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Concessionaires Push Point That National Park Service Lacks Business Savvy

Jul 25th - 08:24am | Chrys

I think Megaera may be referring to what will undoubtedly be a raise in prices which limits accessibility to those who can afford higher prices

Jul 24th - 21:30pm | wild places

I'm not ready to jump on the concessionaires bandwagon as they are lobbying for their own interests which I am sure differ at times from that of the NPS. I am not sure increasing visitation should be a goal as at some point it detracts from the experience and I think there is plenty of evidence that many of the parks are already overcrowded.

Jul 24th - 20:17pm | Chuck

Hmm..makes me wonder. Is this issue associated with no tap water supply and no accessible rest rooms during the winter months at SNP?

Jul 24th - 18:28pm | ecbuck

(May be a duplicate) Megaera - did you post to the wrong article? I don't see anything here that suggests the concessionaires don't want to provide services to everyone. In fact, I read just the opposite. They want to provide more services but the NPS won't let them.

Jul 24th - 18:13pm | Anonymous

Megaera- perhaps you posted on the wrong article. Where does this article say that the concessionaires don't want to provide services to everyone? If anything this says just the opposite, i.e. that they want to provide more services but the NPS won't let them.

Jul 24th - 16:32pm | Megaera

If you don't like the concept of working to provide services to everyone, not just the rich, then you're in the wrong business, concessioners.

Effort Under Way To Review National Park System Wilderness Possibilities

Jul 24th - 09:54am | Gary Wilson

The smokies has never been designated as wilderness by congress, so it is technically not protected as such. This means, that many things could still happen in it without the approval of congress. Technically roads could still be built, or overlooks created.. It's not even a wilderness study area.

Jul 24th - 09:50am | tahoma

Perhaps this will help, Smokies:“The Wilderness Act minimum requirement exception

Jul 24th - 08:08am | SmokiesBackpacker

Some of you experts can perhaps clarify this but is it not true that when an area becomes designated wilderness there are federal laws that supersede agency rules such as prohibiting the use of mechanized vehicles, chain saws etc. The Smokies, for instance, is supposed to be managed as wilderness, that is part of their verbage, not mine.

Musings From John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Jul 23rd - 19:31pm |

Recommended Book on John C. Merriam, Paleontologist Founder, JODA Cover Image Preserving the Living Past John C. Merriam's Legacy in the State and National Parks Steve Mark (Author) World READ AN EXCERPT Read the Introduction Hardcover, 219 pages ISBN: 9780520241671 March 2005

Jul 23rd - 09:25am | Anonymous

Thanks, Rudy. A couple of people told me that was being considered, but they had not heard if it had passed or not.

Jul 22nd - 03:12am | Rudy Stefancik

You will be pleased to learn that the Oregon legislature just passed a law that allows rural counties such as Wheeler County in the Fossil beds area are now allowed to have 24 hour self service stations to allow gas purchases with a credit card when no attendant is on duty.

House Subcommittees Dissecting National Park Service, Searching For Solutions

Jul 23rd - 16:08pm | Rick Smith

Anon--Of course, concessioners are private businesses. The "government leeches" don't operate them; capitalists do. And most of them make money, and in some cases, lots of money, although not enough, I'm afraid, to take care of the national debt.

Jul 23rd - 09:39am | Ron Treat

Has anyone thought of selling these to private enterprises and taking it out of the governments hands. This alone could take care of our national debt. And get rid of all of the leaches on the government payroll. Kill two birds with one stone. Our government has proven they cannot run any kind of business. If this was run like it should be it would be profitable for everyone.

Jul 22nd - 22:09pm | Rick Smith

backpacker--Yep, I'm just another high-level manager who is hated by the people who work with me and disliked by park visitors. What planet are you from?

Jul 22nd - 21:47pm | Rick B.

Sorry Backpacker. If you were capable of composing a post without the hate filled vitriol you could have much better reception for your issues. Anyone who disagrees with you is automatically a mustache wearing high level executive co-conspirator of that most evil and devious Jarvis person.

