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Op-Ed| SOS--Saving Our (National Park) System

Jul 7th - 11:09am | Kurt Repanshek

A point of order is necessary in light of D-2's comment. The above article is clearly marked as an Op-Ed, not a position taken by the Traveler.

Jul 7th - 10:42am | Anonymous

D2 is obviously an NPS King and the arrows have hit into his lair. Or should I say liar. How do we know this? Because discrediting individuals instead of addressing issues is the Jarvis model. You folks bring it on yourselves.

Jul 7th - 08:59am | tahoma

This is indeed a thought-provoking article worthy of a serious discussion.  Thanks to Kurt and NPT and the author for having the courage to publish it!  D-2's angry, semi-coherent reply is a good example of why NPS senior management will probably never take such a discussion seriously.  They are too obsessed with More, at any price, to care about sustainability.  This attitude that the

Jul 7th - 08:23am | ecbuck

d-2, you may have your disagreements with Harry (most of which seem to be based on self-preservation of the sources) but I for one appreciate the discussion. As is typically the case the "science" isn't settled and shutting down dissent is not the way to get to the solution. I thank Kurt presenting diverse views.

Jul 7th - 08:10am | ecbuck

'Your disagreement does nothing to invalidate them" But the facts do. When dems where in control, the funding for the Parks did not grow materially. It isn't a political issue as you try to make it. But it is no wonder that budgets and fiscal discipline are alien to you.

Jul 7th - 01:55am | Rick B.

Eric.. I understand your attempt to defend your extremist politics, including transference or saying that only I politicize the conversation and also the patronizing manner you attempt to ever so gently correct me.

Jul 7th - 00:05am | ecbuck

"I can't help but to think that if responsible budgeting by Congress was to be ripped from the claws of the parsimonious tea partiers and their ilk, and restored to the true needs of the mandate of the parks, then this debate would fade"

Jul 6th - 22:36pm | ron mackie

Thank you d-2, I agree. I do not think Dr. Butowsky has this right, you pointed it out very well. There are some excellent books on these issues, Dwight Rettie, "Our National Parks" has an excellent discussion on why we do not want to decommission units of our park system. A book coming out on July 15th, "Your Yosemite", by Bob Binnewies is just excellent, addresses Dr.

Jul 6th - 20:42pm |

Fair enough, D-2. I am a discredit to the parks. But at least I sign my name. Why have you not done so? I’ll tell you why, and it’s what I have been driving at. Park Service management does not want this debate. It rather wants to assure Congress and the American people that the only debate needed is from within.

Jul 6th - 19:12pm | Rick B.

I can't help but to think that if responsible budgeting by Congress was to be ripped from the claws of the parsimonious tea partiers and their ilk, and restored to the true needs of the mandate of the parks, then this debate would fade. The parks have an intangible value, and I believe they should not be put into a profit-making dollarization.

Jul 6th - 18:09pm | d-2

"have that discussion?" These articles by Dr. Butowsky are so depressing. Partly because they are never "a discussion." Factual refutations that remove the substance to these articles make no difference to him, they are just repeated over and over.

Jul 6th - 17:08pm | tomp2

As someone familiar with the several efforts to delist Saguaro National Monument (which each seemed like good ideas at the time), I'm cautious about blanket recommendations for reducing the number of parks.

Jul 6th - 15:27pm | Lee Dalton

zrf brings up some excellent points -- and once again greed rears its ugly head. There are a lot of developers in this state who are constantly drooling in hopes that they might someday be able to get their paws on some choice land so they slap up a few mega-mansion vacation homes for those who can afford them. One such parcel sits just outside the Needles Unit of Canyonlands.

Jul 6th - 14:33pm | zrfphoto

I run the website you linked about new National Park proposals, I'm a pragmatist above all things, and while I hope for a large expansion of the NPS in the future, I'd also be very happy to see some lands transferred to different agencies, as well as some NPS sites decommissioned. I think this is a reasoned approach.

