Recent comments

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 19 hours ago

    ec, surely there must be some adult education programs in your area where you might be able to get some help with reading comprehension. Unless, that is, you are deliberately misrepresenting what you read. I can only interpret such jumps as that of my saying that we have "already messed the park up" and should be careful not make it worse, to somehow supporting Haynes' plans to do exactly that as either poor reading skills or deliberate distortion.

    I would be happy to support a reasonable alternative. But none of those have been heard or seen here.

    We need look no further than geothermal installations in geyser areas of Iceland and New Zealand -- and even California -- to see the disastrous results that could ensue.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 19 hours ago

    surely there must be some adult education programs

    Ah, back to your personal attacks - clearly you see you are losing.

    The only ones that have misrepresented what was said were Haynes' critics, and you still won't admit that. Haynes never was for oil and gas drilling or mining in Yellowstone. Why don't you first admit your attack on him for that was unfounded.

    Then, read his statement again. His objection is that geothermal wasn't even considered. You say you are happy to support a reasonable alternative but reject geothermal without seeing any analysis of its potential - positive or negative - in Yellowstone. You have no clue if it is reasonable or not. You reject even consideration of another plan. Again, how can anyone conclude anything but you are for the existing NPS plan. Please, tell me how that is a misrepresentation of your stance.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 19 hours ago

    Oh for merciful goodness, ec! Please, please don't try to attach me to any conservatives!

    And then you claim : "Then he goes on to suggest that " the installation of equipment buildings, back-up power generators, propane fuel tanks, metal lattice towers, and more" is more "pristine" than a geothermal facility."

    Not from me, buddy.

    Then you claim that I'm opposing Haynes. Well, yeah. He's a candidate for office. Kinda hard to oppose his wacky schemes without opposing him. So you got that right at least. "Considering" too often turns into doing. Best time to prevent the fire is before the match has been struck.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 19 hours ago

    Not from me, buddy.

    No? "The installation of equipment....." is what Haynes opposes. You oppose Haynes' suggesting an alternative should be considered. How could we draw any other conclusion than you support the NPS proposal- i.e."the installation of equipment..."?

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 19 hours ago

    I did consider it, EC, and to do what he would like to see would indeed be monumental in terms of impacts, certainly not an approach to "preserve and jealously guard the pristine nature of the park."

    And, really, he invokes a measure or two of hyperbole in describing the work being done. He makes it sounds like they're starting from scratch.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 19 hours ago

    I think the easier solution in yellowstone is to quit kowtowing to the urbanites that can't stay in a place that doesn't have heated cabins, cell phone towers, and breakfast cafes.

    While I wouldn't phrase it the same way Gary, I in theory would agree with you. But theory and reality don't always match. I recognize that the parks need those "urbanites" that you so disdain. Without their support the parks won't exist at all.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 19 hours ago

    He's simply focused on opposing Haynes' geothermal idea.

    No he is simply opposing Haynes.

    Haynes proposal is to "consider". There is nothing monumental about that.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 20 hours ago

    Here's a description of the project that drew Mr. Hayne's ire:

    Yellowstone Utility Service Upgrade Plan Approved

    A plan to improve the reliability, safety and overall service quality of Yellowstone National Park's electrical power distribution has been approved.

    A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) that allows for Yellowstone to work with Northwestern Energy (NWE) to help the company implement power and communications infrastructure upgrades within the park was signed by Sue Masica, the Director of the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service, last week. An Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzed four alternatives was released for public comment November 6, 2013, and was extended an additional 15 days on December 2, 2013.

    The plan seeks to reduce the duration of power outages, improve system reliability, and improve visitor and employee safety. Much of NWE's existing power infrastructure in the park has not been updated since the 1950's and is prone to frequent outages because of the remote nature of the park, inhospitable terrain, climate, and tree cover near transmission lines. Additionally, the park's system lacks modern communication infrastructure that would normally facilitate diagnosing and correcting the cause of power outages from NWE's central offices in Montana. Further, the lack of reliable communications inside the park can make it difficult for NWE employees to safely implement repairs when outages occur.

