Recent comments

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    If teenagers are are old enough to fight in Iraq - they are old enough to be able to judge their comfort factor.

    Fear is often a good thing. Especially when it occurs in the National Parks. It is often foolish bravado that causes accidents and death.

    And if I listened to my parents I would never have experienced the National Parks or backcountry. Thank god I broke out and away of the mold they cast for me.

    KUDOS to the ranger!!!

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I think the ranger was right in this situation. I have never been to this cave, but it seems that having someone on the steps that does not want to be there, or does not have their mind on what they are doing, could cause a problem for someone else on the steps. This sounds like a situation where everyone involved needs to be somewhat careful, so if you don't think you can be in control of yourself, it is best to realize your limitations so you do not cause problems or delays for the rest of the group.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    you mean instead of just turning a walking away? Hmmm wonder if the Mom knew she was wrong to potentially endanger the child and others around her.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I believe like so many here that the Ranger made a good judgment call. Park Rangers have to look after the safety of all the people there. If this teenager, whether rebellious or scared had gotten half way up the stairs and then had a problem, this could potentially be a hazard to others around her. The mother's behavior rings more of a bully then a mother caring about her child, because when faced with a strong opposition she backed down and walked away. We aren't privy to why mom acted this way and wanted to force the issue, but as a Mom myself, I would never turn and walk away from my child. I don't care how rebellious they became, and I especially wouldn't leave my teenage daughter with a man I didn't know, Ranger or not. I believe that the Ranger was acting in the best interest of the Park and the child. My children are now grown and my daughter has had a fear of heights since she was very small. Others have tried to force her to face the fear of heights, but to face your fears you need to be ready to face them....and not have it forced upon you!

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Why are so many strangers second guessing the judgement of the ranger who was there then. And every one substituting their own experiences for what the teen/parent/ranger MUST have been thinking/doing/misdoing. Abuse, heavy hand, timid, lazy, and on and on. Even to the point of some calling the ranger he and some she, when the original article almost carefully avoided mentioning gender.

    Project much?

  • Plane Missing at Denali National Park and Preserve With Noted Wolf Biologist Aboard   5 years 23 weeks ago

    One of the finest people I ever knew. Dedicated to his work and to justice and truth in the management of the treasured resources with which we have been blessed. Ian McLeod and I walked north of the park road along the Toklat River to act as assistants in observing the Toklat Pack back in the 80's. A great friend to man and wolf, a sly smile and great sense of humor in his private times and a dedicated confidence when confronting those exploiting our wilderness. I love you my brother, and I as many others will miss you. The wolves were already so oppressed.....I truly wonder who will stand for them now.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    It was a judgement call. The ranger made it. It is assumed he was acting within the scope of his responsibility and authority. Had the girl panicked and been injured or caused others to be injured the question would then be why didn't the ranger prevent the accident when he had reason to believe the girl was frightened by the ascent.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    As a park ranger myself, I can say that the ranger in your story was probably oversteping his/her bounds by the information provided. By taking control of the situation in that manner the ranger also took responsibility for any adverse outcomes. If the child had done something that caused any sort of injury or harm while the parent was away, the Rager would have a major legal issue to deal with; as would the ranger's employer. The proper response would have been to leave this up to the parent, and then if the disagreement between the two resulted in a public disturbance the family should have been asked to leave the area and resolve it's problems elsewhere. Unless the ranger witnessed some sort of abuse, in which case there may have been some intervention with possible legal ramifications. But in most real world situations, the ranger might have tried to find a way to settle the issue with a more creative and visitor friendly solution, like just offering the parent the options of having the ranger attend the minor while the parent climbed the feature, or maybe evening finding out why the kid didn't want to go and try to explain the attraction to get the kid past any fear or other issues so he or she could enjoy the climb and not miss out on it.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The ranger was out of line. It is not his/her decision to make. The ranger undermined the parent which my cause future problems between parent and teenager. Most of the time the teenager is testing the parent and more than likely had an attitude about being on vacation with family.

    All of the people that think it was right need to think about your attitude toward law enforcement officers. Is it right for a law enforcement officer out side of the National Park to undermine the parent? I think most parents would be calling the supervisor to complain about the officer interfering.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Hooray for the Ranger who was operating by his good sense/experience apart from the Mother who was clearly operating out of her obvious & probably usual knee-jerking response of...."because I said so". I'm glad he stood his ground up against Mrs Stupid. Why stupid?....by the time a person gets to be a teenager they should have a sense for what their safety parameters should be. Hooray for the kid who recognized her limitations in keeping safe and likewise stood up to Mrs. Stupid. This same kid will probably have guts enough to stand up to her peers....those ones on their way to becoming Mrs Stupids when offered alcohol, drugs & cigarettes. I think the ranger should have directed Mrs. Stupid to the nearest exit for causing a scene in a place that is inherently dangerous and out of the ordinary.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The ranger was wrong. If we're concerned with lawsuits, precedent has shown that if visitors are informed of the risks of an activity (e.g., a cave tour) and choose to go anyway, courts won't hold the park liable. Plus unless the parent is asking the child to do something that is dangerous, such that no visitor should do it, then the ranger should step in. Otherwise it's the parent's prerogative to raise the children as they see fit (whether we like it or not).

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I remember visiting the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon and admonishment that our ranger guide gave before he led the hike down to Cedar Ridge. He basically said that after the hike he was planning on making his weekly trip to Williams for a pie at his favorite restaurant. His goal was that nobody got injured or required any sort of assistance because that would have meant that he'd be filling out paperwork and delaying his weekly visit.

    A park ranger is responsible for all parties on a tour/guided hike. If his judgment was that a fearful teen was a potential danger to others, then his judgment overrides the mother's wishes. I certainly hope that I don't run into any parent like that where the safety of myself or my family is at risk.

