Recent comments

  • UPDATE: New Yorker Who Thought He Could Hike Across Trail Ridge Road In Rocky Mountain National Park Missing   2 days 2 hours ago

    We sure are getting some very interesting looking ads on the margins of the website.

  • UPDATE: New Yorker Who Thought He Could Hike Across Trail Ridge Road In Rocky Mountain National Park Missing   2 days 2 hours ago

    Unfortunately, it appears this poor fellow is trying actively to climb the Darwin incline.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 4 hours ago

    Did your country not give you enough?

    Don't know that I am mad, but do know my country didn't "give" me anything other than my inalienable rights and the protection there of. Beyond that, unlike many of the others here, I don't expect it to give me anything and I certainly don't expect it take things away.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 5 hours ago

    Exactly, EC. The court ruled against him on "a technicality." Now what do you suppose that "technicality" would be if the Supreme Court were to rule against Delaware North, et al., in this case? Perhaps that the people own the national parks--and have every right to determine their management? If you want to operate a hotel, that is allowed. You just can't extort the government by claiming ownership of something you never owned. Intangible property? Every park is a tangle of "intangibles" that still belong to the people. You want to separate yours out? Fine. Then the people get to separate theirs out. What among our "intangibles" contributed to your bottom line? Everything. You owe us the $51 million.

    EC, what are you so mad about? Did your country not give you enough? Mine did. Certainly, I have ten times more than my father or mother ever had. Would I be "happier" if it were 100 times? When these people stand before Saint Peter, will it matter how much they "got" or "had?" If I were advising them, I would advise they drop this now. We are sorry. We made a mistake. We let our lawyers advise us poorly.

    That is why John Muir stands head and shoulders above James Mason Hutchings even today. Muir did not file on the mountains he loved. Hutchings claimed to love them but still wanted to "own" them. We own things on this planet for a little while, and then we are gone. That is what makes me mad. Too many owners and not enough lovers, and yes, too many people saying that is THE MARKET.

  • 20 Years On, Yellowstone National Park's Experiment With Wolves Continues To Evolve   2 days 5 hours ago

    And I remember the first time I ever heard a wolf howl. I was sleeping in A-loop of Norris Campground. About two or three in the morning, I was awakened by some coyotes yipping when all of a sudden they were interrupted by a long, low, deep howl. Two howls, I think. Not far away. About as close as the coyotes. Sounded as if it came from near the picnic area or employee housing.

    The coyotes were completely silent for the rest of the night and it took a good fifteen minutes for the few hairs I have left on my head to settle back down.

    It was one of those almost indescribable experiences that we can have only in wild places and maybe only once or twice in a lifetime.

  • 20 Years On, Yellowstone National Park's Experiment With Wolves Continues To Evolve   2 days 5 hours ago

    A few years back I slept in while my wife took an early morning hike in Yellowstone, and came back to tease me with her story of seeing a young wolf playing - frolicking, per her description - in the dawn light in a meadow. I still envy her the sighting.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 7 hours ago

    Alfred - please cite from the decision any mention of National Parks or intangible assets. That is all in your imagination.

    The decision was based solely on whether Hutchings met the preemption requirements. The court ruled against him on what I would call a technicality that was totally in opposition of the spirit of the preemption laws. The preemption laws were made to encourage settlers to move into the unpopulated areas and guaranteed them, in essence, the right of first refusal to purchase settled land at a predetermined price when it was surveyed and made available to the public. (Yes I read that tedious book someone recommended earlier) Hutchings settled that land under that basis. He got screwed because the land wasn't sold but given away instead.

    You want to bet there won't be hundreds of people suing to protect their "memories" of the national parks?

