Recent comments

  • Mount Rainier National Park Officials Mulling Future of Carbon River Road   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I must concur with the majority of the comments that are posted with a slight modification. With the establishment of an official Sno-Park parking lot just prior to the closed gate would open up a tremendous opportunity for winter recreation and the revenue generated for Sno-Park Passes could pay for kepping that portion plowed to the parking area.

  • On Stimulus Packages, Lobbyists, and Congressfolk   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Hey Frank, why not? We're already into the Republic of China for over $850BB that they recently loaned us to keep our failing economy afloat (aka, so we could subsidize their economy via the continued purchase of low grade generic crap that our citizenry seems to love) and as there is no immediate hint of recovery, why not add a few more billions and then do what a multitude of nations have so successfully accomplished in the recent past.....just default baby! We've subsudized enough failed world economies over the past half century. It time we play the same game in reverse, since that's the only way we'll EVER see any of our investments returned. I see no shame in playing by everyone else's rules since they refuse to play by ours.

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The seiche phenomenon is also a relatively common occurrence on the Great Lakes, and is tied to a unique combination of wind direction and tightly packed isobars (specific to the geography of the lake), rapidly changing atmospheric pressure, storm speed and, just as also effects the height of the ocean tsunami, the topography of the local shoreline in the region where the wave makes landfall. What makes these waves so interesting is that immediately preceding their "landing" the water in the area seems to be sucked out into the lake, down to the lakebed, exposing the floor of the lake for just a few seconds and then rushes back in with a vengeance and fury not to be believed, even when seen. I witnessed a 20-25' wave striking the shores of Lake Michigan some 30 years ago, from a height of 23 stories above. The first audible statement when the lake "dried up" was, "Wow, COOL!!!" followed shortly by "Holy $#&*" when the gathering wave rolled in and impacted the base of the building. These rogue waves have been blamed for numerous tales of lost ships and other deaths over the years, going back to stories related through Native American lore originating hundreds of years ago.

  • Maine-based Groups Join Fight to Overturn Gun Rule for National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Perhaps the groups listed above ought to read the Final Rule:

    Issue 8: Visitors who carry a concealed firearm permitted under state law are likely to use their handguns to shoot or injure wildlife.

    Response 8: The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service and a number of state parks and refuges currently authorize the possession of concealed firearms consistent with the laws of the state in which they are located. The available data does not suggest that visitors to these lands misuse their legally permitted firearms for poaching or illegal shooting, or that there is additional danger posed to the public from lawfully carried concealed firearms. See, e.g., National Research Council, Committee on Law and Justice, Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review (Washington D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2004), p.6; Dodenhoff, David, Concealed Carry Legislation: An Examination of the Facts, Wisconsin Public Policy Research Institute (2006), p. 5; see also, Jeffrey Snyder, Fighting Back: Crime, Self-Defense, and the Right to Carry a Handgun, (October 1997); Kopel, David, et al., Policy Review No. 78 (July & August 1996).

    These groups desperately use a slippery slope argument without data to support the premise.

    If the "available data does not suggest that visitors to these lands misuse their legally permitted firearms for poaching", why waste money on an EIS? If anyone has data to the contrary, I'd love to see it.

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    We have been thinking about this for years, casting and recasting the movie. The cast that was announced just isn't right for such an important movie. Hayduke and Seldom Seen aren't living in a retirement home and unless Nicholson and Dreyfus are playing their fathers, the movie's going to be another
    "Grumpy Old Men". Sorry, but of those guys are TOO OLD; can anyone honestly see either one of them as the rugged, outdoorsmen Hayduke and Seldom are? They're good actors but they're not THAT good.

    We see the cast like this:
    First, we would hire the Coen Brothers to direct. They bring a quirkiness that would fit nicely with the story and and their cinematograghy is nothing short of brilliant. Imagine what they'd do with Canyonlands and Glenn Canyon as their backdrop.
    Matthew McConnaughey as Seldom Seen. He has the attitude, the build, he's the right age and is a better actor than he gets credit for.
    George Eads (Nick Stokes in CSI) as Hayduke. Have him grow his hair, spend some time in the sun...He has the looks, the physical attributes of GW and he's who I see when I think of Hayduke.
    Jenneane Garofolo as Bonnie Abzug...she fits Abbey's description to a tee. 'nuf said.
    Brian Dennehey as Doc Sarvis. Barrel chested, big voice, big man and great screen presence.
    Robert Duvall as Bishop Love. He's the one big name in the cast and someone who would/could portray the Bishop as Abbey created him. And he's an Oscar winner who doesn't make enough movies these days.
    And just for fun, Johnny Depp as the mysterious Horseman.

