Recent comments

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I agree with what Lee Hall re predators. Coyotes are a rare threat to humans and should be encouraged to stay where they are. If people are so concerned with the deer population, which isn't as large as Dick says, then why limit their predators? It seems like humans have decided to take on the predator role, and wasting our tax dollars in the process. Allowing the predators to do their job is absolutely - free.

    Plants are not the real issue behind the NPS' action because a similar action will be taking place in D.C.'s Rock Creek Park. It's no coincidence that both proposals were backed by residents who complained about their plants - not exactly a valid reason to shoot deer, is it?

    We need to take in account that the deer's fertility is solely based on a variety of environmental factors. A female is unable to trigger ovulation when there is little food and water available. So, if it's true that vegetation is an issue, then one cannot say there is an influx in the deer population. Lack of food = annovulation = less offspring.

  • Collecting National Park T-Shirts: The Passion and the Pain   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I stick with the passport stamps and stamping and a postcard and mailing it home to myself. Much cheaper then buying t-shirts but no less addictive.

  • Ida Gives Many Atlantic Coast National Parks a Severe Beating   5 years 23 weeks ago

    To Jane and any others who would like to help out the folks at Assateague, here's some information:

    The park is able to accept direct donations. If you are interested in donating directly to the park you may contact the superintendent by phone (410-629-6080) or e-mail (trishkicklighter@nps.gov). Donations may be sent to:

    Trish Kicklighter
    Superintendent - Assateague Island National Seashore
    7206 National Seashore Lane
    Berlin, MD 21811

    Also, there's the Assateague Island Alliance, which is a friend's group that helps the seashore in a wide variety of fashions.

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 23 weeks ago

    As someone that lives in an area that is over run with deer, I can understand the problems at the various parks. It's bad enough here that people joke about the need for a year round open season with hand guns. Perhaps those groups so intent on letting nature manage this problem would support the introduction of a few of Yellowstone's wolf population. Coyotes are very efficient creatures but to expect them to manage a deer problem is a bit out of their expertise. Perhaps CARE members could take a few of them home and pen them up in the backyard. The novelty would soon wear off.

  • Ida Gives Many Atlantic Coast National Parks a Severe Beating   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I have to agree with Bob. Oceanfront houses on the entire Outerbanks are a risk at best. I spend a lot of time in that area, in fact I will be there again for Thanksgiving this year and it always amazes me to see new construction on the ocean side.

  • Ida Gives Many Atlantic Coast National Parks a Severe Beating   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm not sure who you are Anon, but I'm pretty darn sure you are not Orrin Pilkey! Seriously I respect your opinion, but I'll continue to believe that houses built right on the shoreline at Nags Head (an area I am quite familiar with, and plan to visit again in April) are structures that are waiting to die.

  • Consider Gettysburg for the Holidays   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Glad to see you're tuned in to this CivilWarBuff. But I think that you're pushing the concept of "the holidays" a tad too early. Remembrance Day is the Saturday after Dedication Day, which is by far the better known of the two events. Watch tomorrow's Traveler for an article on this.

  • Ida Gives Many Atlantic Coast National Parks a Severe Beating   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Nice that you think anyone who has a beach house is foolish. Many of the houses that were damaged in the storm in South Nags Head have been there for 50 years or more. The erosion problems have become significant in the past 10 years there from various hurricanes. If beach nourishment plans had been carried out the damage would have significantly less.

  • Consider Gettysburg for the Holidays   5 years 23 weeks ago

    And of course don't forget Remembrance Day on Nov. 21st. Reenactors, military groups, school bands, etc. will march in the annual parade. The graves in the cemetery will be illuminated by candles at night. Truly a great experience for all ages.

  • Want the Latest On the Biodiversity Inventory At Great Smoky Mountains National Park?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Pretty interesting. How I miss the great smokey Mountains!

  • Collecting National Park T-Shirts: The Passion and the Pain   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Holly,10 year ago when I retired we started our national park travels.I collect hats,t shirts,the stamps for my nationlal park book.We have made all 58 of the majors ones.
    But this is what I do with the pins,I pin them on a banner that some parks sell like at Yellowstone,I look at it everyday and think about how blessed we were to make it to Gods creations.If you send me your email I'll send you a picture it.People ask which one is our favorite, my anwser is all of them.

  • Friends of the Everglades is Down, but Not Out   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Lew, there is indeed a collection of friends groups, called the National Parks Friends Alliance. Its president is Curt Buchholtz, the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, www.rmna.org, the friends group for Rocky Mountain National Park. You can reach him at (970) 586-0108. I'm sure he'd be happy to hear from you.

  • National Park Quiz 73: Birds   5 years 23 weeks ago

    We have a population of whooping cranes in Wisconsin currently known as the Eastern migratory population. Unfortunately, despite success with migration, they are struggling to breed and are heavily dependent upon human assistance to add to their numbers. This population is aided by a group called Operation Migration, which trains young whooping cranes to migrate to Florida using small ultralight planes. You can track their progress right now as they migrate with the birds - you can also watch a fly over or sponsor a mile.

    http://www.operationmigration.org/Field_Journal.html

    There is also a more successful (but also struggling) western population and a non-migratory Florida population, which is having trouble as well.

    It is believed that flies and some food shortages are inhibiting the birds' breeding. They will start nests and then abandon them. Personally I wonder if at some point the Wisconsin population will be declared a failure - how do you get rid of flies? - but I will hope for the best.

