Recent comments

  • Higher Fees Coming To Mammoth Cave National Park In March   20 hours 33 min ago

    Interestingly, the revenues are to be used to pay for remodeling the park hotel. Why isn't the concessionaire who wins the contract charged with paying for that, as is done in Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks, just to cite two examples.

    Perhaps they are paying a higher concessionaire fee or have other expenses they do pay that Yellowstone and GC concessionaires don't pay. Hard to make comparisons on individual terms without havng the full contract in hand. But does raise an interesting questions. Should (can) the NPS have a standard contract across all parks or are customized contracts needed for each unit.

  • Higher Fees Coming To Mammoth Cave National Park In March   20 hours 36 min ago

    Its funny how accustomed the NPS has made people to these fee increases that no one even comments anymore.

    The discussion is about fee increases in general. We all know it is going to happen at virtually every unit. No need to start a whole new thread when each of the 405 units announce their increase.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   20 hours 39 min ago

    single legal refutation.

    Single refutation of what? I don't have anything to refute. Gary says they want to "kill the parks" I challanged him to show where Cruz or Rand said or acted in a way that indicated they waned to "kill the parks". You and Lee jumped in with a citatition that doesn't come close to providing a shred of evidence that is the case.

  • Higher Fees Coming To Mammoth Cave National Park In March   20 hours 44 min ago

    Interestingly, the revenues are to be used to pay for remodeling the park hotel. Why isn't the concessionaire who wins the contract charged with paying for that, as is done in Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks, just to cite two examples. In return for paying those costs, the concessionaires involved often have to return a lower percentage of revenues to the Park Service.

    Just as interesting is that overnight lodging inside the national park has fallen by more than a third during the past decade, and so it's quite possible that the visitors paying the higher fees for cave tours will never spend a night in the hotel.

    The finances of running a national park can't be easy to manage with all the various demands from user groups, federal benefits to be paid, maintenance and operation, etc. But wouldn't it seem to make more sense that as a federal building the Congress should take responsibility for its care and upkeep?

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   20 hours 45 min ago

    David, the label on the land really doesn't matter. If it's Federal, it's a potential target.

  • Higher Fees Coming To Mammoth Cave National Park In March   20 hours 58 min ago

    Its funny how accustomed the NPS has made people to these fee increases that no one even comments anymore. The NPS has done a great job getting people used to their double taxation of American citizens. We all know this is being done in advance of the FLREA conversation. When FLREA is reconsidered, it could limit their ability to double tax citizens as they are currently so all the present fees will be grandfathered. This means that they will NEVER go away. Yet the president has turned in a whopping RAISE for the NPS? Talk about a leaky boat.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   21 hours 30 min ago

    Just curious, but I notice justinh writes "national parks" and ecbuck writes "National Parks"

    Are you each talking about the same thing...one must consider the National Monument Land when talking about Escalante in Utah that has been so political as example

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   21 hours 32 min ago

    You can, in addition to the name-calling, just say "B.S.," and speculate about what Obama might do under the Antiquities Act, but yet again, you have not shown a single legal refutation.

    Now, time to get outside for the day . . .

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   21 hours 39 min ago

    Happily, I doubt many--even James Watt or Gail Norton--would, Kurt. And at the end of the day, that's really the point. Time to get outside today and enjoy my Saturday.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   21 hours 39 min ago

    then why not include an exemption in the amendment?

    Because Obama in one of his fiat moves could declare 50% of the state a National Monument and thereby gut the entire purpose.

    There is nothing here in intent or impact that would threaten the National Parks. As Kurt notes, what Sec of the Interior would choose to eliminate a Park to meet this mandate when he has tens of millions of acres of other federal land he could dispose of?

    Saying he (Cruz or Rand) wants to "kill the parks" is absolute BS.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   21 hours 48 min ago

    What secretary of Interior would specifically identify NPS lands for disposal...unless the administration at the time had concluded that the identified lands were not worthy of inclusion in the system?