    Whatever the outcome, Hollywood is going to be hardpressed to live up to what Edward Abbey put to paper. Right now, it sounds like it just won't be what it deserves to be.

  • 2008 Visitation to the National Parks Up and Down, But Essentially Flat   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Interesting report. More definitive trends in visitation should become clearer this coming summer as the recession becomes firmly entrenched. Discretionary spending on nonessentials is usually one of the first victims of a major economic downturn. The more remote parks seem most likely to experience drops in visitor numbers. In addition to actual declines in disposable income, there is a natural tendency to "hunker down" and stay close to home in tough times.

  • Climate Change Doomed the Historic Settlements at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Your observations about climate change in the time of the Abo, Quarai and Gran Quivria are important in today's atmosphere of "Climate Change". The climate of North America has been warming since the last Ice Age. Ancestral Puebloan peoples used to farm in wetter areas of the 4 Corners area in places like Chaco Canyon and Abo. Climate change that has been happening for a long time, is not a recent phenomenon and is credited as one of the major factors that drove the "Anasazi" to the more consistent wetter areas along the Rio Grande

  • 2008 Visitation to the National Parks Up and Down, But Essentially Flat   5 years 36 weeks ago

    "Sixty-three percent of all 391 park units reported declines in RV overnight stays."

    I have my doubts about the validity of that statistic. Of the 391 units, how many have camping facilities at all? I'd be surprised if 50% of the 391 park units even record overnight RV stays. Think of all the urban and small rural parks: Independence, Klondike Gold Rush, Washita Battlefield, Montezuma Castle, Lewis & Clark, Vicksburg...

  • 2008 Visitation to the National Parks Up and Down, But Essentially Flat   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Hey, what do you know, there can be good outcomes of a bad economy. Glad to see a decrease in the number of RVs, and an increase in back country use. I do believe Edward Abbey said it best:

    "Turn that motor off. Get out of that piece of iron and stretch your varicose veins, take off your brassiere and get some hot sun on your wrinkled old dugs! You sir, squinting at the map with your radiator boiling over and your fuel pump vapor-locked, crawl out of that shiny hunk of GMC junk and take a walk-yes, leave the old lady and those squawling brats behind for awhile and take a long quiet walk straight into the canyons, get lost for awhile, come back when you damn well feel like it." -E.A.

  • The World's Top Ten National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I have one more international park that is among my favorites.

    IGUAZU N. P., Argentina

    This World Heritage site protects one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu Falls and the surrounding subtropical forest. The falls are 70 meters high, but even more impressive is their width: the river at the falls is 1500 meters wide. The short boat ride and walk along the catwalks to the most striking of the hundreds of falls, Garganta del Diablo, the Devil’s Throat, is a thrilling experience. The roar itself is an unforgettable experience. I visited this park when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. I saw it from the Argentine side, which at that time, was the less-developed side. I have not been back since that time so I am not sure what the situation is now. I do remember, however, that the Argentine rangers were very helpful and informative.

    Rick Smith

  • What's Driving Rep. Issa's Opposition to Tackling the National Park System's Backlog?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    While I agree with Frank C. that the national park system is "Broke", it seems to me it's only broke in a financial way due to the lack of funding from the politicians. The public doesn't really seem to have a problem with funding it. It's only politicans who hold up putting the money where it's supposed to go. The only reason the park system is broke is because a long line of obstructionist- politicians want to make themselves look tough on alleged "BIG GOVERNMENT" while they secure funding for their own legeslative boondoggles!

  • 2008 Visitation to the National Parks Up and Down, But Essentially Flat   5 years 36 weeks ago

    While I believe the increase of visitors to Cuyahoga Valley N.P., I have to wonder how they know. There is no entrance station to the park and there are no user fees. I hike there 3 or 4 times a week and yes, it was much more crowded than it has been in the past, although I think it's part of a longer term trend for the area. So many people!
    It does seem to me that most of these drops are fuel cost related as evidenced by the lack of RV users.

