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Musings While Drifting Down The Colorado River Through Canyonlands National Park

Oct 13th - 14:33pm | Anonymous

Catarct Canyon is a great river trip.  The rapids, "Satan's Gut" made the list of The Big Drops, Ten Legendary Rapids of the American West by boatman and professor, Rod Nash.  Running it early in the spring is a real challenge.

Oct 13th - 10:34am | Mike Hardinger

Nice article Kurt!  Mike.

Oct 10th - 22:03pm | Lee Dalton

This might not be the place for this, but it's probably as good as any to post it.

Oct 9th - 08:56am | ecbuck

By the way, the Omnibus National Parks Management Act of 1998 requires this: SEC. 104. PARK BUDGETS AND ACCOUNTABILITY. <<NOTE: 16 USC 5914.>>

Oct 9th - 08:22am | ecbuck

Lets take RMNP as an example.  3.5 million visitors at a count of 2 per car. That is 1.75 million cars. Some of which will have annual passes (anybody know the number?) Lets assume 30%. That means 1.23 million paying vehicles.  With a $10 increase, thats $12 million in additional revenue on top of $ 24 million already collected.  Thats alot of restrooms.    

Oct 8th - 22:59pm | Kurt Repanshek

One other thing: higher entrance fees can't normally be used for permanent employee salaries...they are used typically for campground improvements, restrooms, etc.

Oct 8th - 22:53pm | Kurt Repanshek

EC, the rest of the story..."Congress just passed a CR which (even though this was not widely reported) included an across the board reduction of 0.2108%. That lasts, of course, through December 11."The Administration's proposed centennial bill, which would increase funding for FY16, has zero chance of passing the Congress -- especially with the disarray in the House now.

Oct 8th - 19:31pm | ecbuck

Seems like if the total request was for $433 million and $150 is infrastructure that leaves alot for personnel.  Another question, are the "fees" outside the budgeted amount and how much did they total in 2014?

Oct 8th - 19:21pm | Kurt Repanshek

EC, I'm waiting to hear back, but a couple things come to mind:

Oct 8th - 16:08pm | HikingDiva

Agreed. More people, increased fees... so please explain.

Three Mountain Lions Found Dead In Santa Monica Mountains In Recent Weeks

Oct 13th - 11:06am | ecbuck

Owen - manifest destiny and expansion have been with this world since man evolved.  There is hardly a country that exists today that wasn't established through conquest - frequently at the expense of the natives. Even the Native Americans were guilty of that. (I would guess there are many Native Americans that are thinking like Mark Twain at the moment).  

Oct 13th - 10:47am | Owen Hoffman

I cannot help but think that EC's comment that "Yes, we are more important...."  is reflective of the attitude that ultimately justified  US manifest destiny and western expansion, which directly contributed to the demise of Native Americans and altered the ecological landscape of the continent.  

Oct 13th - 09:14am | Lee Dalton

Thanks, ec, for a perfect illustration of exactly what I mean.

Oct 13th - 08:49am | ecbuck

Lee - The old and very tired strawman that tries to declare that we will all have to return to cave dwelling How ironic, you uses the word "strawman" in your strawman attack.  Noone said anything about cave dwelling.

Oct 13th - 08:39am | justinh

Agreed, Anon.  I'm so tired of seeing stories like this one.

Oct 12th - 23:44pm | Lee Dalton

Excellent reply, Ron. If each of us does a little, many of us will do a lot. The old and very tired strawman that tries to declare that we will all have to return to cave dwelling is one of the most unimaginative of a number of dodges used by those whose sense of entitlement supercedes their sense of responsibility.

Oct 12th - 23:16pm | rmackie

EC, a fair question. I am not sure how much I could sacrifice, but I think we can do much. For starters, we can make a greater effort to re-cycle, quit using plastic bags, bottled water, cut down on our driving where possible, slow down on roads, etc.  Small things but can add much.

Oct 12th - 20:07pm | ecbuck

Ron, are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle, or even life, for the mountain lion?  How about for the snail darter?  Easy to preach, easier to yell, but much harder to live the sermon.

Oct 12th - 19:54pm | rmackie

Thank you Lisa and Barbara, I am in agreement. As habitat for wildlife  becomes increasingly fractured and human expansion continues to increase with all the associated activities, poisons, high speed roads, etc., it is a real concern. For example here in California over the last 100 years plus, we have reduced our freshwater wetlands by 90%. I do think Dr.

Oct 12th - 17:47pm | ecbuck

Barbara - no need to yell.  And yes, we are more important.  

Oct 12th - 14:08pm | barbara ann thornley


Oct 12th - 11:14am | Lisa Owens Viani

Please stop using rat poison and let the natural predators that are so good at controlling rodents do their job. This is an active, ongoing environmental catastrophe--we are killing hawks, owls, bobcats, mountain lions, foxes, and others--from something as senseless and "convenient" as rat poison when there are other non-toxic methods of rodent control.

Treasure Your National Park Visits With A Photo Album From Shutterfly

Oct 13th - 10:07am | shozo sato

I have visited Bleuridge music center at last week. I tasted truly Blueridge music. Exciting! Now, I came home in Japan. Thank you for your everything.

Musings From Kalaloch In Olympic National Park

Oct 12th - 20:10pm | Kurt Repanshek

Good to see you back in the mix, y_p_w, it's been too long.

Oct 12th - 19:40pm | y_p_w

Ah - Kalaloch.  Stayed there one night.  The site was spacious but in the forested area.  Most of the sites with views of the Pacific were RV-only.  Saw one heck of a sunset on the beach with a backdrop of driftwood logs.

