Recent comments

  • FY 2010 Budget For National Park Service Can Only Go Up   5 years 29 weeks ago

    As a Californian, I fear for the future of our state parks, but it's heartening to know that not all park agencies are completely broke.

  • Lost to Hurricanes, the Flamingo Lodge at Everglades National Park Will be Hard to Replace   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I have some bird watching clients who have asked me to check accommodation at Flamingo Lodge. They and i obviously didnt realise it no longer exists. Can anyone please reccommend a hotel/lodge near the everglades national park ??

    thanks so much karen

  • Dog Owner Cited After Pit Bull Attacks a Deer at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Jim -. I completely got the purpose of the article, which was to highlight the importance of leash laws and keeping control of your dog, no matter what breed. I didn't even think of posting until I read the comments, which is what I was responding to. I assumed the pit bull in the article was one of those hybrid breeds that often pass for pure pit bulls when I saw that it weighed 100 pounds. I really didn't think much of it until I referenced it in my post. Killing a deer sounds exactly like what a pit bull would do, even if it's only 30 pounds; I said nothing about pits not being animal aggressive. I'm sure the attack was violent; describing that in the article would not have raised my ire. Animal aggression is natural for pit bulls (although they can usually be raised to get along with other animals, if they are properly socialized), human aggression is not. They are two separate things. Pit bulls are not more likely to attack a human; they're actually less likely than most breeds. Cocker spaniels bite more than pit bulls. It's just that pits are capable of doing more damage than other breeds, and a lot of people own them that shouldn't. It all comes back to responsible ownership. It's more important with a pit bull than with other dogs because they are animal-aggressive and extremely physically capable, not because they are human-aggressive. You can get away with having a spoiled toy dog, but with pit bulls or any other dog that is very athletic and strong, correct training is imperative.

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Elk Lover, Your post reflects an extreme dislike for wolves. Of course wolves do not kill only sick and diseased prey. Like all natural predators, they are opportunistic and do not check a prey's age or medical records before culling them. However, on average weaker and injured animals are more likely to be taken. In most of North America wolves were an integral part of healthy ecosystems long before Europeans arrived. Insofar as excessive kills of domestic sheep, you might want to check the history of how humans with firearms literally decimated hundreds of thousands of buffalo for "sport" and caused the extinction of countless species of animals. I have watched wolves hunt and take caribou and moose and seen wolves injured in the process. Wolves are part of nature, and nature doesn't operate according to human moral code.

  • Where Can You Go to Get Your Post-Ken Burns National Parks Fix?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    And, if you're interested in a present day war of National Historic Preservation, take the time to learn about the effort to dismantle the Barnes Foundation in Merion, PA that is being spearheaded and financed by The Pew Trusts. Some say that Pew's "Barnes On The Parkway Project" is the greatest abuse of the public cultural trust since the land barons tries to stop the establishment of the National Parks. For more on Pew's and Pennsylvania's dirtiest little secret, check out Barnesfriends.org or the documentary, "The Art of The Steal" - STOP PEW'S "BARNES ON THE PARKWAY PROJECT" - PRESERVE THE BARNES FOUNDATION IN MERION, PA

  • Where Can You Go to Get Your Post-Ken Burns National Parks Fix?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    You've got my vote! The new NPS site is great, but it's basically a promotion tool. If I wanted to skim the surface, I'd go surfing. You guys dive right in. Tell it like it is, I say.

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Ms. Anonymous,

    Sport Hunter? Why does it always go to that? Lack of education on someone's part I guess.

    Over 80% of our Division of Wildlife budget is paid for by hunters here in CO, so without hunters, wildlife in CO would be in the shitter. We (Hunter/conservationists) have paid to help reintroduce multiple species in every US state. Most hunters are not the redneck, tobacco chewing lot of cartoons, but professionals that actually might respect the animals we hunt much more than someone who doesn't and get's their protein from the supermarket.

    I have personally helped to raise over $6M in the last 5 years to support conservation activities here in Colorado. Money that is spent in on-the-ground activities such as habitat enhancement, conservation easement acquisition, public/private land exchanges/purchases (land put into the public domain), wildlife education and others. What tangiable actions have you taken for widlife?

  • Catwalk Tours at New River Gorge Bridge Will Delight Some and Scare the Hell Out of the Rest   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Hmm, maybe by the time it's available I'll have worked up the nerve to try. What an interesting idea, and history of how it came to be. Thanks for writing about it!

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Jim,

    Thanks for the links. I have perused your writings, but will spend some additional time doing so. Some good stuff.

    I am much more of an elk lover, although my dislike for wolves is pretty deep these days. I provided public comment prior to the re-introduction of wolves IN FAVOR of re-introduction. However, even though we are 3-4 times the agreed upon number of wolves, the environmentalists continue to waste taxpayer dollars by filing legal actions against pulling wolves from the endangered species list. All other games species, including predators, can be effectively managed under the north american model of wildlife management, which includes hunting, so why not the wolf?

  • Where Can You Go to Get Your Post-Ken Burns National Parks Fix?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Yes, National Parks Traveler is really not bad, not bad at all. ;-)

  • Wintry Weather Knocking Down Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Great Pictures!!!!

