Saturday, October 31, 2015

NPOTA - National Parks On The Air for 2016

Crater Lake - Edit

In the news lately has been the announcement of the National Park Service Centennial Celebration. In 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) turns 100 years old! This is an exciting time and I'm even more excited about being involved with this milestone both professionally, and personally. And to make things even more exciting is the announcement of National Parks On The Air (NPOTA). Ham radio operators will be active from National Parks throughout the year. For those activating and for those chasing, the bands will be busy with celebration. I can see this being as big as the Triple Play Award when it first rolled out. But the most exciting part of this for me personally, is when my two worlds collide, NPS and Ham Radio!

Crater Lake National Park 2015
I will be looking forward to dragging my equipment to the lake and doing some operating throughout next year. If you remember, from my blog postings when I first arrived at Crater Lake, propagation was not very favorable at headquarters. But there are many places around the Historic RIM Drive that will yield some fantastic views and some great propagation. Even though I continue to downsize my shack at home, my portable equipment will be my main focus as it has for the last few years. Mother Nature will determine when most of Crater Lake's facilities, roads and trails will open next year. In a normal snow year, Rim drive would not fully open until late June or even early July. With the Pacific El Nino predictions, I'm curious as to what this will bring to Crater Lake during the winter of 2015/2016.   

This is a great excuse to get out, enjoy your National Parks and see the beauty our National Parks have to offer. Even if you are not active in ham radio, just visiting a National Park and helping the NPS celebrate this event will make memories that will last a lifetime. The ARRL has announced the rules for the event and if you plan on operating, please make sure you review the rules first. Depending on the park, size of operation, activating from a National Park may require a Special Use Permit, so please contact the park you plan on operating from for any restrictions, etc. Always think safety first and let's make some noise on the bands from some of the most breathtaking landscapes you could ever imagine. I know it's on my agenda and getting outdoors is never a bad thing. QRZ?