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UPDATED: While Some Rangers Head To Greener Pastures, Their Horses Aren’t So Lucky

Jan 4th - 08:52am | Adele Sands

 Thanks for all of the information.  I was supporting several feedlot groups until I did some research. The owners of the lots now can make a quick buck From horse advocates, and are  buying up horses that in the past would've sold at the auction to good homes. It was very disturbing what was going on.

Jan 3rd - 13:36pm | Rick B.

I don't think the slaughter is univeersal. Here at North Cascades complex. The person in charge of the trail horses is actively seeking good homes for retired NPS horses.   It just seems to me that a simple top-down policy of benevolence would solve what appears to be a widely variable situation.

Jan 3rd - 10:20am | ChicoRey

In reply to the comment above - horse slaughter has NEVER been, nor is it now - humane!  If in doubt-watch videos of horse slaugher-Kauffman, Texas)  And as for being a "source for protein"?  Any domestic horse - at least in this country - has, during its lifetime, medications (such as bute), supplements, wormers, fly-sprays - all of which are clearly marked "not for use in food

Jan 2nd - 19:27pm | Kaeleen

I'd love to have a older NPS horse to ride trails once in awhile with my kids. Love older horses. 

Dec 30th - 06:44am | Cowboy Bill

Humane slaughter of horses can and should be done. There are not enough people willing to adopt all the unwanted horses that the BLM owns much less the NPS. Horses are good sources of protein . Let's work on a humane slaughter of horses  locally in the USA so that horses don't have to suffer long trips to plants in Mexico or Canada.    

National Park Service Ban on Lead Ammo, Fishing Gear Draws Ire of Shooting Sports Foundation

Jan 3rd - 19:13pm | George Douglas

The National Park Service is like the rest of the federal government. They live to over regulate and take personal freedoms from American citizens! This at one time was a free country. Now there are at least a dozen countries that are  considered to have more freedom than the USA. These NPS idiots even banned the lead used in nymphs in

Traveler's View: How Will The Next Century Define The National Park Experience?

Jan 3rd - 12:31pm | Lee Dalton

Is it that visitors don't CARE or is it more accurate to say that they don't KNOW?

Traffic Patterns Leading To Reduction In Lodging Inside Mammoth Cave National Park

Jan 2nd - 19:57pm | Doug

I think the park is under estimating the need for nice large rooms. I believe the decrease in overnight stays are due to the quality of the facility. I checked out the facilities for a staff retreat where I worked, and I felt I couldn't ask my colleagues to stay in the dump of a lodge that was there. They look like bad dorm rooms.

"It Is Obvious We Need To Educate The Visitors"

Jan 1st - 21:46pm | Rick B.

We'll call it the Rick & Lee Show.

Jan 1st - 16:55pm | Lee Dalton

Y'know, Rick, after seeing that nearly 23,000 kids became Junior Rangers at Yosemite alone, perhaps the idea of providing a parallel activity for parents might work without a great deal of extra effort. Hmmmm.

Jan 1st - 15:39pm | Cornell Tramontana

RE: "hopeless dunces" One should not confuse lack of intelligence with not caring. Some don't care whether what do affects other visitors experiences or how it affect the park. 

Jan 1st - 15:34pm | Cornell Tramontana

Do you really believe that a lot of them care about the requlations? The only way that they will learn is if the consequences are meaningful, such as siezing any equipment they use in the comission of their acts. 

Dec 31st - 23:31pm | trailadvocate

Bucking the pop culture enlightenment I have always enjoyed and respected your posts, ec.   Yeah, Im old and tasted the pop culture as a youngster but it's time to grow up and grow a pair.  Many are enjoying the efforts that have gone before who have taken the arrows that have allowed this stupidity to flurish.

Dec 31st - 20:30pm | Rick B.

That could actually be one of the easiest parts. In Klondike Goldrush NHP, where I just left, they had a storefront dedicated to the Junior Ranger program, with a go-getter enthusiastic ranger manning it.

Dec 31st - 19:27pm | Lee Dalton

Thanks, Rick.  Now the hard part. How?

Dec 31st - 16:56pm | Rick B.

