Recent comments

  • Yosemite National Park Returns To Square One on Yosemite Valley Plan   5 years 33 weeks ago

    There's likely nothing they can do about the motorcycles. For the most part I've found most bikers going through national parks to be pleasant and friendly, but the sound of Harleys just sort of ruins the experience for me.

  • Yosemite National Park Returns To Square One on Yosemite Valley Plan   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Yep - $5 for a shower at either Curry Village or Housekeeping Camp. A couple years back I backpacked in Yosemite and took a shower before and after my trip. The first time I paid $3 at the Curry Village main desk, wasn't given a receipt (or a towel) and went to take the shower at the men's guest shower room. The second time the desk clerk refused to take my money and offered a towel. As is stands now, there are reports that there are employees stationed at the showers to check for guest keys/receipts. Otherwise they collect $5.

    Last year I was camping in Mt Rainier, and they had 7 minute showers that operated on one quarter at the old Jackson Visitor Center. Since that site has been decommissioned, there apparently aren't any public showers in Mt Rainier National Park.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    The NPS manages Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument with the BLM and doesn't do much in the way of development.

    Giant Sequoia National Monument would be almost a no-go from the start. There are already several wilderness areas there, so it's not as if they would avoid development. In addition, there are already several business interests there (Montecito-Sequoia Lodge, Stony Creek Lodge, Kings Canyon Lodge, Hume Lake Christian Camp) that would put up a huge fuss over it. The run their enterprises in ways that wouldn't be possible under NPS jurisdiction. The NPS eliminated all the public gas stations in SEKI years ago, and the only nearby options for gas now are in Giant Sequoia NM. I'm not sure what would be done in that case. For the most part there's excellent cooperation between the NPS and Forest Service there. I remember going to the information booth at Grant Village, where there were volunteers from the Sequoia Natural History Association, as well as NPS and Forest Service rangers. The only way I could see it working if there were sections that weren't put under NPS control (perhaps Hume Lake) - although that would get tricky with their current Forest Service use permits. There are some private communities completely within NPS boundaries, including Wawona and Foresta in Yosemite, or Wilsonia in SEKI.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    That sludge spill, incidentally, was nothing to sneeze at. It was 1.1 billions gallons of nasty, heavy-metal laced muck. That's 3 times the Marin County Spill of 2000, or 50 times bigger than Exxon Valdez...

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Owen - here's the info on Al Gore's windfall:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10252910-54.html

    As far as your arguments regarding nuclear power go, did you read anything from the website I provided? The arguments you're using are obsolete. Nuclear technology has come a long way since the 1970s.

    Finally, the IPCC report is one analysis - what about the 31,000, and growing, number of scientists who say that global warming is bogus? How can you say the IPCC owns the truth? You're taking it on pure faith.

    Going back to Roger Revelle, Al Gore's global warming mentor. Revelle has backed away from his findings, stating that the true impact of carbon dioxide was not at all certain.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Visitors may be regretful of their first and possibly only visit to the monument being "spoiled" by the Greenpeace banner, similar to the way I felt while traveling to Europe and even Washington DC and had sights I had longed all my life to see covered with scaffolding for "cleaning and maintenance" that have spoiled the vistas for years and years. I wonder if these same visitors would have protested their disappointment if it were NPS employees obscuring their view to maintain the monument. I am mindful of the forethought and planning of the demonstration that brought no harm to the monument. These were not paint throwers or people with axes and sledge hammers in hand (which has occurred) but people who voluntarily, routinely put their lives in jeopardy to try to protect the planet and bring notice to the world of the harm we people do to our planet and its inhabitants who have just as much right to live as humans do. As far as I can tell from the news and the postings here, they did no more harm as the people who hang banners and wave from overpasses proclaiming a welcome to our American forces who return home after serving their country by trying to bring liberty to peoples around the world as well as protecting our own. Nothing has been said about the NPS personnel having to go up and force them down or having to mount major repair efforts to mend the damage they did not do, only to remove the banner. I'd be honored to join them in hugging a whale. How many of the so rightous here would be willing to join them in putting their lives in jeopardy to save the life of one of the most magnificant creatures to have ever lived on this earth, one that causes no harm but actually has a role to play in keeping this planet healthy, certainly a more nobel being than what most of those here claim humanity to be.

