Recent comments

  • Here's How You Can Follow Science At Great Smoky Mountains National Park From Afar   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Thanks for pointing out the link problem, Rob. It's now fixed. If you like this web innovation, check back tomorrow to see what the folks at Zion (with help from Glacier, I think) are doing. A great piece of interpretation and education.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    In Virginia a CCW person can walk in the State house with a weapon and visit his representative.

    Coburn may allow that in his home state. But in DC there is still a gun ban and carry ban in effect. Senator Webb ran into that problem with his assistant getting caught with a gun in his briefcase.

    The difference is that in DC they do not trust the public with carrying weapons. In Virginia they do. OC and CCW is allowed in Virginia and they have less crime than DC. I am not implying that guns are the reason that Virginia has less crime. More to do with demographics but DC guns laws do not help

  • Here's How You Can Follow Science At Great Smoky Mountains National Park From Afar   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Thanks, Kurt. This is a nice example of what can be done with the web. The first story link (Great Smoky Mountains National Park) came back as broken when I tried it. Keep up the great work!

    rob
    ---
    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    www.craterlakeinstitute.com

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Beamis your comment is really off topic. You will get a lot of arguement about the wars being unconstitutional. Since this site is about NPS and the topic is loosening gun carry in the NPS.

    Keep on topic.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    MRC, I agree. So instead I could point to the Volstead or Patriot Act as a way of mitigating against the dreaded effects of Godwin's Law. There are plenty of unjust and tyrannical edicts to go around right here in the land of the free and the home of the brave before needing to invoke our German, Russian or Chinese brethren in the fine art of repressing human liberty. Our rulers are quite capable in this arena.

    No need for imports on this issue.

    Our current un-Constitutional wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan qualifies the U.S. government as the number one outlaw in the world at the present time.

    Thanks for the reality check MRC. Who needs the Nazis when you've got the current band of pirates in DC to hold up to scrutiny? Torture, counterfeiting (the printing press of the Federal Reserve), bloody aggression against civilian populations, lying, cheating and all other sorts of thuggery----yes we've got it all.

    Who needs Himmler when you've got Dick Cheney?

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    @Frank C: Well, it did take a while, but finally you made it. Thank you for proving Godwin's Law again. This thread can be closed now.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The point I was making is to respect the laws of the land. Including the stupid ones.

    Wow.

    Statements like these from jim.hiker show how a government is able to exterminate millions of people using the "laws of the land" like the Nuremberg Laws.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    It is everybody's choice to carry or not in the backcountry except in NP's.

    I did a quick search and could only figure out that if caught in a NP and not following the existing law concerning firearms and weapons then the individual is subject to fines, possible loss of permit, possible loss of weapon, and possible confinement. So it sounds to me that it depends on the circumstances in which the person is caught and how they interact with the ranger who catches them. The point I was making is to respect the laws of the land. Including the stupid ones. I don't agree with them all, but I follow them and try to change them through the appropriate channels. Yes, I do have a lead foot and have paid for it on occasion.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    The right to self protection is even more needed in areas of our nation in which there is less protection from criminals and animals that might attack humans. This law was a step in the right direction.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    might I add that cars are known to have significant environmental impact. They are banned from the best parts of the Okefenokee, and should be. I dare say that boat motors have a greater environmental impact there than guns have or would.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    "people with guns kill more people than people without guns" is just plain false, at least in the US and Canada.

    people with cars kill orders of magnitude more than people with guns

    maybe in a country where people have guns and not cars, that might be true ... if you can name one ... but the cost of bullets in such economies generally means enemies are killed by other means, like necklacing

  • Massive Avalanche Took Out Sections of Stone Wall, But Glacier National Park's Sun Road Should Open On Schedule   5 years 31 weeks ago

    The last avalanche occurrences of this magnitude in GP were probably in mid February of 1978. At that time a group of friends and I were embarking to Polebridge to ski into Bowman Lake. We were in the first of two vehicles and made it in. Avalanches along the North Fork of the Flathead river subsequently blocked the road and the second vehicle had to hole up in Whitefish. On that evening, a powerful avalanche knocked out a US Hwy - 2 bridge over the Flathead river at the southern boundary of the park. 1978 was a huge winter for snow.

