Recent comments

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Well, Frank, I guess that's kinda, sorta what I was saying too. :-) But, expressing it like that usually doesn't endear one to your opinion.

    Perhaps I've been watching too much Judge Judy. (Having lived in New York, I sure miss the days where I could say "get over it" and no one thought it unreasonable.)

    But I stick by it. Get over it. There are millions of acres to snowmobile. In a previous comment, I listed the dozens of chemicals in gasoline (which I remember my college girlfriend's dad spilling all over Medicine Lake from his snowmobile tank). Loud. Obnoxious. They have no place in Yellowstone.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Frank C. summed up his edict ...

    "People should see parks while they are young and capable."
    Deciding that some people are worthy, and that others are not, is a role the more fortunate among us decline. However, to act upon such a decision, one must be a leader, and to be a leader one must run for office and win at the ballot-box. That's tougher duty than the prison you couldn't handle, Frank.

    ... he sets snowmobiles up as a straw-man:

    "... I doubt anyone who can't hike Yellowstone is going to be racing at 70 miles per hour down a snowmobile trail."
    • In truth, older, softer & pudgier folks speak of their snowmachine in the soft cadence of surprised lovers. You're just not listening, Frank.
    • Happy old snowmobile users in the Park (and often outside it too) drive & ride slowly, quietly and yes, considerately. They have no fiendish intent, or character. You're seeing things, Frank.

    ... and he soft-peddles the charges:

    "Abbey, an anarchocaplitalist?, inspired people fed up with corporatism (government and corporate collusion) ravaging wilderness to make a stand.
    ...
    But we might not have radical environmentalism if our corrupt, small-f fascist government (read: corporatist) didn't pillage wilderness for the benefit of a select few."
    It's not "radical environmentalism" "inspired" "to make a stand". It's amateurish guerrilla/civil warfare, using arson, firebombs, and terror. It's contributing to the criminal delinquency of the weak & addle-brained, to commit social suicide in a fit of petulant pique falsely represented to them as heroism.

    Ed Abbey not-so-coyly promoted terrorism as a way to protect nature. But Edward himself knew better - knew that in truth such acts are capable of yielding no such benefit. But he had a sufficiently poor grip on his principles to incite others to sacrifice themselves pointlessly as proxies for his own disgruntled bitterness.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Life sucks and is unfair. Get over it.

    Well, Frank, I guess that's kinda, sorta what I was saying too. :-) But, expressing it like that usually doesn't endear one to your opinion. Quite the opposite, actually. Like I was saying, we all play different parts in these discussions.

    -Kirby.....Lansing, MI

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    I have both a two year old son and a 73-year old father. I simply cannot ask them to make the same treks that I am capable of. Does that mean that they should be excluded from viewing our national treasures simply because of the limitations placed upon them due to their age? I think not.

    Thanks to roads and ease of access, most of the iconic national treasures, both natural and artificial, can be enjoyed by your father and son. However, there are vast areas of wilderness with stunning sights that they cannot see. No roads go to these places and no vehicles are permitted. Should we remove any restrictions and build roads there? I would propose most of our parks are big enough to accommodate those who need a sight at the end of a road and those, like me, that need sights far from the end of the road.

    Those of you who are hale and hearty at this moment in time may find yourselves on the other side of the fence one day, looking in longingly.

    Indeed I shall. There will be a day that I can't get across the river and up the Queets Valley in Olympic like I do today. I just hope to God they don't build me a road to get there. There's something to be said for aging gracefully, accepting the onset of limitations, and continuing to love the wonders of wilderness just because they exist - whether you can see them or not. I look longingly now, at 35 years old, at those who climb 8,000 meter peaks and circumnavigate arctic islands in kayaks. I live vicariously via the magic of words and photographs. I harbor no bitterness that these things aren't accessible to me due to physical, emotional, or financial limitations.

    Yes, some of us would help construct fences. But I assure you that some of us build them for far more than personal desire of the here-and-now. You won't hear a peep from us when we find ourselves fenced out. I call myself a lover and defender of nature. I would be a hypocrite to propose the rules be changed when the painfully natural processes of age and infirmity confine me to my books, leaving the forest to the next generation.