    Yes. Or at least I'll bet they won't win their cases

  • 20 Years On, Yellowstone National Park's Experiment With Wolves Continues To Evolve   2 days 7 hours ago

    Funny reading about the part about the woman being so excited about seeing a wolf for the first time. My family laughs about a trip we made to Jasper Nat park last year -- I had my four grown son's with me and my oldest Alex was driving. We came around a corner and there was a huge wolf standing in the middle of the road. He kept yelling "Wa,Wa Wa..." he just couldn't get the word wolf out he was so excited.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 8 hours ago

    I am glad you did your homework, EC, and I see you are a narrow constructionist. So obviously is the National Park Service. But no, Hutchings v. Low was about far more than the preemption laws. It made the national parks constitutional, where they remain today. They are special places in which "business" America gets to practice only by obeying special rules. If there are any "intangible assets" gained by practicing in the national parks, those assets are because the people allowed those practices in the first place. That is what Hutchings tried to deny. He denied even the right of the people to establish the Yosemite Grant. Glad you did your homework, but you still don't get an A. You are supposed to read the entire chapter before reaching for Donald Trump.

    Yosemite is not just another shopping mall. But yes, by insisting on the practices typical of shopping-mall America, Delaware North and Xanterra are creating for themselves a public relations nightmare. Good. Let it be on the front page. Precedent is forever evolving in a democracy, and the Hutchings case is getting old. People don't even know what preemption means anymore, or how Hutchings tried to use it against the Yosemite Grant.

    As for my having "standing" in court, remember, two plus two is whatever I want it to be. In other words, two can play at this game. You want to bet there won't be hundreds of people suing to protect their "memories" of the national parks? Are memories not "intangible assets," too?

    I will say this, EC. You are consistent. You believe that the business of America indeed is business. I wish I could say you were wrong about that part. Still, there is a lesson here for everyone. When the railroads practiced business in the national parks, they at least had taste. Lately, thanks to franchising, taste is something found only in the mouth.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 8 hours ago

    Alfred, interesting post, I agree, imperfect men make imperfect laws, but thank goodness we now have imperfect women in the mix. What did it take for women to get the vote, ever since Abigail Adams wrote her husband, John Adams (our second President), " be sure to remember the ladies". Was it roughly 150 years? It in not a perfect system, but it is the system and has worked, more or less, for 240 plus years now. That is an accomplishment.

    Change can happen, the NPS, at least in Yosemite, is addressing the issue, but it is always difficult.

  • Rare Fox Spotted In Yosemite National Park   2 days 9 hours ago

    Agree justinh, great news, much thanks to the park biologists for their work on this.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 9 hours ago

    Alfred - I read Hutchings v. Low. You have quite the imagination. The ruling has nothing to do with National Parks or trademarks or conssesionaires. At issue was whether a settler had derived title to land via the preemption laws prior to Congress grantng the land to the State. The court found he had not met the preemption requirements. Trademarks, concessions (in the vending sense) and National Parks are never even mentioned in the ruling - not surprisingly as they had absolutely no relevance.

  • Rare Fox Spotted In Yosemite National Park   2 days 10 hours ago

    Finally, a bit of good news.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 21 hours ago

    . You know how our "forefathers," as you describe them, decided to deal with THAT.

    So you are calling for revolution?

    would go back to Hutchings v. Low (1872)

    Not familiar with that case but will investigate. But if " you were entitled to recoup your investment", investment that created intangible assets would certainly seem to qualify.

    In fact, I may file the suit myself.

    I'm guessing you would be wasting your money as the suit would be thrown out for lack of standing.

  • Grand Teton National Park Crews Clean Up Spray-Paint Vandalism In Homestead Cabin   2 days 23 hours ago

    Hopefully, the NPS will do something to maintain this cabin instead of letting it just rot away.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 13 min ago

    Hmmm. "What the law says is what is right." In 1765 the law said that the colonies were supposed to pay a stamp tax. In 1773 a tax on tea. You know how our "forefathers," as you describe them, decided to deal with THAT.

    Count me among those who believe that laws are still made by men. In other words, they are no better than the men who make them. And since we must be "politically correct," let us not forget that imperfect women now make imperfect laws, too.

    If this "imperfect" law (the trademark law) were to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, I remain confident the justices, in the instance of our national parks, would go back to Hutchings v. Low (1872) and rule in favor of the American people. James M. Hutchings tried to "own" Yosemite, too--and failed. The concessions clause of the Yosemite Act of June 30, 1864, was upheld. To do business in a national park, you had to be a concessionaire. You could "own" neither the land nor the property. So-called possessory interest was later meant to address the point of fair market value, but not ownership. If you lost the contract, you were entitled to recoup your investment. You were not entitled to extort the public for everything else you claimed you "owned."

