Recent comments

  • National Park Service Concerned Over Solar Power Plans on BLM Lands in West   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Since waste water (gray water) is commonly used for irrigating turf at golf courses, picnic areas, and various green expanses in the arid West, are you sure that Zion National Park isn't using gray water for watering the lawn(s) you mentioned? Where gray water is in use there are normally(though not invariably) signs warning that the irrigation water isn't potable.

  • National Park Service Concerned Over Solar Power Plans on BLM Lands in West   5 years 26 weeks ago

    If the NPS is so concerned about water use in the desert, maybe it should look at and even reduce its own water use before criticizing other agencies' usage.

    In Zion, the NPS allows and actively waters lawns. Lawns in a desert.

    Just the other day, at a NPS unit in Nevada, rather than fixing a stuck-on water faucet, the park decided to wait a day instead of paying maintenance overtime.

  • That “America’s Marines” Commercial Shows Five NPS Units, Not Six   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Hearty thanks to Jon, who pointed to an error (since corrected) in the initial version of this article. The last two scenes were filmed in Golden Gate National Recreation Area alright, but not from Crissy Field looking north. The filming was actually done in the Marin Headlands area of GOGA looking south toward the San Francisco end of the Golden Gate Bridge. In other words, in the original version of the article I had it exactly ass-backwards. Anyway, the penultimate filming site in this commercial is Battery Spencer, and the very last filming site is Kirby Cove Beach. This brings me to an additional point (no pun intended). Fort Point National Historic Site is visible at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge in the very last scene, which means that it cannot possibly be a "nearly visible NPS unit." It also means that a total of five NPS units provided backdrops for the commercial, and that the title of the article was misleading. I fixed it, but only after more than 800 Traveler readers saw the incorrect version. This is all very embarrassing. Perhaps, as some readers have suggested, I should find another line of work. Maybe one that pays? :-)

  • Kurt’s Still on the Yampa, and He Wishes We Were There Too   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Omar -

    Thanks for your comment.

    Just wanted to clarify that except for his ability to send some brief, outgoing messages via his SPOT, Kurt is otherwise "unplugged" for the duration of his trip on the Yampa. He can't receive any of our communications via the Traveler until his return at the end of this week. We'll look forward to more details about his jaunt when he's back "on the job."

  • Kurt’s Still on the Yampa, and He Wishes We Were There Too   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Looks like you camped about 3 times further inland than you did last night.
    Maybe you could send a note when you are actually on the river.

    Semper Fi
    Omar

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Have you ever had a bear come at you? Have you ever been hiking and come across a mother an cubs? Any person with any intelligence can tell you have never been outside your shallow world. Don't talk about bears and cougars until you actually come across one that is aggravated or aggressive. [Edited for unacceptable language] look at the facts. I would be more than happy to welcome you to my home and introduce you to a brown bear. That would be far too intimidating for you so maybe just a black bear for starters; they are far less aggressive. Where are you from again? Have you ever seen a wild animal that is know to hunt man?

  • National Park Service Concerned Over Solar Power Plans on BLM Lands in West   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Let's take another look at the main point in the NPS concerns about these solar projects in the desert southwest - the amount of water needed for cooling the power plants.

    Potable water is the elephant in the room for much of the country, and future shortages have the potential to eventually eclipse even the supply of energy as a major problem. There's not nearly enough serious attention being paid to the subject of water supplies, and the NPS was correct in raising this concern before a massive investment is made in more water-intensive projects, especially in southern Nevada and southern California.

    I believe we need to be moving aggressively on development of alternative power, including solar and wind, but that development needs to be done as wisely as possible.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Anon, do you know something that that the rest of us do not? Can you cite any scientific evidence that electromagnetic radiation associated with power lines, cell phone towers, or whatever is harmful to people? I'm genuinely curious. For about 25 years now I've been looking for a study that provides empirical evidence that this hypothesis holds water. So far, nothing.

  • National Park Service Concerned Over Solar Power Plans on BLM Lands in West   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Back in the early 1970s, Vice President (and soon-to-be-admitted-felon) Spiro Agnew railed against Nixon's vocal foes, calling them "nattering nabobs of negativism." So of course thousands of youngsters bought and proudly wore T-shirts emblazoned with "Nattering Nabob of Negativism." I'm tempted to get me a Tee with an "Envirofreak for Green Energy" emblazoned front and back. Anybody know where I can get one of those?

