Alaska Travel Planner
The 62nd edition of The Milepost ($29.95 U.S., $34.95 Canadian; Morris Communications) is now available for travelers planning or about to embark on a motorhome journey to Alaska.
The Milepost, which was first published in 1949, is an extensive travel guide that includes mile-by-mile highway logs for routes in Alaska, as well as northwestern Canada. The 784-page book includes information about ferry travel, with schedules for the Alaska Marine Highway System, BC Ferries, and the Inter-Island Ferry Authority. Readers will learn about the major attractions in Alaska, as well as information about camping and fishing, wildlife viewing, road conditions, sight-seeing, and more.
This year’s edition also includes special features about birding in southwestern Alaska, the history of the Alaska Highway, and warnings about wildlife that travelers may encounter during their trip.
The book boasts more than 800 color photos and 100 maps, including the Plan-A-Trip map that covers all routes leading to and within Alaska. The Milepost is available at bookstores, through online booksellers, via www.themilepost.com, or by calling (800) 726-4707.
America’s State Parks Alliance Launched
The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) has established America’s State Parks alliance (www.americasstateparks.com) to mobilize and educate the public and policymakers about the positive impact state parks have on public health and local economies.
Americans have demonstrated a strong interest in budget-friendly outdoor recreation and cultural tourism within easy access to home, paying more than 725 million visits per year to 6,000-plus state park sites.
“Building state parks creates jobs, and operating state parks stimulates outdoor recreation and tourism spending. That translates to a huge boon to our local economies,” said NASPD president Joe Elton, director of Virginia State Parks. “In 2009 visitors to state parks across America helped create a $20 billion economic impact, which is an incredible return on investment given that the overall budget expenditure nationwide is less than $2.3 billion.”
State parks also play a pivotal role in helping to combat obesity, one of the nation’s most pressing health issues. “Simple outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and camping on public lands and waters can serve as a gateway to a healthier lifestyle,” said former White House Fellow Michael Suk, M.D., a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Florida. “Most state parks draw the majority of their visitors from surrounding communities, and they see repeat visitation. They serve as an important asset that links recreation and public health.”
America’s State Parks will work collaboratively to share resources and practices, and to create national partnerships with corporations for stewardship programs that can assist with projects such as reforestation, trail preservation and maintenance, and solar-energy installations. NASPD board members representing each region of the country will govern the alliance.
Tracks To Adventure Suspends Mexico Operations
Tracks to Adventure, an FMCA commercial member that organizes RV caravan tours throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and overseas, has cancelled all scheduled tours of Mexico for the remainder of 2010 because of increased violence in that country. The U.S. State Department recently issued a more stringent travel warning for the Mexican states of Durango, Coahuila, and Chihuahua, which led the company to cancel the tours to ensure the safety of its clients.
Deposits paid by holders of reservations for cancelled Mexico tours will be refunded in full. For more information, call Tracks to Adventure at (800) 351-6053. Also, check the company’s Web site, www.tracksrvtours.com, for updates on the situation and whether future tours in Mexico will be scheduled.
Fee-Free Days At Public Lands, New National Parks Book Announced
To celebrate the launch of America’s Great Outdoors initiative, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a schedule of free admission days to many public lands. All national parks, national wildlife refuges, and many areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management will offer free admission on June 5-6, August 14-15, September 25 (Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).
More details about fee-free days and activities are available for the national parks at www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm; national wildlife refuges at www.fws.gov/refuges; and Bureau of Land Management areas at www.blm.gov.
Earlier in April, Secretary Salazar joined Postmaster General John Potter to release The Grandest Things: Our National Parks in Words, Images, and Stamps, a new book celebrating the history of U.S. national parks and featuring the postage stamps that have been issued over time to commemorate them.
The 116-page book includes a visual tour of more than 75 parks and monuments and also has a special stamp-collecting section that comes with nine stamps with mounts, including the 8-cent 1972 Old Faithful/Yellowstone stamp. The book’s retail price is $49.95.
Secretary Salazar and Mr. Potter also participated in the First Day of Issue ceremony for the Scenic American Landscapes postcard set that features picturesque sights from national parks.
Both the book and the postcards will be sold by national park bookstores and stamp-collecting catalogs and Web sites.