Recent comments

  • On the Run: Racers See Four National Parks on Two Feet in One Day   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Thanks so much for catching that, Robert.

    Hope you are having some good fall weather for your runs.

  • Traveler's Checklist: Biscayne National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Both times we have tried to go snorkeling at Biscayne, the boats were canceled because there were not enough people. We were able to get on boats from John Pennekamp State Park on Key Largo. The boat ride takes about an hour and then you have an hour of snorkel time on the water. Each time I went to a different reef. I've also taken the glass bottom boat tour from John Pennekamp State Park, which was a very cool thing, even got to see a shark! At the time, prices at John Pennekamp were a little bit cheaper than going from Biscayne.

  • Columbus Day is also Native American Day   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Are you kidding? Don't you know about many, many thousands that Columbus was responsible for in his own lifetime? You could ask the Taina Indians about their plight under Columbus? Oh wait. You can't. He and his men killed them all.

    As for what came after, yes, Columbus does hold some responsibility; he started the process and was an unapologetic advocate with it. Unless you think history is simply made up of discrete moments and is unconnected, then you should hold Columbus up as an ingredient in the story.

    But, yes, Columbus was directly responsible for genocide in his own lifetime.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Jon Jarvis Supports More Official Wilderness in National Park System   5 years 28 weeks ago

    There always will be some level of development including visitor facilities. I for one appreciate that there are bathrooms, boardwalks, visitor centers, food service, etc when I visit NPS areas.

  • Traveler's Checklist: Biscayne National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    We camped on Elliott Key some years ago, and I was glad we went in early April. The weather was perfect, and we enjoyed ourselves so much more since we were not plagued by bugs. The road trail was awesome, I will never forget the tropical flowers (or the birds!) in that paradise. There's never enough time to do it all, though - I would love to go back one day and take that glass-bottomed boat tour you spoke of. Thanks for bringing back a wonderful memory.

  • Jon Jarvis Supports More Official Wilderness in National Park System   5 years 28 weeks ago

    All of our parks and monuments should be safe from development. What's wrong with congress that this has not happened?

  • Jon Jarvis Supports More Official Wilderness in National Park System   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I'd like to see the current roadless areas in Great Smoky Mountains NP set aside as official wilderness areas. It amazes me this hasn't happened by now.

  • Columbus Day is also Native American Day   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Why is Columbus so vilified? I understand the impact on the native populations brought by those who followed. But how many natives were killed by Columbus himself? Should we also blame him for the loss of the bison? He never found the mainland and didn’t hang around. He accidentally stumbled on the ‘New World’ while looking for the East Indies. The exploitation there was already underway.

    The Pilgrims and their descendants who stayed and expanded across the continent had much larger direct impact. Should we have a ‘Go home Pilgrims’ day?

    Don’t blame the scientists who conceived splitting the atom for the bombs dropped on Japan. Let’s clarify the issue. Columbus may be no saint but he also deserves no credit for the plight of the natives that followed his ‘discovery’. I think we can look much closer to home for that responsibility.

  • What to Do With the "Dune Shacks" At Cape Cod National Seashore?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Playwright Larry Myers wrote an expert drama called
    "Jack Kerouac in a Provincetown Dune Shack"
    his Jack Kerouac Society has events in NewYork

  • Traveler's Checklist: Biscayne National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Well - I wasn't sure and I was thinking Oahu was overlooked somehow. I think they also have some serious issues regarding recreational pressure in Hawaii. They get lots and lots of visitors who probably spend more time in the water. When I visited Hanuama Bay (which I think has qualities that would make it a good addition to the NPS system) there was a huge slick which was probably from the sunscreen used by several visitors (I'm guilt too). That oily residue supposedly isn't good for the health of the coral reefs although it wasn't banned.

