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Fire And Heartbreak In The Smokies

Dec 15th - 01:20am | Rick B.

A flash of excellent news:

Climbing Ice At Pictured Rocks

Dec 14th - 19:51pm | Rick B.

I've always called the frozen waterfalls my 'cathedrals', because the frozen spires remind me of the vertical pipes on a grand pipe organ. I've never climbed ice, but in my nursing days treated many an unlucky or careless climber.

UPDATED: Latest Speculation On Trump Interior Secretary Points To Washington State Congresswoman

Dec 14th - 18:26pm | Anonymous

"...picked a moderate..."  

Dec 14th - 16:31pm | ecbuck

Kurt, he may not be able to restore all industries to what they once were as technology and productivity improvments are not reversalable.  But, the excessive taxation (particularly vs overseas) and the burdensome regulations that provide little value can be eliminated which would encourage many of those jobs that were eaten up by offshore business to return and new jobs to be created.

Dec 14th - 15:27pm | Alfred Runte

No, you're right, Kurt. I watched Anthracite coal mining die in northeastern Pennsylvania, taking several major railroads with it--the Erie, the Lackawanna, the Jersey Central, the Delaware & Hudson, and Lehigh Valley. As more and more peole switched to natural gas (my mother in 1967), the railroads lost their principal product base.

Dec 14th - 14:25pm | Kurt Repanshek

The problem, Al, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is Trump cannot restore the manufacturing sector or the coal mining sector to what it once was. Technological advances, increased productivity, and off-shore businesses ate many of those jobs.Ten-thousand interpreters would be fantastic, both for the national parks and some of those unemployed who can bring those skills.

Dec 14th - 14:02pm | Alfred Runte

Trump will try to put America back to work. Throughout the election, he talked about the 95 million Americans of working age who have no work--including those who have stopped looking altogether. As every serious economist knows, our so-called 4.7 percent unemployment rate is a joke. It's closer to 22 percent with those 95 million figured in.

Dec 14th - 12:02pm | Lee Dalton

Well, Al, I just wish it was easier to understand what kind of RESULTS Trump is seeking.  I'm trying to keep an open mind, but it's very, very hard to find any respect for the man we've seen so far.

Dec 14th - 11:06am | Alfred Runte

Well, Lee. That's a nice way of putting it. The article I read in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL this morning says that Rep. Zinke is unalterably opposed to returning the public lands to the states. "'The federal government needs to do a much better job of managing our resources, but the sale or transfer of our land is an exteme proposal and I won't tolerate it,' " Mr.

Dec 14th - 09:04am | Lee Dalton

News this morning reports that Trump has nominated Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke as Secretary of Interior.

Endangered Minnow Thriving At Tumacacori National Historical Park

Dec 14th - 02:32am | Hector Silva

Please let's continue working on keeping the water in these area healthy 

Dec 13th - 13:18pm | justinh

Very good news.  Glad to see stories like this one.

Pine Beetle Strategy In Banff National Park Can Do More Harm Than Good, Research Shows

Dec 13th - 22:56pm | David Crowl

Well it does sound like your experience supports the same result as this article from Banf...their result also showed best results from cutting and removing infected trees.

Dec 13th - 22:01pm | ecbuck

Trees were killed in large numbers but there are as many still here.  "Most" makes it sound like there are no trees left.  My neighborhood alone has tens of thousands.   The bordering National Forest has hundreds of thousands if not millions.  I had to pay to cut down every infected tree on my lot.  It wasn't close to half the mature trees. 

Dec 13th - 21:53pm | David Crowl

Well my source was your local news from Summit County. So your saying that trees were not killed in large numbers or that the article has their facts wrong? 

Dec 13th - 18:32pm | ecbuck

Frank, you should do a little leg work into where that 97% number comes from. It is as bogus as the numbers used to create the hockey stick.  

Dec 13th - 18:30pm | ecbuck

David, I can look out my window and see that is not the case.    

Dec 13th - 18:19pm | Frank Waters

First visit to National Parks Traveler, first comment, and probably the last, since this thread is so appalling. NPT, you're likely enabling the demise of the site by a thousand cuts administered by one determined thread hijacker.

Dec 13th - 16:53pm | David Crowl

I would also use this quote from the same article; Similar to mountain pine beetle, the increase in spruce beetle activity is due to factors that increase tree stress, including densely stocked stands, ongoing drought conditions and warmer winters.

Dec 13th - 16:39pm | Rick B.

Settle down, David. You're arguing with the World's Foremost Authority.

Dec 13th - 16:19pm | David Crowl

I would refer you to this article that states "that most mature trees lodgepoll pines have been depleated in the epidemic area";

Dec 13th - 16:01pm | ecbuck

We still have plenty of trees left (BTW, contrary to the predictions that were made). Yes, there are many, many other factors in play.  Temperature would seem to be amongst the least of them.  

Dec 13th - 15:36pm | Kurt Repanshek

Beetles leaving could be the cause of them devouring all the trees they had an interest in. There are quite a few factors at play -- temperature, winter freezes, age and diameter of trees, collaborating diseases such as white pine blister rust -- that lead to infestations.

Dec 13th - 15:34pm | David Crowl

The elevation would only be important at its point where the conditions are not right to sustain the life cycle of the beetle. I know with some pine trees we have problems with here in Nebraska, they mainly only take trees that are 20 years old. So young trees are fine until the tree reaches about 20 and then they are taken quickly.

Dec 13th - 15:21pm | ecbuck

I'm not talking about different latitudes.  One example was Yosemite Park where Sugar Maples withint 5-10 miles of each other are being attacked at the same time despite 4,000 of elevation difference.  The second as here in Summit County where we see the same phenomenon.  And Yosemie is substantially warmer than Summit County but is being attacked years after Summit County.

