Recent comments

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Should Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth At Bryce Canyon   3 weeks 1 day ago

    This really sounds like flawed data. I go down to the Bryce area almost yearly with my horses, we are usually in a group of 5-15 riders when we go. I have talked to many other folks who have also made the trip. I just don't see how they can say that only 85 private horses have entered the park in the past 3 years. The various folks I've ridden with have made up a third or half of that number. I can't believe nobody else has ridden in the park. Some how the accounting is skewed.

    In my multiple trips to the park we have never had a problem with the guides and their clients. I just check with them as we start our ride and make sure what time they will be on the trail and make sure we are on a different section at that time. But even if I did encounter them on the trail. The rules have always been that the private stock owners back up and move up a side trail so the guide and his clients can pass. We expect the private stock owners to be more horse savey and better able to handle their private horses than the tourist on his first horse ride on a horse he has never seen before.
    This is just pure money grabbing by the concessionaire and the park service who get a percentage of all money the concessionaire takes in.

    If the outfitter and park service really feel this is problem. Lets reduce the number of days the guides can ride in the park from seven days to five days and let the private stock ride in the park on the two remaining days.

    The Bryce Canyon are has way more riding OUTSIDE the park than the short 8 mile ride on the Peek-a-boo trail. When I go do to ride, We ride 2-3 days with only 4-5 hours of that time spend inside Bryce Canyon Park. This is true of the Outfitter also, I see them guiding clients on trails on nearby Forest Service and BLM land. Is this not as much of a problem on the Forest Service land as is on Park Service land?

    I can honestly say, that if this rule goes into effect. I will stop visiting Bryce Canyon and Ruby's Inn.

  • House Of Representatives Asked To Dilute Antiquities Act   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Only a few days ago we learned that 1665 acres of spectacular California coastline was protected by the President as the Mendocino National Monument. This action was done by executive order during a time when a “do-nothing Congress” with an approval rating in the single digits would have never managed this conservation achievement. Over the years various presidents have protected 108 areas as national monuments. President Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican, established the first one in 1906—Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, and he eventually established 17 more.

    Some of our nation’s greatest national parks began as national monuments created by the president. These include Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Acadia and Olympic national parks. Members of Congress were not able to get this done, as they often lack the necessary vision and foresight. A case in point is Alaska. President Carter established national monuments there, many of which are now popular national parks. At the time the Alaskan congressional delegation opposed them. Now Alaskans rave about their parks and all of the resulting tourism and positive economic impact.

    Ironically, only a few weeks ago I received an email from my Representative Steve Daines of Montana lambasting the authority of a president to establish a national monument. Since President Roosevelt took that first step in 1906 our nation’s population has almost quadrupled from 85 million to 317 million! I am thankful that we still have presidents creating national monuments for the benefit of our children and grandchildren. It is sad that my own Montana U.S. Representative opposes this. Today’s Republicans would do well to study the legacy of a Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt, who was one of our nation’s greatest conservation presidents.

  • Can Olympic National Park's Enchanted Valley Chalet Be Saved?   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Jeff Monroe of Monroe House Moving proposes to move the Chalet back from the river, estimating it would take 4 men 5 days and is "relatively easy". This is a small fraction of the over 2400 hours of volunteer labor donated by the community to its restoration. Backcountry Horsemen of Washington and Olympians Hiking Club endorse this effort and have volunteered to participate.

    Monroe previously moved the 1930 Yeomalt Cabin on Bainbridge Island and the Worthington Mansion in Quilcene, as part of large volunteer community efforts to save and restore these unique historic structures.

  • House Of Representatives Asked To Dilute Antiquities Act   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Short sighted partisan politics. Whenever there is a President of one party, the party out of power wants to dilute the power of the office, despite the fact that it will hurt their own party when the party in power changes back again.

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Should Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth At Bryce Canyon   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Actually, Yellowstone DOES require that a licensed guide be with all snowmobile parties. Only four-stroke machines are allowed inside the park. That means that probably few snowmobile owners may ride their own machines because most own 2-strokers -- but they still must be guided.

    The reason is that it seemed to be the only way to regulate some snowmobile jockeys who insisted on blasting off trail and chasing elk and bison. In the years this has been in effect, support for it has been overwhelming. Even some avid snowmobilers I know fully support it because it was either this or a ban on snowmobiles because of the foolishness of a few.

    But horses at Bryce? I don't know about that one. Based on what little I've been able to learn, it looks like a hand-out to the concessionaire. Again I need to ask, where is the pressure behind this coming from?

  • Birding In The National Parks: The Hidden Gems Of Everglades National Park   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Kirby, nice story and pictures. You definitely made me add this park to my bucket list.

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Should Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth At Bryce Canyon   3 weeks 2 days ago

    The fee seems very high. I wonder if snowmobile owners feel the same way about Yellowstone requiring a guide? Is the park worried that the owners of horses will go places they shouldn't?

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Should Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth At Bryce Canyon   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Julie Trevelyan, thoughtful comment and I agree. Having had some experience with concessionaire rides on narrow trails, where the stock going up meets stock coming down, well it can be a discombobulating situation. It seems to me, and it worked well in Yosemite, that the private stock person just be told of the concessionaire schedule in those spots where there maybe conflicts, then everyone adjust their schedule accordingly. Worked well in Yosemite. Again, I might not be familiar with all the ins and outs here, but a 100.00 concession fee seems totally unrealistic, actually quite outrageous in my view.

