National Park Service Website Back Up
Back in December of last year, the NPS website was taken down as a result of a court order, along with websites for most of the rest of the Department of the Interior. Visitors attempting to reach the site at www.nps.gov were greeted by the mysterious message that the site was down due to "conditions outside our department.'' It seems a hacker had been able to access accounts managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs which manages around $500 million a year in royalties from land owned by over than 300,000 members of various Indian tribes. Oh, and did I mention? The Bureau of Indian Affairs is another branch of the vast Interior Department, same as the National Park Service.
Well, the good news is that the NPS website is finally back up and running as of mid-February. Quoting from the press release of February 12: "The reconnection of the NPS website was done with permission of the special master for the court who has been working with the Department of the Interior on information technology (IT) security. In accordance with a U.S. District Court order related to IT weaknesses found in the management of the Indian trust system, Internet access was disconnected on December 5, 2001."
So, the bottom line is that an excellent resource for nature photographers has been restored on the web. Along with excellent information and maps of the entire national park system, the website also has resources for those interested in restoration efforts and other projects sponsored by NPS. Overall, it's a wealth of information. If you haven't spent some time browsing through it, I highly recommend do so.