Recent comments

  • Castle Rock Cut at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Open For Boaters   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Castle Rock used to be an island, but due to severe drought, the water has receded exposing the land that used to be covered with water.

  • Investigation Of Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Finds Cybertracks to Pornographic Images   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Latschar's reassignment as special assistant to the NPS associate director for cultural resources is ironic. The National Academy of Public Administration report on NPS cultural resources highlighted the need for new leadership. That new NPS director Jon Jarvis would transfer Latschar to support the current associate director for cultural resources is not a good sign.

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Hmm. Sounds vaguely familiar.

  • New “Roots in the River” Documentary Chronicles Congaree National Park History   5 years 22 weeks ago

    I bought the DVD and it a keeper!!
    A beautiful documentary of how a small group of people can preserve
    and protect the Congaree swamp for all of us. What a miracle!!

  • Death At Channel Islands National Park Demonstrates Need to Be Prepared   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Climbers, and in particular big wall climbers, are much more seasoned outdoor person than your average hiker.

    Tuan.

    National Parks images

  • NPCA, PEER Voice Concerns Over Proposed Mountain Bike Rule Change In National Parks   5 years 22 weeks ago

    what about the poop! oh my god - why does there have to be so much freaking poop all over the destroyed trails?

    horses dont belong on trails and their ... riders should ride around the farm and stay off public land

    the biggest issue for hikers being disturbed by mtn bikes is frequency of contact - which is caused by high-use cross country and downhill shuttle trails

    high use cross country trails almost always have few to no hikers due to the flatness of land and lack of classic views

    the main contention is trails heavily used by both hikers and the downhill shuttle crowd, and the shuttle crowd goes very fast /
    there will have to be some compromises in that arena - that is why i say there needs to be some bike free trails for hikers and hikers will have to concede some trails to heavy bike use

  • Suicide? Murder? What Secrets Lie in that Grave on the Natchez Trace?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    A well-done article.
    But the author is not identified - not even the picture. Please do so.
    It is high time this 'primary source' was exhumed so that by DNA we can know if it is actually Meriwether Lewis there,
    and if it is, to hopefully be able to trace the course of the bullets to see if they could or could not be self inflicted.
    How anyone can say suicide - or murder - at this point is a mystery in itself.
    How could such a master shot miss his own brains or heart?
    Why would he ask Priscilla Grinder to "heal my wounds" if he wanted to die, when he could have reloaded with all the powder & shot she said was in his cabin - & finished the job?
    (Jefferson having his own problems)- I've not seen any written words of that period saying he was either depressed or a drunk - only negative interpretations of his every word. Others made similar remarks at the time without being so accused.
    His death remains a mystery - until some real, primary source can be found to prove one way or the other.

  • By the Numbers: The National Park Service Workforce   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Thank you for responding...I will ask to see our super. (who just purchased a new set of office furniture, care of the American taxpayer, for $9,000.00)

  • Visiting Alaska National Parks – By Train   5 years 22 weeks ago

    The Denali Star is a great and relaxing way to travel. The train is not fast but the scenery is incredible. Moose, swans, and perhaps Denali can be seen on the ride. And more! For the independent traveller I would suggest using your Denali time wisely and go stay in the backcountry. One can get away from the crowds and the hustle of the front end of the park. The ride to the back country is not fast either but again the scenery is magnificent and the wildlife viewing opportunities excellent. You will travel the entire park road and go to places the other tours do not. There are three lodges in the Katishna area at the end of the road. Denali Backcountry Lodge, Kantishna Roadhouse and Camp Denali offer multiple night stays and lots to do. Having spent time visiting in the crowded front country and having been to the Kantishna area I highly recommend, after a great train experience, a trip and stay in the backcountry of Denali Park.

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Years ago the story went around about the Park Superintendent in Alaska who had agreed to a sled dog race through his park.

    With the park staff in open revolt over what they considered an inacceptible conflict with the purpose of the park, the Superintendent defended himself by saying: but look at the law ! Sled dogs are allowed in this national park !

    "Yes," the park staff snapped back, "and horses are allowed in National Parks in the lower 48. BUT they don't allow HORSE RACES !!"

  • By the Numbers: The National Park Service Workforce   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Laborer - ask the superintendent. You should be able to get a good answer. I have been a superintendent for more than 20 years and I welcome employees who have reasonable questions about management decisions. I cannot, of course, know exactly what is going on in your park. But, it might have to do with the Continuing Resolution. Because we have no 2010 budget, parks are expected to reduce spending to past levels and be cautious in making commitments. Many parks are letting seasonal employees go in order to adhere to the directives of the CR. Yes, it is nuts.

  • Can't Connect to Some NPS Websites? Don't Take it Out on Your Computer   5 years 22 weeks ago

    We were planning a visit to Lake Quinault Lodge over by the Hoh Rain Forest this morning and clicking on the main Olympic National Park link was dead, however clicking on other links within the website worked and, once inside, the main link then worked. It seems that workarounds work.

  • Wolf Biologist Killed In Plane Crash in Denali National Park, Pilot Survived   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Ray Bane, thanks for all the in put regarding flight into Mt. McKinley...must be awesome to see from the air.

  • National Park Service Announces Superintendent Vacancy At Gettysburg National Military Park   5 years 22 weeks ago

    It's basic. You don't look at anything of that nature at work. Period. He's a smart man, but he's got a problem understanding the basic rules that apply to all government employees and computers. As superintendent he is held to the same standards, and ought to be leading the way. Frankly, he needs to retire. As superintendent of Gettysburg, he must be a GS14/15 if not a member of the Senior Executive Service. There must be an investigation, and if he's found guilty, he should be demoted.

