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Classic Fall Hikes: The Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Sep 9th - 11:59am | wild places

It's a great trail but still a long way from being complete so every bit of support helps. Thanks for including it Kurt. And happy belated anniversary. You run a great site.

Sep 9th - 09:54am | drew hanson

We love the Ice Age Trail.

Push On To See Land And Water Conservation Fund Renewed

Sep 9th - 11:22am | ecbuck

    I fail to see where you put the blame on the Congress Sept 8 7:34 AM  "Whos is "embezzling"?  Our government. "  Which of course includes (but is not limited to) Congress.  

Sep 9th - 10:09am | Rick Smith

Sorry, ec, I went back over the posts on this thread.  I fail to see where you put the blame on the Congress which is responsible for the shortfall in appropriations.  But, it really doesn't matter.  You now know where to focus your energy to get tha Act reauthorized, if for no other reason than the difference that money makes in our local communities.  Besides, it does

Sep 8th - 21:12pm | ecbuck


Sep 8th - 20:50pm | Rick B.

Rick...   Land acquisition is a special interest of real estate developers, you know.

Sep 8th - 19:03pm | ecbuck

 Why is it so difficult for you to understand this? What makes you think I don't understand it?  I was the first to point out the shortfall in appropriations existed and the first to place the blame on Congress. And, the first to point out that vast majority of the funds that are spent don't go to the NPS.

Sep 8th - 18:50pm | Rick Smith

ec-- There is no doubt that the embezzlers are our Representatives in Congress who use the money intended for the LWCF for other purposes.  And aside from the small amount that goes to land acquisition, the money is managed by local municipalities.  Why is it so difficult for you to understand this?

Sep 8th - 12:23pm | ecbuck

First, I would have the state and local programs turned over to the state and local governments.  For federal purposes, how about legislation that identifies the funding source and forces those funds to only go to the intended purpose. 

Sep 8th - 11:59am | Rick B.

Even damaged as it may be, it's a better way than - but I haven't heard you suggest anything to compare it to.

Sep 8th - 10:38am | ecbuck

Again, I have to ask, WHO is "embezzling" from the fund? Why do you have to ask again.  I already told you that.  Yet you continue to think that fund is an efficient way to acquire land.  

Sep 8th - 09:47am | Lee Dalton

  Again, I have to ask, WHO is "embezzling" from the fund?  It took me all of thrity seconds to find the answer.  Here it is, excerpted from a posting you can find at this web address: ::::::::::::::::::::::

Sep 8th - 08:38am | Anonymous

 it's the "gift that keeps on giving."  No argument with that.  The question is whether the LWCF is the best mechanism for making that gift.  If you  knew of any charity were only 33 cents on the dollar made it to the intended recepients, you would be screaming bloody murder. 

Sep 8th - 08:34am | Anonymous

So please share your knowledge with us.  WHO is embezzling this money.  We need to know so we can try to stop it.  Could it be Big Oil companies that resent anything that might cut a little into their profit margins?  Is it Congress?  Who?

Sep 8th - 07:28am | Jim Burnett

As to whether the impact of LWCF funds are "significant" or "miniscule," there's another perspective that's more important that the percentage of these funds in the overall NPS budget.

Sep 7th - 23:39pm | Lee Dalton

Okay, ec, how about telling us exactly WHO is "embezzling" from the LWCF?  In the meantime, I hope you had a great holiday weekend.  I spent part of it in a park that displays a sign that reads something like this: "Park Development funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act."

Sep 7th - 10:47am | ecbuck

that ec has no interest whatsoever beyond constantly spouting a continual stream of opposition to almost anything that might advance environmental progress.

Sep 7th - 10:22am | Anonymous

While the LWCF helps the NPS with land acquisition based on the annual amount appropriated by the Congress, the real benefits of the fund go to local and municipal governments.

Sep 7th - 09:45am | Kurt Repanshek

Half-a-billion dollars over a decade is miniscule? Perspective is everything, I guess.But don't confuse park ops with what LWCF aims for: in the realm of the parks, the funds go to land preservation/protection, not park ops, and I'd say the impact has been quite significant, not miniscule. How much of the annual park budget -- your park ops -- goes to land acquisition?

Sep 7th - 09:42am | Rick Smith

While the LWCF helps the NPS with land acquisition based on the annual amount appropriated by the Congress, the real benefits of the fund go to local and municipal governments.  And it is not a miniscule amount.  If we believe that open spaces, parks and recreation areas improve the quality of life in our local communities, then this program should be reauthorized.  But, God forb

Sep 7th - 09:35am | ecbuck

Kurt, the NPS has received about $50 million a year the last decade.  That is 15% of the LWCF allocations, 6% of what LWCF is supposed to generate and 2% of the NPS budget.  LWCF contribution to the NPS operations is miniscule. 

Sep 7th - 09:29am | Lee Dalton

Thank you, anon, for pointing out something most of us already know -- that ec has no interest whatsoever beyond constantly spouting a continual stream of opposition to almost anything that might advance environmental progress.  While constantly accusing others of "unsubstantiated" comments, only rarely does he make any attempt to provide back up information to his own claims.  Trying

Sep 7th - 09:09am | Kurt Repanshek

I'm not sure the number is "miniscule," EC, and if you can point to it, please do. But you raise a point that the NPS should address: making it easy to see the benefits of the program. 

Sep 7th - 08:48am | ecbuck

Or if he doesn't LIKE  the answer, then it's obviously without merit.

