Recent comments

  • Pinnacles National Monument: Should It Be Labeled A National Park?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    If Cuyahoga in the heart of dirty old Cleveland or the slummy looking bath houses of Hot Springs can be national parks, why not Pinnacles?

  • More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead – but This Isn't the Worst Drought on Record for the Lake   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Your first answer was a sophisticated way of saying nothing last forever, I do agree with that. I dont recall saying that I thought it would.
    i split my last post in two section...two seperate thoughts. i have tried twice this is my third attemped to post that thought, is it that my opinion does not agree with their opinion so they refuse to post mine? or do I not understand how this works?

    Nothing not even the earth that you stand on will remain all will be gone. That is biblical and science seems to agree. (yeah I know science and the bible agreeing what a stretch) not arguing that we should not rape the earth but there must be a balance.
    The issue was draining lake mead and the impact that would have. If lake mead is drained and Las vegas gets its water from underground wells, this would have a huge impact on the aquifer from a ecologic stand point. the well would not be keep up with the demand no water = no economy, people cant work to feed there families they leave, Dave gets his wish and is all alone in vegas.

    I do not live under the delusion that this economy will last forever. would like to see it out last me. you are retired. You have raised your kids, bought and paid for there needs. There is a lot of us out here that still have that to accomplish.

    to tahoma; I do not recall saying that I believed our civilization would last for ever. it is not going to. read ray's first reponse he said it....nothing last forever. just look at history, there is nothing you can do to stop it either, just a matter of time. You can, on the other hand, speed it up or slow it down. The issue being draining of lake mead not cedars of Lebanon. Draining lake mead would speed up the destuction of our economy here in vegas and I would like to finish raising my family without having to pull BK and leaving do to an economic situation caused by no water. it may happen on its own....may have already happend, but lets not speed it up by removing its water supply. As for the good old USA, it is not going to last forever either, but I am in the hopes that the stars and stripes out last me for many years to come. Balance that is the key

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Why should our national monuments be that target of these greenpeace idiots their the ones who are ruining nature with their stupid attention getting acts Frankly i hope the judge puts them all on a highway clean up crew then they can realy clean up the enviroment

  • UPDATED: Search Ends for Woman Missing from Cruise Ship in Glacier Bay National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I don't see any way a person can just fall overboard. I have been on 8 cruises and 4 different cruise lines. The rails are between waist and chest high. [This comment has been edited.]

  • Pinnacles National Monument: Should It Be Labeled A National Park?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The Pinnacles is a great place. Fantastic vistas and the spires are awesome. It's a hefty drive from San Jose through Hollister so it's not crowded. It gets REAL hot during July and August and is very dry. The caves are very neat, but sometimes they are closed due to the bat situation. The small pond is also fun to sit by. I also don't think it merits the status of a National Park, but then I've not been to most of the dinky ones either.

  • More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead – but This Isn't the Worst Drought on Record for the Lake   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Anonymous, I don't recall saying that I do not "enjoy" the amenities of modern life, and what I suggest is not "throwing in the towel" or hiding out in a cave. We, and that includes me, have all been conditioned to believe that we somehow are entitled to a lifestyle based on a level of consumption that is patently unsustainable. Indeed, this conditioning is so pervasive and ingrained that to suggest it is either destructive or self defeating elicits strong emotional response from those who cannot conceive of living any other way. It is like suggesting that the Bible's reference to "dominion" actually should be interpreted as stewardship rather than a master-slave relationship. Acknowledging our complicity in what some scientists are calling the Seventh Great Extinction is the first step critical step toward living up to our stewardship responsibilities. That responsibility includes leaving an earth that can provide a nurturing environment for children yet unborn. That is my choice. You must make your own.

  • Pinnacles National Monument: Should It Be Labeled A National Park?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I've been there, enjoyed Bear Gulch Cave when the entire length was open to the public, and wish to return for some real hiking.

