Recent comments

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Absolutly....I went to school with some of their family members that own that land and no one should have to sell their land if they want to. I just hate the gov't thinking they can use their power to get whatever they want no matter who gets hurt.

    I know the girl who quit the council because she too believed it was wrong to just take someone's land. I don't care if it is for a memorial or not. They have no business sticking their nose in other people's business.

    If the gov''t don't get what they want, they just take what doesn't belong to them!!! As always!!!

    I pray they do not win this argument.

    [This comment was edited.]

  • Free Firewood At Mammoth Cave National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Camped at Mammoth Cave last Dec. and they had all the firewood you could use at most campsites. So I guess free firewood is not new to this park. We also took the cave tour. It was packed, all "3" of us had what I guess you could call a personal tour.

  • SPOT – The Good, the Bad and the Silly Uses for Those High-Tech Communicators   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Jim, This doesn't surprise me. After all, we live in a country where people will call 911 because they can't find their car keys. Your last sentence is spot on; both SPOT and EPIRB units need alert and cancel buttons. Along with GPS, these devices are tools that need a person using their brain to use them.

  • Fatality Reported on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    For the brave hikers who reach too the stars, they are not forgotten. The abiltity too experience solitude and accomplish a hikers dream..priceless. Although there is risk, these brave souls will never be forgotten. In short memory of the most recent hiker.....may u never be forgotten...prayers go out....

  • Gustavus Moose Hunt: If You're Heading to Alaska for a Moose Hunt, You Might Want to Read This   5 years 31 weeks ago

    How does one miss a moose?

  • FAQs About the Out-of-Control Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Great to see the commentary about fire ecology and the effects of humans on the natural environment. We need more fire on our landscapes to keep firefighters and our homes safe.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    My vote is Cape Hatteras; especially at night. I don't go for the tan and cheap beer - I go for the wild scenery, critter spotting, and stargazing. You can't beat a Perseid meteor shower viewed from these beaches. And to be among the first to beachcomb just after the tide goes out - I've found some real treasures!

    P.S. My captcha for tonight: "12 infrared". Now that's hot!

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Kurt,
    I'm so sorry man....
    I forgot to turn around to look at Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. All just minutes away. The world never looks better than when your on top of Half Dome.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Bruce, dude, it's gotta be in a national park! Can you zoom in on one?

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Surf up Dudes!!! Living in the central valley of California, its just a couple of hours to hit all of the beaches up and down the California coast. You've got to love all of the variety that is offered. San Francisco Bays sights, Montereys history and fishing, L.A.'s sunbathers and muscle beach at Malibu and Venice. Did I mention Highway 1 and the 17-mile drive along Pebble Beach, the most scenic drives in the world? Also, we've got the sunsets.....

  • Gustavus Moose Hunt: If You're Heading to Alaska for a Moose Hunt, You Might Want to Read This   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I've shot a few moose over the years and depended on them for winter meat. Sometimes I was lucky and go one on the first day. Other times I had to camp for several days before finding a legal animal. Shooting a moose is fairly easy, because it usually makes a good size target. However, that is where the real work begins. Field butchering a moose is a brutal job, especially if you are alone or have to pack the meat any distance.

    As I recall, moose are a relative newcomer to the Gustavus area. I seem to remember that they didn't really get established in the lowlands around the park until recent times. Wolves have followed them into the area.

  • Grand Canyon National Park Crews Installing, Ahem, New Vault Toilets on South Rim   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Shouldn't it be P U?

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I traveled to the D Day memorial yesterday. My dad served in WWII and died on Memorial Day this year. He never spoke of the war. He operated anti-aircraft generators at the top of the cliffs, after thousands of lives were lost. When I arrived I had no idea what operation Overlord was, and a tearful woman told me. The water blasts that are part of the beach scene had a chilling effect on me. I will write my congressman to support the effort for this to become a National Park.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    I know the area well. I lived in East Windsor for a number of years before setting off in a round about way to move here. I used to ride my bike on the towpath up there and spent considerable amount of time in Princeton going to the movies and what not.

    It really is a small world and getting smaller thanks to the Internet.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Heck, we're practically neighbors. I spent my formative years in Somerset County, just north of Princeton.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Beach Haven. I did spend some of my younger years farther north in Seaside Park because my aunt had a house there, but once I could drive, Beach Haven it was. I'm from Middlesex County. And you?

  • Gustavus Moose Hunt: If You're Heading to Alaska for a Moose Hunt, You Might Want to Read This   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Yeah, but a parked Buick won't try to trample you if you miss and piss it off....

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Island Paddler, Surf City, or Beach Haven?

  • Gustavus Moose Hunt: If You're Heading to Alaska for a Moose Hunt, You Might Want to Read This   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Shooting a moose is about as challenging as shooting a parked Buick.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Since I live in V.I. National Park, that's where I'm headed on my next beach day. But, like Kurt, I grew up going to New Jersey's Long Beach Island, so I know you can't beat that salty tang in the air.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I'd choose the Virgin Islands because I've never been there and I prefer to scuba dive in WARM water.

