Recent comments

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 28 weeks ago

    annfro -

    Thanks for the excellent additional information!

    Re: whether bats are "cute and cuddly," I'll plead guilty to making a guess about the attitudes of the general population, most of whom probably have limited experience with bats. They are fascinating animals, and I hope more people will learn to appreciate them.

  • A Sad Sign of the Times: NPS Promotes Body Armor Options To Rangers   5 years 28 weeks ago

    To be quite honest, I was only on the computer looking for a site that showed a measurement sheet for my own body armor since I am about to go work in a National Park. I believe that one comment above stated "minimalist gear" that the early park rangers wore, and it made me laugh. People have this idea that rangers have always been the nature loving man in the woods. Up until the 1970's, any person who worked for a park could carry a firearm (that would be your friendly park maintenance worker too.) That didn't work out so well in Yosemite, and now only trained LE rangers can carry firearms. Imagine a park where any untrained yahoo can carry a firearm! Oh wait...2nd amendment...not yet.

    I understand how people believe they have a right to their public lands- I agree. However, the park service, much like other land agencies, has a duty to more than one mission. There will always be different groups with different opinions on how they should be allowed to use their land, and there will always be groups that do not use their land appropriately. I myself would like all the protection I can get- if I am going into a drug grow/Domestic/felony car stop/etc....(insert any crime that happens in a city because those parks can be like little cities) I want to be sure that I am protected. I am appointed to protect myself, others, and my park- and I should be given all the equipment I need to accomplish that task. So, I’ll continue to look for that dang body armor measuring sheet.

    Just remember...criminals recreate too.

  • Remains of Professor Who Went Missing in Canyonlands National Park Found in Needles District   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Ray Bane, I love your spirit and spunk...well said! In regards to Mr. Wolff, I'm sure his soul finally found true peace with nature...for nature is bliss.

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 28 weeks ago

    It goes beyond "irritating" the skin, I have read that necropsies of affected bats show that the fungus has invaded the subcutaneous tissue!

    I have to disagree with the not "cute and cuddly", many bats have very cute little faces, and their fur is softer than most cats and dogs... They are just too tiny to cuddle!

    The WNS fungus (Geomyces sp.) is different than the Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) that is affecting amphibians.

    I applaud GRSM for taking such a proactive approach in protecting the bat populations in the park, and I hope other national parks and sites will do the same.

  • Remains of Professor Who Went Missing in Canyonlands National Park Found in Needles District   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Believe me, you will likely have lots to live for well past 65. I am pushing 73, and life continues to be rewarding and challenging. In August my wife and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage. Keep active and involved. Remember, life and living are not necessarily one in the same. Living is what you do with life.

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Get out your wallet! I have never seen a doppler of the inside of a cave. Boy oh boy.

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I didn't want to go into too much detail in the original article, but the mechanism of the fungus seems to be that it irritates the bats' skin during hibernation. As a result, the bats become active when they should be "sleeping," and burn up food reserves needed to carry them until food (i.e. insects) is available again in the spring. Some scientists believe the actual cause of death is malnutrition and/or dehydration resulting from this abnormal activity.

  • Remains of Professor Who Went Missing in Canyonlands National Park Found in Needles District   5 years 29 weeks ago

    This is a sad story. I hope that when I am 65 years of age (in the not too distant future), that I will have more to live for, much more, than this poor fellow had, apparently. What a way to end one's life, all alone, in a beautiful but desolate canyon, with no one to mourn.

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Could be super sonic frequencies that we are starting to create! This might block sonar for them to feed!

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Start a study on the effects of our doppler radar systems!

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    My husband and I have visited yellowstone many times, in all seasons. By far, our favorite time is winter. We get very little snow where we live, and it is such a treat to have ALL that snow! The uncrowded conditions (except for bison and elk), the thermal features, and landscapes are all superb during that season. However, we have decided not to visit during winter for the past several years. Not because of earthquake scares, but because we do not want to be required to snowmobile with a guide. We always have rented 4-cycle engine snowmobiles (much less stinky and noisy), always stay on marked trails, are courteous to other visitors and wildlife, and we obey all other rules and speed limits. I believe there are other people like us, and I think that in addition to other factors already mentioned, the required use of guides may deter many visitors. Perhaps some of the money wasted by keeping the Cody route open could be put to better use in heightened enforcement of the existing rules. Also, it would make sense if ONLY 4-cycle engines were allowed in the park.

  • Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Yes, I think it does add a little extra 'something' to be out in the park, on the anniversary, at about the same time of day as the events that you're learning about took place. I won't be making it to the park for this year's anniversary, but hope to do so next year. If you ever get the chance to attend, I think you'd really enjoy it. They walk you all over the park, along the roads, through the woods, across the creeks and ravines...everywhere. It's great. :)

    One other small note about the Dawn Patrol hike - last year we learned that the genesis for that hike, and by extension all of the anniversary hikes, is a section in the book, "Confederates in the Attic," that deals with Shiloh. In the book, Tony Horwitz talks about being at the park on the anniversary, around sunup or earlier, and running into other folks out there doing the same thing.

