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Traveler's View: President's FY17 Request For National Park Service Disappointing

Feb 11th - 23:38pm | rmackie

EC, a complex issue at best and I am getting away from the topic of parks, but you might be interested in some books on the subject, starting with Naomi Kline, "The Shock Doctrine", Thom Hartman, Unequal Justice, or his latest, The Crash of 2016", a recent one, Robert Pollin, "Greening the Global Economy", well the list is quite lengthly.

Feb 11th - 23:02pm | trailadvocate

Hmmm, what could we save to go to parks if all the kickbacks to the Democratic Party via crony Solindra type (investments) funded by the American Taxpayer going back to the cash for clunkers episode at the very beginning.  All BS including todays action to demand the Pentagon consider Global Warming in their combat directives.

Feb 11th - 22:15pm | Lee Dalton

So would I.  But let's not allow unbridled waste.  Just think what could be done, not only in our parks, but also in the rest of our country, if we found the courage and wisdom to stand up to what Eisenhower warned about and use all that money wisely.  Did you actually read Kurt's article?

Feb 11th - 17:11pm | ecbuck

But still a minor fraction of what we spend overall and a minor contributor to the deficit and debt.  So your statement that large budgets, signifcant deficits and overwhelming debt is due to two wars is just a fabrication.   Besides, I can quote you the language in the Constitution that said it is the role of the Federal Government to provide national defense.

Feb 11th - 16:28pm | Lee Dalton

Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $615,482 for Cost of Military Action Against ISIS. Every hour, taxpayers in the United States are paying $4 million for Cost of War in Afghanistan.

Feb 11th - 14:17pm | ecbuck

That's what you get when you put two major wars on the credit card. The wars are a minor fraction of those numbers.  

Feb 11th - 13:49pm | Lee Dalton

A $4.1 Trillion budget, $616 billion deficit and federal debt of $20 trillion is "neo-liberal austerity'? That's what you get when you put two major wars on the credit card.

Feb 11th - 12:10pm | ecbuck

neo-liberal austerity budgets of Friedman and Greenspan,  What dream world are you in?  A $4.1 Trillion budget, $616 billion deficit and federal debt of $20 trillion is "neo-liberal austerity'?

Feb 11th - 11:45am | rmackie

Mundsy, nice post. I am a fan of Lee's posts, but am with you on this issue.  I would like to thank Traveler for the article on the NPS maintenance backlog and the thom2 post.

Feb 11th - 10:35am | Lee Dalton

Mundsy, my good friend, that was supposed to be sarcastically satirical. I just hope that electronic entertainment never overtakes the wonder of our parks.

Feb 11th - 09:01am | Mundsy

Lee, your disdain for technology in national parks is astounding.  I've read your comments for years on NPT and while you do make solid points about the parks, this is one where you are completely wrong.  The internet, smartphones, computers and those other high fangled devices are here to stay.

Feb 10th - 20:30pm | Lee Dalton

No worries, friends.  Soon all the parks will be wired and everyone can just stay home on their comfortable couches and make virtual visits muncing popcorn and slurping beer or soda while flipping back and forth between a football game and Old Faithful.  (Of course there will probably be commercial breaks between views of the elk and chipmunks, but Americans are so well conditioned to

Feb 10th - 16:16pm | tomp2

Your link on salaries lagging isn't quite salary data showing differences among agencies.  Rather, those data are % of employee survey respondents satisfied with salary, which is lower in NPS than in other DOI bureaus, let alone than in most government agencies.

Feb 10th - 16:11pm | Michael Kellett

It is true that the National Park Service needs a larger budget. However, as I have noted before, this is an artificial "crisis" created by anti-national park interests and their allies in Congress, who would be happy to starve the National Park System to death.

Flora Of The National Parks On Display

Feb 11th - 17:15pm | Megaera

Wow, I wish I could go see that.

Congressmen Call For More Wi-Fi In Parks, But Can National Park Service Manage It?

Feb 11th - 09:32am | ecbuck

Forcing Wi-Fi and Cell Service Nobody is forcing you to do anything  is very much counter to anything ever thought of as an appropriate use of these National Parks Maybe anything you ever thought of, but others think differently and their thoughts are just as valid as yours.  

