Recent comments

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   2 weeks 3 days ago

    What we certainly can conclude from the tree ring data, is that human stupidity has never been higher at any time during the last 3,000 years. ;-)

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Yes Kurt, but the tree rings can't tell if they have gotten less moisture because of less snow or because of less precipitation. Less precipitation will cause less moisture, whether it falls as rain or as snow.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   2 weeks 3 days ago

    It does if that snowfall creates a deep snowpack that slowly releases its moisture through the spring and into the summer months....Decline in snowpack = less overall moisture release.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   2 weeks 3 days ago

    we would have concluded Yellowstone was experiencing severe snow decline

    Which is likely due to a precipitation decline. The tree doesn't care if it falls as snow or rain.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   2 weeks 3 days ago

    EC, did you see the section on tree ring data, which point to a long-term decline in preciptation as snowfall?

    Annual tree ring width is a highly accurate proxy for precipitation. Figure 7 is a zoomed-out version of the pattern seen in figure 3. Instead of using just April 1 SWE from 1919 to 2012, it shows a combined average of all the sites in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from 1200 AD to the present. Red arrows in figure 7 indicate the same low points during the 1930s and 2000s as seen in figure 3. With this added perspective, we can see these two drought periods were not just the driest in living memory but were actually the lowest snow years in the past 800 years. As stated earlier, the results of our trend analysis depended on which years you choose to include, and now we see that is doubly true. Our analysis of the longer, pre-1938 snow courses (figure 4, left panel) by chance showed no trend because it included the two periods of lowest snowpack ever recorded at its start and end points. If we had used tree ring records and calculated a trend line over the last 800 years, we would have concluded Yellowstone was experiencing severe snow decline.

  • Research Shows Steady Decline In Snowfall At Yellowstone National Park   2 weeks 3 days ago

    generally had lower precipitation and higher average daily maximum temperatures during the winter months," the article's authors wrote."These patterns suggest increasing temperatures during January, February, March, and April have caused significant snow declines in locations with higher average temperatures by pushing them over the freezing point more often.

    Why, if the period had lower precipitation, are they solely blaming less snow on warmer air? Even if it were cold, if there is less precipitation, there would be less snow. The paper doesn't include a single charge on total precipitation. It does say, however:

    We have seen that the longest snow course records in Yellowstone had no significant gain or loss of April 1 SWE from the early 20th century to present day because they include both low snow eras of the Dust Bowl 1930s and

    the 2000s

  • Obama Administration Passes On National Parks In DOT's "Grow America" Plan   2 weeks 3 days ago

    In both cases, Lee those profiting are far less than those that can vote. Therein lies your answer.

  • Obama Administration Passes On National Parks In DOT's "Grow America" Plan   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Often times, the "locals," if you mean ordinary citizens, support efforts to develop park lands around their communities or states. It is usually the influential, wealthy, greedy "locals" like land developers, mineral companies and others of that pedigree who oppose them because they may not be able to realize significant personal or corporate financial gain.

    Case in point, Utah.

    And yes, when I was stationed in Greenbelt Park in Maryland, the only park with a major Interstate highway and an interstate interchange within its boundaries (the Washington Beltway and Baltimore-Washington Parkway), we wondered the same thing. There are many spots in the DC area that should not be part of NPS.

    Now how we gonna do that? Because now that they exist, there are people profiting and they will oppose any efforts to divest the NPS of those places with all the lobbyists and Congressional accomplices they can muster.

  • Spring Coming Early To Olympic National Park, But Still Some Things Visitors Need To Know   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I am so glad they're finally doing something about that sad little visitor center at the Hoh Rain Forest! It's about time.

  • Obama Administration Passes On National Parks In DOT's "Grow America" Plan   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I wouldn't complain one bit.

    Perhaps not, but many others would. Making someone drive 80 miles when it can be accomplished in 12 doesn't make much sense to me.

  • Obama Administration Passes On National Parks In DOT's "Grow America" Plan   2 weeks 4 days ago

    If they removed half of Yellowstone's roads, and made it look like a giant 0, instead of a giant figure 8, I wouldn't complain one bit. I think there are too many roads in our National Parks, and i'd like to see a movement to either decommission a few, or even turn them to leisurely bicycle trails. It would be more cost effective long term for the government if that happened. Not everything should be paved with overlooks. Maintaining bike paths is far more manageable then maintaining road corridors in every nook and cranny.

  • Obama Administration Passes On National Parks In DOT's "Grow America" Plan   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Agree 100% Jim. Those are the kinds of properties that could be removed from the system, lightening its burden with no adverse impact on the NPS mission. Inclusion of the Waco Dinosaur site would be far more appropriate. But then according to many here, the locals always will fight to prevent new NPS lands. Oh wait, the locals are among the strongest proponents. So much for that theory.

  • Obama Administration Passes On National Parks In DOT's "Grow America" Plan   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Same question could be asked about the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Having the NPS responsible for maintenance of those commuter routes is a good deal for the states of Virginia and Maryland.

  • Obama Administration Passes On National Parks In DOT's "Grow America" Plan   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Why is the Arlington Memorial Bridge part of the NPS? This is primarily a commuter bridge.

