Recent comments

  • Op-Ed|NPS Ecological Mismanagement: By Design?   1 day 14 hours ago

    Audubon, Defenders of Wildlife, NPCA and Sierra Club have and are doing the samething to Hatteras Island. The NPS coordinated with these groups, ignored public comments, distort, decieve and are threatening safe and reasonable access to the island. These environmental activists tactics are not new, not isolated to PRNS, and are fueled by ambulance chasing lawyers.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   1 day 16 hours ago

    Good point, different. How about banning ALL disposable containers?

    Not very practical, unfortunately.

    The idea of a $5 deposit per container is even better now when you think of all the disposables it could cover. (edited by request)

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   1 day 16 hours ago

    EC,

    Thanks. will do.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   1 day 17 hours ago

    ec's idea of a $5 deposit per container is even better

    Of course that is a total misrepresentation of my idea but the folks are used to that from you, Lee.

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   1 day 17 hours ago

    it works.

    Works doing what? What does it accomplish? Food poisoning?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/plastic-bag-ban_n_2641430.html

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   1 day 20 hours ago

    Could someone please explain the logic in banning water bottles when other beverages ares sold in plastic bottles?

    Common scenario: Hiker does not have water bottle. Hiker plans on starting out well before the gift shops or cafeterias open (which sell bottles). Hiker purchases Coke or similair beverage out of vending machine, consumes dehydrating soda, then refills with water, and disposes along the trail, just as he/she would the plastic water bottle.

    While a large percentage of people do have their own water bottles, not everyone does.

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 3 hours ago

    Nice post Alfred, there are still many trying to educate citizens for the need for conservation, family planning, you name it. It is a tough nut to crack, even the issue of banning plastic water bottles in National Parks is seen as inconvenient or worse. Small steps taken can add up to big ones, many communities here in California are now banning the use of plastic shopping bags in markets, etc., it works. The town my son resides in is one such area, you learn to take your recyclable bags with you or be prepared to buy one at the store. It is no big deal. Fifty plus thousand residents of this town are doing it.

    I agree, the issue of population and the pressure for growth to accommodate it is challenging. Many citizens are working hard for women empowerment and equality. Family planning (sex education), is on every educators agenda. many obstacles to overcome, but there have been some areas of success. Interestingly enough, there are still many political leaders calling for less government intrusion in peoples lives, but are only to eager to legislate mandates on a women's right to make her own reproductive health care decisions. Please excuse, getting off topic, an interesting discussion.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 4 hours ago

    My 'thesis'? My 'thesis', as you term it, is not 100% Nor is yours. Life exists in the shades of gray.

    Go enjoy the rest of the weekend somewhere sunny. Arguing with someone who never, in years of near daily haggling, admits to having been wrong, never compromises, never concedes a single debating point, is exhausting to the rest of us mere mortals.

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 4 hours ago

    Yes, Michael, I do agree. As "Where Did the Colorado Go?" makes clear, Lake Powell exists principally to distribute the water downstream, a role that was never really "necessary." You have my support in bypassing the dam, of course. I was simply making the point that with or without it, the problem of "living" in a desert persists. Eventually, climate change or not, a drought would come along that would repeat the past. We do appear to be "rebuilding" such a drought. Meanwhile, I applaud any effort to restore these magnificent canyons--as well as Grand Canyon itself. Now, aren't we glad we had David Brower? May he (and Edward Abbey) rest in peace.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 6 hours ago

    Find the word 'back country' in any of my commentary in this thread.

    When I talk about going for a hike it isn't around the parking lot.

    My point above, which you obliterated in the way of making your point, was that people generally arrive at a park already having a water bottle or three in the car.

    Then why would they need to buy bottled water? The fact there is a market for bottled water in the park proves your thesis wrong.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 6 hours ago

    "And you are right Rick, no family ever goes into the backcountry unprepaired. LOL"

    There ya go again, Wall Street, putting your spin on words I didn't say. Find the word 'back country' in any of my commentary in this thread. We carry water bottles of some sort driving across country - don't you? Hell, we carry water bottles in the car just driving around town. My point above, which you obliterated in the way of making your point, was that people generally arrive at a park already having a water bottle or three in the car. I tend to make gift shops happy because I always like buying new ones.

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 6 hours ago

    No none has mentioned the fact that both Lakes Powell and Mead evaporate enough water every day of the summer to supply the needs of Las Vegas or Los Angeles for a day. In addition, the evaporation leaves behind water so saline by the time it reaches Yuma that farmers find their fields being slowly destroyed by saltation.

    What was that slogan that was so popular a few years ago? Something about It Ain't Nice To Fool Mother Nature.

    Yup. But we keep trying.

