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Effort Under Way To Create Big Bend International Park

Nov 17th - 23:30pm | Tony Cortez

I would love to be able to hike in the Sierra del Carmen mtns.

Reader Participation Day: How Was Your National Park Vacation This Year?

Nov 17th - 19:57pm | Michael Kim

I live in AZ & went to both sections of Saguaro National Park & Petrified Forest National Park & Tonto National Monument this year. I love these parks but don't understand why dogs on leashes are allowed anywhere in Petrified Forest National Park, they are not allowed on the trails in Saguaro National Park.

Nov 12th - 21:01pm | Lee Dalton

Anon, your comments were very interesting.  As a professional urban planner, perhaps you might have skills necessary to do much better job of looking carefully at reasons for things like the mess in Yosemite.  I keep asking and seeking answers to just a couple of what should be simple questions:  1) How much of the NPS adoption of mismanagement plans that increase commercial deve

Nov 12th - 19:10pm | Raphael

I went to Mt. Rainier in a "shoulder" season. A few spots were terribly crowded (Paradise), but most of the park wasn't that bad. The air quality was dismal thanks to wildfires nearby. Truly dismal. It made the spectactular scenery somewhat less easy to appreciate. Still, I saw a lot of wildlife, which was awesome.

Bangor Newspaper Endorses National Park For Maine

Nov 17th - 13:53pm | Andrew Young

Hurrah!!!!  NOT. She does not own the land she is trying to donate. She only owns 88,000 acres of the 150,000 yet she wants to draw a circle around other peoples lands. Keep you hands off. The Maine woodlands are already open for recreation. 10 Million acres of forest land with a centuries old tradition of public access. Biking, birding, canoeing, fishing, hunting.

Postscript Op-Ed| Railroads And The National Parks

Nov 17th - 09:41am | Jim Miculka

The National Park Service, in partnership with Amtrak, has created the Trails & Rails program in which National Park Service Volunteers provide interpretive programs on select Amtak routes.  Reconnecting the national parks to railroads is made possible through this program which reaches a diverse population of Amtrak passengers.

Higher Camping, Entrance Fees Coming To Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Parks

Nov 17th - 09:20am | ecbuck

This modest increase in fees  While I don't have a problem with the increase in fees, I find the use of the word "modest" somewhat baffling when talking about a 50% increase for  cars, 60% for the annual pass and 150% increase for motorcycles.  

Everglades National Park Ready For Busy Winter Season

Nov 16th - 22:46pm | Anonymous

Glenn Gardner is actually an NPS volunteer at Everglades -- and yes, an extraordinary photographer.  -- Bob Krumenaker

Nov 16th - 12:54pm | Kurt Repanshek

An NPS staffer by the name of G. Gardner, Katy. It is gorgous.

Nov 16th - 12:41pm | Katy Dimos

Who took that amazing photo.  The Everglades is a national treasure.

Exploring The Parks: Musings From Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Nov 16th - 19:20pm | Dr. E. Desgrange

Helloooo, Recently, I had the privveledge of a visit with G. Cornucopia, was in my opinion, amazing! The ancient ruins of Chaco Canyon - OH My goodness! Speaking from the stand point of an ancient Native American decent, I found this sight to be  - Stupendous, Outstanding, Amazing... I send my Blessings to those who do their best to keep it alive - My heritage is alive!

Musings From Glacier Bay National Park

Nov 16th - 17:01pm | Jim Burnett

Great story, Lee, and I agree with your size-up about this wonderful park. My wife and I were able to spend four days there in early June several years ago, and were blessed with sunny weather most of the trip. There was a nice crowd of about 8 or 10 for the guided walk we joined, and we also enjoyed several short hikes on our own.

Nov 15th - 11:20am | Lee Dalton

Thanks, Wild.  One thing that struck me about Glacier Bay was that many visitors seemed ready and eager to partake of interpretive programs.  (After all, there's no TV)  I think my solo trip with Amy Brodbeck was really due to rain.  When I left the lodge and headed down toward the ranger station at the boat dock, there were five or six others with me.  But it was raini

Nov 13th - 11:34am | wild places

Thanks for bringing back some good memories Lee. And unlike most parks you cannot do a drive through in Glacier Bay nor do you have to worry about crowds. It really is an amazing place. I also highly suggest you go back to see the whales. While I also appreciate your love and support of the parks but forgive me if I point out your conflicting statements.

USFWS Urged To Find More Reliable Method For Counting Yellowstone Grizzlies

Nov 16th - 14:34pm | Dave Smith

Finally!! Every conservation group should write letter insistin that a DNA population study on Yellowstone grizzlies is a prerequisite for delisting. There have actually been 2 DNA studes in Montana. One for the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, and one for the Cabinet-Yaak. 

