Recent comments

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    ok, sounds like people are assuming too much. who said the child was scared, most like likely lazy. a teen doesn't get scared as easily as a little child. a teen rebels and does what he/she wants. the ranger overstepped his bounds. parenting is up to the parent. we may not all agree with how a child is raised, but no one has the authority to tell the parent how to do it. if the child did not want to go to school on friday, would the ranger come and say, "no, she doesn't have to go?" in reality, she doesn't have to. she should and it's up to the parent to make sure she does, but missing a day isn't a big deal and there is no dire consequence, if she doesn't. a parent, is the parent, and should be allowed to parent, without someone overstepping their bounds. i say leave the child with the ranger and let the ranger babysit...

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Before reading the end of the article, I felt the ranger was within his rights to step in. It was his area to protect, both the site and the public. I agree that he could have been put in a position of rescue.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Imagine if that parent was trying to make the child ascend the last part of the climb at Zion's Angel's Landing? Obviously no one should be "made" to do that hike; and in general, everyone has to decide for themselves what their own abilities are.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    The ranger was wrong. The ranger has no idea the whole story behind the parental command. Neither do any of us. Without knowing the whole story, the authority has to go to the parent. By countermanding the parent, the ranger also assumed full responsibility for this minor until the parent returned. That is not right. The ranger should be reprimanded.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Let me clarify my remark made before this remark. If the mother had struck the girl across the face because she did not want to go up the stairs, what should the Ranger have done? In this case, it sounds like the girl must have been terrified of going up the stairs. If so, the mother was being just as mean and hateful by wanting to make her child go up the stairs. Most people have a phobia that never goes away. If the mother thought this was a way of making her daughter overcome her fear, she herself needs to go get some counseling. A teen-ager has enough to face without a mother pushing her greatest fear in her face. Thank you, Ranger.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    The Ranger was correct.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    I disagree most likely the teen was just rebelling against the parent, if there was no danger then the ranger should of stayed out of it. After working with teens for the last ten years, I got to say that the majority of parents know their teens and should be obeyed.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    I think the ranger was right only from the perspective that those stairs are his responsibility and jurisdiction. The child could, due to her fear, endanger herself, the ranger or others on the tour.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Hooray for the ranger! I'm sure the teen felt like she had already been rescued at the bottom of the steps.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    I think the ranger was right! why put that child in a situation that was scary and unpredictable feeling to the child! I would have done the same if I was there.

  • Search Under Way For Missing Backpackers in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 22 weeks ago

    "The Last Season" was one of my favorite reads! I have read several others ("Angels In The Wilderness", "Missing In The Minarets', "Shattered Air", "Into The Wild", "Sunk Without A Sound", "Death In The Grizzly Maze" just to name a few) and I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Blehm's story of Back Country Ranger, Randy Morgenson!

  • Pruning the Parks: Castle Pinckney National Monument (1933-1956)   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Does anyone have a photograph or photographs of the lighthouse or the lighthouse keepers who served at the lighthouse?
    We'd love to publish them to help preserve the history.
    Tim Harrison
    Lighthouse Digest Magazine
    P.O. Box 250
    East Machias, ME 04630

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    The ranger was doing his job, the girl felt the steps were dangerous and the ranger operated within his authority by not letting the girl climb the steps. It’s a fine line between what a ranger can and cannot do with regards to the child/parent relationship, however in this case the ranger was correct.

  • New USGS Study Says We Have Good Reason to Worry About Giant Snakes Loose in America   5 years 22 weeks ago

    What is the best way to kill them? Blow dart to what part of body? Do they attack if you don't kill them? What do they taste like? Could they get into your house or would they look for swimming pools like the 'gators did in severe drought?
    Could we get a law passed that a zoo could only have one sex in case disaster lets them out of zoo. I only live a few miles from Ft. Worth Zoo Herpetarium!

    Good story , as usual! Thank you.

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

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WORD I AM GORDONS GOD DAUGHTER AND HIS NIECE, WE ARE TORN APART BUT WE ARE ALL TOGEATHER, HIS SISTER MY MOM AND MY GRANDMA HIS MOM IS HAVEING A HARD TIME. WE ARE A CLOSE FAMILY WE LOST SOMEONE SO SPECIAL TO US, THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WORDS.
    CHERYL A. RICHARDSON STUART, FLORIDA

  • Free "Leave No Trace" Video Offers Tips on Low Impact Outdoor Travel   5 years 23 weeks ago

    We were hiking in Yellowstone in August on a ranger-guided hike and we came across a mushroom about 18 inches across! It was a great discovery, especially for my 10 year old and his friend. Unfortunately, on our way back on the trail, we saw the mushroom stomped to bits...I wish that person had seen this Leave No Trace video and maybe would have made a better decision.

  • Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Kurt - I have a few comments to what you said here: "And, really, I strongly question your contention that some sort of spiritual elitism is driving the divergent views in this and other discussions about wilderness. What is at stake is preservation of the landscape, a measured approach to using it, not a rabid mass consumption of it. "

    As a mountain biker I am constantly told that mountain bikes need to stay out of wilderness because we can't possibly be connecting to the spritual power of nature as well as you can on foot. Or as I'm inferring from your comment above, mountain bikes shouldn't be allowed in wilderness because we represent that 'rabid mass consumption of it. " (That sounds a little bit like we're interfering with the zen of your hike.)
    Or, we are told that the point of wilderness is to experience nature in as simple a way as possible so you can see more, hear more, feel more. (Okay, I do see more wildflowers on foot, but I just find so much more joy slowly riding my bike on a singletrack on a high alpine trail through dense flowers.) I really feel that the whole spritual elitism you claim doesn't exist is much more at the heart of the argument than you are admitting to. This theme is repeated over and over through Doug Scott's popular book, 'The Enduring Wilderness.'
    And, if you truly believe that instead, this is about "preservation of the landscape and a measured approach to using it" then please read all of the comments above which argue those very points and do a very good job of telling you, over and over, that bikes do exactly that: we do preserve the landscape and we do have a measured approach to using it.

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I can not believe all of you can only talk about the cost it took to save these 3 men. Thats whats wrong with society today... while these 3 were trying to survive, all you can think about is who is getting paid. I'm soooo happy that they all are ok. I see one of these men every day, and I couldnt imagine what it would be like to know that anything happened to them... i dont care how much it should costs... the lives of those 3 should not have a dollar amount attached to it.

  • Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees   5 years 23 weeks ago

    As a hiker and a mountain biker, I see no reason why hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking can't share the wilderness. We all love being in nature, which is why we enjoy these activities. I have encountered rude people in each of these camps. Rudeness is not a trait exclusive to mountain bikers as politeness is not exclusive to hikers. I have scene hikers stray from marked trails and fail to leave no trace. The key here is that we try to understand each others concerns, be respectful of others & the land, and work toward shared goals. We have many more shared goals than different ones. As naturalists, we have plenty of enemies of the environment with become balkanized amongst ourselves.

  • Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Random Walker,

    Thanks for clarifying the origins of the CDNST and addressing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

    The GDMBR is a mapped route that roughly follows the path of the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. This route is mostly dirt roads, some pavement and very little of the actual Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Too often the conservation community has stated that being excluded from the CDNST because we have the GDMBR should not upset bicyclists. The “route” is in no way, shape or form a substitute for continued bicycle access to the CDNST. It is not even close to the same experience. Random Walker – you should be happy to enjoy the paved path because it is the same experience as the remote, alpine trail. No issues – right?

    Concerning the CDTA’s position statement on bicycles – it really says nothing and commits to even less. It completely sidesteps the issue of continued bicycle access to this national treasure. Even more concerning is the recent removal of references to bicycles in the CDTA’s communications and marketing materials. Why? From where does this mandate originate?

    From CDTA position statement - “However, since mountain biking is not a form of motorized travel, the CDTA believes that mountain bikers should have qualified access to the Continental Divide Trail outside of Wilderness and National Parks under certain restrictive guidelines whereby both physical and visual impacts would be kept at a minimum and the Trail’s primitive and aesthetic values are protected.”

    Okay – so what’s the problem? It seems that quiet, non-motorized bicycles that have a similar impact to trails as hiking, considerably less that pack animals, fit nicely into this description. Or is it the primitive and aesthetic value thing – fear of lycra or what? Let me tell you – when I see hikers with brightly anodized walking poles or black cowboy hats and pearly buttons, my backcountry day is ruined! Come on?!

    “The CDTA recognizes that a foremost concern of managing the Trail must be the immediate personal safety of all users, and mountain bikers will be expected to always share in that responsibility.”

    And so? I would hope that ALL users share OUR PUBLIC LANDS with everyone’s SAFETY considered, respected and cheerfully honored. In my extensive experience out on the CDNST, the bicyclists are not the users that have a problem sharing responsibly.

