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On Jobs And The Environment: An Inaugural Memo To Donald Trump — And Us

Jan 15th - 19:12pm | ecbuck

  Indeed, rebuiding interstate/intercity passenger rail as speedy natural gateways to our national parks would be good for the environment and the economy.

Jan 15th - 15:50pm | Richard Thomas

Dr. Runte evidences his New York roots and perhaps some bias for past presidential giants from his native Empire State. He hopes that Donald Trump will be the next great president who will follow the Roosevelts and rebuild our antiquated rail system. He is right rail travel spawned creation of our National Parks system.

Jan 15th - 11:18am | Rick B.

And, I'm afraid, about Trump having read Traveler? If that were so then several folks, to include me, would already have been denounced on Twitter as "sad and overerated".

Jan 15th - 09:00am | tahoma

Thanks. Dr. Runte!I got a much-needed belly laugh contemplating DLT actually wading through this lecture, let alone your reading list!  His frequent  tweets and incomplete sentences display the sort of person with a very short attention span who rarely cracks open a book.  During the campaign, I kept wishing someone would ask him the Sarah Palin 'gotcha' question.

GAO: National Park Service Needs To Evaluate Its Approach To Tackling Deferred Maintenance

Jan 15th - 17:29pm | SmokiesBackpacker

The so called maintenance  backlog seems to be a very fluctuating figure if you quote NPS stats.  Yet we watch the NPS pull up car stop blocks and repave roads that in no way need repaving and it causes you to wonder.  Congressman John Duncan said that he has seen the maintenance backlog grow without justification.

Jan 15th - 17:01pm | Lee Dalton

No, Al, I fully agree that it was a terrible tragedy when we did away with railroads -- and other forms of mass transit, too.  It would be great if we could turn the clock back, but we can't.  I wish we could.  Instead, I think we need to look forward for ways to cope with what we have now and try to correct as much of the mess as we can.

Jan 15th - 14:56pm | Alfred Runte

Lee, you confuse me. One minute you're protesting that we need to "do something" about climate change, and the next minute denying my proposed solution "as a past that certainly will never be recovered." Europe recovered it, in fact, never lost it. Meanwhile, speaking of "a past that certainly will never be recovered," isn't that why we have national parks?

Jan 15th - 12:53pm | ecbuck

Another take on GW's efforts.  You may be seling him a little short, Kurt.  But I agree, it is ultimately Congress that makes the call.  

Jan 15th - 11:43am | Lee Dalton

Here is an alarming -- and, unfortunately, probably a realistic look at the future of public lands in general.  All who value our parks and other wild places need to be girding up for battle. This is from this morning's Deseret News -- Utah's conservative paper:

Jan 15th - 11:38am | Kurt Repanshek

Wild, you raise a good point...but George W. Bush specifically said he would wipe out the backlog. I don't recall Obama saying he would (though the 2009 Recovery Act he pushed through provided nearly a billion for park projects).

Jan 15th - 11:30am | Lee Dalton

A striking contrast in Traveler articles this morning. One lamenting a past that certainly will never be recovered and another stating the facts and challenges that face us now. One contains fantasies about our new administration and the other is an outline of how Congress could, if it would, alleviate an awful situation.  

Jan 15th - 11:17am | wild places

I'd like to see what the projected impact of the huge increase in admittance fees has on this backlog. I also find it curious that Kurt mentions Bushes failure to fix the backlog yet no mention of the Obama administrations failure. I will also chime in again how irresponsible and just plain stupid I think it is to continue to add units without adding the funding to support them.

House Members Pushing To Permanently Delist Gray Wolves From Endangered Species List

Jan 15th - 09:47am | Linda anderson

Save our wildlife.

Jan 13th - 11:18am | Greg Taylor

 Ugh..We need to eradicate the Cheney Clan  before they infest the whole planet.

Jan 13th - 09:56am | Lee Dalton

Thank goodness we have people like Ms Clark to stand up and do whatever is necessary to try to overcome politically driven wildlife management decisions. She, and others like her, will be especially important in the coming four years.  

