Photography In The National Parks: A Wildlife Advocate's View Of Wildlife Photography

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Bear cubs don't always look both ways for oncoming traffic. Sometimes humans should provide that service/Deby Dixon.

What is more important, the animal or the shot?

Nearly every day someone tells me that I have the dream job as a full-time wildlife photographer in Yellowstone National Park, but if they knew that a Dutch photographer nearly punched me out yesterday, when I was trying to assist a black bear in crossing the road on a blind curve, they might think again.

When I arrived in Yellowstone, in October of 2012, to spend the winter learning about wolves, I was a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed photographer who had visions of magnificent shots of the animals as they moved across the landscape.

What I did not count on was that there is much more to wildlife photography then picking up the lens and shooting as they stand still and pose, or run across the sage filled Lamar Valley - much beyond the patience in waiting for the animal to appear, or being in the right position, at the right angle with the right light.

I did not know about the animals themselves and how much they go through while living in a national park. My photographic adventure soon turned to one of advocacy for the wildlife as it relates to many aspects - the hunting of the wildlife, getting too close to the animals and blocking them from moving freely and so much more. Driving cautiously because the animals like to use the roads. My time in Yellowstone, that has now stretched out to nearly two years, has been the greatest, single learning experience of my life.

Not only have I learned that wildlife photography is an extremely competitive and jealous business and my year-around access to Yellowstone does not make me very popular amongst other photographers, but also that the welfare of the animal is more important than the shot.

Yes, I have become an ethical photographer who puts their camera down in favor of helping an animal across the road safely or by removing myself from a situation where the animals are crowded and stressed. And, yes, if need be, I will call upon rangers to come and assist the animals.

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Jockeying for that perfect photo/Deby Dixon

Yesterday, someone told me that calling the rangers would only ruin things for myself but what they do not know, is that I have to live with myself. And, so when a black bear sow with three cubs prepares to cross the road on a blind curve, I will alert people to slow down or stop if necessary, in order to keep those animals safe. In the case of yesterday, the cubs did not appear on the road but there was no way to know that when the adult was crossing.

Another wildlife photographer told me that it was okay for them to be close to a sow and three cubs because they were a “professional wildlife photographer.”

“You are not a professional if you are going to get that close to a sow and three cubs,” I replied. The woman walked off.

The problem for the wildlife is that not only do they have to worry about the visitors with the point and shoot cameras who want to get the same close-up shot as the wildlife photographer, but also the professional photographer who is willing to do anything to any animal or anyone to get the shot.

Meaning that photographers will step in front of and prevent other photographers from getting their shots, while some will use animal calls to lure the bird or wolf to their lens. Others will feed the animals - such as supplying owls with mice or fresh road kill.

I do not believe that the majority of the wildlife photographers, or visitors with point and shoot cameras, intend the animals any harm when they get too close or they feed them, but that they do not fully understand the cause and effect of such actions. I believe this because I did not understand much about the animals and the integrity of wildlife photography until spending nearly every day of the year inside of Yellowstone and watching the problems play out time and time again.

Animal calls make the wildlife easy prey for hunters and poachers and feeding an animal can make it become aggressive towards humans in its attempt to extract food. Being too close to the animals can make them lose their fear of humans, making them easier prey for hunters and some times causing them to be too comfortable around the roads and places where people congregate. These are just a few of the problems related with not giving the animals their wild spaces and allowing them to be free to move about. Animals can be caused to spook and run into the path of a car or in the direction of a predator.

It is our responsibility to alter the animal’s behavior as little as possible in order to keep them safe. After all, if the animal is dead our photo ops have ended.

Now, having said all of this, I am not perfect. I, quite often, find myself closer to the animal then is allowed in the national parks, but this is usually due to the animal moving closer to me, rather than me moving closer to them. I tend to read the animals and watch their eyes and behavior for signs of stress. When an animal is grazing peacefully beside the road, they are doing fine, as long as I am not going any closer to them.