  • Judge Blocks Wal-Mart SuperCenter From Opening Near Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    It seems too many judges, especially in CA have forgotten common sense and reality. Since we all have to live with many of the decisions it would make sense to have someone making those decisions who have at least studied a bit about science and economics. Like many others not from CA I am getting a bit tired of paying extra in pricing for all of the warning labels and such that have been instituted because some judge doesn't understand Darwin in addition to those who have allowed many needed projects in adjoining states to be blocked by the lobbying of special interest groups. .

  • Judge Blocks Wal-Mart SuperCenter From Opening Near Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    One more piece of evidence showing that many judges have no idea of impact on anyone else whether in their own backyards or not. Shall we now have to deal with California's fallout as we have had to with packaging, fuel, building needed refineries and more?

  • Judge Blocks Wal-Mart SuperCenter From Opening Near Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Well, sick and tired, sounds like business as usual in sunny California. We in the southern states really apreciate the problems you are having getting green businesses established out there. The more restrictions you place on them, the more they want to move down here. We can use the jobs, the taxes and the extra money they place in our pockets.

    Yall just keep driving the money our way.

  • A Tough Week for Hikers and Mule Riders at Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Do you know what happened to the mule that fell on the woman on May 4, 2009? I have not seen anything regarding injuries to the mules. My sister and I rode to Phantom Ranch on May 12, 2009 and had a fabulous time. We did learn quickly to let the mules do their job. Thanks for any update you can provide.

  • Here's the Latest on Road and Campground Openings in Glacier National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Thanks for the updates. Can't wait to get to the park this year.

  • Judge Blocks Wal-Mart SuperCenter From Opening Near Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    If the effect of greenhouse gases is aggregate and global, then why would CO2 emissions adjacent to Joshua Tree make any more difference than CO2 emissions in Bolivia?

    More to the point, did the shopping center's proximity to the park have anything to do with the court's decision, or is the park actually irrelevant to the story?

  • Endangered Species Day, What Have We Lost, What Might We Lose In the National Parks?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Paul--

    What you say is true. Another compliicating factor is, of course, that the boundaries of most national park areas outside of Alaska are political, not ecoclogical, boundaries. Significant sections of the original habitat of some threatened/endangered species lie outside park boundaries. Park Service managers have limited powers to protect such land, having to rely mostly on persuasion and building good partnerships with adjacent land owners.

    The classic case is the Everglades, one of the only "down-stream" parks in the system. Most of the bad stuff that happens to the water, both in terms of quality and quantity, happens before it arrives in the park. Big Cypress partially addressed this problem, buffering some of the northern boundaries of Everglades. And, the CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project) was supposed to address many of the other problems. CERP, however, seems a bit bogged down and one wonders whether the full complement of projected "fixes" will ever get off the ground. I am increasingly doubtful.

    Rick Smith

  • Endangered Species Day, What Have We Lost, What Might We Lose In the National Parks?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Nice post, unfortunately in a lot of cases the habitat provided by the parks isn't itself adequate to ensure their survival. There's more to "habitat" than the immediate area in which species lives, you have to consider the air they breathe and the water they drink, plus the shallowness of the gene pool.

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

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Judge Blocks Wal-Mart SuperCenter From Opening Near Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I don't know if the government will take greenhouse gases into consideration with road paving or any of the other "stimulus" projects, but it's certainly an interesting point you raise, Frank.

    Where do we as a society decide to make trade-offs? What is considered appropriate, what is not? Should we accept double standards? Is providing public access to a national park of higher priority than a department store?

    This is the sort of thing that not only needs to be balanced across the economic/organizational spectrum, but explored if we are to slow climate change or, if you disagree that humans are a key driver in that, simply minimize our environmental impacts.