Dec 13th - 14:40pm | David Crowl

I am no scientist, but attacks at different elevation would always happen. The but the higher elevation would only happen if it is warm enough for the insect to survive and procreate. Also it is important to note that elevation is relative to how far north or south you are. For example...the elevation for tree line is different in Rocky Mountain N.P.

Dec 13th - 12:02pm | ecbuck

Yep multiple studies, multiple different conclusions.  But the science is settled.  Riiiight.  Just shows if you want to reach a conclusion looking backward you can always build a model to get there.  Its the model looking forward that counts.  And so far, those predictions have been horribly worng.

Dec 13th - 10:38am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, and you don't think it's possible that using a new analysis could produce a different outcome? Obviously, as the bulk of their report states, they have reached a different conclusion. 

Dec 13th - 10:32am | ecbuck

Kurt, they cited a 2001 study that said there was no apparent impact from climate change.  They then applied their model to the same time frame that the 2001 study covered.  

Dec 13th - 09:26am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, if you could point out where in their study they say it happened in the past that'd be helpful. What I see is the authors stating that, "During the latter half of the last century, there has been a substantial shift in climatically benign habitats for mountain pine beetle northward, and toward higher elevations."More so:

Dec 13th - 08:35am | ecbuck

 in the past  In the past, yet their "model" says it did happen in the past.  The events didn't change, just the study.  And this still doesn't address the question regarding differing elevations being attacked at the same time.    

Dec 13th - 08:25am | ecbuck

If I'm wrong, we lose nothing. Thats were you are wrong. Following the path of AGW hysteria will cause us to lose much.    

Dec 13th - 07:58am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, I believe you misinterpreted that language in the introduction of the paper. My take is that the authors were making the statement that in the past there had been no connection between climate change and its effect on pine beetles, and that their studies now make the connection.Midway through the paper they write:

Dec 12th - 22:48pm | Lee Dalton

Someday, we humans will learn it's really true -- It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Fee Increases Coming To More National Parks

Dec 13th - 18:03pm | Terry Cover

Sounds lets raise the fees for businesses extracting resourses from Federal lands (oil, gas, timber, minerals, grazing, water, etc.) to realistic market price levels.  

Will Congress Pass A Centennial Bill For The National Park Service?

Dec 13th - 17:04pm | Lew Veal

Will current Senior Passes be grandfathered (remain valid for lifetime) if the new $80 rate goes into effect?

UPDATED: Congress Trying To Pass National Park Service Centennial Act

Dec 13th - 15:52pm | glacier91

On the contrary Lee Dalton, I think Huffy understands the situation very well. Huffy worked in the national parks with the National Park Service for 31 years and saw first hand how things operate.

Dec 13th - 13:40pm | Alfred Runte

Note what Huffy said--"Law Enforcement, Fire Suppression, Search and Rescue, clean toilets, these all take people doing a job." Uh, huh. And not one of those jobs said PRESERVATION.

Dec 13th - 12:49pm | Lee Dalton

Excellent comment, Huffy.  Now stand by to be lambasted because you admitted you are retired NPS so you have axes to grind and don't really understand the "real" picture -- whatever that happens to be at the moment.

Dec 13th - 11:10am | FlyHuffy

Having retired National Park Service after 31 years I have mixed feelings. Public lands are for everyone, not just the abled body, maintaing access for ALL is what the National Park Service strives for. 

Rocky Mountain National Park's Trail Ridge Road, Not A Good Place For Vertigo

Dec 13th - 11:40am | Clay

Why should others sacrifice for you if you can't do it don't the one who has their own bad experience should not change the experience for others  

Oregon Man Just Wanted To "Dip His Toe" In A Yellowstone Hot Spring

Dec 13th - 10:21am | tmartin775

I read the report. And like the person above me stated, it was heavily redacted. And I agree, while the details may be extremely gruesome...I feel if more people were to know and fully understand the danger thermal features pose, it'll steer them clear from wandering off the path.

Senate Passes National Park Service Centennial Act Before Adjourning

Dec 13th - 09:55am | Brian S

William Guy has a point worth further investigation; is the new administration going to turn over the management of public lands to the highest paying private vendors to operate as they see fit and ignore the validity of the lifetime senior pass to enter "their" national park?

Dec 12th - 23:18pm | rmackie

While I am inclined to agree with Bryan and RickB, I think mixing privately owned resorts and public lands is apples and oranges. I am happy to pay a little more to support our parks, but they are public lands and should be affordable to all, not private sector entities that can charge what the market will bear.

PEER, National Park Foundation At Odds Over Foundation's Spending Habits

Dec 13th - 09:44am | Melvin Janney

If "The Foundation" has nothing to hide, it is time to bring it under IRS regulation, requiring completion of Form 990. I suspect that it is another example of a money pot for top executives like many of the begging organizations.

Birding In The National Parks: Chasing Birds At Joulter Cays National Park

Dec 13th - 09:34am | Kurt Repanshek

Google the park name and filter the search for "images." There are quite a few shots.

Dec 13th - 09:19am | Ananymouse

Is there a site containing any images of this proposed park?

Photography In The National Parks: The Great Rewards Of Lowered Expectations

Dec 13th - 08:54am | watcheronthewall

The second bird picture is of a Cactus Wren.  The biggest of the Wrens.  

National Park Foundation, Grand Teton National Park Foundation Acquire Private Inholding

Dec 12th - 23:59pm | Josh and Jen

My wife and I helped donate to this effort to buy out the Antelope Flats. Well done. Well done. Next up is the Kelly Parcel in Grand Teton Park. 

Dec 12th - 22:46pm | Lee Dalton

It's nice to see a little good news about our parks once in awhile.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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