    I really don't see how the place would warrant full "National Park" status. It's really small and doesn't have one major feature or multiple smaller features that I would think would merit the big NPS designation. I don't see how it could support the kind of visitation that Congressman Farr envision. There frankly isn't that much to do other than hike. You can drive to a few overlooks and see the Pinnacles. Right now entry is closed off at night, although they have automated gates to allow people to leave. Maybe it's good if you're a climber, but that's a rather limited segment of the population.

    It's actually pretty close to a major freeway (US-101). None of the full National Parks in California are that close to any freeways except maybe Redwood (US-101 passes through it) and Joshua Tree (I-10). Freeway access is hardly a disqualifying factor, since Yosemite, Lassen, and SEKI are miles away from freeways. People go to those places despite the distances.

    However - this does demonstrate that in many ways the "National Park" status is a politically derived one. There are lightly visited national parks, such as Dry Tortugas and Great Basin (I know the ancient bristlecone forest is there) where it might be argued that there wasn't really anything special that merited the designation. Some member of Congress had a spot in their district that they thought could use some tourist dollars.

  • Flash Flood Leads to Rescue of 200+ Campers at Ozark National Scenic Riverways   5 years 30 weeks ago

    While we where waiting for our ride to what was left of Two Rivers the small sand bank that was there holding our canoes in place disapeared. Also before we left Two Rivers it started raining again.

  • Ever Consider "Adopting" A Cove at Lake Mead National Recreation Area   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Kudos to you and your group, Jimhiker. Back when I was a Boy Scout we did a similar cleanup at a provincial park in Ontario. Seems like there's not enough good guys around to handle the clean up these days.

  • Ever Consider "Adopting" A Cove at Lake Mead National Recreation Area   5 years 30 weeks ago

    About a month ago our troop did the canoeing merit badge at the lake. We go around Govt Wash area as it is convienient to get the canoes into and it has boat access. But it is also a HEAVILY used area as well. We arrived at about 8:30 in the morning and immediately put out the camp fire left by the previous group, handed out gloves, trash bags and proceeded to clean the area we would use. 8 trash bags later, it was useable and fairly clean. The area was about 25 yds across and15yds deep. Went back this past Thursday evenning and it looked worse then we first used it a month ago. Sad state of affairs when the majority no longer care enough to pick up after themselves and those that do take their trash are in the minority.

  • Flash Flood Leads to Rescue of 200+ Campers at Ozark National Scenic Riverways   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Steven Neu (not verified),
    Wow, exciting. An adventure of the finest kind!
    Thanks, interesting how the water in the Current slowed down, still clear etc.

    "...adventure without regard to prudence, profit, self-improvement,
    learning or any other serious thing" -Aldo Leopold-

  • More Low Water Woes at Lake Mead – but This Isn't the Worst Drought on Record for the Lake   5 years 30 weeks ago

    So....tahoma, ray bane, do we just put on a pair of leather skin speedos and live like let say tarzan and jane just giving up because it has happened in the past. Sitting around waiting for the doom and gloom is not my Idea of a good time. kind of enjoying my life (fishing, boating, driving not walking, running water indoor plumbing to name a few things) and if you don't like those things and want the world to go back to the stone age, I have one thing to say.........you first.

    And if you get into the biblical thing Tahoma you should be aware that according to the bible all that we see will be destroyed soon enough anyway so enjoy it while it lasts.

    What then should we do; shall we do are best and enjoy what has been given us, (enjoying does not mean abusing, abusing is not the answer and niether throwing in the towel) or curl up in the fetal position and wait to die. the choice is yours.

  • Flash Flood Leads to Rescue of 200+ Campers at Ozark National Scenic Riverways   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Steven -

    Thanks for the report. Glad to know your trip ended safely!

  • Flash Flood Leads to Rescue of 200+ Campers at Ozark National Scenic Riverways   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Our group was finishing a 3 day trip down the Current on July 30th. Two adults and 3 young kids. Our take out point was Two Rivers which is just past the confluence of the Current and the Jacks Fork and on the far bank. We felt something was amiss around 10:30AM when we noticed our normally free flowing river had no moving water and appeared to be flooded for the last mile before the Jacks Fork. The high level of Jacks Fork was backing up the Current. The water was still clear but gravel bars and trees on the banks were underwater.

