Recent comments

  • These Big Bird Sightings at Grand Canyon Are the Real Deal   5 years 25 weeks ago

    This evening around 5 to 5:30 pm,As my daughter in law and I were driving in West Jordan ,Utah I Looked up in the sky at the dark clouds forming and saw a massive pure black bird.It was flying at a high elevation and slowly descending.As it glided down slowly it would flap and then glide more.I was shocked at the size and looked around at the traffic but I seemed to be the only one that noticed it.I was not close enough to see it but it was huge and we wondered if there were condors in the area.It had to have had a wingspan of nearly 10 feet or so.It was the size of a small aircraft,I was just wondering if anyone else in this area has seen the same thing,My daughter in law says nearly 10 years ago she was outside at night and saw something very similar

  • With 391 Units In the National Park System, You'd Think TripAdvisor Could Find 10 It Liked   5 years 25 weeks ago

    To Anonymous of June 6, why did you bother commenting? Your Comment is more irritating than the original article, and quit blasting Kurt for blasting that article. And if anyone is insolent about all this, it is definitely you. I agree with Kurt. If TripAdvisor can't get it right, then they shouldn't be advising.

  • National Park Lodging Concessionaires Creating Their Own Stimulus Plans   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I live in Hawaii and can testify that our tourist-based economy is indeed in dire straits. Visitor numbers are down about 23% from a year ago. Tourism is an industry that reflects general consumer confidence, and that is not a pleasant picture right now. The sudden price spike in the price of oil last year followed by the real estate and financial meltdown was a one-two punch to tourism. For those involved in providing commercial services to visitors to the national parks and for the communities that depend on tourist spending the downturn in the economy is proving to be disaster. Here in Hawaii property prices are falling, unemployment is increasing, tax revenues are declining, and airline service has been reduced. Scenes such as these are playing out in other tourist dependent regions across the country.

    The era of the private automobile is in decline. Oil supplies are tightening, and the cost of driving will once again increase. If park tourism is to survive it must adjust to the transportation reality unfolding. That means a shift back to mass transit, such as busses and passenger trains and adapting visitor accommodations accordingly. Trying to resuscitate the automobile based model is ultimately a waste of time and resources.

  • SUV Goes Over The Rim Near Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Don't worry. We'll all pay for it through our insurance. That's the way it works; an income transfer to the stupid and neglectful.

  • With 391 Units In the National Park System, You'd Think TripAdvisor Could Find 10 It Liked   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Yes, I also read that article and I didn't agree with them but I'm not going to be snippy about it. If you already called and spoke with them, why continue the battle? This article has irritated me even more than the original. Stop being so insolent, instead of trying to highlighter their faults take the higher path and create your own list. I know, I know you already have multiple lists of national parks you adore, so move on and give me some real information on the parks.

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I agree with Dan P. The monument can go as far as I'm concerned. There is a memorial to ALL WWII Vets in Washington DC. All soldiers, all battles. $2M for an insignificant memorial? Ridiculous. Looks like a great place for a PARK.

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I'm sorry to say, on the anniversary of the battle itself, that the so-called National D-Day Memorial, should not have been chartered as a national-level memorial in the first place. A memorial with a $5 entry fee?

    One of my particular pet peeves is the elevation of D-Day, and the battle for Normandy, over every other campaign of the war. What of North Africa? Sicily? Anzio? Operation Dragoon, the other invasion of France? Market Garden? The Bulge? The Allied strategic bombing mission? The US cryptanalysis effort at Arlington Hall? The absolutely amazing resolve of the merchant fleet, which sailed off into a deadly U-Boat gauntlet to supply our allies? And that's all without mentioning the Pacific theater!

    This is not to say that D-Day was not hugely significant. Of course it was. And the courage of those men is no less than that of many others. But it is no greater than that of many others as well. Compared to any other campaign of the war, D-Day has already been amply covered in public history.

    We need to take WWII history seriously, and we need to integrate the best historical parks we can get while we still have the chance. Certainly we need one, and could easily create one, for the Manhattan Project--whether in New Mexico or at Wendover Field in Utah. Well-preserved training sites could be valuable additions, following the example of Tuskegee Airmen NHP which is important, not just for its civil rights history, but also because the airmen trained there went on to active service in the European air campaign. (Perhaps someday the NPS could lay claim to Arlington Hall, and create the world's first National Historical Park and Mathematical Shrine!)

    The American Battle Monuments Commission recently opened its first interpretive museum at the Normandy American Cemetery. The NPS should seriously consider a partnership with the ABMC to place interpreters at overseas battlefields and military cemeteries, perhaps following the example of the Canadians at Vimy Ridge in France.

