Recent comments

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

    after reading all of the above comments i am surprised that i have been able to take and use something from each and everyone of you.
    it seems to me that caution is of the utmost importance. you can only rely on one's self, not the person in front or in back of you or what they are or are not doing. it all rests on you for you.
    harness or not each and every one of use knows what we can do.
    you all went up there to become part of that rock to feel the on top of the world rush, the rock is not the problem here it is us, SOOOOOOO all of you who go up there think, think, think, common sense.

  • Reader Participation Day: Tell Us Your "Dream" National Park Vacation   5 years 30 weeks ago

    National Park of American Samoa would be a cool trip...beaches, South Pacific coral reefs, Samoan hospitality....

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Things are going to change (maybe) in the next few years. The redistricting will no longer done by the politicians but by an independent panel, so that should cut down on the number of districts where the parties are entrenched. Hopefully, that should yield more compromise minded politicians.

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    This is all just classic California politics. The voters here (yes, that includes me, so I'll take some of the blame!), through our intiative system, have created a political-financial system that requires compromise on the part of our politicians for it to work. A large majority is required to pass a budget (requiring votes from members of both major parties), and a balanced budget is likewise required. Our problem is that we have elected politicians who refuse to compromise. If they won't compromise then the only thing any individual politician can really do is make noise and threats. Parks are loved by the people, so they become a powerful tool in the political arsenal. While parks here in California have been closed in the past for financial reasons, most of this is just political posturing. Will some parks be closed? Most likely. Will the State allow the feds to take over some of the jewels of the State Park system? Californian pride is not likely going to allow that to happen!!!

  • Senator From North Dakota Trying to Legislate Elk Management in Theodore Roosevelt National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Reading stories like this only solidifies in my mind the notion that the NPS should come out of the government's hands and become a form of NGO or public trust or something free of Congressional strings.

    Glad to have you aboard Barky! Loving the parks does not mean we have to love the corrupt and conniving government that exercises control over them.

    As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, it is vital for all of us to remember that there is a huge difference between love of country and support of the government. George Washington said it best, over two centuries ago, when he stated that "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I highly doubt it. Besides, if you mailed it you committed a felony, and should be tried. Even given the fact you just admitted it I would like to see you judged by a Jury. You would have to mail the weapon to a FFL maintain you innocence. So which is it, you lied, or did you commit a felony?
    I suppose now your going to state you gave it to a LEO friend. That would also be against the law in California.... you lose.

  • Senator From North Dakota Trying to Legislate Elk Management in Theodore Roosevelt National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    SCIENCE not politics, that is what we should demand for our great National Parks !

    Can we please let the Park Service manage and protect instead of greed and politics ruin these great treasures ?

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Pork, is hard to see when it is on your own plate... We all like to complain about pork spending, but then in your comments, you made the same assumptions that have kept this country in the pork barrel. You like to pick on the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as an example of political games, but yet you figure that since the Speaker of the House is from California that you have a greater chance to get the parks converted to national park service properties.

    I agree with your article as a whole, but pork spending is not a bad thing to the person or group getting the money. Give the NPS an alotment of money and let them spend it as the see fit, without the micromanagement of Congress who is more interested in getting re-elected than doing right for the country.

    I am in Ohio, and I think that several of those ocean front properties would make good NPS properties, and should be preserved. That is the reason it should get done, because the project is the right thing to do... not just because of who happens to live near it.

  • Senator From North Dakota Trying to Legislate Elk Management in Theodore Roosevelt National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    A major purpose of national parks is to protect and restore the natural qualities. The reason elk are overpopulating some of the parks is that the natural predators have been eliminated. Theodore Roosevelt National Park obviously needs wolves. They are a natural and beneficial part of the ecosystem.

  • Remember, No Mardis Gras Beads or Dry Ice While Floating at Niobrara National Scenic River   5 years 30 weeks ago

    so, who has venue over enforcing these laws? its a river......

    next question, why are any type of containers not banned? they are also part of the reason for dry ice "bombs" so why did dry ice only get banned?

    Next question... dry ice is not illegal, beads are not illegal, so how can you make them illegal. Any type of explosive, excluding fireworks, are already illegal, so how can you make a legal substance, dry ice, an illegal material?

    Next question, how can you make beads illegal? There is no law or ordinace making them unlawful possessions so how can you restrict a lawful, legal material?

    The only good thing I see from this is that you will stimulate the economy with defense attornies being busier than ever.

  • Senator From North Dakota Trying to Legislate Elk Management in Theodore Roosevelt National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Reading stories like this only solidifies in my mind the notion that the NPS should come out of the government's hands and become a form of NGO or public trust or something free of Congressional strings.

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

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Personally I hope NPS does take over Angel Island--as the Ellis Island of the West Coast it ought to be a national historic site. It could be managed as part of GGNRA. Yes, NPS is short of money--but that is nothing new. The way most posters on this site opine, one would think this money shortage is inevitable; in reality it is just a matter of priorities. No, not every "worthy" natural or historical site can be part of our national park system. But that shouldn't mean that no more places may be included. Angel Island would be an excellent addition to the system. And, as pointed out, there are benefits for California were this to happen.