    Concerning the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan:

    A few observations:

    In the original language of the 1978 National Parks and Recreation Act that established the CDNST states “one of the PRIMARY purposes for establishing the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail would be to provide hiking and horseback access to those lands where man's impact on the environment has not been adverse to a substantial degree and where the environment remains relatively unaltered.”

    The word PRIMARY is important here. It does not say EXCLUSIVE.

    This Comprehensive Plan that was released October 5th, 2009 concludes:

    “The Agency is adding the following statements under ``Recreation
    Resource Management Along the CDNST,'' Chapter IV(B)(5), in the 2009
    CDNST Comprehensive Plan:

    Manage the CDNST to provide high-quality scenic, primitive
    hiking and pack and saddle stock opportunities. Backpacking, nature
    walking, day hiking, horseback riding, nature photography, mountain
    climbing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are compatible with
    the nature and purposes of the CDNST. Bicycle use may be allowed on
    the CDNST (16 U.S.C. 1246(c)) if the use is consistent with the
    applicable land and resource management plan and will not
    substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the CDNST.”

    In reading through this entire blog and watching the national trends, I believe that the cycling proponents have made a compelling case of the appropriateness of continued bicycle use on our wild PUBLIC, backcountry trails including the CDNST. The presence of bicycles on the CDNST does not interfere with nature any more that hikers or equestrians. Using the argument of potential conflict between user groups to ban one group is no way to manage our public lands. Education, respect and the ability to share is the democratic answer. If it comes down to individual users not wanting to share their (w)ilderness experience with bicycles, might I recommend a trip to any of our National Parks or Wilderness areas that offer thousands of miles of trails leading to millions of acres of bicycle-free opportunities.

    Bring bicyclists into the fold and we all benefit from an expanded, invested and motivated conservation constituency. Together we can share for the good of all!

  • Wolf Biologist Killed In Plane Crash in Denali National Park, Pilot Survived   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I am appalled at Priscilla Feral's comments. There are two sides to Predator Control. Those of us that understand that have no desire to have anyone on the FOA side die like this. Priscilla your hateful about those who disagree with your views are to be expected. Why not just grieve a lost peer and stop attempting to express the views of hunters and trappers; which you could not possibly know or understand?

  • Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I was thinking that Lynne was meaning the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route?

    Anyway, concerning your statement of bikes on the CDT Highest Trail (not verified), the CDT was not "conceived and sanctioned by Congress to include bicycles." Here is a Position Statement from the CDTA on mountain bike use of the CDT.

    (Approved February 20, 1997) When the CDT was added to the National Trails System in 1978, mountain biking had not yet appeared on the horizon as a question in public land management. Accordingly, no legislative history was established by Congress with respect to mountain biking on the Trail, nor has formal consideration ever been given by stewards of the CDT to this relatively new recreational activity, except that Federal land management agencies prohibit mountain biking in designated Wilderness Areas and National Parks, and, therefore, on segments of the Trail which pass through designated Wilderness Areas and National Parks. However, since mountain biking is not a form of motorized travel, the CDTA believes that mountain bikers should have qualified access to the Continental Divide Trail outside of Wilderness and National Parks under certain restrictive guidelines whereby both physical and visual impacts would be kept at a minimum and the Trail’s primitive and aesthetic values are protected. In reaching this decision, the CDTA recognizes that a foremost concern of managing the Trail must be the immediate personal safety of all users, and mountain bikers will be expected to always share in that responsibility.

    Forest Service
    Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan
    October 5, 2009

  • Behind the Lens With a National Park Photographer   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Nice stuff, inspiring, but it reminds me of what a poor photographer I am. And yet, even so, when I come back from my park trips I get compliments on my shots. The trick, I tell everyone, is not that I'm any good, but that I go to interesting and beautiful places. "That's why they're national parks," I add, just in case they miss the point.

  • Elk Herd at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Surpasses 100 In Number   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I visited the park in July of this year & was lucky enough to view an elk. He was eating grass in a field north of Cherokee, NC. A ranger was there protecting the area. I was so tickled as I had never seen an elk. I took pictures of him on my cell but forgot to save them because I was so excited. I was so disappointed! Anyhow, it was truly was a wonderful experience for me.

  • Lost to Hurricanes, the Flamingo Lodge at Everglades National Park Will be Hard to Replace   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I am sad to learn this place is gone. I had a nice solo stay there many years ago, and was planning to go there next month with two little kids and their mom - to show them an interesting place. We will still go to the Everglades, of course, but will miss the chance to stay in this historic, quirky, "all American" place. (I remember the screens around the pool, and the walkways between buildings.)