    As for you who idolize Al Gore, please go back and examine his carbon footprint. While I'm not an educated scientist or even as acedemically elevated as some here proclaim to be, you don't have to be brilliant to discover that Al Gore himself and his wife, while espousing programs which would make life less livable for those of us who are not as financially priviledged as they are, lives in a mansion that would house a large homeless shelter, all that resource eating space for just 2 people because they have the financial ability to take up more of the world's resources than they need or deserve, drive several cars, travel around by private jet whenever they feel like it...on and on. Get real; their example is false as they do not live in line with what they expouse. Your idol does not live by the same standards he espouses for the rest of us. Your promotion of the man degrades your postings here that might have otherwise carried some weight for some of us.

    I'm sorry for the people of Appalachia who were harmed by the toxic sludge. I applaud any regulation that would stop this from happening again, except cap and trade bill. Work needs to be done to clean up our energy sources, not throw us back into the dark ages, literally, when we have to resort to wood burning fireplaces and candles to keep warm and bring light into our homes. According to the global warming proponents, wood burning stoves cause serious polution also so do you propose that we all huddle in our beds wrapped in blankets 24-hours a day in order to be warm enough to even survive. Look at the statistics of any large-ish city of those old and poor who die in their homes during periods of cold or heat because they cannot afford to bring live giving power into their homes, yet cap and trade would raise that cost and many more will be unable to afford survival. So I'm interested, when are you going to pass legislation to cap and trade Mt. St. Helens which spewed toxic waste and floods of mud which destroyed many homes and killed people. Surely you can't be so ready to blame that on humanity as you are global warming.

    Just a few thoughts on the postings here. I love our national parks also but why not complain about the financial explotation that our government allows in them instead of people who are trying to protect our planet?

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Good for Greenpeace !! They aren't sitting behind a computer screen, without any information, whinning about things they know NOTHING ABOUT. How exactly do you make a difference? The climbers ARE very experienced climbers and did indeed use the hooks that are there for park service personnel to use to periodically clean. Laughable that the Park Service said that they "got them down safely". They weren't on their job, period. Reports of the greenpeace climbers were in leg chains, that's a bunch of BS too. Greenpeace is a non profit, environmentally aware organization. They ACTUALLY put there money where their mouth is.....AND YOU? Some who post, speak of shooting people, is that your position on anyone that disagrees with your opinion? SHAMEFUL..... Greenpeace will continue to move forward, despite you, and help save this planet we all live on, and for your children, grandchildren, and future generations........GOOD JOB, GREENPEACE !!!!!

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Hey Smokey, exactly how will Al Gore make millions off of a cap and trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

    Your position on nuclear power suggests that you aren't aware of the overall costs of design, licensing, construction, operation and regulation of these highly complex facilities, let alone the fact that there is presently no long-term storage solution in place for high-level nuclear wastes, other than to store spent fuel rods onsite submerged in deep water pools.

    How many years will it take for the initiation of plans for new nuclear facilities today for them to go online in the future? And, if all of them were to go online 10 to 20 years from now, what fraction of the overall carbon footprint would be deflected?

    What impact would this ultimately have on global climate? Once they go online, where is the high-level nuclear waste stored?

    Like Kurt, I have a high level of trust in the findings and conclusions of the IPCC report. I disagree with you about global warming being a hoax.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    The global warming scare is the greatest hoax ever put on mankind.

    Does it bother you at all that Al Gore stands to make millions of dollars if this silly-a$$ carbon credit trade system is put in place? Don’t you think that this is a conflict of interest in the extreme?

    There are 31,000 scientists that now say that either the earth is not warming, or if warming, is not caused by man made CO2, including John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel as well as Roger Revelle, the mentor for Al Gore, who came to doubt his original position on man-made global warming.

    To the people who blindly believe this dogma: does this information give you any pause? Are you open minded enough to listen to the other side before making decisions that will have negative ramifications to our freedoms, our financial security, and our way of life?