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 26 weeks ago

    cell phones and towers are toxic, and dangerous, every time you do whatever you want, you are poisoning the earth and others. Yes it is legal, because unfortunatly corporations including the cell phone wireless industry run the country and decide the policies, but if you read between the lines you will soon find that electromagnetic radiation is creating illness and death and has effects that accumulate over time.

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 26 weeks ago

    You're welcome, Chance. I think the remote islands are meant to be well-kept secrets, but Traveler readers are now in the loop. Have a great time in Georgia and do get to some of those islands. I think they are a national treasure. Cumberland stands alone on the GA-FL border and there is that magnificent 100 mile long string of islands from Brunswick north to Savannah. Nothing else like it on the East Coast.

  • National Park Service Concerned Over Solar Power Plans on BLM Lands in West   5 years 26 weeks ago

    So what will satisfy the envirofreaks??

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Hey RoadRanger,

    Thanks for correcting me. I didn't realize that there were that many places outside of Cumberland Island NS protected in Georgia. I really do appreciate it, since I'm working in Georgia this summer, and this is exactly the sort of thing I need to know.

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Chance, thanks for some fine suggestions for solitude in the NPS; however, your comments regarding Cumberland Island National Seashore (CUIS) need some clarification. If I read your correctly, you say CUIS - Georgia's only national seashore - is the only largely undeveloped barrier island in the state. Actually, there are several that meet the definition thanks to the foresight of the Georgia legislature about 40 years ago. Little Tybee, Wassaw, Ossabaw, St. Catherine's, Blackbeard, Sapelo, Wolf and several smaller islands are either under state or federal protection as refuges and even one wilderness area. St. Catherine's is privately owned, but is held as a conservation reserve. It's true that some of these islands have "development," but it is less than that on CUIS. In fact, solitude on some of these islands is beyond anything available on CUIS. Don't get me wrong. CUIS is a prominent NPS jewel, one of the most beautiful units in the system, but it has some stunningly beautiful company. Yes, there is development on several islands , but by far most of the Georgia barrier island coastline is wild, free and very remote and likely to stay that way.

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Lake Clark certainly deserves to rank high on the list, but there are other national parks in Alaska that would rival or exceed the solitude found in Lake Clark. Aniakchak, particularly the volcanic caldera, is in a class of its own. I am particularly fond of Gates of the Arctic, because it has solitude on a human scale. By that I mean that a reasonably capable wilderness traveler can be immersed in true solitude in most regions of the park.

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 26 weeks ago

    We love the Smokies! I agree, it's easy to get off the beaten path. And even if you do want to go to Cades Cove, (we ride our bikes through there annually) if you go on a weekday in the off season, it's very peaceful.

    Our favorite spot though, is in the Daniel Boone National Forest. I've purchased a book called The Hinterlands of Red River Gorge and there are paths that aren't marked and you can walk for hours and not run in to another person. Truly glorious!

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Wayne -

    Death Valley would be another fine choice for this list.

    A wonderful thing about the National Park System is that there are a lot of areas where anyone who wants to experience solitude can do so. The challenge is deciding which ones to include on a list of 10 - or 50 - such sites :-)

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Sorry Mr. Bane but I'd rather stay anonymous.
    The garbage is still buried where it was unless it was removed this last winter
    which I highly doubt. I know personally the guy that put it there under park
    service direction.
    Good reply. I appreciate your level headed and knowledgeable reply but I won't
    comment further.

  • Best Solitude in the National Park System? Here Are Traveler's Choices   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Has anyone heard of Death Valley National Park? I spent two years living and working there and just about every weekend I was able to disappear into the desert. you want to talk solitude. it was the only place i have been where, if i wanted to, i could be 100 miles from another human being. It was like living in hell for 3 months a year but after that it was the most spiritual, soul rejuvenating place in the world. I love the desert.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Cut and Dry, could you please be more specific about where the D9 Cat and "hundreds of barrels of fuel" were buried? Are they still in place? I am just curious, because the story has a familiar ring. Insofar as running off Natives, are you by chance referring to Katmai? As I recall, most Natives relocated from what is now Katmai following the eruption of Novarupta. The monument was created afterward by presidential proclamation. The Park Service does not have the power to unilaterally create park units. That power resides only with the president and Congress. Katmai is a complex mix of land classifications with differing regulations. Brooks River is part of the old monument with more traditional national park regulations. The northern preserve is open to sport hunting, so the regulations tend to be more liberal in regard to firearms. Neither sport or subsistence hunting is legal in the ANILCA created park (not preserve) lands added to the periphery of the old monument. Then there are private inholdings within the park that are not subject to park regulations. The mix of land classification also includes the ocean tidelands below mean high tide that have special status.

    Alaska is unquestionably a special place. However, the national parks are, first and foremost, national. They belong to all Americans and must be managed accordingly. If you visited a national park in California or Wyoming you would be expected to abide by park rules and regulations. The same holds true in Alaska. If you are uncertain as to a particular park's rules relating to firearms, please contact the office of the park or the National Park Service in Anchorage for more information.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    And, in response to Rick Smith. Sorry, I don't consider my constitutional rights and my attempt to keep them as a "tired old arguement". I've got some statistics here as published by the US Census Bureau. These are annual figures for deaths in the US
    Motor vehicle--43649
    Falls--14986
    Poisoning--9510
    Fire--3741
    Drowning--3488
    Choking --3206
    Medical complications--2929
    Firearms--1134
    Aircraft -- 1061
    RIFLE --947
    Boating--675
    Train --565
    Electricity -- 482
    PISTOL -- 187

    Of the 1134 accidential deaths as a result of firearms the number of deaths as a result of a pistol are 187 so I added the rifle and pistol numbers (in caps) to the census list above. The list clearly shows that a person is three times more likely being killed by electricity than they are by an accidental shooting from a pistol.
    According to the USGS there were 226 bear attacks in alaska in the last 10 years and that number is rising.
    And, according to CDC, there are on average 82 ligheninig fatatalities each year with a 53 to 100 range. So, you should be able to see that accidental deaths from pistols are substantially less than your chance of getting hit by a train and just slightly more than your chance of getting killed by lighetning.
    It seems to me that if you were going to be a champion to reduce the number of accidental deaths in the US, you would get a bigger bang for your buck by advocating life jackets for everybody in a boat, or spreading the word about the benefits of a function smoke detector and/or fire sprinklers...etc. You or your family member is 233 times more likely to die in a car than they are with a handgun. You don't like guns...that's fine, I won't make you own one. I like guns and I would hope that you won't infringe on my right to own one or protect myself and my family with one. If there is a tired arguement here it's the notion that accidential gun deaths are a plague in the US.

  • That “America’s Marines” Commercial Shows Five NPS Units, Not Six   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I'm not familiar with the area, so I really can't say exactly where the filming took place. It looks like the general description of the Camp Hale site (large, flat bottomed valley) may fit. Camp Hale was deactivated in 1965 and turned over to the Forest Service. Not too long ago the site was the focus of a major project to remove unexploded munitions left over from Army and CIA combat training exercises.

  • That “America’s Marines” Commercial Shows Five NPS Units, Not Six   5 years 26 weeks ago

    That Rocky Mtn scene could have been Camp Hale. Home of the 10th Mountain Division.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    In response to "Roosevelt would be ashamed" please take note of what I wrote above, and copied here...

    It was the park service that buried a D9 Cat and a couple hundred barrels of fuel in our national park, not the gun owners.
    Some stewards! And it wasn't the gun owners that ran natives off their land and claimed it. They'd been there for 4000
    years, before the bears were. (considering the end of the last ice age and natural geological changes which changed
    the land from a game migration route to a salmon filled river.) That was natural, bear management by the natives.
    The bears didn't come until the parkies stole their land some 50 plus years ago. It's a wall-less unnatural zoo now.
    I have a hard time respecting the "stewards".
    (I'm not positive about the exact type of heavy equipment buried but it was buried.)

    My right to conceal carry in Alaska shouldn't be checked at the gate because of (deleted) thousands of miles away.
    You guys in the lower 48 can do what ever you want with this issue under state laws governing guns.
    Just don't impose it on us. (Alaskans)

  • Kurt's on the Yampa, and on the SPOT   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Way cool! I like this SPOT gizmo. Looks like Kurt had a nice campsite.