Recent comments

  • Dinosaur National Monument Proposes Doubling Of Entrance Fee   18 hours 22 min ago

    $20 per carload for a week is hardly unreasonable, and it's worth noting that use of fee money is restricted to specific types of uses; see the examples cited in the story, such as the shuttle and trail projects that directly benefit visitors. Fee revenue can't be used for those management salaries that some harp about ad nauseum. If you want your money to go where it most benefits visitors & park resources instead of "overhead" then entrance & most user fees offer the best bang for your bucks, as compared to appropriated tax dollars.

  • Dinosaur National Monument Proposes Doubling Of Entrance Fee   18 hours 50 min ago

    $20 for a week for a vehicle is a bargain for our beautiful parks. People (users) tend to think "my taxes should pay for this," when, really, users of the parks, not the entire tax-paying public should pay their fair share. They USE the park, they wear out facilities, they require the services. As I said, still a bargain.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   19 hours 57 min ago

    Climate deniers like to use 1998 as a 'starting' point for their 'science.'

    If you do a least squares regression analysis ( the proper way to measure trends) you will see the trend is flat. Least squares regression equalizes the impact of any given year whether it is the first year, middle year or last year. Looks like you are the denier not those that know how to measure trends.

    The IPCC models have been horribly wrong. Time to fix the alarm, not tear down the house.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Don't Let The Weather Get You Down   20 hours 24 min ago

    Great idea on the bean bag. Truthfully, yours might hold up better than mine.

  • Dinosaur National Monument Proposes Doubling Of Entrance Fee   21 hours 6 min ago

    Its astonishing that the fee drunkards at NPS HQ are partying like Calligula while visitation to "their" parks drops. Heaven forbid they ever tighten their belts and cut bureaucrats. Does anyone know the last time the NPS tightened their salary belts? Has it ever happened?

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   21 hours 17 min ago

    Are you denying that temperatures have been flat the last 18 years?

    1998 was an exceptional year. All scientists admit that and know that. However, if you compare 1997 to today, the earth is warmer. If you compare 1999 to today, the earth is warmer. In fact, nine of the top ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000 (the exception was 1998). If 2014 continues as it has, 2014 will become the hottest year ever.

    Climate deniers like to use 1998 as a 'starting' point for their 'science.' It was one exceptional year. However, 2005 and 2010 were warmer than 1998. So no, the temperature has not been "flat the last 18 years." It has been steadily getting hotter.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   21 hours 22 min ago

    Alfred - Thanks for your continued contribution of thoughtful, and thought-provoking, comments.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Don't Let The Weather Get You Down   1 day 6 hours ago

    Thank you Lee, David and Rick, much appreciated. And, David, I have been watching that selfie with wildlife trick repeat itself in terrifying ways. Think I will start digging through images and talk about that in my next column. Thanks for the idea.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Don't Let The Weather Get You Down   1 day 6 hours ago

    Tyler, thanks for your observations. Definitely no complaints on my part, was just stating the facts of photography, facts that no one can deny. And, yes, I chose to say "shutter," instead of ISO (Thanks David Crowl) because the photogrpahy column is to provide tips for everyone, not just the pros. I try to mix it up so, hopefully, everyone finds something that they can use. Most non-pros don't really know what ISO is but they do push a shutter button. If there is nothing here that you can use, well, you know the saying, not everyone can be pleased. And, it is an honor to provide content to National Parks Traveler once a month. A big portion of my photography is educating people about wildlife and advocating for the national parks, so this is just one more thing that I do for visitors to our parks. I get paid for some other things and live simply so that I can follow my passion - it isn't all about money, it is all about feeling good when I lay my head down at night.

  • Mystery Photo Revealed: It's The Old Man In The Lake!   1 day 7 hours ago

    A couple of issues of Nature Notes from Crater Lake describes a bit about the history of the Old Man of the Lake, including a couple of old photos (one of which is below).

    1938: http://www.npshistory.com/nature_notes/crla/vol11-3c.htm#3

    1996: http://www.npshistory.com/nature_notes/crla/vol27e.htm#4http://www.npshistory.com/nature_notes/crla/nn-vol27.jpg

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 7 hours ago

    Al, being neither a historian nor a scientist, and being a few years now from having been a professional wordsmith, I look for simple answers. I'm also a fairly pagan man, and will leave it to others to take it upon themselves to declare what their various deities do or don't do.