    Highlights of the plan include incorporating automated, remote power monitoring and control system technology, as well as the installation of equipment buildings, back-up power generators and propane fuel tanks. Communication technology upgrades include the construction of new metal lattice towers at each of the seven existing NWE electrical substations located within the park and the upgrade of a radio repeater site outside the park on U.S. Forest Service property.

    Perhaps there were only 11 individuals who commented because the project really isn't as "monumental" as the doctor seems to believe. In some cases existing buildings would suffice, in others the new buildings would measure about 12' by 20' and be located in existing disturbed areas.

    It certainly would seem after reviewing the EA that his proposal to power the park's facilities would be much more "monumental" in terms of construction impacts.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 20 hours ago

    I think the easier solution in yellowstone is to quit kowtowing to the urbanites that can't stay in a place that doesn't have heated cabins, cell phone towers, and breakfast cafes. This is another reason why the wilderness act is important in national parks. Yellowstone is "managed as wilderness" but not quite protected as wilderness via the wilderness act. I just read the latest scoop on what is happening in Yosemite, and that just makes me shake my head too. So, of course, you see all this sort of development going on there (cell phone towers, new posh cabins with amentities like showers and bathrooms, etc). If people want those things, they should stay outside of the park boundaries to have them. They haven't built a road into the bechler and thorofare YET - but give it time, and i'm sure that will be a battle to fight in the coming decades.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 20 hours ago

    Also, as a post-script, Haynes on his website says he opposes "traditional drilling for oil and gas development.." not outright opposition. (emphasis added)

    http://www.haynesforgovernor.com/news/dr_haynes_plans_for_yellowstone

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 21 hours ago

    EC, I think you misread Lee's comment. He's not endorsing above ground infrastructure in lieu of geothermal. He's simply focused on opposing Haynes' geothermal idea.

    And, frankly, without more details, that idea seems just as disruptive as the infrastructure he opposes. After all, some sort of pumping system -- with its requisite power system and piping -- would have to be constructed. To "heat and power all facilities" in Yellowstone would not be simply done.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 21 hours ago

    So Susan, notice that Lee totally ignores the whole point, i.e. Haynes doesn't have any intention of drilling for oil and gas in Yellowstone. Then he goes on to suggest that " the installation of equipment buildings, back-up power generators, propane fuel tanks, metal lattice towers, and more" is more "pristine" than a geothermal facility.

    This is what you get when someone's guiding principle is attaching conservatives regardless of the merit of their idea.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 22 hours ago

    Bitter experience has shown time and again that trying to tap into or alter Yellowstone's thermal features can, and usually do, produce some very adverse consequences.

    We have already messed the park up. With so little real understanding of the dynamics and geologic structure of underground thermal structures, why take a chance on doing anything more that might destroy them.

    Your nom de plume is Keep Yellowstone Pristine. Let's do that and not start fooling around with things we don't fully understand.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   1 week 22 hours ago

    Well said, Kurt.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 23 hours ago

    Mr Runte, you sound a reasonable man. Mayhaps you would take a look at this link and see what you think about the historicity (if not the validitiy) of the Transfer of Public Lands.

    Why the difference? http://americanlandscouncil.or/..

    Also, a reasonable look at the information that has come out since the release of the article in the National Parks Traveler might give some pause for thought. (The following can be verified at Haynes for Governor FB page.) I was not aware of the comment period on the infrastructure plans at the park, were you?

