Recent comments

  • Op-Ed|The National Park Service And Wilderness: 50 Years Of Neglect   2 weeks 6 days ago

    I can't agree that your statement that follows applies to Florida/Big Cypress " but I scratch my head every day when I see the environmental community lead the retreat from wilderness as if somehow it is now a sin."

    Extreme enviros have fought hard to have wilderness declared even though it didn't meet the criteria and along their merry way they alleniated many including a Federal judge from the way it looks.

    One big reason folks may not consider wilderness such a great thing may be the extremists that attempt to badger others into accepting it by using deception and misinformation as their tools.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Ecbuck,

    This is a silly article and not something that can be relied upon. The writier is not professional, and noting is referenced adequately.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago

    and since 1998 and there is no sign of it slowing any time soon.

    Then why did the head of the IPCC say temperatures have been flat. Why did the UK Met say the same thing and predict more of the same? Once gain, it appears you are the one in denial.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago

    EC, quit proliferating rubbish. Records show that the Earth has been warming at a steady rate before and since 1998 and there is no sign of it slowing any time soon. More than 90% of global warming heat goes into warming the oceans, while less than 3% goes into increasing the surface air temperature. By the way, the anomalous high temperatures for 1998 were due to an El Nino effect. I'd post more here, but I'm not knowledgeable as to how to post figures and graphs, etc., withiin the comments section of NPT. But as I said, more to come ....later.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago
    Owen... Defining quality of life is where we get subjective. I've long felt that the purpose of gathering together from being solitary hunter/gatherers was to provide, as a group, for those things that were more difficult to provide for individually. If one defines "quality of life" in a Randian selfishness, then one is better off being away from others. Otherwise, it would appear to me that even if it is preordained that we will all die, the ice on the poles will all melt, and Gaea is going to do only what she wishes, that regardless of all that our actions to mitigate the damage or rate of damage are worthy and do improve overall quality of life. Give me a choice between living a life of selfishness and living a life of doing "feel good" things, I know which way my conscience allows.
  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago

    outright rejection of credible climate model projections

    Credible climate models? There hasn't been a widely accepted climate model yet that has gotten it right. There isn't a single AGW model that predicted an 18 year flattening in temperatures and you haven't answered the basic question. If human generated CO2 causes global warmings, why with massive increases in CO2 emmission have temperatures remained flat over the last 18 years?

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Alfred - will get you some citations in a bit. In the meantime, ponder why the Property Clause is in Article IV rather than Article 1 which delineates the power of Congress.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Thank you Owen, I think your comment is right on. I understand ECs point, yes addressing issues of fossil fuel dependence is going to require looking at alternative energy technologies and will result in some economic dislocations in the fossil fuel industry. There will also infrastructure costs to all of us. Of course the fossil fuel industry could jump on the bandwagon. One of the greatest rewards of this emergency hire only appointment I have working fires in Yosemite National Park and the surrounding forests, is the people I meet from all over the US and the world for that matter. Meeting these people and trying to answer the fire related questions, I often times, if not most of the time, learn more from the visitors than any information I may give out. Met a great young couple from Germany one day, she a school teacher, he an industrial engineer. He was telling me that Germany has achieved production of solar energy accounting now for 30% of its energy use, mostly rooftop. I believe Germany now leads leads the world in this regard, others may have better information. It was interesting to see a young couple from another nation embrace the concept of working towards alternative energy sources and related climate change issues. They represented many of comments I heard on a daily basis.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago

    EC, I guess it all depends on how you define "quality of life". I for one would like to see collective positive efforts made to reduce our society's overall ecological footprint. Climate Change has indeed been accelerated by human activities, mostly related to the consumption of fossile fuels. As a non-scientist, you seem to doubt this, but a reasonable review of the perponderance of evidence, including the conclusions presented by a solid majority of scientific articles on this important topic, will demonstrate that you are on the wrong side of a debate that is actually moribund and no longer active within the scientific community. Unfortunately repetitive mis-interpretation and mis-representation of vast amounts of climate change data and outright rejection of credible climate model projections somehow gets published and repeated over and over again in the non-scientific news media, which as Climate Change denier propaganda, gives the misleading impression to an otherwise uninformed reader that the link between human activities and accelerated climate change is still very much in question. More on this to come in the near future......

