Recent comments

  • Lots To Do At Cape Hatteras National Seashore This Summer   35 min 17 sec ago

    beachdumb--Should we just ignore by which groups your point of view is influenced?

  • Yellowstone National Park Immune From Wyoming Law Banning Certain Photos Of Water Resources   4 hours 17 min ago

    Thank you Kurt.

  • Yellowstone National Park Immune From Wyoming Law Banning Certain Photos Of Water Resources   5 hours 7 min ago

    Jim's interpretation is the correct one...

  • Yellowstone National Park Immune From Wyoming Law Banning Certain Photos Of Water Resources   5 hours 33 min ago

    I am inclined to agree Jim, it is quite possible the NPS spokesperson was misquoted, I certainly hope so.

  • Acadia National Park Working On Transportation Plan For The Future   9 hours 41 min ago

    Might an occasional car-free Saturday morning be part of Acadia National Park's transportation plan of the future? The one this past Saturday seemed to be a hit, letting visitors bike, walk and run the Park Loop Road, or up the Cadillac Mountain Road, without having to watch out for cars. There's another car-free Saturday morning coming up in September, as part of a pilot project to develop the overall transportation plan and ease the congestion. Read more about ways to have a car-free - and carefree - experience in Acadia in our recent blog post: www.acadiaonmymind.com/2015/05/footloose-and-fancy-free-car-free-and-car...

  • Yellowstone National Park Immune From Wyoming Law Banning Certain Photos Of Water Resources   11 hours 3 min ago

    major news network didn't do their homework by checking on a source, and therefore put out some very misleading information.

    This seems to have been a problem for a long time, look how they how the major news networks handled the current POTUS. They mislead the country into voting for the most incompetent administration in history...

  • Lots To Do At Cape Hatteras National Seashore This Summer   11 hours 12 min ago

    Thanks to Congress the Cape Hatteras National Seashore legislation, passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Bill, instructs the Secretary of the Interior to review and adjust wildlife protection buffers, keep them in place the shortest possible duration, designate vehicle and pedestrian corridors around resource closures, and confer with the state of North Carolina on certain buffers and protections. This new legislation will force the NPS to increase recreational access that has been greatly reduced over the past several years. The NPS had been influenced and misdirected by outside leftist environmental NGOs(Audubon, Defenders of Wildlife, NPCA, SELC, Sierra Club) determined to reduce recreational access by using junk science, misinformation, and lies.

    Also, the beach at Cape Hatteras is No. 5 in the annual top 10 list of U.S. beaches compiled by a coastal science professor known as Dr. Beach.

  • Yellowstone National Park Immune From Wyoming Law Banning Certain Photos Of Water Resources   1 day 6 hours ago

    I'd interpret the "unfortunately" in the comment by the park spokesperson as meaning it's unfortunate a major news network didn't do their homework by checking on a source, and therefore put out some very misleading information.

  • Yellowstone National Park Immune From Wyoming Law Banning Certain Photos Of Water Resources   1 day 8 hours ago

    So much for the First Amendment.

    Meanwhile, here in Utah, our legislature passed a similar law a few years ago that prohibits taking photos of any livestock or animal farming practices. This was a result of a whistleblower trying to document cruel conditions in mink farms and a couple of industrial pig farms. The pig farm was also a source of some incredible water pollution issues.

    So the solution to abuses of animals or natural resources is not to solve the problem but to cover them up by prosecuting anyone who seeks to document them.

    Disgusting.

  • Yellowstone National Park Immune From Wyoming Law Banning Certain Photos Of Water Resources   1 day 9 hours ago

    Unfortunately, that's not true, said Traci Weaver, the park's spokeswoman

    ?

  • Dean Potter Dies In Illegal BASE Jumping Incident At Yosemite National Park   2 days 39 min ago

    Dean Potter had a GoPro camera on. Footage being used by investigators to try to figure out what went wrong. His friend may have hit ridge first, and Potter tried to take evasive action.

    www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_28151003/dean-potters-base-jumping-dea...

  • Dean Potter Dies In Illegal BASE Jumping Incident At Yosemite National Park   2 days 6 hours ago

    Gary, thank you for mentioning the late Dr. J. Gordon Edwards. He was my professor of entomology (study of insects) at San Jose State College in the Spring semester of 1966. When I first received an offer to work seasonally as a NPS park-ranger naturalist at Crater Lake National Park for the summer of 1966, I asked Dr. Edwards for his advice before accepting. He said, "Owen, yes by all means do accept. It will be a life-altering experience." He was right. Dr. Edwards developed much of his climbing and mountaineering skills collecting insects at high elevation in Glacier National Park, where he worked summers for the NPS as a park ranger-naturalist. He eventually compiled his copious field notes into a "Climber's Guide to Glacier NP," which is still sold today in park bookstores. He was also a terrific professor, just ask anyone who took his courses at San Jose State.

