Recent comments

  • National Park Service Director Sees Value In Adding Waco Mammoth Site To Park System   1 week 5 days ago

    I've taken the time to read several local news stories on the Waco proposal, and it's obvious the local community has really made an effort to try to win support for this idea. A local delegation went to Washington last fall to try to drum up support for a presidential proclamation, and also to try to get Jarvis to come for a visit.

    Given that situation, if the administration is giving this idea any serious thought at all, it seems one logical step would be to send the NPS Director for a first-hand report. I'd much rather have decisions made about a possible future NPS site made after the Director's on-site look than simply on the basis of lobbying by locals. Such an evaluation seems to be a logical part of the Director's job description.

    I've never met Mr. Jarvis, and retired long before he took his position, so I have no personal basis for evaluating his overall performance. I agree with rmackie, I'd much rather have a Director who gets out of the office to see things for himself, rather than staying isolated in Washington.

  • National Park Service Director Sees Value In Adding Waco Mammoth Site To Park System   1 week 5 days ago

    Harry, I agree, you raise some good points, I particularly think it is important to set up a communications system that allows field employees to have a feedback system to the the Washington Office. I do think it is important for the NPS Director to get out of office and into the field. There are many opportunities to talk to locals, employees, visitors, I support Mr. Jarvis in his efforts here. I remember one occasion where a congressional sub-committee held a hearing on campsites in Yosemite. Mr. Jarvis was in attendance, stayed the entire meeting and talked to many citizens and employees. It was quite impressive.

  • Federal Judge Okays Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park   1 week 5 days ago

    EC, I am not a lawyer, perhaps others can comment. In my own limited experience, I agree that process is important. In NEPA lawsuits, the plaintiffs can only sue on process, the decision by the agency is final if the process is followed correctly. Unfortunately, process often times becomes an end unto itself. The larger issues are lost in the process. It has been my experience in other litigation efforts that courts will sometimes see through the process, often it is because the range of alternatives or the environmental effects need further study and mitigation. I think, with my limited knowledge of the case, that is what happened.

  • No More Reservation Requests Being Taken For Wonderland Trail At Mount Rainier National Park   1 week 5 days ago

    "Another option for experiencing the Wonderland Trail is to hike it in smaller segments..."

    Because of the numerous places the Wonderland Trail touches or comes close to a park road, it is possible to day-hike much of it, especially with pre-arranged shuttles or pre-positioned vehicles. Check out the suggestions at: http://www.wonderlandtrailguide.com/hiking-wonderland-trail-cant-get-wil...

    Ultra-marathoners have even made the entire loop in less than 24 hours.

    If your heart is set on backbacking and you can't score a Wonderland permit, consider the Pacific Crest Trail between Goat Rocks Wilderness and Crystal Mountain ski resort along the park's eastern boundary. The views and fishing are outstanding, horses and dogs are allowed, and one can finish with a restaurant meal and hot tub.

  • Federal Judge Okays Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park   1 week 5 days ago

    a terrible decision.

    Why? Because it followed the law? The judge ruled on whether the NFS followed the right procedures. The decision they (the NFS) made was irrelevant to the case.

  • National Park Service Director Sees Value In Adding Waco Mammoth Site To Park System   1 week 5 days ago

    I love it when NPS folks show up to say that NPS folks supported Jarvis. Just as much as I like hearing that NPS folks like fee schemes so the public gets fee schemes. The NPS bureacracy exists for the NPS bureaucrats. How mistaken of me to to think that the purpose of the NPS was to provide services to TAXPAYERS instead of deciding what is best for the NPS. That is why Jarvis needs to go. He and his ilk have forgotten whom they are entrusted to serve and send out folks to attack anyone who questions them and then start with the "maintenance backlog" poor mouthing. Leaky ship.

  • Federal Judge Okays Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park   1 week 5 days ago

    Thank you Afred Runte and Rick B, a terrible decision. I hope it is appealed. By the way Alfred Runte, the Sierra Club California/ Nevada Desert Committee March issue has a very interesting discussion on "Desert Solar Sacrifice Zones, Who decides"? Author, Patrick Donnelly, Executive Director of the Amargosa Conservancy.