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How close to wildlife is too close?/Deby Dixon

Just two days ago, I watched as an habituated wolf - one that has been way too comfortable around humans - was hazed by a law enforcement ranger. The beautiful wild wolf has had a habit of coming way too close to people who have watched her in the landscape and she has done so without any signs of aggression whatsoever. I believe that she is just curious about us and wants to check us out, which would end in fatal consequences if she were to leave the park during hunting season.

The law enforcement ranger hit her with a bean bag and then fired a cracker shell between her and the people and road. The wolf took off running for the hills, hopefully a little less curious about humans. For myself, I would rather see this wolf safe then to ever get another close shot of her because she came too close.

So, the next time that you go to photograph an animal, ask yourself, is this animal safe or am I causing it harm. Then, ask yourself, will I enjoy looking at this shot later, knowing the full story about how it came to happen. I have many photos in my folders of times when an animal was photographed under less than ideal circumstances and even though they might be terrific images, the story behind the shot never goes away.

Comments

This just proves that "expert wildlife photographer" does not equal ethical or intelligent. Anyone who does something which might lead to an animal coming to harm ishould be thrown in jail. I just happened to be in the park over the weekend taking a YA field seminar and several times the instructor refered to "stupid people tricks."

Great article, Deby. I agree with you here. Also, just sayin', if that charming picture of the three bear cubs was captured by my camera, I'd have it blown up and framed so that everyone who walked into my house had to remark on it.

[edited for a typo]

Several years ago we were in RMNP and came upon a small moose jam. (It was spring, so traffic was light, and long enough ago that moose were not so common as now.) I noticed one man toting his shiny new DSLR, flash in the upright position (does that tell you anything?). Small son in tow, he was edging closer and closer to this cow and calf. Several of us yelled at him. He gave us that universal sign of recognition and continued, as mom stopped grazing and took one small step toward him.

At this moment, my sympathies, and those of most of the other onlookers, went totally pro-moose. We watched in eagar anticipation of seeing the shallow end of the gene pool reduced. Luckily for the kid, anyway, a ranger came along and corraled Mr. Sure Shot.

There are plenty of stupid people tricks being played out there. I shake my head often.

Maybe I will have to do that Rick - great idea.

People don't understand that these are wild animals and that you don't mess with mom!

Well said, Deby.

Awesome article. I agree with your sentiments completely, Debbie. I've seen many similar things over the years while filming professionaly. I think a lot of the problem is that people from very urbanized settings, where they are not around wildlife day in and day out, and at best their closest experience to wildlife is from a zoo, lose their brains when they encounter wildlife in a wild setting. This sort of thing is rampant not just in Yellowstone, but almost every big and wild national park. Personally, the wolf watcher crowd in Yellowstone was a big turn off to me over the years. I spent a lot of time in Yellowstone over a decade, and I saw it slowly change as my time went on. I felt some of those wolf watcher groups created the circus atmosphere, and i'm glad to see you step clear from that circle, and i've watched you evolve over the years and think you are definitely doing great things by not only being an ethical photographer, but using your craft to be a spokesperson to explain the role of a national park, and that its wildlife is part of the environment, and that it's not a zoo. That message becomes more critical as these willdlife species get contained basically to these wild islands that are our National Parks.

Just because these supposed pro photogs have top notch lenses, and top notch gear, does not make them a wildlife photographer/filmmaker. I believe ethics and a keen understanding of wildlife behavior is critical in being a wildlife photographer/filmmaker. They can shoot pretty people, and landscapes in cities, but that doesn't mean it translates to wildlife photogaphy, especially wildlife photographers with a sense of ethics. Unfortunately, that's a very small group in the national parks, and the problem is a bit out of control.

Personally, I think the Denali NP approach to dealing with tourism on roads, is the best approach to how most NP's with wildlife should be modeled. Maybe trams and busses are the future at Glacier, Yellowstone, Cades Cove in the Smokies, Yosemite Valley etc. Protecting wildlife in its natural habitat, and making sure they are protected from these pseudo-zoo seekers should be priority #1 of the National Park Service.