Jul 6th - 12:11pm | Lee Dalton

A serious and thought-provoking article. I've often wondered at presidential sites. How many are there for Clinton alone? Three? How many of our current parks (using the term very broadly) are direct results of some Congress critter seeking a load of bacon to haul home to impress the folks?

Jul 6th - 11:13am | SmokiesBackpacker

Great article, Mr. B. I would like to see new administration that values visitation and the wishes of stakeholding communities instead of increasing their fiefdom and ruling like Kings and Queens. A guy I know cornered Jarvis the other day to express concerns and Jarvis couldn't answer any of the guys' questions.

Jul 6th - 08:32am | Jim Burnett

Thanks for a thought-provoking article. I certainly agree about the role of other organizations in running presidential homes, especially those of recent, current and future presidents, where there are other organizations capable of running them.

Jul 6th - 08:32am | ecbuck

Definitely a discussion worth having. Perhaps the 100th anniversary would be a good time to revisit the scope of the NPS. A great combo would be reduced units and expanded funding. Meanwhile, I'm on my way to my favorite, Yellowstone, today.

The Year Yellowstone Burned: A Twenty-Five-Year Perspective

Jul 6th - 18:54pm | tomp2

There's been _much_ greater regrowth in most of the area that burned in 1988. Very little lodgepole regeneration after more recent fires that were followed by dry years...

Jul 6th - 08:33am | Bill Stock

So a 12' regrowth in 25 years since devastation / picture on book cover

132-Year-Old Winchester Rifle Found At Great Basin National Park Now On Display

Jul 6th - 15:51pm | tomp2

I'd love for the preservation folks to figure out a way to get that cartridge out and a way to date it (via different chemistry of the gunpowder, bullet, or something).

Petition Urges Interior Secretary To Intervene Over Killings Of Denali National Park Wolves

Jul 5th - 12:59pm | ron mackie

I do not know SmokiesBackpacker, I do think Sally Jewel is well qualified for the job, she is also an avid mountaineer, very fit, quite experienced. Is she committed to the serious threats our parks face, we will see, perhaps I am wrong but I think that is your point and I think it is a valid question.

Jul 5th - 09:30am | ecbuck

"She was head of large outdoor retailer and NPS concessionare REI, then she had ties with the oil industry prior to that."

Jul 5th - 09:10am | SmokiesBackpacker

I don't know. Jewell is the prototypical DOI head. She was head of large outdoor retailer and NPS concessionare REI, then she had ties with the oil industry prior to that. She would never stand up to Jarvis which suits his needs perfectly. She is your usual NPS crony.

Jul 4th - 00:01am | RR Mier

Jewell will never win against the old timer heathens on AKs game board shes thhe worst Obamer apptee for that job shes weak with no heart

Jul 2nd - 14:58pm | SmokiesBackpacker

I remember the days when I thought that any public sentiment would influence Jarvis and his band of kings to change policy.

Jul 2nd - 09:13am | Lawrence Scrima

VIP- also sign and share this: petition:

Jul 2nd - 07:08am | Cindy Beville

Let the wolves Live!

Jul 1st - 22:18pm | WAYNE SOBEY


Jul 1st - 22:18pm | Sherri Sherbo

Please put a stop to the killing of Denali wolves! Top predators are a sign of a healthy ecosystem. They are a precious commodity and part of our heritage. To exterminate them is to harm ourselves and leave a legacy of disgrace for our children.

Jul 1st - 21:40pm | Adriana McDowell

Don't kill them. It's easy to shut.....but it's hard to take care of our wild life . Don't kill the wolves. Please.

Jul 1st - 19:20pm | Anonymous USA

I'm boycotting Alaska until the state starts prosecuting the poachers and hunters killing the Denali wolves. Alaska needs to become enlightened and stop allowing hunts of keystone species like the wolves, this is the 21st century, stop behaving like barbarians.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore To Adjust Wildlife Boundaries

Jul 5th - 10:00am | beachdumb

"NPS should be ashamed and do better at protecting our country's great places!" In no way would what the has proposed harm this park or its species. Just more progressive dishonesty...

