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Musings About The National Parks

Aug 13th - 11:57am | B.J.

It would be great if, like you say, Congress gave way more funding to the national parks. However, I take issue with the way Fort Vancouver is portrayed here. Have you ever been there yourself?

Aug 12th - 18:35pm | ecbuck

Yeah, we can always call out the grizzlies to defend us the next time we are attacked.

Aug 12th - 10:05am | dahkota

When we start valuing our public lands one tenth as much as we value our military, we might have a chance at improving conditions at all the National Parks, heritage sites, and historical sites. As it stands, the DOD budget is around $496 billion; the DOI budget: $12 billion. Unfortunately, congress is still working on cutting the latter and boosting the former.

Sound Studies Under Way At Grand Teton National Park

Aug 13th - 11:13am | Lloyd

I hope they're not targeting motorcycles alone. Huge motor homes and oversized diesel pickups make as much or more noise and spew obnoxious noxious fumes whilst doing it.

Aug 12th - 20:41pm | CM

I found the same thing when we went there three weeks ago. The parking lots were overflowing and the crowds of people made enjoyment of the park impossible.

Aug 12th - 18:25pm | ecbuck

Looks like another "feel good" project that will have no real impact. Seems like there would be better places to spend the money in a system that has an $11 billion "maintenance backlog".

Aug 12th - 17:17pm | wild places

As I sit here listening to the sound of my neighbors riding mower, the others weed trimmer, and the occasional truck and Harley rumbling past my house I love this idea. Sound can travel so far I'm not sure there is a place in the lower 48 to escape the sounds of man these days. Isle Royale and perhaps a few places in the boundary waters?

Aug 12th - 17:12pm | AJS

Sound studies are good and the noise from many motorcycles is indeed a problem but there is a far larger problem associated with overcrowding. When my wife and I visited the Grand Tetons in 1975 it was quite peaceful. We particularly enjoyed the solitude during our walk around Jenny Lake. Last week we went back to visit the area again, perhaps for old times sake.

Spare the bear or kill the bear?

Aug 13th - 10:44am | Anonymous

Look, good people. Either you protect wildlife, or you don't. And remember the "wild" in wildlife. These bears are wild animals, and occasionally--when provoked--they will kill a human being. Now, I am all for ridding their population of that occasional "bad animal," provided we get to rid our population of all of our "bad animals." Let's start with the drunken driver that takes a family out.

Aug 13th - 09:48am | tahoma

 It’s very sad this bear will probably be killed.  Some have suggested relocation, but past history suggests even Yellowstone is not large enough to prevent many bears from returning to the capture area:“Because of low survival and high return rates, transporting grizzly bears should be considered a final action to eliminate a conflict situation.”

Aug 13th - 08:11am | Kurt Repanshek

Back in 2011, the last time there were fatal maulings in Yellowstone, a grizzly sow was put down after two attacks. In the first, park officials let her live as they considered her actions in a mauling as defensive. But two months later she was tied to the partial consumption of another hiker who had been fatally mauled.

Aug 13th - 00:09am | Julie Doyle

The clearest account of what happened will be determined from what physical evidence could be reasonably collected. Hopefully the flood of emotions, speculation, and sensationalized media stories, will not erode the decision making process regarding any bear that may be proven to be involved in this unfortunate incident.

Aug 13th - 00:03am | Drew Z

First off, it is a tragedy that this man lost his life in the park he obviously loved. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Fatigued Climbers Get Air-Lifted Off Middle Teton At Grand Teton National Park

Aug 13th - 09:05am | DP

Hope these climbers make a generous donation to the National Park Service

Water Cooler Time: Kill The Bear, Or Spare It?

Aug 13th - 08:19am | ecbuck

Thanks - I realized after the fact I posted in the wrong spot.

Aug 13th - 08:07am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, your answer is in the forums....

Aug 13th - 08:02am | ecbuck

If there is evidence that once a bear has eaten human flesh it will be more likely to attack a human again then the bear must be removed.