Oct 12th - 12:07pm | NP_Day_Hiker

Thank you Lee for bringing back some great memories.  I've only been to Olympic once, but my time there was amazing.  The best part were the sunsets at Kalaloch.  The only National Park Campground that rivals Kalaloch for me is Jenny Lake.

Plan To Open Everglades National Park To Python Hunt Condemned By PEER

Oct 12th - 18:39pm | Flapjacker 1 2 3

The downside?

Congresswoman Poised To Force Issue On Packrafting In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

Oct 12th - 08:42am | Jeff Ottmers

What confuses me is the idea that packrafting down a river is a problem in yellowstone, which has huge, wide cut TRAILS throughout the entire park.  The whole of the park has these corridors that allow thousand to walk right into wilderness.  How are they not a much bigger impact?

Oct 8th - 15:27pm | slc72

I agree with EC and don't believe that congress should micromanage the NPS (or any other agency).  However, when constituents complain loud enough about being denied or restricted access by an agency for dubious reasons not supported by science certain members of congress, apparently, believe they now must get involved.

Oct 8th - 11:39am | ecbuck

It's time to leave judgement to other readers. In other words, you can't substantiate your claims.  

Oct 8th - 11:32am | Lee Dalton

It's time to leave judgement to other readers.  Have a smiling day!

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

Oct 11th - 14:38pm | Steve Kalin

And yet mr. Proneke had a rifle with which  he defended himself if  nesecary and shot food. 

House Committee Supports Bill To Open Up Paddling In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

Oct 11th - 13:16pm | DJohnson

You asked, "...then why aren't paddling sports an issue in other parks - or for that matter, existing lakes and rivers within YNP and GTNP where paddling sports are currently allowed?"

Oct 10th - 19:56pm | Kurt Repanshek

The language in Rep. Lummis' amendment to her bill specifically uses "shall," and not "may." As such, it directs the Park Service to open up the river/stream segments she specifies in her amendment (if Congress as a whole passes her bill and the president does not veto it.)  As EC notes, it removes NPS discretion in the matter.

Oct 10th - 18:16pm | ecbuck

Robert, I think the "at a minimum" language of her amendement ( would take away the NPS discretion in those designated waters. 

Oct 10th - 13:00pm | Robert S.

NPT - I think you're misrepresenting the facts on this issue. First of all, the use of the word "force" is not correct. "Allow" would be the more proper term.

Rediscovering National Parks In The Spirit Of John Muir

Oct 11th - 12:41pm | Lee Dalton

Dr. Runte has nailed it again. Yes, tell us about Breckenridge or Park City or Dizzyland or sports stadia or condo developments and gated communities and we can then point to all sorts of taxpayer paid infrastructure that supports developers as they convince local governments to adopt yet another example of Modern American Socialism.

Oct 11th - 11:50am | Alfred Runte

I would have to do the research, EC, but I would bet that Disneyland's argument goes something like this: Given all of the jobs we generate, our property taxes should be low. Here in Seattle, that argument has put millions into the pockets of every developer while sticking the tax burden on the middle class.

Oct 10th - 22:00pm | ecbuck

I know of very, very few hunks of private land that generate ANY tax revenues other than paying property tax.

Oct 10th - 21:20pm | Lee Dalton

Excellent comment, Dr. Runte.

Oct 10th - 11:15am | Alfred Runte

What both of you are forgetting is that the national parks were "privatized" years ago. Concessionaires (private interests) reap the profits for the sake of a franchise "fee." For that fee, Uncle Sam staffs, protects, and maintains the parks, i.e., does everything that isn't profitable.

Oct 10th - 08:52am | ecbuck

I don't see anyone slinking off.  I see the article attributing the success to state marketing efforts and private investment.  If higher tax dollars are your goal for these lands (its not mine) who knows how much could be raised if these lands were 100% state and privately owned.  I dare guess that tax revenues per acre are far higher on private land than federal land.

Oct 9th - 22:46pm | Lee Dalton

In Utah, we love to hate the federal lands.  But then something like this comes along and the gummint haters kind of slink off into the shadows for awhile until the hoopla dies down. While on the other hand, it also lends a lot of weight to Michael Frome's thesis that our parks are becoming little more than money machines.

Oct 9th - 16:49pm | Lee Dalton

We need more people like Michael Frome.  And at this time of centennial, we should be shouting from the rooftops the story of the conflicts built into the Enabling Act.  We are missing a wonderful opportunity to educate Americans.  Let's not just encourage them to descend upon our parks like plagues of locust.  Let's teach them how they may enjoy their parks while still PRESERVING them. 

Park finances

Oct 10th - 18:55pm | ecbuck

Thanks tahoma.  

Oct 10th - 18:33pm | tahoma

"Discretionary spending refers to the portion of the budget that is decided by Congress through the annual appropriations process each year."

Lifetime "Senior" and "Access" Park Passes Now Available By Mail

Oct 10th - 02:38am | June Thornton

Thank You. This is very thoughtful.  

Ranking The National Parks By Visitation In 2011

Oct 9th - 07:06am | Kurt Repanshek

Thomas, if you're traveling in winter, look at Badlands National Park in South Dakota, or Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Lots of solitude in those.

Oct 8th - 21:08pm | thomas harper

where the least busy, most deserted parks? that's where i wanna go!!  

Spritzing Of Bear Spray Drives Grizzly Off Glacier National Park Hiker

Oct 8th - 11:39am | Anonymous

I was hiking to iceberg lake in September and encountered this same bear. The Rangers had to set off flashbacks to chase her off because she was doing false changes on hikers. I'm glad they aren't going to punish her for being a good mother. Way way to many 60 year old plus hikers in the back country. If you need a break every 100 yards maybe you shouldn't hike 10 miles in the mountains.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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