Jul 22nd - 21:24pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Rick Smith. Spoken like a true NPS bureaucrat. When you public servants start serving the public instead of yourselves, then the public will have little need to look into the bureau. Rank and file NPS employees widely resent you cognoscenti and your erudite "We know better than you peons" attitudes. All scrutiny on you guys is well deserved.

Jul 22nd - 15:49pm | rmackie

Traveler, please excuse, I want to reinforce my concern regarding the cursory review of a new book, "YOUR YOSEMITE", by Robert O, Binnewies. I have read it twice now, it answers so many questions raised on this listserve that I think all participants would find the book very educational and rewarding. As regards Mr.

Jul 22nd - 15:42pm | Megaera

They've tabled the one thing that really needs to happen. Greater appropriations from Congress. So nothing worthwhile is going to come of this.

Jul 22nd - 14:32pm | tomp2

I object to Crandall's first proposal: to redirect 10% of the concession franchise fees away from parks facilities and programs, to advertising to support visitation & concession. If the hospitality association members need to advertise their lodging and services, I think that should come out of their own budgets.

Jul 22nd - 09:32am | Rick Smith

Give it up, backpacker. Your rant is getting tiresome.

Jul 22nd - 09:31am | Anonymous

Isn't using the words "Congressional committee " and "solutions" in the same sentence a perfect example of an oxymoron?

Jul 22nd - 07:36am | SmokiesBackpacker

The NPS may be reporting higher visitation but the oversight committee should be looking into that. With the notorious numbers fudging so rampant in Jarvis cabal, it is time that the visitation numbers be audited by an outside agency. Jarvis has been caught padding numbers here in the Smokies with visitation so other numbers elsewhere should be treated with great suspicion.

Reader Survey Day: How Far From The National Park Parking Lot Do You Venture?

Jul 23rd - 07:58am | NP_Day_Hiker

I've been to 20 U.S. National Parks and always try to get out on a few day hikes. I've done most of hiking in Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Zion, Arches, and Yosemite. In fact, I've written a book about my times hiking in the National Parks, if anyone's interested in checking it out, The Adventures of a Day Hiker: An Exploration of America's National Parks.

Jul 22nd - 16:58pm | Acadia on my mind

We've backpacked in Zion, driven off-road in Death Valley, hiked to Wheeler in Great Basin and done nearly all 150+ miles of hiking trails in Acadia (mostly for our Acadia hiking guides, but also for pure pleasure). We try to get as far away from parking lots and crowds as possible.

Jul 22nd - 16:24pm | Kirby Adams

Day hikes for me, usually. Three miles deep is good. I tend to hike extremely slowly, though. Six miles is an all day affair when you stop every seventeen feet to look at ferns or birds or lichens or centipedes.

Jul 22nd - 15:45pm | Megaera

My capacity's about 3 miles at altitude, 4 or 5 at sea level, and I always try to get out at least a mile or two.

Jul 22nd - 15:08pm | Sean

Depends on the park. Glacier, I've been twenty miles into the backcountry, while at parks such as Yellowstone and Mount Rainier my farthest ventures were about ten. I've been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon which is only about 7 miles from the trail head, however it's probably one of the most remote places one will ever visit.

Jul 22nd - 13:49pm | Anonymous

day hikes, usually 3 - 5 miles one way

Jul 22nd - 10:20am | Mike Koz

While not a real backcountry hiker I will venture a long way from the parking lot. Basically day hikes. Yellowstone NP I guess the furthest we went was about 5 miles. Grand Teton NP about 6 miles Smokey Mountain NP about 10 miles Grand Canyon NP about 6 miles Yosemite NP about 5 miles Badlands NP about 3 miles Denali NP about 1 mile

Photography In The National Parks: Your Armchair Guide to Glacier National Park – Part 1

Jul 23rd - 03:05am | Rebecca Latson ...

Randy, you are welcome!  Thank you so much for the kind words.