Loved the Denali approach. We got on and off when we wanted, took the chance that the next bus would have room. If not, well, let's watch the wildlife a little longer! Grand Canyon's Hermit's Rest Road is similiar, albeit crowded. Assuming accomodations are made for those unable to climb bus stairs and there are enough comfortable, well-maintained vehicles so the right choice is the easy choice, it sure beats fighting for parking spaces and the driver missing half the scenery (or half the road???)

An excellent article. Unfortunately, it's mostly members of the choir who will read it here.

How about sending it to Yellowstone Association or National Parks Conservation Association? Perhaps they will publish it in a magazine with much wider circulation.

I just learned that Traveler has a larger readership than magazines published by either YA or NPCA. May I amend my comment from "wider circulation" to "as many readers as possible?"

Thanks Lee - yes, the Traveler has already given this article a wide readership. Would you revise the article in any way or send it as is?

I can see where the Denali approach would work for some - they should offer free bus rides, as they do in Zion, for those who would like to use that option. Zion and Denali both have dead end roads, which makes that option viable for those parks, but every road in Yellowstone leads to other towns and states. Some residents would really be cut off if the roads were closed.

Gary, you make s ome excellent points. I have many who are asking me, "How do you do it?" Some days I don't know the answer to that. My commitment to the national parks and the wildlife is quite strong and I believe that being a regular here gives me the responsibility to help others see wildlife and have a good time. But, when it becomes abusive and violent, then I have to re-think my responsibility. Unfortunately we seem to have a whole "entitled" generation visiting the parks right now and they intend to do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences to themselves, others or the animals. It is really quite tough to watch. I think that better education is needed for people visiting the parks and more citations need to be issued to those who are truly doing something that could be dangerous. Yesterday I received many reports of a woman running down the road to meet a bear. Guess that when she looked over the side of the road, she took off running fast because the bear was headed right towards her. She should have never put herself or that bear in that position and, in my opinion, those are the instances that require citation.

To revise or not to revise -- that is the question . . .

It's a fine article, Deby, on a subject that needs to be told and retold as often as possible -- and read by as many eyes as possible.

I'm sure that if you submit it to NPCA or YA, their editors would be able to advise on any need for changes.

Again in RMNP, before all the beetle blight, we were near the Colorado River campground and saw a handsome bull moose on the other side of the stream. We stood still and watched until he wandered off, heading west. We turned and went back the other way. I stepped out onto the dirt path leading to the campground, and paused to take a shot of the Kawuneeche meadow. Nice landscape. Suddenly all dark. What the...? Still holding the camera to my face, I opened my non-shooting eye. The moose had apparently looped around and had stepped out not 20 feet away from me. Totally blocked the viewfinder. I did not move a muscle. Not that there was much of anywhere to go! I stared at him. He stared at me. He casually curled that huge upper lip around a head-level (his, not mine) leaf and chewed leisurely. I pushed the shutter button once. (Before digital; you had to advance the film manually.) Almost like he wanted to see how long he could make me stand there. Finally, about when that camera was feeling like a concrete block, he strolled away. (Yeah, I did get a good photo, but sure would never voluntarily be that close to a wild animal any bigger than a ground squirrel!)

When I was working in Yellowstone back in the 1960's, I heard the story of two of our fearless leaders -- I cannot for the life of me remember their names, but think they were the chief ranger and maybe assistant superintendent. I think one was Bob Sellars.

Anyway, they showed up one morning all scratched and scraped and had to confess that they had been treed. They were fishing along the Snake River in Hayden Valley and carelessly wandered into some thick willows where they couldn't see very far. Suddenly they heard something crashing toward them. Something BIG.

There just happened to be a couple of climbable trees nearby and they both scrambled up as high as they could go.

The crashing came closer and closer until suddenly a large moose ran by below them.

They started to come down when they heard still more crashing, so they remained where they were as an elderly lady with a box camera passed by in hot pursuit of the moose.

Hah, that's a classic!

