Recent comments

  • Alaska Trip Helps High School Students Learn About Climate Change   3 weeks 8 hours ago

    Kurt,

    The lie is that those changes are caused by anything other than natural variations that have occurred for millions of years.

  • Alaska Trip Helps High School Students Learn About Climate Change   3 weeks 8 hours ago

    Beach, not sure what lies you're referring to. Have you been to Alaska? Here's what the state has to say:

    Alaska's Perspective

    The impacts of climate warming in Alaska are already occurring. These impacts include coastal erosion, increased storm effects, sea ice retreat and permafrost melt. The villages of Shishmaref, Kivalina, and Newtok have already begun relocation plans. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified over 160 additional rural communities threatened by erosion.

    http://www.climatechange.alaska.gov/

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 8 hours ago

    The reason there are not entrance fees in the Smokies is because the Tennessee legislature had the foresight to put a deed restriction on Newfound Gap road before giving it to the NPS. That deed says no toll can ever be enacted on this former state road. And I want to clear up another gross, overblown, NPS misrepresentation about the Smokies. The NPS claims 9 million visitors which is absolute, unmitigated bs. That aforementioned road is THE main thoroughfare between North Carolina and Tennessee. It was and still is a critical commercial route between the buffets at Pigeon Forge and the Casino in Cherokee. When the NPS puts their car counters out, they may well capture several million cars. However, most folks never leave their vehicles or step foot in the park. They are not driving the road to enjoy the scenery, hike a trail or fly fish. And many of those purported 9 million visitors are folks who drive that road every day. How do we know this? Well just look at the number of those 9 million who use the backcountry in one year. 79,000. That's it. And how many dayhike trails? How many go into a visitor center at Luftee or Sugarlands? Perhaps a few more.

    So to answer questions about padding numbers and why Smokies has no entrance fee, they do now. It's called a backcountry fee. Since they are deed restricted, the one place that garbage law known as FLREA can permit these crooks to back door a tax is in the backcountry. Please note that the NPS provides NO services in the backcountry but in order to justify the fee in the eyes of FLREA they provided us with a wonderful new registration system for previously empty campsites. Now we have the privilege of going to a website that works about half the darn time and requires us to use computer printers to print off the permit and makes us check boxes promising that we will not burn any wood larger than wrist size or burn any paper to start a fire. All this checked a box for FLREA.

    As a trail volunteer in the Smokies, I resent being taxed when the work in the backcountry is done by volunteers. There is a story on NPT today about trail work on the Chimneys. The money for that was DONATED, 100% by the Aslan foundation. Not the NPS. So if folks who use services aren't getting taxed, like equestrians who rip up trails to no end and innertubers who dam up the rivers and creeks for their little whitewater enhancement projects don't have to pay, the NPS will just go through FLREA and start charging people to view fireflies. Nickel and dime stuff. What do you think Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir would think of this? How about Mather and Kephart and the Rockefellers who donated a huge chunk for the Smokies. FDR said, upon dedication of the Smokies, "I hope the use of it will not be confined to people who come hither on Government specified days and on Government directed tours." " I hope that roads and paths and trails will still be built in the cause of the liberty of recreation."

    "What shall we be defending? The good earth of this land. our homes, our families-yes, and far more. We shall be defending a way of life which has given more freedom to the soul and body of man than ever has been realized in the world before, a way of life that has let men scale whatever heights they could scale without hurting their fellows, a way of life that has let men hold up their heads and admit no master but God".

    The NPS has assumed the role of God in this country's public lands. They have lost their way and FDR, like the TN legislature, must have seen it coming.

  • Alaska Trip Helps High School Students Learn About Climate Change   3 weeks 8 hours ago

    Beach - just a standard part of the indoctrination of the public school system. Forget about basic economics or the history/founding of our country or the US Constitution. Lets give them sex ed, diversity training and teach the religion of climate change.

  • Alaska Trip Helps High School Students Learn About Climate Change   3 weeks 8 hours ago

    “This is a model for experiential learning,”

    Very sad that they are being taught lies and being mislead by a once respectable agency. It would be interesting to know the details of the deception the NPS is using to brainwash our children.