Jul 4th - 10:26am | Redfish

In addition to the bad decisions by NPS, the changes are illegal.

Jul 4th - 10:09am | Redfish

Bad, blatant shortsightedness, and not supported by science. NPS should be ashamed and do better at protecting our country's great places!

Vapur In Partnership To Slake Thirst Of Bryce Canyon National Park Visitors

Jul 5th - 09:15am | Jan S.

And another great feature of the Vapur anti-Bottle, is that is FLAT which means when visitors drop them at viewpoints as they're fiddling with their cameras, the bottle DOESN'T ROLL into the canyon! Look below any viewpoint and count the number of round bottles that have rolled into Bryce Canyon. Vapur anti-bottles won't do that! They're great.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore Visitors Warned About Shark Dangers

Jul 3rd - 14:48pm | Rick B.


Jul 3rd - 07:08am | beachdumb

This is the unintended consequences of shark and turtle conservation. There are way more sharks in these waters now there have been for a long time.

Close Encounters In Glacier National Park

Jul 3rd - 14:28pm | Emme @ Green Gl...

Great shot! Glacier National Park is an awesome place to get close-up experience to all sorts of plant life and wildlife. Thanks for sharing!

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Officials Worried About Proposed Pig Farm

Jul 3rd - 10:22am | Jim Burnett

A brief look at the application for this operation suggests the term "pork factory" would be more appropriate that "farm." If these large-scale operations are to be allowed, surely there must be sites somewhere in the county where water quality concerns from runoff would been of less concern that this one. A similar issue exists in the watershed for the Buffalo National River.

Jul 3rd - 08:35am | Wickerman

The vocabulary of calling this multi-thousand pig factory a "farm" needs to be changed. Nor is this huge corporation, with dozens of LLCs a "family farm". The owners are multi-millionaires only concerned with greed and profits. They need to stay in Iowa, which they've ruined for themselves already.

Jul 2nd - 08:05am | Lee Dalton

Here is a link to a book that sheds light on modern commercial pig farms. Before deciding which side to support in this issue (and the one in Missouri that has received attention here) it might be well to read this book.

Hazel Creek Area Of Great Smoky Mountains National Park Reopens

Jul 3rd - 09:18am | SmokiesBackpacker

This sums it up.*E8U3rGFXp-kqbgQSg8CMcEVh7*q4FtWa-JjMqfPv2Nv*...

Classic National Park Hikes: Grinnell Glacier At Glacier National Park

Jul 3rd - 07:17am | Jim Burnett

This area of the park around Many Glacier has some great trails, including the one to Grinnel Glacier descibed in this story.

Bison Gore Two More In Yellowstone National Park

Jul 3rd - 02:17am | Ginger L.

No matter how many times you warn people to keep their just cannot fix stupid.

Jul 3rd - 00:20am | commonsense

I get this feeling all the time that people are getting dumber by the minute. When life is lived through a cell phone this is what happens.

Expect Crowds At Yosemite National Park This Holiday Weekend

Jul 2nd - 22:50pm | ron mackie

Megaera, yes beginning late October and running usually until middle of April, depending on the weather. These draught years have lengthened the season, especially this year. Many people trying to get to the mountains to flee the extreme heat, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley. Lake Tahoe has been jammed also.

Jul 2nd - 15:28pm | Megaera

Better yet, just wait till the off-season. Does Yosemite Valley even *have* an off-season anymore?

Former Katmai National Park Superintendent Fears Park Service Values Visitation More Than Bears

Jul 2nd - 08:10am | Lee Dalton

Thank you for recommending that book, Ron. I'll head for the library as soon as it opens today to see if it's there or if I can get it via interlibrary loan.

Exploring The Parks: Gates Of The Arctic National Park And Preserve

Jul 2nd - 01:50am | Ray Bane

Excellent article. I spent many years exploring the central Brooks Range, both before and after it was included in the Gates of the Arctic Nat. Park & Preserve. It is truly a magic place filled with hidden secrets and pleasures waiting to be discovered.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide