Recent comments

  • Yellowstone Poacher Loses Hunting Privileges for Life   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I'm all about throwing the book (preferably a large, heavy book) at poachers, but I'm curious about one thing: who enforces a ban on "hunting anywhere in the world"?

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    The NCNP Mountain Lakes Fishery Management Plan, including the full Environmental Impact Statement and ecological research papers, are available at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?parkId=327&projectId=10007

    It is evident that only one person above, Brian Curtis, has ever read the EIS, and that includes the author of the article above. Should National Park planning decisions to be based on the best available science, or on uninformed emotion? That's an editorial question for NPT.

  • Is the National Park Service Wise to Be Promoting The Use of Segways?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    "Should the NPS, which likes to promote healthy, active recreation, be promoting a company that is promoting "very little exertion"?"

    The NPS is not a tool for social engineering. If and when the NPS promotes "healthy, active recreation" to the point of restricting Americans' liberties, then the NPS has gone far beyond its mandate. This is not a comment on the suitability of Segways, per se, but on the idea that a desire to promote "healthy, active recreation" is in any way relevant. We have no business restricting a particular vehicle on the grounds that we would prefer their users were getting more exercise.

    Virginian, you're not not going to gain many adherents for an argument that starts with the proposition that any and all vehicles are a threat to every kind of national park. It's a long walk from Fresno to Kings Canyon...

  • Bird Nests and Closures Spurring Civil Disobedience at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   5 years 27 weeks ago

    GT
    You obviously know nothing about the Cape Hatteras beaches and the residents or visitors!! The Audubon society, Southern Environmental Law center, etc. have completely distorted the truth about the effect of ORV use on the beach. Take your lonely self to the wilderness to live with your beloved birds, as for me and my friends, who are and have always been outstanding stewards of the Cape Hatteras beaches we will fight to the end to preserve HUMAN rights to enjoy our national park. It is beyond belief the extent to which people who have never even visited the area have gone to prevent fisherman and their families from enjoying the wonderful Hatteras beaches.

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 27 weeks ago

    A large memorial is not a "have to have" nor a necessity to society and private property should not be seized just to build one. If the owners do not wish to sell, they should not be made to. Frankly, I find this entire situation to be heavy-handed and unnecessary on the part of the Interior Secretary.

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Condemnation is not confiscation. If the federal government seizes the required land parcels, the landowners must be paid fair market value for their property.

    Semantics. Money given to an unwilling seller at gun point is still coercion and an abuse of power.

    The federal government's "eminent domain authority" arguably does not apply to the states.

    Search "eminent domain" + abuse on Google, and you'll get millions of hits.

    Our government has outgrown its britches. Time to end all ties to feudalism and restore private property rights.

  • Trail Jogger at Glacier National Park Walks Away from Encounter With Two Grizzlies   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Kurt--

    I might not call him an idiot, but I think the adjective "foolish" applies. Springtime in Glacier means bears with cubs. I would not run any trail in that park during this time of year. Another adjective that applies is "lucky." Ray Bane's comments are right on.

    Rick Smith

  • Is the National Park Service Wise to Be Promoting The Use of Segways?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    While I'm not advocating the use of Segways in National Parks, I don't understand the prior comment that parks should only be enjoyed in a way that "will not diminish their appeal, history or physical characteristics". How does/would such use be affected? I agree that off-trail use could have severe negative impact on things like trail systems, wildlife habitats, erosion, etc., and should be prohibited. I also agree that under some circumstances, irresponsible use of a Segway could put other individuals in harm's way. But I can't see that such a vehicle could cause any more impact than a motorized (or non-motorized) wheelchair, and we don't prohibit those, do we?

  • NPCA Report: National Parks Provide Economic Security for Surrounding Communities   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Thanks Beamis, I appreciate hearing about examples of successful efforts to reduce light pollution near our parks. I worked in Zion 40 years ago, when Springdale was a much smaller community. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was just about to be released. We used the front veranda of the old (then new) Zion visitor center near the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon for late night star gazing. From my room in the Zion Ranger Dorm, I would jog into the post office in Springdale to get my mail. This summer will be Zion's 100th Anniversary.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Is the National Park Service Wise to Be Promoting The Use of Segways?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Segway usage in National Parks should be limited to people with mobility issues and they should require a permit. A ranger would issue the FREE permit after the Seqway user demostrates safe operation. Maybe a written test too.

  • Yellowstone Poacher Loses Hunting Privileges for Life   5 years 27 weeks ago

    There is justice in this world! My hat goes off to the Gallitin County, Montana court that leveled this poacher and the officers who investigated the crime.
    Personally do not understand any person entering national park land with intent to kill elk or river otter. In my eyes he is a criminal.

    I spent a week this winter photographing in Yellowstone - one of my hopes was finding river otters playing on the snow banks in the Lamar Valley (to no avail). Perhaps, next time, I will find them.

  • Is the National Park Service Wise to Be Promoting The Use of Segways?   5 years 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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 27 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