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The Source Highlights 
Park & Outdoor Recreation Application Highlights
Harrison Ford Voices Safety Broadcasts

Indiana JonesJACKSON, WY:  Who knows how things can go wrong better than Indiana Jones? So, it was natural that in 2023 Friends of Bridger Teton National Forest would ask actor Harrison Ford, who has property in the region, to record fire safety messages to broadcast on their three Information Radio Stations just installed in the Jackson Hole area.

Jackson radio station KHOL tells the story best, offering actual sound bites from Ford’s recordings to enjoy. Click this link to hear the radio story from local station KHOL and snips of the broadcast.

Scott Kosiba, Executive Director of Friends of Bridger-Teton National Forest told The Source, "We are thrilled to deploy Information Stations to better communicate messages related to wildfire risk and other critical responsible recreation information to the public. As the nonprofit partner to one of the largest National Forests in the US, these stations provide an invaluable tool to keep our forest users safe.”
Bridger-Teton Forest sign
Photo Courtesy of Journalist Hanna Merzbach & KHOL Radio
A life-long proponent of outdoor safety and conservation, Harrison Ford graciously agreed to voice the broadcast messages, themed “Know before You Go.”

Indy usually did.
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Heading for the Hills 
Visitors flock to Ohio's Hocking Hills State Park, causing overload concerns. 
              Naturalist Pat Quackenbush and Friend A Ranger-Led Hike in the Hocking Hills               
Pat Quackenbush + Owl  Hikers 
Photos Courtesy of Hocking Hills State Park
LOGAN, OH:  On fall weekends, thousands of Ohioans drive to places where their smartphones and devices are not designed to work. They take a network of two-lane roads to beautiful locales that feature fine fall foliage nestled in steep terrain, which sets the scene – but also blocks cell signals.  

One such venue is Hocking Hills State Park near Logan, Ohio. A premier destination, the Park has multiple public-use areas offering camping, fishing, hiking, cottages, dining, a visitor center and even a swimming pool. With construction of the visitor center in 2018, the Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources could at last reach out to people approaching the Park via information radio technology to keep them apprised of parking and traffic issues, before they get gridlocked…and frustrated.

On key autumn weekends, the Park’s well known Old Man’s Cave area fills early, causing long lines on area roads. Prior to 2018, there had been no means of reaching inbound visitors to let them know when parking lots are full, so they can divert to one of the other recreation areas nearby until congestion at Old Man’s Cave eases. Prior to purchase of the Park's Information Station, to test the info-radio-communication idea, it had utilized a temporary EventCAST System to meet, intending to make the service permanent in the near future.
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Layover Logistics
Flying Fowl a Frequent Favorite
Middle Creek geese
Snow Geese at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area
Shutterstock Photo
KLEINFELTERSVILLE, PA:  February is the best time of the year to seek out rural Pennsylvania, if you want to experience more geese and swans than you can shake your figurative stick at. After the groundhog has signaled that spring is on the horizon, waterfowl begin migrating north. Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area is one of the fowls' favorite “rest areas.” Where is Middle Creek? In the middle of nowhere. And that is just how the visiting birds and birdwatchers like it.

"We have 135,000 snow geese here [in February] and with that, hundreds to thousands of visitors daily," states Lauren Fenstermacher, Middle Creek’s Visitor Center Manager. "This is a large migration of snow geese and tundra swans. And when the waterfowl increases, so does visitation.” In 2018, the 6,000-acre wildlife area logged more snow geese that winter than any in recorded history – in excess of 200,000, which doesn’t include tundra swans and Canada geese that also show up. Then there are the 250,000 human guests that the Center also logs annually. That’s a lot of activity.

"Our rules and regulations can be confusing, if you are not a 'frequent flyer' here," advises Fenstermacher, "and they are all here to see the wildlife." That is why the Pennsylvania Game Commission installed a state-of-the-art Information Radio Station at the wildlife management area in the off-season to help ease the communication burden.

The informative "audio tour" broadcast on AM 1620 is heard up and down their entire wildlife viewing road so that when visitors leave the Center, they can listen continuously as they tour. This allows Center staff to focus on answering visitors’ questions rather than repeating the same general information for them so often. The 11-minute audio tour broadcast does that instead – 24 hours a day – 365 days a year.

