Recent comments

  • Upon Further Review: "But My GPS Unit Said Go Thataway..."   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I think the key phrase here is,

    "That "level of detail" issue came into play on a May morning several years ago in Utah's Zion National Park."

    Note, several years ago. The GPS of today is a far cry from the GPS of even a few years ago.
    Kurt and I both found the even todays GPS may not be 100% accurate. We camped on an island in Muscungus Bay, Maine, that the GPS said didn't exist. We also paddled across dry land on Yellowstone Lake, according to our GPS that is.
    The moral of the story is, never depend on just a GPS, map or compass. Use all three and make sure you know how to use them. 'Nuff said...

  • Upon Further Review: "But My GPS Unit Said Go Thataway..."   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Great story ----- I have had 2 GPS one from Garmin and one from DeLorme ----- both are much less than accurate in the back country. From my narrow point of view DeLorme has no plauseable excuse because they put out nearly accurate maps in thier gazeteer book maps. I complained and they say "it is two different formats" maybe so but it is the same world. How ever they did give me a full refund . I now have a Garmin nuvi and a garmin map 76csx - both are great units but their maps still stink in the back country -- it is difficult to tell the roads from the elevation lines , in some places they just perpetuate errors from US Geological surveys done in the 1930's and 40's.
    Even the city maps that are a lot more accurate are about 2years behind on road changes and resturaunts that have moved or gone out of business. I guess that is somewhat undrstandable.
    To sum it up ---- GPS is a great step forward with many steps left to go --- Hope they get with it soon

  • Upon Further Review: "But My GPS Unit Said Go Thataway..."   5 years 40 weeks ago

    My GPS has saved me on many trips in the woods. I started using a GPS before they even have mapping GPSs for road use. Just a screen with the trail I've come from, waypoints that I've added, and lat/lon coordinates. I don't see how this is in any way the fault of the GPS unit. You should learn to use any tools you rely on. I would bet they were not better at reading a map. Of course when traveling anywhere dangerous, I take 2 GPSs and a map.

  • Upon Further Review: "But My GPS Unit Said Go Thataway..."   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Maybe I missed something but I don't know why you blamed this on the GPS. If the group had plotted an accurate waypoint on their unit before they left, the would have been led to within feet of the exact spot they were seeking.

    Like many of the other problems of this trip, the fault lies with bad judgment. Misusing a GPS unit is no more the GPS's fault than is misreading a map is the map's.

    But I do agree to you belt and suspenders approach. When using a GPS its always wise to carry a map and compass as a back-up. And most important, know how to use all three.

  • National Parks Will Waive Entrance Fees on September 27, National Public Lands Day   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I wouldlike to know more about the Golden Age Passport.

  • Pinnacles National Monument: Should It Be Labeled A National Park?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I'd agree with Paul. Having visited all the 58 parks, I'd probably "rank" Pinnacles slightly above Cuyahoga and Hot Springs. This is the "bottom,[b]" and certainly not the "middle of the pack" mentioned by congressman Farr does. I don't know how many of those Farr has seen in person, but his assertion that many National Parks in the East wouldn't qualify as California country parks sounds equally strange to me. I always thought of Cuyahoga as a politically motivated abuse of the designation, however it is kind of cool to have a restored area elevated to such a status. Hot Springs is a bit odd. It has been protected since 1832, making it older than Yellowstone (1872). Once you consider the hills and the planned transition from city to wilds it's quite interesting. Apart from those two, I wouldn't call any other Park dinky.

    Tuan.

    National Parks images

  • The First NPS Area to be Officially Tsunami-Ready? Redwood National and State Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Nice post. World has been facing varied natural disasters in which millions of people have died and amounting of losses increased.But we can't control the natural disasters. Tsunami occured on 26 December 2004. It happened at the epic centre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. 230,000 people died in over 11 countries, the tsunami waves were as high as 30 meters that is 100 feet high. It caused major damage to India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The earthquake was of 9.3 magnitude, one of the 2nd largest recorded on seismograph. There were many deaths and damages to property in Maldives, Myanmar, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. For more details refer http://www.journeyidea.com/information-on-tsunami/

  • Fall From Tokopah Falls Kills Visitor to Sequoia National Park   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I was there at Lodgepole Monday Aug. 10, and watched as the rangers (about 6 of them), prepared to make the 1.7 mile trek to Tokopah Falls to help this young man. Yes, it is a moderate hike, but with the rocks and some up-hill portions of the trail, it would take at least an hour for someone going at a very fast pace to reach the falls. As I was leaving for home this morning I asked a ranger about the accident and he said the young man had not survived. I feel very sad about this. Tokopah Falls is very beautiful place, and also very attractive for people to want to climb the rocks. I wish they would post strict signs warning people to stay off. Unfortunatley there are none.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Coral Reefs   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Rather than engaging in an adhominem against Mr. Hockey Stick Mann (oops, I did it anyway) who co-authored the Nature study, I will share what others are saying about this study:

    “The paper comes to very erroneous conclusions because of using improper data and illogical techniques,” said Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center. In his criticism, Landsea notes that the paper begins by saying that Atlantic tropical activity has “reached anomalous levels over the past decade.”

