Recent comments

  • Was “Heaven’s Gate” the Worst Movie Ever Filmed in a National Park?   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Clara: There's a list of movies filmed in national parks at this site. Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated in the past ten years.

  • Was “Heaven’s Gate” the Worst Movie Ever Filmed in a National Park?   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I've seen the movie, and it is far from terrible. I would suspect we could look around any number of b-movies filmed in or around NPs for the title "worst". I can believe it is the most disastrous movie ever made in a National Park. The movie is actually pretty enjoyable in the home, where you can pause it and address nature functions....and you do need to skip over the first 20-30 minute scene at a University. I did a little research on the net when it showed up on Sundance in the last year, and at least some of the actors, like Kristofferson, had some pride in the film. The bad-mouthing the film gets is very over-blown, especially in the modern era where effects are everything and story is unnecessary.

  • Too Many Deer in the Nation's Capital? Rock Creek Park Holds a Public Meeting on Wednesday   5 years 21 weeks ago

    1. During my many years in DC, it was not uncommon to see deer on the road, either within Rock Creek Park, on Military Rd., or as far as 16th Street outside the park. It's still not something that most drivers worried too much about, however. You were more worried about being car-jacked, or much more likely, somebody - usually a taxi cab - doing something dangerous beside you; of course, I didn't spend most of my years driving in DC (I biked and took the subway).

    2. Rock Creek Park is a very long, thin park. Wherever there are deer, they are going to be very nearly outside the park. Whether there are too many or too few, there will be deer potentially on the roads of NW DC.

    2. As for wolves, I would have loved to have seen them reintroduced. I don't know how the people there would have reacted; my sense is that there are far more dangerous things to worry about in DC than wolves. Most people in DC don't have lawns or yards (even the rich), and so dogs aren't being left outside within the city (though Maryland is a different story); most people don't have outdoor cats. It would certainly produce some changes; frankly, they'd be welcome. The wolves would have corridors to travel, as a lot of the parks nearly connect with one another such that wolves could potentially move up the Potomac and into West Virginia, perhaps, even reach the Shenandoahs with some luck. But, in DC, you worry about crime, you worry about the high cost of living; it would have been probably more amusing than anything to watch people worry about wolves (it would have made national news for sure, and that would be a good opportunity to educate people about wolves).

    3. Hunters in Rock Creek Park is not at all practical; it's just not a park where you can at all safely do that; civilization is all around you; there isn't a place in the park where you can escape the roar of cars; people are everywhere, even living in the woods (I knew a guy who was squatting in a cabin for years).

    4. It's a good set of neighborhoods to do this; generally the area around Rock Creek Park is affluent. Any adverse effect from wolves - and there aren't many - would affect the richer residents of the city. So, an ecological experiment would not be foisted on people in the city who generally otherwise have the least say.

    5. So, yeah, wolves ... why not? The only real issue I can think of is that it's not particularly humane to the wolves to reintroduce them (and it wasn't in Yellowstone, either, but what's done is done). And, I think you'd be surprised to find a stronger level of support for it than you might imagine - though it would be an uphill fight at first. Ultimately, it would be good for DC to have that conversation and good for the nation to learn more about wolves and their role.

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

  • Was “Heaven’s Gate” the Worst Movie Ever Filmed in a National Park?   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Can you give us a list of other movies shot in national parks?

  • It Ain't Sexy: Charting The Next Two Decades At Apostle Islands National Lakeshore   5 years 21 weeks ago

    As I currently live in Madison, WI I plan to attend the meeting on Thursday if I can. I got a nice full-color version of the GMP in the mail. I really like the idea of expanding access to the islands. Currently it's pretty hard and/or expensive to get to any island other than Madeline Island, which is not part of the national lakeshore (but still worth checking out, and part of which is protected as a state park).

  • Too Many Deer in the Nation's Capital? Rock Creek Park Holds a Public Meeting on Wednesday   5 years 21 weeks ago

    May I suggest that we relocate some of the Yellowstone wolves? Not only would this thin the deer population but would also improve the split times for runners and cyclists.

    Seriously, bring in local bow hunters.

  • National Park Service Reaches Final Agreements To Obtain Land Needed for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 21 weeks ago

    A nice outcome.

    Perhaps the Secretary has a future on the international front :-)

  • Too Many Deer in the Nation's Capital? Rock Creek Park Holds a Public Meeting on Wednesday   5 years 21 weeks ago

    the realistic solution is to allow a small number of hunters to solve this problem. hunters enjoy the procedure are trained in safety and love eating there harvest. Public land deserves public solutions. I envision a lottery for bow hunters.