    And to those same people, why not nuclear energy? Nuclear power solves a lot of our problems. It’s a clean, safe, sustainable power. And , it would create jobs, something this country desperately needs right now.

    http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2288928/posts

    http://www.nei.org/

    http://www.oism.org/pproject/

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Mt. St. Helens has been mentioned above, and I most certainly add my own support to include this significant landscape in the National Park System.

    Another place of astounding natural beauty and cultural significance is Monument Valley. Since this special location is owned and managed by the Navajo Nation, perhaps some sort of NPS/Navajo partnership can be arranged to designate this fantastic area as a Native American National Park or Monument Valley National Park of the Navajo Nation.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Rob, yeah, the wording on the banner could have been a tad more clear. They sent me a press release, so I knew what it said without looking at the banner;-)

  • National Park Mystery Photo 10: Name that Location   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Good job Michael. I had never heard of this NRA. I will have to make a visit when my wife and I next see her family in L.A. The Channel Islands are fantastic.

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

  • Traveler's Checklist: Buffalo National River   5 years 33 weeks ago

    My parents lived in Little Rock for years and I recall the happiness one weekend of canoeing down the Buffalo, with my [now 35 - then about 10] year old son floating in an inner tube strung on a rope behind the canoe.

    Exactly the sort of pleasant memories one would hope for years down the road after visiting a park.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Kurt, I could not make out the "not" in the Greenpeace message (from the photo Greenpeace provided). It appeared to be a red blob. I went back and looked at other photos of the banner and most were similar to the photo you provided. I'm curious to know if you could make it out or did you decipher the complete message from the text in other news reports? Going to all that trouble, you would think they would make the "not" more prominent. Although I understand they wanted the photo to come through.

    Without the "not" I was trying hard to understand their message. I'm guessing most people had to rely on the news report text to understand their message....or not...chuckle.

    Thanks for posting, Kurt.

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

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Back in 1971 when Greenpeace began carving out its niche, soon becoming (in that era) the world's largest environmental NGO, it had a key role to play -- namely, making the public aware of environmental problems and urging environmental action. It's analogous to whacking a mule on the head with a two-by-four to get his attention. That's the sort of thing that you need to do when the public is in the first stage of environmental awareness and action (the "no talk, no do" phase; you don't see any problems, so you don't apply any fixes) or stage two ("talk, no do"; you become aware of serious problems but still aren't doing anything to fix them). The rub comes when you get to stage three, which is the "talk, do" phase (you are keenly aware of environmental problems and you are working on solutions). That's where we are now, and everyone seems to know it except stuck-in-the-seventies Greenpeace.

    Here in America we environmentalists are addressing this country's environmental problems using political/legal, educational, and technical means. We are, in short, institutionalizing environmental stewardship. One of these days we'll be at stage four, which is the "no talk, do" phase (environmentally responsible behavior is essentially instinctive; we practice it routinely and unselfconsciously). Meanwhile, we are making progress every day.

    The bottom line is this: America has moved beyond the time (and mindset) that calls for the kind of kick-in-the-pants stuff that Greenpeace specializes in. Now Greenpeace pranks are just an embarrassment to environmentalists who have worked very hard, decade after decade, to become effective and gain respect.

    Greenpeace is like the crowing rooster who takes credit for making the sun rise. Take away the rooster, and the sun still rises. Take away Greenpeace pranks, and the environmental movement will not miss a beat.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Many of the comments in opposition to this activist plea for saving the planet and humankind are quite sad and evident of the "head in the sand" mentality of the masses. What a shame. Cries for protecting the ROCK, or having your nostalgia or vacation ruined is hideous. What if each generation only cared about their brief stay on the planet with no regard for the future? Well that is basically what we have now ... self-centered, greedy, ignorant people, governments and corporations. As a 21-year HIV survivor and an openly gay man, I can tell you that ACTIVISM is what saves lives. SAVES LIVES! If it were left to the ignorant (meaning uneducated) masses, there would be no fast track drug approval for ALL diseases and ailments. There would be no right for women to vote, no biracial marriage, no African American equal rights, we would still have slavery, and more. NEVER agree to be oppressed. NEVER stop expressing your thoughts. Never be stifled by comments on Facebook or anywhere. But please take these actions in the context of the intention of the activists... To help all humanity have a planet on which to exist. It's pretty basic. Open your minds and hearts to this issue of global warming. The clues are everywhere. Get your head OUT OF THE SAND and stop the denial.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Chance, I'm with you on your comments. I submit to you Chance, you have a very bright career ahead of you and at least you don't profess to be a know-it-all. Good luck to you young man.

