Recent comments

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Chris, the regulation allowing concealed carry in national parks that fall within states that allow the same is scheduled to take effect in February 2010.

  • Visiting Badlands National Park is Like Stepping Into the Past   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Thanks Chuck. The proof readers obviously took the weekend off:(

  • What Do You Think: Is The National Park Service Handling Advertising For Park-Related Businesses?   5 years 19 weeks ago

    A linked list of licensed concessionaires seems appropriate, since there have been client accidents and fatalities at Mount Rainier involving people representing themselves as mountain guides. This should be separate and subordinate to the Park Service information.

    I'm uncomfortable with the idea of anything resembling ads on government websites. The in-park concessionaries already have low fees, little or no direct competition, and the opportunity to match competing bids at renewal time. Why make these dynasties stronger?

    I'm even more uncomfortable with listings/ads for gateway businesses, because it could increase the reach and power of government and the potential for abuse. For example, those that may have criticized NPS management or didn't follow the party line closely enough might find themselves unlisted, or bypassed by shuttle systems originating outside the boundary.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Any updates on this?

    I drive my Jeep through National Forests quite often and I'm a CWP holder in NC.

  • Visiting Badlands National Park is Like Stepping Into the Past   5 years 19 weeks ago

    It's the "Pine Ridge Indian Reservation", not Blue Ridge>

  • What Do You Think: Is The National Park Service Handling Advertising For Park-Related Businesses?   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Ian Edlind

    I'm very interested in this issue in relationship to my website, Trail Voice. Trail Voice provides free promotion and advertising to National Parks - could they, in turn, exchange the favor? I'd like to think so but there of course regulations, as you detailed in the post.

    Thanks for exploring this topic.

  • What Do You Think: Is The National Park Service Handling Advertising For Park-Related Businesses?   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I think the NPS should be allowed to advertise inside the park, commercial services that are available outside the park. This helps ties between the parks and their communities and economic ties to a park can be an important part of garnering local support for a park. The NPS should control how and where this advertising is done so that it is appropriate for the site and within developed areas. Bulletin boards and similar venues seem right. After all, it is NPS policy that they do not allow building commercial services in a park if they can be found outside the park. It seems only logical that the NPS would then help visitors find those services.

  • Traveler's Checklist: Acadia National Park   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Great Acadia primer, Kurt. I'd like to add a few things:

    I've never hired Coastal Kayaking Tours, but my wife and I went out with National Park Kayak this summer. They do wonderful tours on the remote west side of the island, giving you a Mount Desert Island history lesson on the van ride from Bar Harbor to the west side. We took an evening paddle that was infested with seals, osprey, otters, and porpoises. On the way back our guide turned it into a fog navigation lesson as it was pea-soup conditions and we had to paddle from rock to rock to safely find our way from Bartlett Island back to MDI.

    If Kayaking and salt water aren't your thing, there's some good canoeing in Acadia too. A lot of the ponds on MDI are used for drinking water and don't allow swimming or boating, but you can rent a canoe from National Park canoe and Kayak and head out on Long Pond on the island's west arm. The south and west shores of the pond are some of Acadia's most remote forest, and there's a pristine island in the pond for a lunch stop.

    Finally, if you want an awesome breakfast and a cool T-shirt, check out 2 Cats in Bar Harbor. The muffins are unreal.

  • Bison Hazing Operations Inside Yellowstone National Park Fuel Controversy   5 years 19 weeks ago

    montana ranchers,sta out of yellowstone,how much do you pay the gov. for grazing rights on fed land...get over it,and leave the buffalo alone,you rats.....

  • Off The Usual Paths   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I came across sites in Gates of the Arctic that seemed to have been created in the red rock country of southern Utah. This included a natural arch and slot canyons.

  • Trial Over What Constitutes a "Road" In Canyonlands National Park: Vestiges of Sagebrush Rebels   5 years 19 weeks ago

    The Sagebrush Rebellion has been replaced by the Shovel Brigade movement. All over the west, bands of motorized recreationists are tearing down gates and removing signs from RS 2477 public highways that cross private property and federal land. This started in Utah with the Jarbidge Shovel Brigade and is now spreading to other states.