Reminds me of a time in Yellowstone. I was photographing buffalo with their calves in the Madison area when I was "stuck" in the trees as two lines of buffalo were paralleling me. While I waited them out in the trees I saw a family of four pull up by my wife and get out of their car. She heard them talking and as the father and two young children started to head for the buffalo my wife was pointing to me to watch them. I figured they would get to close so I got my camera ready for that "what not to do in a NP" shot but the father came to his senses and stopped moving forward much to the dismay of his wife. She took their picture then huffed and stormed back to the car and they left. When I finally got back to my wife she told me what happened. When the husband faltered and questioned his wife's direction, she told him to take the kids and get closer. He asked if she was sure and (this is the best part) she said "yeah, this is a National Park, they wouldn't put wild animals in here". I almost died laughing when I heard that part.

What do you get when you cross a tourist with a moron? We call them tourons!

Tourons.

Gonna have to remember that. It's perfect.

I'm not sure what's more of a spectacle, the animals or the photographers. I think I'd be ashamed to be part of that group.

Yes, great article. I was fortnuate enough to be at Yellowstone earlier this month. I'm only a hobbyist photographer - but I love Yellowstone for both the wildlife and the scenery. I do consider myself and ethical photography. My family and I have spent a lot of time outdoors and try very hard to avoid any impact to the wildlife - both for our safety and theirs. But it is truly sad and amazing to see the tourons (I do like that term!) and some of the stupid human tricks. From the way they "park" their cars to running at the wildlife screaming and throwing food - often with small children in tow (thereby learning the same stupid moves). The rangers (once they're able to get there through the traffic) do an amazing job not only trying to control the crowds and traffic while protecting the wildlife (and the tourons), but they also show tremendous restraint when dealing with the tourons. I'm not sure I'd be able to keep my thoughts to myself when I see some of the tourons in action. So I applaud the Rangers and how they handle themselves and those situations where people really need to be smacked. One Ranger I spoke with (while we were east of Fishing Bridge watching a Grizzly from a safe distance) shared some examples of stupd human tricks and it was scary. It's too bad the National Parks can't make a rule against 'stupid' and start writing tickets for it. After 3 strikes, you shouldn't be allowed back in the Park.

Dittos Deby Dixon, a very nice article balanced between the "keep it wild", yet still empathetic to us human beings. I always resisted saying the visitors were stupid; curious, unaware or uneducated to the issues sometimes, maybe, and of course there is the occasional miscreant (perhaps to strong a word), but great article. Thank you.

Thanks Ron for your resistence. It makes one wonder when those that are hired to serve are so anxious to ridicule their employers - the people.

I agree EC, rude or abusive behavior towards citizens by public service employees is simply unacceptable. But it works both ways, citizens need to rein it in occasionally, get the facts, try to open civil dialog; public employees have the same expectation of civil behavior from the citizens that the citizens expect from their governmental employees. I do think malfeasance, governmental or in the private sector, deserves comment and there should be consequences, but the same applies in the private sector. i also would like to thank "Traveler" for the informative and education articles, as well as this forum, but I agree with "Traveler", that comments posted should stick to the issues, we should try to stay away from personal attacks.

Ron, you are exactly right in your last comment. Rudeness and courtesy both have long lasting consequences. Unfortunately, too many of us seem to forget that the old Golden Rule should apply in every aspect of our lives.

Part of it, I'm afraid, is the growth of the entitlement mentality in so many. Gone are the days when a Senator might write to a complaining constituent to tell him where to get off the boat. Once upon a long time ago, a very self-important man came roaring into the VC at Sunset Crater and tied into one of my seasonals demanding that he go to the campground immediately and move a tent from the only site that would accomodate his huge camp trailer. (For a couple of summers, the NPS took over management of the camp from the Forest Service.)

When Rich very capably and firmly and with absolute politeness refused the man stormed out and went somewhere else to camp. A little while later I received a "Congressional" that needed me to draft a reply for Senator Barry Goldwater. I drafted what I thought would be politically acceptable and then added another page explaining what had happened, quoting the man's language and recounting his actions. Not long after that I received a copy of a letter from the Senator's office that looked like it had been typed by the Senator himself. (It was full of typos -- no secretary did that.) In his letter, Goldwater told the gentleman that it was completely unacceptable to ream out a Federal employee as he had. He added that if the gentleman chose not to vote for him in upcoming election, that was just fine with the Senator.