    -Kirby.....Lansing, MI

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    As for motorized access, I have no sympathy for people like my mom who, at age 70, has not taken care of herself and can no longer get to the same places I can. But she got to see Yellowstone in the 1940s. People should see parks while they are young and capable.

    Much, likely a majority of the population is incapable of accessing our Natural Wonders, on foot.

    There are MANY, MANY older citizens who have taken care of their health and can enjoy the parks without a motorized device. As a fire lookout, I remember a gentleman in his 80s making the 600 foot ascent up the cinder cone on which I worked. At 7,000 feet on Mt. Hood, a man easily in his 60s zoomed past me with a youngster. And those who can't? I'm sorry, but too bad. Life sucks and is unfair. Get over it. Anyway, I doubt anyone who can't hike Yellowstone is going to be racing at 70 miles per hour down a snowmobile trail. If we had to provide access to everyone to everything, the NPS would have to build a 1000-foot elevator shaft to Cleetwood Cove so everyone could take a boat tour of Crater Lake. Ridiculous!

    I've heard, "Oh, but I was working when I was younger! I didn't have the time or money to see national parks!" Well, these people made the choice to work and be sedentary and not to do parks on the cheap when they could physically do so. My choice was to work in parks in my 20s and forgo financial rewards for non-material rewards. Now, I'll work until I die.

    Abbey, an anarchocaplitalist?, inspired people fed up with corporatism (government and corporate collusion) ravaging wilderness to make a stand. Under most circumstances I would not monkeywrench myself (I'd never survive prison), but maybe if it came down to it--if the Forest Service decided to resume logging in sequoia groves (an unlikely proposition), I very well might monkeywrench as a last ditch effort to save the trees I love.

    But we might not have radical environmentalism if our corrupt, small-f fascist government (read: corporatist) didn't pillage wilderness for the benefit of a select few.

  • How Did The National Park Service Err So Badly On the Yellowstone Winter-Use Plan?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Removing politics from the process won't be easy. In fact, it probably can't be completely accomplished.

    It can be completely accomplished, but it requires a radical rethinking of management structure and philosophy. But as long as interest groups (of every stripe--including CNPSR) pressure bureaucrats and politicians and achieve their desired results, you're right; it probably won't happen.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    And when I am old I shall take to the over abundance of roads and nature trails that Our National Parks provide me, all the while holding to heart Our National Parks doctrine of Protection and Preservation for Our Future Generations.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Among the problems bedeviling environmentalism, eco-terrorism easily strikes me as the most discrediting.

    I couldn't agree more, Ted. While I find merit in some of the ends Abbeyism seeks, the means do a grave disservice to the cause.

    My point in invoking Abbey here is that Anonymous' post was nearly a quote from Desert Solitaire. And I'll stand by that book being entertaining and a classic. There's a reason tens of thousands of people (who would never send a cent to Earth First) still cite it as a favorite and an inspiration. And in every debate on subjects such as these, there will be an actor playing the Abbey part - as evidenced above. I'd rather audition for the less incendiary parts myself - perhaps Aldo Leopold?

    -Kirby.....Lansing, MI

  • Attendance Shortfalls at Steamtown National Historic Site Prompt Calls for Privatization   5 years 48 weeks ago

    CLARIFYING RESPONSES to RoadRanger; to Beamis; to ChrisBugsyShallFall:

    -- to RoadRanger: Your Baltimore idea as the better site, of course misses the point that the only reason NPS got a Steamtown is because the congressman was from Scranton, high on the Appropriations Committee, and was looking for something to do for Scranton. There was no study, to determine either if there was a better collection elsewhere, or what a feasible protection strategy could or should be. In fact, there was no legislation, per se, because it became law via an insert into an APPROPRIATIONS bill, not a normal legislative "authorization."