  • Olympic National Park Gets Approval To Move Enchanted Valley Chalet...But How?   2 weeks 5 days ago

    The wilderness machinery prohibition is actually very sensical because even noise can affect/disrupt a habitat and its inhabtants. It's exception gives a small restictive leeway for allowing minimal machinery when neces. This just ensures that the wilderness will remain as unaltered as possible, where machinery of any kind will only be used when there is no other choice, therefore keeping with the definition of a wilderness as defined by The Wilderness Act:

    "A wilderness, incontrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hearby recognized by and area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor and does not remain."

    The key word here being untrammeled. This is a minimal (if any) impact zone unaltered and untouched without roads. As minimal human presence/disturbance as possible, the key phrase being " where man himself is a visitor and does not remain"

  • National Park Service Sued Over Potential For Grizzly Deaths At Grand Teton National Park   2 weeks 5 days ago

    While I’m generally in favor of wildlife protections given all the hyperbole in these statements this appears to be another case of a fringe group looking for problems where they don’t exist or disguising their true goal which I would assume is to ban hunting altogether. I suspect more bears will be killed due to vehicles or because they become habituated to people than from hunters over this time period but I guess they don’t have a problem with that. How much money is wasted defending these lawsuits that could be used for wildlife management? I used to donate to the sierra club until they went off the deep end, the last straw being when they took up political campaigning on behalf of labor unions. It's a shame becuase I think there is a place for a reasonable watch group. Also, could someone explain the reason/strategy behind earthjustice suing on behalf of the sierra club? Why doesn't the sierra club sue themselves?

  • April Fools' Spoofs Offer Creative Fodder For National Park Fans   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Oh my! A hydroelectric dam at the top of Yosemite Falls to power a gondola to the top of Glacier Point. How rediculous. Hmmmm. But, in past times a dam on Yosemite Creek was considered to prevent the iconic Yosemite Falls from drying up in mid July through Oct. Also, during the late 1960's and early 1970's, there were plans in the works to close down the road to Glacier Point past Badger Pass and to install an aerial tram from Happy Isles over Illilouette Falls to GP. A scale model of the eastern end of Yosemite Valley was made in support of that proposal, at considerable expense, and kept in what was then the "closed to the public" sections of the old Yosemite Museum. Fortunately, this plan was never realized.

    Kudos to the NPS for using social media to inject some humor into our lives for April 1st.

  • April Fools' Spoofs Offer Creative Fodder For National Park Fans   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Fun, Jim, thanks.

  • April Fools' Spoofs Offer Creative Fodder For National Park Fans   2 weeks 5 days ago

    My fave is the first photo with the wind turbines. What a great laugh!

  • Essential Spring Guide '15: On The Road To Castles Of Stone And Wood Turned To Rock   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Thanks for the great info-- last time we went south and east-- next time we'll head west!! There is a great museum at the Western New Mexico University in Silver City-- it has one the the largest collections of beautiful Mimbris pottery from the Southwest-- if you are into Southwest archeology it's definitly worth the trip .

  • Essential Spring Guide '15: On The Road To Castles Of Stone And Wood Turned To Rock   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Actually, nearby Holbrook (about 24 miles west) has some chain motels...

  • Essential Spring Guide '15: On The Road To Castles Of Stone And Wood Turned To Rock   2 weeks 6 days ago

    We made this trip last summer and it was great. You do have to plan ahead when you leave Pet.Nat Forest-- long way to any lodging. We drove back at night in a lightning storm which was really cool. It's definitly worth waiting to see the sunset in the Painted desert.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Taking Another Look At Wildlife Buffers   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Cape Point closes to off-road vehicles

    The National Park Service this morning closed Cape Point in Buxton to off-road vehicle access. The closure is in accordance with the requirements of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore's Off-Road Vehicle management plan.This morning, National Park Service staff observed American oystercatcher breed behavior approximately 0.6 - 0.7 of a mile south of Ramp 44 adjacent to the ocean shoreline, in an area commonly known as "the bypass." The required buffer of 150 meters to the east resulted in the closure to vehicles. There is currently ORV access for 0.5 of a mile south of Ramp 44. There is no ORV access to the tip of Cape Point. Last year, Cape Point closed on April 2 and did not reopen until Aug. 26, which was the latest reopening date for the area since the ORV plan became effective.For more information on beach access, check Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm

    No nests, no chicks, and same stupidity continues...

  • Tune Up Your Fiddles And Mandolins For The Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Beatrice (as pronounced by Nebraskans) = Bee-at-triss

    Glad you guys enjoyed your time in our state.

    I'd like to make it there. I'm still hoping to catch the sandhill cranes before they all leave. Darn bathroom remodel is hogging my time.

  • Around The Parks: Fishers In North Cascades And Mount Rainier, Yosemite Youth Programs, Glacier Conservancy Gets CEO   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Fishers: I was a seasonal backcountry ranger at Mt. Rainier 1995-2004. I saw two fishers during that time. One was crossing the Comet Falls trail with a rodent in its mouth. The second was near Eagles Roost and was scampering across the trail. Both sightings were probably in 1998 so fishers have been at Rainier for a while.