    Of course we probably don't know exactly what the tone was or if there might have been additional words exchanged that weren't in the article.

  • "Red Tide" Prompts Visitor Advisory at Padre Island National Seashore   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Red Tide -

    Sorry if there's any confusion about information posted on various linked websites; this is obviously a situation that is changing each day.

    I did check the embedded links a few minutes ago, and they do seem to provide current information, if you read through the various pages on the state website, it still includes information consistent with the original story.

    This situation has no doubt hurt those who rely on tourism for their economic base; perhaps that had led to adjustments in the information posted on various sites.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I agree the ranger was doing his job, but If I was the ranger I was have clarified the situation better and not have been so demanding. I would have explained to the mother the dangers that could have happened if her teenager would have paniced. I would have that the mother explain why she was assisting that her child go and than have the teenager explain their reasoning. Than I would have to think what the best interest for all three would have been. If all indications point that the teen was afraid than I being the park ranger would not have wanted to take any chances of anyone getting hurt on my watch.

  • "Red Tide" Prompts Visitor Advisory at Padre Island National Seashore   5 years 23 weeks ago

    O Sanp! I went to the page you linked, looking for the warning so I could quote it for my red tide report page (http://redtideflorida.org/pages/index.php/florida-red-tide-report), and there's no warning there, in fact the text you quoted is either completly gone or just on a different page than you linked to. Infact one of the pages you linked to said this about the current red tide:
    "If it were my family heading to the coast, I would not cancel a vacation because of red tide."

    We have had similiar problems in Florida. But with enough public pressure they are finally taking some steps (some counties, the state still refuses to play, but they are lying less)

    So sad.

  • "Red Tide" Prompts Visitor Advisory at Padre Island National Seashore   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Thanks for posting this, I was wondering if they'd ever get around to posting a warning.

    Did you see of the newspaper web sites in Texas are trying to say it was over days ago?

    Anyway, I'm in Florida and we have red tide lots more often than TX. We're monitoring on our site at: http://redtideflorida.org. Please feel free to come by and post a comment or contact me about writinfg an article for our site if you'd like.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The ranger was clearly within his rights to side with the teen...in this instance. If the mother had continued to force her it would have turned into an unpleasant trip for the child as well as other visitors. In this case I feel the mother hopefully learned a valuable lesson. Being a "bully" isn't necessarily the right way to handle frightening situations with your child.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The ranger has the ability to determine if the situation is unsafe or unwise but should talk directly to the parent not the child and give the parent a choice if there is one to proceed with or without the child. I am sure each situation is unique, but the ranger should have the final say but should not address a minor child regarding the choice of options. The parent must be responsible for her/his child and the ranger must be responsible to the park and any situation that may occur.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Jimi, a higher authority takes place over any child's safety. Always! Not a parents poor judgement considering the potential dangers of the environment (the 92 steps) which the child could be placed in. Suppose the child panic and slipped into a crowd of people below the ladder...then what? Yap, law suits all over the place. The ranger was right and did right!!

  • By the Numbers: Crater Lake National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    This comment makes little sense: YES, THERE HAVE

    BEEN many SENSELESS SEWAGE SPILLS, but upper Munson

    Springs-Creek is no longer CRLA's drinking

    water source; today, it is Annie Spring at approx. 6000 ft.

    that is, about 170 ft. below Crater Lake surface elevation.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    If I had of been the parent, I would have been having a discussion with the ranger's supervisor. The ranger had better not get between me and my child - the ranger had no clue what led up to the discussion or why the parent insisted and clearly stuck a nose where it DID NOT BELONG!

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Go ranger! If the child was truly frightened, then she should not be forced to ascend the steps. If she was just rebelling against Mom, well, it will be her loss when she realizes what she missed out on. Either way, the ranger was right, though perhaps a bit more tact might have helped.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    It seems she had some type of hidden fear, from observation! There may be more! We all never know because we are not the Mother or more in case, the daughter! NPS is trained to recognized emotions & situations. I was several times in this situation as a teen, where my Mother forced me to do things. Later only to say that I was lazy! As Mother's we don't sometimes realize our child's (teen or not) fears, phobias, or insecurities. It was only when I was older did I tell my Mom about them. We may recognize some BUT not all. I say it was right for the Ranger to say she isn't obliged to go. It was tight spaced & maybe the Ranger recognized that she had some fear or insecurity of that optional trip. Whether to prevent a situation from happening. The Ranger stayed with the teen until the remainder of the group came back to tour.

    *Here is a side not, if you whatsoever hit a child/teen on Federal land, is a Federal offense that carries a felony. Anyone in NPS' view sight, will be arrested! It's not within state where its a investigation & social services to visit!

    I lived in a National Park there laws are more strict & different than state!

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Good for the ranger. As a victim of years of physical abuse by my mother when I was growing up, I learned that merely giving birth does not make you a mother. Ninety-something swaying steps could induce fear in anybody, particularly a vulnerable teenager. I reported a woman who was beating the crap out of her little girl in a van outside an ER room. Yes, she gave birth to that child. No, she was not a mother. Abuse comes in many forms and forcing a child to do something that just sounds frightening--never mind how it looks in person--can be one form of that abuse. I would like to know what the girl said to the ranger, if anything--but at least he recognized her fear and protected her. I have a phobia about water. I can't swim because of it. Tossing me into a pool and making me learn it the hard way would not cure my phobia--it would merely enforce it.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    The ranger should have used a little more tact. I can certainly understand why they wouldn't want someone to climb who didn't want to, but a better explanation of why they felt the teen shouldn't climb would have made a difficult confrontation a little less tense.