    The National Park Service should be ashamed of itself if it continues to pay this man, at his old salary, to sit around and do minor busy work out of the sight of the public.

  • By the Numbers: The National Park Service Workforce   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Workforce...I am currently employed by the NPS in NY State. I am also being let go in two weeks, anybody no why? Our leadership at our park is bragging about the large ammount of Stimulus dollars floating in from DC, yet nine of us laborers are being let go two months early, and that makes us uneligable for unemployment. I guess that the "job creation" hyped by Obama is yet another of his lies??? Nice to see that the NPS can rebuild three insignificant dams along the creek flowing through the property, I guess thats more important than "our " families.

  • Clash of Viewpoints on Public Land Ownership and Protection Arrives in Congress in the Form of Red Rock Wilderness Legislation   5 years 22 weeks ago

    The biking issue is a red herring. Bikers have been negotiating with the advocates of the Red Rock Wilderness bill about boundary adjustments to exclude popular biking routes. The leading bikers' group, IMBA, posted comments on the bill at: http://www.imba.com/news/news_releases/10_09/10_01_red_rock_wilderness.html In my own travels I saw no evidence of biking in most of the proposed wilderness units, especially when I got away from Moab.

  • Death At Channel Islands National Park Demonstrates Need to Be Prepared   5 years 22 weeks ago

    I remember at my last visit (mid-summer) to Yosemite we stopped a while to see a spotter scope set up (as part of the "Ask a Climber" program) to check on the progress of rock climbers going up El Capitan. There were only maybe 2-3 groups attempting to go up, while the guy manning the event noted that in the spring or fall it might be a dozen or more. He noted that they have to carry their own water since there aren't exactly any water sources along the route. These climbers are acutely aware of the requirements for water and I suppose a lot stay away from that kind of climbing in the summer months because of the need to carry that kind of weight.

  • Wolf Biologist Killed In Plane Crash in Denali National Park, Pilot Survived   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Anonymous, I suggest contacting park management to get particular information as to requirements or restrictions related to landing within park boundaries. However, if you are interested in accessing the mountain by air I strongly recommend doing it with a fully rated pilot who has extensive experience and a long history of safely operating on the mountain. Mountain flying is a whole different level of bush flying. Mountains, particularly Mt. McKinley, eat airplanes. Thin air, erratic air currents, clear air turbulence, hidden obstacles, sloping landing surfaces, sudden weather changes, etc. can turn what seems like a relatively simple landing into a disaster.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 22 weeks ago

    There are lots of warning signs on the rim, maybe there should also be some new signs below the rim: "DANGER! GROUND APPROACHING RAPIDLY"

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 22 weeks ago

    It was the right decision. I am an avid cyclist and have ridden in several national parks. Cycling on roads and designated bike trails is a great way to see and enjoy the parks, but the type of event described would be inappropriate in most park settings.

  • Demolition Update: It’s One Down and One to Go at Gettysburg   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Pesonally I'm no fan of the Cyclorama building at all, but if we truly consider ourselves historians then we must give credence to the argument that the building has historical significance based on the importance placed on the design by architechtural historians. Does it need to leave Zieglers Grove, no doubt, would it be a better alternative to move it instead of tearing it down, no doubt. The NPS is responsible for the irresponsible placement of the building on those grounds, they should take partial financial responsibility for it's movement to another location. That's where the art architechural purists need to get involved, raise some money, purchase some land and partially fund it's transfer to those grounds.

  • Wolf Biologist Killed In Plane Crash in Denali National Park, Pilot Survived   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Ray Bane, many thanks for the aeronautical insights on both aircrafts. I figured that the PA 18 (Super Cub) would be excellent plane for wildlife photography. Your wildlife experiences in Alaska speaks well for your credentials. One more question: What kind of pilot certification do you need to land on Mt. Denali?

  • Clash of Viewpoints on Public Land Ownership and Protection Arrives in Congress in the Form of Red Rock Wilderness Legislation   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Lets be reasonable..!!?? Let's just ban all foot traffic so the beauty of the area can only be enjoyed by aircraft. This will surely preserve it to the highest of anyones standard. However, I think we may have to kill off all the wild mustangs and other wildlife so they cannot disrupt potentially extinct plant life also.

    This is not meant to be insulting, but rather to point out how insulted that many of us in Utah are by others trying to dictate how we use our land. Just like other states, who is best suited to determine what is best for that area, those who live there or those who live 1000s of miles away? BTW, most of us old timers believe in true democracy also...not special interest. We have the highest respect/regard for our land and don't allow just anything to be built just anywhere. We believe in being good stewards to our surroundings. In Utah, we have some absolutely beautiful land that will always be protected without the Feds getting involved. Trust me, the Federal Government doesn't know what is best for us, but rather what they want from us.

  • Reader Participation Day: Winter Park Visits, Snow or Sand?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Winter in the desert can be great at Mojave National Preserve. Sand dunes, johsua trees, you name it but without the crowds at Joshua Tree and Death Valley. For snow, Crater Lake is hard to beat in the lower 48 states. They average 44 feet a winter, so there's about 6 months of skiing or snowshoeing. Rangers lead snowshoe hikes on weekends, so its accessible for even the most novice of winter visitors.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 22 weeks ago

    According to the Grand Canyon's FAQ, visitors are charged for their own rescue. However, in some public documents on the topic, it appears the park does not wish to charge for the work of rangers already on duty - it is the fee for the ambulance and the emergency medical services that is sent to the victim, who may or may not have insurance.

    Seems fair, although I think the person who falls should be issued a bill for some part of the ranger work as well.