  • National Park Service Director Sees Value In Adding Waco Mammoth Site To Park System   1 week 5 days ago

    Thanks, Harry, some very good points.

  • Federal Judge Okays Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park   1 week 5 days ago

    A conservative LDS appointee of George W. Bush.

    Yes, he is so radical he was confirmed by a vote of 92-0. Or is it his religion you aren't tolerant of?

    What is interesting is that while Jim's discussion - and probably the plaintiffs' publicity- focuses on the environmental and cultural issues the actual court case made no rulings on those. The court case focuses on procedural issues.

  • National Park Service Director Sees Value In Adding Waco Mammoth Site To Park System   1 week 5 days ago

    Harry, I would generally agree with your regarding the addition of units to the system but I think we do need to make some distinctions. Some sites have artifacts that if detroyed/removed will never be displaced. Mammoth fossils would certainly fit that bill. Delaying protection of those fossils could lead to irreversible harm. Can the same be said for that $11 billion backlog you lament? I would suggest much of that "infrastructure" investment could be made at a future date - or maybe better yet in some cases, not at all.

    That said, I think there are plenty of units that could be discarded or turned over to local authorities which could free up much of the budget. I can't quable with your call for more access to information and broader channels to provide input to the directors office.

  • Federal Judge Okays Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park   1 week 5 days ago

    A conservative LDS appointee of George W. Bush.

  • National Park Service Director Sees Value In Adding Waco Mammoth Site To Park System   1 week 6 days ago

    I admit this was an error on my part. The local newspaper article did not mention any prior study. I did take time to look up the Waco Mammoth Site Special Resource study on the NPS planning web site and noticed it was completed in 2008 with no recommendation for any of the four suggested alternatives (http://www.nps.gov/search/?affiliate=nps&query=Waco+Special+Resource+Stu...). It was not easy to find using the usual NPS search engines. I had to go to google to locate a copy.

    Having found this study I am relieved that the site has been looked at. If the NPS has made a final determination to support and recommend the addition to this site to the NPS I do not know, but since Director Jarvis has visited the site and spoken favorably about it I can only assume this decision has been made. If there is a paper or document supporting this decision I cannot find it.

    The entire issue of Waco raises additional questions.

    1. Why is it so difficult to find information/reports on the NPS web site? We have numerous search engines but they are all incomplete and need to be integrated and worked on to make them user friendly.

    2. We still have a backlog of $11.5 billion in unmet maintenance needs. I believe the most important function of the National Park Service is to address this issue. Lack of maintenance can only go on for so long and then our collection of existing parks will begin to fail and visitors to these parks will not experience their full potential and may be in actual danger of physical harm. '

    3. I understand that Mr. Jarvis is an employee of the Obama Administration but the Director of the National Park Service has a greater responsibility. The Director's primary job is to see to the protection of the natural and cultural resources of our parks and to provide for a safe and rewarding visitor experience for all Americans. This is the purpose of the Director. He represents us. He needs to do more than travel the country giving good feeling speeches about potential new national parks.

    I would like to see Director Jarvis speak up about the true state of the NPS is in 2015 and what we need to do to ensure the survival of the parks in 2016 and beyond. Where is his plan to repair the broken infrastructure of the parks, encourage the hiring and education of the next generation of NPS employees, and serve as the spokesman for the parks.

    Finally, let me say I would like the Director and his staff answer email questions from the public. I know many people do this already but most I suspect do not. I would also like the Director to set up a special email account for the use of his employees who can write him directly with their ideas and concerns. .He does not have to answer every email but he should at least read them.

  • Federal Judge Okays Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    "Nothing dollarable is safe, however guarded."

    John Muir, 1910

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    ec claiming I was deliberately misrepresenting a book he had not read.

    Really, when did that happen?

    Until then all you're providing is nothing more than ideological flatulance.

    Asking a question is "ideological flatulance"? I would say that making a declaration and then not be willing to back it up would more appropriately fit in that catagory.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    I seem to recall that not long ago I did try to point out some of the things I'd learned from Ackerman's book only to have ec claiming I was deliberately misrepresenting a book he had not read. I think I even identified some of the countries. But that was declared invalid. Now it's invalid if I don't because it was invalid when I did but before that it was invalid because he said it was. Wow.