  • Too Many Deer in the Nation's Capital? Rock Creek Park Holds a Public Meeting on Wednesday   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I'm in the Kansas City area, where a nearby county park has 200 deer per square mile. Research has shown that up to 80% of deer die during relocation and birth control is expensive and takes several years to be effective. The county has decided to use sharpshooters, not a popular idea with many, but it is the most effective and the least expensive alternative.

  • Too Many Deer in the Nation's Capital? Rock Creek Park Holds a Public Meeting on Wednesday   5 years 21 weeks ago

    The one real answer will, of course, not be explored. Utilize the natural method. Predation. Historically the most active predator, of white tail deer, has been humans.

  • New Lodge Gives You an Opportunity to Better Know Kenai Fjords National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Well, I just got back from my 11 Grand Journey with Alaska Wildland Adventures with a stop including the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. I must say the whole experience with AWA and the lodge in question was excellent. The staff is extremely knowledable and skilled. there are many hiking and kayaking options for vistors each day (as the weather permits). While the three days we were there we could only see Pederson Glacier one complete day, the whole experience was top notch. I would deffintely recommend going here as part of one of AWA's package tours or as an independent traveler.

  • FAQs About the Out-of-Control Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Excuse me, but unacceptable is the correct response. After your explanations and those of the NPS, the simple fact remains that the NPS themselves believe serious errors were made. It is correct to ask questions, not say that is the way the world works, things are unpredictable, and oh well, I'm sure they are doing their best. It is unacceptable because to let it be acceptable is to allow the NPS to do the same thing all over again...in other words light the same prescribed burn, under the same conditions, in the future. Obviously that didn't work out so well huh? The guess of experts I know is that conditions were not what they expected, however they went ahead since lots of pre work had been done, and felt they could slip it by. But they didn't. Absolutely questions should and will be asked and answered.

    Didn't burn a single structure? So it's OK? How about the forest areas that will take two generations to recover?

    Having worked for 30 years with governmental agencies I know that without questions and accountability...and the improvements that ensue, history can very easily be repeated as the bureaucratic machinery moves forward.

  • Traveler’s Checklist: New River Gorge National River   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Carl, being a WVU alum, I know what you're saying. Not only did I fall in love with Blackwater Falls SP during my college days, but I also guided on the Cheat and New rivers. Spectacular, simply spectacular. And then there's Dolly Sods.

    And thanks for the kind words for the Traveler. We like to think we're a work in progress, so hopefully things will only get better!

  • Traveler’s Checklist: New River Gorge National River   5 years 21 weeks ago

    We loved our visit to the New River Gorge area last September. If you go there you should also check out the WV State Parks nearby. We were very impressed with how reasonably priced everything was. We got a 3 hour horse back ride at Babcock for $35 each. The prices at their lodges were all under $100, some under $80. I think the best SP in this area is Pipestem. We were so impressed that we took a May vacation in the northern part of the state and stayed at 2 differant parks. Blackwater Falls SP was the one we loved the most in the NE part of the state. Cacapon was a close second.
    PS love this web site.

  • Great Smoky’s Highway 441 to be Closed Temporarily for 75th Anniversary Rededication Ceremony   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Thanks for clarification.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Thats what we say about you! LMAO!

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 21 weeks ago

    The word "is" coming to end! Because of fools like yourself! If you don't want to be able to protect yourself and your family from crazies or wild animals then so be it. Survival of the fittest or shall we say the smartest!

  • Angels Landing Trail at Zion National Park to be Closed Briefly on September 1st   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Is that a polite way of saying you wriggled down Walter's Wiggles on a trail of brown goo?

  • Big Meadow Fire At Yosemite National Park Up to 4,382 Acres, Restricted Access Monday Along Tioga Road   5 years 21 weeks ago

    InciWeb has today's map up at:
    http://www.inciweb.org/incident/maps/large/1869/1/

    No active burn around Foresta. New front on the east, and gradual north & NW extension.

  • Proposed Power Lines at Everglades National Park Highlight Several National Issues   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Helen--

    Without defending nuclear power (I'm at most ambivalent about the expansion of Turkey Point), I noticed that the actual proposal for the expansion of Turkey Point is to use Miami's processed wastewater for cooling, not intake from Biscayne Bay, and using evaporation towers as part of the cooling process. [Evaporation is feasible by using reclaimed wastewater instead of saltwater from Biscayne Bay.] In theory, one could even use some of the waste heat as part of the wastewater treatment process; I don't know if that's part of what's proposed, and haven't looked into it (I'm happily living in Colorado now, and unlikely to go back even to visit!). I don't know what the treatment plant will do with the "biosolids", nor whether the freshwater would otherwise be discharged into Biscayne Bay (potentially making up for part of the interrupted/diverted pre-settlement flow).

