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Plan To Open Everglades National Park To Python Hunt Condemned By PEER

Aug 26th - 19:08pm | Rick Smith

One idea would be to have the park do some environmental compliance on the issue.  As far as I can tell, there has been none.  This idea deserves at least an Environmental Assessment, if not an EIS.  Opening a park to hunting is certainly a significant action and is controversial.

Aug 26th - 16:52pm | Harry Butowsky

Great Idea. Lets get them all and send any extra pythons to PEERS. Harry Butowsky  

Aug 26th - 10:11am | Anonymous

What does python taste like?  Might be some marketing opportunities there. Python burgers.  Python steaks.  Hmmmm.

Aug 26th - 03:13am | Ponani

opportunity to reduce invasive aninimal population while educating public and getting them to experience the park. All at minimal cost and little to no liability. This is a problem how?

Aug 25th - 17:24pm | Bill Teufel

This is Jeff Rucks qualifications...Please note he has never held a job connected to the outdoors nor does it seem he has ever spent any time outdoors since he has been a political activist pundit his entire career.  So he is qualified to tell the professionals at NPS how to do their  job?  This is what is wrong in the US.  I bet tqxpaqyers pay his salary!

Aug 25th - 17:04pm | JoAnne Bissell

They must be removed and the issue of preventing arrival of additional Pythons depends on education, PSAs, signs, classroom programs, etc.

Aug 25th - 14:08pm | ecbuck

Other than offending Mr. Ruch's distain for hunting.  What exactly is the downside of this "hunt"?

Aug 25th - 10:48am | Jeff Ruch

Yes we do, employ a team of 6 to 10 specially trained seasonal NPS employees to actively capture kill and remove pythons from the park under the auspices of the National Park Service.    

Aug 25th - 10:33am | Lee Dalton

It's easy to criticize from a distance, and while I often agree with PEER, I have to ask if Mr. Ruch has a better idea?

Native Cutthroat Trout Restoration Continues In Yellowstone National Park On Elk Creek

Aug 26th - 18:20pm | JrRangerJim

What were the fish populations of these streams prior to rotenone treatment?  Were there cutthroat trout that were killed too? 

Reader Survey Day: Where Is The Best Value In The National Park System?

Aug 26th - 16:58pm | Harry Butowsky

The best value comes from parks that are fully staff, maintained and appropriate to the National Park System.    Harry Butowsky

Aug 26th - 15:33pm | Anonymous

I'm with the anonymous who said buy a parks pass.  Mine more than pays for itself every year (but then I live within a day trip of three national parks, and a weekend's trip of several more).  Also, the value for me goes *way* up if it's a park I've never been to before. 

Aug 26th - 10:44am | snochasr

And if you are going to measure "value" by enjoyment divided by entrance fee alone, any park with a zero entrance fee has infinite value, mathematically speaking.  And do you value the chance of seeing a grizzly bear more than actually seeing one, and does it matter whether or not you have seen one before, or if you have your kids with you, or if the bear is actually fishing, or you actual

Aug 26th - 10:18am | Lee Dalton

I agree with all the others -- even ec! Although I have found some places more interesting and exciting or satisfying than others, there are great values anywhere you see a big Arrowhead with a bison on it. But just like books or movies, some will tickle the fancies of some folks more than others. It's the great variety of our parks that helps make them even better.

Aug 26th - 09:59am | Dave Crowl

I agree with ecbuck but i would add...buy a parks pass and see more than one in a year. Thats the best value.

Aug 26th - 09:59am | snochasr

What do you mean by "value"?  Is it some sort of recreation, viewing scenery or wildlife, or photographing them (which is a different "value"?  How about the "value" of just "setting foot in" a particular park, like Gates of the Arctic?   It's wonderful, but the cost of getting there is vastly more than the entrance fee of zero.  The commercial flights and the floatplan

Aug 26th - 09:15am | ecbuck

The interest fee is so small relative to the experience in most the major parks that "best value" really isn't a relevant question.  `

Are Women Better Conservationists? Revisiting National Parks And The Woman’s Voice

Aug 26th - 16:54pm | Harry Butowsky

Well done Al and a wonderful tribute to Nancy Ayers. I wish I had the opportunity to meed and know her.  Harry Butowsky

Yellowstone Saw Nearly 1 Million Visitors In July; Is That A Good Thing?