    As I've said before, even if God Herself spoke to him from a burning bush in his front yard and presented him with information carved on stone tablets, he'd still reject it if it didn't conform to his rigid ideolgical dogma.

    Perhaps it's that attitude that has left him wandering in the wilderness for the last forty years or so.

    In the meantime, it's easy to see why Rafael Cruz can so easily fool so many similar people. Obviously the photo accompanying this article was photoshopped and all the data collected in Yellowstone (and around the rest of the world) has been altered by environmental wackos.

    Read the book. Then comment. Until then all you're providing is nothing more than ideological flatulance.

    Happily, other readers are certainly intelligent enough to decide for themselves.

  • Scofflaws Piloting Drones In The National Park System   1 week 6 days ago

    It's not just the NPS concerned with drones. The FAA is fighting a battle to find a way (against stiff pressure from the burgeoning drone industry) to regulate the things.

    Not long ago, two passengers airliners on landing approach to New York airports reported near misses with drones. One pilot radioed ATC saying a drone had passed over the top of his aircraft at 4000 feet!

    http://www.flyingmag.com/news/faa-and-fbi-investigating-uav-sightings-ne...

  • A National Park Classic: Hiking Zion's Narrows   1 week 6 days ago

    Thanks for sharing this, Michael. The Narrows hike is an adventure that's hard to describe and you did a fine job of catching it in words. I'm gonna have to go do it again someday.

    Just a point of information, there's an outfitter in Springdale who will rent dry suits and other equipment for Narrows hikers that might make trips possible even in cooler weather. I don't have details, but anyone interested can easily find them right there on Main Street.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    Good lard. If I said that same statement you would jump all over me for my logical falacies. Never leave your small little internally consistent and ever so lonely world - the jarring incongruities of the world at large that you can't control would drive you bonkers.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    you would then feel that they had in fact substantiated their claims?

    No Rick, I then could evaluate whether their claims were valid. If they don't identify the countries, then by default, their claims are invalid.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    So Lee, you can't answer the question. Once again you can't substatiate your claim.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    It's that kind of slothfulness that has allowed so many lazy Americans to be hornswaggled by the Limbaughs of the world.

    I'll just put this down as another example of your failing to actually have any interest at all in trying to learn the truth about so many of the things you troll about.

    I'm sure other readers here are capable of deciding who is worthy of belief and who is not.

    As one who has spent a number of winter excursions into Yellowstone in the last fifteen years or so, I can certainly attest to the fact that snowfalls have frequently (but not always) been lacking. Warmer water in the Pacific was predicted to strengthen the normal western high pressure ridges and pull wamer, drier air into the western part of the country even as it pushed low pressure further east and set up a polar jet stream pattern. It looks like that prediction is beginning to play out. The future will tell. If the patterns persist as predicted, it's gonna be grim both in the west and in the east.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    And somehow a person, who you already have made clear you don't believe, quoting to you from their copy of the book that the nations were "Inner Slobovia, Upper Turkey Trot, and Uztrollistan" and you would then feel that they had in fact substantiated their claims?

    You can "put it down" to the ceiling being cheddar, but it still won't expose you to the information you were referred to.

    Lonely, in your world.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    My experience is that anyone that says " read the book" either hasn't read the book themselves, doesn't understand the book or knows the book doesn't substantiate their argument.

    i'll just put this down as another example of your failing to substantiate your claims.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    A good teacher knows that allowing a struggling student to take the easy way out and simply give them the answer to a question will not help them develop independent thinking and learning skills.

    Roger's advice is spot on. Besides, it's essential to actually read the book for oneself because then the reader must actually interact with the book and information it contains. Then, and only then, can the reader make rational decisions whether or not to agree or disagree with its contents.

    Trying to provide any information to lazy students is a futile effort that enables them to make only trifling comments or instigate endless round robins of argument without substance.

    Read the book. You might surprise yourself and actually learn something.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    Thank you Lee, now you have me interested in Diane Ackermans book, take a look at "Speaking of Bears". Just Rachel Mazur's chapter on Black Bear biology is very informative. Just a wonderful book.