Recent comments

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

    Dear Yellowstoners,

    We feel your pain. They slapped a backcountry fee on us in the Smokies so I suggest you follow our continuing legal fight on www.southernforestwatch.org Be aware that they will misrepresent the civic engagement sham, under report public comments and emphasize "resource degradation". It is part of their bs NPS playbook to justify unnecessary fees that will go straight to hiring more staff that will NOT be in the backcountry. Be advised, they have this scam down to an art. But what you really need to know is that this new reservation system will benefit the guide services and concessionaires whom they will use to promote the fee. We just discovered that the concessionaires can log into the system which mere mortals are locked out of. Then the guides etc can book up campsites well in advance to keep backpacking riff raff out of "their park". Don't let them get away with it.

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

    The story of naming the Sierra Sequoias is fascinating; they were first classified as Taxodium giganteum during the beginning debate:

    Visit: http://www.conifers.org/cu/Sequoiadendron.php

    http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/science/hartesveldt/chap...

    Endlicher described many new plant genera, perhaps most notably the genus Sequoia. Although Endlicher never offered an explanation for the name, later writers speculated that he must have been inspired by the achievements of the American Indian linguist Sequoyah. John Davis credited Endlicher with naming the new species of redwood Sequoyah gigantea in 1847, to honor Sequoyah's invention of the Cherokee syllabart.[3] Recent scholarship has convincingly rebutted this hypothesis; Endlicher appears to have been thinking of the Latin for "sequence."[4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephan_Endlicher

    Sequoiadendron giganteum

    (Lindley) J.Buchholz 1939

    Common names

    Giant sequoia, bigtree, Sierra-redwood (Watson 1993).

    Taxonomic notes

    The sole species in Sequoiadendron J.Buchholz 1939. Syn: Wellingtonia gigantea Lindley 1853; Sequoia gigantea (Lindley) Decaisne 1854, not Endlicher 1847. The latter homonym reflects the species' former inclusion in Sequoia, a conservative placement that still has merit (Watson 1993).

    Although the giant sequoia was probably discovered in 1833 by the Walker party as they struggled through the Sierra north of the Yosemite valley, the species did not attract popular attention until its rediscovery in 1852, at what is now called the Calaveras North Grove (seethis link for details). In the same year, specimens were received by Albert Kellogg of the California Academy of Sciences, who in May 1855 finally published it as Taxodium giganteum Kellogg and Behr. This was the fifth validly published name, however. The first name had been assigned on the basis of material collected (in the Calaveras grove) in summer 1853 by William Lobb, who was directed to the tree by Kellogg. Lobb dashed back to England, arriving 15 December 1853, and within two weeks the species was published by botanist John Lindley as Wellingtonia gigantea, named in honor of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. In fact this name was already in use, Wellingtonia having been described in 1840 for a plant in the Sabiaceae, but this was not realized at the time. Lindley's publication triggered a storm of protest from American botanists who were outraged that the world's largest tree had been named for an English war hero by a botanist who had never seen the tree. The Americans promptly published a spate of different names, none of which are legitimate under current rules of botanical nomenclature. The French then intervened in the person of of Joseph Decaisne, who in 1854 published the species as Sequoia gigantea, a plausible assignment that ultimately won acceptance by British botanists. ThereafterWellingtonia slowly disappeared from the literature. Unfortunately, Sequoia gigantea was also not a legitimate name, having been previously used by Endlicher to describe a horticultural variety of the coast redwood, and this problem was not satisfactorily resolved until the American John T. Buchholz described Sequoiadendron in 1939. Buchholz' decision to establish a new genus apart from Sequoia was widely criticized by the old guard of California botanists, but his arguments--based on substantial differences in the development of Sequoia and Sequoiadendron seed cones--have subsequently won general acceptance (Hartesveldt et al. 1975). For more on Buchholz and his work with Sequoiadendron see Schmid (2012).

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Trailguide, I can appreciate your morning perspective, and I can see how a few idiots will have zero manners if they have a cell signal. But ultimately, it sure sounds like your problem that others decide to engross themselves in their cell phone rather than the landscape. In other words, you want people to enjoy the parks the way you enjoy them. That does not seem very American to me.

    Personnally, I don't really care how others decide to enjoy their surroundings, and I don't like others deciding for me (so long as said enjoyment does not impact others, etc.).

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Yellowstone is a big place. Don't like the guy next to you - move.

    BTW - Did you come up with any of those "vague Constitution" citations yet? I suppose we will have to wait for those along with the list of people that want to elminated all public lands and the half dozen other unsubstantiated claims you have made.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    As I see it, the biggest and worstest problem with cell phones is the fact that so many people seem to think they must shout loud enough for the person on the other end of the call to hear them even without the phone.