  • Trial Over What Constitutes a "Road" In Canyonlands National Park: Vestiges of Sagebrush Rebels   5 years 19 weeks ago

    A creek bed is not a road. Why is it that there are always those that want to destroy something in nature just so they can make a buck?

  • Off The Usual Paths   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Bigger than your head, smaller than a big-screen TV, with the Yampa River off in the distance.

  • Off The Usual Paths   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I'm having trouble with the sense of scale in this photo. Is this a close-up of a head-sized rock, or a scalable boulder with landscape in the background? In any case it's an interesting photo, thanks for posting it.

  • U. S. Mint Announces Sites Selected for the America the Beautiful Quarters Program   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Now that I think about it, a couple of US paper bill denominations do display NPS sites.

    The back of the $5 bill has the Lincoln Memorial. The back of the $100 has Independence Hall. I guess they're not grand natural areas per se, but they're still NPS sites.

  • Great White Sharks Being Monitored Along Cape Cod National Seashore   5 years 19 weeks ago

    since the mid 90s the seals have seemed to claim Monomoy as that time being fishermen,boater & jet skier we speed across the water, some areas less then a foot at speeds of 60 plus that time the striped bass was feared to be declining in #ers..over the flats at times we would ski over many large schools of stripe bass(proving the #ers are strong) noticeing pink spots on time went on we found & believe they were bites from seals on times(96-00) we saw large shadows close to shore under are skis in 10-15 ft of water around eastham,welfleet & turo...beliving it could have been a whale..we stopped many times and wait to see it come to the surface for air, but it never came up for air..leaving me to believe it could have abeen a large shark...about 3 years ago at the end of august by the 5 can on the back side coming in from fishing we saw at a distance a breach believing ther were a couple sunfish, as we came up on it we thought it was a real big basking shark or sea was a very large white shark as it came with in feet of the boat..the shark was so large the tail leaned to the side...we were in a 25 bertram flybride at the time..i was at the rear of the of the boat as i looked down at the missle shaped head .i felt confused weather it was a white.. i would say the shark was 20 ft or close to that as the tail was out of the water and still in front of the cabin windows...many times we see a kill and birds show have seen 2 seals w/large bites bleeding out on the shore..I feel they show up in july and leave by late september as a friend on a seal tour boat feels the same way and saw a large white take a seal from the shore line about the same time we saw the large white..he felt it was close to 20 ft also..hope this may help understand the water of chatham a little more...thanks John

  • Trial Over What Constitutes a "Road" In Canyonlands National Park: Vestiges of Sagebrush Rebels   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Thanks for the excellent story on this. For readers interested in reading more about the impacts of ORV traffic in Salt Creek, the 2002 EA is available on the Canyonlands web site at:

  • Bison Hazing Operations Inside Yellowstone National Park Fuel Controversy   5 years 19 weeks ago

    These ranchers get all kinds of breaks to the detriment of the environment. The get subsidies from state and federal governments, and are allowed to move their herds on public land wherever there's grass. It's the cattle that are the invasive species, not the native bison who actually belong there. Just because park officials have been doing their hazing "for several years" doesn't make it a sound practice. If the ranchers want to control disease it might be wise to better control their cattle. I stopped eating beef some time ago and I don't regret it.

  • Yellowstone National Park's Bison Population Estimated At 3,300 Individuals   5 years 19 weeks ago
  • Bison Hazing Operations Inside Yellowstone National Park Fuel Controversy   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I agree. The farmers are my VERY LAST concern.