Feb 11th - 09:25am | David Crowl

I remember back when I was 18, in 1980, I took a trip to Yellowstone with a couple of friends. We hiked to the top of Mount Washburn and low and behold there was a phone booth in the fire look out so I called my Mom. In todays terms, there are very few phone booths left and today you may only send a text and a picture, instead of a post card.

Feb 10th - 21:00pm | trailadvocate

Forcing Wi-Fi and Cell Service in the name of progress one would think is very much counter to anything ever thought of as an appropriate use of these National Parks.  Ask many that have witnessed the transformation at Phantom Ranch even among the work mate of Park Ranger.   Me, me, me instead of gratitude for being in such a place.

Feb 10th - 19:01pm | rmackie

David, interesting comment. Like many others on the listserve, I have mixed emotions, but from my own experience the last 8 years working as a Fire Information Officer, I have changed my own view on the issue. I work in a major park and interact with visitors from all over the world, the best part of the job.

Feb 10th - 17:41pm | ecbuck

 National Parks are about getting away from it all, renewing our resolve to make the world a better place and restoring the natural balance in our lives. That may be how you use them but others use them in different ways. And those other ways are just a valid as yours.

Feb 10th - 16:05pm | Peter B (NSW Au...

Suck it up Princess and go without. National Parks are about getting away from it all, renewing our resolve to make the world a better place and restoring the natural balance in our lives. We need somewhere to get away from the political rat races that seem to dominate our electoral processes.

Feb 10th - 13:07pm | ecbuck

David - exactly! And Lee, you are right as well.  Opinion isn't fact and shouldn't be expressed as such - which was the point of my question to Smokies.

Feb 10th - 12:18pm | David Crowl

In my opinion... I think its ok to have wifi at hotels, lodges, visitor centers, and other commercial areas of the park. I think this is what they mean when they ask for more wifi. It is not the same as cell phone service. Wifi enables people to move data without the need to do it over cell towers.

Feb 10th - 11:43am | Lee Dalton

Sorry, Kurt.  I was trying to get the point across that this is one of those things that has no end because every comment is based upon opinion.  When anyone tries to pass their opinions off as some sort of concrete something or other, it simply ends up with a circular discussion that can go nowhere.  It's the very thing that stymies finding solutions by compromise.

Feb 10th - 09:05am | Kurt Repanshek

OK, guys, knock it off please.

Feb 10th - 09:04am | ecbuck

Obviously it's the same as yours. My what? What declaration did I make?

Feb 10th - 08:50am | Lee Dalton

 Folks don't want wifi in nature. Your basis for that statement?   Obviously it's the same as yours.

Feb 10th - 07:09am | trailadvocate

Progress in a National Park and the country as well is very subjective, Park Ranger.   The very idea of progress in something that most would agree needs to be preserved for it's redeeming qualities is a slippery slope in my opinion.

Feb 10th - 06:56am | trailadvocate

Forcing my priorities?  I'll leave that for the previous Superintendant of GCNP and his buddy Wessels at Intermountain (retired).   Im done for the day here, EC.  Heading into the Canyon to surf the web at a hot spot, not.  

Feb 9th - 22:54pm | Lee Dalton

Unfortunately, it also seems there is no stopping destruction either.

Feb 9th - 15:54pm | Park Ranger Gra...

Having the ability to use wi-fi for educational and interpretative purposes alone would make the installation expense worth it.  I agree that electronics should be left at home, but there is no stopping progress. 

Feb 9th - 12:54pm | ecbuck

 Folks don't want wifi in nature. Your basis for that statement?

Feb 9th - 12:51pm | ecbuck

You can't be accepting of the idea of being on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon with a group and there are folks that feel the need to be online or yack away on their cell phones. 

Feb 9th - 11:59am | trailadvocate

Sorry EC, you have lost me.  You can't be accepting of the idea of being on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon with a group and there are folks that feel the need to be online or yack away on their cell phones.  I know Boatman that avoid camping at places on the River where there is a signal because how it changes the experience for everyone.