  • Various Care-Taking Projects Under Way in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I completely endorse RMNP's analysis and actions.

    NPT should be aware that the (re)construction of such a Patrol Cabin would be illegal in Olympic, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades NPs, because they lie within the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court of Western WA. Its 2005 Burgess decision referenced above is the reason. Alas, the DOJ was embroiled in an internal political scandal at the time, and failed to act on NPS' appeal of this decision. So it stands.

    As a direct result, Olympic NP alone has since forever lost wilderness shelters at Home Sweet Home, Low Divide, Twelve Mile, Falls, Wilder and Pelton Creeks. Despite the facts that all were listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the Wilderness Act itself (Chapter 4(3)) states "'The designation of any area of any park, monument, or other unit of the national park system as a wilderness area pursuant to this Act shall in no manner lower the standards evolved for the use and preservation of such park, monument or other unit of the national park system...".

    Similarly, the USFS just rejected the use of a mini-excavator within wilderness to reopen the Pacific Crest Trail, despite the fact that it almost triples the manual labor required. http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/projects/pct-repair-suiattle-crossing/

    NPT should be aware that the Wilderness Act has been interpreted by one Federal Court District in Western Washington differently than in the rest of our nation. And that this has resulted in the permanent loss of historic structures, deemed by the NPS essential to visitor safety and administration of the Park. This conflicts directly with NPS' mission: to "preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations." This should deeply concern us all.

  • Various Care-Taking Projects Under Way in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    RodF et al,

    Here's the park's explanation of how they decided on how best to perform this work:

    Most projects within the park, and specifically projects within designated
    wilderness, go through an extensive project clearance review that asks
    several questions: (1) Is this project/action necessary? (2) What options
    are available to complete the project? (3) What are the minimum
    requirements and what are the minimum tools needed to complete the project?

    For the North Inlet Trail, the decision was made to construct the trail to
    an appropriate standard to handle the horse and hiker use and to provide a
    sustainable trail. As part of this decision, a good trail tread/surface is
    needed so people will walk on the trail as opposed to off the trail because
    it is easier or more comfortable. Options considered for obtaining tread
    material included:

    1. Digging on-site (not viable due to large amount needed, creates other
    impacts from barrow pits located off trail, and this activity is strongly
    discouraged in RMNP Backcountry/Wilderness Management Plan).
    2. Using mules to pack in the material- analysis determined that delivering
    the estimated 200 tons of material would take 270 days and impact visitors
    from increased wear and tear on the trails, to extra manure on the trail
    and safety factors of mixing large numbers of hikers with pack teams of
    horses or mules day after day.
    3. Use a helicopter and fly in the 200+ tons of material in 6-8 days.

    The decision was made to use the last option.

    For the Lulu City wetlands project it was determined that a mini-excavator
    was needed to dig down through sands, gravels and debris deposited during
    the 2003 Grand Ditch Breach. Delivering the mini-excavator to the project
    site via helicopter was preferred over driving the machinery over land.

    For the Little Yellowstone Trail bridge replacement no suitable native
    materials are available in the vicinity of the old bridge and the length
    and weight of the replacement treated logs would be prohibitive to
    transport by pack animals.

    Over one year ago the decision was made to use a helicopter to deliver
    construction equipment and materials to the Chasm Meadows Patrol Cabin
    site, and to use a helicopter to demobilize when the project was completed.
    The project is now complete and demobilization is necessary. Similar to the
    decision for the North Inlet Trail, use of a helicopter was preferred over
    the use of multiple pack teams of horses or mules on the trail.

    The use of motorized equipment is prohibited when other reasonable
    alternatives are available to protect wilderness values. While Congress
    mandated a ban on motors and mechanized equipment, it also recognized that
    managers might occasionally need those sorts of tools. It remains an
    exception to be exercised very sparingly and only when it meets the test of
    being the minimum necessary for wilderness purposes.


  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    There's nothing quite like seeing the sun set over the western horizon. I saw an incredible sunset at the beach next to Kalaoch Campground at Olympic NP. I've also seen a similar sunset at Limantour Beach at Point Reyes NS.

    For a full day I think Point Reyes would be my favorite. One could start off at the visitor center, take a hike with sweeping vistas of the Pacific coast, visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse (maybe a little whale watching), and then get a few dozen oysters at Drakes Bay Oyster Farm and polish them off at a picnic table. If it were a multi-day trip, it could be combined with various trips to Tomales Point for some Tule elk viewing, the Marin Headlands (possibly Rodeo Beach), and some urban exploration at Chrissy Field at the Presidio of San Francisco.

  • Grand Canyon National Park Crews Installing, Ahem, New Vault Toilets on South Rim   5 years 31 weeks ago

    WOO HOO !!!!!