Every Kid In A Park Gets You A Lift Pass At Yosemite's Badger Pass Ski Area

Nov 16th - 07:28am | Derrick Crandall

More information will be available soon, but concessioners across the nation are embracing Every Kid in a Park and its efforts to help every 4th graders discovering learning and fun in the outdoors.  Concessioner efforts will include support for school visits, for visits by 4th graders with their families and visits to parks by youth organizations with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Deer Culling At Valley Forge National Historical Park Leads To Better Forest Growth

Nov 15th - 05:57am | roslyn

The park is a dead zone.  The real attraction to inner city adultd & children were seeing the deer not your grasses. It's so sad driving through the park knowing its a killing zone of wildlife   Why do you have to kill living creaures that can't defend themselves so your grass looks.  

Huge Crowds Prompt Return To Daily Shuttles At Zion National Park

Nov 14th - 10:12am | tahoma

My past requests for financial information from NPS management were almost completely ignored here at Mount Rainier.  Their favorite press release excuse for the accelerating public closures here in recent years is "insufficient staff'', despite an almost 50% increase in FTE's (personnel funding).

Nov 14th - 09:31am | ecbuck

you have to dig into it to see where the money is allocated.  Unfortunately "transparancy" is a word unfamiliar to the parks.  In 1998 legislation was passed that required them to publish their budget.  I would like to know if, when and why that was dropped as few if any parks comply.   

Nov 14th - 09:23am | Kurt Repanshek

No hard answer without calling NPS, EC, but don't forget the sequester knocked funding levels back a bit, and so while there might be a percentage increase, has it made up for that completely and actually moved budgets forward from before the sequester? And if so, how much?

Nov 14th - 08:44am | ecbuck

Can anyone explain why with the 2015 NPS budget up 1.4%, 2016 request up 34%, visiitation up 17% and fees up 20% why would Zion's budget be down 6%?

Nov 13th - 22:55pm | Lee Dalton

Some readers may find this article interesting.  It's from the Kane County newspaper in Kanab, one of the gateway towns to Zion and a hotbed of anti-federal lands folks. But it sounds as if this meeting was quite amicable.

Television Ad Campaign Launched To Prevent Overhaul Of Land And Water Conservation Fund

Nov 13th - 14:29pm | ecbuck

Rick, I don't have a clue what you are talking about. I present the facts with citations.  I have opinions but if  I am wrong, I admit it (cost of grazing for example).  I don't make baseless accusations.  I don't engage in personal attacks - at least not as initiator.  I don't dismiss an argument based solely on its author.

Nov 13th - 13:45pm | Rick B.

What's it like to live in a world where, as long as anyone here can recall, you exhibit zero self doubt and absolutely zero admission of error? All the same time lecturing one and all - fellow adults with education and experience and stuff - lecture one and all about their own errors.   What a special world.

Nov 13th - 13:18pm | ecbuck

Nope.  And never claimed that was the case.  All I have claimed is that this bill doesn't do what the ad (and many on this blog) claim.  

Nov 13th - 13:16pm | Rick B.

So what you are saying is that you cn't prove there were no backroom deals in this.

Nov 13th - 11:29am | ecbuck

Alfred, I generally agree with you other than I don't think Bishop is gutting the LWCF. However, dispite some conservative credentials, you are a Federal lands guy at heart so I can see how you would feel that way.  

Nov 13th - 11:20am | ecbuck

This revision chips away at the original intention/mission of the LWCF

Nov 13th - 11:19am | Alfred Runte

Why is anyone in the least surprised that Congress is all about backroom deals? Take Obamacare; take green energy. All began as backroom deals, as well. To visit Congress is not to find them debating the merits of ideas on the floor. That C-Span speech is just for the constituents. If the camera panned the room, the seats would be empty.

Nov 13th - 10:22am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, while we have yet to see amendments, any thoughts on how the PILT program found a home in LWCF? Someone might "infer" it was a backroom deal.But here's the larger problem: This revision chips away at the original intention/mission of the LWCF, just as Congress chips away at the Social Security program by diverting funds elsewhere. No doubt, there are other examples.

Nov 13th - 10:08am | ecbuck

Huh??? You are a big Fed government guy - that is giving Congress more power.    backroom deals and amendments unrelated to bills 

Nov 13th - 09:15am | Lee Dalton

"PS, what is a contradiction is your constant ranting about Congress but wanting to give them more power at the same time." Huh??? And when even Paul Ryan cites backroom deals and amendments unrelated to bills to which they are attached as one cause of American lack of confidence in Congress, it would seem I'm on pretty firm ground with that.