Feb 9th - 11:47am | SmokiesBackpacker

It is distracting to see people attached to their devices in a place where most people go to get away from that kind of bleeping technology.  This proves that congress is out of touch with the people.  Folks don't want wifi in nature. Congress critters would like to stay connected so they can post selfies "in nature".  

Feb 9th - 11:36am | ecbuck

Distracts from the much needed restorative wildland experiences. Distracts who?  Who are you to define how someone else enjoys their wildland experiences.  If YOU don't want to be distracted, don't use wi-fi enabled devices.  

Feb 9th - 11:01am | trailadvocate

EC, the point was (and is) available WiFi in remote parts of our National Parks changes everything.   Distracts from the much needed restorative wildland experiences.  Talk with Rafting Guides, Backcountry Rangers or the great number of folks that enjoy the quiet and escape from technology.

Feb 9th - 08:57am | ecbuck

Well anonymous, just stay in your virtual world. I don't stay in any world, I enter and enjoy them all, natural, human and virtual.  I can assure you, if we see the end of civilization it won't be due to Wi-Fi.  Now, go live your life the way you want and let others do the same.  

Feb 9th - 08:40am | Sinewave

Doesn't make sense to spend taxpayer money to extend Wi-Fi and cellphone service to tourists who are already paying their carriers for service.  Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile should be picking up the tab.

Feb 9th - 00:07am | Rich Granberg (...

Stop the madness.  I suppose there has to be a comparative 911 to see where we're going, it would seem.  Crazy!

Feb 9th - 00:03am | Rich Granberg

Well anonymous, just stay in your virtual world.  This trend could be a a sorry end to a great civilization.   Just OD on Heroin and leave us neanderthals to our nature (and hardships)!

Another Yellowstone National Park Wolf Reaches Colorado

Feb 11th - 09:21am | Xm

Wolf sighting la veta pass San Luis valley Colorado 2/10/16 this was NOT a coyote very beautiful ! I Wish this wolf all the best!

Shenandoah National Park Tallies $90 Million In Deferred Maintenance

Feb 11th - 07:58am | SmokiesBackpacker

Is there any dollar amount from taxpayers that would shut Jarvis up?  Is there any appropriation that would get him to say, "Thanks"? Just wondering.

Canaveral National Seashore Moves Camping Reservations System Online

Feb 10th - 15:39pm | Anonymous

This Really Stinks and its spelled m-a-n-a-g-e-m-e-n-t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

White-Nose Syndrome Creating "Wildlife Crisis" For Bat Deaths At Mammoth Cave National Park

Feb 10th - 11:50am | Anonymous

I think the difference is that this event is not natural, in the sense that is is caused by humans. Some argue that humans are a part of nature, so all of our actions must be natural by extension, and while I agree with that to a certain point, I also believe that we have a responsibility to be concientious about our actions.

Essential Paddling Guide: Rivers, Rapids, & Reptiles Deep In Canyonlands National Park

Feb 9th - 15:09pm | Ray Bane

Great shots of an obviouly wonderful float, Kurt.   Thank you for sharing it with us.

Traveler's Gear Box: OOFOS, Easy On Your Soles

Feb 9th - 13:42pm | Kurt Repanshek

Les, I've had great success with Danner as well as Zamberlan for hiking/backpacking, and currently am checking out a pair of Chaco Jaegers, which would probably suffice for very light hiking and casual knock-arounds in the parks.

Feb 9th - 13:39pm | Les Taylor

Any tips on walking/hiking shoes?

A Travel Guide To Mammoth Cave National Park, Vintage 1851

Feb 9th - 08:50am | Lee Dalton

Ah, the luxuriant language of the 1800's!  What a contrast with today's vocabulary deprived electronic communications -- OMG, LOL and cool dude!

What's In Your Paddling Library?

Feb 9th - 00:59am | Ray Bane

I had the great pleasure of meeting John McPhee and being a part of an informal group known as The Kerchner Club that had improptu meetings at John Kauffmann's home in Anchorage back in the 1970s.  McPhee displayed a passion for the wilds and was an inspiration to those who shared his feelings.  In the years that followed I did trips through Yukon-Charley Rivers Nat.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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