    You also indulge in a little political naivete with your Reagan Quote on Cumberland Wilderness , "Don't even think about sending me something this absurd again." Reagan must have know Cumberland was one-of-a-kind because it was the legacy NPS project for former President Jimmy Carter. It is true that some Presidents get more than one legacy project, but the point is they often do not fit any pattern. Look, for example, of FDR's St. Paul's Church near the Bronx (a project of his mother's, and actually enacted after Roosevelt's death) and the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park, owned by a friend of Roosevelt's who needed to unload it: neither area is nationally significant or nationally distinctive. So Reagan was just pretending he had virtue, when he knew in advance Cumberland Island was one of a kind. Carter just wanted the NPS to figure out a way to save the place, but under Reagan no one was going to go in and acquire all the inholding land parcels, as Roosevelt so often did.

    And RoadRanger, the Real Politik missing in your comment about the terrific RR managed through agreement with
    Cuyahoga Valley National Park is once again, Cuyahoga is one-of-a-kind, because Republican Congressman Ralph Regula has provided them all the money they needed. These are all sweet insights, but naive because first you need to consider: where's the money??

    RoadRanger is right about the staff at Steamtown: the superintendent is once of the nicest and quickest project manager in the NPS. However, he is not an economic development specialist, and not a tourism or heritage area development specialist, which they needed about 10 years ago. Within the limited scope of work, and the now-limited available money, this superintendent cannot do more for Scranton or Steamtown. He would be a brilliant superintendent at a different park, and Steamtown is lucky to have him.

    -- Beamis is wrong to blame Bud Shuster (R-PA) for Steamtown. Steamtown is the creation of ANOTHER Republican from Pennsylvania, Congressman Joe McCade of Scranton. The deal was put together by his congressional staffer, Debbie Weatherly, of Scranton herself (who as a result of this Experience was moved by McDade to become the lead Republican congressional staffer in the Appropriations subcommittee that funds national parks, the Arts Endowment, Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, etc), and aided by another congressional staffer from Sranton, who was on the Full Committee of Appropriations but actually working for McDade. Weatherly has been enormously important to Steamtown, all the more interesting because of her dominance of the NPS budget nationwide for the past 12 years. All the money that has gone to Steamtown was apppropriated by McDade. At one point, he was actually scheduled to become the Chairman of the Full Committee of Appropriations, but the threat of an ethics investigation worried Gingrich, who made Bob Livingston (R of LA) chairman instead, in order to delay or forestall the investigation. The first time the National Park Service said anything nice about Steamtown was when Ms. Weatherly and the Republicans moved into the Majority and Weatherly took over the NPS budget. The Deputy NPS Director at the time, formerly head of the Denver Service Center, would introduce Ms. Weatherly to room-fulls of park superintendents and "assure" them that Ms. Weatherly was doing a great job and Steamtown was completely legit. We all thought he'd be turned into sushi if he said anything else. All this is a lesson in the ethics of the Republican Party. Although McDade had to resign, Ms. Weatherly is still there, although now in the Minority.

    But Beamis is wrong, most of all, to suggest that the money that went to Steamtown would have gone to some other worthy NPS project elsewhere if it had not gone to Steamtown.

    OVERWHELMINGLY, money from "pork" is only available for what the congressman wants.

    It would not go back into the general NPS coffers! WAKE UP everybody! It would probably would have disappeared into a different project in Scranton.

    (Look at what happened to the famous "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska: Governor Palin still got ALL the money, but just for SOME OTHER PORK PROJECT of hers! I am always dazzled by these assertions that if you take the money from "pork" it would go to something the speaker thinks is more legit. Well, the fact is, the Constitution makes the money bill originate in the Congress, not the Presidency. There are good reasons for the Constitution to make the congress, not the President, in charge of the money. But the point is: You cannot solve the problem of "pork" by saying you are just against the whole "category" of spending via congressional initiative. SOME congressional projects are good. Some are dogs. Each one needs to be evaluated on its own merits. We need transparency. We need evaluation. That is what the new Appropriations Chairman says we will have. We will see. But when McDade and Weatherly did Steamtown, they did it with no oversight, and later when the parks Authorization subcommittee chairman (D-Minn) tried to put the brakes on it, he barely accomplished anything. People like McDade and Weatherly should be made to operate in the sunshine.

