Recent comments

  • Is the National Park Service Wise to Be Promoting The Use of Segways?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    National Parks are meant to be enjoyed in a way that will not diminish their appeal, history or physical characteristics. Any kind of vehicle is a threat to all three, never mind the personal dangers noted by Marylander earlier today.

    Add the possibility of people using them off-trail and you quickly have a very bad idea. No Segways in National Parks!

  • National Park Lodging Concessionaires Creating Their Own Stimulus Plans   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I meant the luxury dollar of the middle class. We have fixed expenses and some discretionary income for entertainment and vacations. Many people have lost jobs and have no discretionary income for luxuries like vacations. Tourism is down because of this, that is what I meant by the luxury dollar. Most people have little or no money for any luxuries like trips.

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The Pentagon made a memorial and had the dedication last year. That site is open to the public and is very nice.

    Persoanlly if landowners do not want to sell then have the memorial site smaller and do without.

  • Is the National Park Service Wise to Be Promoting The Use of Segways?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Who says segways work well on the mall in D.C.????? I spend a great deal of time in D.C. and I see segways run over people on the mall all the time! I see the riders of segways fall off a LOT. I see segways run women with baby strollers, the elderly, and even occasionally ME off the sidewalk on every single trip. The riders go way too fast, in crowds, and either don't know how to control them or just don't care. I can go on and on about how segways are NOT safe for the people they run over or the people riding them who face plant into the street.
    Having said that, I don't think segways are going away. Not until a multi-million dollar lawsuit grounds them, and that could take a while. So, my advice, based on hundreds of hours of experience observing, avoiding, operating, and being run over by segways:
    1. If you have segways, you need to make a SEGWAY ONLY path, with no walkers, bikers, and absolutely no kids or strollers, and make it a one directional loop path with a railing system to keep the segway on the path.
    2. Figure out how to slow the segway down to a reasonable speed where the injury risk for all persons involved is lowered.
    3. Make sure that tour guide takes them out and brings them back in.

  • Trail Jogger at Glacier National Park Walks Away from Encounter With Two Grizzlies   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I wouldn't call him an idiot, Lynn. I've run along a number of park trails and it's a wonderful experience. This gentleman certainly was fortunate, and no doubt might have fared better had he carried some bear spray or made his presence a bit louder. But I wouldn't call him an idiot.

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Just who decided that something has to be done by the 10th anniversary? What's wrong with the Temporary Memorial?

  • Trail Jogger at Glacier National Park Walks Away from Encounter With Two Grizzlies   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm sorry, but--what an idiot. Why not just wear a t-shirt with a target on it?

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    There was another plane that crashed into the pentagon. Has the government converted this area from its former use, and made it public access. Civilians and government employees died there. How about starting by moving out all the files and people on that side of the pentegon so it will be used as a memorial. They won't have to worry about buying it, they already own it.
    This land in PA. is privately owned and wanted for a memorial. The relatives of those on the plane need a final place to remember the bravery, They probably do not want any more lives changed by this incident. When the land is taken at "fair market value", it more than likely will not be what they are taxing it at.

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    If people do NOT want to sell their land they should not HAVE to sell it. The memorial is a wonderful thing but people should not have to give up their freedom of owning land. It is not a matter of life or death to the nation.

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Hope the market prices will be adjusted to today's level and the (owners) suffer from the plunge of real estate prices. Had they sold two years ago, they would have gotten away far better.

  • Trail Jogger at Glacier National Park Walks Away from Encounter With Two Grizzlies   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The encounter between the runner and the bear was about as good as could be expected under the circumstances. Running along a trail in bear country, particularly during the spring, is asking for trouble. The bear may have been startled and then attracted to what probably appeared to be a fleeing animal.

  • National Park Lodging Concessionaires Creating Their Own Stimulus Plans   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Beamis, The article you cite is focussed on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. My "certainty that private cars will not remain viable.." is based on the projected availability of fossil fuels, particularly liquid petroleum. Greenhouse gas emissions is certainly a very important issue that must be taken into consideration regardless of whatever means of transportation and other forms of mechanical power may be used in the future. However, that question is moot unless there is a cheap and plentiful supply of liquid energy available. The findings of the DOE study that I cited earlier have been validated by a separate study carried out by the U.S. military. Other national and international agencies have also arrived at similar conclusions. The exact timing of the peak of oil production continues to be debated, but the consensus of most oil geologists and others with oil related expertise is that total world production of conventional oil will - or already has - reach a maximum high point and then go into a prolonged, irreversible decline.

    Please note, I am not saying that we are "running out" of oil. That is not the issue. It is that the flow rate of total world oil production has or will soon enter into an era of decline. It has already happened in many of the major historic producers of oil including the U.S.A., Mexico, Great Britain/Norway, Oman, Syria, Egypt, etc. The discovery of new oil reserves peaked out in the 1960s, and has been shrinking since. The math is brutal. It's the same as withdrawing more from your bank account than you are putting in. Eventually (now?) you have to cut back on what you are spending.

    Insofar as national parks are concerned, they will have to make adjustments to a less bountiful supply of oil based fuels - as will we all. It will eventually become excessively expensive and even difficult to buy the gas to fuel private vehicle travel for non-essential purposes. Indeed, that trend is already beginning as Americans cut back on driving miles and the purchase of new vehicles. The much publicized Canadian tar sands and western oil shale reserves will not save the day, because of the expense, difficulty and environmental cost of extracting and processing a very low grade of synthetic oil. Hopefully, the National Park Service and those who are economically dependent on the parks will begin the process of planning and preparing for a future with a generally reduced supply of conventional energy.