    There's a cartoon diagram but no obvious link to details at:
    http://www.fpl.com/environment/nuclear/technology.shtml

    If this is like other power line routing issues I'm more familiar with, the 9 alternatives count variations on only 2 or 3 major corridors. For example, the current FPL right of way 2 miles inside ENP only differs for a couple of miles from the landswap alternative along the canal/levee at the boundary of ENP, but they count as 2 alternatives. The housing sprawl extends most of the way down US1 and to the bay, and east to Krome at SW 88th and Florida City. Basically, the Everglades and the L-31N canal & levee are about the only thing stopping the sprawl (and there is developer pressure to allow development beyond the urban growth boundaries and levees, especially to the north of Tamiami Trail). Removing houses within the developed areas to create safe rights of way would be cost-prohibitive. I don't know if any alternatives are additional lines along the turnpike (a corridor through the urban area); I don't know if that is feasible.

    Bruce--

    I can assure you that there are plenty of folks in Universities and agencies down there with intimate knowledge of implications for the 8 mile area and everything else, far surpassing my current knowledge. And Rock Salt, the new federal almost-czar for Everglades restoration deeply cares about the Everglades, and knows enough and is smart enough to play the game 5 moves ahead.

    almost apt captcha: "Phillip potshots"

  • Great Smoky’s Highway 441 to be Closed Temporarily for 75th Anniversary Rededication Ceremony   5 years 21 weeks ago

    MRL -

    A reasonable question, and the park was apparently sensitive to that point. The park staff put out a press release that invitations to the event were available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis, but they were snapped up very quickly. I was going to run that information on the Traveler, but decided not to do so when I found out the tickets were already gone.

    There's no doubt some of the spots went to political leaders and others who are in positions to make decisions to help (or not help) the park - for better or worse, that's a reality for any such event.

  • Proposed Power Lines at Everglades National Park Highlight Several National Issues   5 years 21 weeks ago

    My first reaction is also " none of the above". If there are 9 potential routes, is it only the land swap that made the one involving ENP the preferred one? What is the scientific basis for this preference? Is there any? Or is the preference based on political considerations, such as that the creatures in the park don't vote, don't make political contributions, and, most of all, don't give interviews? Not a good basis for such decisions, but it is the usual one. In an ecosystem as damaged by human impact as that of South Florida, there are precious few pristine areas left. Maybe none at all! However, if worse comes to worse, the land swap is preferable to having the towers in the middle of the park.

    A larger issue is the definition of nuclear power as "clean energy". It isn't, any more than "clean coal" is. They are both oxymorons, although for different reasons. Our attitude toward nuclear power seems similar to that of the Sorcer'e Apprentice. We can turn them on, but we aren't so good at controlling them or turning them off! 80 million gallons of water a day may seem like a small amount compared to the size of Biscayne Bay, but it's not. We are talking EVERY DAY use here! We are also talking about the return of the heated water to the bay. In cooler climates, this may provide additional habitat for fish, but in an already warm climate, which is getting warmer, there are bound to be prfound ecological impacts. As stated above, this is a very complex issue, with many unanswered and perhaps unanserablee questions. How much will it cost in the future to mitigate these actions which are being contemplated now? Do we really want to experiement with the Everglades again?

  • Proposed Power Lines at Everglades National Park Highlight Several National Issues   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Well, howdy (ex-)neighbor! You would not believe Route 347 these days if you have not seen it since the 1980's. New high-voltage transmission lines along there might go virtually unnoticed these days.

    I hope the right people are reading these forums and your analysis in particular. Some day there may be one less car on Route 347 and one more on SW 177th Ave on my way to the Everglades, so I hope they listen to you.

  • Traveler's Gear Box: Take A Stick When You Go For a Hike   5 years 21 weeks ago

    A stick works well too.

  • Picnic Area on Blue Ridge Parkway Closed Temporarily Due to Bear Activity   5 years 21 weeks ago

    A fed bear is a dead bear ! Kudos to the Park Service for trying to educate the visitors instead of just "doing away with the bears". They are hungry and like us humans, they learn to take the easy way out when possible !