Recent comments

  • Making Sense Out Of National Park Visitation Statistics   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Jim Burnett does a good job of summarizing the difficulties of estimating NPS visitation. I agree that short-term flucuations in these numbers should not be used to justify budget reductions (or increases, for that matter) for specific units. However, I believe those sorts of logistical difficulties and fiscal pressures he describes introduce an overall bias towards overcounting. IMO, these "soft" and inflated visitation numbers are also a major factor in overestimating the economic impacts of NPS units.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    I'd be the first to agree that NPS numbers are soft...incredibly so.

    But to attribute a 35 percent decline in business to the beach regs seems high. It'd be interesting to see just how many days Highway 12 was closed, either due to hurricanes, or problems with the Bonner Bridge, each year since 2002.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    So visitation is barely down, but those visitors are spending 35% less because they can't drive a beach in some areas. Fascinating!

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Again sorry, I meant a 35% decrease economicly since the new rule, not visitation. Though visitation has of course suffered, as they go hand-in-hand, 2.9m in 2002 and what is it now barely 2m.

    I believe the NPS purposely doesn't make accurate counts of visitation because of internal politics. At CHNSRA they use car counters, which includes every trash truck, service deliveries and residents working off island. It's simply impossible to rely on these numbers. Based on my experience and discussions with business's, the visitation is down and a direct result of the NPS actions. Spin it your way as you wish...

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Beach, NPS shows 2003 visitation at 2.6 million, though 2002 was 2.9 million. Still, using your 35 percent figure, it doesn't work with 2002 figures compared to last year's 2.2 million. (35 percent of 2.9 million is a bit over 1 million)

    Nevertheless, how do you differentiate drops in visitation caused by NPS regs and that caused by hurricanes and Highway 12 washouts?

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Sorry, I meant economic impact since the new rule. After 2003, estimated 2.8 million, the visitation dropped signigicantly corresponding with the NPS changes in management and beach closures. Visitation numbers have not recovered and probably never will unless the NPS changes. Business's once depended on the relationship with the NPS now loathe the NPS.

    I know your about to pull some stats from SELC propaganda how the "OBX" economy is improving, but those numbers are skewed by non-island numbers and changes in taxes, so don't bother...

  • Exploring The Parks: Oregon National Historic Trail In Wyoming   3 weeks 5 days ago

    Yeah, James Reed of the Donner Party famously used a wagon that was too big and too heavy. At least he was lucky enought to live to regret it.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    NPS stats indicate visitation is only off 4 percent year-to-date through June. Where did you get the 35 percent figure, Beach?

    YTD 2014: 933932

    YTD 2013: 973,078

    https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/SSRSReports/Park%20Specific%20Reports/Monthly%20Public%20Use?Park=CAHA

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 5 days ago

    At CHNSRA the NPS has recently changed policies have negatively impacted economic prosperity of the villages contained within the park. A 35+% decline has been mostly attributed to excessive beach closures. The recent changes include the most popular beach destinations are closed to ALL access during the prime tourism season resulting in dozens of businesses closing, layoffs, and more. The economic engine at CHNSRA has been broken and so has the promises of the NPS.

  • Essential Summer Guide '14: Mix Military History And Beach Time At Gulf Islands National Seashore   3 weeks 5 days ago

    I suggest that you stay as close to the park that you can afford. The traffic in the summer is "challenging" but the park is beautiful.

    Danny Bernstein www.hikertohiker.com

  • Exploring The Parks: Oregon National Historic Trail In Wyoming   3 weeks 6 days ago

    The Oregon National Historic Trail is not co-managed by the NPS and the BLM. The NPS is the administering agency charged with implementing the trail Comprehensive Management and Use plan in partnership with other agencies, landowners, states, and other partners. Management responsibility of any place on the trail resides with the owner of a site or segment of the trail. Thus BLM has complete management responsibility for all of the trail on BLM land. Two trails, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro NHT, and the Old Spanish NHT have actually been assigned to both the NPS and BLM as co-adminstrators. This has been somewhat successful for the Camino Real, but has been a disaster for the Old Spanish Trail as BLM cannot coordinate decision making and budget among the five separate states. While the NPS assigns the trail to a Superintendent with trailwide responsibility, the BLM assigns a lead person who is a low level employee who has no real decision making ability for the trail. Each BLM state director is independent of each other and the trail lead, who is currently in the Utah office. As a result, the Comprehenive Management and Use plan for the trail has not been finalized and sits without approval by the BLM.

  • Making Sense Out Of National Park Visitation Statistics   3 weeks 6 days ago

    ec,

    GW Memorial Parkway is the admistrator for several small park units like Great Falls Park, Ft Hunt Park, Gravelly Point, Fort Marcy, Marine Corp Memorial etc. Looks like the traffic counters for recreation visits are on entrance/access roads from the GW Pkwy to those areas.