Jan 13th - 05:41am | som sai

Well we have the best wildlife biologists in the world working for our own US Fish and Wildlife Service and they are the entity we the people have decided to entrust with all endangered species listings, maybe we could have let them make these kinds of decisions. Instead orgs driven by donations and fear mongering like Ms.

Jan 12th - 19:57pm | A. Olson

This is so disheartening. I'm disgusted Minnesota Congressmen Nolan and Peterson are supporting this folly.

President Obama Designates Three National Monuments To Preserve Cultural History

Jan 15th - 00:58am | tomp2

I'm somewhat astonished that 2 historians, Harry & Al, are so adamantly against National Monuments that preserve and protect significant sites and episodes of our cultural history.

Jan 13th - 16:11pm | Alfred Runte

Not going there today, Argalite. Happy New Year!

Jan 13th - 15:43pm | ecbuck

Argalite.  If Congress allocates the money, the President has to spend it or get authorization from Congress to not spend it. He cannot impound the funds unilaterally.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Budget_and_Impoundment_Contr...

Jan 13th - 15:26pm | argalite

Alfred, too bad you can't just stick to the facts

Jan 13th - 15:24pm | argalite

Ecbuck, Reagan cut hiring, created a hiring freeze, which (I'm guessing) resulted in the same thing, not being able to hire seasonals

Jan 13th - 14:53pm | ecbuck

The largest amount of our tax dollars goes to the Department of Defense.

Jan 13th - 14:38pm | Alfred Runte

Kurt, a good point. Common ground historically has been a major sponsor. Grand Canyon (1908) the Santa Fe Railway. Jackson Hole (1943) John D. Rockefeller, Jr. And so on for most of the bigger national monuments that wound up becoming parks. Some influential individual, group, corporation, etc., was behind the designation, so Congress allowed it to stand.

Jan 13th - 11:17am | Kurt Repanshek

We'll have a story Sunday that examines a good part of the money problem the NPS faces.

Jan 13th - 11:11am | Lee Dalton

The largest amount of our tax dollars goes to the Department of Defense.  The only agency that has never submitted an audit of its spending.  Perhaps that would be a good place to start looking. There is an upcoming PBS program about the crisis in our parks.  That should be mandatory viewing for everyone who values our parks.

Jan 13th - 11:04am | Alfred Runte

I know that history is a Debbie Downer, but here comes the Debbie Downer. NEITHER political party has been that great for national parks. On that score, I have to agree with Harry and EC. Why the rush for so many national monuments? Well, we historians will be answering that question for a good many years to come, but here is a hint.

Jan 13th - 10:52am | ecbuck

Do you have evidence they didn't?   Ah, once again the old prove a negative tactic.    I was there when we were told that Reagan had cut funding.

Jan 13th - 10:41am | Kurt Repanshek

Perhaps, rather than revisiting history or casting political blame, working on a solution that both major political parties would accept would be time better spent. Naive in thinking it could be sold to Congress, maybe, but it would be proactive, no?

Jan 13th - 10:38am | Lee Dalton

Do you have evidence they didn't?  I was there when Nixon froze hiring a few weeks before we needed seasonals to open our parks.  I was there when we were told that Reagan had cut funding.  And we all remember President Cheney.

Jan 13th - 10:24am | ecbuck

The answer to your question Lee is 22.  So there were 16 years where the Dems controlled both houses and the Presidency.  But then the notion that a President would veto an omnibus funding bill because there was too much allocation to the National Parks is absurd.

Jan 13th - 10:05am | Lee Dalton

As one who experienced one of the freedom marches with Dr. King, I applaud the president for preserving some of the history of that effort.  As to the question of can we afford them?, I have to ask this: Can we afford to allow them to be destroyed or simply sink into oblivion?

Jan 13th - 09:06am | Harryb3570

I believe Obama has abused his powers under the Antiquities Act to  subjugate more lands and waters than any other president. I expect that the new Congress will pass legislation to curtail the power of the President to declare national monuments.