    But another factor is the economics -- can we afford to mitigate everything? Trying to do so upfront can add substantial costs to a project, but then, so too can court battles. Where should the line be drawn?

  • Endangered Species Day, What Have We Lost, What Might We Lose In the National Parks?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Hello Kurt,

    Thank you for the great post - your message is exactly what Endangered Species Day is all about - becoming aware of what there is to lose if we don't strive to further protect our ecosystems both far away and locally.

    Best,
    Gina

  • Judge Blocks Wal-Mart SuperCenter From Opening Near Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Joshua Tree National Park just got over $5 million to repave roads. Has the National Park Service "adequately consider[ed] its greenhouse-gas impacts"? I think not.

    More governmental double standards.

    This is right out of Atlas Shrugged.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Accidents happen. I agree that accidents happen and I accept that risk. Accidents happen from a variety of causes yet we do not prohibit anything that may cause an accident. More children drown than by accidental gunfire. That is not a sufficient reason to prohibit a constitutional right.

    Gun owners have children and even many children in their homes and those children do not suffer unduly from injury from guns. Gun owners are aware and take precautions. That risk or concern is just as possible in homes and playgrounds where other gun owners can and do carry. Plus in a campground I have never had kids from another campsite go through my belongings and that seem an extremely minor risk. Gun owners are more concerned from theft and take a lot of precautions of someone handling a weapon. We know that a gun can kill and do not let another handle a weapon without precautions. We certainly want to keep any expensive guns from being stolen so they are either on the owner or very well stored like current law allows. Current law allows guns to be stored at campsites and I never heard anything of a problem.

    · Alcohol and guns do not mix. The main reason people say this is that alcohol lowers the inhibitions and yet people drink and rarely attack others with or without guns. Now young impulsive people can and do risky behavior especially while drunk. If they indulge in that behavior then the regular punishments apply. People also drink at home where guns are and I do not hear of a gun slaughters that happens. Again this is a stretch. Again the underlying fear is that the gun owner will not be responsible and I have yet to hear evidence that supports that contention.

    · In the case of overt gun use how can a ranger tell the difference is easy? The ranger tells all parties to lower the guns. This is the same method police use when they run into non-uniform police and guns are in play. You treat all the gun holders the same and tell them to lower and drop a gun. After the ranger gets the stories he can then arrest or let go as he determines.

    Poaching is still disallowed. I have said before that in order to arrest on poaching you need the true evidence not the assumption that everyone with a gun is a poacher. My rights are not to be violated to make a poaching arrest easier. As to the inclination of pistol holders to shoot game in a park I do not see that as a reasonable assumption. Most game is hunted with rifles and poaching happens in National Forrest lands also and the rangers there do not have the ability to assume a group of hunters is taking game out of season. So they will often check for dead game. No reason that NPS ranger can’t do the same thing.

    A right to carry a gun is not predicted on need. You do not need the right of free speech or freedom to worship as you choose but you still have it. Crime may not be an issue but regrettably when it occurs it is generally unexpected. Why not be prepared if you choose. Same as any other risk.

    A previous commenter mentions a NPR show about a person who was risk from Illegal “weed” farms on NPS land. That is a true issue and some parks are not as safe as others.

    You present concerns that are not major problems or have any evidence in other areas where carry is practiced as an issue.

    The major problem is wither reckless, irresponsible of felonious use of a firearm. Those are the same risks that are present off NPS land where carry is allowed and it is not a problem. If they occur then you prosecute as well as any other law that is broken. Prohibiting lawful exercising of rights because it might be a problem, that is a travesty of the concept of freedom. We don’t tape people mouths shut when they go into a theater to prevent them from shouting fire. They are punished after the fact. We do not prevent the press from printing stories before they are printed and some stories have violates national security laws but the government generally pleads and the courts do not take kindly to pre print prohibition

  • Judge Blocks Wal-Mart SuperCenter From Opening Near Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Wal-Mart is getting too big for their britches.