Sep 6th - 23:44pm | Anonymous

Or if he doesn't LIKE  the answer, then it's obviously without merit.  A person who is sincerely interested in learning truth will follow up on a question he doesn't like with some checking to find out if it's possible that he, perchance, might actually be wrong.  He knows that true learning requires investigation on both sides of any issue.  But that threatens preconceived

Sep 6th - 20:08pm | Retired Ranger

The LCWF has helped acquire dozens of essential inholdings in our National Park units.  This important program should be renewed withut hesitation.

Sep 6th - 18:50pm | ecbuck

Gee Rick, I didn't know asking questions was forbidden.  Someone indicated the National Parks depend on LWCF Funds.  Since he made the comment, I assummed he knew how much they received.  I could spend some time and maybe find the answer or I could ask the commenter.  If he doesn't know the answer, I know his comment is likely without merit and the research unnecessary.&nbsp

Sep 6th - 18:07pm | Rick B.

Eric - I'm sincerely curious. Why do you keep asking others here to do your research for you? I don't think it's laziness - it has to be argumentativeness. Is that just a rhetorical stance you like to take? Or do you really think that asking questions on a discussion fora like this qualifies as 'research'?

Sep 6th - 16:01pm | Rick Smith

I was in Flagstaff last weekend.  I went to a city park that had been financed by the Land and Water Conservation Act.  There are thousands of those kinds of places sprinkled across the US.  This will be the real disaster if this act is not reauthorized.  The support for local parks and recreation will dry up.

Sep 6th - 13:23pm | ecbuck

How much does NPS get from the LWCF?

Sep 6th - 10:12am | Arrye Rosser

Please reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund before it expires later this month. National parks depend on this revenue source and it is especially critical as NPS prepares for the Centennial.

"Senior Skip Day" In The National Parks

Sep 9th - 10:12am | Bernard Katz

I don't think any--or most seniors--are going to be tempted just for a "free day." For $10 as indicated, you can get a great bargain for entry into any park, any day. I got one years ago--when the were free! A year or so ago, I couldn't find it; bought another one. Ten bucks? The bargain of any lifetime, and money well spent...a pittance.

Life Buoyed By The National Parks

Sep 9th - 07:00am | Acadia on my mind

So sorry for your loss, Kurt. You are fortunate to have found each other, and to have had so many wonderful experiences together in the national parks. Thank you for sharing some of the memories of your great friend.

Sep 8th - 17:24pm | Rick B.

I always like the idea of taking a small token of a lost loved one with me when I make those future trips. I'm not embarassed to admit to having had late night conversations like "Well, Dad, you made it here after all."

Sep 8th - 15:26pm | Marty Koch

Simply beautiful Kurt.  My condolences.

Exploring The Parks: Big Bend National Park In December

Sep 8th - 19:17pm | amanda

I am currently considering visiting BB in mid-December but im a little nervous about how cold it is going to be...but after reading this article i do feel better about it, thank you!

Crossing The Border In Big Bend

Sep 8th - 17:11pm | Dennis Altom

We took the river crossing and guide across the Rio Grande into Boquillas Del Carmen in March after they opened the new crossing. The US side is operated efficently even though it is all automated. You have to check in with the Mexican Border patrol station in town before you can see or do any shopping (2 cafes/cantinas and gift stores).

Top 5 National Parks For Wildlife Lovers

Sep 7th - 11:17am | rdm24

I just went to Mt. Ranier, and it has a good assortment of North American megafauna (mountain goats, deer, elk, bears, etc.)

Sep 7th - 09:33am | Lee Dalton

How could you forget the squirrels that roam throughout the campground at Devils Tower?  ;-}

Sep 6th - 21:28pm | Skins Dave

How can you not have Denali on this list. It is number one for widlife by far, and i have been to all these parks several times!  

Sep 6th - 19:12pm | Waiting for Wildlife

I was in Glacier NP earlier this week and I saw one crow.  That's it.  :(

Sep 6th - 18:50pm | Hugh

im surprised that you didn't mention Glacier National Park...when hiking the Highline Trail, it's almost a certainty to see Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats and you've probably got a 50% chance to see a grizzly

Sep 6th - 18:13pm | Rick B.

And I have to come back to add - our visit to Glacier Bay NP a couple of months ago was rich in wildlife. Ranging from a rare wolverine sighting to orca, humpback whales, mountain goats, walrus, sea lion, a scadzillion birds, bald eagles, and more.

Sep 6th - 18:08pm | Rick B.

My comment exactly - Denali has to be on the list.

Sep 6th - 17:37pm | davide

I forgot - Badlands in S Dakota. I have some incredible Big Horn Sheep, Mule Deer, Bison, Prairie Dog, Meadowlark pictures from there with the Badlands as a backdrop.

Sep 6th - 17:35pm | davide

Denali has to be on the list

Stephen Mather's Ghost: Revisiting The Consensus For National Parks

Sep 6th - 23:28pm | Jarrell Jackman

Speaking of enlightened, this article certainly is. Recently I visited Zion and Lake Powell. These places were swarming with Europeans. Parks don't need to change to meet the needs of Latinos and other ethnic groups. These groups need to leam the value of the natural beauty in our parks and experience them firsthand.

How You Can Help Yellowstone National Park's Bears

Sep 6th - 15:40pm | Laura Horton

i agree with the box program, but could you also heightened the campaign to carry bear spray, hike in groups & on trails.

President Calls On Congress To Bolster National Park Service In Time For Its Centennial

Sep 6th - 09:08am | redstate guy

"Investment" and "Government" is an oxymoron.

Trails I've Hiked: Canopy View Trail At Muir Woods National Monument

Sep 6th - 02:22am | Mark Thibodeau

today I took the same trail from the entrance up to the top then back down toLost Trail to Fern Trail then back out the park. I have two pedometer apps on my cell that gave two totally different distances . Could you tell me what that distance would be? if you can help you could email me at thank you

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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