  • Volcanics in the National Parks: They Ain't All Tied to "Redoubt"   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Don't forget Katmai. When it comes to volcanism it is hard to beat the Valley of 10k Smokes and the several other volcanic features found in the park. A far less visited park is Aniakchak Nat. Monument. A never-to-be forgotten experience was landing on Surprise Lake with a NPS float plane in the caldera.

  • Discounted Lodging Available in Glacier National Park this June   5 years 36 weeks ago

    These are some nice discounts if you want to stay in the park. Early June lets you miss some of the crowds, but as late in June as possible gives you more options in the high country.

    Depending upon how much snow falls during the rest of the winter, the park's justly famous Going-to-the-Sun Road may not be open all the way across the Continental Divide earlier in June--which is one more reason for the lodging discounts. Check the park website for updates on road construction as well.

  • That's Cold, Doubly So When You Realize the Temperature Was In Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Global warming (or cooling for that matter) deals with the overall climate of the planet, not with the weather at one particular place on one particular night.

  • What's Driving Rep. Issa's Opposition to Tackling the National Park System's Backlog?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I have known Craig Obey for years. He does outstanding work for NPCA. Both he and his father are professionals and I doubt their relatiionship affects the work they do either as a US Representative or as an employee of NPCA. It seems strange that Issa never thought this relationship was suspect previously. Repressentative Obey has been on the appropriations comnittee for years and Craig has worked at NPCA for a long time. Maybe now that House Republicans have decided to oppose the stimulus package, they are looking for places to hang their objections. This seems like a pretty flimsy place to me.

    Rick Smith

  • What's Driving Rep. Issa's Opposition to Tackling the National Park System's Backlog?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Yeah, it's a broken record, but given such blatant mismanagement/corruption/waste politicians have shown toward national park management, I still cannot fathom how anyone can think the federal government is the best system for managing national parks. System's broke. Doesn't seem fixable. Time for something new.

  • Volcanics in the National Parks: They Ain't All Tied to "Redoubt"   5 years 36 weeks ago

    You missed two in New Mexico:

    El Malpais, which preserves lava flows from 10,000 to 2,000 years old. It's not quite as impressive as Craters of the Moon, but it's close.

    Bandelier is the other one. Now Bandelier doesn't directly have volcanic features, but it does have native cliff dwellings that are dug into tuff, ancient volcanic ash from the nearby Valles caldera. What's cool about that is you can directly see how volcanism directly relates to mankind. Plus just outside the park you can drive by the Valles Caldera itself and marvel at the size of the thing.

    There's also the Capulin Volcano in N.M., but I haven't been there yet so I can't speak to it.

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

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • What's Driving Rep. Issa's Opposition to Tackling the National Park System's Backlog?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    "Merit"? wow thats so over rated :(

  • What's Driving Rep. Issa's Opposition to Tackling the National Park System's Backlog?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    There needs to be a rule prohibiting any organization that lobbies Congress from hiring a close relative of the Congressman or Senator. Does anyone really think that these kids and wives of our elected officials got those lobbying jobs on merit alone?

  • What's Driving Rep. Issa's Opposition to Tackling the National Park System's Backlog?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Great points, Kurt.

  • What's Driving Rep. Issa's Opposition to Tackling the National Park System's Backlog?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Daily Show clips? You're parodying yourself, Kurt.

  • Olympic National Park Proposing to Erase the Old Boulder Creek Road   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Thanks for this good information. The trail restoration sounds like a good thing to me in several ways. First, I suspect that it would be grossly expensive to turn this trail back in to a road. Secondly, it would much better for the environmental conditions of this area to have all this deteriorating asphalt removed.

    I will gladly make some comments at the web site you've given us once I get some more insight on this subject.

  • That's Cold, Doubly So When You Realize the Temperature Was In Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Obviously a "global warming" thing. Yeah right...

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   5 years 37 weeks ago

    We spend a lot of time on the nearby Sandbar and just upstream from the slide on the Reservation side. We wonder if the recent irrigation projects by the Hutterites on rented land on benches above the sandslide might have affected the area...there are layers of clay interspersed with the sand and water could have reached those layers and triggered some action. We spent time at the slide area this week and were amazed at the continuous activity...it is eerie to hear.
    Tina