    My Florida trip wasn't all bad. I finally got on the water on a boat tour of the Everglades Gulf Coast and the Ten Thousand Islands. Maybe not glass bottom with clear water and reefs, but we got to see dolphins hunting for food. Apparently they were thrashing around to kill their prey via blunt force trauma before consuming them. I did miss out on my (reserved) trip to Fort Jefferson too. Hurricanes (even ones that turn out to be relative duds) have that habit of ruining vacation plans.

  • Traveler's Checklist: Biscayne National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I hate that you missed out on those aquatic adventures, ypw. My own sad story is that I visited Biscayne en route to Key West and had no time at all for boat rides or snorkeling. In fact, I didn't get beyond Convoy Point, which is to say that I never got off the mainland. (Sigh.......). You were right to take me to task on the metro statement. I changed that to read "major urban region (conurbation) with millions of residents." Miami-Dade County alone has roughly 2.5 million people (nearly three times the population of the entire island of Oahu), and Miami-Dade is just the core county of the South Florida conurbation. These big numbers make a big difference because they translate into more pollution, more recreational pressure, and more stress on the living reefs.

  • Traveler's Checklist: Biscayne National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I'm disappointed that I missed out on a snorkeling and glass bottom boat tour when I visited the area. There was a tropical storm coming through the area and my reserved snorkel boat tour was canceled because of storm preparations. My glass bottom tour was reserved for later in the week, but they canceled because there were only 3 people with a required 6 (supposedly just enough to pay for the fuel). People were scared off by the storm and tourists didn't return although the weather did turn out to be perfect.

    As for living coral reefs in large metro areas - I would think the coral reefs in Oahu are pretty close to metro areas.

  • Columbus Day is also Native American Day   5 years 28 weeks ago

    It's my understanding,native americans were on these lands(america). Therefore they discovered america.

  • What's the Best For Elk In Theodore Roosevelt National Park?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I feel sorry for you buddy. You seem to think that we are on a level above nature and that we should be able to alter natural habbitats at will. This is the precise state of mind that has driven hundreds of species into extinction already. I don't know if you are aware of this but natural habbitats have existed without the help of mankind for billions of years before our arrival. The bureau of land managment has passed legislation that gives authority to park management to deal with these types of problems at a scientific level. Now when i say a scientific level I am reffering to biological and ecological research and solutions, not those who want to shoot up the countryside and continue to drive endangered species into extinction. Next time why don't you try doing a little research before you put your foot in your mouth.

    This comment was edited. -- Ed.

  • Columbus Day is also Native American Day   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Agreed, though I have used Columbus Day in the past as a way to hold educational forums on what Columbus actually did to indigenous peoples and what his legacy caused as well, connecting it to today. They were very successful and well attended events; it might be okay to hold onto "Columbus Day" as a kind of day of infamy; if we replace it all together, we might forget how awful he was. That's no doubt why it's important in Germany to commemorate the Holocaust.

    Check out this poster - http://www.colorado.edu/AmStudies/lewis/2010/colum.htm -

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I live in the suburbs, but on the cusp of wilderness. Cougars and coyotes venture down very close to "civilization" to snack on livestock--steak in a cage. Occasionally I'll read about a pet killed. Fatal attacks on humans from wild animals are exceedingly rare in the lower 48. It's safe and sensible to continue reintroducing native predators to the National Parks. However, until that happens with greater effect, hunting is the only real alternative I see to prevent animals dying en masse of disease or starvation.

    Ken Grubb
    Puyallup, WA

  • A Sad Sign of the Times: NPS Promotes Body Armor Options To Rangers   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    The governor is fretting over nothing. As for the fees, if the $10 renewal fee isn't covering the state's cost of processing the renewal apps then they could certainly increase the fees to cover costs. Here in Washington I believe it runs about $33 for a 5 year renewal.

    As for monitoring, they run criminal records checks through NCIC, just like any other state.