    -- to Chris BugsyShallFall, I would only observe that Oklahoma City should be no model of anything. The NPS has no real accountability over that site, because once again the money just comes from congressional initiative against any common sense or actual oversight. Again, unlike Steamtown and Cumberland Is, Oklahoma City has had all the money it needs for what it needed to do. Ditto, Cuyahoga.

    A better model is a heritage area in which the NPS should approve a plan based on what will be protected and interpreted and how it will be done (strategy), and should then fund the area based on performance. It should be part of a regional tourism strategy heavily leveraged by local governments, the private sector and the State.

    As several point out in this thread, of course, the truth is the local business community either does not support or cannot support this stragegy sufficently. And the idea that tourists would drive over from NYC on the newly-constructed Interstate HyWy across New Jersey, itself built in order to CREATE economic development in northern Pennsylvania, not RESPOND to development, did not revive Steamtown OR Scranton.

    The trains are impressive. But people like to see things MOVE. Perhaps they would like to see the countryside, if real excursions were available. No static exhibit of trains will attract anyone to Scranton. The notion that the trains would make a shopping mall viable is only one shade better than the Sevens-Palin bridge-to-nowhere.

    I think the reason this particular brand of politicians get away with this sort of thing is, ultimately, they and their colleagues of the same stripe do not really care about national parks, or an effective transportation system either. We have had in History great Republicans like T. Roosevelt who believed in National Parks, or more recently great Republicans such as John Chafee who had the power to get whatever he wanted, but would not support "dogs" no matter what benefit to some donor. We need elected officials in BOTH parties who believe in parks and historic preservation, not these cynics we have today.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Kirky Adams,

    I'll bite. Let's have a quick look at Ed Abbey.

    Favorite quote:

    "Abbey's abrasiveness, opposition to anthropocentrism (sometimes characterized as misanthropy ), and outspoken writings made him the object of much controversy. Conventional environmentalists from mainstream groups disliked his more radical "Keep America Beautiful...Burn a Billboard" style. Based on his writings and statements--and apparently in a few cases, actions--many believe that Abbey did advocate ecotage or sabotage in behalf of ecology. The controversy intensified with the publication of Abbey's most famous work of fiction, The Monkey Wrench Gang. The novel centers on a small group of eco-warriors who travel the American West attempting to put the brakes on uncontrolled human expansion by committing acts of sabotage against industrial development projects. Abbey claimed the novel was written merely to "entertain and amuse," and was intended as symbolic satire. Others saw it as a how-to guide to non-violent ecotage, as the main characters attack things, such as road-building equipment, and not people. The novel inspired environmentalists frustrated with mainstream environmentalist groups and what they saw as unacceptable compromises. Earth First! was formed as a result in 1980, advocating eco-sabotage or "monkeywrenching." Although Abbey never officially joined the group, he became associated with many of its members, and occasionally wrote for the organization." (emph. added)

    Among the problems bedeviling environmentalism, eco-terrorism easily strikes me as the most discrediting.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Belling cats. It's what I do....

    Much, likely a majority of the population is incapable of accessing our Natural Wonders, on foot.

    I have both a two year old son and a 73-year old father. I simply cannot ask them to make the same treks that I am capable of. Does that mean that they should be excluded from viewing our national treasures simply because of the limitations placed upon them due to their age? I think not.

    One day, we shall all be old, if we are lucky enough. Those of you who are hale and hearty at this moment in time may find yourselves on the other side of the fence one day, looking in longingly.

    The other side of a fence that you helped to construct.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    No vehicles should be allowed in any national park. Park all them RVs and cars at the entrance and walk in! You wanna see Old Faithful? Hop on a mule.

    You're joking. On multiple levels. One certainly hopes.

    Ed Abbey's dead, so someone has to play that part. While I don't wholly agree with them, his rants on this subject are classic and entertaining.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    dapster belled the cat:

    "Also, we haven’t even broached the subject of the access for the disabled."

