Recent comments

  • Reader Participation Day: What Do You Think of Lodging Rates in National Parks?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    does the parks have areas that you can pitch your own tent?without charging an arm and a leg?we went threw yellowstone last summer,i thought the lodging was nice but for the average family,just making their budgets,it was pricie. another experience was,to me to many people from other countries working at the lodges,hire more americans...thank jack

  • Reader Participation Day: What Do You Think of Lodging Rates in National Parks?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I can't sleep on the ground and still want to go to the parks for all of the stuff other than sleeping on the ground related. At the same time, we're starting to make sufficient income now that we can afford to save up for a nice treat like a night or two in a lodge.

    There have always been things I could afford and things I couldn't afford. I never resented that fact any more than the fact that there are scenic views I can handle hiking to and others that I can't.

    We just got notice from a lodge that we've stayed at before of an off season buy one night, get a second free, offer, and we're making reservations. That cuts the effective price in half, and makes for a special weekend that's well within our price range. I still can't afford longer stays, and so be it.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Do You Think of Lodging Rates in National Parks?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I visited both Yosemite and the Grand Canyon this past year and Crater Lake last. While Yosemite's Ahwahnee was a bit steep (over $500) it was well worth the stay and enriched our stay as that hotel has so much history attached to it. The El Tovar (GCNP) and Crater Lake Lodge were pricey given the room itself but we wouldn't have stayed anywhere else. I agree with Connie in that the focus is on the park itself. The lodges just add an element of history and comfort to an already phenomenal experience!

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Great discourse here on the Traveler. Thanks to all who have shared. I've worked with Rick Smith and he is absolutely on the mark with his comments - kudos Rick!

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 24 weeks ago

    The CORE OPS was a Titanic from its inception.

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Wow - a few IMR regional office commenters don't seem to get it. Parks most certainly do understand the gravity of the budget situation and certainly know that times will be getting even tougher for all Americans and for all non defense related federal agencies. Director Jarvis is NOT attacking but rather leading! Most employees are excited by his inspired leadership. IMR commenters- please stop insulting us in the parks by postulating we don't understand budgets or BCPs or obligation rates or any of the important components of our very serious fiscal responsibilities.

  • National Park Quiz 75: Potpourri IV   5 years 24 weeks ago

    BASE-jumping, a parachuting variant whose name derives from its unusual choice of launch sites (Buildings, Antennas, Spans [bridges], and Earth formations [cliffs]),

    So, if they referred to bridges as bridges (rather than "spans") it would be BABE Jumping?

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Still waiting, Rick

  • Reader Participation Day: What Do You Think of Lodging Rates in National Parks?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Connie
    I don't really have a problem with the prices for various Lodges. My focus is on the Park itself and what scenery and nature it has to offer and not one kind of accomodations I am going to have. For most of the years of our marriage when our family was young, we camped the entire time at Bridge Bay in Yellowstone. Where we slept had no influence on our enjoyment of the park to the contrary, camping gave our kids piceless memories! Now that we are empty-nesters we still camp but we have also began including staying at some of the Lodges when and where we can. If I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars a night to stay in a particular Lodge then I will camp instead! I enjoy the ambiance that some of the Lodges have to offer and due to personal tastes not all of them appeal to me. If I wanted to spend the money like I was staying at "The Ritz" then I will go to New York City rather than hiking in one of our National Parks!
    Connie Hopkins
    Denton, Texas

  • County In Wyoming Sues National Park Service Over Snowmobile Numbers in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 24 weeks ago

    @ paul: Everyone - but the wildlife. A single day of everyone doing what ever they want with their snow mobiles in the park can be enough to kill animals. Every time they are disturbed and have to flee through deep snow, they use up vast amounts of energy. To refill their energy they need quiet time to browse, quiet time they would not have on such a day. Now image seven consecutive days like that.

  • Pruning the Parks: Wheeler National Monument (NPS 1933-1950) Was a Great Idea Until Colorado Got Good Roads   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Thanks for the feedback, Debbie. Was the Wheeler site in good shape when you visited? Did you see any evidence that people were ignoring the ban on motorized vehicles?

  • Pruning the Parks: Papago Saguaro National Monument (1914-1930)   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Well, Sharlene, there's a long list of people who'd like to see the area less commercialized, but de-development is not an option. We'll just have to consider the Papago Saguaro story a cautionary tale.

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 24 weeks ago

    "The Traveler has asked the Intermountain Regional office for reports assessing the impact of the core ops process, and for Regional Director Snyder's reaction to the directive."

    Well? Did we hear anything from Regional Director Snyder?

  • National Park Lodging Rates, On Average, Stay Ahead of Inflation   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I am curious why Glenn makes the correlation between being able to call national parks "People's Parks" and choosing to not stay overnight in them. My taxes pay for roads which I may not be able to afford to drive on. Help me understand the correlation.

  • Tough Times or Wanton Poaching Along the Blue Ridge Parkway?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Why is it illegal to hunt on federal land? I can understand needing a permit and following rules but hunting should be allowed on federal land...

  • County In Wyoming Sues National Park Service Over Snowmobile Numbers in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 24 weeks ago

    How about a compromise. In snowmobile season, give the guys who want to explore with machines the high numbers they want, every other week. Then on the opposite weeks close the park to all private machines. I've owned snowmobiles and can understand their owners concerns. But that's been years ago for me. Today I would not even consider going to the park to hear the snowmobiles cruising around. I would love to see it in the winter w/o all the noise. Doing this kind of compromise everyone gets some of what they want.