  • NPCA Report: National Parks Provide Economic Security for Surrounding Communities   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Owen, the town of Springdale, Utah did work out a lighting plan to help preserve the dark night skies above Zion National Park. While Springdale is not nearly as large as the Great Smoky Mountains industrial tourist metroplex, these things can be accomplished on a local level when enough people think it is important.

  • National Park Lodging Concessionaires Creating Their Own Stimulus Plans   5 years 24 weeks ago

    A study by the University of California came out in the news yesterday that just might go a long ways toward debunking, or at least calling into question, Ray Bane's certainty that private cars will not remain viable because

    It is not politics that will force us to make changes in the way we live; it is geological reality.

    http://snipurl.com/jq8f7

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    The fish have been and are stocked by the Washington Trail Blazers.
    The website has a document from 2004 with some history:
    North Cascades National Park High Lakes Fishery Management (.pdf file)
    (more interesting information from the website)

  • Sharpshooters To Begin Reducing Elk Herds in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Elk Angel: I have a concern with your post. Why, exactly, can a town of humans not be relocated? Is it because we/they are too content/lazy and don't want to do what's right to minimize these problems? There are too many people who think they're entitled to ignoring precious ecosystems because it's too much of a hassle for them. I find it difficult that people can and do travel thousands of miles by car and millions of miles by plane each year and move dozens of times in their lifetimes yet are unable move a whole human establishment to do what's right for the rest of the environment. The problem with humans is we feel that we can own everything and it's up to other creatures to adjust to our appetite for more land and more development.

  • Vehicle Passes Still Available for Great Smoky Mountains National Park's 75th Anniversary Concert   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Kurt, Thanks for this update.

    For anyone that wants to go, but hasn't yet purchased a ticket. I will be dropping one off at the Townsend visitor center on Friday afternoon.
    This is a $25.00 ticket for a passenger car.

    Praying it doesn't rain!!

  • NPCA Report: National Parks Provide Economic Security for Surrounding Communities   5 years 24 weeks ago

    To what extent does official "partnering" between local economic entities and the NPS contribute to a potential managerial conflict of interest regarding the preservation and protection of park resources and the visitor's experience?

    The effect of industrial tourism and the devlopment and rapid growth of gateway communities is most pronounced in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, TN (all adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park). In this day in age, I cannot imagine the Supt. of the Great Smoky Mountains being permitted to make any decision that would contribute to even a perceived reduction of park visitation. This includes any proposal to close of the Cades Cove Loop road to the private automobile (a "must-do" decision as far as I'm concerned).

    We live within 90 miles of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We seldom visit, mostly because of the negative aspects of traffic conjestion encountered along all the major highways entering the park.

    The experience of hiking in the evening to the top of the Clingman's Dome observation tower to enjoy the night sky above the park at above 6000 feet elevation is severly compromised because Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, TN have become major sources of light pollution. Hopefully, one day the NPS might be able to encourage better lighting standards for these neighboring communities, as the night sky is one natural resource that can be easily regained through intelligent lighting.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Thanks, Bob.

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I hope the NPS can avoid taking on this memorial, but if it happens, it certainly will not be the first time politicians have forced the Service to take on other peoples' "problems" or surplus "assets." Although it has the best of intentions and a subject deserving recognition, the project has a host of issues, primarily many hallmarks of very poor planning. The NPS should not be in the business of rescuing failure unless it wants to interpret poor planning practices. If our taxes must go into this project, I would much rather see the Obama government stimulate it with a $50,000,000 one-time gift for an endowment to be managed by the foundation. It's unfortunate that the memorial appears locked in by development because it would have made a perfect marriage with a new national cemetery. With 300,000 or more WWII veterans passing away each year, new cemeteries have been established in recent years due to the high demand. The association with an active cemetery would likely have given the memorial a chance at a sustainable future.

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    It helps to understand the details of this bill. Of the hundreds of lakes in the park and ninety-some with a history of stocking only 42 would have a continued stocking program. No new lakes would be stocked. This came about as a result of a 12-year study of the effects of stocked fish and a we subsaquent EIS. They found that trout stocked in low densities that cannot reproduce has no measurable effect on native biota including salamanders.

    Where harm occurs is in lakes with excessive populations of fish. Typically this happens when trout over-reproduce but excessive stocking can have the same effect. In NCNP they will eliminate reproducing populations and would stock only non-reproducing fish in low numbers.

    This isn't being forced on the park. The preferred alternative of the EIS allowed fish stocking but asked for clarification from Congress to continue the practice as was promised during the formation of the park.

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    This is America, Vicki. You don't have to be a veteran or public servant to publicly express an opinion about where, how, and when the federal government should spend our money.

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    How old are you and what have you done in service to your country that gives you the right to call this memorial insignificant?? The efforts of the young men and women that died voluntarily gave you every freedom and liberty you enjoy. I would think that you would show some appreciation for what you have-thanks to them.
    With all the pork-barrel spending and waste that goes on in government I would rather fund this memorial than pay the salaries of Congress!

  • Running Lava Falls In Grand Canyon National Park: What Would Major Powell Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Excellent question, Anonymous. If anyone does know, please pass word on to the Traveler. It would be a great addition to our content.

  • It’s a Bear! Everybody Get Behind the Ranger!!   5 years 24 weeks ago

    i have been up close and personal with black bears in the wild,but that is more than i would want. if they are not afraid that is not a good sign.