    There has been discussion from time to time in comments on the Traveler that some units might be better managed by the states or some other entities.

    Just a thought...

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   21 hours 50 min ago

    If he doesn't want them to be targeted, then why not include an exemption in the amendment? You can name-call with charges of hysteria, but you still have not shown any legal analysis (or report of it) that refutes the stories Lee linked to, which show that the parks would be legally vunerable under the amendment.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   21 hours 58 min ago

    If Cruz does not intend for national parks to be included in the covered land of the affected states to be auctioned off or turned over to the states

    Because there are massive amounts of federal lands that aren't National Parks. He isn't targeting national parks he just wants them to be included in the 50% calculation. Take Utah (one of only 5 states that would be affected) for example. Under his amendment Utah would be permitted to have over 26 million acres of federal lands. Current National Park acreage in Utah is under 1 million acres. Nevada would be allowed nearly 40 million acres and currently has less than 2 million in National Parks. Oregon would be allowed over 30 million acres. Current NPs are less than 200,000 acres, There is no threat to the parks in this amendment. This is pure histeria on your (collectively) part to demonize Cruz et al.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   22 hours 7 min ago

    Cruz "expressed [his] desire" there in black-and-white. If Cruz does not intend for national parks to be included in the covered land of the affected states to be auctioned off or turned over to the states (i.e. national parks would cease to exist in these cases), why insert the (bolded) phrase? Why not adopt the exemption from the bill for the langauge of the amedment? Is there any legal analysis (or journalistic account of it) that shows the amendment would not sumit the national parks to consideration for auction or state owenership? Where is it?

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   22 hours 27 min ago

    Yeah, I remember the shutdown quite well. That was the first step.

    You mean the shut down the was caused because the Dems wouldn't pass a funding bill without Obamacare? Republicans were all ready to fund the entire rest of the government, including the National Parks, but the Dems held it up because it didn't fund Obamacare.

    Fact is Cruz and Rand have never said they want to "kill the parks" nor done or proposed anything that would accomplish that. It certainly isn't stated or implied in the Cruz Amendment - no matter how many times it is referenced by you or anyone else.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   23 hours 2 min ago

    Thanks, Lee. Here's the text of the Cruz Amendment:

    SEC. 1____. FEDERAL LAND DISPOSAL. (a) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Covered land.--The term ``covered land'' means-- (A) land under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior; or (B) land under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture (acting through the Chief of the Forest Service). (2) Excess covered land.--The term ``excess covered land'' means any covered land that is identified for disposal under subsection (c). (3) Secretary concerned.--The term ``Secretary concerned'' means-- (A) the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to land under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior; and (B) the Secretary of Agriculture (acting through the Chief of the Forest Service), with respect to land under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture (acting through the Chief of the Forest Service). (b) Limit on Federal Ownership of Land.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including regulations), covered land shall not comprise more than 50 percent of the total land area of a State. (c) Identification of Excess Covered Land for Disposal.--If the total percentage of covered land in a State exceeds the limit established by subsection (b), the Secretaries concerned shall jointly identify covered land in the State that the Secretaries concerned determine to be appropriate for disposal under subsection (d). (d) Required Disposal.--Not later than December 31, 2019, the Secretary concerned shall dispose of all excess covered land through-- (1) transfer to the State in which the excess covered land is located; or (2) selling the excess covered land at auction. (e) Rules.--The Secretary concerned shall issue rules to carry out the transfers and sales under subsection (d).

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   23 hours 37 min ago

    "we's wants it" ... "we's needs it"... "we's paid trolls for it".. It's always "us", with EC. Yeah, I remember the shutdown quite well. That was the first step.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   1 day 7 hours ago

    It is no wonder Lee that you would cite articles that totally mischaracterize the legislation. Is that where you learned your strawman tactics?

    Selling public land is hardly "killing the parks". In fact the Section 107 a 1 B ii specificaly Excludes lands and water managed by the National Park Service from the provisions of the Act. Were you ignorant of that fact or just thought everyone else was and lied about it?