Aug 26th - 14:29pm | Kurt Repanshek

Gary, not the "weekly whims" of the Traveler if you've been paying attention.

Aug 26th - 14:05pm | Gary Wilson

Hmmmm. Always interesting watching the weekly whims of the media.  One week, they try to convince us that the National Parks are nearing extinction because no one visits them and the demise of their preservation is near, then the following week the tone changes that they are overcrowded...

Aug 26th - 10:56am | CJDillon

Regarding the term "loved to death," this is from a November 24, 1953 New York Times Editorial:

Aug 26th - 10:32am | Lee Dalton

CJ is right.  Maybe it's time for another Mission 66. But this time, let's not build more roads and parking lots.  Nor more huge visitor centers or hotels or cafeterias or marinas or, or, or . . . . . Let's seek SOLUTIONS for the complex issues that face our parks.

The Death Of A Bear

Aug 26th - 13:27pm | ZigPope

We have seen pictures and videos of idiot visitors looking for the disgusting "selfie" that are crowding and scary our wildlife.  More animals are going to killed because of the poorest of judgements made by humans. FWIW-It wasn't a "quick shot to the head", it was a very inhumane "captive bolt" that doesn't not kill them, but stuns them. It is not a quick ending.

Aug 26th - 08:35am | Terri Schiavone

wow, so hidden or not so hidden in this story is  the "law suit" factor....thats it! Thats the real reason the bears are killed. Why not tell the truth here? The park service is afraid that someone out there will cry foul should an event happen to their loved one who just happens to be in the wrong place. Your logic is BS!

Aug 26th - 08:31am | Doug Rich

I appreciate the article written in response to this incident but I regret the parks decision to put the bear down.  Sure I understand its difficult to find locations willing to accept a bear that has killed a human but was that attempt made?  It seems to have been a quick decision and probably park policy to put the bear down.

Aug 26th - 08:02am | Deby Dixon

You are so right about the social media backlash for agreeing with the park.  It was a bit scary and I felt the need to try and walk a fine line but just asking people to curb their anger and act respectfully was met with anger.

Aug 26th - 07:57am | Deby Dixon

Great story Kurt!  It is unfortunate that people became so angry and abusive towards park administration during this time - I don't think that it helped bears any.  And, to be fair to many of us who are here, multiple reports came in from Lake residents saying that the man was most likely jogging because he do so on the trail regularly.

Aug 25th - 22:35pm | David Kornelussen

The "human" life is most assuredly most significant in the equation. The sows attack on the person is most tragic, the Sows killing and consumption shows a hungry bear with cubs to feed finding a food source , in this case "human" an easy catch. Also tragic for the sow and possibly her cubs future by witness of the sows attack ingrained in the cubs.

Aug 25th - 20:20pm | Anonymous

You're right! Bears are bears, being bears! Why punish them for assumptions that you also cannot prove, just like social meda"s uninformed inaccuracies?  Naming the animal or not has no bearing on my opion that you sentenced an animal to death for being an animal.  You are there to ptotect animals, right? So protect them from stupid, selfish humans!

Aug 25th - 16:16pm | Lee Dalton

Kudos to Kerry Gunther for having the guts to stand up and say out loud some of the things that should be said.

Aug 25th - 14:26pm | Travelingartist

Right on target.  We have volunteered in NPS as well as traveled and we have seen some of the stupid public up close.  Some people think what they see are not wild animals for they left their brains at home when on vacation.  NPS gives warnings, the public just doesn't think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 25th - 14:24pm | Vicki Lange

Kurt Repanshek -- formerly Wyoming bureau chief of the Associated Press, was once an associate of my former public-relations company in my Wyoming office.  This is a wonderful article about the realities of hiking while confronting wildlife, in this case, bears, as well as the pros and cons of social media.  Also, please note the Michigan connection, very sad, but true.  

Aug 25th - 13:39pm | Elli Hunt

Well, I agree with what the park service did. I don't think they had any choice. Just as was explained, one a bear  consumes part of a kill, it's natural instincts kick in and will do it again if the opportunity presents itself, and that will happen. It's unfortunate incident. 

