Recent comments

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    just might be mired a little bit in some white privilege.

    Oh, so now we are going to throw out the race card?

    How about I add Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic site, John F Kennedy National Historic Site and virtually every other "privledged white President" whose home is a National Historic site.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    And there is nothing 'unique' about our only isolated Hansen's Disease colony, where one of the people supporting the patients was granted sainthood for his efforts.

    This discussion is why selfish self-centered people are not allowed to make artibtrary decisions based on their ignorance.

    Let me see here - Kalaupapa, Brown vs Bd of Education, Tuskeegee Airmen, Manzanar... yup. For some reason it sure looks obvious that someone arguing against each and every one of those at the same time just might be mired a little bit in some white privilege.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Let's see, how about Brown vs Board of Education? Or Tuskeegee Airmen? Or Manzanar? Or . . . or. . . . or?

    Agreed, those and many others have no business being NPS units. That is one of the reasons the NPS is underfunded.

    There are tens of thousands of "historic" cites in our country. Should all of these be in the NPS? Of course not. And of course the NPS is not the only entity that could serve a "preservation" function. You want to tell a story, then write a book or write a check. Lets leave the NPS for the truly unique properties.

  • Arches National Park Working To Improve Parking Situation At Delicate Arch Trailhead   3 weeks 3 days ago

    The partnership between Zion and the town of Springdale would be a great model to follow. Problems of overcrowding are not going to magically disappear. If anything is to be done, it needs to be done before visitation reaches disastrous proportions.

  • Arches National Park Working To Improve Parking Situation At Delicate Arch Trailhead   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Plus, for the shuttle system, they could start the route in Moab, where they could have most of the parking areas. There's already a lot of parking available in Moab, and the park entrance is just a few miles down the road. The shuttle costs could all be included and absorbed in the gate fees. Arches is such a small park, that having a lot of cars in that place makes it feel more overcrowded, than what it would feel like if they had shuttles absorbing most of those cars from the roadway. Heck, the model is already in place across the state in Zion.

    I could also see this sort of model put in Bryce Canyon. The government really needs to consider those options as the popularity of these places grow astronoically. I remember 15 years ago going to arches, and having the delicate arch mostly to myself. Now that never happens.

  • Arches National Park Working To Improve Parking Situation At Delicate Arch Trailhead   3 weeks 3 days ago

    A good idea, Gary. I suspect one of the issues is the cost of a shuttle system (both start-up and on-going operational costs) but one has to wonder how long a shuttle system could operate on the money spent on "expansion of the existing parking lot, eliminating roadside parking, [and] implementing a future reservation system for parking at the trailhead."

    Part of the problem NPS-wide for such questions concerns the limits placed on federal agencies when it comes to shifting money between various funding streams (i.e. congress authorizes "construction money" separately from "operating" money, and never the twain shall meet.) Most dollars also have to be spent in the year they were authorized, so money saved from not building a parking lot can't be spread over several years to fund a shuttle system.

    This is a case where I would be in favor of a fee to at least help fund a shuttle system. I for one would gladly pay a reasonable fee for a shuttle ride in such situations to avoid hassles of limited parking - and to avoid more paving of the landscape.

  • Arches National Park Working To Improve Parking Situation At Delicate Arch Trailhead   3 weeks 3 days ago

    This is where arches needs to work on a tram system for that park. The delicate arch is one of those most iconic hikes in the National Park system, and it's well worth the hike out to see it. However, I don't want to see them build bigger lots to accomodate more autos, when they should consider going the Zion Canyon route, which has been very successful and made that canyon a way better experience after they implemented the shuttles.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    I'm sure the same could be said about many other historic places protected by NPS.

    Let's see, how about Brown vs Board of Education? Or Tuskeegee Airmen? Or Manzanar? Or . . . or. . . . or?

    Just because you or your next door neighbor haven't heard of them doesn't mean they have no importance at all in our nation's history. If they are not preserved, important stories may be lost forever. There is one other similar place in the U.S., located in Louisiana. Here is a link to a travel website. Read the comments posted in it.

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g40067-d2189078-r122238610-Na...

    Remember that a knowledge of history is supposed to guide wisdom for the future. It's terribly unfortunate that to far too many Americans, history is but a dull footnote in a world of clangorous entertainment.

    Apparently, Congress in its eternal wisdom thought Kalaupapa was worthy of park designation.