    Testing of proficiency is another red herring. Here in Washington and a number of other states there's no proficiency testing either, there's no problem now or in the past. Utah's mandatory minimum testing requirements are more rigorous than in many states with proficiency testing but less rigorous than in a few states.
    http://publicsafety.utah.gov/bci/documents/TRANGUIDELINES_006.pdf

    Ken Grubb
    Puyallup, WA

  • Columbus Day is also Native American Day   5 years 28 weeks ago

    cannot understand why the park celebrates columbus day,he did not discovery america period,why can;t we ever give our native americans their due?????

  • Jon Jarvis Supports More Official Wilderness in National Park System   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Wilderness designation is valuable for a national park because it adds extra protection against development of the backcountry. The 1916 NPS Organic Act sets a high standard, but there's a vulnerability there that can be exploited by proponents of development. The Bush administration was able to propose a major rewrite of the NPS Management Policies favoring more development and argue that all the changes were consistent with the 1916 Act. The Wilderness Act in its section 4(c) more clearly prohibits commercial enterprises, roads, motor vehicles, motorized equipment, mechanical transport, and any structures or installations.

  • A Conversation With Jon Jarvis, the New Director of the National Park Service   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I'd like to know whether or not it is true that as a regional director he opined in front of a roomful of managers that the 1500 or so law enforcement professionals of the National Park Service - roughly 1/5 of whom worked for him at the time - are undeserving of the same retirement benefits as the rest of Federal law enforcement officers because it made interpretive rangers feel bad about themselves. Is this what we can expect as morale building? Divisive poorly thought out comments?

  • On the Run: Racers See Four National Parks on Two Feet in One Day   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I'm a runner so this story naturally caught my eye. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    FYI, a point of clarity. The candles in the Memorial Illumination represent the soldiers "killed, wounded, or missing", not deaths. (http://www.nps.gov/anti/planyourvisit/luminary.htm) The numbers seemed to be too high to be deaths so I checked.

  • Maine North Woods National Park: Has The Time Arrived?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Tuan,

    Thanks for the link to your report. I'm trying to find a way to justify a trip there, but until I do I'll read as much as I can. You're right that the proposed park would contain a mixture of uses, including hunting, as I understand it. Sounds like under the proposal being pushed the park would be managed much like any other "park and preserve."

    I look forward to seeing your images.

  • Where Can You Find the Best Fall Foliage In the National Park System? Here Are Ten Contenders   5 years 28 weeks ago

    That's a good list, but it's limited to Eastern Parks. True, most of the Western Parks do not have maples (and therefore brillant reds that are the staple of great fall foliage) but there are exceptions:
    Zion fall foliage and Guadalupe Mountains fall foliage both peak in November, so if you're late for the Eastern Parks, here is your chance this year.

    Tuan.

    National Parks images

  • Maine North Woods National Park: Has The Time Arrived?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    "Large" is relative. Although Baxter State Park would it its centerpiece, the proposed NWNP would be considerably much larger. My understanding is that it would be a mixed Park and Preserve to keep some uses open. The area is going to get some development anyways, so better to have it managed by the NPS than by real estate developers. I just traveled to the area, here is a quick report about my trip to the Maine North Woods. I should have images of the area maybe next week and will post a direct link.

    Tuan.

    National Parks images

  • Clash of Viewpoints on Public Land Ownership and Protection Arrives in Congress in the Form of Red Rock Wilderness Legislation   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I am currently studying such issues as these, as I am a student at Texas A&M University. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the Wilderness Acts provided congress and federal agencies responsible for such land to protect and preserve them. While many, like the State of Utah, might claim that the Red Rock Wilderness area provides an abundance of resources, we, as Americans, should recognize that all public domain lands belong to everyone, not just one particular organization. Thus, it is important to preserve, protect, and ensure that these fragile and ever-shrinking natural lands are established as national parks for all to enjoy. It is inevitable that people’s opinions of these lands will clash, perhaps for decades to come, nevertheless, facts are that as population increases and demands for resources grows, the area of natural wildlife will diminish. We should preserve what areas of wildlife regions we can to protect them in the future.