Maybe we need a few more leaders with that kind of integrity. And private citizens, too.

If you go to the July 5th post by mamagrumpy on this Yellowstonenet forum thread, you will see pictures of people and bison at Biscuit Basin that clearly demonstrate what a touron is. What was going on in those pictures definitely could have resulted in a mass casualty event.

http://forums.yellowstone.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17976&start=25

Lee,

I respect your comments and articles here so I hope you take what I am about to say objectively.

But what you just described could be seen as a classic example of reverse entitlement from a government employee, being backed up by another government employee. The feds take care of themselves sometimes. That is why you folks take such offense when the NPS is called into question and I think you need to remember for whom you work sometimes. Sorry if that is a little too honest but it is a rampant mentality with which I have had some recent personal experience and not just in the Smokies. I'm not saying that you arent' or weren't a dedicated worker. But arent' you supposed to be a public servant in those types of roles? I'm not insinuating that you have to take a bunch of guff from folks all the time either. However, in my job I have to take care of my customers, including the ones I don't like or I won't have a job. I work in the private sector. Much of what has happened and why folks have a problem with the NPS leadership is a lack of integrity within the NPS leadership and no accountability. I'm not saying that is the case with you, however, I think it is worth considering. Around here, a prominent Senator refused to meet with constituents about Smokies issues. I'm talking multiple requests by multiple groups. The Senator is Lamar Alexander and he didn't want to have to explain himself to the proleteriat. We will see how that plays out for him this election cycle.

Once again, how can a topic BASED ON ETHICAL PHOTOGRAPHY in National Parks, be switched to another whine session? Really, your chapped, because Lamar Alexander wouldn't meet with you face to face, and let him yell in his ear about a backcountry fee? Do you realize how ignorant and shallow and out of touch with the real world that sounds? This state is over 6.5 million people, and has 2 senators. You are just one of 6.5 million. And you expect him to put down all he has to do, and run up to knoxville, and listen to you whine and scream? For someone that probably has never worked in any sort of organization, company, or government agency bigger than 2 people, you sound VERY IGNORANT.

So back to the track, when I see a grizzly bear, should I bust out the 600mm, or grab the cell phone, and try and get in its face?

Thank you, Gary Wilson, for the civil discourse devoid of name calling and screaming and in no way connected with Lee's statement. But that has come to be expected.

So which lens should they use John? There is a Grizzly Bear at 300 yards looking for some elk calves hidden in the sage. What would you do to get the usable shots? Come on, chime in. I'm anxious to hear your method.

I would probably employ the lens of civility and a filter of truth.

How 'bout we stick to the article and take personality issues out of comments.

My commitment to the national parks and the wildlife is quite strong and I believe that being a regular here gives me the responsibility to help others see wildlife and have a good time. But, when it becomes abusive and violent, then I have to re-think my responsibility. Unfortunately we seem to have a whole "entitled" generation visiting the parks right now and they intend to do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences to themselves, others or the animals. It is really quite tough to watch. I think that better education is needed for people visiting the parks and more citations need to be issued to those who are truly doing something that could be dangerous.

Deby, I do admit, I admire your work over the years. You're one of the few that has been adament to stand up and speak out for the critters in Yellowstone with your blogs. It's well done work.. You also have used your lens to debunk many myths, and that alone speaks for itself. You aren't going to appease them all with what you do, so don't let the screamers get you down. TRUDGE ON!

Thanks for your comment, Smokies. Perhaps I wasn't clear. This was one example of how difficult it can be sometimes to deal with the public. In the case I told above, the man had a very, very large trailer that would fit into only one slot in the campground. He was enraged that we would not go over there and evict a tent camper from that site.

Rich Harris was polite and patient throughout as he tried to explain why he could not, and would not, comply with the man's demands. The rest of my comment, I think, goes right along with what you are talking about when Congressional (or NPS) leaders cave in to demands for special privileges.

To my simple way of thinking, we just need a few more people like Barry Goldwater to stand up for what's right and decent. (Although I don't remember if I voted for him for President or not . . . . I think I did, but time has taken a toll.)