    Haynes Plans for Yellowstone As Governor of Wyoming, I have no plans for traditional drilling for oil and gas development, or any other activity within the Park beyond its present uses. My comments about Yellowstone have been twisted and made to imply otherwise. I have worked to draw attention to the Park due to the current plans of the National Park Service to upgrade the electrical and information technology services there, which includes the installation of equipment buildings, back-up power generators, propane fuel tanks, metal lattice towers, and more. The fact that less intrusive geothermal driven units were not considered for this upgrade, is in my view a gross oversight because of the need to preserve and jealously guard the pristine nature of the park. This could be accomplished by the use of multiple small geothermal power units. There are ZERO emissions from these units. The hot water required to drive these systems is already available at the surface in the park, thus minimal disturbance to install the necessary tubing. They can both heat and power all facilities in the park. We should strive to preserve the park and operate it in a much more dependable and natural state than the present practice. Since the 1930s, geothermal energy has grown to heat 90% of the homes in Iceland and produce 30% of the countries electric energy. This inventive and eco-friendly energy system has been overlooked by the NPS in its plans for Yellowstone, and we should ask why. My intent in attracting attention to activities in Yellowstone is to raise public awareness and have people participate in more significant numbers than the eleven (11) who commented during the thirty-day public comment period that was allowed prior to approving this monumental project. As your Governor, I will insist on the best technology for operating and maintaining this unrivaled treasure. (end of Dr Haynes proposal) Your thoughts?

    Susan

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   1 week 23 hours ago

    You're right Kitty, but that's not to say Congress -- Sen. Alexander in particular -- couldn't persuade the Tennessee General Assembly to alter that prohibition for the good of the park and all who enjoy it.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   1 week 23 hours ago

    Congress does not have the power to allow the NPS to charge an entrance fee for GRSM when accessed from Tennessee. Not being familiar with the Park I don't know if there are other access points where an entrance fee could be charged, but charging at some access points and not others would likely create a logistical nightmare.

    The State of Tennessee conveyed their highways to the United States with a deed restriction prohibiting fees in perpetuity:

    [I, Charles F. Wayland Jr, Commissioner of Highways and Public Works, under authority of the governor and General Assembly of the State of Tennessee] do hereby sell, transfer, and convey to the United States of America, subject to the reservations hereinafter set out, all of the right, title, and interest of the State of Tennessee in and to any and all State Highways located on, over, or within the lands which are a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.. . .The grantor conveys said right, title, and interest in and to State Highways subject to the following reservations:. . .3. No toll or license fee shall ever be imposed by the United States of America or any agency thereof for the use by the public of state highways Nos. 71 and 73, and the rights is especially reserved unto the State of Tennessee to allow the public to use said highways; provided however, that the United States of America may regulate and restrict the use of said highways by commercial vehicles of more than one and one-half (1 1/2) ton rated capacity between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.- Accepted by the Director of the National Park Service, June 1, 1951

  • Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks   1 week 2 days ago

    I think it ultimately depends on how much moisture a trail is recieving. I've seen horse/hiker trails in the wilderness areas of the arid west that show little signs of degredation because it's mostly just dirt and rocks. In the Northern Rockies, horses are used quite a bit, and I only remember a few times where they were an issue. Most times they were not. I've also seen some horse trails in the smokies that are in good shape, but it all comes down to how much use they are getting. If you have 20 horses traveling an hour down a wet trail, you are going to see that trail get rutted and ruined very quickly.. If there are 10 horses every week or so trotting down that trail during dry conditions, then that usually doesn't do much damage. But, i've seen horse/hiker trails in very wet regions of the country that get torn to shreds. I think horses should only be on dried out trails after the snow has melted, and kept out when it's raining. Heck, if an elk, and moose can walk a trail (and they very much do), then so can a horse. Where I draw the line is with people that want to see motrocycles, ATV's, Mountain Bikes, Snowmobiles, etc in wilderness areas. I've seen my share of what ATVs do to a trail system, and it's not pretty after a few decades of use. Horses should also be kept out of high alpine lakes, and fragile streams and watersheds. The worse thing a group of horses can do is pollute a water system, and I have seen some evidence of that in my time when a bunch of careless people with horses allowed them to do their business in a fragile alpine lake.