    When James M. Hutchings tried that, the Supreme Court was emphatic, as I do believe it would be again. In fact, I may file the suit myself.

  • Shenandoah National Park Officials Tweak Proposal For Higher Entrance Fees   3 days 29 min ago

    Oh I understand the "locals" issue. But I don't see why variable days can't be accomodated. Everyone coming in stops at the gate. If they left and are re-entering, their receipt is checked. Everyone that is staying in accomodations or at a front-country campsite would need to show their receipt indicating their stay was still good. Neither of those would require any material incremental paper work or effort. About the only ones those wouldn't capture would be back country campers. Spot checks at trailheads or parking lots with fines for staying beyond your paid period should deter most from not paying for their stay.

    There has go to be some other reason they aren't pursuing that path.

  • Shenandoah National Park Officials Tweak Proposal For Higher Entrance Fees   3 days 1 hour ago

    I think what they meant by "infeasible" is that they can't treat locals and non-locals differently because it's federal land. But they could offer different entrance fee rates for different lengths of stay. Rocky Mountain NP in fact is proposing exactly that. As I have pointed out elsewhere I think that approach will likely add more to the cost of enforcement than it would net in increased revenue. I've never yet seen anybody checking for entrance fee compliance among visitors who are inside a park. It's assumed that you passed through the toll gate on the way in. Those few who come in for free because it's very early or very late or the toll-taker was on a potty break are not worth the expense of tracking down. A varying fee for one-day, three-day, and seven-day visitors is going to force them to do that. Somebody needs to put pencil to paper and calculate the cost/benefit before they go with such a plan.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 2 hours ago

    The national parks belong to YOU

    Not feeling that way for awhile now.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   3 days 2 hours ago

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 4 hours ago

    it is the age of "public relations" rather than doing what is right.

    Sorry Alfred - Like our forefathers, I'm a rule of law guy not rule of man. What the law says is what is "right".

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 4 hours ago

    Just listen to you guys. The national parks belong to YOU--lock, stock, and barrel--and you are writing as if someone else "owns" them. Everyone doing business in the national parks does so at YOUR pleasure. Is it your pleasure to give them up? Then say so. Stop beating around the bush. The lawyers will invent whatever you like. As that old joke goes, what's two plus two? Your accountant tells you four. Your minister tells you four. Your therapist tells you four. Your doctor tells you four. Then your lawyer pulls down the shades and asks you: "What do you want it to be?!"

    If I were Mr. Jensen, I would fire my lawyers and start listening to the American people. But yes, it is the age of "public relations" rather than doing what is right. Years ago, the literary critic and historian Bernard DeVoto recommended that we close the national parks if we dared not manage them properly. ("Let's Close the National Parks," Harper's Magazine, vol. 207 (October 1953): 49-52). Perhaps the time has come to revisit that idea. Let's just close them and let the lawyers fight it out. After all, we seem to forget who the owners are. Why not two plus two equals $51 million?

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 5 hours ago

    Agreed Ron. I don't know if DNC actually has ownership or not. But if they do, that language in the code isn't going to take it away from them.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 6 hours ago

    EC, very interesting point, needless to say I have little knowledge of the issue, the contractual agreements would need study, and the issue of how this "trade mark" property right was handled from the sale of of the old Yosemite Park and Curry Company, and then 3 other previous contractors before Delaware North, well, I simply I do not know. It does appear the NPS it not sure either. An aside, I am personally acquainted with Mr. Dan Jensen, the current President of the Delaware North Company in Yosemite. He is an excellent person, dedicated to the park, a pleasure to know. I think you are right, this is a legal issue that has to be worked through.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 7 hours ago

    , but also the explicit assent of the property owner at the time of the listing.

    It may require permission and require certain actions to maintain listing but I am fairly certain it doesn't transfer ownership.

    And even if a law codification, unless there is a contractual agreement, the government can't take property without just compensation.