"Another thought hit as I was perusing the catalog.  How about handing parents a companion booklet to accompany Junior Ranger books given to children?  Some education aimed at helping parents understand how they may help ensure that these parks will still be here -- unimpaired -- for the children of their children.  Perhaps we need to give parents a patch showing that they be

Dec 31st - 15:29pm | Lee Dalton

I just received my copy of the Yellowstone Association's summer program catalog.  One offering in particular caught my attention.  On page 21 we find "Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Facing Geolorical Challenges In Yellowstone."  A three-day program July 12 - 14 examining management challenges at Yellowstone.  Cost $360.  I think I'll sign up and would be delighted to

Dec 31st - 13:19pm | Elizabeth Bolt

What part of Leave No Trace does this generation not understand?  What does race and culture have to do with vandalism? And rudeness?  If you take a boom box to the wilderness you don't disturb your neighbors they are visiting for the peace and quite or they are the wild animals that were there first that you came to visit. 

Dec 31st - 12:35pm | SheilaS

Can we get our lawmakers to increase funding to the NPS and NFS? The parks and forests can't afford the personnel, technology, educational materials, etc. that it needs. We can't expect them to oversee, educate, or train the public without the funds to do so. Funding has been consistently cut for the last 20 years with no real allowance made for the increased use.

Dec 31st - 11:21am | Lee Dalton

Alfred just said very eloquently what I've been trying to say.

Dec 31st - 11:17am | Lee Dalton

Do younger generations pay attention to anything that isn't exploding or using some spectacular special effect every second?  Maybe what's really needed is a production like Star Wars or one of the Stupor Heroes movies.  (And, yes, the t in that word is intentional.)  Hmmmm, flaming billboards shooting streams of fireworks into the sky just might do the job.

Dec 31st - 11:13am | Alfred Runte

My supervisor in Yosemite used to get apoplexy at my talks. On the other hand, she absolutely loved them, and stuck by me all the way. She knew somebody had to say it--this is a national park.

Dec 31st - 09:38am | Kurt Repanshek

I dunno, Lee, I kinda like the road sign suggestion. Growing up and going on family vacations to Florida I recall seeing "South of the Border" signs from Virginia down into South Carolina to lead folks to that roadside attraction. That place was well ingrained in my young mind miles and miles before we saw it.

Dec 31st - 09:30am | Lee Dalton

Miles of signs along the highways leading to parks would take us back to the forest of Stop At Wall Drug signs that used to infest highways leading toward Wall, South Dakota and the famous (infamous?)Burma Shave signs. How about a TV and radio public service ad campaign?

Dec 31st - 09:02am | ecbuck

Sure, there are an unfortunately large number of people who are hopeless dunces, but I do believe the majority of park visitors are more intelligent than that.

Dec 31st - 07:25am | Alan L Collins

I couldnt agree more with the education is a great step forward. somone will need to educate the educaters how to educate the new visitiors. Handing them a flyer at the gate is good but is way to late to create a park culture and respect for nature.  an Idea for something that could be done in the now is to educate with well thoughtout signage for miles along the way to park entrances.

Dec 31st - 06:46am | Hugh Redmon

As a frequent NPS visitor and camper, I am appalled by how others behave and treat our national treasures. As a city-dweller, I depend on the parks to restore my mind and soul with regular trips to parks and forests near me. The rudeness of neighbors in the campgrounds is astounding!

Dec 30th - 22:18pm | Cindy

Hear, hear!  Very well said.  Say it again.

Dec 30th - 19:38pm | Lee Dalton

This article is exactly what I've been trying to say recently.  It appears that the NPS is missing huge opportunities to educate visitors through the media of interpretive activities.  The message of protecting our parks can easily be woven into virtually any interpretive presentation without bashing visitors over the head.  (Although some really need it.)

Dec 30th - 15:33pm | Julie Smith

It is a never -ending teach people to respect and cherish the natural beauty of our National Parks.  It saddens me so much to hear of these people that just don't know how to behave.  I am a stong believer in starting with responsible parenting...all 3 of my boys have a great appreciation and respect for nature.

Dec 30th - 14:38pm | Alfred Runte

I keep hearing all of this business about the new generation--and how people change. The point is that they haven't changed. A century ago, the national parks were filled with theatrics, from Yosemite's firefall to the flood-lighting of Old Faithful Geyser off the roof of Old Faithful Inn.

Dec 30th - 14:25pm | Dianne Lindstrom

This article is so disheartening but not surpising to me considering how our societies ethics have changed.  My family and I have visited most of the National Parks for years and cherish them.  I think you are going to have to start making it known you will prosceute anyone that has defaced the park, hurt an animal or disturbed the park in anyway.

