Recent comments

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 4 hours ago

    And because I'm not sure where else to put this, here are a couple of proposed bills in Congress from this morning's Legislative Activities Report that look like they could be some serious problems for public lands. Whether we agree or disagree isn't important. What is really important is that we are aware of them and make an effort to keep track of what's happening and to learn more about things like this so we may either support or oppose them by contacting our Congress critters to voice our opinions. Talking about them with friends is a good idea, too. We need to try to make more people aware of what's being done to the lands we all own as Americans.

    • S. 414 (Feinstein, D-CA), to provide for conservation, enhanced recreation opportunities, and development of renewable energy in the California Desert Conservation Area, and for other purposes.
    • H.R. 900 (Labrador, R-ID-1), to amend title 54, United States Code, to provide for congressional and State approval of national monuments and restrictions on the use of national monuments.
  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 4 hours ago

    Indeed, therein DOES lie the problem. Thank you for acknowledging that. Now, what is the best way to administer these lands with sensitivity in place? Right there is the root of a whole lot of controversy. It's much too easy to simply take shots at the people who find themselves charged with responsibility for making decisions and quite another to try to understand why they may be forced by circumstances beyond their immediate control to try to make the best decisons they can at the time.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Capturing The Essence Of The Wild Animal   2 weeks 5 hours ago

    Oh my! Some great photos and a good story to start the day. Thanks again, Deby.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 14 hours ago

    Its just grass outside the park but it's sensitive grass inside the park, I see.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 14 hours ago

    EVERY part of a natural national park is sensitive.

    And therein lies the problem.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   2 weeks 15 hours ago

    [[ thanks,Jim. My question sprang from prior posts, not from the original topic. It's still a good question, for another day.]]

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   2 weeks 15 hours ago

    Appears to be pickup size tracks with positive traction like a 4x4 would have. Doesn't appear to be in-4wd based on the pics. It's a shame, no question. That area has an unfortunate history of vandalism like I suspect there are in other parks, especially in the off season.

    Long ago, I had some of the best times of my life staying at that campground. We would mostly sleep there during the day and surf fish Cape Point, just behind the campground, from dusk till dawn.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   2 weeks 16 hours ago

    Back to the subject of this piece, this "call for papers" could be one of the most meaningful projects the Traveler has facilitated. I hope readers who have both a serious interest in the future of the parks and some writing ability will choose to participate.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 16 hours ago

    One important factor in this equation is distance. It's a lot farther than in Zion. Something like 40 miles roundtrip instead of 14. Covering that distance while carrying all the passengers needing transport would require a whole lot more vehicles than are required in Zion where each shuttle can make a round trip in about an hour. I'm guessing here, but figure it would require perhaps four times as much time to make the trip in Arches. Thus, it would be reasonable that it would require four times as many vehicles, drivers, mechanics and other support. And, four times the $$$s.

    Also, the park entrance is in a canyon bounded on one side by highway and the other side by cliffs. There is no place within the park's entrance area for adequate parking. A big parking lot will be needed somewhere outside the park and probably several miles away in either direction. (Maybe the area along the Colorado River where a few million dollars were recently spent to remove a few million tons of uranium mine waste would make a good spot. It's big enough. And if you park there long enough, your car might glow in the dark. That would be novel.)

    Allowing people to drive private vehicles into the park would defeat the purpose. But for those who want to go to the campground -- which is at the far end of the 20 mile road -- could be handled in the same manner as vehicles belonging to guests at Zion Lodge. A red tag on the dashboard allows entrance to the lodge parking lot and no more. Once at the lodge, the car is parked and they ride the shuttle.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm 110% in favor of developing a shuttle at Arches. It can be done and should be done. But it ain't a-gonna be easy.

    As for the sensitivity of the area at the Delicate Arch trailhead -- heck yes, it's sensitive. Unless it has been moved since I was there last time, it's in one of very few riparian areas along a small creek fed by a feeble spring. It's also right beside the historic Wolf Ranch homestead shown in the photo accompanying the article. Besides, as someone pointed out above, EVERY part of a natural national park is sensitive.

    Then there are all the political angles involved. I believe I am correct in saying that the Zion shuttles enjoyed full support from Senator Bob Bennett. Bennett was a moderate who was dumped in a party convention when the Tea Party went after him. He was replaced by Mike Lee who is about as far out as one can get. Expecting any support from Lee is like wishing for the Good Fairy to pay a visit.

    While it's very easy to blame park administration and WASO and DOI, it's almost certainly not that simple.

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   2 weeks 18 hours ago

    Looks more like 4x4 truck tracks to me, what a mess.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   2 weeks 18 hours ago

    I'm really curious.

    When Director Jarvis was first nominated, all I heard from rank and file NPS employees was a great satisfaction that someone up from the ranks of the NPS was being chosen to lead, rather than a career politician from elsewhere. What I'm curious about is if all those voices have changed their minds or if they are now just drown out by the Red Queen "off with her head" crowd.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 20 hours ago

    No, we have to ask whether the park is "senstive."