    Seriously, this is it - the basic reality.

    Much, likely a majority of the population is incapable of accessing our Natural Wonders, on foot.

    Yet that is the appeal-of-choice of the 'mystical solitude' contingent. "The presence of snowmobiles ruins my wilderness-experience. Let them walk."

    "Oh, let them eat cake." "Marie, they'll have your head." "Nonsense: It's wilderness - they can walk like the animals, be limited to the level of animals. Make it so, Jeeves."

    Somebody took a wrong turn on the road to the future, thinking it will exclude or ignore those who do not meet a certain standard of physical robustness & endurance. Yes ... cake was a nutritious & healthful commodity-byproduct of the bread-baking industry, and national enshrinement of Teutonic ideals energized late-1930s Germany ... but note that the lowly & homely won the day, hard & fast.

    The snobbery & elitism of "Let them walk" is self-defeating.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Anons I & II,

    Why do we keep allowing these motorized machines to pollute the environment in all our parks. The parks are not meant for racing etc they are meant to preserve the plants and animals and allow for guarded enjoyment by the public in such a way that the environment or animals are not interfered with. The use of our parks by the loud zing zingers only occurs because of intense lobbying by those selling and using these noisy, disturbing machines.

    And by the lobbying of the park users who use said machines to access the park areas that they prefer. Again, please note that NPS rangers also employ the same mode of transportation in the fulfillment of their duties. Look, I’m all for a viable replacement to the IC engine, but unless you’ve got one in your back pocket you’re not telling us about, then we’re stuck burning gas for a while yet to come.

    No vehicles should be allowed in any national park. Park all them RVs and cars at the entrance and walk in!

    Mr. Clayton so eloquently handled the latter part of this post, so I’ll take the former. Vehicles in the parks, also used by NPS personnel, are absolutely necessary to the safety and upkeep of the park. As far as I know, all vehicles are bound by some level of emissions controls mandated by either Fed or local laws, sometimes both. Some parks are so large that a foot-bound NPS simply could not manage it in this manner. I’m sorry, but I do not share the guilt that some do over burning fossil fuels in the best means of personal transportation that mankind has produced to date. I also refuse to step back in time and harness either equine or wind power to travel.

    Mules? Egad. Have you ever been around areas with high levels of livestock & riding animals? Care to guess what the fuel-economy and emissions levels of horse-culture looks like? The landscape effects of churning hooves?

    I used to run a horse stables facility with 20+ animals counting both horses and ponies. We gave either ½ hour or 1-hour trail rides through the Virginia woods every weekend during the warm months. We literally had to clean the trails of dung periodically during peak season as the trail would become clogged with it. Just imagine thousands of visitors on the backs of thousands of animals and the mess it would cause.

    This business went under due to the high cost of insuring the riders against injury. Do you think the NPS would enter into such a high risk venture? Doubtful.

    Also, we haven’t even broached the subject of the access for the disabled. Do we dare want yet another branch of government, (The DOJ this time), and the ADA folks involved in this? Hiking trails up the sides of mountains with wheelchair ramps their entire length, anyone? Sidewalks everywhere?

    Well regulated, reasonable, low-impact motorized access can certainly become a reality, if both sides are willing to give a little. Lawsuits just bring yet more lawsuits.

  • Attendance Shortfalls at Steamtown National Historic Site Prompt Calls for Privatization   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Beamis is right when he says

    All I'm saying is that Steamtown was a dog from the git go and the NPS more or less said so when it was proposed way back when. It was deliberately conceived and forcibly shoved through the legislative gauntlet as an economic development project by one of the legendary grand masters of pork barrel politics Congressman Bud Shuster.
    but the idea of turning it into a park and museum was not the bad Idea. The bad idea was making a national park run with taxpayers money. It should have been a partnership run with the help of NPS much like the National Monument in Oklahoma City is run.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    The car has done one good thing for Yellowstone. Because people travel further and faster over a day, there are far fewer structures and buildings in Yellowstone than there used to be. The theory for awhile has been to horde large crowds of people into fewer areas so that the larger area of the park is protected at the sacrifice for the few. So, Old Faithful in particular is the sacrificial lamb.