    From what we were told, this was news to the park rangers, who figured if people were going to be out there that early on the anniversary, maybe they should be out there with them. That's how the Dawn Patrol hike eventually came about, and from that, the idea for the anniversary hikes in general. Thought that was kind of a neat backstory to the hikes.

    Talking about sneaking into the park before it opens, several years back I walked into the park from the campground where I was staying, just across Highway 22, at about 4:30 in the morning. I walked in through Wood's Field, but beyond knowing what field I was in, I literally could not see my hand in front of my face, or tell exactly which way I was headed. I finally stopped until it was light enough to see.

    When it finally started to lighten up a bit, I realized that I was standing right beside the marker for Hardcastle's picket post, on the edge of Fraley Field. I was maybe two or three feet from it, and did not know it was there. Lucky I didn't walk smack into it.

    It put me in mind of what happened on Peabody's patrol the morning of the battle. The patrol left camp at about 3:00 a.m., but the men stopped before they reached the Corinth Road, for the same reason I stopped in Wood's Field. It was too blasted dark to see. That's why it took them two hours to cover less than a mile that morning.

    So, being out there early like that can give you an appreciation for what they were dealing with. Walking across the terrain in the park can do so as well. That was a tough place to fight a battle.

    Perry

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I wonder if the fungus killing the bats is r/t the one killing frogs? We must remember this IS an evolving world.

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    While I agree about the snowmobiles, there's a lot of good skiing and snowshoeing in Yellowstone that keeps you pretty far from snowmobiles. We really love skiing in the park; the snow is often so much better than it is - say, in the Bozeman area, where the winter was awfully mild.

    As far as earthquake reports ... it was stunning just how many people came to my own Web site when that started happening, even though to most locals, it was barely news, barely talked about, and barely mentioned at any length in local press. The reason, of course, is that people with experience could see that there was a hysteria that went beyond any sensible risk analysis of the situation, and people are fascinated by disasters and dooms day scenarios. However, based on the number of people that showed such an interest in this during the few weeks that the swarm was going strong, I'm not surprised if that hurt numbers. It would also explain why automobile traffic remained strong while tourist travel (that relies much more on snowmobiles and snowcoaches) was weaker; it wouldn't explain why car traffic got weaker as the winter went on (that seems to me to be the economy more than anything).

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

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    We cancelled our plans after the earthquake reports.

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 29 weeks ago

    This is very scary! I don't care if they are not cute and cuddly to most people. the fact that they are dying and scientists don't know exactly what it is or how we can stop it is not a comforting thought !I pray that they find out soon and save them!

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I live in Montana, love the outdoors and winter, and rarely go to Yellowstone. Plain and simple it's the snowmobiles. Sure they're fun and a source of revenue, but much like smoking in bars, the people that aren't into the smell and the noise are going to stay away. I'm more inclined to go snowshoeing or xc skiing, and the last thing I want to see is a line of stinky zoom zoomers.

  • Remains of Professor Who Went Missing in Canyonlands National Park Found in Needles District   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Ed: This comment was deleted out of respect for the relatives and friends of the suicide victim.

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    What's interesting to me is that vehicular traffic was reported up for most of the winter until this last report; I wonder if that's a strong sign of the economy's bite. Or, perhaps, it meant I visited Yellowstone (via an entrance - I skied into the park a few other times) less during the last period! LOL

    On Cody, the right wing newspaper in Cody has a different take on the issue, not surprisingly - see http://codyenterprise.com/articles/2009/04/02/opinion/doc49d3d308362fd175489924.txt - "East gate numbers will rebound in time"

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

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I was there in mid-March and greatly enjoyed it. Regardless of the season, it is a fantastic place for any nature lover to visit.

    On a previously sore spot, todays' Billings Gazette has a story about this topic. They also state that it cost the NPS $325,000.00 to keep the Cody route open this winter and ONLY 97 snowmobiles entered the park through that route ! Hate to open old wounds but that is an extremely ridiculous amount of wasted money that could be put to better use in Yellowstone in my opinion.

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    My wife & I visited Yellowstone in February. We traveled with a photography group sponsored through the Yellowstone Association and traveled by snow coach. It was an enthralling experience and I can recommend a visit to all photographers!

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Good note, Anon. Totally forgot about that...in some part because earthquake swarms aren't THAT uncommon in the park, in part because, well, because I forgot;-) But it is interesting that Xanterra's rep mentioned that to you...

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    What? No mention that the earthquake cluster in December / January was causing people to cancel their vacation plans. (This according to the Xanterra rep that took my reservation.)

    I LOVED my week in Yellowstone this February. It felt like we were the only people in this vast wilderness. While snowmobiling with our guide and the three other people we rarely saw anyone else (except at the bathrooms and warming huts.)

  • Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Thanks for the corroborating info, Perry, and especially for the details about the ranger-led hikes on the battle anniversary. I'd dearly love to go along for one of those! Dividing into two groups like that is inspired. I can see that it gives the experience a whole new and exciting meaning for the participants.

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Tag on Katmai, Gates of the Arctic and Bryce.