Recent comments

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   5 days 21 hours ago

    Rambler,

    You think it is showing empathy to encourage parents to abandon their children and send them unaccompanied and without resources to a foreign country?

    This is a self made disaster. We don't have the resources to "save" every child in the world. We are providing false hope to these children and their parents who end up dieing in the river or in the desert or exploited by gangs and other vermin or ravaged by disease. That isn't empathy, it is cruelty.

    Our country is already overwhelmed by those that are unable or unwilling to care for themselves. We don't need to encourage more to flood our borders.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   5 days 22 hours ago

    Mr. Haynes has not said anything that has not been said before. It appeals to thier contituents so he pretty much has to say it.

    EC-Your immigrant correlation is way off base. There are a half a dozen things I want to bring up to counter your comment, but this is not the forum.I am not saying you are the kind of perons who blocks a bus full of children from entering a processing facility for medical screenings, but I seriously question the morals of any human being who goes out of thier way to NOT help a child in need, and who exploits the situation for political media coverage. Show some empathy man.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks   5 days 23 hours ago

    Sunsetrim, the Park Service is not discussing this issue. The Traveler is a media outlet, not an arm of the Park Service. And we raised the question to get folks discussing it, pro and con, not to take sides one way or another.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks   6 days 4 min ago

    It seems that this has struck a nerve with sunsetrim. I think that the only reason that horses are still tolerated anywhere is because they are such a small percentage of all visits. When one sees the damage to the trail that a small number of equestrians can create, there is no way that a greater number would be tolerated.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 1 hour ago

    Alfred - Our population has almost tripled since 1939. What was then unattractive land is now the best available.

    Perhaps this should make some think about the consequences of the disaster that is currently occuring on our southern border.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks   6 days 1 hour ago

    Yellowstone National Park has a long history of horseback trail riding and back country horseback camping. I find it ridiculous that the park system would even discuss topics like this when they continue to allow giant motorhomes dragging luxury cars entrance for the same fee as a Prius or a motorcycle. What hypocrites you are! If you really cared about the parks, you should be grateful for anyone who wants to get off the over-crowded, fume-filled highways and out off the beaten path. As for backpackers vs. horseback riders...how very sad that you can't see how much more we have in common than you do with the average park visitor.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 1 hour ago

    The problem with labels is the presumption they create in the mind of the person hearing the label. That is why, even as a historian, I don't use terms like liberal, conservative, Republican, or Democrat. All of them are moving targets. I prefer that the action speak for itself. This to remind us that what is happening in Wyoming is nothing extradordinary in the least. Ranchers, miners, and loggers have always had the attitude that the federal government stands in their way. But does it? Under the General Land Office of the Department of the Interior, finally abolished in 1935, the best of the West went to the settlers, railroaders, and all the rest. The leftovers are the national parks, national forests, and BLM lands. If someone had desperately wanted them before 1935, they could have had them--and had them for free. They didn't want them and so passed them by. As a government surveyor, Ferdinand V. Hayden surveyed Yellowstone in 1871, and his geological assessment remains as true now as it was true then. It's mostly basaltic rock. It's too high for major grazing and agriculture. Why not make it a national park? Believe me, if Yellowstone ever turns out to have 40 billion barrels of oil instead of 1600 square miles of simmering magma, Mr. Haynes will not have to protest a thing. The park will come undone in an instant as gas-guzzling Americans east, west, north, and south demand the "sacrifice." We are a people of consumption, not of preservation. Our "best idea" has always hung by a thread.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks   6 days 4 hours ago

    Oh boy. Where to start. First, in the Smokies you will never ever ever see horse use reduced despite the obvious, documented trail degradation that occurs on a daily basis. Why? because the equestrian lobby is well connected and powerful. Second, you will see that a huge new horse concession was built smack dab in the middle of Cades Cove. That brings a couple hundred thousand in revenue to the park. I've always wondered how much we spent to build that for them. In Smokemont they just put out feelers for another new horse stable that taxpayer money is going to subsidize. It doesn't matter what kind of science proves the inarguable damage caused by horses, the money will still flow to their comfort. Anyone that has ever hiked a regular trail and compared it with a rutted, fouled, horse trail is living proof that these animals are too large for the fragile ecosystems in the narrow Appalachian Smokies. Not to mention the invasive species they introduce with their droppings that scatter the park. Nope, this is an argument that will never be heard in the Smokies. But when the stimulus funds came down the pike, they allocated the only trail monies to replace horse damaged trails. Not "backpacker damaged trails". Whatever we can do for the equestrian folks and private lodges who allow their equestrian folks to use "the peoples park".

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 4 hours ago

    Probably so Kurt. Point is that just because he has not publicly refuted the article doesn't make it true.

    BTW. I wrote his office and suggested he contact you or make his position clear through a post. It will be interesting to see if he or his office responds.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks   6 days 5 hours ago

    Horses are great at postholing and mulching trails to bits. Never the less, I would certainly not advocate banning horses, but I would welcome restrictions to limit their impact.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 5 hours ago

    Conservatives would spend all their life "restating" their position if they had to respond every time they were mischaracterized.