  • Deadline Looming For Concessions At Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim   3 weeks 9 hours ago

    The figure, arrived at through arbitration, was $165 million in 2002. Since then its has grown to $198 million, according to park officials.

    Obviously that figure is too high. If the facilities were really worth that, the other concessionaires would have no problem paying that.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 20 hours ago

    And another thing! (kidding) Megera, I do share some of your frustration that in person comments for all practical purposes require you to live near the parks. This seems to validate others accusations that it is not a genuine attempt to get the true views of the public. I am sure the data is there but I would guess the majority of visitors to any park come from distances not conducive to showing up for what amounts to a town hall meeting. You may as well propose a raise to international visitors but require them to come to the U.S. to give their opinion. I am also wondering what the differences in wages play in opinions. If one lives and works in San Francisco for example a $50 daily entrance fee may seem reasonable to get into Yosemite while someone living in say Mississippi or West Virginia it might seem outrageous. I am not saying there are not wealthy or poor people in every state just what one’s own personal income or economic status will play a large part in their opinion. Toss in average wage discrepancies from state to state and the discussion gets even more interesting. OK, I’ve rambled enough for one night J

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 20 hours ago

    Megera, you can comment online per the link in the article. I certainly did. I've stated before the entrance fees and other fees have always felt like a bargain to me but it now seems we are being inundated by fee increases at every twist of the trail. In times of stagflation if not deflation, wages in decline these proposals seem excessive. I do share EC's sentiments that the closer to the user paying for the services the better but this needs to apply to more than just the parks. I am still baffled by the lack of fees in the east particularily the smokies. How does that make any sense?

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 22 hours ago

    Carefull there Megaera, Lee will come after you with his "great American entitilement mentality" comment. But then, probably not. You are on "his side" so consistency of the application of that charge will be abandoned for ideology. Too bad, it is probably deserved here.

    Yes our taxes go to the basic establishment and maintainance of the parks to make sure they exist. But when it comes to providing interprative programs, signage, road/trail maintance, consessions, etc, it is only appropriate that those that use, pay.

    In my opinion, the parks are like most other things. The closer we can get the payers to the users the better.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Nice sentiment, rmackie.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    In my own view, fee increases are the result of a failure by Congress to provide adequate funding for core operational and maintenance needs in these parks and other public lands. Like many of our fee proposals, they are regressive in nature, those least able to afford them are affected the most.

    That's the real issue.

    I also resent that those of us outside Yellowstone's immediate vicinity are not allowed to comment without traveling there.

    Whatever happened to funding the national parks through our taxes???

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Just curious where, in the above story or Zebulon's comment, you found anything about "50 dollars for sleeping on the ground"? I believe Zebulon was referring to the proposed increase of $5 per car for a multiday entrance fee. His point seemed to be that he wouldn't object to $50 instead of the proposed $30 per car entrance fee.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    50 dollars for sleeping on the ground. What amenities, Zebulon, are provided by the NPS for that privilege which you think should be comparable to low end hotels?

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Frankly, that $5 simply keeps pace with inflation over the last 8 years. It's still a steal, and a drop in the bucket of what people spend to go to these parks. Frankly, they should make it $50, and it would still be affordable.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I have some reservations about the proposed fee increases for the National Parks. In my own view, fee increases are the result of a failure by Congress to provide adequate funding for core operational and maintenance needs in these parks and other public lands. Like many of our fee proposals, they are regressive in nature, those least able to afford them are affected the most. I see it daily in my fire related assignments in an iconic National Park. It is also my experience that fee demo programs work primarily for those highly visited areas, the other areas are not doing so well.

    Generally speaking, I am not opposed to reasonable fees for entrance and camping, but I do not support charging a fee to hike a trail on public land. I have accepted the concept of a fee for reservations, that is an additional service, but do so because in some areas demand exceeds capacity and a quota is necessary. The Half Dome Trail in Yosemite is a good example.

    Parks and public land are one of our nations greatest legacies, at least in my view. We should take it seriously enough to demand they be taken care of by our elected officials. Pontificating statement on my part, but that is how I view the issue.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    ec -Thanks for your comment. This thread was in danger of sliding quickly downhill and off subject due to more tiring sniping between two regulars from the Smokies.