    I see one thing agreed upon - stuff is happening. Worldwide climate is changing. Seems that most all folks on all sides agree upon that.

    Given that, I then ask - are we making it worse, and if so, what can we do to mitigate it.

    "Simplistic" is a term of derision I'm used to hearing from the Usual Suspects; I'm quite content, however, in living simply and looking to simple answers to the challenges of life.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Don't Let The Weather Get You Down   1 day 7 hours ago

    Rick B., I prefer getting paid for my photography, not giving it away for free, I guess it's a pro thing.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 7 hours ago

    My congratulations to Dr. Markham for such a fair and reasoned response. Here remains the problem I have as a historian. In the first place, I remember my history, too. Growing up in Binghamton, New York, in the 1950s, I remember the terrible hurricanes and thunderstorms before anyone talked of global warming and, in 1972, Hurricane Agnes, which ripped apart the Northeast long before “Super Storm Sandy.” Agnes was in fact the most damaging hurricane to date in American history, arriving as she did in the month of June, before the pundits could catch their breath and warn us that June hurricanes are generally rare. The flooding up and down the Susquehanna River Valley was worse than the greatest previous flood in 1936.

    I also remember teaching at UC Santa Barbara from a wonderful film, "Where Did the Colorado River Go?," that in 1973. In the early 1990s, Marc Reisner's book, Cadillac Desert, picked up where the film left off, repeating the theme of western water policy run amok. Apparently, all of the government’s stream flow estimates for the Colorado—and other major western rivers—were based on abnormal decades of excess flow. Scientists in the 1920s measured the excess flow and not the historical flow, which was on average 4 million acre feet per year less than what was observable in 1920.

    Is it global warming emptying the Colorado River now—and causing all of those western wildfires—or in fact a return to “normal” average stream flows and precipitation going back hundreds of years? As Marc Reisner repeatedly reminded us, it’s a desert, after all. “Water flows uphill toward money” was how he interpreted science’s reliance on erroneous data.

    When we say that scientists “know” this or that, the question is what do they really know? What do any of us “know,” for that matter, except the experience we are living now. In the end, that is all Dan Botkin is saying. We need to be cautious in our assumptions, even when we think we “know.” Again, sea levels have been generally “rising” for the past 10,000 years. They had to “rise” or there would be no New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and all the rest. I live but two blocks from a major erratic dumped by the retreating glaciers in Seattle, which 10,000 years ago was covered with several thousand feet of ice. No global warming, no Seattle, or for that matter, Binghamton, New York.

    Running for mayor of Seattle in 2005, I warned the city not to build the waterfront tunnel based on glacial science and seismology. But no, “their” scientists knew better than “my” scientists, and now the $100 million drill—Big Bertha—is hopelessly stuck in the muck. “Their” engineers “promise” to have her up and running by next March, at which time the 7.5 earthquake will probably hit (the tunnel runs directly across the fault) and we won’t have to worry about Big Bertha’s progress anymore.

    Scientists are not infallible just because they call themselves scientists. But don’t get comfortable just yet. It is the public’s wish list of make-money projects driving so much of this mess, as I found in running for mayor. What a scold I was! So the Seattle fault ruptures every 1,000 years, and it’s been 1,100 since the last rupture. Get over it, Al. We want the tunnel. After all, it will create jobs, and jobs, and jobs! “Free the Waterfront!” screamed the developers, as if the Waterfront were a slave in chains. “It’s a thing,” I reminded them, “and yes, it has a highway, but should we replace that just on a whim?” The highway is ugly but it won’t cost $6 billion, and now what will the tunnel cost?

    I love this debate; it’s timely and necessary. Hats off to Kurt for making it possible for every reader of the Traveler to think. Then think. If the issue is global warming, then why does every alleged solution come with an enormous price tag instead of simply learning to live within our means?