    None of these questions is very simple. It's what happens when a natural place is artificially set aside to prevent people from following their natural instincts. It's never easy to play God.

    Snowmobiles certainly have no right to be in Yellowstone, but denying them access doesn't really do anything much to go at the larger problems. I'm not even convinced the air will be cleaner, if it means that visitation simply transfers to the restricted access and monopolized snow coach industry and if more and more cars (like mine) keep using the north of the park in the winter. If roads are still being groomed, what difference will it make to wildlife and the bison who continue to leave the park to face hazing and slaughter? I'll be glad if they are gone for a lot of personal reasons, but I've never understood the amount of passion over the issue without an equal amount of passion on the larger Yellowstone issues.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Anonymous proclaimed:

    "Park all them RVs and cars at the entrance ... Hop on a mule.
    You're joking. On multiple levels. One certainly hopes.

    The process by which the obese, the old, the diabetic & otherwise health-challenged, the flat-footed, the deskbound, the harried, and yes, the lazy are disenfranchised from the Parks is a fantasy. Hallucination. Delusion?

    There are in all likelihood going to be more forms and higher levels of vehicular usage in the Parks' future, not less. "The Science" will prevail, leading to the minimization of "objective" problems with motorized transport. 'Personal issues' and 'religious views' won't compute.

    Mules? Egad. Have you ever been around areas with high levels of livestock & riding animals? Care to guess what the fuel-economy and emissions levels of horse-culture looks like? The landscape effects of churning hooves? Take 2 aspirin and call the doctor in the morning.

    ATVs and snowmobiles are the leading edge of an epochal transformation of human mobility, and they are destined especially for the Parks. Subject to reasonable management.

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Jesse,

    Welcome to the debate! I thought this one had run it's course.

    Your comments are totally correct. NCFWS keeps tabs on the dredge islands in the inlet, and also the "Bird Islands" that are just WNW of North Frisco/South Buxton. These bars are literally covered with birds, and their sheer size make islands like Cora June, (Dredge), look small by comparison. As you stated, these islands are mammalian-predator free with the only predation occuring from other bird species such as gulls, and are protected from ocean overwash. I'd be all for creating a chain of them behind the barrier islands and let the birds and the AS have it all! But wait... Then they coudn't drive out in their own ORV's to do some bird watching...

    I have a fiscally sound plan that would take the burden off the American taxpayer and the fed's in these cases:

    If an ECO wins a lawsuit against the NPS, make THEM foot the bill for all the changes that must be implemented.

    You would see the lawsuits stop instantly.

    dap

  • A Historian's Take on the National Park Service   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Kurt, Thanks for posting this. It was an interesting read. I need to go through P.J.'s back issues of Thunderbear.

    Rob

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Anon,

    My, how you like to make assumptions and read falsehoods into my words!

    You’re looking at your first “band-wagon jumper” right here. The reason more folks haven’t piped up yet is that we’re all pretty busy fighting our own battles >2K mile away from Yellowstone. There are striking similarities to the issues, hence my post. The difference in reaction that you reference is probably due to the fact that nearly everyone in this country owns a vehicle, where snowmobiles are fairly specialized. Also, not too many folks can take their family of four somewhere on a snowmobile.

    My opinion of the use of single judges is simply that. My opinion. We don’t necessarily have to agree on that issue. However, your vehemence is certainly unwelcome. Telling another adult individual to “grow up” merely detracts from the debate, and makes the author of said words seem all the more childish themselves.

    My point is this: If they start banning access to areas for any reason, then look out. Pedestrian access can be proven to be detrimental to species just as easily as motorized access.

