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Is It Time To Ban Comments On The Traveler?

Oct 18th - 15:28pm | Siglin1

I support keeping the comments. Perhaps those who want to be anonymous could at the least tell the rest of us why. Some may have good reasons such as they are employed and fear retribution. I get a little tired of some of the back and forth by some, but we must all admit it adds a little entertainment to what might otherwise be a pretty dry discussion.

Oct 18th - 15:28pm | Libby R.

Kurt, if moderating comments has become a source of stress or tension for you, close them.  You can reopen them later if you change your mind.  This is your (very useful and informative) blog, and no one can tell you how to spend your time on it.

Oct 18th - 14:59pm | Danny Bernstein

One way to handle "hijacking" is to insist that everyone who logs in offers their first and last name and that the names are printed with the comments. Otherwise, these trolls have no accountabitliy.

Oct 18th - 14:33pm | Rick B.

As a fan of NPT and a frequent commenter, I have to join Dr Runte in a mea culpa. I often post with emotion, and also often throttle myself back and just shut up for a while when I find myself particularly egregious. I would hate to see commenting go the way of the dodo.

Oct 18th - 14:18pm | Lee Dalton

When, from time to time, comments stray somewhat from the original article, it may simply be additional proof that John Muir was correct when he said that everything in the universe is connected to everything in the universe.

Oct 18th - 13:41pm | Dick Shattuck

But in the end there is a simple solution.  If you don't like the comments, don't read them.     Exactly.    It's not the fault of those that do take the time to express their opinions that others don't so the same, and therefore a few dominate the discussions.

Oct 18th - 13:05pm | David Crowl

I agree that sometimes what I read in the comment section, has sometimes risen to a level that is probably offensive to a few. But I for one enjoys reading the comments almost as much as the articles. Yes you have a few that pick at each other. I accept that ecbuck is not going to agree with the grand concensus of scientists on global warming or my opinion of it. So be it.

Oct 18th - 12:56pm | Dick

I have a hard time believing that the letter reprinted above represents the genuine sentiments of many readers.

Oct 18th - 12:55pm | wild places

It is a problem, and I myself complained at one time. I also find that I have been reading the traveler less because of the lack of civility in the comments. I enjoy and read comment sections specifically because it offers another viewpoint and perspective. I want to hear opposing views as long as they are respectful no matter how much I may disagree. It is a chance to lean something.

Oct 18th - 12:53pm | drew hanson

I like tahoma's proposal to limit each user to some number (I would make it a low number, like 2) of comments per week or per article.

Oct 18th - 11:27am | David Crowl

Alfred, Nice comment. I especially agree with your last paragragh. " I have found them all sincere."  Not sure I agree about your opinion of annonimity though. I think there are times when that may be important for an insider's protection but getting at the truth.

Oct 18th - 11:23am | Alfred Runte

Kurt, you and I have talked about this repeatedly, and I plead "guilty" to my own lapses. However, what do you think it was like at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, or debating the Thirteenth Amendment in Congress in 1865? Ideas are always contentious, and yes, often morph into many things.

Oct 18th - 10:46am | ecbuck

Kurt - I would be interested to know what prompted your emailer to write.  I assume this was a recent email.  I reveiwed the comments for the last two weeks.  Of the 23 articles that had comments, I posted on 4.  One was a dicussion on pot and the impact of legalization on cartels and growing in National Forests.

Oct 18th - 09:49am | Quite Please

This is a major problem with all social media.At one time it was the place to find the real underlying issues to a written article.But too ofter it has become a place just spew useless attacks on the next person. I really no longer place much value on most blogs because of this so called troll atmosphere we live in.

Oct 18th - 09:45am | tahoma

I'd be sad to see reader comments ended on NPT.  This is one of the best national forums for criticism of National Park Service management, a cult-like group that sadly needs all the criticism and spin correction it can get.  Compared to many internet forums, NPT is actually quite civil.  Perhaps the more annoying, off-topic personal exchanges could be reduced by limiting user's comments per ar

Oct 18th - 09:29am | Vince R

A Code of Conduct is only worth something if it is enforced.

Oct 18th - 09:26am | ecbuck

As the subject of your emailers' attack I feel compelled to comment.  It is noteworthy that he attributes the "hijacking" and "troll" activity only to conservative/libertarian posters even though there are even more on the liberal side that engage in equal or even greater confrontational banter.