Aug 25th - 09:12am | wyoyell

@Ray Bane.....the last I heard the cubs were not put down and were under quarantine until they could be sent to a zoo in Toledo, Ohio. The park service did what they thought was best. They didn't take pleasure in it and if things had been different then I'm sure their decision would have been different.

Aug 24th - 23:19pm | Katie

Doubtful those cubs would survive back in the wild and amazed at the stupidity of someone who should have definitely known better. Sad when a long time employee of the park makes a decision to do something that put not only his own life on the line but also the lives of 3 incredible animals. People being idiots killed that bear, not the NPS.

Aug 24th - 22:58pm | Ray Bane

The Park Service was justified in putting down the sow and her cubs, sad as that is.  Legally and morally they could not simply allow the animals to roam free after this tragedy.  That was never an option.  

Never Let the Facts Get in The Way of a National Park Promotion

Aug 26th - 13:03pm | Doug Montgomery

Is the fallen tree the one whose tunnel was cut in 1881?

Denali And Rainier: Classic Climbs And Challenges

Aug 26th - 08:56am | Lance Singh

Mt Baker and Adams are similar mountains with a lot different routes to the top and situated out in the wilderness. Loved your article.

Corporations Lend A Hand To Insulate And Provide Sustainable Power To Yellowstone National Park Buildings

Aug 25th - 23:38pm | Rick B.

Agreed on both points, Lee. Moreover, it can help sort out experientially steps to take or not take into the future.

Aug 25th - 21:53pm | bonnie.wolven@g...

About time our progress in environmental design was adapted to human survival in our national park system.   Way to Go!  

Aug 25th - 10:39am | Lee Dalton

This is the kind of corporate help NPS really needs. And it appears it's being done without a lot of grandstanding, self-congratulations and "Look at What We're Doing!" advertising.   

Spare the bear or kill the bear?

Aug 25th - 17:47pm | Bill Teufel

When does someone become responsible for their actions or, lack therof?  If you are in snake country do you wear snake leggings or complain when one bites you?  Not carrying any defensive weapons while in bear or cougar country is  irresponsible.  What happens to the bison that attacks a visitor becasue the person uses poor judgement and gets too close?  Leets kill them

Congress Slashes $101 Million From National Park Service Budget. More To Come?

Aug 25th - 17:30pm | Rob M.

It's obvious that you have only been to one National Park in your life, they all charge admission. Before Congress made a bunch of cuts in the deal that came after Ted Cruz shutdown our government, it cost the average American household $2.65 a year to fund the parks, or the average cost of a drink at Starbucks. 

Sow Black Bear And Cub Moved From Grand Teton National Park To Zoo

Aug 25th - 16:21pm | Lee Dalton

Ed Abbey was 100% right when he wrote that as long as humans insist on invading the habitat of bears, we shouldn't be upset when a grizzly occasionally harvests a trespasser.

Aug 25th - 15:36pm | Deb

I have taken it upon myself to photograph people feeding animals in YNP. They are generally near or in their vehicles (except when they send their kids out to stand next to the animals), so I also photograph their vehicles.  

Aug 24th - 09:37am | Ruth peterson

in addition to fining lazy, irresponsible park visitors, how about publicly shaming them? If the threat of having you gear destroyed and your provisions ruined by wildlife isn't enough for these lazy ***  to behave responsibly, NAME THEM and where they're from! A wall of shame just might do the trick. 

A Special Day At Golden Spike National Historic Site

Aug 25th - 09:37am | Lynda Damrill

This is one to put on your "bucket list. The  enactment jumps right out of most children's history texts. It is a true living history event. Share it with a child! Thanks for the excellent background and vivid description.      

Booker T. Washington National Monument To Offer “Harvest Time” Program

Aug 24th - 14:03pm | kathryn manning

Any chance you have something like this going on this year?  

North Cascades National Park Looking For Colonial Creek Campground Hosts

Aug 24th - 07:34am | Jim Burnett

Glad  you're willing to help!Fyi, you'll need to use the contact information in the story to make your interest known to the park. This site merely reported on the need, and is not connected with the NPS in any official capacity.

Aug 23rd - 17:27pm | Ken & Janice So...

We are interested in volunteering as campground hosts at Colonial Creek Campground. Nwsommer

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