Jul 22nd - 10:44am | randy muir

Rebecca, I so appreciate your photos and, not only that, but you share the "where & hows" of them. Some photographers have their "secrecy" about where they took their shots to "keep down the competition," but you tell it right out. IF I ever get out to Glacier some day, I will try to keep your info in mind.

Bison 5, Humans 0 At Yellowstone National Park

Jul 22nd - 21:08pm | G. D. Henderson

Stupid is as stupid does. Just because others are doing something doesn't make it right.

Jul 22nd - 19:56pm | dave

Just can not fix stupid

Work Continues To Preserve Apostle Islands National Lakeshore's Lighthouses

Jul 22nd - 13:19pm | argalite

I painted the Outer Island Tower, and re-roofed the San Island Lighthouse in 1992. Great places.

Jul 22nd - 10:24am | Rick Smith

Congratulations to the park staff for preserving pieces of our heritage.

Jul 22nd - 08:50am | Drew Hanson

I so appreciate Traveler's balanced reporting of NPS areas across the country.

Update: Wildfire Shuts Down Half Of Glacier National Park's Going-To-The-Sun Road, Forces Evacuations

Jul 22nd - 00:02am | Becki

What a shame. . .

Public Meetings Set To Consider Changes To Cape Hatteras National Seashore's ORV Plan

Jul 21st - 23:27pm | Anonymous

Anonymous, you are missing the point completely. What's really important in America these days is the fear that profits of local businesses cannot thrive when resources that feed them are protected. Some of those liberal environmental wackos might argue that if the resources are no longer protected, there may some day be no reason for anyone to visit them.

Jul 21st - 16:55pm | Jean Allgood

We were there this spring for several weeks. Wildlife--seabirds, plovers, sea turtle, etc.-- cannot thrive when their nesting habitat is being reduced and destroyed.

Land And Water Conservation Fund Has Far-Reaching Impacts On Public Lands

Jul 21st - 20:54pm | Tom Crawford

The LWCF has been a great program that supports many projects that have contributed greatly to the financial stability of small towns all over our great United States of America.

Clearing Trails The Old-Fashioned Way At Lassen Volcanic National Park

Jul 21st - 17:29pm | ecbuck

"Also to Lassen’s management for not taking the easy way out." God forbid we get 2-3x as much accomplished using the right tools. Banning chainsaws for trail work makes as much sense as banning bicycles.

Jul 21st - 10:15am | tahoma

Hats off to the volunteers who performed all that hard work and sharpened all those saw teeth!  Also to Lassen’s management for not taking the easy way out.  The use of chainsaws for such work is more the rule than the exception in many western parks.

Yellowstone National Park Website Tracks Campground Filling Times In Real Time

Jul 21st - 13:26pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Last week in the Great Smoky Mtns NP, the widely despised and highly contested online reservation system for backcountry camping was down for 24 hours. Calls to the backcountry office were met with the following statement, of whom I was one of the callers.

Jul 20th - 20:18pm | Anonymous

I was there two weeks ago and found the service spotty but it wasn't hard to find a place where it worked.

Jul 20th - 17:08pm | CJDillon

This is a great service. Unfortunately for park visitors, there is little to know internet availability in Yellowstone, so visitors would not have access to this website once they arrive at the park.

Lost in the Desert: Proposed Mojave Trails National Monument Remains In Limbo

Jul 21st - 11:22am | Harry Butowsky

Wonderful article from Dr. Runte. I just wonder where all the money went for road, highway and other infrastructure repair across the country?

Ranger-Led Hike To Sunfish Pond At Delaware Water Gap NRA This Sunday

Jul 21st - 08:40am | ecbuck

Bring bear spray. One of the highest density bear areas on the east coast.

Op-Ed| Correcting The Record On The Biscayne Marine Reserve

Jul 20th - 15:22pm | Anonymous

"that isn't a bad thing." Its that kind of thinking in the absolute that is the problem.

Jul 20th - 14:16pm | Anonymous

One sided? Predetermined? If the one side presented and the predetermined outcome is preserving the flora, fauna, and environment, that isn't a bad thing.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide