Recent comments

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Sorry, Bemis, but I don't buy your bleak assessment of the world or the US. Nor do I agree with your characterization of the two candidates as a socialist and a fascist. Your unremitting pessimism is hard to read. For you, apparently, the glass is neither half full nor half empty; it's empty. It must be hard to get up every morning.

    Rick Smith

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago


    Jeepers, Beamis, there's not much grey area in your conception of the world, is there? So, our immorality exceeds all other's, and this comic book version of history you would install in place of any kind of real understanding of how things are, and how they work?

    Beamis, i do try to give your stuff the benefit of the doubt. Sure, nothing exceeds like excess. It can have great entertainment value. But this rant in response to the preservation of the Grand Tetons? This gives a new meaning to 'over the top.'

    It's time, Beamis: Get The Hook.

  • How About Some Economic Stimulus for the National Park System?   5 years 51 weeks ago

    d-2

    I agree

  • Updated: Bush Administration: "A Legacy of Failure for Our Public Lands," Claims Congressman Grijalva   5 years 51 weeks ago

    How depressing - we can only hope that the next president makes a concerted effort to reverse some of these dastardly assaults on our public lands.

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    The key quote for me in this entire string is "no matter how the land was acquired, Grand Teton is one of this nations premier national park areas."

    That in a nutshell is the world we live in today. The ends justify the means. The last century was almost exclusively centered on this concept, whether it concerned acquiring territory "for the common good" through stealth, deception and brute force or if it meant deporting, concentrating or ethnically cleansing whole populations of people.

    This twisted concept of social justice also goes to the very heart of the phony election we're about to have on Tuesday between a socialist and a fascist. Democracy has always been about grabbing as much as you can for as long as you can when power temporarily swings into the hands of YOUR mob. The Founding Fathers greatly feared this type of tyranny where the government and the power elite forge an efficient system of organized plunder.

    Today people are simply voting for a proxy that will take from one group to give to another.

    I still like H.L. Mencken's take on this the best when he said that "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods." Almost 100 years later his observation couldn't be more true than it is today.

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Well, Jim, it is fine to be a contrarian in the abstract, and it is hard not to be affected by the American romantic anarchistic or libertarian vision, but the bottom line is getting the critical mass of support to make the differences we need NOW.

    Pragmatism is also an american virtue.

    And, lately, the Rockefellers have made the difference in any number of key environmental disputes. And, lately, they tend to support national parks. They are able to get political officals to answer the phone and talk about new environmental initiatives when no one else seems to bother or be heard. No doubt the concerns many of today's Rockefellers have raised about the Arctic Wildlife Refuge does ameliorate to some extent the passion for drilling found in american oil companies, notwithstanding the fact that a lot of Rockefeller money is still tied up in oil companies.

    My guess is the Rockefellers can get a seat at the table when you, Jim, or I cannot. Yes, it rankles my radical roots to think about the affect the Robber Barons and the Priviledged have in the Land Of The Free. But, right now we need all the friends we can get.

    When somebody does the right thing, praise them. We are beyond the point where we can support only the completely virtuous, even if you are able to perceive which individual really truly is virtuous, and who is not. Me, anymore, I just pick up the marbles that are on the table.

    So, Jim: Time for some smart pragmatism. Next time, thank the Rockefellers for what they do, unless you want to discourage any further good acts from others in their Set.

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Rick,

    I agree wholeheartedly with you on Kempthorne's announcement regarding the bison advisory group.

    On the plus side for buffalo - a very small plus but one nevertheless - it's looking like cattle in Greater Yellowstone will be managed differently than outside the area. It's something like Gov. Schweitzer's split state idea applied to the entire area. The hope I have is that because brucellosis transmission inside of Greater Yellowstone won't affect entire states (only those few who are near Yellowstone), then that might buy some time for buffalo.

    But, now CWD has been found in a moose in NW Wyoming, and I'm afraid that just as things felt like they might be turning slightly in our favor, everything is going to hit the fan now - because this truly is a terrible disease. I was talking with Mike Mease of BFC a couple weekends ago, and I informed him about the bad news. He's very worried about this development, though it adds fuel to the fire - why are the feds and states spending so much time on brucellosis when there's this real disease problem on the horizon?

    And, now they want this new advisory board - no thanks.

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

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Jim--

    Thanks for the clarification. And, I agree that there has to be a better way. I admire the work that you are doing on behalf of the buffalo. You and the other activists are making huge sacrifices to support your point of view. I must say that I am not encouraged by yesterday's announcement that Secretary Kempthorne is appointing a new bison advisory group. It smells like last minute politics and will undoubtably take the next president, no matter who he is, some time to un-FUBAR the appointments to the group and its marching orders.

    Rick Smith

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Rick,

    Not to be contrarian (!) - how does one answer such a thing?! LOL - but the truth is that I'm an anarchist. I've said that many times here. So, I do have a worldview, and the intent isn't to be contrarian but because I believe that society is far, far too large, that it's become abstract and that we've lost touch with each other and with the people and beings we love. We care more about abstract ideas like nations, "individuals" like corporations, bureaucracies like the Park Service, than we do about what we live and breathe every single day.