If I may offer a criticsm in return, I have a problem with many of your comments because you seem to be using an awfully wide brush to paint everyone who wears the Arrowhead. That's unfortunate in my mind. There are countless honest and dedicated people out there. I'm guessing upwards of 95% of all NPS folks fall into that category. If we are going to weed out the rest of them, perhaps it will need to start with weeding out those who bring pressure down upon the service from above in the form of political and fiscal pressures to obtain their goals -- whatever those may be.

Lee,

Thanks for your response. It is obviously well intentioned as was my comment. And I totally accept your critism of my disdain for NPS higher ups. I agree that the majority of NPS employees are fine folks. I should be more clear when speaking of my disdain for the higher ups with whom I have had dealings. Your story reminds me of a time when someone came into the shelter on Mt. Leconte and left their garbage because, "that is what rangers are for." We are all working toward the same goals despite how others may attempt to intentionally mischaracterize things.

" We are all working toward the same goals despite how others may attempt to intentionally mischaracterize things."

I hope so. I've never been to the Smokies and really don't have much of an idea what this whole argument is about, but frankly looking from a distance it appears that there has been a lot of possible mischaracterization, some of it possibly intentional on all sides down there. Strange, isn't it, that it's always the other side that is guilty.

Sometimes it's difficult to remember that it's necessary for individuals to put aside at least some of what they want to obtain in order to do what is best for the majority of all.

I have a hard time believing much of anything written by anyone who makes it a habit to make loud accusations that appear to be based more on opinion than upon fact no matter which side of the discussion they happen to be on.

I think I'm hearing a lot of that from several people here.

I consider myself a National Parks Traveler (since i've been to 33 NPs and over 100 different units in the system), and my goal is to spend time in many of the backcountries of all the NPs (i've already done many large treks in NPs). Yellowstone and the Smokies are the two parks i've spent the most time in. And as far as i'm concerned, this is just a site I like to read since it deals with National Parks in the system. I have personal opinions on National Parks, and I see what I say here as coming from ME and ME only. I'm not a member of a borg, or a group-thinker, or even in the NPS.. I'm an individual.

Problem is a handful of people here are so anti-NPS, and anti-parks and they spend a lot of time here whining about it. It gets old, especially when many of them have a very far outsiders view of parks, and especially seem entirely clueless about the scientific research that goes into them. And sorry, just being a volunteer on occasion, does not in any shape or form mean that you are wearing the Arrowhead... I don't wear an arrowhead either, but I do SEE the park a lot, since i'm in it all the time and get an almost round the clock view of it. 90% of the time being in the park is awesome, but there is that 10% that can as Deby put it above, wear you down.

I dont think many of these people that rant so much here about how bad the NPS is really honestly care about the parks, in general. Many readers on here do, but I could name a few that obviously care less (but I won't start naming names, most of us know who they are). Once you get locked into such hate and driven by that hate to troll sites you don't care about, it controls just about everything you do.

The Smokies are just one unit out of many, so back to this topic at hand, this post by Deby can surely apply to many things i've seen in Cades Cove. Man, where to start. 2 years ago, while trying to film a deer rut (ethically by not displacing the deer, or chasing after them, but just trying to observe mating behavior from a distance), I witnessed 3 guys do a deer drive to push a buck with a large rack that was initially chasing females. They ended up changing the behavior of a buck, and ended up driving it towards an awaiting photog so he could get a closeup shot of the buck as it moved past his lens. Instead of mating with his does, and passing on his genes, instead, a few people ruined what a Naitonal Park should be, which is wildlife habitat. They can't film deer with large racks like this outside of the park, because they all get shot before they make it to this age. I ended up saying something to all 3, and sure enough, they instantly MADE ME the bad guy of the situation because I called them out on what they were doing. I can't tell you how many times i've seen similar things with bears. People chasing bears, people spotting a bear 100's of feet away, then losing their minds and get out running with their cell phones to film it within 5 feet, and then the bear goes running away, and the people still pursue it. It's the wildlifes habitat! So, my mission has been to educate people to this irrational and bad behavior, that the Smokies is NOT A ZOO, but a wildlife preserve and that it's their habitat, and that the visitor should respect wildlife and see it as a preserved habitat.. Other photographers (who are very much local and think that instantly makes them above the rules by keeping distance and changing the behavior of wildlife will run through fields getting shots of fawns while spooking the heck out of them, then posting those pictures on facebook and getting thousands of hits and kudos so that others then think it's ok to do that sort of thing). It's all odd, and all wrong. Sometimes I think the bizarre human behavior is more oddly fascinating than the behavior i'm trying to capture on film. Groups like SFW don't like people like me anyway, so its no skin off my back. You won't win them all over, and if you do, then you're doing something wrong.