  • World War II Ordnance Found, Detonated At Cape Cod National Seashore   3 weeks 6 days ago

    The State Police are lucky the thing did not blow up in their faces while they were handling the weapon!

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Take back the tax breaks given to the oil companies and insurance companies and such,

    LOL Ignorance is bliss.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    I believe that it is a judge of a nation how much it invests in things that are worthwhile for themselves, with no tangible [dollarable] return.

    Well said, Rick. Better than my post above.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    I'm with Kurt. I'm an idealist. There are things that I believe in because they are the right thing to do. The National Parks are one of those things. I believe that it is a judge of a nation how much it invests in things that are worthwhile for themselves, with no tangible [dollarable] return.

    How to pay for them? Oh, there is a long list of ways. After taking care of every veteran, divert some of the money wasted on wars over the past couple of decades and spend it on the parks. Take back the tax breaks given to the oil companies and insurance companies and such, and spend it on the arts. Take back the tax free status of churches and spent the millions gained on feeding the poor and healing the sick and infirm. The parks, like kittens and butterflies, are their own excuse.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    The parks do spend a lot of time showcasing the importance of ecology, protection of endangered plants and animals, and the value in preserved nature. I take it many here don't follow the various National Park pages on their social media pages, because that's 99% of their posts.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Eric, you even admit that you like to travel to National Parks. Nature is what people are seeking, and the National Parks are some of the best areas for nature in our country. There are also many that don't have great acess to natural areas near their homes. One of the reasons the Smokies region is so popular is that there is around 2 million acres of protected forest in the region from the Cohutta Wilderness up to Southern Virginia. It's one of the few spots, outside of the Everglades, and some may argue the Adirondacks where you can find anything considerable in size that is protected. After Orlando, DC, and NY, this area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Eastern US, and viewing pure nature is part of that draw. If these mountains were not protected like that, not many would travel here, as much. Southern West Virginia doesn't have much National Forest, nor a tourist industry, but the terrain is somewhat similar. It's a definite contrast between the two areas.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Justin, your post sums it up well. These places are INTERNATIONAL destinations. Without the designation of a National Park, they will not be on the map of most international tourists. Countries that have preserved large scale national parks like South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Peru, etc ARE in that ecotourism driven game because they have preserved nature that attract a certain breed of visitor. Some people in our country recongnize this. We are international community, and not just exactly a county, or a state anymore. It's an international community, and places like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Great Smokies, Kruger, Banff, Torres del Paine, Serengeti, Manu, Yellowstone can be held in the same breath.

    Time is short on this planet, so some of us don't plan on wasting those dollars chasing theme parks riding roller coasters. To me it's chasing National Parks, and experiencing some of the best that the Earth has to offer. That's what drives my tourist dollars. In fact next week, i'm off for a 2 week adventure doing just that in the Northern Rockies again. . . Not a theme park involved.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Although Grand Canyon National Park officials don't track visitors' nationalities, they say they've noticed a sharp increase in international tourists in the past year or so and estimate that they now make up about 40 percent of all visitors to the massive gorge.

    From a 2008 article (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0330canyonvisits0330.html). All the evidence on this seems to be anecdotal--and therefore probably no way to resolve the arguments above. But it's interesting to consider--would 40% of visitors to the Grand Canyon have come to America if it didn't exist? Or would they have gone on safari in Kenya, to the rainforests of Central America, the Canadian Rockies, the islands of Greece?

    But I like Kurt's question better.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Kurt nicely said, I also was disappointed in the NPS Director not pointing out the enormous ecological value of the parks, along with the recreational and economic benefits. Agree completely.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    I agree, Kurt. The article invites a more interesting conversation about the parks as preserving value that hasn't been capitalized. (And since these places are so uniquely American, it's a nice way to think about American exceptionalism in the context of economic globalization. That's my Rooseveltism speaking.)

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    So, it looks like we're now in agreement that 1) there is incremental spending (of course we don't know what defines or how to capture "incremental spending"), and 2) that some people might spend comparable money elsewhere in lieu of a visitation to a national park.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    Were the national parks ever intended to be economic engines? Or where they to preserve slices of American grandeur? I think the latter.

    I also think it would be just as, if not more, valuable to point out the role national parks play in filtering air and water, providing habitat for species, helping to keep some species off the Endangered Species List while helping others rebound from being listed.

    There is an impressive aspect to the ecological role that the parks play that should be promoted just as vigorously, if not more so, than the economic component.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   3 weeks 6 days ago

    No one can fault Jarvis for trying to promote the parks, after all that is part of his job. If his point is to sucure additional funding then I see this as the same argument professional sports teams use to justify asking taxpayers to buy them new sports complexes or business uses to ask for land and subsidies. If in fact every dollar spent returns 10 as Jarvis states or is good for the local economy as is the justification in the other cases, then we should be able to lower taxes shouldn't we? Yet it always results in a tax increase.