Three goals for broadcasts:  the first is basic education on how to experience Middle Creek – information visitors need such as directions, visitor center functions and hours, seasonal road closures and important things not to do while visiting the sensitive environmental area. These functional facts are repeated three times during the production due to their importance. Interwoven as feature segments are wildlife info and viewing tips for the current season along with special segments describing the history and development of the facility.

Four different announcers are employed to add variety and maintain interest; and the station's TR.6000 HQ5.0 Transmitter delivers broadcast quality, wide-band audio. Listen to the broadcast. 

Lauren Fenstermacher intones that after the service went on the air, the visitor center received "many positive and enthusiastic responses, changing how people visit Middle Creek."
Grand Canyon National Park 
Photo by Bill Baker
Grand Canyon Information Station Shuts Down the Shut-Down Rumors
TUSAYAN, AZ:  In 2018, amidst rumours of a government shutdown, Canyon National Park used an Information Radio Station on 1610 AM, along with a changeable message sign (pictured above), to advise patrons of the Park’s actual status.

As it turned out, only certain services were unavailable. The Park itself was not closed – a fact that many potential visitors had been uncertain of.

The Park still relies upon this special EventCAST Station during high visitation months to encourage guests to park in the Town of Tusayan and take a shuttlebus into the Park, making Park operations more efficient and minimizing pollution from automobile exhaust.
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Fireman Erik Olson 
Fireman Erik Olson Standing beside BLM Antenna
Photo Courtesy of BLM
BLM's Red Rock Canyon National Conservancy Area
At the Red Rock Canyon National Conservancy Area west of Las Vegas, NV, the Bureau of Land Management in 2022 installed a RadioSAFE Emergency Radio System to inform visitors of rapidly changing conditions that can affect their safety.

Red Rock Canyon is a bowl-shaped area with a 5-mile loop road that can quickly become impassible due to a fast-burning fires or a weather-related events.

On any given day, thousands of visitors might be driving, hiking, biking or rock climbing in that vulnerable canyon area.
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Mount Rainier, First National Park to Add Networked Information Radio Stations
Mount Rainier National Park 
One of the Park's Main Entrances
Photo by Bill Baker
ASHFORD, WA:  It’s not news when a national park boasts multiple Information Radio Stations (TIS) that deliver special messages to visitors in multiple locations. It is news, however, when the broadcast messages on the radio stations are seamlessly managed across a network as was begun in September 2013. Mount Rainer National Park, located in western Washington State, at that time, installed such a system, which was intended to inform and advise visitors at five locations – including the Park’s three main entrances.

The system was designed to leverage the network backbone already in place among various national park facilities. The National Park Service began to utilize “Uploader” software, at that time, just released by Information Station Specialists to manage audio-file distribution to the radio stations from a library at park headquarters. "Uploader" allowed a program-loop of multiple files to be sent to each of the five stations in one action, saving staff considerable time.

Costs were lowered and audio quality was increased due to the elimination of telephone lines used to manage existing park radio stations. 

Three of the five networked locations (Ashford, Nisqually and Paradise) had Information Radio Stations. Two new networked stations at that time were planned for Ohanapecosh and White River.

Mount Rainier National Park was an early adopter of Information Station technology, in the 1980s.
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Highlights from More Parks
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Hear sample broadcasts.
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Information Radio Station is a generic term synonymous with Travelers Information Station (TIS), Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) / Highway Information Systems & Low Power Radio Stations (LPR). Operation of the stations is governed by FCC Part 90.242 Rules. A FCC license is required. Information Radio Stations may be fixed or portable. Subcomponents may include transmitter, antenna and ground system, digital voice player, wattmeter, cabinet with conventional or Corbin locks, lightning arrestors for RF, power and telephone lines, coaxial cable. Most stations employ black maximized antennas to discourage ice accumulation and security measures to prevent unauthorized program access. Options include synchronization, battery backup, solar power, remote programming by local, network or telco, multi-station audio distribution via RF or LAN / WAN or wireless network.