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  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 3 days ago

    Also, as a post-script, Haynes on his website says he opposes "traditional drilling for oil and gas development.." not outright opposition. (emphasis added)

    http://www.haynesforgovernor.com/news/dr_haynes_plans_for_yellowstone

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 3 days ago

    EC, I think you misread Lee's comment. He's not endorsing above ground infrastructure in lieu of geothermal. He's simply focused on opposing Haynes' geothermal idea.

    And, frankly, without more details, that idea seems just as disruptive as the infrastructure he opposes. After all, some sort of pumping system -- with its requisite power system and piping -- would have to be constructed. To "heat and power all facilities" in Yellowstone would not be simply done.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 3 days ago

    So Susan, notice that Lee totally ignores the whole point, i.e. Haynes doesn't have any intention of drilling for oil and gas in Yellowstone. Then he goes on to suggest that " the installation of equipment buildings, back-up power generators, propane fuel tanks, metal lattice towers, and more" is more "pristine" than a geothermal facility.

    This is what you get when someone's guiding principle is attaching conservatives regardless of the merit of their idea.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 3 days ago

    Bitter experience has shown time and again that trying to tap into or alter Yellowstone's thermal features can, and usually do, produce some very adverse consequences.

    We have already messed the park up. With so little real understanding of the dynamics and geologic structure of underground thermal structures, why take a chance on doing anything more that might destroy them.

    Your nom de plume is Keep Yellowstone Pristine. Let's do that and not start fooling around with things we don't fully understand.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   1 week 3 days ago

    Well said, Kurt.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 3 days ago

    Mr Runte, you sound a reasonable man. Mayhaps you would take a look at this link and see what you think about the historicity (if not the validitiy) of the Transfer of Public Lands.

    Why the difference? http://americanlandscouncil.or/..

    Also, a reasonable look at the information that has come out since the release of the article in the National Parks Traveler might give some pause for thought. (The following can be verified at Haynes for Governor FB page.) I was not aware of the comment period on the infrastructure plans at the park, were you?

    Haynes Plans for Yellowstone As Governor of Wyoming, I have no plans for traditional drilling for oil and gas development, or any other activity within the Park beyond its present uses. My comments about Yellowstone have been twisted and made to imply otherwise. I have worked to draw attention to the Park due to the current plans of the National Park Service to upgrade the electrical and information technology services there, which includes the installation of equipment buildings, back-up power generators, propane fuel tanks, metal lattice towers, and more. The fact that less intrusive geothermal driven units were not considered for this upgrade, is in my view a gross oversight because of the need to preserve and jealously guard the pristine nature of the park. This could be accomplished by the use of multiple small geothermal power units. There are ZERO emissions from these units. The hot water required to drive these systems is already available at the surface in the park, thus minimal disturbance to install the necessary tubing. They can both heat and power all facilities in the park. We should strive to preserve the park and operate it in a much more dependable and natural state than the present practice. Since the 1930s, geothermal energy has grown to heat 90% of the homes in Iceland and produce 30% of the countries electric energy. This inventive and eco-friendly energy system has been overlooked by the NPS in its plans for Yellowstone, and we should ask why. My intent in attracting attention to activities in Yellowstone is to raise public awareness and have people participate in more significant numbers than the eleven (11) who commented during the thirty-day public comment period that was allowed prior to approving this monumental project. As your Governor, I will insist on the best technology for operating and maintaining this unrivaled treasure. (end of Dr Haynes proposal) Your thoughts?

    Susan

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   1 week 3 days ago

    You're right Kitty, but that's not to say Congress -- Sen. Alexander in particular -- couldn't persuade the Tennessee General Assembly to alter that prohibition for the good of the park and all who enjoy it.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   1 week 3 days ago

    Congress does not have the power to allow the NPS to charge an entrance fee for GRSM when accessed from Tennessee. Not being familiar with the Park I don't know if there are other access points where an entrance fee could be charged, but charging at some access points and not others would likely create a logistical nightmare.

