Recent comments

  • National Park Service Reissues Glacier Bay Park Lodging Concession Prospectus With Incentives   3 weeks 3 days ago

    I'd have to disagree with you on this one, EC. As Jim pointed out, the short season and the relatively few visitors -- 500,590 last year (most who came via cruise ship), and just 11,440 overnight lodging guests -- make this location a difficult one, financially.

    But having been there, I heartily recommend a visit!

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Just for the record, that is not me.. and Kurt, if you're willing to post the conspiracy lawsuits, then you should be willing to keep open the threads for dialogue.

    John, seriously, I posted your original documented account of your trip into this area. It showed nothing similar to your later allegations. And it also showed a GPS coordinate posted by your friend of the sign outside of the park. There are also old maps from the 30s and 40s that you can download online that shows this old Hurricane Boundary Trail, where portions of it skirt the direct boundary between NPS and Blackberry farms property. You make little sense. You need to really research things before spouting off with conspiracies.

    Face it there was nothing to cover up. You're just creating things out of nothing. Secondly, i'm not afraid to use my name. Why would I hide behind a pseudonym?

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Gary, I understand your point, but of late the dialogue that has followed stories about the Smokies' lawsuit constantly devolves into name calling, insults, and the like, and the Traveler was never intended to provide that sort of forum.

    If those on both sides of the issue can't remain civil and on point, we're not going to allow that sort of dialogue on the Traveler as it serves no purpose other than to inflame. Readers who might have something substantial to contribute also are dissuaded from doing so because they don't want to be insulted or denigated for their point(s) of view.

    Court filings are a matter of public record, and we will continue to follow this issue through its outcome.

  • National Park Service Reissues Glacier Bay Park Lodging Concession Prospectus With Incentives   3 weeks 3 days ago

    The NPS need for such significant modifications indicates there were no bidders on the earlier contract.

    It would appear the NPS concessions don't offer the enormous profits that some have assumed.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Rangers Work Through The Night To Save Climber   3 weeks 4 days ago

    For an idea of just how difficult this location was for the victim and the rescuers, you can see a photo in this story in yesterday's Traveler. Try to visualize the difficulties of travel in this terrain in the dark.

    Kudos to the victim for being able to aid in his rescue, and to all of those on the team involved.

    Hope this guy will survive and make a good recovery.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Folks, I think going forward we're going to have to block all comments to stories about the Smokies. Not only are some of the comments in general caustic, but many are far from constructive, and now there are charges of folks usurping others' identities.

    Unfortunately, under the current sign-on system we use to allow folks to gain an account so they can comment, all one needs to do is provide an email address and user name, both of which can be fictitious. And, sadly, it seems more than a few people are too timid to use their real names.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   3 weeks 4 days ago

    To the fake backpackr you might want to look at the Southern Forest Watch lawsuit that clearly shows the trails BF maintained in the park. And if you took the time to read the NPS response, you would know that the Smokies Admin admitted they asked BF to remove their darn trail sign from NPS lands. But if you don't think that is sufficient proof then just go to the text of the lawsuit and look at the pictures of the trails and downed trees. But we have established that you are too lazy to go up there from the get go. The abundance of evidence, along with a recent scouting trip to the area shows that Blackberry is clearly trying to remove all evidence of their use of NPS lands for a private trail system. You really should go up to Ace Gap and check it out. I had friends up there last week who sent even more pics of BF own signs telling people to go away. You think that is just coincidence? Ha. We got you folks on the run. Methinks someone doth protest too much.

  • Arizona Man Busted For Organizing 300-Hiker Rim-to-Rim Crossing Of Grand Canyon National Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    I think it was the comment by a one day RXR'er irritated about losing four minutes off their time waiting for the packers with their mules with supplies for Phantom Ranch to go by that gave me my most lasting impression of their mind set. Something about bringing the urban mindset to the Canyon and leaving with same.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Gary, you have finally slipped to a new low. Posting under my name on NPT. Classy.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   3 weeks 4 days ago

    swore that a private resort never ever maintained their own trails in the Smokies

    John, I think it's a no-brainer that you're going to lose that argument in court, or anywhere. There is no proof, written, documented, or otherwise, the BBF maintained illegal trails in the park. Conspiracy Theory. Seriously? You think someone in the park is naive enough to let someone come in and start building illegal trails? There's a lot of moving pieces to building and maintaining park trails. If the park, did indeed allow such activity, how 'come we don't see it on the park trail map? Don't they publish directions to ALL of the trails and campsites in the park?

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   3 weeks 4 days ago

    @SmokiesBackpacker (John Quillen)....your posts on this topic, and others in NPT, are dripping with anger and mistruth. It's really hard, impossible really, to take you seriously. You sound like Mel Gibson in "Conspiracy Theory". No doubt you're cruising around the park in your taxi cutting words out of park press releases to prove the NPS (and NSA) secret war against the public.

    Let's face it, with 9....or 10 million visitors, just HOW do you propose that the park stay open, if you're so opposed to fees? Your argument is to remove all management and oversight. That's working great for the BLM. Wonder what a fracking tower would look like in Cades Cove.....The original arcticle intelligenty discussed the pro's and cons of the BC Fee, and intelligently discussed a possible alternative. Your only response is to rant and rave. You're contributing nothing to the discussion, or a solution.

    I personaly am extremely grateful that given their budget, the park at least keeps toilette paper in the restrooms, and if I get hurt deep in the back country, the rangers will have me in a hospital in hours.

    If I were to be really supportive of a fee, John, it would be a tax on your Conspiracy Theories.....