    When we neared the confluence, about 150m from the Jacks Fork, another multiday canoe party of 4 canoes and 8 adults stopped us. The NPS did not want anyone to pass that point and was shuttling everyone across the Jacks Fork. The water was about about 10' above normal at that point. A crossing in a canoe would have been deadly as the water was tearing through the confluence at high speed and carrying with it much debris including entire trees. The NPS had both our groups across to Two Rivers in less than an hour. Canoes, gear, and people. They were very efficient and profesional. The boat they used handled the raging river without any issues.

  • Traveler's Top Overlooks In the National Park System   5 years 30 weeks ago

    What's missing from the summit of Half Dome is the view of Half Dome itself! My favorite overlook in Yosemite National Park is Glacier Point. In fact, I believe the best view of Half Dome is obtained from this vantage point. For a view of Half Dome without crowds, try signing out for a scramble/climb up the old Glacier Point Ledge Trail above Camp Curry. The views are terrific along this steep hike, but watch out for falling rock. This hike most definitely is not for everyone, which is why it is now classified as a registered climb.

    At Zion, Angel's Landing offers a fantastic view of the mouth of Zion Canyon. I would also rate as outstanding the view from the top of the geological formation known as the Rockville Bench south of the Virgin River above the towns of Springdale and Rockville, below and just to the west of the Eagle Crags, looking north into the mouth of Zion Canyon at early sunrise or just prior to sunset. This viewpoint is accessible by car, but requires driving on dirt roads once crossing the Virgin River at Rockville. Another viewpoint worth mentioning is the Canyon Overlook. A one-mile trail ends at the top of the Great Arch of Zion with a view into Oak Creek Canyon, the Temples and Towers of the Virgin, the Alter of Sacrifice, the Beehives, and the Great West Temple. This walk is well worth the effort. It's best taken early in the morning to observe the change of color on the red and whilte cliffs with sunrise.

    At Crater Lake, my favorite is the view over the lake prior to sunset from the top of the Watchman, watching the shadow of Wizard Island extend across the lake. As the sun sets in the west, the full moon rises over the eastern horizon near Cloud Cap and Mt. Scott. The overview from the summits of Mt. Scott, Garfield Peak, and Dutton Cliff are also worth mentioning. The hike to the top of Dutton Cliff requires cross-country hiking through pumice. The summit of Dutton Cliff is an abrupt drop off with a view directly upon the sails of the Phantom Ship. After hours at Crater Lake, any place along the rim offers an unforgettable view of the great caldera and the brilliant starry night sky, with the Milky Way seen in its full glory at this time of the year.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Sierra Club Caught Standing Atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The ultimate goal of the sierra club is to make all lands off limits to the public why else are the supporting radical plans like the WILDLANDS project i mean its founder JOHN MUIR was a biased extremists if they get their way the land will be off limits to hikers,campers,equestrians,mountian bikers,nature enthusists,birdwatchers, and everyone who enjoys the great outdoors

  • Jon Jarvis Questioned During His Confirmation Hearing On Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    "The National park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations."
    Thus while part of the mission of the Park Service is to allow "enjoyment and benefit" to the people, the trick is to provide that identical "enjoyment and benefit to "future generations". Someone one hundred, or two hundred years from now must be able to enjoy the park "unimpaired". This is a very difficult task considering the multitudes of people who "enjoy" our parks every year. Most concerned only with their own "enjoyment".
    Once any road goes in or building goes up, can we truly say that that part of the park is "unimpaired"? When vistas are blocked by air pollution or by hundreds of people munching icecream cones in front of a general store and huge parking lot, where once elk grazed in a meadow, can we say that it is "unimpaired"?
    Seems like, if you look at how much we have already changed most parks in the name of "enjoyment and benefit" in just the last hundred years, there is little hope for the visitor two hundred years from now. What our parks need is a shift toward more of the "preserves" part of that statement. Maybe Mr. Jarvis could lean us in that direction.