  • Friends of the Everglades is Down, but Not Out   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Mr Hoffman

    If there is

    "an overall analysis that compares differences in mission, membership, successes and challenges of Friends groups across the various units of the NPS? To what extent is particpation in a Friends group determined by economic cycles or cycles of perceived threats to the park?"

    I would love to have access to it.

    Seems to me that most Friends groups exist with little to no contact with other Friends groups.

    Does the NPS like it that way?

    In my 6 years of experience with a Friends group there have been a number of times when I wished there were some "friends" out there who had "been there/done that."

    Lew Miller, Pres.
    Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

  • Collecting National Park T-Shirts: The Passion and the Pain   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I second the quilt idea! I had one made from my sons' baby clothes but people make them from t-shirts from rock shows and college sports, etc. too. Though you'll want to wash them first. ;)

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/151/387161875_2ddcf0a3dd.jpg

  • Ida Gives Many Atlantic Coast National Parks a Severe Beating   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Can we donate money to help with the clean up for a specific park?
    My family goes to Assateague Island National Seashore 1 -2 times a year. We'd like to help if possible.

  • Friends of the Everglades is Down, but Not Out   5 years 23 weeks ago

    It would be interesting to see how many other parks face a similar problem with their Friends organization. In some parks the Friends groups are a source of citizen input to the NPS to ensure that park managers maintain a focus on preservation of park resoruces. In other areas, the Friends groups have become major fund raisers to support park operations and mainenance in times of budetary shortfall. In still others, the Friends group provides a local source of volunteer trail and campground maintenance and staff for the winter information desk.

    I wonder if there an overall analysis that compares differences in mission, membership, successes and challenges of Friends groups across the various units of the NPS? To what extent is particpation in a Friends group determined by economic cycles or cycles of perceived threats to the park?

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Programming Note: Lighting of National Christmas Tree Will Be Televised This Year   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Per our local newscast, a tree was just cut down here in Arizona a day or two ago and is headed to Washington. It came from our White Mountains in the eastern part of the state. It is currently "on tour" - I believe it was in Phoenix today. Extra measures have been taken to preserve it so that it remains fresh through the holiday season.

  • Collecting National Park T-Shirts: The Passion and the Pain   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I collected posters.

    Specifically, Charley Harper posters.

    At parks. $7-10. No ordering from GPO.

    At one time I could identify each species represented in the desert poster.

    I only had 6 of the posters when he died. [There are 11 that I know of if you count the Santa Rosa San Jacinto NM poster.]

  • Another Snake Story from Everglades National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    "it resulted in the python contracting and excreting bodily fluids all over the responders." -Pet pythons being released into the Everglades is a serious problem which poses real threats to an already fragile ecosystem. And good honest men providing assistance to an individual in despair is a great deed. But a giant snake stuck inside an engine compartment that got tazed and began to spray excrement everywhere is downright ... hilarious.

    This comment was edited for our family readers. -- Ed.

  • Collecting National Park T-Shirts: The Passion and the Pain   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I also do the lapel pins. Started doing the t-shirt thing but living in an RV stopped that one. I then tried the medallions but found very few parks that have them. I'm now on the lapel pins and am fairly obsessed. I just don't know how to display them. Aren't there books with felt pages to put them in? I can't seem to find any.

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Collecting National Park T-Shirts: The Passion and the Pain   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I admit that I'm a gift shop junkie. Not just National Parks, but museums also [here in Seattle we have the Museum of Flight, the Burke, the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum, and more]. Seems that if we can't get out to a park we do get to a museum.

    I do baseball caps, tshirts, and coffee mugs. I have way too many of each and can't stop myself from getting more. Life is quite rich.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's the Most Important Part of Your National Park Trip?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    To Lee Dalton & y_p_w: Based on the picture you posted, that "privatized" personnel at Bryce Canyon were quite the opposite of that. On the right side of that shirt, you'll see the SCA logo. The Student Conservation Association provides internships and seasonal jobs for (mostly) college students at parks and natural areas across the country. They do everything from trail work to invasives managment to interpretation on about $60 a week! Essentially, they are volunteers!

    Most of the SCA interns you see at visitors centers and giving programs have done the same training at the paid staff. Just because that particular year, the shirts that all of the SCA interns had to wear were corporately sponsored, doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Shouldn't you be happy that an American company like Ford is supporting conservation efforts in our country?

    http://www.thesca.org/

    Furthermore, I started my career in interpretation as an intern (not as an SCA, but many of my colleagues did) and I would have been disappointed if people avoided my programs or told me they felt "cheap" because I wasn't a "real" ranger. Sure, the next season I was happy to put on my flat hat with the green and gray. But I was also proud to serve our nation's parks as an underpaid yet well-trained intern and volunteer.

  • Collecting National Park T-Shirts: The Passion and the Pain   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I have collected NP caps for over 20 years. I have them hanging from the rafters in my garage. Most of them I have worn only a few times. If I need to wash them I just put them in the dishwasher!

  • Brown Pelican Removed from Endangered Species List   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Bravo. It's a beautiful bird, in the eye of this humble beholder.

    An interesting side note published in Newsday:

    "[The brown pelican's] struggle for survival, initially due to hunting for feathers to decorate hats, led to the birth of the National Wildlife Refuge System more than 100 years ago. That's when President Theodore Roosevelt created the first refuge at Pelican Island in Florida.