Great Basin Ranger Blog

Crawling Creatures of the Caves

The excitement of discovery didn't end with Absalom Lehman, or even with the explorers in the 1950s who found the Gypsum Annex, a previously unknown room in the Lehman Caves. New caves have been discovered in relatively recent years, bringing the total to 43 known caves in Great Basin National Park. Scientist, and others, have been even more excited with the diversity of creatures that have been found underground within the park.

The well-known cave dwellers are various species of bats, bushy-tailedwoodrats(better known as packrats), and cave crickets.All of these animals are very comfortable in the caves, but also spend much of their lives feeding outside.

During the last century, small animals have shown a capacity for life not previously known.Small cave dwellers spend

The National Park Service and Night Sky Protection

Night sky pollution and night sky protection is a very important and urgent resource protection issue to the National Park Service (NPS).  Part of the legislation that created the NPS in 1916, as well as our mission statement is to "…to conserve the scenery, the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations..."  The NPS Night Sky Team recognizes that "perhaps for too long we have ignored the other half of the scenery, the half that is night. Visitors to National Parks often are surprised and delighted to view the splendor of the cosmos. For many, it is an inspirational moment." 

As with many places throughout our

Be a Hero: Wash your Clothes (Information about White Nose Syndrome)

We know little about White Nose Syndrome (WNS) other than that it is a fungus that affects bats during hibernation and has devastating consequences on their populations.  What do we know about bats?   We know a lot, actually, and we would like to know more.  Bats play a key role in the ecosystem from pollinating important desert plants and contributing to reforestation by disseminating seeds all the way to making our lives simpler by eating bothersome insects that plague our fields and bite our skin in the spring and summer months.  Imagine, then, a world without bats.  Even if you think they are ugly, you would miss them more than you might realize.  That is why we are taking White Nose Syndrome seriously. First found in New York in 2006, it now ranges into Canada, and as far west as

When the Sun Sets in Great Basin National Park, the Universe is Revealed

Greetings from Great Basin National Park in Baker, Nevada. We are excited to be gearing up for a new summer of exploring the wonders of the night sky that a truly dark sky location can provide. Low humidity and low light pollution, combined with high elevation, create a unique window to our universe.

Our unique setting provides one the darkest locations in the continental United States (mag 7.2). Any location that is open, and away from outdoor lighting, will provide fantastic views. One of the best spots in the park is Mather Overlook, at an elevation of 9200 feet, can provide panoramic views with few obstructions.

Join park rangers every Wednesday and Saturday nights this summer for astronomy programs, as well as, all major summer holidays.

The second annual

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