Buy Unleashing Colter's Hell, Lost Cause, and Need To Know three of Amazon's top selling national park thrillers today!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

National Park Madness!

The NCAA Basketball tournament is almost upon us. The annual playoffs to determine the best team in college basketball is referred to by fans as March Madness! Fans fill out brackets every year, trying to predict who will come home with the trophy.

In the spirit of March Madness, Park thrillers has created its own tournament called PARK MADNESS.  Sixty four of America's best national parks go head to head to determine the country's over all best!

The Park Madness brackets are below.  Did your favorite park make the tournament?  Who got slighted? Who got in who shouldn't? Which park will be crowned number 1? 

Check back in the coming days to see who advances to the finals!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

And the Oscar for Best Setting goes to...

Tonight in Southern California, Hollywood celebrates the 87th Academy Awards ceremony.  While most Oscar fans wouldn't normally think to put the national heritage and tinsel town together, many of our favorite movies are set in national parks.

Here is a listing of my all time favorite movies set in national parks.

1. Star Wars ~ Death Valley National Park
2. Indiana Jones, the Last Crusade ~ Arches National Park
3. Close Encounters ~ Devil's Tower National Monument
4. Forest Gump ~ Glacier National Park
5. Gettysburg ~ Gettysburg National Battlefield
6. JFK ~ National Capitol Memorials and Monuments
7. Star Trek V ~ Yosemite National Park
8. National Treasure ~ Independence Hall National Historic Park
9. Dances with Wolves ~ Badlands National Park
10. Planet of the Apes ~ Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Tonight's Academy Awards will present statues in 24 categories from Best Movie to Best Make up.  Perhaps its time for a 25th category, Best Setting.  The national parks would likely win ever year.

What are your favorite movies shot in national parks?

Sean Smith is a former Yellowstone Ranger, and an award winning conservationist, TEDx speaker, and author. He writes national park thrillers from his home in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park. To learn more about his conservation work and novels, follow him on twitter: @parkthrillers

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Word is Spreading. Check out Lost Cause!

Word is spreading!  Check out Lost Cause, the best selling National Park, Civil War Thriller by former Park Ranger Sean Smith.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Need to Know: 2000 words!

Started writing in Need to Know, the next Grayson Cole national park thriller.

Need to Know is a plot-twisting story set at Mount Rainier. The thriller's story harkens back to the cold war and explores the national security implications of Mount Rainier's connection to aliens.

Put 2,000 words into the first chapter the other day.

Book should be out in 2016!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Video: Hakuna Matata

Below is a link to my recent presentation and discussion on my trip to Tanzania.  In it are images, history, and anecdotes of the adventure.  Check it out here.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

National Parks or Amusement Parks?

Navy Pier Amusement Park
Back in 2001, I was the lead author on a piece for the George Wright Society's Biennial Conference on the Park Service's struggle to get control of recreation, especially motorized thrillcraft.  Over the next several years, the agency created rules banning jetski from nearly every national park, Yellowstone specific winter regulations and ORV rules for parks like Big Cypress.

The Park Service created many of these headaches through a misinterpretation of the Organic Act.  The Park Service believes the law requires the agency to balance recreation and conservation. It doesn't. But even if it did, the Park Service's management of the "recreation vs. conservation" balance currently favors an ever expanding number of recreational pursuits.  Many of which do not need a park setting to enjoy.

In the George Wright piece, my co-authors and I note the battle to determine the appropriateness of jet skis, snowmobiles, and off-road vehicles in the National Park System is part of a much larger struggle over what type of vision will guide future of national parks like Yellowstone, Glacier, and the Everglades. Will our national parks remain those sites where America protects some of its most sacred ideas, hopes, and places, or will they be allowed to degrade into nothing more than amusement parks?  Sadly, even after 15 years the jury is still out on this question.