Recent comments

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 3 weeks ago

    Nuclear energy proponents never bring up the waste issue, that's true. Nor do they ever mention the the vulnerability-to-terrorist-attack issue. But what no one EVER brings up about nuclear is the carbon intensity it actually requires.

    According to a study by the Oxford Policy Group, nuclear power emits a lot more CO2 than is commonly believed and, more importantly, CO2 emissions from nuclear power will increase over time. This is due to the carbon impact of the entire life-cycle of nuclear power production, including extracting increasingly low-grade uranium ore from the earth's crust (which involves a sequence of physical and chemical processes that use energy and produce CO2), but also, transportation to plants and long-term maintenance of waste.

    When the entire life-cycle is considered, in fact nuclear energy's emissions falls somewhere between renewables and fossil fuels (depending on the quality of the ore that is being extracted). It is most certainly NOT a "clean energy" source, as industry has already brainwashed many of you into believing, and parroting here. Go here to obtain the Oxford report: http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/briefing_papers/
    secureenergy.php.

    There is no easy way out of global warming, folks. Instead of crying for more nuclear -- itself a dirty source of fuel -- start looking at your own energy consumption -- your SUVs, your McMansions, your long commute to work, and your diet. Making the seemingly difficult choices now could very well save us from catastrophic climate change not too far in the future (or your 2.3 kids' futures) -- when our choices will be very, very limited, and all available options will be even more painful.

  • Missing Cavers Found At Great Smoky Mountains National Park   6 years 4 weeks ago

    That is why I could not be a park ranger, to risk my life and the lives of other park rangers and rescue personnel to search for a group of nimrods like this. Yet the national park rangers do it every year, throughout our national park system. My hat's off to the brave park rangers, which is more than I can say for the stupid "hikers" that take unnecessary risks and chances. You idiots better be thankful that our park system has such dedicated personnel that will try to rescue you. Your children do not have much of a future if they inherited your brain cells..........

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 4 weeks ago

    If there isn't any visual polution, damage to the landscape, a threat to the wildlife, and finally if there isn't an increase to the air polution, then I don't see any problem with the mining. It might help put some people back to work. New Mexico, Arizona, and a few other states in the west are in dire need of fresh water, thus another way to restore jobs in that part of America, would be to build more desalination plants. This would be a win for the states needing the water, plus it would help their industry. Maybe this would be one way to keep jobs in America, rather than going to China, India, etc.

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Those who advocate nuclear power as an excellent alternative to oil never seem to recall the issue of nuclear waste. The words "long-term storage" is entirely inadequate to explain what is needed for the used waste any increase of nuclear energy will produce. What are we talking about leaving to the seventh generation?

    Perhaps what's really needed isn't a "quick fix" like nuclear energy, which is replacing one bad idea (oil) with another (nuclear). Maybe we need to create a serious, forward-looking energy policy for this nation that will get us out of this mess for the long-term.

    In the meantime, mining for uranium is neither efficient nor a boon for the environmental stability of the region. The parks grow more and more isolated from the rest of the land around it and (to touch on Donne) no ecosystem is an island... encroachment usually leads to compromise.

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Yes...we need more nuclear!!

  • National Park Service Revenues Down $1.3 Million On Transition to America The Beautiful Pass   6 years 4 weeks ago

    This headline of this post seems to be VERY misleading. When I do the math it looks like the NPS ended up with increased revenue for the year. (Almost $8 million dollars) The only thing that was down was the ATB annual pass, all other revenue categories were UP, park pass sales, entrance fees and senior passes. What this clearly shows is that people are purchasing the passes as a value, to avoid paying entrance fees, not really to support the NPS. A lower priced pass only takes revenue away from parks and their ability and provide services and protect resources. Good job to NPS for creating a balanced program that offers many choices and many different price ranges.

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 4 weeks ago


    Marylander,
    Oil is 100 a barrel. Nuclear energy is an alternative energy source. If we follow the french model we will have a lot more nuke plants and be less dependent on oil. I wonder if this has something to do with it? The site selection depends on lots of things like grade of ore, ease of extraction and transport and who has the lease. Even solar will demand more mining activity to supply the raw materials necesaary for batterys, cable,etc. We may be in the process of trading oil pumps for open pit mines.
    Joe

  • The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring   6 years 4 weeks ago

    It is a fine book, and I've read it twice.

    As you wrote, I did decide to find the Grove of Titans:

    http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

    All the images are cropped, stitched and taken from angles that provide no clues aside from anything published already.

    I think that I might like to find Atlas Grove, but wouldn't touch looking for Hyperion the tallest redwood unless someone guided me there. Apparently Hyperion is a very hard bushwhack for the researches who know exactly where it is.

    For anyone who won't see these groves - no sweat - the other fine trails will be very satisfying and memorable.