Nov 13th - 09:01am | ecbuck

 It's those sneaky backroom legislation by amendment deals that have given so many Americans so little confidence in Congress Legislation by amendment has nothing to do with allocation of the $900 mil.  No contradiction on my part just more empty accusations on yours.   

Nov 13th - 08:45am | Lee Dalton

Comrade, when you wrote: "True, Congress has seldom if ever appropriated the $900 million.  . . .  the blame isn't Bishop's bill but rather Congress as a whole."

Nov 13th - 08:35am | ecbuck

Ol' Lester Dethloff And your other mentor Alinsky told you, when you know you are wrong, change the subject or personally attack your opponent.  When you can contribute more than empty accusations or personal attacks.   Let us know.  

Nov 13th - 08:31am | ecbuck

Kurt, as to your intentions, I can only infer based on your statements (current and previous).  There is minimal reduction in actual land acquisition.  The by far larger changes this bill implements is a shift from fed to state land acquisition and from "other" to education and innovation in the offshore drilling business.

Nov 13th - 08:07am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, no ideological objections to fossil fuels. You are quite handy at assuming what others think. That would be like me saying you're really pleased with Bishop's revision because it strips at least a third of the money away from conservation projects, which you support because you don't like conservation. 

Nov 12th - 22:43pm | Lee Dalton

Ol' Lester Dethloff, the crusty, dusty old pilot who taught me to fly, gave his students some wonderful advice.  "When ye get t' thinkin' ye absolutely know yer right, yer likely t'be dead pretty quick."

Nov 12th - 21:58pm | ecbuck

As directed by Congress and their lobbyists. Nope.  Congress writes the Executive executes.  The only way Congress can direct is by rewriting the legislation.  Are you absolutely sure of that?  Until you provide evidence to the contrary - absolutely  

Nov 12th - 21:54pm | Lee Dalton

Congress writes the laws. Correct. The executive branch (and its unelected bureacracy) executes them. As directed by Congress and their lobbyists. Bishop will have no ability or slither space to game the system.  Are you absolutely sure of that? 

Nov 12th - 21:31pm | ecbuck

That gives them all kinds of slither space to game the system.  Once again you have proven the failure of your civics teacher.  Congress writes the laws.  The executive branch (and its unelected bureacracy) executes them.  Bishop will have no ability or slither space to game the system.  

Nov 12th - 21:16pm | ecbuck

Furthmore Kurt, you noted the funding has actually been well short of the $900 mil.  As I read the legislation, Congress can allocate to the fund and to the extent they don't, the offshore leasing fees automatically kick in to make up the difference.  Obviously they have been short of the $900 million.

Nov 12th - 21:13pm | Lee Dalton

". . . except perhaps the attempts of those that are trying to game the system." Exactly, Comrade. Now you're getting close.  Any time Congress starts messing around with something that has been working well, it opens the door wide to all those gamers.  Rob Bishop is one of the chief gamers, as Kurt has so ably pointed out.

Nov 12th - 21:01pm | ecbuck

But beyond that, he's proposing to divert a third of the mythical $900 million to purposes that were never envisioned in the legislation.

Nov 12th - 20:07pm | Kurt Repanshek

Before Bishop's revised legislation, none of LWCF went to the energy industry, and yes, I think "education" falls under the energy industry when the funding would to fund "offshore energy education grants" and not some other general education sector.Why not conservation grants? Why not fund energy education through the Energy Department budget?

Nov 12th - 19:15pm | ecbuck

He would divert at least 20 percent to the oil industry for exploration, innovation, and yes, education (jobs for the oil industry, not the conservation industry). So will it be 20, or 25, or 50 percent? Hard to say at this point.

Nov 12th - 19:06pm | ecbuck

Also Kurt, I might note looking at your ring charts, it would appear that some 20% already goes to "other purposes" - that is other than land acquisition.  So the drop is far less than inferred.  And again from the ring charts, the most notable  change is the relationship of state acquisitions versus federal acquisitions.

Nov 12th - 18:52pm | ecbuck

The bill would reauthorize LWCF for seven years and does NOT include any mandatory funding. I don't see where this bill makes any changes to the funding mechanism. Perhaps you could point out where it says annual appropriations are required.  

Nov 12th - 18:37pm | Kurt Repanshek

And Bishop's bill doesn't provide mandatory funding of LWCF. This from the National Recreation and Park Association:

No Charges Yet In "Creepytings" Vandalism Case That Left Painted Images Across The National Park System

Nov 13th - 08:59am | Creepy Thongs

Any updates to this?

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