  • UPDATED: Black Bear Put Down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park For Being Habituated   2 days 7 hours ago

    John, can you remove your hater goggles for one freaking minute. It would be a nice change. ... Last year quite a few shelters had bear problems, including LeConte. THAT IS A FACT! Spence Field also had issues at points and had to be closed. A few campsites also had bear issues, mainly in the little river corridor and had to be closed. A female yearling actually kept coming into the shelter during a few nights last september at LeConte which caused them to shut it down. If you think backcountry campers are all squeaky clean, then more power to you. But they are not. I constantly try and haul out litter when i'm in the shelters, and there is always a lot laying on the ground. I'm not saying LeConte lodge guests are not part of the problem but to lay the blame entirely on guests in closed cabins, while ignoring the main culprites is a bit of a stretch. Especially when the problems are occuring mostly in the shelters.

    This comment was edited to remove gratuitous language.--Ed.

  • UPDATED: Black Bear Put Down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park For Being Habituated   2 days 8 hours ago

    It is not improper storage of food. Bear cables work fine. It is Leconte lodge patrons feeding the bears from the safety of their heated cabins to which they retreat or on their evening walks to the Cliff Tops where this bear was habituated. Shelter visitors don't feed bears when they sleep in open, 3-sided dwellings amongst them.

  • UPDATED: Black Bear Put Down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park For Being Habituated   2 days 10 hours ago

    Thanks for some helpful background, Gary. It's unfortunate this bear had to be put down, but given the situation as described, that was the only reasonable course of action in an area with this much public use. Yes, it's very likely improper storage of human food and trash was a big factor. Although injuries or deaths to humans from black bears are fairly rare, they do occur, and the park simply couldn't ignore this problem.

  • Dean Potter Dies In Illegal BASE Jumping Incident At Yosemite National Park   2 days 19 hours ago

    It's definitely a tragedy, and these things happen way too often. A lot of times, social media propels these people to do more and more daredevil type activities. There was that one girl that died in Zion last year. She was just upping her risks week after week, and a lot of it was propelled via her facebook page and the followers she garnered. I dont think they made money from what they were doing, but they were trying to become famous from it, and in the end they just became another footnote on the dangers of base jumping. The same seems to have happened with Dean. He became a circus act, and it consumed him and killed him. Ego consumed his being. I've had a few friends die doing similar things, and leaving way too young... Don't get me wrong, I respect rock climbing, and definitely love mountaineering and seeing the views from the top of a summit. It's purely inspirational. I'm sure flying in a squrrel suit could be thrilling, but not when it involves attempting to skirt a cliff face. To me that just seems foolishly stupid and statistically it seems that person may survive a few attempts, but ego will eventually be their down fall, because nature and statistics are not in their favor long term regardless of the size of the ego. Dean was only 42. That's older than most base jumpers live to, I guess. The other guy was I believe 29. Both of them lost their lives way too short. Some will say, but they died doing what they loved. But, they are going to miss out on a lot of other things they could have loved doing too..

    As I get older, I prefer the mountaineers like J Gordon Edwards - he wasn't world renowned and didn't seem to let ego get the best of him, but he also died on a mountain - at the age of 84 when his heart finally gave out in the mountain range he loved. He summited pretty much every peak in glacier, wrote one of the best guide books on the park, and was one of those guys that obviously had his head square on his shoulders. To me, many younger guys could learn from guys like that.

  • UPDATED: Black Bear Put Down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park For Being Habituated   2 days 20 hours ago

    Gary, another good post, I have mentioned this before, but a recent book by Rachel Mazur, "Speaking of Bears", is really a good read. This is not a collection of bear stories, but an in depth look at black bear biology and a well researched history of black bear management in our National Parks. It sheds much light on the issues here and some of the points you have brought up.