    Since my point of view about society at large is in such a small, small minority, I am bound to come across as a contrarian. In truth, I believe in building consensus and agreement. That's how I organize as an activist - that's how I get along with the vast majority of people who are not activists or anarchists - how I keep a job and a family. But, when it comes to things that matter most to me - and Yellowstone frankly matters most to me (and that includes Grand Teton) - then my views are going to come out most strongly, and being from a point of view that only the scantest have, it's going to come off as contrarian. I am suspicious of anything too large - whether that be large corporations or large government. It's not easy being outside the normal political spectrum, agreeing with the right that government has no reason to be so large but disagreeing so strongly that we should simply let the "market" figure things out, agreeing with the left that the smallest in our society should be protected but disagreeing that government is the ultimate answer to that question. Disagreeing with the right (but agreeing with the left) that the individual must be accountable to a community, disagreeing with the left (but agreeing with the right) that the community should ever be synonymous with the state apparatus. And, yet, that doesn't make me a moderate, either! But, I know I am someone, not simply contrary, that my contrariness amounts to something - perhaps the most something a human can be (to believe that the plants and animals and wind and air and our families and our friends are what are left to us when the constructs of society are torn down and that those things that touch us are most important).

    Anyhow, that's why - even in a place I love as much as Yellowstone - I focus right now on one aspect of it, the buffalo and have gotten involved with organizing here in Bozeman. It would be hard to be motivated if I were simply against. There has to be a better way, eh?

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

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    I don't buy Jim's rant about the Rockefellers either. I suspect it isn't "sour grapes" but Jim's contrarian view about lots of issues. It's always good to have contrarians around as they keep us on our toes and prevent us from getting too smug about long-held beliefs. And no matter how the land was acquired, Grand Teton is one of this nations premier national park areas.

    Rick Smith

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Sour or not, as I said in the other post, the discussion can go forward when someone shows why my own reasons for arguing as I have are contradictory.

    Philosophers since Aristotle have argued for a virtue called magnificence (see Nicomachean Ethics); this - i.e. Rockefeller's actions in Jackson Hole - would be a prime example of what Aristotle had in mind. For a lot of reasons, I don't believe that there is such a virtue as magnificence. And, if that suggestion helps move the discussion along, then good. That is, it's a good discussion to be having because there are plenty of policy implications involved.

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

  • How About Some Economic Stimulus for the National Park System?   5 years 51 weeks ago


    This is an excellent time in the United States to fund park infrastructure and enhance visitor facilities in National Parks.

    Especially with the Dollar as low as it is compared to foreign currencies, there is a great incentive for foreign visitors to visit the United States national parks, and an equal incentive for American tourists to spend their money at home traveling to parks and scenic areas throughout the US.

    Enhancing alternative transportation systems, to permit visitors to tour America by almost any other kind of vehicle than an automobile could also be enhanced through enlightened transportation appropriations and stimulus spending.

    Historically, the NPS has actually taken a more restrictive use of transportation funding than the transportation enhancements (ICTEA, etc) legislation actually allowed. NPS wanted to sink its money primarily into western highways, largely because those highways are so expensive to maintain, and so vulnerable to damage. But the NPS, had it had the money available, could in fact have been using more for historic sites and visitor contact centers, exhibits and other ways to make it easier for visitors to enjoy national parks. Studies have shown that tourists who visit parks also spend a great deal of money throughout the United States, and contribute significantly to improving the international balance of payments, which otherwise drains money from the US.

    These efforts to fund visitor infrastructure in parks can also be enhanced if parks think about providing more visitor information in multiple languages. It is striking how few national parks, in high international tourist zones, provide visitor or interpretive information in more than a couple of languages. Go to Italy or France or Japan and see tourism books and interpretation in many languages.

    These investments have a huge pay-back, and it makes sense for Congress to fund APPROPRIATE national park expenditures to leverage big tourism returns.

    And well-considered investments also enhance the quality of life in America.

    Just consider the examples Kurt gives of the parkways built by the CCC.

    Skyline Drive makes an enormous contribution to making the entire Washington, D.C. region more livable. These visits from DC-types also gives them a sense of what their work in Washington is really about, as they see the villages and farmlands, appropriate AND inappropriate development, as well as the beauty and peace available in so many places in the United States.

  • How Will the Next Administration Deal With the Environment?   5 years 51 weeks ago

    From audubonmagazine.org
    The Presidential Candidates Face-Off

  • How Will the Next Administration Deal With the Environment?   5 years 51 weeks ago

    A recent issue of Audubon magazine, probably the current one, has an excellent article on the candidates' positions on environmental issues, including the national parks. In this interview article, Obama and McCain respond to the same ten questions about environmental issues and alternatives. I'd love to report the gist of it, but I no longer have my copy of the magazine. Perhaps a Traveler reader could help?

  • It Breathes   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Elvis?

