Recent comments

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 18 weeks ago

    Jim is absolutely correct.

    The 58 National Parks are recognized as the "crown jewels" of the NPS system.

    It's not just a name.

    They do benefit from more protection and resources than other units.

    You will learn in the Ken Burns movie that although some areas were already National Monuments, there was a considerable effort done by individuals to have them re-designated as National Parks, because it was thought that only then they would be safe.

    It is true that the area itself does not change, but what changes is our perception of its value. When Gates of the Arctic gained NPS protection, and two years later, NP status, no physical changed occurred on the land. No roads, trails, ranger stations, or visitor centers were built. Yet the area took a new dimension.

    Tuan.

    National Parks images

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 18 weeks ago

    Ken Burns did not "ignore" some national parks because of their presumed lack of worth, but simply because he had only 12 hours to tell a good story (and a *very* good story this is). However, I think he made sure that an image of each of the national parks (this means the 58 ones :-)) was seen.

    Moreover, the narrative, although centered on the national parks, is not confined to them. There are mention of other type of units, including long segments on Dinosaur NM and obscure ones such as Manzamar NHS, and their meaning within the expended mission of the NPS to preserve all aspects of the American heritage and history.

    Please note that I have seen the 12 hours of the Ken Burns movie. Comments based only on partial previews may not be fair to the series.

    Tuan

    National Parks images

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 18 weeks ago

    I applaud this decision to use volunteer hunters who have demonstrated firearm proficiency to help cull the elk herd in TRNP. This plan is cost effective and sensible. donating the meat (if proven to be free of MCD) is ethical and just. Huzzah!!

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 18 weeks ago

    With all due respect, this is not the case. All units are protected by the same laws and regulations (courtesy of the General Authorities Act and Redwood Act amendments). When Petrified Forest, Congaree, Cuyahoga, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, changed their designations to national park their protection and resources did not change. If Pinnacles changes to a national park its resources will not change. There are national parks you can hunt in and national lakeshores you cannot hunt in. There are hotels and other development in some national parks you will not find in some national monuments. Craters of the Moon National Monument has outstanding natural resources and is far larger than many national parks. I could go on. My point is, there is no objective criteria that defines the title designation. Designation is often political and often driven by the desires of local tourism boosters. There is no defending a nomenclature that has no rationale.

  • Scuttlebutt Has It That A Hold Has Been Placed On the Nomination of Jon Jarvis as National Park Service Director   5 years 18 weeks ago

    All of the above rhetorical back and forth is nice to debate, but the bottom line is that Jarvis will be an excellent head for the NPS, that the 'hold' has nothing to do with him as an individual but is just a procedural power play, and this nonsense needs to stop.

    Surely there is leverage we can apply to these mouthbreathers to get Jon Jarvis confirmed.

  • Another Entrance-Fee-Free Weekend in the National Parks   5 years 18 weeks ago

    $25 isn't going to persuade me to come to a National Park. I'm going either way, and I'll plan around when I have free time. If the local hotels were giving away free reservations, then I might think about it. Throw in free airline tickets and I'm as good as there. But $25? That's a bargain already. Give it to me for free and I feel like I'm not doing my part.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 18 weeks ago

    The absurdity of this will become more obvious when the Ken Burns series on national parks airs on PBS next month. Mr. Burns chose to focus only on the "national parks," not any other designation. And ignored national parks he did not find worthy like Cuyahoga and Hot Springs. The NPS is playing this series up and telling all the parks to catch this wave of publicity. I think it will leave the public confused when they try to relate their nearby national monument or national seashore to a “national park”. I also think many NPS employees will also see this as insulting to their units because they are left out of the series. Is Dinosaur National Monument really inferior to Congaree National Park? Is a series that omits Gettysburg, the Statue of Liberty, and Cape Cod really showing the greatness of the National Park System? I think not.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 18 weeks ago

    Frank C,
    Here is a better graph that has both the Mauna Loa, Hawaii data and one that is tied to a longer timeline:

    http://www.planetforlife.com/gwarm/glob1000.html

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 18 weeks ago

    Frank C,
    The OSU article quotes one professor who says they are"pretty certain" that the earth's wobbles caused warming, and that "CO2 amplified a process already started". Far cry from the definitive posture you stand by. Many more qualified scientists all over the world have other views. Not quite the type of article I would stand by to defend the world, but you have your reasons. I wonder if the CO2 at that time was even close to what we have now? I doubt it.

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 18 weeks ago

    I think you have misread. Moose will not be dealt with in any fashion in this situation but rather, elk.

  • Scuttlebutt Has It That A Hold Has Been Placed On the Nomination of Jon Jarvis as National Park Service Director   5 years 18 weeks ago

    He believes the Constitution "identifies a collective interest best managed by a federal government empowered to make decisions for the society as a whole."

    Sort of reminds me of totalitarians from the not too distant past.

    The premise of this power grab stems from the cynical notion that the common people are too dumb to make the voluntary and individual decisions that collectively produce a free and productive society but instead must be coerced into doing what is right by an overarching governmental structure that compels through force the necessary actions to bring about the common good. Hitler, Stalin and Mao must all be smiling in their graves that most Americans are educated to believe this lie and to actually embrace it.

