Recent comments

  • Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Could we, at the very least, use some photographic evidence that compares apples to apples? The pics used have obvious differences. Jumping the gun based on what's been provided doesn't do much to demonstrate the intelligence of the reactionaries.

  • Upon Further Review: Preferential Treatment for Local Residents at National Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    If stupid was a crime, we've had even more of the parks and wilderness to ourselves...If you have never read "Deaths in Yellowstone," try and pick it up (I understand it's a big seller at the park itself. I always thought the true title should be "Stupid Deaths in Yellowstone." P.S. Your codes are nearly impossible for us old people to figure out...how about giving us a break and make them stop looking like tea leaves?

  • National Park System Would Gain Official Wilderness Under Omnibus Lands Bill   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Wilderness is the ultimate gift one generation can give to another. It is much more than just impressive scenery and wild animals. It is literally a working model of what the world was like before modern human civilization substantially altered or destroyed natural systems. Those rare, intact examples of wilderness are living laboratories that can help us understand our own place in nature and give us a foundation to rebuild shattered natural habitat. I would venture to guess that areas under consideration for wilderness designation are places you have never visited and likely never would. There are ample lands open to multiple use, including off-road vehicle access. Why not save what little wilderness is left as a legacy for those who will come after us? I am no longer physically able to access the remote wilderness areas that once enriched my life, but my pleasure comes from knowing that they still exist. Borrowing a title of a book by Bill Brown, they are literally Islands of Hope.

  • Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Those pictures are dramatic. Aside from the ice to water aspect, note the added vegetation along the mountainside.

    Pictures like this alone indicate that the climate has been changing for several decades. Sure climate has always gone through cyclic variations, but it’s the rate of recent changes which have experts worried. I can remember as a kid hearing scientists warn about the earth warming as far back as 1984 - - when they called it the "Greenhouse Effect". The spin-doctors have come up with the term "climate change" as not to assign blame. In my opinion, "Greenhouse Effect" is probably more accurate.

    Some people like to suggest that it is somehow arrogant to think that humans can affect climate. However, we all know that we can easily affect climate regionally and the environment globally. Acid rain, urban heat islands, light pollution, DDT contamination, etc. are all examples of how humans can have a huge impact on the environment. Take into consideration modern warfare and the potential of a "nuclear winter", it is obvious that we have the ability to make changes our environment and climate on a world-wide level.

    That being said, at this time no one can prove or disprove human involvement unless climate change reverses or gets dramatically worse. In the case of the latter, if it does get worse and somehow proven it is due to human activity, it will be too late to do anything about it. Therefore have no choice but to act now.

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I dunno Rick, maybe it's sort of like sitting down at a segregated lunch counter in 1959 while completely covered in black skin. There are laws just waiting to be broken. Why I even know some people who have smoked pot in the backcountry of several national parks.

    Civil disobedience has a long and storied history in this country.

    Compute?

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Yep, you get to decide which are stupid rules and then break them. How does that compute?

    Rick Smith

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 31 weeks ago

    James Watts, DOI secretary under Reagan put the regulation that guns had to be dissambled and not available .

    Yeah, James Watt, a well known liberal, under the authority and guidance of President Ronald Reagan, put in place new restrictions on your ability to lawfully carry firearms.

    Do you really need supporting materials to understand how that simply could not be true?

    In case you do, here is some history gleaned from a variety of sources:

    Prior to this latest change, the National Park Service (NPS) last promulgated a regulation on weapons on June
    30, 1983 as part of a thorough revision of NPS rules. In general, the regulation prohibits the possession of weapons in parks but provides several significant exceptions. One of the most significant exceptions allows the possession of weapons in vehicles or in temporary lodging if the weapon is temporarily inoperable or is packed, cased or stored. Thus the NPS rule does not impose a general ban on the possession of weapons or firearms.

    Prior to the 1983 regulations, the NPS last adopted system-wide regulations in 1966. The regulations of 1966 contained a provision on the possession of weapons at 36 CFR section 2.11. Under the 1966 regulations, the NPS prohibited the possession of firearms, traps, nets, and weapons in “natural and historical areas” of the national park system. “In recreational areas the above referenced items may be used or possessed in accordance with applicable Federal, State or local law.” 47 FR 11602

    The 1966 regulation states:
    2.11. Firearms, traps, and other weapons.
    (a) In natural and historical areas and national parkways the use
    of…firearms…is prohibited. The possession of such objects or
    implements is prohibited unless they are unload (sic) and adequately cased,
    or broken down or otherwise packed in such a way as to prevent their use
    while in the park areas….
    (b) In recreational areas (except national parkways) the use or
    possession of all firearms shall conform with all applicable Federal, State
    and local laws…The possession of loaded firearms…in developed,
    populated, or concentrated use areas is prohibited.