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 8 hours ago

    Michael,

    At first I thought your objection was to damming in general. As our discussion has progressed I have realized your issue is more with the Glen Canyon Dam in particular. As I understand, you deem it redundant since Mead will never be filled.

    I will admit I don't know enough about either of those bodies of water or their watersheds to decide if that is true or not. However, given how wrong climate predictions have been (remember the ice age predictions of the 70s) I don't know that I am ready to declare we will never need/want, Glen Canyon Dam in the future. And certainly not based on a supposed 14 year drought. I must say where I live in the Colorado River headwaters, the precipitation has been pretty darn good the last few years.

    I would also note, I know far more people that like Lake Powell as a lake than want it to be returned to a dry canyon.

    But, keep the data coming, I am always willing to learn.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 8 hours ago

    harping on a merchant who decides for himself what to sell or not sell.

    If it were the merchant making the decision - the NPS would not have to "ban" them and I wouldn't have any problem at all - though I would think the merchant foolish.

    And you are right Rick, no family ever goes into the backcountry unprepaired. LOL

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 9 hours ago

    EC,

    Even if that study's conclusion is true, how would blowing up the dam fix the problem?

    I just discussed that question in my response to Alfred Runte's comments on our dialog. However, just to be clear, I am not calling for blowing up Glen Canyon Dam. Perhaps the dam should be torn down some day, but that would have major environmental, cost, and logistical ramifications that would need to be analyzed carefully. I do support a dramatic change in its operations, including a partial or complete bypassing of the dam.

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 9 hours ago

    Alfred,

    You are certainly right that drought is nothing new to the Colorado Basin. However, I disagree that climate change is just being introduced to "make the sale." There is a rapidly growing body of scientific evidence that the Colorado River deficit caused by rising water demand and what is probably the worst drought in the last 1,000 years is being greatly exacerbated by the impacts of climate change — and that these impacts are going to get a lot worse in coming years. Because of climate change, we potentially face droughts that are far worse than any experienced in the human history of the Colorado Basin.

    My main point has been that this situation renders Glen Canyon Dam unnecessary and we should take advantage of this second chance to restore Glen Canyon — one of the most biodiverse and culturally significant portions of the Colorado River. Of course, developing mega-solar energy facilities in inappropriate places is not acceptable and I join you in strongly opposing them. But those projects can happen with or without the dam. We should oppose them for what they are, whether or not the dam is producing hydropower.

    Because of declining river flows, both Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams are already producing at least one-third less electricity than their capacity. Glen Canyon Dam represents a tiny portion of the western power grid and that number continues to decline. In contrast, Hoover Dam has a significantly greater generating capacity, so just from a hydropwer standpoint, it makes more sense to keep Lake Mead full instead of Lake Powell. That is aside from the huge water savings that would result from storing water in Mead instead of Powell.

    Morover, the operation of Glen Canyon Dam continues to degrade the Grand Canyon ecosystem downstream. No viable option has been proposed that would solve this problem as long as the dam continues to operate as it does. If for no other reason, everyone who cares about Grand Canyon should support the goal of partly or completely bypassing Glen Canyon Dam — or tearing it down if need be —to protect and restore the Grand Canyon ecosystem.

    So I totally agree with your condemnation of the foolishness of trying to continue water business as usual in a desert. But the growing water supply-demand imbalance is an opportunity to save and recover some of the extraordindary natural places that have been damaged by the unbridled quest for Colorado River water. I contend that we need to take advantage of that opportunity.

    Best,

    Michael

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 9 hours ago

    I previously asked you for any reputable studies that disagree with the basic trends projected in the peer-reviewed paper published in 2008 by scientists at Scripps Institute of Oceanography,

    I do not and have not looked for any. One study hardly reflects the conclusion of the entire industry. In 2021 we will know if they were right. As Beach noted earlier, there have been many other chicken little studies about our climate and most have been wrong.

    Even if that study's conclusion is true, how would blowing up the dam fix the problem?

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 9 hours ago

    Right - pay $80 or die. What a red herring. Going to Mariners games at Safeco presented a green challenge. They did not allow hard sided refillable bottles [dangerous projectiles when thrown at an umpire, I guess] and the only water solution allowed was to bring in an empty 'disposable' bottle, fill it on the inside. Over grumbling we would buy one bottle each at the start of the season and use it for the entire season. It was a compromise that worked.

    I don't see the disposable water sales ban in the parks as being burdensome, as there are so many solutions. Buy a Traveler water bottle, or one of scadzillions at gift shops nationwide, and use it forever. I have refillable water bottles from many parks, museums, Pride parades, and every other which thing. That mythical family of four will really not have any problems getting their hydration. Their life is ongoing, and they can certainly use a solution that they had in place prior to arriving at a park. Surely they had water needs on the drive across country to get to the park.

