Recent comments

  • By the Numbers: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Jeez, Anon, you need to cut me some slack on that 20th century thinking issue. I spent 57 years in the last century, and only 10 so far in this one. Takes me a while to get the hang of it.

  • By the Numbers: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Such 20th century analog thinking. This is a community, a social site with thousands of readers -- put the collective community to work: solicit readers' top ten, or top five lists of park films, with a one-line description of each film and why they think it's great. Kurt has already done the heavy lifting: he created the site. Now ask the community to contribute.

  • By the Numbers: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Anon, do you have any idea how long it would take to finish the project you're recommending?! The list of documentaries and made-for-TV/DVD films about national parks must surely run into the many hundreds, and just sorting out the great ones would be a time-eater of sobering proportions. It's a fine idea in concept, though, so we'll not dismiss it out-of-hand. My idea of the moment would be to tackle the job in piecemeal fashion, perhaps starting with the made-for-TV/DVD films about Yellowstone National Park. Does that approach sound OK to you? If not, can you put me in touch with somebody willing to work with me on the larger-scale project? I can promise long hours, no pay, and my eternal gratitude.

  • Want Kinder, Less selfish Kids? Take Them to National Parks!   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Connie, your children and grandchildren can count themselves very fortunate to have been introduced to the national parks in such an exciting (and loving) way. Let's hope that parents throughout America will continue to regard first-hand exposure to the national parks as a very worthwhile aspect of child-rearing. It's never to late to get started. My own exposure to national parks was practically nil before I reached adulthood.

  • By the Numbers: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve   5 years 23 weeks ago

    If you google its full title it will give you an idea of when it will be on PBS again in your area: "Crown of the Continent - Alaska's Wrangell-St. Elias". It's stunning in HD.

    For that matter, why not a list of park films, i.e., great films on or about national parks? Not just features shot in national parks.

  • Want Kinder, Less selfish Kids? Take Them to National Parks!   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Connie
    When we started our family we began vacationing in the National Parks. It was something my husband had grown up doing and he introduced them me to as well. Couple that with being more affordable and suffice it to say, our kids have grown up vacationing in the NP's. We've never taken them to Disney World (not that there's anything wrong with folks who do!) but rather have introduced them to White Water Rafting, Hiking, Backpacking, Jeeping and so forth. As a result we are beginning to see them take their own kids- our granchildren, and share these wonderful places with them! Our son's favorite place is Yellowstone, the thermal features are what appeal to him. (He just finished his first semester in college and LOVED his geology course). Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns' recent PBS special on the National Parks struck a chord with our family when they talked about sharing these experiences with our children and passing the mantle of preservation to the next generation to love and cherish these special places like we have!

  • By the Numbers: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I haven't seen that particular park film yet, Anon, but it's now on my must-see list. Thanks for the tip.

  • By the Numbers: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve   5 years 23 weeks ago

    A line from the park film "Crown of the Continent", seen on PBS, captures the size of the place best for me: "One national park, larger than Switzerland -- with higher mountains."

    Terrific film of an awesome place.

  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Officials Concerned Over Indiana's Plans for Seawall   5 years 23 weeks ago

    This article is misleading. There is no plan is install a 4700 foot seawall in a national park. All that has happened is a single permit was filed to allow individual homeowners to install toe protection in front of existing seawalls at their expense. The town applied for a permit so they could insure all work was done properly. If the toe protection needs to be installed then the beach is already gone and there's nothing to protect! As the article states, this erosion is not natural but has been caused by the Port of Indiana (Steel Mills) and Burns Ditch's breakwalls. If Mr Dillon wants to protect the park my opinion is he should concentrate on the raw sewage and heavy metals being dumped into Burns Ditch so people can enjoy the little bit of beach that still exists.

  • Winter, A Season of Discontent When It Comes to Travel in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    "I was wondering about the participants in this study. Are they locals, do they actually frequent Yellowstone, are they just average Joes like me, are they environmental activists and so on..."

    Yellowstone belongs to all Americans. Place of residency should not give one person or group more of a say in how our parks are managed and protected. We are all "owners" and hold an equal share in Yellowstone and every other national park.

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Traveler..,

    While the memo from Director Jarvis to the Regional Directors seemed clear in that it “brings an end to Core Operations Analyses for the parks and programs in your region,” it evidently did not make it to Omaha. A number of parks in the Midwest have been informed Core-Ops that were previously planned will go forth, including several that have yet to have dates scheduled.

    Am I alone in hoping that this is not how the Director plans ‘to improve the justification our budgets and improve management of our financial resources”

    From the people I spoken with, it appears to be business as usual.

  • Winter, A Season of Discontent When It Comes to Travel in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Connie,

    The numbers - 80 percent of the 850,000 -- were from the Yellowstone briefing doc. As for who those 80 percent represented, that's impossible to tell unless you ask the NPS for the 850,000 comments. But it's safe to say that the bulk were from throughout the country, and probably most were from an electronic form provided by those who want to see snowcoaches the preferred form of travel. But I don't see a problem with that. Pro-snowmobile forces have their electronic forms, too. And it shouldn't matter where the signers of those forms live, since Yellowstone is a "national" park.

