Recent comments

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Fees are not "double taxation." They're entirely voluntary. I agree that the NPS, like all government agencies, could and should be better stewards of the money they receive. But, while God may have created the land, we have charged the government with protecting it. That costs money. People who use the parks should pay for their use, the same way people who drive pay a gas tax to build and repair roads. That seems little enough to ask.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    I've seen many of the National Forests around this region. A lot of them are trashed, compared to what you find in national parks, like the Smokies.I went to the cherokee NF to do some hellbender surveys, and so many trees were cut around the campsite areas, and it was not anywhere near as protected as what you find in the Smokies. You could tell it was a free-for-all party place. It's a free for all in the USFS areas, and it shows. You go up to the wilderness areas like the Shining Rock, and Linville Gorge, and you find a Dr Seuss line of tents crowded into areas because it's free. Like I said, if you don't mind the place looking like a used up trailer park, then I can understand why you think all places should look and function like that. At least there is campsite number limits, permits and regulations in the National Parks.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Actually, many national forests dont charge entrance fees, are much larger than national parks, and get along just fine. The amount one travels has nothing to do with what is wrong or right. Go lay troll bait elsewhere.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Actually, the government protects these lands. Without the NPS it would be overran and the resources would be destroyed. You guys obviously skipped out on the history behind the Park Service, and sound clueless, like usual. Maybe if there weren't buffalo soldiers, there would be no buffalo. Just this morning when I entered the Smokies, I saw maintence spray painting the park sign brown again, because some idiot tagged it. I guess if you don't mind that your park looks like a used up trailer park, then that's one thing.

    Secondly, how many of you that are whining about this actually travel to other National parks? I know that smokies backpacker always belittles me for doing such activities and so I know he spends little to any time outside of Tennessee. The question is how many of you actually spent time beyond just the Smokies, since the only ones complaining about this seem to be the Southern Forest Watch crowd (steve gorge, john quillen, myers morton, etc), and from what I see none of you travel much beyond the 20 miles from where you were born. Outside of the Smokies, fees are common in just about every park in the west, and even in parks like Shenandoah in the East, and have been that way since many of those parks establishment.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Poor NPS crying again and how many fall for their lies. Totally lost sight of their mission since the national parks are now nothing more than revenue generators. They ought to learn how to make do or do without like everyone else. Charging fees to enter God created NOT government created lands is wrong on many levels, especially when tax dollars already fund the basic needs of visitors. Learn to make do with what you have. If they want more young people to start visiting parks, raising already ridiculous fees wont help that. Hypocrites.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago
    No John, Steve is just another American that is sick of the NPS lying to double tax citizens to use public lands. And that is what they are supposed to be. Jarvis' NPS has a track record of ignoring public comments and civic engagement is a widely held myth to which the NPS is not bound and doesn't even read. There is plenty of documentation to that effect. No one wants to give more money to a agency that treats its "customers" like that. And the NPS isn't disneyworld. That is the dumbest analogy in the world. This should be a message to the agency. Your abuse of fee authority is calling FLREA into question and I for one have contacted my reps to ask for its repeal. Like my representative said, "the NPS does what it wants to regardless of what we say."
  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    While I believe that Rick's comparison is flawed, I too have no problem paying fees to enter a National Park that has highly variable operating expense based on the number of visitors. No doubt $30 for a family of four to visit Yellowstone for a week is a bargain. Now for the single person driving through for the day, it might seem high. Perhaps entry should be sold on a scaled 1/3/7 day basis to more fairly allocate the fees.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Rick Smith makes a valid point about subsidizing other forms of entertainment, and I wonder if Steve George actually believes what he says. Fees should be kept low because we pay for the parks with taxes? What about the 40-some percent who pay no income taxes? Should they then have to pay fees, since they're not paying through the tax code? I doubt those complaining about higher fees would agree with that. $80 for an annual pass is the best bargain in the world. It would still be the best bargain at twice the price. I use the parks, I'm happy to pay to get in, just as I do for other activities.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    This is right up there with the unreasonable increases in lodging prices.

    They don't want "regular people" to visit the parks anymore.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Well, Steve, I guess you don't live in New Mexico. Here enormous amounts of tax dollars are used to subsidize movie and tv productions. So, we pay twice;; once with our tax dollars to entice shows like "Breaking Bad" to be filmed here and once to see it on Netflix or whatever.

    Rick

  • National Park Service Addresses Ticketing Problems At USS Arizona Memorial   2 weeks 6 days ago

    While allegations of staff misconduct were investigated, Mr. Dalby said Privacy Act considerations prevent the agency from discussing the outcome of those investigations.