    Meanwhile, back on subject, what does at least one media source from the vicinity of Yellowstone think about the proposed increase? Here's one example in an editorial from a newspaper in Cody, Wyoming:

    "A $5 per car increase is justified and, in Yellowstone Park at least, the traffic is there to justify the hike and produce a significant financial impact...."Yellowstone is a place people from around the world want to visit, and no one ever fails to get their money’s worth."

    The editorial notes that fee revenue is "a key component to maintaining the park’s infrastructure, staff and programs."

    Local business interests stand to be hurt if a fee hike drives down visits to the park. At least this local paper doesn't think that will be the case.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Truth can hurt. And EC, no one outside of the locals in the Smokies care about the backcountry fees or even fees. So to apply the same logic to the few towns around Yellowstone and Grand Tetons shows a complete misunderstanding of the regional demographics, especially around the Tetons where a majority of the population is upper class. The target market in that resort is much different too. A day of skiing in the ski resort at Jackson Hole for a family of 4 will run you well over a few hundred dollars, and the ski resort sits on USFS land. Or you can go over to driggs, and ski a bit cheaper, but you're still paying FEES. 30.00 for a 3 day pass at Yellowstone is 10.00 a day. If you buy a 7 day pass, you're looking at 8.53 a day.. There's lots of "free" backpacking and hiking to be had in the northern rockies. Once again, fees are not on peoples radar. People have paid National Park fees and USFS Ski Resort fees for pretty much ever in that region. It's not on their radar, and I guarantee that.. 5.00 increase won't be seen anywhere near as extreme as a 20.00 increase on a ski pass.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Truth can hurt.

    And so can biggoted slander.

    Once again, fees are not on peoples radar.

    I don't have a problem with the current or proposed fees in general - that certainly doesn't mean they aren't on people's radar as demonstrated by the volume of comments that have been submitted to the NPS and other forums.

  • Sequoyah: Inventor Of The Cherokee Writing System   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Dittos Lee, interesting article.

  • Sequoyah: Inventor Of The Cherokee Writing System   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Fascinating, M13. Thank you.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Pigeon Forge or any of the communities around the Smokies where some of us jokingly refer to it as "redneck vegas for christians on a buffet binge"

    Wow what an offensive comment to the locals of that area Mr Wilson.

    Yellowstone allows free non-reservation backcountry visitation its only if you wish to reserve a site that you have to pay.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Gary, I would guess the vast majority of visitors to GSMNP don't come from Pigeon Forge, not do the vast majority of Yellowstone visitors come from Jackson Hole and Paridise Valley. Therefore your bigotted comment is irrelevant.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    LOL!! No one around Yellowstone really complains about the fees. It's not even on people's radar.. The culture is entirely different then what you find around the Smokies, and so is the type of visitor. Jackson Hole is filled with billionaires, and Paradise Valley is mostly millionaires. It's not even on the same level as a place like Pigeon Forge or any of the communities around the Smokies where some of us jokingly refer to it as "redneck vegas for christians on a buffet binge". And Yellowstone has always had a 25.00 reservation fee to enter the backcountry. Sounds like with this plan, 25.00 can cover the entire year, which is a steal if you ask me. The backcountry reservation fee has been there for a long time.... If you don't like it, then just go to the wilderness areas, which surrounds yellowstone in every freaking direction and has just as much to offer and all you have to do is fill out a permit at a trailhead.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Zeb, others decide on a daily basis how you should enjoy whatever. Part of the new tolerance.:). What I know for a fact is that people are getting disconnected from very meaningful and strengthening experiences that I've witnessed by technology addiction. Real verses virtual. Alarming, really, and seeing the evidence of change to detachment in previously remote and special places can not be good. Exactly similar to some industrial park built on a pristine landscape.

    BTW:

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/05/children-cyberbullying-se...

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   3 weeks 1 day ago

    These proposed changes would result in additional annual revenue of approximately $3 million for Yellowstone,

    Possibly, but unlikely.