  • UPDATED: Black Bear Put Down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park For Being Habituated   2 days 20 hours ago

    It's that time of the year. Males start getting territorial and agressive in May and June because it's their mating season. Last year, around the same time there were quite a few incidents in the Smokies involving male black bears. One followed a guy for a few miles on a trail, and another blackie was shot in the butt by some guy that claimed he was being stalked by it. Granted the bear was shot in the butt, so it must have been following him backwards. Regardless, May and June is actually a time to have your guard up, especially if you encounter male black bears. Unfortunately, the shelters can be a haven for poor camping habits. Many people leave their food out, or put trash everywhere, and this attracts bears. The shelter at leconte has quite a few bear incidents every year it seems, and it's mainly because people dont know how to camp in bear territory, and don't follow the rules. I guess this bear was hanging around the shelter and was aggressive to others.. However, it's common to find bears on LeConte, since it is prime Black Bear habitat and the mountain does have a variety of natural food sources. Last year, the Red Squirrels around Alum Cave Bluffs were beyond a nuisance becaue they became conditioned to people throwing them food... They were basically the cleanup crew on the mountain.

  • Dean Potter Dies In Illegal BASE Jumping Incident At Yosemite National Park   2 days 20 hours ago

    Gary, you are right about Dean going to the extreme and often times disregarding NP rules. But he was an interesting person, it still is a tragic incident.

  • Dean Potter Dies In Illegal BASE Jumping Incident At Yosemite National Park   2 days 21 hours ago

    I wasn't a huge Dean Potter fan. There was a lot of ego and narcissim involved with him it seemed. Granted, most extreme sports junkies are like this, and Dean definitely exhibited that personality trait. And after his Delicate Rock incident, I really lost respect for him, because he obviously did everything over ego, regardless of preservation, and wanted to skirt the rules constantly. To me his lifestyle became like a circus act, and it was only a matter of time until something like this happened, and I wasn't shocked when I read the news yesterday. When you jump from a squirrel suit, eventually statistics catch up with you. If you jump 100 times, looking for trickier and trickier jumps along the way, more than likely 1 of those times your head will be merged with your feet. He seemed to have a death wish, and he got it. And he did it while trying to flaunt the NPS rules at Yosemite, and his stunt proved fatal. A few days before this he posted an image showing them jumping off half dome and acting like it was a great expression of freedom and rebellion. Well, maybe in his mind, but now there's some NPS guys that had to scrape him and his companion off a rock. What about them? I'm sure they didn't enjoy their job that day. He kind of flung his middle finger at the park service in order to promote a reckless and narcissitic lifestyle. Every few months it seems, there's another one of these accidents. They basejump off a cliff, and splat into a rock. Basejumping is practically a darwin award sport. Doesn't matter if it's Zion, Yosemite, or the GC, there's no shortage of adrenaline junkie sthat the NPS has to go scrape off the rocks.. I'm not so sure if it's good to always promote recklessness, and i've been on many peaks in my time.. so I get the entire "Freedom of the hills" mentality, but there's a saying... "there's old mountaineers, and there are bold mountaineers, but there are no old bold mountaineers." Dean was way too bold, and statistics caught up with him.

  • National Park Service Considering A National World War I Memorial On National Mall   2 days 21 hours ago

    A long overdue project. I hope the planners understand the war and America's role in winning the war. This project has my full support and I will watch it carefully.

  • Dean Potter Dies In Illegal BASE Jumping Incident At Yosemite National Park   3 days 43 min ago

    k8tlevy, I agree, dean was a remarkable person, this a tragic incident.

  • A Traveler Special Report: "Oil Trains" Pose A Significant Threat To National Parks   3 days 1 hour ago

    Tomp2 - Pipelines for Bakken oil and Tar sand oil aren't mutually exclusive. It may improve safety more to ship Bakken by pipeline than train than the improvement in safety by shipping tar sand oil but both are better shipped by pipeline than train.

    And you still haven't documented that the environmental and human life costs aren't fully accounted for in bonding or insurance requirements.

  • UPDATED: Black Bear Put Down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park For Being Habituated   3 days 2 hours ago

    This is the first time I've heard of a trail clusure due to black bear activity. I'm used to seeing it for grizzlies but not for blacks. Is this something new?

  • Dean Potter Dies In Illegal BASE Jumping Incident At Yosemite National Park   3 days 2 hours ago

    I'm a huge Traveler fan, but I've got to be honest; I'm dissapointed in this article. Rather than simply reporting the accident and providing some background on who Dean was, his accomplishments, BASE jumping in general, or anything else, really, the focus is solely on what Dean did that was illegal or wrong in the past.

    I'd suggest folks interested in more information about Dean and what happened read the following articles instead:

    http://www.outsideonline.com/1981591/dean-potter-killed-base-jumping-acc...

    http://www.adventure-journal.com/2015/05/opinion-in-praise-and-defense-o...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/sports/dean-potter-extreme-climber-die...