Jan 13th - 08:30am | ecbuck

Mike, the Democrats have controled both House and Senate for 38 of the last 62 years.  If it were a priority for them and only concervatives refusing to fund the Dems had plenty of opportunities to get it done.  The fact is, they have far more desire to control lives through entitlements and have sent the money that way instead.

Jan 13th - 01:24am | Rick B.

Personally I like the idea of the federal government protecting monuments to civil rights in Alabama.

Jan 12th - 22:36pm | Mike98765

Harry - the reason why there is a backlog is because conservatives refuse to adequately fund the NPS - simple as that. These places deserve protection for current and future generations.  If you don't like conservation, just say it, but don't hide behind that sham of an argument.  

Jan 12th - 19:31pm | Rick B.

I'm much more worried about the raping and pillaging and plundering that is incoming with the new administration than I am a budget stretch in a good cause.

Officials Propose Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan For North Cascades National Park

Jan 14th - 19:28pm | Anonymous

Would love to see grizzlys back in the North Cascades.

Jan 13th - 22:24pm | Lee Dalton

Again, Edward Abbey had it right.  "If humans insist on moving into bear habitat, they shouldn't be upset when a grizzly occasionally harvests a trespasser." Carry bear spray and know how to use it properly.  

Jan 13th - 17:38pm | Tricia Ann

I have been hiking since 1992 and have seen several black bears over the years, on multiple occassions in different locations.  One of the bears I did not see, but observed the large scat, and huge footprint in fresh mud, led me to turn around on that peticular trail immediately.  That one was in the Baker Lake area FS rd 11.

Grizzly Bear Shot and Killed By Hikers In Denali National Park and Preserve

Jan 13th - 21:24pm | Bear

Just run faster then your fellow hiker - you will be fine.  

Park History: Kings Canyon National Park

Jan 13th - 12:03pm | Coolestdogboy

Your info for this website is great because im using it for a project and so far its good

Reservations Coming To Needles District Campground In Canyonlands National Park

Jan 13th - 10:41am | KBenzar

You think 40% is too high? Try this. Mendenhall CG charges $10 per site per night, half price for Senior and Disabled passholders. But you can't occupy a site without paying rec.gov a "reservation" fee of $9 if booked online or $10 by phone. So that's a 90-100% premium for one night, or a 300% premium for Seniors and Disabled.

UPDATE: Yosemite National Park Spared Worst Of Flooding

Jan 12th - 19:48pm | Gary Wilson

That chart only goes to 2011, and skips a portion of this decade.  Californias severe drought is not even factored in there.  Play on.   http://www.pnas.org/content/112/13/3931.full.pdf

Jan 12th - 18:49pm | ecbuck

Exceptional drought patterns (ie the most severe) are increasing, especially over the last 2 decades.  BS - as this chart shows they are neither increasing in frequency or intensity.

National Park Service Reaches Out To Workforce To Measure Harassment

Jan 12th - 19:33pm | Rick B.

Onn that we are agreed.

Jan 12th - 18:32pm | Harryb3570

This is long overdue. I just hope that when the results come in the NPS takes the necessary corrective action and just doesn't ignore the report.

Congresswoman Calls For Investigation Into Handling Of Dog Regulations At Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Jan 12th - 19:33pm | Thomas Roop

Congressional Oversight of the GGNRA has been a hallmark request of Ocean Beach Dog for quite some time: http://oceanbeachdog2.home.mindspring.com/id23.html Thomas Roop  

UPDATE: Harriet Tubman National Historical Park To Be Formally Established

Jan 12th - 18:34pm | Harryb3570

I undrstand the Tubman House if in poor material condition so just bring a hard hat when you visit.

Culling Feral Hogs Requires Temporary Restrictions In Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Jan 12th - 18:30pm | Harryb3570

Close the entire system for however long it takes and get rid of all of the hogs. They are an invasive species and should b totally removed.

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