  • Pinnacles National Monument: Should It Be Labeled A National Park?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Pinnacles NM is developing a new management plan right now. The time for comments from the public was one year ago. They offered three alternative management principles as can be seen in the public newsletter from August 3 2008: http://www.nps.gov/pinn/parkmgmt/upload/PINNGMPnewsletter3_alternatives_webversion.pdf

    There the three alternatives were: Research and Learning, Backcountry Experience, and Disneyl^WEnhanced Visitor Experience. The fourth option is is to continue the park management as is. In the newsletter you can find maps that visualize how those guidelines would affect the use of park land.

  • Jon Jarvis Questioned During His Confirmation Hearing On Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Jon is a pragmatist. He is politically astute and knows that falling on one's sword in a hopeless cause accomplishes little. I expect him to be an effective director.

  • Pinnacles National Monument: Should It Be Labeled A National Park?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Right now, access to much of Pinnacles is limited - not even by foot - to minimize impacts to condor breeding and foraging areas and the whole monument is closed to overnight backpacking. And this I feel is a good thing, but if it is given "Park" status, I'm not certain but I thought there are some requirements to provide more public accessibility. This might be one instance where "Monument" status may actually provide more protection than "Park" status.

  • Jon Jarvis Questioned During His Confirmation Hearing On Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Jon Jarvis pointed out to the committee that he refused to close the support offices in Pacific Region. As Director of the National Park Service, I believe Jon Jarvis will order that the Boston Support office remain open.

  • Snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Environmental Extremists in the Obama Administration   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Anon: I live just outside the north gate of Yellowstone and am very familiar with Yellowstone in the winter. When I suggest "hop on, hop off" I mean, of course by individuals prepared for the winter cold such as someone going for a snowshoe/ski. They already have a coach that takes skiers to Indian Creek Campground and drops them off so they can ski back to Mammoth. What if I want to ski around Norris or some other area at my own pace? The coach to Norris is a tour.....everybody stay together, we leave in x number of minutes. With hop on, hop off, you could choose to wait for the next coach which would run every hour or so, with an extra empty coach before dark. Of course no one would be allowed to "hop off" in a blizzard or dressed in flip flops and a tank top! If people can be "trusted" to dress properly for hours on a snowmobile, I think they could be trusted to dress properly for a couple of hour snowshoe up to Virginia Cascade!

  • Half Dome Hiker Falls to His Death in Yosemite   5 years 30 weeks ago

    There are several warnings on the trail to the top of half dome which inform hikers not to attempt to summit if there are any clouds on the horizon. The mountains have their own weather system, anyone who works in Yosemite Valley or lives there (such as professional rock climbers who scale the face of El Capitan and Half Dome routinely) knows how quickly the weather changes up there. A lot of the people who are attempting to hike to the top aren't completely prepared or aware of the dangers, that is why the signs are there. If you start at sunrise (which is recommended), you eliminate the bottle-neck on the cables - especially if you arrive before LUNCH TIME. There are a lot of people who have NO BUSINESS on those cables, endangering the lives of others - because they are AFRAID OF HEIGHTS and scared to MOVE UP OR DOWN. This weekend one guy was laying across the cables & wood plancks near the top, which stopped all movement on the cables for over 15 minutes. On the way down, a young girl who was "scared of heights" was attempting to slide down on her butt while her mom encouraged her. RIDICULOUS

  • New Visitor Center Coming to Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    If it does not hamper the environment, it's great. The environment friendly measures are surely the right choices to be implemented.

  • Pinnacles National Monument: Should It Be Labeled A National Park?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The "....great potential for tourism revenue” is most likely the primary driving force behind the movement to make a National Park of Pinnacles National Monument. That is sad, reprehensible, and despicable. It would be a giant step toward commercialization. JF