  • Reader Participation Day: Tell Us Your "Dream" National Park Vacation   5 years 30 weeks ago

    A dream vacation:
    When I was much younger my family would take summer trips to Yellowstone NP. This was back in the days when feeding bears along the sides of the road was allowed. We have many family photos with bears pocking their heads through the window of the car to see what we had to offer. Now the bears have been moved away from people for both the bears and tourists betterment. I remember my first sight of the Old Faithful Lodge with that huge fireplace blazing away. The smell of the gift shop and that little black stuffed bear I got. That's my dream vacation with family.

    The new Yellowstone has been turned over to foreign companies to run the park for a profit. Turning over the parks to vendors was the death of our first and greatest national park. I'm sorry to say that I will not be able to take my grand kids to my favorite national park because it is gone.

  • All Major Roads at Yellowstone National Park Open for the Season   5 years 30 weeks ago

    That indeed seems to be the case.

  • Reader Participation Day: Tell Us Your "Dream" National Park Vacation   5 years 30 weeks ago

    My dream trip would be to repeat the bicycle trip I did a few years ago across southern Utah taking in Cedar Breaks, Zion, Bryce, Escalante, and Capitol Reef. It would be nice to extend the route to include Arches, Moab and, possibly, Lake Mead. Love that red rock country.

  • All Major Roads at Yellowstone National Park Open for the Season   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Hi,
    if "This same section of the road through Gibbon Canyon will be completely closed to all travel between Artists Paint Pots and the Tuff Cliff Picnic Area beginning August 17" is the case, the road between Norris and Madsion will completely be closed, right? Thanks.

  • Is the National Park Service Wise to Be Promoting The Use of Segways?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Objectively...

    In the hot & humid Southeast U.S., which will include the Timucuan Preserve near Jacksonville, Florida, there is a long-established military protocol designed to limit & control exertion in accordance with weather conditions. Even hardcore Marine bootcamp observes a graduated series of restrictions on exertion.

    So in terms specifically of the Deep South - yes, there is a solid body of medical practice and institutional precedent for minimizing exertion in the sweltering heat. If that's their 'cover story', they're covered.

    To take Segways to Yosemite, they'll need a different cover story.

    Subjectively...

    1.) Should the Parks promote lifestyle modes? Ans.: [ No. ]

    2.) Are Segways compatible with Parks? Ans.: Very limited. They have a short range, fragile surface-competence, and on steep terrain will occasionally pitch riders over the precipice (so can't be used for liability reasons).

    3.) User conflicts? Ans.: Minimal. In popular places, pedestrians will greatly outnumber Segways. In unpopular places the machines can't make enough money.

    4.) Are they (intended as) the thin edge of the wedge? Ans.: Absolutely. I will have my gasoline powered version passed by CARB.

    Commentary...

    The Segway is competent to trundle people around a short tour of no-terrain Timucuan, but it is not economically competent. It's a business failure, and has been since Day One. That's why we see these torturous exercises to ingratiate it with new venues.

    While it's intended to serve as a wedge to open the door for other gadgets ... every other gadget under the sun has already been tried ... and defenses found, limits put in place. Jet boats were jacked back, or banned. Snowmobiles are regulated into obsequitousness. "Motorized Vehicles" is an 18-letter sneer.

    They can wedge all they want, but kids (of any age) still aren't going to dirt-bike down into Grand Canyon.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 9: What Sort of Reviewing Stand Might This Be?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Yes. This was used for hanging. I saw it at Fort Smith National Historic Park . On the Arknsas River in Arkansas. How cool is that...hanging and all...

  • Land Swap Moves American Revolution Center Out of Valley Forge National Historical Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Well, Jim, they get a ready-built museum building out of it, right in the heart of the historic district of Philadelphia.

    this is the 'old' Independence park visitor center, one that was originally conceived to be connected directly to an off-ramp off Rt 95, straight into a parking garage and via ramp into the VC. But the ramps were never built, although the parking garage and VC were. I put 'old' in quotes because it is a piece of relatively modern architecture, in a sort of a Denver-Service-Center-way.

    the building has 3 distinguished works of architecture directly next to it: most important, across the street is the First National Bank, a National Historic Landmark. The old VC is designed with a glass front just to reflect the majesty of this National Landmark, which is really the start of the historic buildings leading to Independence Hall on Chestnut St.

    Just south of the 'old' VC (new museum) is the Exchange Building, also owned by the American people and managed on their behalf by the National Park Service. The Exchange Bldg is the favorite piece of architecture of many Philadelphians. When the NPS needed to give it a major rehab (the original interior of this old stock exchange was completely gone) many visionaries advised the NPS to open it to the public to interpret the history of American commerce. What a wonder it would have been ! Instead, the superintendent turned it into offices for herself, and quite grand offices they are, with towering floor to ceiling windows. When the then-mayor, now Governor and several inside the NPS pressed this superintendent to reconsider, the one compromise she made was to eliminate the shower she had in her office, but otherwise, keep the building for administrative purposes.