    Most futurists are predicting the break-up of this country sometime in the 2010-2012 time frame. (They say Vermont will be the first to secede). I hope this comes true and that we all will get back to a more locally focused view of what constitutes common interest and that voluntary participation, individualism and private property rights will prevail. The rather bizarre idea of some abstract "national interest" has ceased to exist, if it ever did in the first place, and deserves its rightful place on the scrapheap of history.

  • Scuttlebutt Has It That A Hold Has Been Placed On the Nomination of Jon Jarvis as National Park Service Director   5 years 18 weeks ago

    Anonymous2: Thanks for the link, but I disagree with the author on many points. His bias is one of bigger government, intervention, statism. He calls individual liberty an anachronism. He believes the Constitution "identifies a collective interest best managed by a federal government empowered to make decisions for the society as a whole." He fails to address the the limits on power imposed by the Constitution. I disagree entirely with his bias.

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Why don't they just let predators like wolves return to their natural habitat? Then they would not have to cull healthy animials.

    I disagree with many of these strategies. I read about 200 wild horses and burros who were given to a man in Nebraska after Bureau of Land Management roundups, and he starved them. Why not just let them alone in the wild, concentrate on restoring habitat and ecology?

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I think the name does matter. For instance there's a big difference between a national park and preserve. In any case, non-national parks like to say they are national parks too.

    From Ozark NSR FAQ page:

    Is this a state or national park?

    Many people are surprised to learn that the Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a national park, just like Yellowstone or Gettysburg. The three largest campground areas, Alley Spring, Big Spring and Round Spring all used to be Missouri State Parks and some people still refer to “Alley Spring State Park,” which adds to the confusion. These three places stopped being “State Parks” in 1964 when the people of Missouri generously donated them to the federal government as the anchors for the new Ozark National Scenic Riverways. They were essentially the gift of Missouri to the nation.

    Also Boston Harbor Islands apparently likes to call itself a "national park area."

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I thought this item would be a reflection on the late presidential campaign .....

    " It is wonderful to be back in Oregon," Obama said. "Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. .... " May '08.

    Har har

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 19 weeks ago

    HH, if you go to the NPCA site, there's a text version with footnotes that are tied to all the science that went into the report. And yes, there are studies pointing to the viability of the AT corridor as serving such a purpose. I'm traveling, otherwise I'd email you the studies.

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 19 weeks ago

    If the moose are very old, disabled, or diseased, then killing them makes sense, but I would expect that some effort would be put into resettling them if practicable. If healthy moose are to be killed, then I think that the hunters may take a family-sized portion and the greater balance if the meat given to poor Indians on reservations, homeless shelters, and/or other charities that feed the indigent.

  • Scuttlebutt Has It That A Hold Has Been Placed On the Nomination of Jon Jarvis as National Park Service Director   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Frank, Beamis, et al:

    The LA Time recently published an article you might be interested in:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ellis9-2009aug09,0,3614997.story

    "From the very beginning of our national history, Americans have been arguing about the proper role of government. Put succinctly, the dispute is between those who regard government as "them" and those who see it as "us."...."

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 19 weeks ago

    "■ Thanks to the efforts of the National Park Service, there is an unbroken, 2,175-mile corridor of protection, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Stretching from Georgia, north through Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks, to Maine, the trail and its network of parks stands ready to serve as a corridor and refuge for species that need to move in response to climate change."

    I've hiked the AT and this is ridiculous. Kurt, who came up with that? First of all the AT is not "unbroken" by civilization, it runs through many towns. Secondly, is there any science to back up that wildlife could use it as a corridor? Come on, this sounds like a dream out of someone's childhood Disney fantasy. Oh, and thirdly, I'm not sure the NPS deserves so much credit for developing and maintaining the AT.

  • Managing Elk at Theodore Roosevelt National Park – The NPS has Released Its Plan   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I agree that method of using volunteer hunters to cull the herd should be tried first. It makes the most sense. I hope it is a great success.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 19 weeks ago

    And in the end, what does it matter? We all choose to go to "units" of the NPS for different reasons...peace, serenity, beauty, history, education, adventure, love of nature and all things outdoors. As long as we can protect AND enjoy, I'll visit them whatever they're called. Once I recover from laughing at this story!

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Silliness. The title national park is meaningless and confuses the public. Witness the recently published National Geographic Guide to the National Parks. The previous edition did not include Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area or Congaree Swamp National Monument. Now, because their names were changed, they are in. Nothing about the parks has actually changed. Same size, same resources, same governing laws. Only the names. So, now they are worthy of putting in the guide book and being placed on a "life list," but before they were not? Silliness.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I couldn't agree with you more, Rangertoo. I've written on this topic before, and I intend to do it again. Traveler readers who've joined this general thread late might want to have a look at our article "Are There Really 391 Units in the National Park System? You Won’t Think So After You Read This!".

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Anon: Of course you can count repeats if you want to! It's your hobby.... :o)

  • National Park Quiz 62: Paired Parks   5 years 19 weeks ago

    I agree, toothdoctor, and I've edited the answer to align it with the historical facts you've brought to my attention. Sequoia National Park was created on September 25, 1890, but Kings Canyon National Park was not created until March 4, 1940. When Kings Canyon was established, the tiny General Grant National Park was abolished and the land was folded into the new Kings Canyon National Park. At no time was Kings Canyon National Park ever designated Grants Grove National Park. I'm glad you like the quizzes and hope you don't mind that we've got to a bi-weekly publication schedule for the series.