    M. D. Vaden

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 4 weeks ago
    No

    No

  • Parks and Tribe Establish Plan to Fight Fish Disease in Lake Superior   6 years 4 weeks ago

    These Great Lakes national parks are some of the hidden gems of the NPS. It's too bad more Traveler readers don't know about them, otherwise I'm sure there would be more comments. Kudos to the NPS for standing up and being leaders to protect these parks, something rare in these times.

  • Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for the call, Jessica. We've heard lots of info since I first posted this note, which I'm sure you have as well. Chris doesn't have Kellogg's number any more, so if you want to give us a call at the house or on the number I left on your answering machine, we'd love to give him a shout (anyway, not just because of this situation). I'm sure he's bummed, as we all are...

    Let's catch up soon!

  • Crews Remove Garbage From Marijuana Farms in Sequoia National Park   6 years 4 weeks ago

    "Ah, what the liberalism of the 60's has wrought...."

    This isn't about the liberalism of the 1960s. It's about prohibition and its effects. What right does the government have telling me what I can put into my body? At least when alcohol was prohibited, a constitutional amendment was passed. The federal government, in an unconstitutional power grab, outlawed marijuana long before the 1960s. The 9th and 10th amendments relegate other rights not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution to the states. The federal government has no constitutional authority to prohibit marijuana consumption.

    And what have the effects of prohibition been? Millions have been imprisoned at an enormous financial and societal cost. Demand has not dropped, and a black market has sprung up to meet demand. Peripheral crimes, many violent, have proliferated under prohibition. Since the average law abiding citizen can't grow cannabis in his or her back yard, people move to public lands, again highlighting the "tragedy of the commons" and fueling a destructive and dangerous black market. All of this over a plant that is consumed in its natural state? All of this over a chemical from which no one has ever died by overdose?

    Prohibition has benefited some, though. The plastics, cotton, and timber industries don't have to compete with hemp, a renewable resource that can be cultivated on marginal soil and can supply paper, clothing, and biofuel with relatively little energy input (especially when compared to corn).

    End prohibition and the negative effects described in this article will evaporate overnight. Look at the effects of the repeal of the 18th Amendment for a comparison.

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 4 weeks ago

    "Harp (not verified)
    On March 19th, 2008
    A Quote by martin luther. Come now.

    I have been to the previously mentioned beaches and hate all the vehicles there. I think they should limit the amount of vehicles per day.

    We are caretakers of the earth but not at the expense of ourselves."

    How arrogant to think that the earth depends on us, humans, for it's survival, but thats another debate!

    I'm curious Harp......How did you access the beach when you went there?

    Those of you that think a permit system is the answer, be aware, in situations where this is done, a limited number of passes is sold each year. If you don't get one....too bad. Usually the rental homes each have a pass for the renters, but no temporary passes are available for the day-tripper or weekend visitor.

    Up north, if I'm not mistaken you have to purchase the passes in person, not online.

    Ever been to a beach where they limit the number vehicles on the beach at one time??

    Lines develop, one vehicle leaves one is allowed on. So don't run to the store for more ice or to the rental house for the suntan lotion cause you'll have to wait in line like everybody else to get back on the beach. In the summertime, if you're not there early enough, it's possible that you won't be able to get on the beach at all. These type of regulated beaches usually don't allow people to stay on them after dark. No more sunrise or sunset walks on the beach.

    But then we're not concerned about that. Whats important is that the wildlife is not disturbed.

    Have a nice day!

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I am not sure how I feel about this... I have seen the exposed uranium mines in Capitol Reef National Park, which were made previous to the area becoming a National Park, and found it more interesting then scary. I have also seen many mines that quite honestly you would have never known, just driving by, that it was in fact an active mine. It can be done with minimal impact on the environment and on tourism (or it can a chatistrophic wasteland that brings new meaning to the term 'eye sore', on the flip side)
    I am interested, however, in why all of the sudden the interest has developed to mine that particular site. We've known it was there since at least the 1970's (well, that's when I learned it was there) so why the interest now? In addition, there are other sites in the area that have an even bigger supply of uranium and are not located near any major tourist mecca's. Why that site? Why now?

  • Groups Ask Congressmen To Help Halt Killing of Yellowstone National Park Bison   6 years 4 weeks ago

    To add to Pronghorn's point, actually the feds are only right now (press release released yesterday) starting to test before they slaughter - a very flawed test at that, which leads to flawed management decisions (for instance, males cannot transmit the disease, no thought is given to herd integrity, treating animals as mere individuals). Montana on the west side of the park will continue to slaughter without testing and will do so presumably until at least 1,700 bison are killed this winter (if the slaughter gets that high). The NPS will continue to slaughter bison testing positive for mere exposure to brucellosis. The young will be sent to a quarantine facility just up the road outside the park - where they will have none of the familial herd structure, then they will be given away like dysfunctional youth (there's an interesting essay by Bob Jackson floating around in the blogosphere on that sort of thing - links to all these things are in my newspaper).

    Elk in the meantime continue to spread the disease of brucellosis on occasion but there's no capture and slaughter program for elk. And, there shouldn't be.