    This comment was edited to remove unnecessary disparagements.--ed.

  • Glorieta Pass Civil War Battlefield Finally Gets an Interpretive Trail   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Preston: I recently spoke with Kathy Billings, the superintendent of Pecos NHP, and asked her about the fate of the historic building associated with the 1862 battle fought near Glorietta Pass. There is no ranch house from that era, although a 1925 ranch building, Forked Lightning Ranch, is a component of Pecos NHP. The ranch was donated to the park in the 1990s; ranger-guided tours are available by reservation. A much older structure called the Trading Post (once a stagecoach stop) was indeed present at the time of the 1862 battle. It is being repaired and will eventually provide office space and also serve as a visitor contact station for trailhead-related services.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    BLM v. NPS management of Grand Staircase-Escalante & the other Clinton Antiquities Act monuments is a separate issue from what they should be managed for. The designation as National Monuments specifies the same thing either way, including continued grazing in some. Note that several NPS-managed NPS units have active oil leases, grazing, even oyster farming.

    I, too, much prefer the no-hassles experience in areas managed by BLM that don't also have ORV use, mining, logging, etc. There _are_ some NPS units where the same no-hassle rules apply. I'm resigned to the rules & restrictions as necessary whenever visitor use is high: a few folks can camp and collect firewood and hike without trails with minimal impact, just like a moderate number of mountain bikers can ride trails with sustainable impact. 50 years ago that didn't scale to visitation in Yosemite Valley and parts of Yellowstone; now visitation to even Canyonlands and Joshua Tree is way too high to allow unfettered use without major damage to resource conditions.

    What new units to add to the NPS system is an interesting question. It was posed to NPS directors & former directors (& Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan) at the George Wright Society. The consensus response was that such decisions shouldn't be centralized and come from them, but should come from the public.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    greenpeace,get a real job.....go to brazil,russia,china,iran,irag,saudia arabia,and do your protests.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    maybe we should hang flags on your house???some things are off limits,you can make a statement without this nonsense of hanging the flags on rushmore...go to third world countrys and try to get them off their duffs and,quit wanting usa to do everything for the world...we had to fight for what we got...

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    I finally got to see Mt. Rushmore for the very first time and to think that some people could be so dumb to mess up such a wonderful sight just makes me sick!! Hope every one of them pays a huge fine and does major jail time!!!

    Yeah, anonymous, it also makes me sick that the government stole Sioux land, which resulted in the carving of State leaders into sacred stone. Unfortunately, those criminals are dead, but at the very least, the government can honor the Treaty of 1868 and return all federally-held lands to the Sioux at once.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 33 weeks ago

    you seem to be jumping in the environmental skepticism movement

    Global warming skeptic since 1992.

    Part of my argument is economic. Part of it is based in science. I've gone over my questions about the science, including the sunspot cycle, in other posts. As for the Earth warming, that remains to be seen. (The global temperature anomaly in January was 0.00 deg. C., the trough of the solar cycle.) There are some who are also critical of computer models that make very general predictions based on some flawed data sets. But go ahead and discredit those criticisms as being based from "CTT"s; nice ad hominem, attacking the source rather than the claim.

    I would at least encourage you to know what and who is behind the movement you so vociferously support.

    I support no movement. I am merely a skeptic. I vociferously support skepticism. And please don't assume to know what I know about climate skeptics. I've looked at this issue from all sides since studying meteorology 17 years ago.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 10: Name that Location   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Another one bites the dust. Again, the readership has demonstrated it's familiarity with the national parks, and we applaud you. Of course, it also means we'll look even harder for a stumper next week. Check back tomorrow for some details on this location.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 10: Name that Location   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Paramount Ranch, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.