    Although, i will say one of the worst experiences I ever had was walking down the Bright Angel in the Grand Canyon during a rainy day in February. All that mule crap from a years worth of accumulation started streaming down the canyon trails and wall like a sewer. Now that was disgusting. Like everything, there needs to be rational limits on how many horses/mules,etc can use an area per week, which was not the case on the Bright Angel since it seemed mule trains were an hourly occurrence in that part of the world. But places like the Bechler and Thorofare in Yellowstone? Heck yes, leave the horses use that region. Just keep them out of the fragile alpine zones.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 2 days ago

    That would certainly include me!

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 2 days ago

    Or "best run," "conservative," "Republican" Utah.

    As you said, Dr. Runte, labels don't mean much.

    Crooks are crooks no matter what.

    Maybe we need to elect all our lawmakers from the ranks of those earning less than $75,000 per year.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 2 days ago

    I forget, but it fits. Here in Washington State, our electeds never met a military base they didn't like--or another huge subsidy for Boeing, just this year a $7 billion "tax break" because the company was threatening to move the 777 wing assembly to California. If the mafia threatened that, we would call it extortion. Oh, yes, and the CEO, making 276 times the average employee, thinks the employees are "overpaid." Don't wait for the next Godfather movie. Just watch what is happening in "progressive," "liberal," "Democratic," Washington State.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 2 days ago

    Alfred--

    In relation to water, who was it that said Barry Goldiwater "opposed creeping socialism until it crept into Arizona?"

    Rick

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 3 days ago

    This is the problem again with labels. They don't tell us a thing. President Obama is allegedly a progressive Democrat, and yet is giving the public lands away in gulps. Solar and wind power are his favorite recipients; at General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt leads the president around by the ear--and brags about it openly. And exactly what would Hillary Clinton do for parks? Her hubby opened up the Ozarks to Tyson's Foods, so much so that The New York Times did a three-part article about it in 1992. Allegedly, Tyson's polluted half of the streams throughout the region, again, because Arkansas's environmental laws were so lax. Then Bill Clinton becomes president and does what--establishes a few national monuments and all is forgiven. But I already own those lands--they are already public lands. Changing the name of them does not necessarily guarantee their lasting protection, either.

    As every good historian knows, you can't find out what is going on just by reading a newspaper or listening to the hairdos on tee-vee. You have to look behind the curtain and see what the Wizard has up his sleeve. Right now, the biggest Wizard we have in the land is President Obama. He thinks that another speech is all it takes. Governance, however, is not about speech-making. It is rather about getting along with the people that hate you most.

    The archives are filled with the reminder that great Republicans have also stood foursquare for our national parks. I can give you chapter and verse if you wish, but a good deal of it is in my books. It is just there without the labels so you will have to look the labels up. But since the Park Service centennial is in the offing, consider Senator Reed Smoot of Utah. Mormon and a conservative Republican--and accused of exaccerbating the Great Depression by supporting the Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1930)--he nonetheless stood by his proposed Bureau of National Parks through the entirety of its uphill fight in Congress. And of course the Republicans have Theodore Roosevelt--still the greatest evironmental president of them all.

    It's just that a Republican "then" is not like a Republican "now." The point is: We can say the same for the Democrats, including Stewart Udall, who as a Democratic Interior Secretary proposed the damming of Grand Canyon in 1963 even as he released his best-selling book, The Quiet Crisis. Puzzled? Not if you stop to remember that he was from Arizona and was forever Republican in his beliefs when it came to WATER.

    All politicians will serve their constitutents, and that goes for the liberals, too. So, the next time you want to take one another's heads off about who is really "pure," remember Pogo who said it best: "We have met the enemy, and he is us." The enemy of the parks today is the American people who simply can't seem to govern themselves without attacking what they used to know to hold dear.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 3 days ago

    Ah, HA! Thank you, Kurt. That's the guy I was trying to think of . . . . ;-}

    Then there was Senator Bob Bennett who was dumped by the Utah Tea Party so Mike Lee could be elected to shut down the government and shout, "NO!" every fifteen minutes.

    Jon Huntsman is another respectable conservative who comes to mind.

    I'll keep working on it.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 3 days ago

    The late U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyoming, was a great advocate for Grand Teton National Park.