All of you are missing the point. The whole purpose of this bike race is a human event; the whole purpose of the national parks is to make room for natural events. Where do you draw the line on human events? By the very fact that they are human in the first place.
It's very easy for a chronic critic to call others "fools" and claim that there is no reasonable reason to think that anyone's vacation plans might be disrupted by a for-profit professional bike race if they have properly "planned" their vacation.
Kurt, you are using the "unaware" argument again. If someone is "planning" they certainly could plan around the event if they thought a few hours of a bike race would be disruptive to their vacation. The are many alternative Parks or days they could "detour" to. Here in Colorado, those highway detours would be hundreds of miles.
EC, I'd disagree with your "inconvenience" comment. Parks are destinations, with (in the case of the entire park system) hundreds of millions of folks heading to them with a specific reason in mind: to vacation, to explore, to enjoy.
Kurt, you make some good arguments, especially the case against the timing. I was merely pointing out that the "unaware" argument was not a good one. However, whilte "here's no need, reason, or justification to shut down the park" the same could be said for public highways yet they are closed for races and the public seems to think it is worthwhile to do so.
I would have to disagree with you, EC. There's no need, reason, or justification to shut down the park for a bike race, especially a pro race. Sure, it'd be a beautiful backdrop. But the race goes against the Park Service's own Management Policies, against the stated mindset of the director of the National Park Service, and plays no role in the national park experience.
To call this a commercial activity or commercial enterprise is something of a bugaboo, as each occurs in parks from time to time. What is most offensive about this concept is that a bike tour or race requires an exclusive use of park roads and facilities.
Cole, a nice list! I'll be interested to see which park you rate highest for wildlife by the end of your trip. Yellowstone definitely ranks high, and we enjoyed the marinelife at Virgin Islands National Park and the birdlife at Glacier Bay National Park. Any ranking, I think, would have to be formatted by season, wouldn't you agree?
" . . . and start working on park specific visitor enhancements that do double duty of enhancing park experiences while preserving resources."
How about giving us some examples of what you mean? Perhaps your ideas might be well worth considering.
Dec 28th - 17:05pm |
Quit wasting money on "carrying capacity" studies, a concept largely discredited by social scientists, but required by law, and start working on park specific visitor enhancements that do double duty of enhancing park experiences while preserving resources.
I agree Eric. The old "my right to swing my fist around ends just before it strikes your nose". If my wife choses to Google info on a particular native plant on her phone, it doesn't really 'strike your nose'. Making absolute statements as our friend Ree does is not very workable. No matter how Ree decides my vacation should be defined it has no functional effect on me.
Ree - not sure who your comment was directed towards but let me respond. When I hiked the AT there was a saying "hike your own hike". There are no rules on how one is to vacation. Many people have many different ways of "vacationing" - even in a National Park.
Dec 28th - 00:42am |
Vacation away from city means completely disconnecting. Not rushing to get to nowhere; not bringing cell phones or other crap; not timing how long it took to get through the gate.
I was in Zion yesterday. Although not nearly as crowded as last Christmas, it was still impossible to find a parking space in any parking lot up the canyon. Automobile carrying capacity had been reached and exceeded. It was about equal to a summer day in the 1980's before the shuttle. But the shuttles a on winter vacation right now.
Alfred Runte's post made me recall my first full-time job with the NPS as an environmental planner. I worked under the direction of John Kauffmann, chief planner for what was them the proposed Gates of the Arctic National Park in the central Brooks Range. John proposed setting up a reservation system for visitors who wished to experience true wilderness in the park.
Dec 24th - 10:46am |
As an Arizona resident & landscape photographer, I have found the solution is to abandon going to national parks & go to national monuments & national forests instead. More breathing room, less stress, less-crowded trails, less-photographed landscapes. John Muir's suggestion for the national parks was to make them car-free & road-free zones.
As Yellowstone National Park settles into its balanced ecosystem--particularly after the reintroduction of wolves in 1995--I am hopeful that as Americans we continue to value & preserve our first national park and its current status of health. Daryl Hunter's proposed firewall boundary makes logical sense to simply not allow hunting of grizzlies within the PCA recovery zone.
Dec 28th - 11:35am |
Good insights from one of the most experienced wildlife behaviorists in the region. A must read for all of us who live in the region.
I think the park allows backpackers to arm themsleves to avoid being eaten by a bear, no need to wait and see what happens next once a big bear moves in danger close, thats just stuck on stupid, shot the damn thing!!
