Recent comments

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I'd still be happy if cell phones were never invented, primarily due to users being oblivious to what I think is just common curtesy when using them. That said, I'm pretty sure they are here to stay (a guy can always dream though) and ready to give up the fight. I have the impression that there is pretty widespread coverage in the parks already so don't see that it will make much difference. One concern is the added feeling of safety that could pose a problem. I'll just call for help when I get lost, hungry, tired etc. instead of making sure one's prepared. I suspect that may be one of the unintended results. Like others have mentioned, keep the towers as discrete as possible.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Tree - while I believe it would be appropriate to turn over some lands, I hope that is one of the lower items on the agenda. There are far more critical and fundamental issues that need to be addressed first.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   2 weeks 4 days ago

    What happened to "edit". That should be front "country" locations in my last post.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 4 days ago

    You might check with some backcountry rangers on how attitudes have negativly changed where cell service is discovered by those addicted to connectivity. A very large cell tower inside Grand Canyon NP and just 400 yards from the Rim has changed things dramatically in the inner Canyon. "Hey Joe, you'll never guess where I am."

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Sad to say, but now that it appears the GOP has a majority in both houses, that they'll be more likely to turn over the Federal lands under discussion to the individual states. One small encouragement I have is that in Rev. 11:18 says in part "... to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” The folks "responsible" for bringing about the ruin of the earth will be held accountable for their actions.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Ec, I am in agreement with you on this issue. It really is a slipery slope.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Generally, I would be against naming any feature within a Park after a donor. That includes buildings, roads, trails, mountains,...... Donor walls or plaques might be appropriate at visitor centers or other front country locations.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   2 weeks 4 days ago

    One topic that's bound to come up: fears that parks will be "commercialized" as a result of donations. If "naming rights" were ever carried to the extreme, there are reasons for caution. How many people would be happy, for example, with something like a "Toyota-Blue Ridge Parkway"? A key element in the discussion: clear guidelines about what can be "named" in recognition of donations: (buildings, trails, roads, etc.).

    For some, a greater concern than "naming rights" is the question of undue influence (real or perceived) on management decisions stemming from donations. One slightly tongue-in-cheek example: Given the protracted controversy about snowmobile use in Yellowstone, the "Polaris Visitor Center" at Old Faithful would certainly raise some eyebrows.

    That said, there are precedents for recognizing the key role of philanthropy in establishing NPS areas, such as the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. There are also facilities named for individuals based not on dollars, but on ideas, such as the Ernest Coe Visitor Center in Everglades NP, "named after .... a landscape designer who envisioned a national park dedicated to the preservation of the Everglades."

    I think it's good for the Advisory Board to raise these questions. As other recent posts on the Traveler have pointed out, non-government funds are likely to play an increasingly important role in NPS operations; if that's the case, there needs to be clarity, consistency and transparency on how to deal with this subject. Pretending these issues don't exist won't make them go away.

  • Talk Of $30 Million Fiber Optic Network At Yellowstone National Park Renews Debate   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Sorry, CenturyLink isn't going to spend their money on your priorities. You will have to do that.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Zeb and Rick, I am with you on this one, as long as it doesnt involve towers and sheds in the backcountry.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Zeb, you sound like the leader of a bunch of 6th graders going on a romp. Experiencing something bigger than your skittles and smores requires pushing your comfort zones and doing something bigger and coming back humbled. Gladly, I can help you out:).

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Interesting how everybody has an opinion on how others should experience the parks. Frankly, if private companies pay for the increased coverage, I say why not? People who want to get away from it all can leave the cell phone in the car. The majority probably won't.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Wilderness as such is "on your own." A psych nurse in the real world. No conscience need be present. It's real and a good thing, respectfully. Like the wolves, the bears and any other real being.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Who piddled on your post toasties, trailadvocate? My wife doesn't need water wings or guard rails - I'm just more comfortable if she has a way to call 911 if she needs it. Sheesh - nothing like taking a totally uncalled for pendulum swing on a comment.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    And we should put guard rails around the Grand Canyon, right? I understand the motivation to keep your wife safe but knowing the dangers and dealing with them is part of a back country experience, unless virtual is more comforting.

  • Talk Of $30 Million Fiber Optic Network At Yellowstone National Park Renews Debate   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Please, no! Spend the money on the stuff it needs to be spent on, please!