    Doesn't the freedom of information act apply here? Knowing a number of people in the tourism industry over the years it would not be a stretch to think some kickbacks were involved. Witholding the results of the investigation does not make the park service look good as people will assume the worst.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    ..."if supported by civic engagement". Right...and the moon is made of smoked gouda. This decision is a lock folks. It has been rendered thus by the oligarchs.

    Find the funds elsewhere Director Jarvis. Try harder.

    And Sabattis, we don't pay for the movie theater with our tax dollars.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Amazing to think that you can't even take a family of four to the movies for two hours for $30, and people are going to get up in arms about $30 to take a family to Yellowstone National Park for an entire week! I'm glad Director Jarvis is pushing forward with this as this proposal is going to generate funds for much-needed improvements to national parks, by asking people who love the parks the most to contribute a little bit towards the cost of their visit.

  • National Park Service Addresses Ticketing Problems At USS Arizona Memorial   2 weeks 6 days ago

    I'm visiting Hawaii for the first time next week and I will be visiting the USS Arizona NMEM as well. For months I've been trying to get hold of reasonably-timed tickets for the ship through the recreation.gov website, without success. I took then tickets for an afternoon visit as it wasn't possible - even four, five months in advance - to get a reservation for the early morning hours.

  • Parkway Inn, Inc. Retains Contract To Run Pisgah Inn Along Blue Ridge Parkway   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Based on our experience with an overnight stay 2 years ago and several meals in the restaurant since then, I'd rate this as a good decision. The present small company seems to be doing a good job operating the Inn.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    When the park service director says fees will only be allowed "if supported by civic engagement," that reminds me of that scene in Animal House where the fraternity is appearing before the disciplinary board and John Belushi gets a frog in his throat....and the sneezing and coughing begins. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROxvT8KKdFw

  • Essential Fall Guide '14: Autumn Park Tours, No. 2: An Uncivil War   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The house is along the Sunken Road there.

  • National Park Service Addresses Ticketing Problems At USS Arizona Memorial   2 weeks 6 days ago

    It seems that the real problem here is that there's almost no way to get tickets other than by arriving early in the morning. While offering a paltry 300 tickets the day before is an improvement, hopefully the National Park Service can consider offering a broader mix of options for making the tickets available, including selling them. According to this article, the USS Arizona has a capacity of 4,000+ visitors per day, but fewer than 2,000 tickets per day are being made available. I'm sure that many visitors would welcome the opportunity to pay for the cost of their visit in order to expand access to the Memorial.

  • There Likely Is A National Park Fee Increase In Your Future...   2 weeks 6 days ago

    "if supported by civic engagement", Jarvis says.

    What a joke. The Smokies fee was widely rejected by "civic engagement" and a public input of 18-1 in direct opposition to fees. But that didn't matter to the NPS then, why should we believe it is going to matter now? Because it isn't. Thank you Kitty Benzar for fighting fee creep and the creeps who push them. The NPS is going to do what it wishes regardless of public "engagement".

  • Essential Fall Guide '14: Autumn Park Tours, No. 2: An Uncivil War   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Which park is in the photo? thanks.

  • Floodwaters Force Temporary Closure Of Zion National Park   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Look how green it is! These monsoons would make for some great timelapses, especially in places like the narrows. The North America series on Discovery channel from last year captured a few monsoon storms in their show on the desert, but I don't think any were from Zion, where it would be pretty darn amazing to witness. A few years ago, I was in Capitol Reef when a monsoon delivered a heavy downpoor that created a flash flood in the fremont river canyon area, and it was pretty awesome. I wasn't really under any threat or fear of my life during that time, but the amount of water coming off the canyon walls was impressive.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Do You Think Of The NPS Centennial Logo?   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Seriously, it's just a temporary logo that is used for a year, and then thrown into the trash heap of history. I agree it's bland, but is an anniversary logo that important in the grand scheme of things? Do you think during the NPS's 250th anniversary, they'll look back at the 100th anniversary logo with contempt and hatred?

    I'm more concerned about the NPS preserving florida panthers, citico darters, and american bison for the next 100 years than I am with the 100th anniversary logo.

  • Floodwaters Force Temporary Closure Of Zion National Park   2 weeks 6 days ago

    I sure hope no one was hiking the Narrows when that happened.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Do You Think Of The NPS Centennial Logo?   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Hi Rick. I hope you are coming on the river trip next year. We'll have lots to talk about! As for our logo, how about a drowning rat? We could also do "Person Overboard!" (Man is out, obviously.) Seriously, I agree with you. It's not the greatest logo, but it works. Remember the context in which all government "creativity" occurs these days. The creative are marginalized so as not to offend the uncreative. Again, imagine what a committee would have done.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Do You Think Of The NPS Centennial Logo?   2 weeks 6 days ago

    I think this is the first time I have disagreed with Dr. Runte. I think the logo sucks and even if it is better than Amtrak's, that's small consolation.

    Rick