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    $2 million a year to operate it? I say cut those costs drastically by bringing in free labor to help maintain the grounds. Such as prison/jail work crews, and community service workers, to handle grounds keeping, and maintenance of structures and grounds keeping equipment. Gather volunteers in the community who are willing to donate their time as educators in job training programs (in grounds maintenance) for ex-cons or the physically/mentally disadvantaged. Bring in school kids to help pick up litter, plant flowers, or other light duties. Using the experience to educate the students on WW II history, as well as developing their sense of pride in our country, and respect for our Veterans. Inlist the help of local garden clubs, senior citizen programs, or churches to help with light landscaping duties. Help is out there....

  • Running Lava Falls In Grand Canyon National Park: What Would Major Powell Think?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Interesting comments! As a "guest" to the Canyon who was on the Wilderness River motorized trip (Steve's video), and as a person from Oregon who is environmentally conscious, I'm disappointed to hear cristicism of what was a marvelous, and environmentally responsible trip. Yes, we've paddled ourselves, (and kayaked) down the DeShutes, the Snake, the Rogue, etc., but we chose a motorized trip down the Colorado. Time was the biggest factor in that decision, and the thrill of experiencing more of the Canyon, and to have the opportunity to enjoy more back trails...in the time we had.
    What would John Wesley Powell think? I believe he would have used the latest and safest means available to see and experience as much of the Canyon as humanly possible. I think he would have felt as we did; humbled and privileged to be within this great place for a short time. Perhaps he would have resisted the regulations, but thousands of people today appreciate the necessity of those.
    I was in awe of the high standards and precedents set, and the respect our guides and group had for the land, and for every other person on the river. How often did I hear our "captain" holler out to other rafters (motorized or otherwise), "Need anything?" ... "Doing OK?" ... "Ice? Sure."
    Yes, the motors were a quiet churning, but I hardly call that industrialized. More like "industrious," as was one guest on our trip who was 76. Her spirit longed to see and do what oar rafters and kayakers do, and the motorized trip allowed her to do so. I live in Eugene, the "green" capital of Oregon. I'm tired of people who condemn those who respectfully choose other options. That makes us no less committed to doing our part in keeping the Canyon pristine. Broaden your thinking...there is more than one right way! And Steve, Mark and I send thanks for all your good work...and friendship! Kudos to Wilderness River Adventures, too!
    Judy Dippel

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I visited the D-Day memorial several years ago and, I'm really very sorry to say, I thought it was weak. It's an uninspired design, and does nothing to expand on the story of WWII beyond what any other existing monument, including the monstrosity on the Mall, is already telling. It also doesn't connect the place to the monument. There's nothing at the site that connects the memorial to the community, it looks like it was just "put there" because some congressman or rich man decided to put it there.

    I feel bad saying this because, apparently, many people committed their dollars and time to erect and run this memorial, but it simply doesn't do the job.

    ======================================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • How Familiar Are You With Yosemite National Park?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I just got back from hiking Yosemite but my flight back east flew right over both Zion and Arches. Many iconic features are clearly visible from 30,000 feet. Angel's Landing looks especially spectacular and it confirmed that the new Canaan Mnt wilderness on the park's south border was well deserved. I've seen the Grand Canyon quite clearly before but this time it was clouded over. On another trip west, I got a wonderful view of the Great Sand Dunes. That view made me move up that park on my near term itinerary (May 2010?). Flying is sure great for geography buffs.

  • National Park Lodging Concessionaires Creating Their Own Stimulus Plans   5 years 25 weeks ago

    My wife I we stayed three nights over Memorial Day weekend at Volcano House, the park lodge inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We didn't get any deals (but didn't ask for one either, shame on me) but I was surprised how empty was the lodge. Our ground floor volcano view room was the only one of five occupied the whole time. The upstairs room was occupied one night out of three. I expected a full house like many prominent park lodges are during prime times. Must be the overall drop in tourism to Hawaiii. I wish I'd called direct instead of booking online and asked for a better deal (shame on me). By the way, the lodge is dated, in need of new mattresses, better food services, but the view can't be beat!

  • Search Suspended for Missing Climber on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve   5 years 25 weeks ago

    What absolute waste of human life. If only the energy, time, and money had been spent on something less selfish and more benevolent to their fellow man.

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Whether an effort begun as a private project should now be bailed out by the taxpayers provides plenty of fodder for debate.

    Not as much as you might imagine or else we the taxpayers wouldn't be on the hook for a stake in Chrysler, GM, Goldman Sachs or AIG. This is chickenfeed by comparison. I also don't remember a lot of debate about whether or not we the taxpayers should shoulder these burdens.