Another catch 22 for government agencies.
Although I completely agree with sentiments of others here, we must remember that this is the place where while people demand services of all kinds from our government, they simultaneously sceam and whine when asked to pay for it.
So comes the Big Question, where do the dollars come from?
Dec 26th - 19:17pm |
This is disgraceful and disgusting! How can this happen?? Time to treat these horses with DIGNITY not death!
Dec 24th - 18:04pm |
It was once the same with military dogs: they were "excess equipment" and were abandoned among the enemy. In this case, the kill buyers are the enemy.
It has come to my attention that Yosemite National Park does have a retirement plan in place for equines. I hope that YOSE's plan can be used as a starting point (and strengthened, if necessary) for a national policy that is applicable to all NPS units.
Here's a photo of one horse, "Fern," with its NPS brand showing. It was taken at a feedlot.
Dec 24th - 07:29am |
JD - Pendergrass GA
Words are cheap and easy. It's actions that are hard and make the dfference What will you do to make a change? Write your congressman, get a sponsor for a bill, contact horsewear/equipment manufacturers, QH congress and Breed associations to band together to facilitate change. It's not only NPS but th eslaughter industry itself is a problem.
Dec 24th - 00:56am |
What sort of brand or tatoo does a NPS horse have that identifies them as having been in the serivice of the NPS? I can see the black horse in the phot has a BLM brand, but don't see and have never heard of a NPS horse being branded or identified as such.
Dec 24th - 00:27am |
So sad, the same thing happens to horses at kids camps every fall. They get rid of them at auctions, and the next spring they replace them with new horses. I guess these horses are considered disposable, instead of paying for winter upkeep, it's cheaper and easier to dump them like a piece of trash.
Dec 23rd - 19:42pm |
It's about time people should step up and make sure that these animals are well taken care of instead of being slaughtered by these monstrous persons. Don't I humans have a heart and soul not to make them suffer these atrocities.
As a full time resident of the Coral Bay Quarter of St. John, I know that the asserions by the developers are untrue, regarding the economic benefits of these projects.. St. John has a successful Eco Tourism brand, dependent on the natural environment of the National Park and National Monument. There are several underutilized marinas nearby to St.
The color maps look very interesting. I wonder if there are other copies elsewhere?
Dec 26th - 13:35pm |
Hello Randy. What a small world! My brother and I were in Alpine at Sul Ross this past November 13-17 for the Center for Big Bend Studies annual conference. It is a really nice campus. We exhibited the letters and copies of the Dorgan maps. I am not in Raleigh at the moment but would be glad to show you the letters when I return.
Dec 26th - 11:04am |
Hey Jason, my name is Randy Wilson and i graduated from Sul Ross State, located in Alpine, Tx, gateway to big bend. It was truly the best 4 years of my life. I now live in Raleigh, would love to read over your letters. you can drop by Sharky's Place, 5800 Duraleigh Rd. a sports bar that I own, or call me there at 919.783.5448 and leave a message. This is awesome stuff. rw
Dec 26th - 10:35am |
Your comment on the "differing views and objectives, which translate into political intrigue" is what I gather from this article. Well said.
Dec 25th - 23:28pm |
I have been to the Dorgan ruins in Castolon several times over the years. It has been awhile but I don't remember reading about this at the historic site. Seems like Dorgan was an active fellow. I believe the post office is still there.
Dec 24th - 17:50pm |
When volunteering with BIBE interpretation in the late '90s, I.wrote a program and gave local history tours of the area between Castolon and Terlingua Abaja, which included the Dorgan homestead ruins. The comments of AW are absolutely correct.
Dec 24th - 17:40pm |
I read the website. It reminds me a lot of the Elephant Butte irrigation district scandal in New Mexico. Fascinating stuff.
A number of years ago there was an earthquake in the vacinity of Old Faithful.
After the quake is when Old Faithful became just Old.
The article stated that the quake altered the undeground structure of Old Faithful which caused the geyser to "spew" at a different tim, whi is now abount every 90 minutes. The pre-quake time an average 66 minutes.
I'm commenting well after this article was written, but as I was writing myself on Zion, and have spent quite a lot of time there, I thought I'd weigh in. While I wouldn't visit a place or not visit based on name alone, I do admit to feeling a bit of a draw when presented with particularly romantic-sounding place names.