Musings From Mesa Verde National Park By Candlelight

Jan 1st - 20:56pm | plainview

What a great idea!  I will definitely put that on my calendar for next year.

Jan 1st - 19:32pm | Daryl L. Hunter

Wish I could have been there. 

Jan 1st - 14:30pm | Rick B.

I'm far from a competent low-light photographer. I'd simply like to experience this first hand some day - ust be amazing.

Jan 1st - 09:54am | Lee Dalton

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone.

Op-Ed | A Protective Firewall For Grizzlies

Jan 1st - 19:23pm | Daryl L. Hunter

Appreciate it Tim, I know many of our photographer friends won't thinks so.

Dec 31st - 07:05am | Timothy Mayo

Your proposal is intelligent, reasonable and achievable. 

Dec 31st - 05:15am | Daryl L. Hunter

Behaviorist?  I like it Loren.  I guess when we spend more time in the field than the bioligists, that is what we become if we are paying attention. Thank you.

Record Visitation Strained Some National Parks This Year, Creating Concern Over What 2016 Might Bring

Dec 31st - 19:54pm | Lee Dalton

A thoughtful op-ed from today's Salt Lake tribune:

Dec 30th - 14:56pm | Anonymous

In the 80's when the NPS communicated the "Loving the Park's to Death" issue, people naturally quit coming, and visitation went down. This is not a good message for the Centennial celebration or smaller parks who have plenty of capacity for more visitors.

Dec 30th - 14:05pm | DwnSth

As someone who visits GSMNP several times a year I can assure you most times the 'crowds' in Cades Cove are manageble.  It's the fact that the park does not manage individuals that stop and block the road to watch bears.  I trully believe the park is doing this intentionally to force the situation to a head.  Keeping several rangers patrolling the loop continuously on bikes would

Lifetime "Senior" and "Access" Park Passes Now Available By Mail

Dec 31st - 19:45pm | Phil Bailey

I just bought an annual pass for Acadia (where I live) but would this Senior Pass replace that and be good at all parks? Can I return it and get a Senior Pass? 

Inspector General: National Park Service Mismanaged Brinkerhoff Lodge At Grand Teton National Park

Dec 31st - 10:34am | Deborah Breeden

I don't have a problem with people using this place, simply charge them. As far as security and habitability, your talking Wyoming. Locks on doors are usually the norm. If a visitor is thought to need more security in the wilderness than this place offers,  they need to bring your own or go somewhere else.

Essential Park Guide, Winter 2015-16: Let National Parks Serve A Wintery Backdrop To Your Fun

Dec 30th - 14:51pm | Chip Beaudette

I second (third, fourth???) the motion of subscribing!!  Print edition for me.

Tour Of Utah Bike Race Hopes To Pedal Through Zion National Park

Dec 30th - 13:27pm | David Crowl

There are lots of parks in the National Park System that have special pupose like Wolf Trap National park for the Performing Arts. Maybe bicyclists need their own park or parkway dedicated to their use. But Zion does not have that special purpose. And the 10-15 thousand Daily visiters to Zion in August should not be bothered by this either. That's my opionion.

Dec 30th - 12:31pm | Kurt Repanshek

You ask some good questions, Diffpersp. While we might not agree on the answers, some consistency across the system would be good to see. But that's part of a larger story...

Dec 30th - 12:27pm | Diffpersp

The important question to ask here is whether or not Jon Jarvis will allow the "process" and "framework" to be applied without him interjecting his personal opinions about issues into park management decisions and allowing himself to be influenced by people who have access to him rather than DO THE RIGHT THING And walk the walk in terms of supporting the regional and local economies.

Dec 30th - 11:20am | Alfred Runte

Once upon a time not so very long ago, Olympic National Park was also logged. The Park Service has never been in love with absolute wilderness, so yes, roads are meant to facilitate "visitation"--and in this case logging of the park. The proper way to see a road is "access," not "visitation." Visitation in some peoples' eyes just means numbers. Access means the right to see the park.

Ecosystem Rebounding Quickly In The Wake Of Elwha River Dam Demolition

Dec 30th - 08:50am | tahoma

Why do dippers dip? Perhaps there are multiple reasons this has survival value. My long-held hypothesis is that they are using paralax to compensate for refraction in order to precisely locate food under water.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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