    I have to admit that the last time I was waiting for Old Faithful and had a guy next to me who was shouting loud enough for his friend in New York to hear him (with frequent use of a short word that starts with the sixth letter of the alphabet) I found myself seriously considering having an "accident" with my bear spray.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Well, trailadvocate, at least this morning you sound a bit more coherent. Last night your posts sounded a bit like too much of trailguide lubrication consumed. It really sounded like you were sitting around the high school locker room clanging them together to tell everyone else how much more outdoorsier you were. Anything that gets Eric, Zeb, and I in agreement is fairly beyond the pale.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   3 weeks 2 days ago

    I agree on thumbs down to naming rights.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Actually, that is one of the problem with cell phones coverage in that it can give people that extra sense of "security" that if they get into trouble, they can use their phones so they go into places that are above their capabilities or were'nt properly prepared. There have been many cases where people that are way out of their league are getting into trouble, but because their cell phone had a single bar they were able to call out and get a rescue. Granted, there are still some places in the lower 48 where those rules still don't apply, and let's hope it stays that way. Frank Church and the Great Bear come to mind.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Well, Zeb, to define my reasoning a bit more I will admit my guiding years became such an unexpected joy being a part of so many transformations and positive results from the adventures. Don't think I ever felt so rewarded, for the most part, getting out of the way of people really making positive changes to attitudes and growth, especially with youth who are being set up for a lifetime based on these experiences. Technology in the doses that are being injected today, stand in the way. I can go for days without even seeing a human foot print but am disappointed when I do run into folks into their technology and not present enough to share the wildness. Okay, I'm done.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    You should be old enough to know better than insulting those with whom you disagree.

    EC got it. Nobody wants to see the landscape scarred with a bunch of wires strung up to cell towers in the backcountry. Otherwise, who cares? If you want to get away from it all, just hike in the backcountry where it's empty, leave your cell phone, and hope you don't fall.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    I'd still be happy if cell phones were never invented, primarily due to users being oblivious to what I think is just common curtesy when using them. That said, I'm pretty sure they are here to stay (a guy can always dream though) and ready to give up the fight. I have the impression that there is pretty widespread coverage in the parks already so don't see that it will make much difference. One concern is the added feeling of safety that could pose a problem. I'll just call for help when I get lost, hungry, tired etc. instead of making sure one's prepared. I suspect that may be one of the unintended results. Like others have mentioned, keep the towers as discrete as possible.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Tree - while I believe it would be appropriate to turn over some lands, I hope that is one of the lower items on the agenda. There are far more critical and fundamental issues that need to be addressed first.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   3 weeks 2 days ago

    What happened to "edit". That should be front "country" locations in my last post.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    You might check with some backcountry rangers on how attitudes have negativly changed where cell service is discovered by those addicted to connectivity. A very large cell tower inside Grand Canyon NP and just 400 yards from the Rim has changed things dramatically in the inner Canyon. "Hey Joe, you'll never guess where I am."

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Sad to say, but now that it appears the GOP has a majority in both houses, that they'll be more likely to turn over the Federal lands under discussion to the individual states. One small encouragement I have is that in Rev. 11:18 says in part "... to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” The folks "responsible" for bringing about the ruin of the earth will be held accountable for their actions.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Ec, I am in agreement with you on this issue. It really is a slipery slope.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Generally, I would be against naming any feature within a Park after a donor. That includes buildings, roads, trails, mountains,...... Donor walls or plaques might be appropriate at visitor centers or other front country locations.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   3 weeks 2 days ago

    One topic that's bound to come up: fears that parks will be "commercialized" as a result of donations. If "naming rights" were ever carried to the extreme, there are reasons for caution. How many people would be happy, for example, with something like a "Toyota-Blue Ridge Parkway"? A key element in the discussion: clear guidelines about what can be "named" in recognition of donations: (buildings, trails, roads, etc.).

    For some, a greater concern than "naming rights" is the question of undue influence (real or perceived) on management decisions stemming from donations. One slightly tongue-in-cheek example: Given the protracted controversy about snowmobile use in Yellowstone, the "Polaris Visitor Center" at Old Faithful would certainly raise some eyebrows.

    That said, there are precedents for recognizing the key role of philanthropy in establishing NPS areas, such as the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. There are also facilities named for individuals based not on dollars, but on ideas, such as the Ernest Coe Visitor Center in Everglades NP, "named after .... a landscape designer who envisioned a national park dedicated to the preservation of the Everglades."

    I think it's good for the Advisory Board to raise these questions. As other recent posts on the Traveler have pointed out, non-government funds are likely to play an increasingly important role in NPS operations; if that's the case, there needs to be clarity, consistency and transparency on how to deal with this subject. Pretending these issues don't exist won't make them go away.

  • Talk Of $30 Million Fiber Optic Network At Yellowstone National Park Renews Debate   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Sorry, CenturyLink isn't going to spend their money on your priorities. You will have to do that.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Zeb and Rick, I am with you on this one, as long as it doesnt involve towers and sheds in the backcountry.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Zeb, you sound like the leader of a bunch of 6th graders going on a romp. Experiencing something bigger than your skittles and smores requires pushing your comfort zones and doing something bigger and coming back humbled. Gladly, I can help you out:).

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Interesting how everybody has an opinion on how others should experience the parks. Frankly, if private companies pay for the increased coverage, I say why not? People who want to get away from it all can leave the cell phone in the car. The majority probably won't.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Wilderness as such is "on your own." A psych nurse in the real world. No conscience need be present. It's real and a good thing, respectfully. Like the wolves, the bears and any other real being.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Who piddled on your post toasties, trailadvocate? My wife doesn't need water wings or guard rails - I'm just more comfortable if she has a way to call 911 if she needs it. Sheesh - nothing like taking a totally uncalled for pendulum swing on a comment.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   3 weeks 2 days ago

    And we should put guard rails around the Grand Canyon, right? I understand the motivation to keep your wife safe but knowing the dangers and dealing with them is part of a back country experience, unless virtual is more comforting.