    The State of Tennessee conveyed their highways to the United States with a deed restriction prohibiting fees in perpetuity:

    [I, Charles F. Wayland Jr, Commissioner of Highways and Public Works, under authority of the governor and General Assembly of the State of Tennessee] do hereby sell, transfer, and convey to the United States of America, subject to the reservations hereinafter set out, all of the right, title, and interest of the State of Tennessee in and to any and all State Highways located on, over, or within the lands which are a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.. . .The grantor conveys said right, title, and interest in and to State Highways subject to the following reservations:. . .3. No toll or license fee shall ever be imposed by the United States of America or any agency thereof for the use by the public of state highways Nos. 71 and 73, and the rights is especially reserved unto the State of Tennessee to allow the public to use said highways; provided however, that the United States of America may regulate and restrict the use of said highways by commercial vehicles of more than one and one-half (1 1/2) ton rated capacity between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.- Accepted by the Director of the National Park Service, June 1, 1951

  • Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks   1 week 4 days ago

    I think it ultimately depends on how much moisture a trail is recieving. I've seen horse/hiker trails in the wilderness areas of the arid west that show little signs of degredation because it's mostly just dirt and rocks. In the Northern Rockies, horses are used quite a bit, and I only remember a few times where they were an issue. Most times they were not. I've also seen some horse trails in the smokies that are in good shape, but it all comes down to how much use they are getting. If you have 20 horses traveling an hour down a wet trail, you are going to see that trail get rutted and ruined very quickly.. If there are 10 horses every week or so trotting down that trail during dry conditions, then that usually doesn't do much damage. But, i've seen horse/hiker trails in very wet regions of the country that get torn to shreds. I think horses should only be on dried out trails after the snow has melted, and kept out when it's raining. Heck, if an elk, and moose can walk a trail (and they very much do), then so can a horse. Where I draw the line is with people that want to see motrocycles, ATV's, Mountain Bikes, Snowmobiles, etc in wilderness areas. I've seen my share of what ATVs do to a trail system, and it's not pretty after a few decades of use. Horses should also be kept out of high alpine lakes, and fragile streams and watersheds. The worse thing a group of horses can do is pollute a water system, and I have seen some evidence of that in my time when a bunch of careless people with horses allowed them to do their business in a fragile alpine lake.

    Although, i will say one of the worst experiences I ever had was walking down the Bright Angel in the Grand Canyon during a rainy day in February. All that mule crap from a years worth of accumulation started streaming down the canyon trails and wall like a sewer. Now that was disgusting. Like everything, there needs to be rational limits on how many horses/mules,etc can use an area per week, which was not the case on the Bright Angel since it seemed mule trains were an hourly occurrence in that part of the world. But places like the Bechler and Thorofare in Yellowstone? Heck yes, leave the horses use that region. Just keep them out of the fragile alpine zones.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    That would certainly include me!

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    Or "best run," "conservative," "Republican" Utah.

    As you said, Dr. Runte, labels don't mean much.

    Crooks are crooks no matter what.

    Maybe we need to elect all our lawmakers from the ranks of those earning less than $75,000 per year.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    I forget, but it fits. Here in Washington State, our electeds never met a military base they didn't like--or another huge subsidy for Boeing, just this year a $7 billion "tax break" because the company was threatening to move the 777 wing assembly to California. If the mafia threatened that, we would call it extortion. Oh, yes, and the CEO, making 276 times the average employee, thinks the employees are "overpaid." Don't wait for the next Godfather movie. Just watch what is happening in "progressive," "liberal," "Democratic," Washington State.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    Alfred--

    In relation to water, who was it that said Barry Goldiwater "opposed creeping socialism until it crept into Arizona?"

    Rick

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    This is the problem again with labels. They don't tell us a thing. President Obama is allegedly a progressive Democrat, and yet is giving the public lands away in gulps. Solar and wind power are his favorite recipients; at General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt leads the president around by the ear--and brags about it openly. And exactly what would Hillary Clinton do for parks? Her hubby opened up the Ozarks to Tyson's Foods, so much so that The New York Times did a three-part article about it in 1992. Allegedly, Tyson's polluted half of the streams throughout the region, again, because Arkansas's environmental laws were so lax. Then Bill Clinton becomes president and does what--establishes a few national monuments and all is forgiven. But I already own those lands--they are already public lands. Changing the name of them does not necessarily guarantee their lasting protection, either.

    As every good historian knows, you can't find out what is going on just by reading a newspaper or listening to the hairdos on tee-vee. You have to look behind the curtain and see what the Wizard has up his sleeve. Right now, the biggest Wizard we have in the land is President Obama. He thinks that another speech is all it takes. Governance, however, is not about speech-making. It is rather about getting along with the people that hate you most.

    The archives are filled with the reminder that great Republicans have also stood foursquare for our national parks. I can give you chapter and verse if you wish, but a good deal of it is in my books. It is just there without the labels so you will have to look the labels up. But since the Park Service centennial is in the offing, consider Senator Reed Smoot of Utah. Mormon and a conservative Republican--and accused of exaccerbating the Great Depression by supporting the Smoot-Hawley Tariff (1930)--he nonetheless stood by his proposed Bureau of National Parks through the entirety of its uphill fight in Congress. And of course the Republicans have Theodore Roosevelt--still the greatest evironmental president of them all.