  • National Park Service Reissues Glacier Bay Park Lodging Concession Prospectus With Incentives   3 weeks 4 days ago

    The visitor facilities at Bartlett Cove are located just inside one corner of Glacier Bay, and along with the boat tours, offer visitors an outstanding opportunity for a peek into one of the nation's premier wilderness parks. The short season and the logistical challenges posed by the location would seem to justify the modifications to the contract. I hope the NPS will succeed in finding a qualified concessioner to continue these activities in coming years.

  • Making Sense Out Of National Park Visitation Statistics   3 weeks 4 days ago

    It could have been worded better, rdm24. Basically, they had 1.8 million visitors the first six months of 2014. That was up 1.8 million from the first six months of 2013...as the Statute of Liberty was closed the first half of 2013 due to damage from Hurricane Sandy.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Just came home from an incredibly crowded Zion and an equally incredibly crowded Springdale. You could hear Springdale's cash registers ringing from miles away.

    Came home and found an incredibly crowded pile of postings here as a whole lot of effort is wasted -- again -- on trying valiantly to respond to some shoutings from under a bridge. Might the discussions here be of greater value if we could simply ignore the tantalizing tidbits floated out into the stream to entice us to respond?

    Over at Great Basin, in the tiny town of Baker, three new businesses have opened just this year. Would they have done so if the park were not there? South of Cedar City there is a large billboard alongside I-15 inviting everyone to attend the Astronomy Festival at Great Basin on September 12 and 13 (I think it was).

    Economic engines? Remember what happened when the Clowns of Congress closed the parks?

  • Arizona Man Busted For Organizing 300-Hiker Rim-to-Rim Crossing Of Grand Canyon National Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    50 lashes with a wet noodle. It didn't even cut into his profits?

    I can't believe you could cause so much damage to park and not get banned from it.

  • Making Sense Out Of National Park Visitation Statistics   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Visitation to the Statute of Liberty National Monument was up 1.8 million over the first six months of 2013. Of course, the monument was closed through the first half of 2013 due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. Being open this year alone provided a huge boost to overall National Park System visitation.

    This has to be a typo. Do you mean 2014?

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Gary, these closures are not just preventing ORV access but also to a lesser degree preventing pedestrians access. I believe that most of that loss of visitation is directly related to loosing beach access. Can you tell me what changed at CHNSRA during the past decade that would result in lower visitation?

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Beach, at most there has been a 10% decline in vistation since it's peak in 2002. You might attribute that to beach closures, but that's taking into a big consideration that all those 2 million people cared about the closures, or were bringing ORVs to the park, which is highly doubtful.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Gary, these new beach closures started happening in 2003. Beach closures resulted in lower visitation which resulted in lower tourism business. These business's are located inside the park, not adjacent. Pretending these new NPS policies didn't have an impact is lunacy. So your math is different than mine because 2.6m is greater than 2.3m using my math, oh by the way 300,000 is less than 100,000.

    How is the Obama economy helping any park? I'd love to hear this...

  • Parks And Local Economies—Observations From Glacier National Park   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Making a living in rural tourism based towns is tough slogging, NPs or otherwise, based on what I learned from hanging out with people from around lake Tahoe. Obviously, without the tourists, there'd be virtually no economy.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    I'm finding your stats a bit of a stretch over a 10 year cycle. Seems that it's held mostly steady and only fluctuated by 100,000 or so every year since 2004. And seriously, when all else fails, blame it on Obama. Classic. Since 2004, visitation has barely fluctuated beyond 5% at CHNS, with 2012 being the best year in that decade (oooh during Obama's tenure....oooh ohhhh). So, there was a 35% drop in business?

    Cape Hatteras Visitation by Year

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    All of these are ancient arguments from a century ago, originally advanced by the railroads and preservationists seeking an ecomomic rationale to save the parks. Remember Hetch Hetchy? Below are three of my favorite quotes, leading Chapter 5 of National Parks: The American Experience. I still like McFarland's best, and Kurt is the closest in sentiment to it now. Who cares what the parks "make?" Hell, if all of us were dead we couldn't spend a dime on anything. The quotes, then, and forgive me for what my publisher calls "shameless promotion."

    See Europe if You Will, but See America First.

    Soo Railroad Brochure, ca. 1910

    War with Switzerland!

    Mark Daniels, 1915

    The influence of [the national parks] is far beyond what is usually esteemed or usually considered. It has a relation to efficiency— the working efficiency of the people, to their health, and particularly to their patriotism—which would make the parks worth while, if there were not a cent of revenue in it, and if every visitor to the parks meant that the Government would have to pay a tax of $1 simply to get him there.

    J. Horace McFarland, 1916

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Gary, nearly a 800,000 drop in visitation is considered barely? Must be that new progressive math... Also, the beach closures include no-walking, not just ORV access. You can't even walk to the most popular beach for the past 5 months.

    Kurt, I too don't believe all of that number is related to beach regs, just most of it, the dismal Obama economy had some impact as well.

  • Making Sense Out Of National Park Visitation Statistics   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Jim Burnett does a good job of summarizing the difficulties of estimating NPS visitation. I agree that short-term flucuations in these numbers should not be used to justify budget reductions (or increases, for that matter) for specific units. However, I believe those sorts of logistical difficulties and fiscal pressures he describes introduce an overall bias towards overcounting. IMO, these "soft" and inflated visitation numbers are also a major factor in overestimating the economic impacts of NPS units.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    I'd be the first to agree that NPS numbers are soft...incredibly so.

    But to attribute a 35 percent decline in business to the beach regs seems high. It'd be interesting to see just how many days Highway 12 was closed, either due to hurricanes, or problems with the Bonner Bridge, each year since 2002.