I think that drawing fine distinctions about what products are appropriate or inappropriate for sponsorship is a rabbit hole worth avoiding. Alcohol and tobacco are prohibited, but (theoretically) pharmaceuticals and fast food chains are OK? We'd need a phone book sized document to spell out what's "appropriate" and what isn't.
Exactly, Ron. The point is to get us thinking, which sometimes requires the writer to write tongue-in-cheek. I did say the Park Service was selling its soul. My point is to remind us when corporations did NOT force us to do that. They respected the culture, too. Is the Park Service that out of touch with its past? You bet it is, and therein lies the problem.
Thank you Ghost of Steven, others, who have pointed out what a bad idea this is and what a slippery slope it will become. I rarely find myself in disagreement with Alfred, I know he posts ideas just to get us thinking about but this is simply a terrible decision in my view. Thanks also to Jim Burnett, I have been involved in similar situations.
We're all missing the point, including me. The point of something we share in common is to act as if we share it. This is where our conservative friends have a legitimate beef. These days, we are so busy shedding the "sharing" that we forget what sharing is. Why repeat the Pledge of Allegiance every morning? Why go to church, mosque, or synagogue every week?
For a good example of a "mega event" in an urban park which included big-name concerts and on-site alcohol sales, you can read a recap of the "Veiled Prophet Fair" which was held at JNEM ("Gateway Arch") in the 1980s and early 1990s.
I am rereading Polly Welts Kaufman, National Parks and the Woman's Voice: A History. Could it be that Polly is right? There are just too many little boys in the National Park Service that never have grown up? She doesn't quite say it that way, of course, but this is one instance where I have to agree with my friends from the feminist side of the aisle.
I could not agree with you more Jim. I do not think we need to encourage the use of beer in our parks to attract a new generation of park visitors. Visitors come to our parks to enjoy the scenery and history. Let the drinkers go to Panama City Beach in Florida. I just wonder how this really bad idea got through the Director's staff.
Ugh! What's next on this slippery slope? Perhaps a 'partnership' with Harley-Davidson, 'The Official Motorcycle of the NPS Centennial': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKFmc0oZXFI Here's my favorite example of a tasteful beer ad using a National Park as backdrop:
"We want to encourage a new generation of beer drinkers to get out there and see what America is made of," said Budweiser Vice President Brian Perkins in a press release. "And where better than in America's national parks?" Here's just one reason that is America's worst idea:
Although I think this is terrible, I'd hesitate to place all the blame entirely upon Jon Jarvis. Long experience has shown that there are almost always other powerful political pressures lurking in the shadows.
I have taken part in annual spring surveys within the Grand Canyon, and our springs are down 10% over the last ten years. The South Rim is highly water stressed. A development such as the one proposed in Tusayan will rob wildlife and the Havaupai Nation of their water. Please take the time to write to the Forest Service and oppose the granting of these road easements.
What's more important?The Grand Canyon?Or a few million dollars in the pockets of a couple of politically powerful developers?We need to know exactly which elected state and Federal lawmakers are helping to push this effort forward. Unfortunately, they are very good at remaining hidden.
Flying cameras are by and large a safe and productive expression of the First Amendment. I take issue with your Alcatraz story. There was no collision. He was charged with a crime merely for flying around the island and potentially scaring birds. Let's compare it 'apples to apples' to other human outdoor activities before we say it's unsafe or disruptive. Should cars and bikes be banned too?
I don't think Kurt is denigrating one group - corporate - when he looks at the records and finds the friends groups with clear tracks and the corporate without. It's as simple as "what do you see?" - "I see X". One can assume that some folks get their income that they donate from corporations, and one can assume that some corporations donate around a corner, but that is just assuming.
Nice comment trailadvocate, I being one of them. Alfred, I agree that friends groups and philanthropic efforts in general have done much for the parks and other human efforts. However, I do not think corporate sponsors, friends groups, etc. should replace the basic responsibility of our elected officials in funding our public lands, our commons.
...and the folks that are the mostly silent majority that enjoy and benefit from these wild places in more ways than some can imagine. The character strengthening of citizenry is a great benefit for everyone.
EC, No, I get your point, nor did I interpret it as "denigration" of the friends groups in any way. I just miss the old days when corporate philanthropy was more "visible," but I am sure that what you say is true. The friends groups themselves receive many contributions from corporations--and their executives and staff as individuals.
Alfred - I wasn't trying to denegrate the efforts of the friends groups in any way. They are quite valuable. I was just offended by Kurt's unjustified swipe at corporations who have been equally valuable contributors, directly or indirectly, to the parks.
The point about the friends groups is their persistence; they work constantly on behalf of the parks. The Centennial? They know it to be important. But there is no reason for them to wait. If it needs doing, they will try to do it now.
Kurt, the "not so much" dig at corporations was unnecessary. I am sure that if you looked into the donor base for your Park Partners, you would find ample examples of corporate support and more appropriately, individual donors that gained their wealth through corporate activities. And of course they donate outside these groups as well. For example:
"The Center for Biological Diversity is a pressure group, known for its underhanded tactics." And now, Sarah Rolph is a writer known for her ad hominem attacks. If she's trying to persuade readers to her way of thinking, this is a poor tractic.
A very interesting opinion piece. Remember the word opinion here.But it does point up a much larger problem in America. The kind of tactics spotlighted as alleged abuses by NPS and environmental groups are alive and well and fully employed on the other side as well.
Audubon, Defenders of Wildlife, NPCA and Sierra Club have and are doing the samething to Hatteras Island. The NPS coordinated with these groups, ignored public comments, distort, decieve and are threatening safe and reasonable access to the island. These environmental activists tactics are not new, not isolated to PRNS, and are fueled by ambulance chasing lawyers.
To paraphrase Virgil Earp in Tombstone; 'No one is saying you can't buy bottled water. You just can't buy bottled water in the National Parks.' I'm pretty sure the gateway communities are making bank in bottled water sales.
Alas, another rule from our protectors at NPS that is basically unenforceable unless all backpacks of Americans visiting their lands (not NPS's) are inspectedl w/o reasonable cause that a person has broken a law.No wonder many American's as well as many others have less than positive views of NPS micro managing totalitarian ways.
Thank you justinh, there is an interesting new book, "Speaking of Bears" by Rachel Mazur that gives an in depth study of bear biology and the NPS history of trying to manage bear populations in Yosemite, Yellowstone and other parks. A very interesting and educational read. Also, much thanks to Michael Kellett for his informative posts on snow pack in the Rockies.
I'm very glad NPS is closing the area temporarily rather than killing the bear(s) because a backpacker wasn't conscientious. When I was in the Enchanted Valley in June a few years ago, there were bears all over, but they kept their distance, and we and others were extremely careful with our food consumption and storage. It was a wonderful--enchanted--wildlife experience.