Perseid Meteor Shower Party At Shenandoah National Park Coming Up

Aug 13th - 07:08am | Ben & Judy Williams

We attended the Perseid Meteor Shower Party last night and enjoyed it very much. I'm glad we attended Greg Redfern's presentation before venturing out. It was very interesting and informative. Thanks for the red film we received from the park employees. How thoughtful! We wished everyone had gotten one of these--many flashlights out there in the field, unfortunately, with out it.

Rockfall Kills Hiker At North Cascades National Park

Aug 12th - 18:11pm | ctmalley

Hiking parallel (side by side) would reduce the probability of a hiker getting hit. However, if the boulder hits one hiker, it could hit others like a bowling ball taking down pins.

Aug 12th - 16:35pm | S

Turn sideways??

Aug 12th - 14:58pm | wild places

And while I'm feeling creative, I've got this idea for a hiking bear canister which would be required any time you take a hike in bear country. Much like those for food but designed to protect the hiker and end the need to euthanize problem bears. A large human sized polycarbonate barrel with leg and neck holes.

Aug 12th - 14:49pm | wild places

Well, I never imagined drivers would be forced to wear seat belts, kids would have to wear helmets to ride a bike, skiers needed helmets, and monkey bars were too dangerous so why am I surprised to read hikers are encouraged to wear helmets. I am in the process of patenting my shower helmet which can also be worn in your rocking chair. Anyone want to invest?

Aug 12th - 11:04am | Yvonne

How do you hike parallel when the trail is a foot wide? You stay on the trail and be vigilant about your surroundings.

Aug 12th - 10:53am | Amy Johns

What does it mean to "hike parallel to one another" and how does that prevent accidents such as this one?

Traveler's View: Wilderness Hanging In Balance At Big Cypress National Preserve

Aug 12th - 12:15pm | Chris Meyers

Comparing Biscayne to Big Cypress is an apples to oranges comparison and unfair to the NPS staff & superintendents at BiCy. As a National Preserve, Big Cypress falls under a wildly different mandate than National Parks such as Biscayne.

Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?

Aug 12th - 02:41am | mark fitzgerald

Once again we are not talking about 1 or 2 disabled persons were talking about a group of people touring the park on segways hookah perfectly walk easy enough all of you people who have disabled Parkers stop being so sensitive or not trying to take away your Segway

UPDATED: Grizzly Possibly Tied To Attack On Yellowstone National Park Hiker Captured

Aug 12th - 01:43am | Antonia

Don't kill the bear. Humans are not the owners of the planet.

Aug 12th - 01:29am | Bette

I'm totally against killing this bear.....she was probably protecting her cub.....did you ever think he got to close and didn't even know they were there??

Aug 11th - 23:39pm | Carol Burt

Reminds me of what a South Dakota Park Ranger told me when I asked why they didn't seem to have bears. "They're way too dangerous," he said."people killed 'em off for good reason - so they could be safe outside and their kids wouldn't get eaten!" We laughed and he was grinning and said it half-jokingly - but there was some wisdom there. Couldn't settle the west with grizz chasing them!

Aug 11th - 18:23pm | 26.2Runner

It seems that Mr Crosby's death, while tragic, was also due his own negligence. Running early morning in a known bear habitat, without a moneymaker or bear spray? I learned my lesson a few years ago, running through a residential neighborhood in Tahoe of all places. There were warning signs posted everywhere but I thought, surely not.

Aug 11th - 15:19pm | Danielle McNeely

We have visited many of our National Parks and have loved every one. Glacier, Yellowstone and Denali are our favorites because of the grizzlies that live there. We love seeing them BUT we do everything we can to stay safe. I am so sorry for Mr. Crosby and his family. This was a terrible accident. However the sow seems to have been doing what mama bears do in protecting her baby.

Aug 11th - 15:19pm |

8 JULY 2011 Yellowstone National Park authorities will not try to capture a female grizzly that killed a hiker because the bear was trying to defend its cubs when it was surprised by the man.