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago

    We live in very interesting times. From the Alaska Dispatch website. "Dan White, director of the Institute of Northern Engineering at UAF, warned there is enough gas bubbling up under the ice of some Arctic lakes in winter that one must be careful not to hurt oneself when lighting the gas.The Arctic methane, Wadhams said, "could cause a large amount of warming in a short time."Igor Semiletov, a professor at the International Arctic Research Center at UAF, estimates there might be 500 times as much methane trapped beneath the Arctic as there is currently in the atmosphere.If a lot of it got loose fast, the planet could really heat up."

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Come on, EC. Give us a citation. The law never changed when a territory became a state. Actually, federal rights go all the way back to 1777 and the Articles of Confederation, when the landed states (colonies) with sea to sea charters agreed to give them up in the interest of the "common sacrifice" of the Revolution. Georgia was the last holdout in 1802.

    I love it when patriots wave the flag and totally forget their history. The public lands belong to all Americans. Always have, and always will. If Utah wants to do something constructive, it should shut up and take a seat, and while they're at it, pass a beautification law eliminating billboards. Interstate 15 looks like a junkyard. And they want us to come and visit "their" five national parks. Yeah, right.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 6 days ago

    The above opinion ignores some early Constitutional decisions. The clause referred to applies to "Territory", i.e. land that didn't belong to a state. Once the land became part of a state, the level of federal jurisdiction changed.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 6 days ago

    More than likely that was a loblolly pine, Dahkota. Those are very impressive in Congaree and make up most of the tallest trees.

    I do use an app from the audubon bird song/identification app, and a wildflower app that I have on my phone that works when I am not connected to the internet. They definitely aid in identifying what you are staring at, but you have to download the information before you go. I also use the peakfinder app when i'm trying to identify some peak way out in the distance, and that's just based on GPS and doesn't require coverage. The GPS co-located 3d terrain map apps can be more useful in plotting a route through a trail-less wilderness than a topo, especially when you get into an area and something captures your attention and you want to spend some time exploring. But, of course it's dependent on how much battery power you have, however you can always buy batteries to take with you to keep your phone charged.. I recently used a gps map on a trip in the rockies where we went off trail quite a bit, and there were not any cell towers within many many many miles. But the phone was very useful because it shows you exactly where you are in the trailless terrain.

    I personally don't want to see towers all over our National Parks and that's one of the reasons I think wilderness act applied to parks like Yellowstone and Grand Canyon is a necessity, but on the same token I can still utilize my phone for other things, especially in regards to information. People used to have to haul 5 books, topos, etc for information that can now be stored on a little handheld device. If i'm on a long multi-day trek, I do find an occasional delight is playing a documentary that I downloaded to my phone. Plus, it's not going to be long before cell towers are a thing of the past, and satellite technology is the norm. So, I see cell towers as a temporary thing, that will be gone in 20 to 30 years. I believe the government should think very hard before they pave trails into what could be wilderness to plop towers everywhere just for "security". And, on the same token, when it's 8:00 pm, pitch black, and youre in the wilderness, letting your little one watch stored cartoons or listen to music on an iphone in the tent isn't necessarily destroying his/her experience and those things add to their enjoyment. And it doesn't seem to affect his ability to spot EVERY little thing on a trail. So, on the same token, I don't necessarily jive with the philosphical beliefs of the "purists". I think it adds to the fun factor of kids to be able to relax and play a game in a tent, especially if you are on a multi-day excursion where there is some down time. And you don't have to be "wired" to experience those things..