    This ignores recent work by Landsea and a number of other hurricane scientists who found that storm counts in the early 1900s — in an era without satellites and fewer seaborne observers — likely missed three or four storms a year. The addition of these storms to the historical record, he said, causes the long-term trend over the last century to disappear.

    “This isn't a small quibble,” he said. “It's the difference between a massive trend with doubling in the last 100 years, versus no trend.”


    The two independent estimates of historical storm activity were consistent, said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann, the paper’s lead author. Both, for example, pinpointed a period of high activity between 900 and 1100.

    “This tells us these reconstructions are very likely meaningful,” he [Mann] said.

    What is funny is that with that quote above, Mann is referring to the Medieval Warm Period, something he tried to smooth out in his tree ring study and previous hockey stick graph.


    "The levels we're seeing at the moment are within the bounds of uncertainty," said Julian Heming, UK Met Office. "It's been hotly debated, and various teams using different computer models have come up with different answers," he told BBC News.

    Rob Korty, an atmospheric scientist at Texas A&M University, said, “We must keep in mind the assumptions in this kind of work require are large by nature.”

    More here. This is a hotly contested issue being reported as fact.

    At any rate, I'm as skeptical of studies by Mann as I am press releases from PEER. Mann is very fond of using proxies rather than actual observations. In this case, it's sand sediments in ponds. Very dubious.

  • Fall From Tokopah Falls Kills Visitor to Sequoia National Park   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Dear Diana,

    Our family offers heartfelt condolences for the loss of your brother. We were on the trail across from the cliff and saw the fall. My husband is trained in Wilderness First Aid and reached your brother as quickly as he could. Others were already at his side administering CPR and, I'm sure, doing all they could. My daughter (also 19) held his head for a while until others took over. A young German man on the trail ahead of me immediately ran down the 2-mile trail to summon rangers. I spoke with him later. A trail crew working 1 mile down the trail had radios and made contact with rangers. There is no cell phone service in Tokopah Canyon, nor most of Sequoia National Park. So many people responded to this crisis with due urgency, yet I doubt even a surgery center in Lodgepole would have been enough to save your brother. It is so sad.

  • Entrance-Fee-Free Weekends Are Costly To National Park Service, But Seem to Be Boosting Visitation   5 years 40 weeks ago

    The two questions I am curious about are:

    (1) Where they have an entrance fee waived, is their an increase in the amount spent on refreshments and bookstore items that could offset the loss of entrance fees, and,

    (2) If someone visits because it is free that day, will that result in visiting the national parks more often in the future because of they enjoyed the visit and want to experience more parks (e.g., like stores giving out free samples to get you to try it and hopefully become a regular consumer of that product).

    Phil

  • Entrance-Fee-Free Weekends Are Costly To National Park Service, But Seem to Be Boosting Visitation   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I've entered some NPS areas after the entrance kiosk staffs were gone for the night. I've heard that there are some areas that have low fees coupled with relatively low visitation (in particular one of the national historic sites in Hawaii) and often the NPS won't even staff the entrance stations because it costs more to do that than they take in.

  • Another Entrance-Fee-Free Weekend in the National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Some interesting chat. I am grateful to have had the opportunities to visit several of our National Parks.

    My dad who is over 80 has enjoyed his "senior pass" for 10-15 years. I believe the yearly pass, which allows a person or their significant other, and a carload of their closest friends access to ANY of the National Parks, is the best bargain available from the Government.

    I also applaud the "generosity" mentality. These places are amazing and can still the busiest of minds, allowing one to reconnect with what matters in life.

  • Fall From Tokopah Falls Kills Visitor to Sequoia National Park   5 years 40 weeks ago

    He was my brother, and it was pretty devastating to hear. Its a shame he couldnt get help sooner or else he would still be with us. He will be missed extrememly and always loved. R.I.P. kevin and i love you

  • Understanding Mountain Lions at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Gets A Boost From New Lion   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I hike in the Santa Monica Mountains a lot and particularly in the area adjacent to Hidden Hills. I've never seen a mountain lion and I don't want to. This is a highly urbanized area with housing developments bordering the parks. I worry that someday some runner or mountain biker is going to be mauled or killed as happened in Orange County a few years ago.