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 24 weeks ago

    You can be assured that the appalling comments on this page will become an issue in discussing parks budgets. The arrogance of thinking the parks are above budgeting when people are struggling too pay home heating, health care, gas and other bills is appalling. The comments on this page show that outside forces are likely to have to dictate budgets if the NPS is not willing to manage its own shop. Past budgeting methods did not prioritize. Comments such as these, and Director Jarvis attack are likely to endanger funding for the centennial projects. Think farther than in front of your nose. Unbelievable arrogance.

  • What's All the Shakin' and Rattlin' Going On At Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Hello, I am curious to know, wouldn't some kind of thermal imagery from satellites produce some valuable information about eruptions to come also?

  • Pruning the Parks: Wheeler National Monument (NPS 1933-1950) Was a Great Idea Until Colorado Got Good Roads   5 years 24 weeks ago

    We backpacked in to Wheeler this summer. It is beautiful and well worth the hike.

  • Dark, Starry Skies Above National Parks Celebrated by Posters, Forthcoming Book   5 years 24 weeks ago

    We've already placed our request for a review copy!

  • Dark, Starry Skies Above National Parks Celebrated by Posters, Forthcoming Book   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Looking forward to the book, esp. now that high-iso cameras have made it easier to photograph the night sky. Maybe another post (with an amazon link) when this is published, so that we don't forget ?

    Tuan.

    National Parks images

  • National Park Service Hires Software Company to Help Track Emergency Medical Data   5 years 24 weeks ago

    You're more skeptical than I am, Anonymous. Nevertheless, here you go:

    http://www.emscharts.com/pub/pressrelease_112509.htm

    National Park Service Adopts emsCharts Software for Emergency Documentation & Management

    Technology will be deployed at all parks nationwide

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – November 25, 2009 – emsCharts, Inc. proudly announces today that the National Park Service has chosen to implement emsCharts for electronic patient data collection and management of emergency incidents within all of the National Parks.

    The National Park System is comprised of 391 parks covering more than 84 million acres in the United States and American territories, and provides emergency medical services for people who become ill or injured within National Park areas. This results in over 16,000 incidents responded to by over 1,500 EMS providers Service-wide. The NPS has elected to implement the emsCharts system in order to electronically document and collectively report on all incidents occurring in any National Park.

    The emsCharts system is already in place at six National Parks including Grand Canyon National Park, one of the NPS’s busiest, receiving over five million visitors, annually. emsCharts, Inc. helped to pioneer real-time and electronic data collection with software products that use the Internet to connect first responders with hospitals and reporting agencies; thus expediting the entire process and leaving more time to focus on patients’ needs. emsCharts, Inc. also offers mobile, offline versions of their web product for use in ambulances, helicopters, and on scene with patients.

    Last year, emsCharts developed functionality specifically designed for the National Park Service including incident tracking by United States National Grid Location. This coupled with Bio Surveillance and Injury Tracking will provide NPS Park EMS Coordinators, Medical Directors, Department of Interior Leadership, and Epidemiologists with real-time, nationwide notification when injury or illness thresholds are crossed. NPS leadership can immediately identify injury and illness patterns based on auto-generated reports and real-time alerts.

  • Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Kudos to Rick Smith for his comments. I think that there was a huge disconnect between the IMR leadership in Denver and the implementation of Core Ops as it might have been applied to support the mission of the NPS. My experiences with the process indicated that it was not at all mission-centric, nor did it appear that those who were leading the charge necessarily grasped the central concepts of the NPS mission. The process was primarily operationally focused. As an example, during one of our Core Ops meetings, members of the team charged us with the notion that we needed to think about theoretically closing the park down and identifying critical positions based upon reopening. We untimately lost 4 permenant archeologist positions in parks that were largely focused on archeological resources. But as one comment stated earlier, the organizational charts that resulted were often the result of later discussions and intrigue with regional leadership, rather than the result of the inclusive Core Ops efforts.

    I also perceived that those who were forcing the process were often lacking the real commitment to the parks (resources and people) that is deeply felt by so many of the employees of those parks. I believe that this factor alone accounts for much of torment that this ill-fated process has caused.

    But another failure of this IMR Regional leadership has been the in the selection of Superintendent positions. Certainly, good selections have been made. However, some of the new Superintendents lack a serious commitment to NPS ideals and as a result fail to recognize the core mission themselves. At least one Superintendent in northern Arizona exemplifies this failure and in many ways reflects the mentality of the Regional Director who made the selection. Without changes, these selections can lead to potential long term harm to IMR parks.

    In any case, it is very dangerous when one person believes he/she has the best answers to complex issues, and even more dangerous when they are given the power to institute flawed concepts on such a large scale in such important areas as National Parks and Monuments. The arrogance of that is just unbelievable.

  • National Park Service Hires Software Company to Help Track Emergency Medical Data   5 years 24 weeks ago

    How about linking the press release so we can judge ourselves/

  • Wolf Biologist Killed In Plane Crash in Denali National Park, Pilot Survived   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I am so sorry for the loss of Dr. Gordon Haber and so thankful for the life of pilot Dan McGregor! This is a tragedy on many levels. I am a wolf researcher and have relied on Gordon's work and insights throughout my career...he was very important in Alaska wildlife management and as a spokesman for wolves and other wildlife...he will be missed!!!! We are always aware of the inherant dangers in the type of work these biologists do from the air...especially in winter...and this just shows that we should always be grateful for the risks they take each time they fly because these risks provide all of us with a greater understanding of places like Denali or Yellowstone and the wolves and other species that reside there.

    Besides being a great biologist, Gordon was a great man...willing to share ideas and expertise, as well as stories and conversations about wolves...he will be missed by colleagues, friends, and wolves. Our thoughts are with his family...goodbye, my friend!