    Another link. Again, scroll down and read the comments.

    http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/kalaupapa-leper-colony

    And a fascinating article from the New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/02/world/americas/02iht-leper.1.18320829....

    One line from the article caught and held my eye. It may say exactly what needs to be said about the importance of preserving this place and its story. " . . . . a national historical park with restrictions befitting its almost sacred nature." Be sure to read the entire article.

    And still another: http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/hilo-man-recounts-harrowing-e...

    Why do we need to preserve places like these? Could it be because of people with stories like these? Stories that should be remembered.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Rich,

    i'm glad your glad. Why dont you write the check to perserve it rather than the millions of taxpayers that have never heard of the place and couldnt care less about it.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    ec – Given the very limited public use of the area, your question is understandable. It's certainly not the "typical" NPS unit (however we might define such a place :-)

    According to the information from the park website, "Nearly all of the land within the 10,700+ acre authorized boundary remains in non-federal ownership, managed by the National Park Service through several cooperative agreements."

    According to the park's establishing legislation, "At such time when there is no longer a resident patient community at Kalaupapa, the Secretary shall reevaluate the policies governing the management, administration, and public use of the park is order to identify any changes deemed to be appropriate."

    You'll find links to the above, and other information, at this site.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Last year on Molokai we were able to gaze down on Kalaupapa from the overlook. My wife had been down to Kalaupapa proper early in her NPS days, doing some work as a visiting museum curator. Whether visiting directly as she did or simply reading the history placards from the overlook, this place has a lasting impact on visitors. I'm glad the history is being preserved for both the remaining living residents, those many who have passed, and for the education and enlightenment of the rest of us.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Why in the world is this in the National Park System?

  • Celebrate the National Park Service's 98th Birthday with free entrance to all parks!   3 weeks 4 days ago

    If you didn't make it to Acadia or any other National Park on Aug. 25 and missed the free entrance in honor of the Park Service's 98th birthday, don't worry - there's another free entry day on Sept. 27.

  • Doggy Daycare Near Popular National Parks: Five Great National Park Destinations To Visit With Dogs   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Gary, I was so pleasantly surprised to learn about all the dog-friendly park trails in the east when I was researching different parks for this article.

    It seems to me that more Eastern parks are dog-friendly than out here in the west, which is why I focused the article on western parks. Thanks for reading and for providing those tips, I can't wait to visit Shenandoah with our pup!

  • As National Park Service Looks At Grizzly Bear Recovery In North Cascades, What's The State Of The Endangered Species Act?   3 weeks 4 days ago

    The great prairie reserve has some griz potential. They also have some potential in other parts of eastern montana. They have bigger potential in the Frank Church, SNRA, the bitteroots, and the cascades.

  • As National Park Service Looks At Grizzly Bear Recovery In North Cascades, What's The State Of The Endangered Species Act?   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Ed Abbey had a wonderful thought about grizzlies.

    “If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies' territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers.” -- Edward Abbey

  • As National Park Service Looks At Grizzly Bear Recovery In North Cascades, What's The State Of The Endangered Species Act?   3 weeks 4 days ago

    A quote from above. "Grizzly bear recovery and wilderness protection and recreation are compatible as people and bears both need large, unspoiled wilderness areas.”

    An old Yellowstone ranger once told me that grizzly bears can tolerate people. He said they used to breed in the campgrounds with all manner of campers running around. He said "What they can't stand is being shot."

    I personally hope their range will continue to expand but I am not aware of large tracts of wild country in the great plains and doubt Mr. Wilson's hopes will be realized in that regard.

  • As National Park Service Looks At Grizzly Bear Recovery In North Cascades, What's The State Of The Endangered Species Act?   3 weeks 4 days ago

    I hope you are right Tahoma, that the bears will expand their range regardless of the tides of human political pandering. I think it's a travesty what happened to Grizzlies in this country. Although, it would be nice to see the park help bolster thier populations. And yes, they should be back in places like Rainier, and all those wilderness areas between the two. There is a lot of potential habitat available to them. A lot of it hard to penetrate, and with a lot of food sources available to sustain a healthy population of griz.

  • As National Park Service Looks At Grizzly Bear Recovery In North Cascades, What's The State Of The Endangered Species Act?   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Cascade grizzly "restoration" has foundered on the economic & political rocks in the past, and it seems unlikely this current effort will end much differently:

    http://www.hcn.org/issues/43.19/the-forgotten-north-cascades-grizzly-bear

    Meanwhile, the bears have been going about their business all along, and actually may have been expanding their range for decades, without much concern for human-defined 'recovery zones'. These news stories from over twenty years ago document grizzlies south of I-90, with "reliable" reports from as far south as Mount. St Helens!