  • With the Fall Rut Beginning, Wind Cave National Park Rangers Leading Elk Bugling Programs   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I was in Rocky Mountain National Park back in October 2005 and spent many a late night that week listening to the elk make their haunting sound. Anyone who has been to Rocky knows about Horseshoe Park's huge meadow and the parking area there. This was stupid but exhilarating at the same time. The parking lot is about the size of a football field. I was alone there, my car was parked in the middle of the lot and I was sitting on a bench at one end of the lot with a digital audio recorder recording the sounds of elk walking, eating, breathing, crashing their antlers and, yes, bugling. As I was taping, I started hearing something trotting behind me in the parking lot. The footfalls, they sounded like padded feet at the time, came closer and closer very rapidly, then stopped very close to me. It was dark as all get out, I couldn't see what was there. In a past trip I had seen a mountain mama and cub within yards of this spot so I stayed still waiting for what was next. A few seconds after the footfalls stopped a male elk scared the something-or-other out of me with a monster bugle basically in my ear. It was a startling sound to say the least. You can hear it on the audio. Needless to say I shut down the recorder and beat a hasty retreat to my car. It was such a scary experience, but awesome nonetheless. Listening to the recording over and over, I've come to the conclusion that the footfalls were hooves and a male elk came over to shoo me off. UNFORGETABLE!!!

  • Another Gettysburg Witness Tree is Lost   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Not to sound critical but the tree was still very healthy with few dead limbs. The issue is about private and publicly owned properties which the house was private, and if we are talking about historical integrity, there are 3 houses around the tree that should not be there as they were built many years after the battle. As for the day when there are no more witness battlefield trees at Gettysburg, even our children's grandchildren won't see that day as trees on park land are typically protected and have some advantages that others don't when it comes to logging, and land improvement and management. The dominant species of witness trees left are white, swamp white, red, and black oaks along with white ash and black walnut. Some very big witness trees at 150 - 200 yrs old are just entering middle age as some individuals can exceed 300 yrs plus. Anyone wishing to see some of the over 300 trees on the battlefield proper that I have documented let me know at and I will be glad to send pictures, information and dimensions and data on the trees as this is a pet project of mine. The bad thing about the removal of this tree is that not even a small portion of the stump was left to mark its location for the visitors especially since this tree made news. On the positive side witnin a half mile of the cut down tree are at least 100 trees that are doing well and were present as this one was on the starting point along Seminary ridge from the Shultz house area to Spangler woods area. Again ask me for info and pictures and I will send. Thanks for your time.

  • On Canyoneering, Politics, and Teens Studying Climate Change in the National Parks   5 years 19 weeks ago

    This is ridiculous. The debate about climate change is over. There is no longer disagreement among real scientists about whether it is happening & what's causing it [us]. You can argue about the details, whether it matters, & what should or shouldn't be done about it, but continuing this pathetic plaint that it doesn't exist just makes you look like an irrelevant, uneducated religious yokel.

    The topic of guiding in the Parks is impossible. There's yelping that there's no guiding in Zion, while there's relentless, loud yelping that there's too much [river] guiding in the Grand Canyon. There's a long line of people whining that they aren't allowed to run OHV tours of the White Rim Trail, & a long line of people screaming that there are too many guided OHV tours in the rest of Canyonlands.

    The Parks don't exist to provide economic opportunity to citizens who see a way to make a buck on the highly publicized & developed National Parks. Oddly, those people see no irony in their hot desire for this heavily subsidized business opportunity while jabbering on about how government "violating their rights" should stay out of their business.

    Parks exist to "preserve & protect for the enjoyment of future generations"...pretty contradictory & hard to find a balance, IMHO, & certainly not the same strategy works for every park.

  • Woman Drowns In Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Very tragic ... also a tad suspicious; not particularly a time of year you are most likely to drown in the Bechler River ... but as the release says, the incident is still under investigation. And whatever the case, a terrible thing to have happen.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • It May Be the Prettiest NPS Site You've Never Heard of, But that's Likely to Change   5 years 19 weeks ago

    A beautiful place, thanks in large part to Rockefeller and the fact he had lots of money. He was definitely a conservationist, but he also had his own interest at mind. He liked the view from the mansion, but he knew it would all be developed and his view would be ruined. So he bought every piece of property within eyesight of it. Thus he preserved his view, and we continue to benefit from that today!

    Be sure to check out the ornate "playhouse" located behind the mansion, with it's swimming pool and bowling alley. The Park Service visitor center is in the former car barn and is a great example of adaptive reuse.