    That said, I've been told, though don't have documentation, that a majority of locals prefer snowcoach-only travel as well.

    Nothing wrong with questioning the numbers. I've done it more than a few times;-)

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Connie
    This has been fun!
    Connie Hopkins

  • Snow Arrives to Allow Yellowstone National Park To Open for Limited Over-Snow Travel Tuesday   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Connie
    Good news for us! Woo Hoo!
    Connie Hopkins

  • Winter, A Season of Discontent When It Comes to Travel in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Connie
    Thanks for supplying me with all the links to the study. I don't know if "controls" was the correct word to use, what I was wondering about was:

    At least 850,000 people -- closer to 900,000 when you consider the latest temporary winter-use rule -- have commented on snowmobiles in the park, with about 80 percent of those folks supporting a phase-out of snowmobiles, according to park officials.

    I was wondering about the participants in this study. Are they locals, do they actually frequent Yellowstone, are they just average Joes like me, are they environmental activists and so on... Maybe I sound paranoid and suspicious but I have been asked my opinions regarding topics I know nothing about or had little exposure to for polls and questionaires. I have been presented with information and on the surface, without really investing time and energy researching it, concede "that it sounds reasonable". The older I get the less I just take someone's word for things, I like to think for myself.

    I agree with Lee that a balance can be found...we are called to be good stewards of our world and I believe we can protect as well as enjoy, the beautiful wonders that we have.
    Connie Hopkins

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm not sure exactly what the status of Fort Point was during the filming of Vertigo. The best that I can tell, it was an abandoned US Army fort at the time with lots of backing for preservation efforts. It might have still been part of the Presidio at the time of filming and one had to get there through the Presidio when it became a National Historic Site. I do remember entering the Presidio at times when it was still an active Army installation. For an active military base, it was incredibly easy to get into. The US Army wanted it to be a bridge between them and the City of San Francisco. You could just drive/walk in without passing through any checkpoint like I'd seen at most military bases. My father (a civilian) once took me there for lunch. Still - they had signs all over the place stating that it was a military base and any visitors were subject to search or detention. It took the NPS a while to take down those signs when they took over the Presidio.

    http://www.nps.gov/fopo/historyculture/upload/SentryatGoldenGate%20for%20web.pdf

  • New Coalition Brings Groups Together to Push for Water Stewardhip in Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, Everglades, and Puget Sound   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I guess there's always a first time for everything, but it is pretty lame to call it the "first annual". LOL. There's only a draft agenda so far; still, it should be interesting to see if there's going to be any real science discussed or will it be just politicking.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I have to admit, j_p_w, I didn't remember that Fort Point (estab. 1970) wasn't yet an NPS property when Vertigo was released in 1958. We probably shouldn't let that bother us, though.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The Shining was a 1980 release, Dave, so it's outside the purview of this particular list. Moreover, although a little panorama/exterior footage of that film was shot in America (including at Glacier National Park), almost the entire film was shot on sets in England.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    What about The Shining? Wasn't the hotel used from Glacier, not sure about any other outdoor scenes.

  • Was This the Best-Ever Use of a Bra in a National Park?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Yes it is a true story. Lorraine is my wife's aunt

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I don't disagree that individuals from outside the NPS can make good park managers however, we have a process by which those individuals can learn over time how to become managers of the resources we hold in trust for the people we serve. That process is called experience. I would not want an auto mechanic, even if he was a capable, highly intelligent person, performing surgery on me. He must learn about the human body and the techniques and technologies that will lead to becomming a capable surgeon. Like the surgeon. a park manager, must learn the laws that govern parks and resources and techniques for leadership and program management within the Park Service culture. This is gained by experience not jumping headlong into park management from a position at the YMCA in North Carolina, for example (Florissant several years ago). At times I am horrified by the NPS hiring practices especially for superintendents and as a taxpayer I am outraged by some of the choices that are made when filling superintendent positions. From personal experience in the Intermountain Region, the Directorate needs a shakeup. Good luck John Jarvis!

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Sorry - I brain-cramped on the years in question. I got stuck on the top 10 list of movies filmed in national parks.

    And does it really count if a site wasn't part of the NPS at the time it was used? My reading is that Fort Point didn't enter the NPS until 1970 while Vertigo was released in 1958. From what I understand, the actual filming of the Fort Point scene in Vertigo was done on a sound stage while the background used was filmed. That was a common Hitchcock technique. However - reading the earlier list, it doesn't sound as if that was a criteria.

    However - if you're working on a list of movies after 1979, I'd note the 1996 movie The Rock was filmed at Alcatraz. It even featured a park ranger in several scenes. And of course 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade starts of in what's now Arches National Park, although the period in question would not have been when it was a national park/monument. That movie prominently features Balanced Rock.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Thanks, Random Walker. I've added Forever, Darling to Honorable Mention.

  • National Park Movies: Some More We Like for 1950-1979   5 years 23 weeks ago

    While I enjoyed "The Long, Long Trailer" very much and it probably showed more park views, my favorite "Lucy" film was "Forever, Darling" with them camping in Yosemite National Park late 50's style.