    It is sort of ironic to see advocates for the free market harping on a merchant who decides for himself what to sell or not sell.

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 10 hours ago

    EC,

    You ask,

    Can you show me the study where the body of hydrologists 20 or more years ago predicted the current western drought?

    I previously asked you for any reputable studies that disagree with the basic trends projected in the peer-reviewed paper published in 2008 by scientists at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, which predicted that Lake Mead could go dry by 2021, if existing trends continue; the 2013 Colorado River Supply and Demand Study, which found that there is already a significant water deficit, and that it is likely to rise to 3.2 million acre-feet by 2060; or numerous other studies that have come to consistent conclusions. You still have not answered my question.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 11 hours ago

    Just wait until the Medical Marijuana folks "discover" the national parks.

  • NPS: National Park System Is An Economic Engine, And Valuable Carbon Dioxide Sink   2 days 11 hours ago

    Okay, good people. Let's get back to basics. Whether or not the current drought is being exaccerbated by climate change, a prolonged drought in the Colorado Basin is not unusual. Now 41 years ago, the PBS film "Where Did the Colorado Go?" (NOVA) was predicting the crisis we have today. It's even on You Tube, I believe. I used the film every year in my American Environmental History class as my introduction to the big-dam era. So, what's new about today's debate? Nothing. If you build in a desert, you had better get used to drought. Or is there something about the term "desert" you don't happen to understand?

    But no, we were smarter than Mother Nature and started building dams. And now those dams are drying up. Oops! Should we blame our own stupidity? Of course not. Because now we can scream climate change! The subliminal in play is what? That now we must remake the earth again. If the dams didn't work, perhaps 100 desalination plants will work. We get to "tinker" with the West all over again.

    Of course, our "base line" data needs a comfortable floor, and so we make it 1,000 years. I have not watched the film since the 1980s, but I believe the data goes back much farther than that. I recall the film talking about 30-, 50-, and 100-year drought cycles, based on the tree rings of the Bristlecone pine. The point is: That "desert" did not form overnight, and in earth time, 1,000 years is the blink of an eye.

    Again, I fear that the introduction of climate change is to "make the sale," now to industrialize the West to death. Without climate change, what would the Wizard have to sell us? Dorothy, you should not be here, but now that you are, click your heels together and repeat after me: "There is no place like my home in the desert! There is no place like my home in the desert!" Good, Dorothy, now go to Washington, D.C., and ask for $100 billion to save the desert from climate change. And don't forget to share with the Wizard!

    I am all for tearing down Glen Canyon Dam, but then what? How will that solve the problem, either? Certainly, if I must trade Glen Canyon Dam for what the Interior and Energy Departments now plan for the desert in its place, I'll stick with the dam and take my chances. Perhaps it will snow, and perhaps it won't, but at least I won't be denying it is a desert. It's the denial, good people, not climate change, and yes, we started denying it the moment we read the Bible and determined to make our desert bloom like the rose.

  • Traveler's View: Economic Engines Are Nice, But Let's Not Overlook The True Value Of National Parks   2 days 11 hours ago

    The news about national parks and their economic benefits is getting big press here in Utah. At least two TV channels have featured it on their nightly news and both big newspapers have run two articles each.

    But the best was the second one run by Deseret News. It's headline said,

    Take a look at the views that made Utah top 10 for national park visitor spending

    "http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865627192/Utah-in-top-10-for-visitor-spending-at-national-parks.html

    It actually mentioned something else that's far more important than money.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 12 hours ago

    Hey, that's a great idea! A $5 deposit per bottle should work very well. Outstanding idea.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 12 hours ago

    Mike, never said it wasn't within its rights. Again what is legal is not always the right thing to do.

    The question is whether the ban is the most, or even an, effective solution to the problem. I submit a deposit fee would be as or more effective. The fee would encourage people to bring the bottles back and would cover the expense of cleanup for those that didn't. It could even help with cleanup of bottles that weren't purchased in the Park. Meanwhile there would be no inconvenience to the public.

    I am just waiting for the family of four that comes to the park expecting to buy bottled water for their hike and can't. Unwilling to buy $80 worth of water bottles, they head out unprepared and suffer (die from?) dehydration. Such is the potential outcome of a symbolic gesture that will have no real impact on world or Park waste.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   2 days 12 hours ago

    The Park Service is responsible for waste disposal, recycling, and trash pick-up in the National Parks. If plastic water bottles are too large a contributor to any of those, and NPS provides alternatives in the form of reuseable bottles, drinking fountains, and/or filling stations (which it seems to have done in most places), it is well within in its rights to ban the sale of water bottles.