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Teton Cowgirl, I agree with your comment in whole. It is Very well stated. Sounds like Mr. MacDonald's comment is "sour grapes." I too 'salute such visionary, grand-scale philanthropy' of the Rockefeller family. Thank you Rockefellers.

  • At Big Thicket National Preserve, a Combative Drug Dealer Changes His Mind When Ranger Stafford Shows Him His Taser   5 years 51 weeks ago

    What an ingenious thing to do! It looks like we don't need sophisticated techniques to compete with drug dealers, they can be tricked just like little kids. If only this would be true in all cases perhaps my little brother wouldn't be now in a drug treatment center recovering from drug addiction.

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago
  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Thank you Rockefellers ! Thank you for our Grand Teton NP.

    I, too hiked the trails and enjoyed the views and wildlife. I also saw "my first" hybrid vehicle reserved parking spaces at the L Rockefeller Preserve. Forward thinking.
    The Preserve seems to be a safe, quiet place to hike and enjoy.

    At least this rich family gave something back to all of us.

  • Just Another Snake Story   5 years 51 weeks ago

    I'll yield to your expertise on whether or not these snakes are a major threat to humans. They do have the potential to wreak havoc as an introduced species in this ecosystem. Its unfortunate so many people think they want snakes or other animals as "pets," and then just discard them into the wild when they become too much trouble to keep at home.

  • Skyline Drive Designated as a National Historic Landmark   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Frank_C,

    Thanks for your kind comments! It was a beautiful day and the foliage cooperated, giving us gorgeous views the entire drive. If you're ever in that part of the country, do take the trip. It's an eye-opener for certain.

    Page_Co, I share your wonderment as to why this "Celebration" was so underplayed. No mention was made at the Ranger Station/Entry point, no signs posted, flyers given out, nothing. If not for the article here on NPT, I would never have known about it.

    Frank, I hear you on your sentiments about the celebration of roads, and know where you're coming from. I won't open Pandora's box on that aspect of this particular road.

    But I will say this: It is truly amazing just how well this road resides within the wilderness. You simply cannot see most of the roadbed from anywhere except the road itself or an aircraft. Special care certainly was taken during construction to minimize the impact on both the ridgelines and the flora and fauna of the area, even in an era where this was not of chief concern.

    Here's a photo I took attempting to capture a stretch of the road from a neighboring ridge. This was the best and only long-view vantage I could get in the 40 miles that we drove:

    You can see how the road just vanishes into the trees and ridges. The Appalachian Trail parallels the road for the most part as well, and is equally invisible.

    It is my sincere hope and firm belief that one day soon, we will celebrate both this marvelous roadway AND a newly introduced zero-emissions mode of transportation that would whisk us and the generations to come along its path silently and cleanly.

  • Just Another Snake Story   5 years 51 weeks ago

    these snakes are'nt that bad. many think that they are agressive (exspecially burmese pythons) but they are actually gentle and are very relunctant to bite a person because they do not see us as a food prey. i own a ball python (i know ur probably saying its small compared to burmese) but burmese pythons (like the one featured in the picture) are actually pretty docile in nature. i handle my ball python all the time and he has never tried to strike ever... he still only a baby at about 1.5 to 2 ft long. i think people should actually give snakes a chance exspecially pythons only a few certain types of pythons are "agressive" such as the emerald tree python and the blood python. i would'nt say that they are "agressive" they are just defensive in nature and they strike out of fear for themselves. please people give these snakes a chance.

  • Skyline Drive Designated as a National Historic Landmark   5 years 51 weeks ago

    Dapster, those are some beautiful photos! They really make me want to visit.

    I feel like such a hypocrite because I'd certainly love the drive; there's a nagging part of me that thinks we--and the NPS--shouldn't be celebrating roads. Page_Co, I was at a road celebration at Crater Lake, and it had a very strange vibe to it; I won't go into details here. But it felt almost sacrilegious to celebrate the fall of wilderness to industrial tourism. Maybe someday we'll celebrate the re-dedication of NPS roads as trails for bikes, horses, and pedestrians.

  • National Park Quiz 25: Threatened and Endangered   5 years 51 weeks ago

    So, Nannette, does hubbie Jim score as well as you do? I'd be interested to know whether there's a wager involved here. :-)

  • Rockefeller Family Turns Over More than 1,100 Acres to Grand Teton National Park   5 years 51 weeks ago

    I disagree entirely with Mr. Macdonald and question his sources on the "swindling," - an easy word to throw out, but does he have any hard evidence of illegal practices? Or merely landowners who, in hindsight, wish that they had held onto their land? Nobody forced them to sell - they cashed out. The Rockefellers don't owe you anything, Mr. Macdonald. Personally, I salute such visionary, grand-scale philanthropy. Thank you, John D Rockefeller, Jr. and Laurance Rockefeller - I don't begrudge your enjoyment/stewardship of your property at JY Ranch. My husband and I hiked your trails last Friday and saw a magnificent display by a male grouse. The Preserve is also a more direct route to access Open Canyon.