Gary,

Noone here "hates" the parks or the Arrowheads that operate them. People here have legitimate different visions of what the parks should be and how they should be run. Some people also see some malfeasence at the top and are "whining" to fix that problem, not to destroy the parks but to make them better.

Having a different vision and wanting to correct corrupt practices doesn't make these bad people and it certainly doesn't mean they hate the parks. When you recognize this and limit yourself to constructive discussion and informed dialogue, maybe you can win them over. And, if you have an open mind, maybe they could even win you over.

Yeah, and i've obviously seen and listened to some of those different "visions". You believe that your pseudoscience is more important and legitimate than actual scientists that work in the field. It's kind of laughable, considering you probably have never worked on or studied any scientific idea in any setting whether it be the corporate world, within government, or at the university level. Others think mountain biking, atving, and even no limits on backcountry use also don't have an effect on the parks and should be actively promoted as legitimate activities in these national preserves. I don't think I have any inclination to win those people over with those sort of view points, especially when I have observed, along with studied with my own two eyes what a portion of those viewpoints can lead to.

I don't think I have any inclination to win those people over...

Therein lies the problem.

Ohh well. Life moves on. If you think presenting pseudoscience ideas on NPT is going to impact actual field science, or challenge park management then I think you're wasting your time. I suggest, getting your feet wet in other ways. You can do your own field research, and write papers showing your work, but please make sure it is peer-reviewed, so that it is taken seriously. Or write your congressmen and present a legitimate well thought out and non-demeaning letter expressing your concern or cause, or perhaps write the head of the DOI, Sally Jewel. But, ranting on NPT isn't going to do much good for your cause.

Gary, what pseudosience have I presented? Where have I ranted? What is my "cause"?

I think we already have discussed that in numerous threads. Once again, let's divert the subject back to the subject at hand. This is about ethical photography in NPs. The end. I hate to see threads like this one closed, when there are some of us that want to talk about the subject, and not have it diverted by people not willing to stay on subject, and hijack it and gripe about how the NPS is evil and doesn't do any good. If you can talk about ethical photography, then do so. I'm done with the rest of this useless off topic rhetoric.

I think we already have discussed that in numerous threads.

In otherwords, you can't back up your accusations.

As to photography - what's the issue? Of course people should engage in "ethical" photography. Those that don't are either ignorant of the impact or likely are "unethical" (inconsiderate) in their other activities as well.

Yawn. I'm not diverting the topic so that you can TROLL another thread into oblivion. That's what i'm saying. Yes, but when you have a % of the population that will chase wildlife, and daily occurances in places like Yellowstone and Cades Cove where this sort of activity happens, it has an overall accumlative effect on wildlife in our parks.

I sent a message to a member here offline. Just to get clarification on his stance on certain issues. Of course no response, they would rather rant to the masses that if you disagree with the NPS on certain issues your anti-NPS.

FWIW, 0325, when a pattern evolves and perpetuates that has the one note samba of "NPS must be wrong", it can be hard to tell the difference between that and someone who is "anti-NPS".

I could pull up many comments from Frank Whitehead (smoky035 - the complete lack of understanding how to use contractions like "you're", and saying "meet with me offline" gives this SFW member away) that shows he's very much anti-nps. But, I don't need to waste my time doing that because I don't care what he thinks..

Not so Gary. Have many friends in the NPS and far from anti-NPS. Certainly, doesn't mean you can't disagree with the NPS on policy. Your posts point to a very angry individual . By the way you still refuse to answer what you have against SFW.