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 6 days ago
  • Drinking Water Advisory Issued At Grand Canyon National Park   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Realized that to be true. Thanks for clarifying.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 6 days ago

    A couple of days ago I was in Congaree National Park. There is hardly any cell phone service there. It would have been nice, hiking on the trails, had we been able to access information about some of the plants and trees we were seeing and maybe a more in depth history of the park, while we were on the trails and taking breaks. There was one particularly giant tree I was very interested in, having never seen one that size, but I was out of luck. And the visitor center didn't provide much more information. Imagine all I could have learned while walking those trails!

    The assumption that all cell/data service will be used for " streaming videos, music downloads and on-line games" is ridiculous. And if one wants to disconnect "from the electronic tendrils of the modern world" one simply has to turn off their own phone.

    Having access to greater amounts of information while visiting a National Park enhances my use of the park; it doesn't diminish it. It is easier to fall in love with something when you know it. Cell/data service can provide that knowledge where the park visitor centers fail. Unless of course, one can carry a seasoned ranger with them.

  • Drinking Water Advisory Issued At Grand Canyon National Park   2 weeks 6 days ago

    The locations where the water contamination is found are backcountry campsites with piped water, so it seems unlikely mules and/ or hikers are directly to blame. The same pipeline from Roaring Springs supplies Phantom Ranch, Indian Gardens and the South Rim, which are not contaminated, probably due to treatment before distribution. Roaring Spring is fed by groundwater from the karst plateau of the North Rim, so the hotels, campgrounds and development there seem the most likely source of the pollution.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 6 days ago

    A horrible intrusion changing the whole experience by users and those around them. A degrading effect noticed even in many very remote locations where many go to reconnect with themselves rather than technology. So disheartening to witness.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Wired or not, my boys are not allowed to use their mobile devices in the parks (except when hanging out in our room/cabin).

  • Essential Winter Guide '14: Winter Doesn't Have To Be An Off-Season   2 weeks 6 days ago

    First snow has already hit Acadia National Park and was glad to read Essential Guide Winter '14 ' s article about cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in Acadia. It's on our bucket list!

    There's even a volunteer Acadia Winter Trails Association, which grooms some of the carriage roads for cross-country skiing. It's one of the volunteer efforts in Acadia that we recently blogged about: www.acadiaonmymind.com/2014/11/taking-pride-volunteers-acadia-national-p...

    Let the snow fly!

  • UPDATED: National Park Foundation Head Resigns, Yellowstone Superintendent To Take Job Temporarily   2 weeks 6 days ago
  • UPDATED: National Park Foundation Head Resigns, Yellowstone Superintendent To Take Job Temporarily   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Yes, per the legislation establishing the Foundation, "The National Park Foundation shall consist of a Board having as members the Secretary of the Interior, the Director of the National Park Service, ex officio, and no less than six private citizens of the United States appointed by the Secretary of the Interior ..."The Secretary of the Interior shall be the Chairman of the Board and the Director of the National Park Service shall be the Secretary of the Board..."

  • UPDATED: National Park Foundation Head Resigns, Yellowstone Superintendent To Take Job Temporarily   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Yes, I believe so, Ron. The Secretary is the honorary chair.

  • Guest Column| Defending The Science That Explains Climate Change   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Rmackie,

    I don't (and never have) denied that we humans can have an impact. Though Lee insists there are people that believe that, he can't seem to produce a name. There certainly are forms of "pollution" which should be minimized. But for many (not all) of the ones you mentioned, we have already reduced dramatically and the incremental reductions that can be made are insignificant relative to the costs. In some cases we can make improvements with our actions - but talking the Chinese into it may be more difficult.

    I don't believe that the actions we take relative to climate warming will "enhance the quality of life". In fact I believe that not only will they be ineffective but will in fact hurt our quality of life.

  • "To Conserve Unimpaired...", Unless Told Otherwise By Congress   2 weeks 6 days ago

    It's not surprising that the GTNP management has not done its due diligence in regard to the elk hunt.