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Should Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth At Bryce Canyon   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Based on anecdotal reports from the concessionaires themselves. No chance of _their_ self interest being involved in what they say, eh?

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Should Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth At Bryce Canyon   3 weeks 3 days ago

    As a person who likes to ride horses and visit national parks, I think Bryce Canyon's proposed idea is very poorly thought-out. Frankly, if I'm experienced enough to haul my own horses to a park and ride them, I certainly don't need someone else to show me the trails and babysit me. As a wrangler who leads riders (on our horses) into a national park, I think Bryce Canyon's proposed idea is very poorly thought-out. If they're really that worried about private horse groups interacting with concessionaire horse groups, they can revamp their guidelines and encourage visiting private riders to be courteous and smart when riding around rank beginners.

    After all, it seems very true that if "just 85 private equestrians have ridden all or part of Bryce Canyon's 8 miles of horse trails since August 2011, vs. "thousands" of concession-led riders who have -- it doesn't seem like there are enough private riders on the trails to create much of a problem."

    From what's being reported, it sounds like the idea is very heavily based on purely anecdotal evidence shared by wranglers...who work for a private concessionaire...which perhaps wants to own the whole damn pie. Canyon Trail Rides already has cornered the horse ride market with Bryce, Zion, & the Grand Canyon. Frankly, you can't control everyone, so don't be greedy and make a national park experience even more regulated than it already is.

  • National Park-Scented Clothing? You Can Do That!   3 weeks 3 days ago

    I dunno...I guess this stuff can't be any worse than the fragrances (I use that term loosely) that some of the ladies "bathe" in where I work.

  • National Park-Scented Clothing? You Can Do That!   3 weeks 3 days ago

    I wonder if the Glacier Bay scent is Bartlett Cove at low tide? Or whale breath? Both distinctive and wonderful, but not what one would want to be wafting into the air....especially the whale breath!

  • National Park-Scented Clothing? You Can Do That!   3 weeks 4 days ago

    What about the smell of sweaty maintenance workers and rangers trying to keep the parks in good shape and helping visitors enjoy them?

    Or the memorable odor of a carcass -- human or otherwise? Or the scent of a well-used bear trap? Perhaps the aroma of a dumpster that, because of budget cuts, can no longer be emptied three times a week?

    They're missing out on a few of the essences that some of us remember very well. This is American marketing genius at its finest. The possibilities are endless.

  • Can Olympic National Park's Enchanted Valley Chalet Be Saved?   3 weeks 4 days ago

    I can understand the historical significance and pleasure this hostel type place brings, but I do not think the river should be channelized to save the structure. If it can be moved, a huge job I know, well..

  • Monitoring Climate Change Along The Coast Of Olympic National Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Did read it. Didn't see proof positive that their claims are right. How about providing that for us?

  • Monitoring Climate Change Along The Coast Of Olympic National Park   3 weeks 5 days ago

    The report already lays that out. Perhaps you should read it.

  • Monitoring Climate Change Along The Coast Of Olympic National Park   3 weeks 5 days ago

    They have laid out their facts and statistics. Why don't you show where they are RIGHT? Probably because you can't.

  • Monitoring Climate Change Along The Coast Of Olympic National Park   3 weeks 5 days ago

    A good source for reliable science information on global climate change is the AAAS, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. They recently established a site for information on climate change and it can be found here http://whatweknow.aaas.org.

    Another good source is the NAS, National Academy of Sciences with a recent publication with clear answers to questions like "If the world is warming, why are some winters and summers still very cold?" You can find the answer in their booklet by following the link below.

    http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf

  • Can Olympic National Park's Enchanted Valley Chalet Be Saved?   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Mother Nature knows culture is not stagnant. I'm all for allowing the Enchanted Valley to return to her true wilder self...

  • Major Changes In Store For Grand Canyon National Park's Maswik Lodging Area   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Sweetcheeks is a term of endearment.

  • You Can Ride Your Own Horse At Bryce Canyon National Park, But You Have To Hire A Guide   3 weeks 5 days ago

    More details -- and a potential solution -- coming Monday, Ron...

  • You Can Ride Your Own Horse At Bryce Canyon National Park, But You Have To Hire A Guide   3 weeks 5 days ago

    It is interesting that the NPS in this case would require a private horse person to hire a concession guide to ride a trail in Bryce Canyon. It maybe there are issues with horses on some of the trails, I am not familiar with the situation. But why a private citizen needs to hire a commercial outfitter to ride his/her horse on one of the park trails needs much further explanation.

  • Major Changes In Store For Grand Canyon National Park's Maswik Lodging Area   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Indeed, but somehow I think Rambler knows that and could still respond. You really get a kick out of name calling don't you?

  • Major Changes In Store For Grand Canyon National Park's Maswik Lodging Area   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Wrong thread, sweetcheeks.

  • Major Changes In Store For Grand Canyon National Park's Maswik Lodging Area   3 weeks 5 days ago

    BTW Rambler Can you point me to the NASA study that says 97% of scientists agree with the IPCC position?