies has added meaning this spring: the NPS is celebrating its centennial in 2016.