    1991: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19910419&slug=1...

    1993: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930929&slug=1...

    I was lucky enough to see an unmistakable grizzly just outside the boundary of Mount Rainier National Park in the fall of 2000.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    After sending this article off to Traveler, I managed to contact ranger Timothy Jordan at Kaluapapa and ask some questions and suggest that he submit an article about his experiences at KALU.. Here is his email with some more interesting details:

    Internet, like the phone, can be unreliable too! So, since I have connectivity right now I'll be sure to check out the Traveler to get some ideas of what you publish.

    To answer your question about the park staff: The park does have a staff of about 40 - 45 people. The park has over 10,000 acres to manage, with more than 250 historic structures, 1100 archeological sites, endangered plants with as few as 20 left in the world, more than 7 miles of coral reef, a 250,000 object museum collection, a recycling center to manage waste, and more. NPS really is managing a town here, in addition to the park operation... a pretty hefty undertaking.
  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Okay, folks, we're wandering off track into personal battles in the last couple of comments, so let's get back to the topic at hand, or bow out of the discussion.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    The folks who live at Kalaupapa definitely have to plan ahead for their shopping! A similar situation prevails for the staff at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, which has its headquarters in Nome, Alaska.

    If people in Nome miss their summer's barge shipment, they're reduced to having stuff shipped in by air. Nome might as well be on an island, since there is no road access to that area from the rest of the world, and unlike Hawaii, once the Bering Sea freezes over each winter, there will definitely be no deliveries by water! I spent two weeks in Nome in December several years ago – a fascinating place, but it's not a lifestyle for everyone.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    There's a difference between courage, and being over your head and unpreppared. There are many skilled outdoorsman out there that have cut their teeth over the years on terrain and weather conditions that they could manage, before trying to attempt something more challenging. All require some courage, regardless. What's ironic are the types that are way out of their element, all the sudden think they are Ed Viesturs, when all they have done was a few minor peaks, and attempt peaks 5 times the size of what they have done, and in weather conditions far removed from anything they have ever dealt with. I can name a few instances just this year where this has occurred. This happened last year in the smokies when a group of unpreppared 20 year olds from the warm climate of South Carolina thought they could trek 10 days in the Smokies during winter, when they had ZERO days of experience in such conditions. Didn't even make it 6 miles before realizing they were in over their heads, and all started succumbing to frostbite. This same sort of scenario also seems to have also happened to someone else that posts here, that loves to bash S&R on any occasion, but sure did need it once when he was way out of his element too. I also find it very ironic that someone who makes their money from taxpayer funded school districts, thinks they are "private sector" and thinks that makes them immune from the same hyperbole that they dish out. But hey, logic and reason escape some people, and they are usually the ones that end up being the ones that need a "bailout". Hypocrisy, much?

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    One thing is for sure. People who have the courage to venture off trail are not cowards who shy away from challenges and hide under their wife's skirt. They don't talk about doing things, they just do them. And I'm fine with my tax dollars helping the occasional guy who gets in over his head. I know someone here who recently got way in over his head and has been cowering ever since. He will likely be cowering for the rest of his life because of his inability to win the battle with fear.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Ohh boy, another fine day at the National Parks Troller comment section.

    1. 4 days in a row of S&R were performed in the same spot, because people that were over their heads ignored signs and warning which led to their injuries. What's the alternative? Having a park ranger stationed at that area 24/7?

    2. Interestingly (or is it more ironically), it seems that middle aged men, many of which are suffering from middle-aged crisis's for reasons known only to them are some of the biggest accounts of expensive S&R. Quite a few of these mid-life crisis accounts usually require a military helicopter to rescue them. When such a greenhorn gets in over their head, and their own stupidity almost kills them, I guess they can write a book about it to try and justify their actions so they can try to profit off their stupidity. But anyone with a brain, could realize that this guy is over his head, inexperienced, and should have not attempted something he had no business trying to do. Happens a lot. There's a big difference between the guy that was just unlucky in the woods and had a tree fall on him, or a boulder come down on him, and the guy that was well over his head, and in a situation he put himself into because he wasnt prepared, which of course puts those "unimportant rangers" and "meaningless helicopter pilots" at risk in order to save their butts. Talk about ungrateful.