  • Entrance-Fee-Free Weekends Are Costly To National Park Service, But Seem to Be Boosting Visitation   5 years 40 weeks ago

    We were in Glacier the weekend following the last "free" one, and the traffic @ the West Glacier entrance was getting backed up well onto the main highway - so they opened the gates to everyone without charge! We have an annual passport to the parks, so it was of no consequence to us. But I wonder if this is a common practice at Glacier as well as many other of the more popular parks? Seems as though a revision to the entrance would be a better solution than just waving everyone through, at least as far as revenue collection goes.
    I also remember as a child arriving at Mt. Rainier VERY early one morning & being waved through as the attendant was working on a cup of coffee......

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Thanks for you tips...

    Regards,

    KAte,

  • Glacier National Park Officials Decide to Remove Grizzly Bear Family From Park   5 years 40 weeks ago

    @ R. Stefancik:

    Yes, the genetic differences. It would not be wise to mix gene pools between the Rocky Mountains and Alaska. So maybe it would be an option to neuter the bears before moving them outside their natural range. But then they would be useless for the population.

  • The First NPS Area to be Officially Tsunami-Ready? Redwood National and State Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Several of the more isolated towns along the northern California coast have tsunami warning systems and plans, as there's historic record of their occurrence.

    While tsunamis are much more frequent or likely on the north Pacific coast, if and when the undersea landslide happens in the Azores, the resulting tsunami has a straight shot at flowing over all of Miami and well into (or across) Everglades NP. I doubt that EVER will ever get tsunami certified. The options appeared to be climbing one of the Mt. Trashmores in south Florida, or attempting to catch the lead wave in an airboat and surf it across the Everglades.

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Everyone is assuming that using volunteer hunters to cull the elk will be cheaper than paying professional hunters. Given the cost of training, regulating, and supervising the volunteer hunters so that the right animals in the right areas are culled, earlier estimates were that it would cost more to use volunteers than professionals.

    I don't know what the current cost estimates are, but the "common sense" that volunteers are free or at least cheaper isn't necessarily true if the object is to do the job right.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Coral Reefs   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Pick your news source:

    In the Aug. 13 issue of the journal Nature, climate researchers including Jonathan Woodruff of the University of Massachusetts Amherst show that the frequency of intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean over the last 1,500 years has been closely linked to long-term changes in the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and sea surface temperature. The finding could help with hurricane modeling and prediction in the future.

    Establishing the link between hurricane variability and climate change over these longer timescales “is a new viewpoint for us,” Woodruff explains. “There’s a randomness to hurricanes. But the fact that we can see trends that rise above that randomness is significant and a bit of a surprise. Our work indicates that hurricane activity has responded noticeably to past climate shifts. When considering future climate change over the next century, our results indicate that measurable changes in hurricane activity could occur, rising above the noise in the system.”

  • Another Entrance-Fee-Free Weekend in the National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    nature doesnt ask for our money. it wants us to enjoy whats their and take in more than words will ever be able to describe, its a feeling a lot of you will never understand. asking for money to see something that was there before you thats now property of someone is ridiculous. i live in boulder and they have these fees to go on certain trails or certain areas you cant walk on because its being preserved, but yet you can walk on them if you have a pass. the people of this world makes up rules that really have no point. its all about money, money, money...

  • Another Entrance-Fee-Free Weekend in the National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    why do you need to charge for nature in the first place? this land was here before us and now its property of someone. entrance fees are ridiculous in my eyes. i want to enjoy whats out there. money ruins that for me.

  • Glacier National Park Officials Decide to Remove Grizzly Bear Family From Park   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Is there some reason that the bear and her cubs can't be relocated to a remote part of Alaska? I too am troubled by grizzly cubs born in the wild being relegated to a life sentence in a zoo through no fault of their own.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Coral Reefs   5 years 40 weeks ago

    More potent and numerous hurricanes ... are damaging, if not outright destroying, these valuable ecosystems.

    As for hurricanes being more numerous, a recent NOAA publication found that "Atlantic storm counts overall have not changed" and that "the apparent increase in the number of tropical storms and hurricanes since the late 19th and early 20th centuries is likely attributable to improvements in observational tools and analysis techniques that better detect short-lived storms."

    "More potent" is still being debated.