Oct 18th - 08:49am | Jason h

Couldn't you just not read the comment section instead of limiting something others might find of value?

Oct 18th - 08:18am | justinh

I agree with Rebecca's comments.  That said, I'd hate to see commenting banned on The Traveler.  On the one hand, there has been contentious, yet nevertheless, interesting and productive discourse around issues such as land management and the philosophical mission of the parks.

Oct 18th - 07:57am | Jan Cooley

I'd hate to see the comments section of Traveler go away because of the same issues that other publications have experienced from just a few commenters who seem to need to start a war of words.  Many times the comments end up not having a thing to do with the article in question.  I love National Park Traveler and all the valuable information I have gained from the many&nbsp

Oct 18th - 07:11am | Kim

Online comments are gradually being phased out among several top news sites, because so many are hijacked by the vocal few who have little real interest in a respectful, back-and-forth dialogue. One model is to let people comment on stories through social media, but on your own site go back to a "letters to the editor" model, where writers have to be reasoned and thoughtful in their arguments.

Oct 18th - 07:05am | Rebecca Latson ...

I hate to say it, but I agree with parts of your email example.  I notice this in particular with what I call "hot button articles" on the Traveler.

Expect Crowds At Arches, Canyonlands National Parks This Weekend

Oct 18th - 11:37am | Lee Dalton

On top of UEA, the weather forecast is for some delightful fall weather this weekend.  For many folks, it's the last hurrah of summer in Utah.  State parks, national forests, BLM lands, national parks, and nearly every other available place to camp will be full.  It's a prime weekend to enjoy Utah's precious public lands.

Musings From Redwood National And State Parks

Oct 18th - 01:08am | Dick

Howland Hill Road was the highlight of our trip to Redwood N(&S)P earlier this year. Just an amazing feeling to be driving among the Giants in such an intimate setting.

Oct 17th - 11:37am | justinh

Nice piece, Lee.  Love this park--or parks.

Oct 16th - 23:47pm | Rick B.

Nice thoughtful observations about Carey and William, Lee. Thanks for the comments.

Oct 16th - 15:19pm | Red Woods

One thing overlooked by NPS are the needs of the disabled and seniors. Enderts Point trail and overlook have no restrooms. The trail entrance south blocks electric mobility scooters and could be fixed in one hour. Other trails along Enderts beach road are not maintained for the handicapped. NPS has failed to respond to these problems many time. NO response.

Long Road To Recovery For Scotty's Castle At Death Valley National Park

Oct 17th - 23:12pm | John C. Davies

In my three visits to Death Valley during in my lifetime, Scotty's Castle was always a favorite stop.  Despite the sadness of the destruction, glad the castle and environs are in capable hands.   I currently live and work in a country (Thaiand) which has developed its national parks after the USA model.  Thanks for providing worldwide leadership in preserving nature and history.

$7.5 Million Worth Of Pot Pulled Out Of Sequoia National Park

Oct 17th - 13:26pm | ecbuck

As liberal oligarchs, we just love taxing the hell out of any "vice." You are right, a total abuse of the taxing power. 

Oct 17th - 13:03pm | Alfred Runte

It sounds as if Breckenridge is truly "Colorado Rocky Mountain High" (with apologies to the late John Denver). Us? You're right. As liberal oligarchs, we just love taxing the hell out of any "vice." Not that we're hypocrites; we're just practical. If you're going to buy it, we're going to tax you, then complain when you don't buy enough. Sure.

Oct 17th - 12:05pm | ecbuck

Perhaps the tax scenerio is higher in Washington.  As the articles i linked earlier, here in Colorado the price has enticed the cartels to move elsewhere.  I can tell you that here in Breckenridge alone (a town of 5,000 permenant residents) there are 5 pot shops doing quite well.  There are alot of people here buying "legal pot". 

Oct 17th - 11:16am | Alfred Runte

Wrong, EC. Here in Seattle, the "legal" stores are complaining that "legal" marijuana is being taxed too much. Where are most people still buying their pot? On campus, on the corner, in the alley, in other words, still from the cartels. Yes, the state is very happy, but still getting only a pittance of the business. Certainly, no one I know with the habit is buying "legal" pot.

Oct 17th - 09:38am | SmokiesBackpacker

"The Devil's Lettuce" is what recovering marijuana addicts call pot.  I can give you a million reasons, primary is the erroneous perception of harm reduction as compared to other drugs.  But I can assure you that the majority of marijuana is used by daily users.  And daily use of marijuana places one in an addictive category.

