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National Park Service Wants Public Input on Wilderness Lands

National Park Service Wants Public Input on Wilderness Lands

The National Park Service wants to hear what people think about the future of the Wilderness Management Plan at the Lake Mead National Recreation Arena.

The meetings will focus on three alternatives to the plan already in place. The park service is looking at changes to public access and degree of management of the land.

In 1964, the Wilderness Act designated some of the most iconic landscapes in the country as protected wilderness. The act allows public access, including hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and horseback riding, with some restrictions.

An act in 2002 put more than 185,000 acres of public land at the lake under the Wilderness Act umbrella.

The meetings will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the following days and locations:

Lake Mead and Other Parks Waiving Entrance Fees for MLK Day

Lake Mead and Other Parks Waiving Entrance Fees for MLK Day

Visitors headed to the national parks for the Martin Luther King Jr. day long weekend will get in for free. The offer includes Lake Mead National Recreational Area and the Grand Canyon.

Some national forests have said they're doing the same for recreation sites.

Visitors who remain at the parks beyond Jan. 20 will have to pay the fee for the remainder of their stay. The waiver applies only to entrance fees and doesn't affect fees for camping, concessions and other activities.

The National Park Service has planned other fee-free days throughout the year.

 

New Operator Taking Over Lake Mead Boat Tours

New Operator Taking Over Lake Mead Boat Tours

Lake Mead National Recreation Area has awarded a contract to the national company Aramark to operate the park's sightseeing boat tours.

Aramark already runs hospitality services at state and national parks around the country, including Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Denali National Park & Preserve.

The contract is for 10 years. Aramark will operate the tours for a minimum of twice a day, five days a week March through October. The tours will also operate once per day, four days a week February through November

Lake Mead Cruises has operated the service for the past 25 years; however, the owners decided not to bid on the new contract.

Aramark will continue to offer snacks and drinks on the vessel and at the landing facilities. 

Free Entrance to Lake Mead Saturday

Free Entrance to Lake Mead Saturday

Lake Mead, along with public lands around the country, is offering free entry Sept. 28 for National Public Lands Day.

Entrance fees will be waived at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Fees for camping, lake use or concessions will still apply.

Besides getting in to the park for free, people will have a chance to help clean up the park.

From 8 a.m. to noon, volunteers can help clean up one of the most popular spots for summer visitors, Government Wash. Individuals, families and groups are encouraged to help. The first 100 participants will get a free one-time pass to the park. To register, contact Chris Pietrafeso at (702) 293-8722 or christoper_pietrafeso@nps.gov.

There will also be discounts available at the Western National Parks Association Bookstore inside the Alan Bible Visitor Center. There will be a 15 percent discount on bookstore items like T-shirts, books, postcards and other gifts.

Construction Underway at Calville Bay

Construction Underway at Calville Bay

A major construction project at Calville Bay at Lake Mead has started.

Crews will be working to improve the launch ramp at the popular boating area. The current upper asphalt portion of the ramp will be demolished and removed. It will be replaced with what is known as V-grooved reinforced concrete.

The change will allow for better traction and drainage. A sidewalk will also be installed.

The launch ramp will stay open during the construction; however, the upper 300 feet of the ramp will be temporarily reduced to one lane in and out.

The project started Thursday and is expected to be finished by September 30.

Funding for the project was provided by the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act.  

Stargazing Event This Weekend at Lake Mead

Stargazing Event This Weekend at Lake Mead

Staring into the night sky fascinates many, and a party near Lake Mead is intended to feed their curiosity.

Lake Mead Institute is hosting a stargazing party at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Water Safety Center near Boulder Beach.

The event will be led by Jon Zander, a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory solar system ambassador. Zander worked with the Mars Missions and is volunteering for the Juno Mission.

Park Service Reports Jump in Visitors to Lake Mead Area

Park Service Reports Jump in Visitors to Lake Mead Area

More people are enjoying the natural beauty of southern Nevada with a trip to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

According to park officials, the area saw a 6 percent increase in visitors this year over last year. The park is the fifth most visited national park in the United States.

In June, 873,323 people visited the area, and more than 3 million visited in the first six months of the year.

The most popular part of the park is Katherine Landing on Lake Mohave near Laughlin, park officials said. Visitation to that section has gone up 105 percent over last year.

As for Lake Mead, the park service says Hemenway Harbor is the most popular destination with more than 325,000 people visiting so far this year.