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   1 day 10 hours ago

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/10/3458798/ted-cruz-auction-off...

    http://thedailybanter.com/2014/03/congress-to-vote-today-on-republican-b...

    http://www.forwardprogressives.com/ted-cruz-wants-allow-selling-national-parks-strip-government-federal-lands/

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   1 day 10 hours ago

    Exactly, EC! Beware of falling prey to the "Narative."

    There is a real world out there and folks would appreciate getting back to it.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   1 day 15 hours ago

    Gary, please show us where either Cruz or Paul expressed their desire to "kill the parks"

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   1 day 15 hours ago

    I think, maybe foolishly that all the monkey chatter from the likes of Ted Cruz's and Rand Paul's won't have much effect in diminishing and destroying the parks we have. They can scream that they are going to kill the parks, take aways the funding, and remove the department of the interior - and trust me they have tried, but in the end the parks are still here and they still endure. I also think my sons generation, and his sons generation will also experience places like Yellowstone, and the Tetons, and Maine Woods like they exist today. Heck, it might be a little bit wilder by then. I just read that Yosemite is reintroducing big horns. And, i'm sure the wolverines, and grey wolves will be next. The Smokies introduced elk and otters over the last decade, and the Smoky Mountain Madtoms and other fish species are on the rebound, when at one point they seemed doomed. So, we are slowly recovering from the mistakes made from the past century in our National Parks.

    Many industrialized and western societies have declining birth rates. In fact, at this point, a majority of western civilization are barely at replacement rate. The Chinese and other cultures like Brazil are starting to age in their population pyramid. Japan and many countries in Europe are already in a decline, as many couples decline to have more than 1 kid. As long as we don't start popping out clones, I think the population will get smaller, and wealthier on a global basis. Granted, there are a lot of issues. We have to move beyond fossil fuels, and we have to solve the trash, and fresh water crisis's that is starting to plague even counties like the USA. I still think there will be vast wilderness areas in 100 years, and the United States will still have many National Parks. At that point, there probably will be a centralized global government (or a few factions of countries like the ever evolving EU), and many of our National Parks will be protected at a higher level than they are today. So, i'm not in great fear of the future. it will be different, but it might be better....and yes, it could be worse. But, I try not to look at it with a glass half empty approach. The National Parks are one thing i've always been optimistic about in this country. They will endure.

  • Presidio Expected To Add An Additional Lodging Facility   1 day 16 hours ago

    Agreed, Lee. Blame those soulless fiscal fools trying to judge everything by whether or not it makes a profit. I believe the NPS is something that we should do because it is right, not because we can squeeze additional coinage out of it.

  • New Look Starting To Appear On National Park Websites   1 day 19 hours ago

    You're absolutely right, Gary. Living is dangerous to everyone's health. When Johnny Carson asked George Burns how he had lived so long, Burns replied: "I don't know. I'd ask my doctor, but he died last week."

    Perfection? No one is perfect. However, as a generation, the World War II generation gets my vote. We Boomers? Spoiled brats, I agree. We went to college and took over the administration building. Boy, that sure brought the Vietnam War to an end!

    Of course, I didn't get to participate. I was working my way through school--totally. Mom didn't pay a dime and couldn't. As a secretary in the Binghamton City School District, it was beyond her means even then.

    But she did take my brother and me to the national parks. And it stuck. What is "sticking" among young people today? Just this morning, I heard there will be 90 million more people in this country by the year 2050. In other words, we will add to the population in just 35 years what it took this country 300 years on the first go-round (1607-1900). You think wilderness will survive that? I hope so, because yes, it will be entirely up to you.

  • Ten Signature Projects In Yosemite National Park To Help Highlight National Park Service Centennial   1 day 21 hours ago

    Great projects, especially these:

    Restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

    Meadow and River Corridor Restoration

    Recovering Two Endangered Sierra Nevada Amphibians

    Returning Endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep to Yosemite’s Wilderness