    NPS 1966 regulations prohibited the possession of weapons and firearms. The 1983 regulations liberalized the conditions for the possession of firearms by establishing exceptions that did not exist in 1966. On the other hand, the 1983 regulations tightened the condition for the possession of firearms by eliminating the different standard for recreational areas. But, in the final analysis, the 1966 regulations used very similar language as the current rule at 36 CFR 2.4(a)(3), in that firearms may be possessed in parks as long as such firearms are unloaded, cased, broken down or packed away.

    The NPS regulations were revised in 1941 too:

    2.11 Firearms, etc.
    (a) Firearms…are prohibited within the parks and monuments, except
    upon written permission of the superintendent. Visitors entering or
    traveling through the parks and monuments to places beyond shall, at
    entrance, report, and, if required to do so, surrender all such objects in
    their possession to the first park or monument officer, and, in proper cases,
    may obtain his written permission to carry them through the park or
    monument sealed. Failure to obtain such written permission shall be
    deemed a violation of this section.

    The 1941 NPS regulation was more restrictive on firearms than any of the successive rules. But one thing the 1941 regulation shares in common with the rules of 1966 and 1983 is that guns may still be possessed in parks but ONLY if sealed, i.e. rendered temporarily unusable. Unlike the successive regulations, the 1941 rules required an NPS issued written permit to possess the sealed firearm while in the park or monument. Note that the 1941 regulation defines “parks” and “monuments” to include national military parks, national battlefield parks, national historical parks, national parkways, Boulder Dam recreation area national historic sites, and battlefield sites and miscellaneous memorials. 36 CFR 2.1 (1941)

    Prior to the 1941 revisions, on June 18, 1936, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes promulgated the first set of
    general NPS regulations ever adopted under the Organic Act of 1916 (16 U.S.C. 3). The first NPS regulations say this about firearms:
    8. Firearms, etc. - Firearms…are prohibited within the parks and
    monuments, except upon written permission of the superintendent or
    custodian. Visitors entering or traveling through the parks and
    monuments to places beyond shall, at entrance, report, and, if required to
    do so, surrender all such objects in their possession to the first park or
    monument officer, and, in proper cases, may obtain his written permission
    to carry them through the park or monument sealed. Failure to obtain
    such written permission shall be deemed a violation of this regulation.

    The 1936 regulations permitted possession of a firearm in a park upon the issuance of a NPS permit, and then only if the firearm were “sealed.”

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    By the same token Hitler's autobahns are still standing and have provided solid service to the German motoring public for decades and decades and decades. Ain't national socialism great?

    Awesome non sequitur!!!

    ===========================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Why On Earth Would Anybody Want to Do That?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    People are creeps. That's why.

    ===============================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Laws that make generally law abiding people criminals because of breaking a stupid rule are bad laws. Laws should not make the law abiding criminals. All people can become criminal by definition with bad laws.

  • Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Thanks for the heads-up on the link. I'll get our quality control folks after it.;-) It should work now.

  • Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    The last link you posted is mispelled, which sends you somewhere else.

  • Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    To think that the mass amount of man made carbon carbon input does nothing to the planet is hubris.

  • Yosemite National Park Officials Looking For Suggestions on Preserving Badger Pass Ski Lodge   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I fully agree. Badger Pass is a gem, and constitutes a fairly low-impact use of park land. It doesn't compare to the mega-resort that Disney envisioned for Mineral King.

  • Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    The link is not clear. Can't see any special promotions.

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Rick - Concealed weapons permit holders are, by definition, law-abiding citizens. You can't get a CCW if you have a criminal record.

    Note that I didn't specify permit holders in my comments. I just said that firearms were being carried by anyone with half a brain. If you wish to exclude yourself from that group, feel free.

  • Sen. Salazar Sails Through Confirmation Hearing   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Did he say anything about the wolf de-listing? Was he asked?

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

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Taggert--

    So much for the old, tired refrain that all concealed weapons permit holders with half a brain are law abiding if they were all carrying illegally.

    Rick Smith

  • National Park System Would Gain Official Wilderness Under Omnibus Lands Bill   5 years 31 weeks ago

    How can such a small percentage of our population, cry so loud about not having enough quiet back-country trails to walk. God made beauty for everyone, not just a handful. And for those who are crying to protect it for your grandkids, Good Luck! The Wilderness Designation will only tighten the security to some of our most beautiful scenic places. Eventually only alowing the healthiest of these hikers to see the view. So, if your grandchild is disabled in some way ( heaven forbid ), they will never see the beauty you have. Is that Fair? Then there is forest and land management, without some form of management and access in these areas, we are setting them up for catestrophic wildfires that will destroy the whole ecosystem they are trying so hard to protect. Think twice before backing a Wilderness Designation . Thanks Senator Coburn for exposing this to the public. I have already emailed my Senators. Lets co-exist, this issue has good points on both sides.

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Beamis,

    I am a native-born, been-here-all-my-life Tennessean. I wear my camo and drive my pickup truck with pride. I come from a rural, agricultural background, and live in a community of less than 5,000 people in one of the reddest counties in the state. I shop at WalMart nearly everyday and spend most of my money there. I am a 'redneck Southerner', more or less.

    But prepare yourself. You might not understand this next part...

    I am a Sierra Club member. I don't think that guns belong in national parks.

    And I'm not the only person who can be described by both paragraph #1 and #3. So please, do everyone a favor and stop painting people with such a confrontational and broad brush. It's polarizing and not constructive in the least, and gives Tennesseans a bad name (and we wonder why our state is seen as backwards and hick...)

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 31 weeks ago

    James Watts, DOI secretary under Reagan put the regulation that guns had to be dissambled and not available . If Anonymous knows better please post the link so I can verify. I would agree that many parks had a patchwork of rules about firearms prior to that.

    My information I beleive is correct but I will be glad to check out any other claims.

  • Echoes of the Cold War in the Tropical Warmth of Everglades National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    True 'nuff MRC, and the Golden Gate site looks awesome! Thanks for telling us about it. I certainly hope to go there now, but it is a full continent away from Everglades, which is one reason to preserve the Everglades Nike base. The second is that the Everglades site addresses a specific event, the Cuban Missile Crisis, while Goga is more generic. The Cold War shaped a half century or more of our history and we need more than one site to address it. It (and Goga and the Badlands ICBM site) help make up for the shortage of parks telling the stories of either the Korean or Vietnam Wars, stories that must be understood within the context of the Cold War. How many Civil War sites are there? Was the Cold War less important?

    Anyway, it probably costs less to pull the weeds, stabilize the cement, paint some stuff and throw up a few waysides than it would to fully restore the site with the consequent removal of the soil, regrading, restoring sheet flow, etc. It's hard to rebuild the Everglades! (and the money would be better spent in the big Everglades restoration projects.)

    Just an aside, sad what we've come to when the webpage asks me to "prove I'm human" when making a comment! LOL

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I also know of the attitude Beamis speaks. Humans are social animals and as such social position is very important. City folk throughout time have ridiculed the country bumpkin cousin. Hunting was a cultural tradition that both city and country folk enjoyed and it lead to a lot of conservation efforts and many of the NPS. Roosevelt is a classic example.

    From the 1970’s and forward, hunting blinds on the Chesapeake have disappeared. The people who used bird dogs in MD also faded. My neighbor in Bethesda has national champion bird dogs and in my same neighborhood Sen. Pete Domenci lived up the street. Less people were familiar with hunting firearms and the gun control act of 1968 was a response to Kennedy’s assassination and the later riots that scared whites that blacks in cities were rioting and they have guns. So most of America was OK with the 1968 act, since it really targeted "those folks".

    Later as Sarah Brady and other gun control activists managed to persuade that "guns are bad" They pushed the utopian line that if there were no guns then crime with guns would go away. That is when DC in 1976 passed its draconian gun ban. Chicago in 1972 so the educated urban elite adopted the same left liberal attitude that "guns are bad" and only barbarians such as the hillbillies used them. Thirty tears have shown that gun bans only affect the law-abiding from the crime stats of shootings and murders with guns by criminals in the cities such as DC. The gun ban was totally ineffective to fight crime. They did not even use it to add charged to criminals they caught. Only the odd case of a homeowner or a Congressman caught with a gun has been prosecuted and those were usually dropped.

    Maryland passed a law against” Saturday Nights Special” that specifically target inexpensive guns that the poor could use for defense or for crime. They ignored the poor that were the crime victim’s and their need for a self-defense weapon, and only banned them to target the criminals. The criminals never had a problem getting guns, they would steal them. Some even came from police departments which had property losses over the years as they sold those guns to the street for their criminal relatives. So gun control was pushed as a mean to protect against the poor who might be criminal minded and the blacks. It definitely had a racist tinge.

    For example in high school I shot skeet twice a week and always had shot shells not used in my coat pockets from the night before. I would take them out and cut them open when bored in class. It was no big deal. Teachers were not hysterical about that. Students would bring in long arms to show and the only comment was is the firing pin removed? That was in the 1970’s; now compare that attitude to the often hysterical ranting of anti gun folks in comments and letters to the editor?

    Are the urban left leaning elite against guns? My opinion is yes, and that really does extend to suburbia. Guns are scary, they reminds people that danger exists. So people prefer not to see guns, because only criminals have guns.

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 31 weeks ago

    RAH, as I stated over at another article in response to your misinformation, firearms have been disallowed in national park service units since the thirties. The change in the seventies was simply one of several revisions in the intervening years that actually weakened previous protections. This recent change in large measure overturned a lot more than just thirty years of precedent.

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    The new rules won't result in any real change in the national parks. Anyone with half a brain who goes in the back country has already been carrying, illegally, while the old ban was in effect. The vast majority of national park visitors who see the park by car and wouldn't dream of treading where flush toilets and hot dog stands aren't immediately available, wouldn't and won't be carrying. The only difference is that now, if I end up having to defend myself against a mountain lion or (much more likely) a Stayner or Manson wannabe, I won't have to worry about being prosecuted by the government for exercising one of my fundamental human rights.