    And finally, I absolutely refuse to call the Hatteras Island NPS unit anything but CNHSRA! The simple existence of it, and the curious way the designation has come and gone is somewhat central to our battle, and completely symbolic to it. I know of thousands of folks who refer to it as such, regardless of NPS nomenclature. If it offends you, I suggest you skip reading my and others posts where that acronym is present.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    While I applaud the decision as such, I see a huge problem coming up from it. This decision is not about the use of snowmobiles in the first place, it is about sloppy decision making in the NPS and even sloppier documentation of those decisions. Administrations decisions must be documented in such way that (judicial) oversight is possible. This was obviously lacking here (and in many, many other cases), most probably because the decision was in conflict with the data and could not have been based on any sound reasoning.

    The danger is, that proper decision making and documentation could be confused with more bureaucracy. Nothing is gained if NPS staff is told to spend more time on their desks writing lengthy legal briefs to cover their asses in future decisions.

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    We are for protecting the wildlife and Habitat, because we are apart of it and want to continue to be a part of it. That is why the ORV groups do beach sweeps,not environmental groups. It is ORV groups offering the reward for vandelized bird closures,not the enviromental groups, they're too busy looking for the next law suit . If the Environs used common sense they would not waste their time and our money sueing to close areas that are dangerous to wildlife itself and concentrate on habitat that produces much greater results. Example, Cape Point is well known for it's frequent overwashes and predation. Why do environs want birds to nest where they are more likely to be washed away or ate ? It's already happened in 2008, the forced concent decree did not protect the birds from mother nature. As it did not protect the turtle nest from T.S. Hanna, record number nests (all over the east coast not just on CHNS) and all that had not hatched drowned. One fact environs leave out is that it is storms and predation that cause 100% of the pipping plover fatalities on the CHNS,not people or ORVs.
    The environs also leave out of their bird count the thousands of birds that have voted with their wings to nest on dredge islands on the sound side of Hatteras and Ocracoke instead of CHNS, which is a few hundred yards away, I say again, these birds that they claim is in decline nest by the thousands just a few hundred yards from the Park. The very islands the environs sued to keep from having them built, these island are perfect habitat,little predation and protected by the main islands from storm surges, they have produced astonishing numbers recorded by the NCFW. The Environs claim that since the birds are not nesting on the park,they do not count. Doe's this answer sound like it is coming from someone negociating in good faith ??? No it does not ,they know it is not people or ORVS causing a so called decline on CHNS, but rather storms and predators,but they can't make any money sueing nature or God, or the state for making dredged islands.
    The pipping plover will soon be taken of the Endangered Species list as threatened, what will they use as a poster child then ? The fact is it is not about protecting birds , it's about making a wildlife reserve for them to enjoy just themselves to watch birds dancing and doing the dirty. Well there's 13 miles of Pea Island Wildlife Reserve just a few miles away, got there and enjoy nature how you see fit, we want to fish and swim, what CONGRESS PROMISED WE COULD DO !

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Jim,

    Ah - I knew that all snowmobiles are guided (which surely goes a long way to tamp down the yee-haw! factor), but not the 4-stroke requirement. I understand that models tuned for smooth riding, durability & economy (rental machines) are similar to automobiles in emissions.

    Agreed, as Park management is bound by a science-evaluation protocol, if they ignored their own science reports (which were otherwise adequate & appropriate), then they can get rapped.

    And yes, it does look like more than one question in play; distinct issues of science, philosophy and politics all morphing back & forth and being passed off as one.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    No vehicles should be allowed in any national park. Park all them RVs and cars at the entrance and walk in! You wanna see Old Faithful? Hop on a mule.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Ted,

    The current plan calls for snowmobiles to be accompanied by a guide and that they be 4-stroke. So, if that isn't good enough, it's not clear what would satisfy the judge in this case.

    On the science of noise and snowmobiles, I defer to others. Whether snowmobiles or any other vehicle should be allowed is one question, but that the government here put in plans that went against their own scientific advice (even from the EPA) is really the stink bomb that is behind the success of this lawsuit. (And, throw in Cody, where the Park Service basically got pushed around - by Cheney, apparently - into keeping Sylvan Pass open against their own better judgment - now all moot apparently by this order).

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World