    And, the cows in Montana are really stuck; trapped between the industry that has forever abused it and the bison and other wildlife who just need more space.

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

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 4 weeks ago

    I agree with you Snowbird06.

    Unfortunatley this is typically what happens when outlandish claims are responded to with intelligent and accurate facts.

    Peace

  • Paper Calls For Park Service To Protect Wildlife From ORVs on Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    Where's all the fire and fury for this article. Looks like the "Raleigh News and Observer" has put some strong emphasis on the need for a good comprehensive plan to resolve the massive beach front traffic at the Cape. Three years to wait for such a plan seems like it's still in mothballs on the drawing boards...so the bickering goes on!

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    Geez you guys stop the nit picking and get on with resolving the problems at the Cape with some concrete solutions.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Well bear sprays come in hip holsters, Counter Assault anyway, where you can just shoot from the hip. Also if you are in an area that looks like bears are indeed around you should have your spray out at the ready. Yes, the bear would hear the gun noise, the difference is that you are trying to aim a gun to STOP the bear so the shot has to be a pretty good one and after the sound, comes the entry of a bullet which doesn't register fast enough or hurt (assuming with high probability that you haven't made a kill shot) bad enough to stop the bear. If the noise from the spray doesn't scare the bear, or doesn't scare the bear in enough time the bear still has to make it through the mist. In fact, he may even make it to you, but chances are when he inhales that first breath he will panic (most animals do, including us, when they can no longer breath or see) making his initial intent to maul you the last thing on his list to worry about and stop short or get in one swipe before panic sets in and he leaves. Using good bear protocol while out should be top priority and knowing bear sign and the area can lower your chances of a negative encounter. Bears are wonderful creatures if people would just give them the respect they deserve. Watch a bear, really watch one, and the last thing you will want to do is carry a weapon with the intent to kill should this creature come too near your personal space. Counter Assault will be your top deterrent allowing both you and the bear a safe and wonderful experience.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 4 weeks ago

    chances are of getting your gun out, aiming and shooting about the same as getting your spray out aiming and spraying and if the sound of the spray would scare the bear then the sound of a gun would do the same. don't get me wrong, I don't think a side arm would stop a bear only make him mad, unless it's a mini cannon. I am for the guns only for self protection from other predators that may want sommething in my RV, human type. I am not for carrying weapons just want to have on onboard.

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Ship,
    So you're saying they shot a second fox which they did not report? Are your photos online anywhere? Can you post them?

    Big EL
    Maybe that anonymous has been reading too much of "The General's" militaristic rhetoric over at OBXconnections? Or maybe they found the posting of the "opposition's" home addresses at the Post Office as referenced earlier, "extreme"? There obviously can be extremists on both sides of an issue.

  • Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 4 weeks ago

    Ranko (as I've always known him) was a great boater and a wonderful man. I will never forget the many amazing trips, talks, and times we have had. He is my father's friend and I have known him for my entire life. He gave the most amazing bear hugs and never failed to put a smile on my face. All I can say is, at least he was doing what he loved most when he died.

  • Groups Ask Congressmen To Help Halt Killing of Yellowstone National Park Bison   6 years 4 weeks ago

    kat...the federal government is not playing an active role to stop the slaughter because the federal government is COMMITTING the slaughter...along with Montana. The management of YNP bison falls to the US Forest Svc., the Nat'l Park Svc., USDA/APHIS (all federal), Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and Montana Dept. of Livestock. They are all partners in this crime against American wildlife.

    nlitenall, yes, bison are frequently tested. Brucellosis doesn't have the same abortive effect on them, however. Blood testing detects exposure, not active infection, and males can be exposed yet they don't transmit the disease. This doesn't prevent their slaughter, however. And keep in mind that bison to cattle transmission has never happened in the wild--never. But make no mistake, the blood-lust that's occurring now has nothing to do with whether or not an individual bison has brucellosis, and up to this point, no testing has been utilized. It is a culling of the herd to appease the powerful, greedy, and corrupt Montana livestock industry. The onus should be placed squarely on livestock producers to vaccinate their cattle...wild bison should remain wild. I agree with you heartily--may they roam free on our public land.

  • Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 4 weeks ago

    i know of two people on this trip, gretchin joslin and her husband sean. hope this helps

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 4 weeks ago

    To all of those who think you need (or should have the right) to to carry fire arms in the national parks for defense of bears or people let me say this: I personally have witnessed a bear being shot while charging. A long story short, My Uncle got startled, shot in the air, the bear charged, my uncle shot the bear in the shoulder, and by the way he is a very good shot, the bear chased me up a tree, my uncle shot one more time. Needless to say I have not hunted in well over 30 years and won't ever again. 3 years ago I was camping in the same area of northern Montana, I startled a bear while hiking, I believe it was a bluff charge, never the less it charged. I used pepper spray, and did not have to play dead, run or climb any tree. That bear turned away trying to get the the spray off. So I personally see no need for concealed weapons in the National Parks. I can see someone getting spooked and not only wounding a bear or worse but maybe shooting a bystander.