    What's a bankrupt memorial compared to these other monoliths of governmental fascism? I say what the heck add it to the pile. I mean it's only printed and borrowed money anyway.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Steven M. Bumgardner
    Videographer/Producer

    If you've ever been to the Grand Canyon, you'll notice that MOST of the South Rim doesn't have rock walls or fences, and that in many places the trails come very close to the edge. Around the developed areas, there are all kinds of walls, fences, and some signs warning of dangers, but most of the park is full of natural hazards. Although we often hear stories like this one, we usually don't focus on how FEW people actually get hurt in our National Parks, and how many millions have a safe, enjoyable visit. And, yes, I've read "Death in the Grand Canyon" and "Death in Yosemite", and both are fascinating, page-turning books that may actually save your life.

    And as far as the cost to taxpayers are concerned, the type of rescue that I see in the photograph cost very little, and most rescue personnel are protection rangers who are already on duty. Things get expensive when helicopters and large search groups are required, but a 50 foot verticle rescue, not so much.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I was at the grand canyon last summer and there were plenty of idiots that just had to get a better, although fool hardy view of the canyon. These people were not at places that where the drop was a couple of feet, but a few hundred feet at best. A few had there young kids out there as well. There are plenty of spectacular places that can be seen behind the safety fence. Their were Park Rangers around, but nothing was really being done about it. Kudos to R. Scofield

  • Updated: Coal Mine Proposed North Of Glacier National Park Strains US-Canadian Relations   5 years 25 weeks ago

    During 54 years on this planet I've seen beautiful here, beautiful there and I know before my time is over I'll see more beauty Earth has and I would like to see it all, but that's not likely. There are millions upon millions who feel the same, young and old! Can't we make believe there is no coal in these sites as well as others and "push" our technologies to come up with the answers !?

  • How Familiar Are You With Yosemite National Park?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    You guys are slipping, nobody has yet to correct me that you can't see Nevada Fall from the Valley! It should be Yosemite Falls.

  • How Familiar Are You With Yosemite National Park?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Here are a few of the landmarks I've identified in the photo above. I'm by no means an expert. I'm sure many of you can add more, and I may be wrong on some of them too!

    http://www.jessstryker.com/national-parks/yosemite/yosemite-valley-aerial-names.jpg

    Here's a higher resolution copy of the photo:
    http://www.jessstryker.com/national-parks/yosemite/yosemite-valley-aerial.jpg

    And something for you SEKI fans (ie; SEquoia and KIng's Canyon National Parks):
    http://www.jessstryker.com/national-parks/kings-canyon/kings-canyon-aerial.jpg

    Enjoy!

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Davepol,

    In most cases, the NPS picks up the tab. It's extremely rare for SAR targets to be handed a bill in the park system.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 25 weeks ago

    A good arguement but flawed from the point if one or two people were moved by the power of the place to cross the fence of a electrical sub-station and climb one of the transformers causing the loss of life and loss of power to hundreds it would be punishable because it is trespassing on private property. While the Grand Canyon is National land the boundaries are there just the same for our protection. You have the privilege of being able to cross those boundaries because of your job. You have the skill and knowledge of how to cross those boundaries safely. Like the employee of the power company. Most of us don't have that privilege.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I'm pretty sure the cost of NPS search and rescue operations is picked up by the individual--just like an ambulance ride?

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I seemed to have touched a nerve. I am not suggesting that anyone stay home in lew of enjoying the great out doors and the grand canyon should be seen by everyone before they die. But with our money bailing out this company and that company and a whole slew of us out of work or in threat of us being out of work, lets use what little sense we have and stay within the bounds the experts dictate as a safe distance and not bring more problems on ourselves and others. I too am glad she wasn't hurt seriously or killed.

  • Running Lava Falls In Grand Canyon National Park: What Would Major Powell Think?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Steven M. Bumgardner
    Videographer/Producer

    Require is a strong word, but Arizona Fish & Game, working on chub restoration (http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/research_humpback_chub.shtml), was using motorized rafts to electro-shock non-native fish. Their "patrol" area around the mouth of the Little Colorado goes a couple of miles downstream, and then "requires" that they return back upstream through a few small rapids back to their basecamp.

    I'm definitely not an advocate for motorized recreation, and I think the term 'motor sports' is an oxymoron. I was shocked to see so many motorized boats on the Grand Canyon. I had no idea. But by day 7 of my trip, in a place as immense as the Grand Canyon, with millions of visitors coming to the park each year, I started realizing that a little outboard motor stuck on the back of a raft was a very powerful and practical tool, and I wouldn't hold my breath thinking that it might someday go away.

    BTW, Superintendent Martin floated down the Colorado River this spring, in a motorized boat.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I'm not worried about what the cost to tax payers was....I'm just glad she survived the ordeal. Those rescue workers are trained and ready for just such an event and tax dollars ensure that those resources are there for you too, God forbid you should ever need them. My hat goes off to those brave souls that were there to help her and my heart goes out to the woman and her family. It must've given them quite a scare and hopefully a renewed appreciation for life.