    And why is that not a reasonable question? Sounds to me that you have your "solution" and are looking for a problem when it might not exist.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   2 weeks 22 hours ago

    SmokiesBackpacker said it all. It is time for Jarvis to go and new leadership to take over the National Park Service and remember what the parks are for and why they were founded.

    On another note, why is it that we do not have an accurate and complete history of the role of concessions in the history of the National Park Service. This important topic has never been covered. Perhaps we can take some of the money now being raised and spent on 2016 and write this history. I think this would be a wonderful present to give to National Park Service Management, Congress and the American people.

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   2 weeks 22 hours ago

    Minimizing the damage at first sounded to me like someone was preparing to confess and starting to mount his defense argument.

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   2 weeks 22 hours ago

    I don't care for the local ORV orgs politics concerning CHNS but I can assure readers they find that kind of activity just as disgusting as me. Most likely this is youngsters and involves alcohol.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 22 hours ago

    Noting the comments above, you can understand what Winston Churchill meant. Round and round we go when the solution is right there in front of us. Then do it now. No, we have to ask whether the park is "senstive." Then we have to protest the cost. Then we have to protest the distances involved. Then we have to protest the time it would take. And so, once again we reach for the six gun. Boom! Lay the asphalt and be done with it.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the boys in the bunkhouse are talking about all of the wind farms we will need to halt climate change. They seem to have no trouble funding those. Who were those masked men that stole all of the Park Service's funding? The Koch brothers? No, the president of the United States.

    He does the budget. Why is the Park Service at the bottom of the heap, while General Electric gets all it wants?

    Don't tell me this is a funding issue. It's never a funding issue. It is rather about who has the power and dares exercise it for good or ill. As Jeffrey Immelt of GE put it to a colleague of mine just last year, "I am at the table in the White House, and you aren't."

    Well, let's get to the table. It's time. Ask Hillary Clinton what she has mind for the national parks Ask Jeb Bush. The Koch brothers will be hoping to buy both of them. GE will spend lavishly on their campaigns. How about we remind every candidate next year what a democracy is? If we have the time to waff waff with one another here, will we take the time to exercise that privilege?

    Kurt, we need major articles on the parks philosophy of every candidate. Then we need them to go viral, as did the trademarks issue, thanks to you. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Just a few votes can swing a state. How about we make those swing votes count for parks?

  • Keep Track Of Events Surrounding Acadia National Park's Centennial Celebration At This Website   2 weeks 23 hours ago

    The Acadia Centennial Web site not only lets you link to the evolving calendar of events, it also invites individuals, businesses and non-profits to become part of history, by applying to be an Acadia Centennial Partner.

    Historians, artists, garden societies and museums are among those already announcing their intentions during this once in a century opportunity. Read about how you, too, can become a Centennial Partner, in our blog post:

    www.acadiaonmymind.com/2015/02/partners-celebrate-acadia-national-park-c...

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I am disappointed by the amount of support these vandals are getting in some of these comments.

    Where do you see anyone giving them support?

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I wasn't thinking new money, but rather money already budgeted for transportation programs, such as the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 1 day ago

    A shuttle would seem to make sense to me also oawever I imagine those costs are quite high. Vehicle purchase, drivers, insurance, maintenance, storage etc... Getting the federal govt to pitch in while attractive to those who love the parks is still money from our pockets as well as those who don't use the parks at all. We need to stop thinking of govt money as somehow being free. I'm not suggesting that that is what you are saying Kurt, but there does seem to be a tendency for people to think in those terms.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Once again, EC, you state you haven't been there, so your knowledge of the area is a big ZERO.

    Which is why I ask the question. Unlike you Gary, I don't pretend to know things that I don't actually know. I do see however that Zion is a single relatively short road for the tram. Arches on the otherhand is much longer and has several spurs which would make the tram/bus service much less efficient.

    Now I will ask a third time. Is the parking area at the trailhead of the Delicate Arch trail a particularly sensitve area? If not, I don't see the objection.

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I am disappointed by the amount of support these vandals are getting in some of these comments.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Well, Moab isn't quite as close to Arches as Springdale is to Zion. While you can walk into Zion from Springdale in a few minutes, Moab is five miles south of the entrance to Arches.

    Still, if Park City can leverage the federal government for transportation funds to operate its free bus system, which not only circles downtown Park City but reaches 8 miles north of town to some subdivisions and shopping areas, it would seem possible that Moab could qualify for the same program to get visitors to the park's visitor's center, where a park shuttle system could originate.

    Making a loop to the Windows area, then Delicate Arch, and finally the Devils Garden lot, would seem feasible. But park staff has evaluated this possibiity and decided it's not.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   2 weeks 1 day ago

    What a great idea for the 100th anniversary!

    Good luck.

    Danny Bernstein

    www.hikertohiker.com

  • Time To Register For Annual Wildflower Pilgrimage At Great Smoky Mountains National Park   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Come to the Wildlife Pilgrimage.

    It's an amazing array of hikes and flower walks. People come from all over the country and even the world.

    This is not a "local" event.

    Danny

    www.hikertohiker.com