Aug 11th - 14:25pm | Anonyous

We have been going to YNP for years. It is a wild place, and many seem to not care about the dangers to themselves or the animals. The park rangers tell you to hike in groups, carry bear spray, stay on the trails and make noise. He was jogging alone, without bear spray & off the trails - he was doing it all wrong. I am tired of bears being killed when they are doing what bears do.

Aug 11th - 13:08pm | Aargle Bargle

The man did nothing wrong. The bear did nothing wrong.

Aug 11th - 12:57pm | DG

I feel sorry for this poor man and his family but somehow it's exhilirationg to think there are still places left where a grizzly can kill and eat you if you are not careful.Sorry if that offends anyone.....

Aug 11th - 10:02am | Anonymous in SC

Why not relocate the bear and cub to another national park.....perhaps several states away.

Aug 11th - 09:20am | ecbuck

Peter - are you really advocating shutting down Yellowstone to save one bear?

Aug 11th - 06:29am | Peter

It makes zero sense to kill the bear. Close the trail! Quit promoting tourism in these areas. It seems pretty draconian to me to euthanize a bear for being where they are suppose to be.

Aug 10th - 23:31pm | Anonymous

What makes you think hiking with another person would have prevented this?

Aug 10th - 23:30pm | Anonymous

"If it were not for humans this bear and her cub would still be safe and free"

Aug 10th - 19:12pm | Anonymous

This is precisely why we do not hike alone in Grizzly Country! COME ON PEOPLE!!!

Aug 10th - 19:03pm | Alfred Runte

As I used to remind my visitors in Yosemite, by far more people die on their way to the national parks than have the privilege of dying in them. Unfortunately, the visitors just don't quite see things that way--or the lawyers who back them up. But yes. It's time to start closing these parks in sequence and giving the wildlife a rest.

Driving the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park

Aug 11th - 22:00pm | Rachel

Thank you so much for this article. We are eager to see Acadia NP and this article seems to give a great introduction and practical suggestion.

Search For Missing Hiker At Mount Rainier National Park Proving Fruitless

Aug 11th - 10:11am | tahoma

The remains of Edwin Birch were identified by the local medical examiner last week after being discovered near the Fryingpan Glacier above Panhandle Gap.  Rest in peace.

Op-Ed| The National Park System: Why It Should Continue To Grow

Aug 11th - 09:39am | ecbuck

Well said, Bill.

Aug 11th - 09:33am | Bill Wade

Thinking about what is needed in the national park system in terms of it being "too small" or how many more acres should be added or what it costs to manage it is misleading and misses the important point. What happens to the system in the future must be based on values. We should never stop adding areas that possess the values that are worth protecting for future generations.

Aug 11th - 00:14am | trailadvocate

Anyone think present actions on the borders with millions of undocumented and documented immigrants coming into the country is a good thing and how Parks and other wild lands will be effected? Seemingly the same folks in DC that are allowing it also are making more National Monuments. Is that the payoff? Just looking at it in the big picture. Major trouble in River City I am thinking.

Aug 10th - 21:50pm | Randy Turner

I retired in 2011 after more than 35 years in the National Park Service. I enjoyed all of my 13 assignments, ranging from seasonal park aid to park superintendent. However, the most interesting year was 1999 when I was the 10th Bevinetto Congressional Fellow assigned to the U.S. Senate Energy and National Resources Committee, National Parks Subcommittee.

Aug 10th - 17:42pm | Rick Smith

Alfred--As Bob Dylan sang, "I'll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours." Harry--Who's in charge of the slimming down process? The historians? The biologists? The Regional Directors? Mitch McConnell? And the NPS has been through zero-based budgeting. Did it help the first time?

National Park management

Aug 10th - 20:48pm | Owen Hoffman

When I worked as a park ranger-naturalist at Crater Lake, Zion, and Yosemite, I used to spend a lot of time worrying about this very question. I was much concerned that the economics of industrial tourism and outdoor recreation was influencing the character of the NPS much more than its mission to preserve and protect.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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