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    "Are you more an elk lover or a wolf hater?"

    I think that is self-evident from the post.

    All but the sport hunter celebrate the reduction of the massive overpopulation of elk in the northern range.

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Elk Lover,

    We look forward to your support on Wyoming (and increasingly Montana's) needless testing of elk for brucellosis, especially the capture and release program in Wyoming.

    Or, is the only danger you perceive to elk wolf predation? Are you more an elk lover or a wolf hater? If the former, please consider the ways that the state governments are intruding on elk all in the name of protecting the livestock industry.

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

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Too bad those making comments don't know the real truth about wolves. They DO NOT seek out the very old, sick or weak. In fact wolves will kill just about any elk they can find but prefer calves and cows. They have created an unhealthy herd balance of very few calves, with some areas reporting a less than 10% attachment rate (10 calves per 100 surviving their 1st year). Hunter sucecss onlarge bulls doesn't compare to the chaos that wolves are bringing to elk herd population dynamics. Wolves are the most wasteful predator in North America, killing for sport, not necessarily to survive. (e.g. on August 21 near Dillon, MT, a group of wolves killed 120 sheep in a single night - Hmmm, I guess they were really hungry huh?) Take a look at http://www.saveelk.com/ if you want to know the dirty truth about wolves. Graphic yes, but the truth can be ugly.

    A Montana State University study showed that elk populations in Yellowstone's Northern Range have dropped 67% since wolf introductions (~18,000 to 6,500). A USGS study determined 3.05 elk killed per wolf, or 36 elk per year (again, they don't eat nearly everything they kill). With the ~2,000 wolves in the West, that equals 72,000 elk per year. Maybe if everyone that loved wolves were forced to watch a wolf partially eat a still alive elk or deer they might think differently, but...

  • Reader Participation Day: So, What Do You Think of the Ken Burns Film So Far?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    While teh series was visually spectacular, and historically informative, Ken Burns did not make the case for the American family to visit the parks. Visitor centers were portraied as unattractive: couldn't he have concentrated at the fact that there was SOME education going on here, and that the average family just want to get out and enjoy the outdoors. I saw NO footage of crowds of people enjoying themselves, just crowds feeding animals in Yellowstone: who's fault is that? The US Park Service sets the rules and tone of the park; that is a precedent that was done decades ago. These habits are hard to change.
    TOO MUCH YOSEMITE!!! My wife and I visited Yosemite two years ago; what happened to Galen Clark, the protector of the park?
    Again, not enough diversity of people, and visits to other parks. 10 minutes on Denali! Are you kidding?
    Again, thank you for the visually spectacular tribute to the parks. I wish that more people were consulted to comment on the value of the parks today: like citizens who use the parks.

  • Lodging in the Parks: Tioga Pass Resort   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I believe it's open through mid-October, if not the end of October. You can try reaching them at .

  • Lodging in the Parks: Tioga Pass Resort   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Is the Tioga Pass Resort Cafe already shut down for the Winter? If not, will it be open through October?

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated   5 years 29 weeks ago

    y_p_w

    Your comment is an interesting one. There's some discussion on that very subject on the story currently posted on the Traveler about elk hunts at Grand Teton.

  • Wintry Weather Knocking Down Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Romotrekker, I am green with envy !!!

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Marshall -

    I haven't checked into this, so I'm just shooting from the hip (an appropriate analogy for this topic), but I think it's likely the process of "deputizing" the hunters may have originated in an attempt to avoid setting a precedent in allowing "sport hunting" in a national park. If the hunters are "deputized," they're functioning in an "official" capacity as part of the park's wildlife management program. It's a fine line, but perhaps an important one in our political and legal system. As pointed out above, the process also gives the park the opportunity to ensure participants in the hunt receive a proper briefing on guidelines for the hunt.

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I have no problem with the hunts, though Anon and Jim do bring up great points that I'd never considered. Should be a good discussion. Thanks for the quick feedback...I was just wondering if they were "just words" or if there was more behind it. Thanks!

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Marshall, the "deputizing" is just the way the hunt is provided for in the enabling legislation.

    For what it's worth, this week's Reader Participation post will touch on such hunts in the national parks.

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 29 weeks ago

    What's the rationale for deputizing all these hunters? Just legal titles that ended up in the enabling legislature? Or something more... Any insight??

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I'm certainly not anti-hunting. I'd be for some sort of control on the population of black-tailed deer that are in my neighborhood. Just the other day there was a buck with large antlers on the street which I had to avoid.

    However - I'm wondering if hunting is the ideal solution. Most hunters want big trophy animals. Natural population controls (i.e. predators) tend to target the smaller and weaker members. In many ways, isn't hunting setting up the herd to be weaker?

  • Organization Forms to Promote Expansion of National Park System   5 years 29 weeks ago

    A recent Las Vegas newspaper article mentions the possiblility of adding the Tule Springs fossil site near LV to the National Park System as a national monument. The article also says 20 new national monuments are being considered--but does not name any except Tule Springs. Can anyone "in the know" mention some other places under consideration?

    Siskiyou Crest along the California-Oregon border is another proposal with a website btw.