Oct 17th - 08:44am | ecbuck

Ottoman, it is profitable in states where recreational use is illegal.  Not as much in states where it is legal.  

Oct 17th - 00:32am | Ottoman

"making illegal supplies unattractive" I thought the point of this article is that growing pot on Nat'l Park lands is extremely profitable. Sorry if I missed your inflection saying the contrary.

Oct 16th - 16:15pm | ecbuck

If was for you because they were addressing 2 of your comments.  One, that the price was high so people would still buy illegal pot.  May have been the case when first legalized but Adams Smith's invisible hand has worked its magic (as it always does) and the price has dropped dramatically making illegal supplies unattractive.

Oct 16th - 14:32pm | Siglin1

Thanks for the references EC but why just for me? I said nothing about being anti marijuana, just concern about growing it on public lands which I hope doesn't continue. And as one article implies we better be legalizing heroin and cocaine before it moves onto public lands. If fact let's decriminaiize all drugs including steroids for atheletes.

Oct 16th - 14:20pm | Alfred Runte

My friend Richard Schrock, who is running for Washington State Insurance Commissioner, can tell you all about the Affordable Health Care Act. The problem is: He is running as a Republican, and every liberal newspaper just doesn't want to hear it. In 2017, Baby bar the door. Richard points out that those so-called affordable premiums will jump an average of 67 percent.

Oct 16th - 10:12am | ecbuck

For Siglin

Oct 16th - 09:58am | ecbuck

Yeah, $129 million on a state budget of $25 billion.  Real boom - not counting the costs.  Not that I have any issue with legalization.  I just wish it were nation wide at the federal level.  Then we wouldn't have all the deadbeat moving to Colorado.  

Oct 15th - 18:12pm | Rick B.

And from everything I've read the governmental revenues in Colorado have done quite a wonder in paying for schools and other social needs. I never heard much about "make the cartels go away", but I don't live there.  

Oct 15th - 17:50pm | Siglin 1

Lat year I visited a pot dispensary in Denver, not to buy some, but out of curiosity. The young lady showed me some glass jars and gave me the prices. I don't remember the exact cost but it was high and she told me she went through two a day. How she afforded it I cannot imagine and won't speculate as Donald Trump would do.

Oct 15th - 17:19pm | ecbuck

Alfred, I doubt the cartels are growing in the Washington National Forests.  The legalization has taken out the profitability.  But contrary to the predictions the cartels would be eliminated with legalization, they just moved on to more powerful drugs such as meth.  Just like Capone didn't go away when Prohibition ended, he just went on to gambling and prostitution.

Oct 15th - 14:49pm | Alfred Runte

Granted, the so-called War on Drugs has been a failure, as the history of Prohibition indeed forewarned us it would be. It's just that, from where I sit, I see that always used as an excuse. Wild places makes the critical observation that there are not enough arrests. At least keep the cartels off the public lands, right? But no, what began 50 years ago was allowed to spread.

Oct 15th - 07:12am | wild places

I've read a number of articles like this and am curious. Often there is no mention of any arrests only pulling up and destroying the plants. Do they not also arrest the growers and if not why? Is it lack of resources, too dangerous or do these articles just not mention the arrests?

Goats Do Roam The Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Oct 17th - 13:02pm | Cherokee Empire

There may have been some semidomesticated goats among the tribes before the Spanish. Chickens, sheep, goats and monkeys were in some villages and towns long ago, but not everywhere.

Glimpse The Solitary Life Of A Fire Lookout In Redwood National Park

Oct 16th - 12:13pm | Lee Dalton

That's just GREAT!  Thanks for sharing it with us.

Site Of Sir Francis Drake's Ship Grounding Honored At Point Reyes National Seashore

Oct 15th - 16:05pm | Garry Gitzen

Totally Bogus.  Drake never saw California.  He anchored in Nehalem Bay, Oregon.

National Park Basics For RVing Newbies

Oct 15th - 11:39am | Cherie

Don't worry about tunnels there huge tour buses go through we were just there no problem we had 40ft RV

National Parks: Going To The Dogs!

Oct 15th - 07:06am | wild places

I consider myself Dog neutral but it is extremely annoying to me when dog owners feel the laws don't apply to them. Ignoring leash laws, ignoring posted areas and yes not picking up after their pets. For whatever reason dog owners seem to have a very big percentage of people who think the laws don't apply to them.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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