    I think it's safe to say that applies to anyone involved in politics, right, left, down the middle.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 6 hours ago

    Conservatives would spend all their life "restating" their position if they had to respond every time they were mischaracterized.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 6 hours ago

    I would think that if his position on Yellowstone and other federal areas were not as stated in the press...he would restate his position. I do not live in Wyoming either.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 7 hours ago

    David,

    Thans for your kind words. I don't know that I would vote for him either, at least in the primaries, but i don't see anything about Yellowstone that would make me vote against him.

    Of course, I don't live in WY so I couldnt vote for or against him anyway.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 7 hours ago

    ec I always enjoy your well thought out debate. Your posts always give reasoned thought from your vision. My vision would not let me vote for this guy if I were voting in this election. So even if I agreed with some of his positions, I would hope that there is a better candidate available. Thus, I would not be defending him. Same thing happens in the liberal party.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 7 hours ago

    Oh, and for the record, if Haynes truly wants to open Yellowstone to development or sell it off to private interests, I would be totally against it. I just don't see where he has ever advocated that position and believe he is being unfairly castigated for a position he doesn't hold solely because he is a conservative.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 7 hours ago

    EC, Don't you find it ironic that someone who makes their living off the NPS is lecturing you on what they think you would do if the opportunity arose? Then another NPS employee calls people "trolls" and anyone who questions the NPS has an "entitlement mentality". What a cabal here. Last I checked this magazine is called National Parks Traveler, not National Parks Employee Advocate and the best example of entitlement mentality I have seen is this attitude from NPS employees expecting us to treat them like the royalty they perceive themselves to be. Forgive us self employed, taxpaying citizens for having an opinion. And you wonder why folks question this bureaucracy with a pervasive mindset typified here. Hello pot, meet kettle.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 7 hours ago

    Yes Smokies, I do see the irony. Yet, I dont sense so much that they are looking for us to treat them as royalty. I believe the problem is that we have different visions. Rather than respecting that differance and rationally discussing it, their inability to put forth valid arguments leaves them only the tactic of slandering their opponents ethics, morals or motivations.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 8 hours ago

    Gary,

    The chances of me profiting off the sales of state land are zero. And, in fact, I endorse many policies that would be negative for Realtors, i.e I would get rid of the mortgage tax deduction as part of comprehensive tax reform; i am against federal flood insurance; I don't contrubute to the local realtor PAC because I don't endorse many of their positions and I protest the mandatory PAC fees charged by NAR for the same reason. But keep throwing out those strawmen, they make for your best arguments.

  • Key Concessions Contracts Up At Yosemite National Park, Along Blue Ridge Parkway   6 days 8 hours ago

    Sara, Another example of too much government interference.

  • Key Concessions Contracts Up At Yosemite National Park, Along Blue Ridge Parkway   6 days 15 hours ago

    It is legislatively mandated that NPS have rate approval for concessioners. See section 406 of the National Park Service Concessions Improvement Act of 1998.

    http://www.concessions.nps.gov/docs/OMNIBUS1998.pdf

  • Key Concessions Contracts Up At Yosemite National Park, Along Blue Ridge Parkway   6 days 16 hours ago

    The lodges in the National Parks were built by railroad/business magnates with old money. They were built for wealthy easterners on thier vacation. The idea that 'the parks are for the middle class' did not come about until the 1950's, well after these lodges were built. Those middles class families were pitching tents, and as far as I am aware of, the middle class has never been staying in the Ahwanee.

    I am far more upset about paying an entrance fee to get in the park then I am about a concessionaire pricing me out of a hotel that is in my opinion the antithesis of a Yosemite Valley expirience

  • Key Concessions Contracts Up At Yosemite National Park, Along Blue Ridge Parkway   6 days 18 hours ago

    I don't know all the details, but if prices are strictly based on some cost plus basis related to some national formula (a very bureaucratic way of seeing the world), it seems that it would have the following implications:

    - no incentive for the concessionaire to lower costs. On the contrary, the higher the cost, the higher the revenue

    - additional costs of complying with all the various margins based on bucketing producst according to a government matrix

    - weird prices where beer is cheap and ice is expensive (as per the link given before)

    On the other hand, if we simply let the concessionaires sell at whatever the market would bear, there would be cost optimization to maximize profits. The NPS should just then collect a portion of the profits. It'd be more efficient than coming up with a 4 page list of product and allowed margins.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 18 hours ago

    I agree Gary.

  • Key Concessions Contracts Up At Yosemite National Park, Along Blue Ridge Parkway   6 days 18 hours ago

    Dittos on Rick's comment Alfred Runte, I appreciate your posts and think you are right on. We are bombarded by money transactions, bottom line is all that matters. It has become an obsession even in NPS management levels. I think even Alan Greespan is having second thoughts

    about the teaching of the Chicago School of Economics (the Chicago Boys).