    Indeed, God is not dead. His storms will continue to blow and his earth will continue to shake. That’s our lot on Mother Earth—and always has been. Just ask the last group of immigrants struggling to reach North America from Asia, who instead drowned on the Bering Land Bridge. At least, God made it up to Moses. I only hope he will save Seattle.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Don't Let The Weather Get You Down   1 day 8 hours ago

    Being a cheapskate, I made my own beanbag. Filled a large baggie with a combination of dried beans and styrofoam pellets, thoroughly mixed, leaving a little room so the bag can mold itself to whatever it's sitting on. Sealed the bag (used some glue to make double sure) and then sewed the entire thing into a leg section from a pair of old jeans. It's the exact size I want, the styrofoam pellets cut the weight a little but not too much and if (as my husband predicts) I get lost someday pursuing the perfect photo, I can rip it all open and eat the beans.

  • Twenty-One-Year-Old New York Woman Named As Suspect In "Creepytings" Vandalism In Western Parks   1 day 8 hours ago

    If Miss Creepytings is seeking to mark her place in history, she need only be painting something on the edge of a scenic cliff when I'm passing by. I do not guarantee her immortality -- quite the opposite -- but the splat she makes when she lands ought to be quite colorfully artistic.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 10 hours ago

    Paul - I also expect businesses to defend themselves. I also expected the grizzly bear that has been terrorizing our town the past few weeks to flip over dumpsters. That doesn't mean that I welcomed it or wanted it to continue. Last night that particular bear was permanently encouraged to cease flipping dumpsters. The petro industry will be a much more difficult change.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 10 hours ago

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/10/26/the-unending-pause-ipcc-scientist-prof-mojib-latif-now-sees-global-warming-pause-extending-to-30-years

    Leading IPCC scientist Prof Mojib Latif extends the climate warming pause to 2025. Will it ever end? Admits thier models have been 100% wrong.

    The Union Of Concerned Scientists is just a Democratic political action committe, I have far more confidence in Botkin's analysis.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 10 hours ago

    While Dr. Botkin rightly notes that sea level rise has been a problem for a long time, he doesn’t acknowledge that the rate of sea level rise is increasing as the ocean expands and glaciers and ice sheets melt due to global warming. Sea level is projected to continue increasing, threatening nearly all coastal areas.

    He does not acknowledge that the rate of sea level rise is increasing because it's not.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 11 hours ago

    Rick as much as I am probably favoring your stance on the issue, there is money on both sides and I would expect people to defend their businesses. There is money behind every study as well so we should assume some possible bias. It puts the onus on us to understand as much as possible and use our own intelligence to determine if the conclusions made are backed up by the measurable facts and then see if those results can be duplicated. You are right in that we need to leave the science in the hands of those capable of doing it.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 11 hours ago

    This would lead me, a layman, to make a logical leap that most of the impetus to deny mankind being a contributing factor would come from those with financial or philosophical or other vested rights in the petroleum industries.

    That leaves me out.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 11 hours ago

    EC, I don't know where you get your information.

    Are you denying that temperatures have been flat the last 18 years?

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 12 hours ago

    rdm24, we would like to think that media for the most part strives to stay neutral while offering differing views for public consumption, debate, and education.

    In the end, we believe our coverage of climate change has been quite extensive and encompassing, and would be remiss not to include Dr. Botkin's perspective. You can find more than 100 stories tied to climate change that we've generated under the following link, and we encourage you to peruse them.

    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/browse/Climate%20Change

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   1 day 12 hours ago

    IF mankind is a contributing factor, THEN one has to look at factories, internal combustion engines, and other petrochemical-based activities as prime movers.

    This would lead me, a layman, to make a logical leap that most of the impetus to deny mankind being a contributing factor would come from those with financial or philosophical or other vested rights in the petroleum industries.

    The science is capably in the hands of the scientists. Laymen like myself can simply follow the money.

  • Twenty-One-Year-Old New York Woman Named As Suspect In "Creepytings" Vandalism In Western Parks   1 day 12 hours ago

    Actually, what's the process for installing a statue on the National Mall? Isn't that the process NPS should use for allowing permanent art installations in Parks?

  • Twenty-One-Year-Old New York Woman Named As Suspect In "Creepytings" Vandalism In Western Parks   1 day 12 hours ago

    What is the standard the NPS uses to judge what should be protected and preserved?

    More to the point, NPS didn't apply any standard, because Casey Nocket acted illegally. If you want to install some artwork in a National Park, you can go through a permit process, and then argue about the standards that the NPS will apply your application.

    My guess is that anything permit, like Nocket's arcyllic paint, would not be permitted, but ephemeral art, like that of Andrew Goldsworthy, would be permitted.