    Just east of the new museum building is a Moderne tower, operated by the General Services Administration. It is covered with spectatular deco, inside and out. the new museum building stands right on the cusp between the historic Society Hill on one side, Old Town on the other, and just west, Independence Mall. This is a first class bit of real estate, that you can imagine making millions and millions for the NPS were it to be disposed of on public auction as many assumed it would. Instead, without competition, it will be a negotiated deal. For this, Mr. Lenfest gives up 78 acres of undeveloped land with no real utilities or sufficient road access, that would cost well more than $100 M to build, money he had not been able to raise via fundraising, and would not get for years and years and years, if at all. It would have been better if properly sized Valley Forge museum, with a combined ARC-NPS historic collection, could have been built, which could have happened if the NPS had been led by better leaders during the Bush years, and the ARC leadership had a little less ego an a bit more sense of public responsibility. But, we are lucky the Obama people at least saved the day in Valley Forge, and got all the Alpha Males into a place where they cannot make as much mayhem.

    Here is a link, or at least an address, to a photo of the new museum building, the 'old' VC -- I'm not sure I can download a Philadelphia Inquirer staff photo on this site !

    http://www.philly.com/philly/gallery/20090702_American_Revolution_Center_headed_for_Center_City.html

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Unfortunately, our state is unmanageable for a whole host of reasons. Personally, I might be better off with the Feds owning Mt Diablo, since the state parks current policies on mountain biking are pretty restrictive in that park.

    In the end, both sides will agree to some crappy solution that will only deflect the problem until next year but won't solve the systemic issue.

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    once i agree with the gov. with the way cal.is now,they cant even pay their employees...to much spending on stupid things,and too many illegals draining their resources.

  • Glorieta Pass Civil War Battlefield Finally Gets an Interpretive Trail   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Apparently, "most other websites for NPS units" clearly lack the inspiration that accounts for the excellence of National Parks Traveler! Heh, only two Q's in their FAQ's. Hopefully the park itself is more inspirational (thought- and question-provoking) than that!

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Five will get you fifty that the reversion warning is an empty threat.

    I couldn't agree with you more Bob.

    It is often said that California is the bellwether state of America and if this opening act of fiscal disaster is any indication of things to come, as it concerns the impending bankruptcy of the Feds, it will surely make Arnold's multi-billion dollar financial black hole look like chump change by comparison.

    The Feds are most certainly broke and can't afford these parks any more than the Bear Republic can. It will be interesting to see how all of this shakes out. I'll stay tuned to NPT and hope for the best.

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

    I was there too he was wearing right gloves and was not playing with his life. Please dont comment on something that you dont know.

  • Does the Federal Government Really Want to Seize Six California State Parks?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    From the sound of it, the Fed could be open to court action if it does not enforce the conditions of the deed transfers to California. Who would see it as in their interest to file the lawsuit(s), I don't know.

    Certainly, California's behavior is giving 'drunken sailors' a good name. It not only behooves, but is incumbant upon anyone with any kind of stake in the State to speak up loud & clear, reaffirming any claim they have, on the public record. Failure to do so can be construed as giving tacit approval to a process or condition that clearly endangers their claim. That might make the Fed's statements relatively pro forma.

    [Only one bank has announced they will cash California State IOUs - and they have agreed to do so only through July 10. When banks refuse to cash the IOUs, a cascading series of additional fiscal & business crises will likely ensue.]

    Then again, while the Obama Admin clearly wants to appear sympathetic & 'nominally' helpful to California, there are other states also ... essentially in a race to the bottom with them. It is in the interest of the Fed to squelch any notion of Uncle Sam solving these State problems ... to such an extent that they may be glad to have an excuse to appear stern & assertive, while also seeming to protect the interests of the national public.

    Is it really going to happen? Depends totally on California. How far are they willing to push the brinkmanship? If the State really unravels, yes, the Fed will grab the properties.

    It looks to me like the Democrats and Republicans in Sacramento may be engaged in a true death match (they fake it all the time ... WWF has nothing on these guys). They have each other by the throat ... and the media is not even covering the story for what it is (a test-case for national politics).

    Obama is using a very similar fiscal model, in trying to address the economic collapse, as got California in trouble in the first place: Throw money at anything & everything. Events in California are a glaring preview of what could happen to the country as a whole. ("A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.")

    In terms of the National Parks Traveler, failure of the stimulus to effect recovery could (would be expected to) result not only in the absence of the desired economic activity, but a need to return to the budget (as California has) looking for places to slash & prune.

    The punchline is, of course, that just as California looks to its parks as a discretionary outlay that is easily deleted, so also the Fed would look at the National Parks budget as a good place to whittle.