  • Fatal Fall from Angels Landing in Zion National Park   2 weeks 5 days ago

    I'm amazed there aren't deaths here every month. the last part of this hike is just too dangerous, and a cable should be rigged for the ENTIRE last 0.5 miles. I've done canyoneering and rock climbing and I wouldn't even THINK about doing this without roping in. but thousands of people, with no experience (mostly) do it every year. That doesn't prove that it's safe, it just proves that a) people are stupid and b) people are stupid. It's just not worth the risk for the endorphins or for bragging rights. As other people have noted, the deaths here are GROSSLY under-reported. A group from my college is doing it this weekend, 60 folks, ages from 16 to 60, and they're ALL going to feel ENORMOUS peer pressure to do this (group led by a crazy professor). NONE are going to rope in, and I really fear that a dear friend of mine will fall to her death because she's too macho to resist the peer pressure.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Would the NPS have to pay for these sites? I am not sure the cell companies can justify the expense or do we plan on subsidizing them? I do enjoy being out of range, a perk of a national park from my perspective.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Slc72. Very good points. Thank you.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    My wife takes hikes in nearby bear country several times a week. She thinks it is a nuisance when I remind her, but I do ask her to carry her phone, just like you put a water bottle or basic first aid supplies in your pack. She is definitely __not__ rocking out to the oldies out there and it disturbs no one for her to have 911 availability.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Some here in Utah believe that Utah's move to try and gain outright ownership of the public lands is a red herring. The fall back being more direct control/mangement of those lands by private/state/municipal entities. Federal agencies have already taken this approach for certain recreational services and, as federal budgets decline, are likely to expand the concept to other resources as well. Recent court decisions have facilitated such an approach by ruling that federal laws controlling federal agency management don't apply to these outside entities.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Lots of factors influence our opinions on this subject, but there's little doubt cell phones have become a very big deal for many people today. A term has even been coined for the fear of being out of contact by cell phone. It's called "nomophobia" (short for "no-mobile-phone phobia"), and some researchers now claim it's gotten so prevalent that "Fear of not having a working cell phone should be added to psychiatry’s diagnostic manual."

    This article about "smartphone addiction" says, "In a national survey conducted in the fall of 2013, 63% of respondents said they check their phone for messages or calls once an hour, while 9% said they checked their phone every five minutes. An additional 63% said they would be upset if they left home without their smartphone. Many would return home to retrieve it, even if they're out on just a quick trip to the store."

    Whether or not we like the idea of expanded cell service, information such as the above suggests it will be a tough battle for the NPS to resist pressure to expand wireless service into more and more areas. Today's Traveler article about a possible project at Yellowstone is likely just the first of many such proposals.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 5 days ago

    I agree Alfred, thank you.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 5 days ago

    If this were ever to go to the Supreme Court, Utah would simply lose. There is no "interpretation" here on which they could win--and they know it. They are simply playing to their local constituencies, many of which hate the public lands, that is, until Uncle Sam starts passing out free dollars again, when all of this will subside.

    Bill Clinton pulled that trick during his presidency--awarding federal coal lands to the state of Utah (about 185,000 acres) for having established the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. As every child knows, when it cries its parent is forced to listen. Clinton was always happy to listen. Remember that in 2016.

    Go back in American history and read the cries for aid that came from practically every western territory. "We are here in ye howling wilderness fighting off Indians and bears!" Send help! Build us a fort with a company of regulars! We are advancing civilization while you lazy Easterners gobble up all the benefits!"

    The West just can't stop crying to its parents: "We did it all by ourselves!" I love it because it is so predictable. That part of American history has never changed. How do we become millionaires and billionaires? We speculate in vacant land! Who has the most? Uncle Sam. Now, if he would just get out of the way, I could be the next Donald Trump. I could build the next resort complex in Utah, complete with 85 golf courses, as in Palm Springs.

    It's America. It's in our blood. I don't fault anyone for trying, but really, at some point we'll have to stop, no matter what the Constitution "says." And it just doesn't say--however the states try to spin it--that the Union is less than they.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Interesting posts. I am reminded of some of the experience I had being involved in litigation issues with both governmental and private sector entities. The first rule was" 90% of us demanding justice, should be on our hands and knees begging for mercy". "What we think the law is and what it is" is complicated at best. I am not an attorney so cannot speak on this issue with much creditability. But what certain political opportunists are asking for in Utah and other sage rebellion states appears to be out in foul territory . To many good people, Republican and Democratic, etc. worked to hard to establish the public land for the reasons Gary, Alfred and others have pointed out, lets not turn the clock back.