    It's just that a Republican "then" is not like a Republican "now." The point is: We can say the same for the Democrats, including Stewart Udall, who as a Democratic Interior Secretary proposed the damming of Grand Canyon in 1963 even as he released his best-selling book, The Quiet Crisis. Puzzled? Not if you stop to remember that he was from Arizona and was forever Republican in his beliefs when it came to WATER.

    All politicians will serve their constitutents, and that goes for the liberals, too. So, the next time you want to take one another's heads off about who is really "pure," remember Pogo who said it best: "We have met the enemy, and he is us." The enemy of the parks today is the American people who simply can't seem to govern themselves without attacking what they used to know to hold dear.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    Ah, HA! Thank you, Kurt. That's the guy I was trying to think of . . . . ;-}

    Then there was Senator Bob Bennett who was dumped by the Utah Tea Party so Mike Lee could be elected to shut down the government and shout, "NO!" every fifteen minutes.

    Jon Huntsman is another respectable conservative who comes to mind.

    I'll keep working on it.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    The late U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyoming, was a great advocate for Grand Teton National Park.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    I don't disparage ALL conservative figures. For example, there was, uh, let's see . . . . well I really had a lot of respect for . . . . uh, yeah . . . . . let's see it was . . . .

    Hmmm. Gonna have to think about this . . . .

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    Usually, all that is needed to 'disparage' is to quote. The next step, generally, is for the public figure to sputter that "I was taken out of context". [Most often the 'context' is that the public figure had been quoted when speaking to what s/he thought was a tame and agreeable audience].

    As far as I know, Reagan never had an original thought. I met the man several times, and in addition to orangish hair, the thing that always struck me was that he had grown up in an industry where he was provided scripts, and that never changed until he quietly settled into Alzheimers.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    Do you guys ever lighten up?? LOL

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    Stolen? If someone says something no one else can say it again with it being "stolen". I guess i stole it too. As far as I know Reagan never claimed it was his original thought.

    Lee, you really will go out of your way to try to disparage any conservative figure.

    BTW - if you don't believe anything a politician says, why do you bother listening to them?

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 5 days ago

    Ah yes. The Russian proverb stolen by Ronald Reagan and widely attributed to be an original thought by the great man. (Or one of his speech writers.)

    Доверяй, но проверяй

    Trouble is that if verification of Haynes' promise is ever needed it will be too late when the drill rig is setting up on Old Faithful's dome.

    ;-}

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 6 days ago

    Trust - but verify.

  • Efforts To Restore Peregrine Falcons At Shenandoah National Park Showing Success   1 week 6 days ago

    More very good news. Hope I spot one next weekend!

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   1 week 6 days ago

    "I'm not going to drill in Yellowstone."

    You mean you'd actually trust a politician?

  • Reader Participation Day: What Role Should Horses Have In The National Parks   1 week 6 days ago

    I'm an avid trail rider and also enjoy photography, hiking and wildlife watching. These activities aren't always compatible but I think reasonable people can find ways to make things work. Deciding what activities to allow or ban should depend on the individual park and factors such as park size, accessibility, options for separating activities and overall interest. (Horseback riding in Rocky Mountain NP? Very popular. In the Everglades? Not so much!) Where practical, there ought to be separate trails for riding and hiking, or trails wide enough that horses could ride on one side while walkers use the other. Trust me, riding around a narrow, blind curve and coming face to face with a hiker whose huge pack makes him look (to the horse) like a monster, or a mountain biker, is no fun for anyone! Yes, horses do make an impact on the environment. So do hikers, bikers, cars, motorcycles and humans, no matter how hard we try to leave no trace.

    Some people, including me, aren't able to hike long distances. Riding my horse takes me to places I otherwise would not be able to see. But even I wouldn't say that horses should be allowed everywhere.

    Trail riding clubs are usually quite willing to do volunteer work clearing and maintaining trails, etc. which would help our severely under-funded park system.

    As for Cades Cove, we were there 2 years ago and short of putting in a casino, it's hard to see how it could be any more damaged. Bumper-to-bumper traffic and more people than Walmart on the day after Thanksgiving.

    We all have our favorite activities and sure, we want to enjoy them everywhere. But common sense, respect for others and caring about the environment ought to help us all come to agreements.