Recent comments

  • Iconic Trail at Grand Canyon National Park Set for a Major Makeover   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I hope that the geological interpretive signs would be restored as part of this trail renovation. When I hiked the trail in late December 2007, the former interpretive signs that identified contact zones in the sedimentary formations were no where to be seen.

    Previous renovations have installed thousands of wooden water breaks across this great trail. This made for painful downhill hiking. My gait upon arrival at Phantom Ranch was more of a hobble than a walk. Perhaps, new water breaks can be better designed to allow for a shallower step when descending?

    If I could genetically manipulate the mules, I'd program them to not pee in one spot. Those decade old rancid pools of mulepiss concentrate are lethal to one's boots.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 16 weeks ago

    What do you naysayers think happens to the planet when we put so much carbon into the atmosphere? Do you think there is no global climate repsonse?

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Wow, Frank C. I don't think the length of time someone has posted anywhere really matters.

  • Mount Rainier National Park: Reaching Out to Camping Newbies   5 years 16 weeks ago

    It would be a shame to see such an outstanding program fail only due to a lack of public outreach. I was once a city kid myself. Camping in the parks was the highlight of my summers.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I want to thank Bob Krumenaker for commenting and speaking out on National Parks Traveler. It's rare for career employees of the NPS to go public, even on issues as important as global warming.

    It's astounding to me, given the preponderance of scientific evidence, to see how many are in denial over the fact that our Earth is experiencing an increase in average temperatures at an unprecedented rate. Global warming will do much more than melt glaciers (the evidence of which is more than convincing) and cause sea levals to rise. Rapid shifts in climate will ultimately affect the distribution and abundance of native flora and fauna inside parks and beyond their boundaries. The cause of this warming is not variations in the solar output, as some insist, but the presence of increased levels of greenhouse gases from anthropogenic sources.

    The NPS has an important role to play in educating the public about potential threats to park resources. I'm glad Bob has chosen to speak out and weigh in on this topic. Thanks too for the links to authoritative sources of information for more detailed reading.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Mount Rainier National Park: Reaching Out to Camping Newbies   5 years 16 weeks ago

    This is news to me. My wife reads the local paper from "cover to cover" every day and has never mentioned it. Maybe Brad should advertise the program. He might get a bigger response.

  • Mount Rainier National Park: Reaching Out to Camping Newbies   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I'm with you Anon, I live in the seattle area with a 3 year old, have subscribed to more park newsletters than I care for, read the P-I and Times online, and the first I heard of this program was today (once on this website and twice on Twitter) ... and two of the mentions were to say that it may be canceled!

  • Mount Rainier National Park: Reaching Out to Camping Newbies   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I think that this is great for those of us that would like to go camping and can not afford it.
    But, i have a feeling that if it was advertised more in the Seattle area there would be more intrest.
    I have lived here 8 years and this is the first that I have heard of it.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Obviously, this post has struck more than a few nerves, and it's certainly good to see a wide array of viewpoints bubbling (exploding?) to the surface, although I'd appreciate a little restraint.

    There seem to be two primary issues here:

    1. Is the raising of a cellphone tower an ill-advised, and ill-needed, intrusion into a national park setting?

    2. What benefits should those who live and work in a national park enjoy?

    The first question, it seems, could turn into a Pandora's box, particularly when coupled with the second. I remember back in the 1980s when a wealthy Texan, impressed by the rangers at Yellowstone National Park, particularly those who live in the backcountry throughout the year, offered to buy and install satellite dishes for those backcountry ranger stations so they could have access to the outside world.

    The offer was knocked down almost immediately.

    Now, it's been a few years since I've been to Grant Grove, so I can't say I clearly remember the installations on Park Ridge where this proposed cell tower would go. I suppose you could say, "Well, what's one more ugly edifice amongst the rest." But where do you stop? Where do you draw the line between "there's already enough junk there, let's add one more", and "we have to stop making incursions into the park"? When Park Ridge becomes too crowded, where's the next location? If Verizon gets its tower, what about AT&T and other cellphone companies?

    As for those who live and work in a national park, isn't that the choice they've made? Should society carry all its baggage everywhere it goes? Is it truly a safety issue? If so, how did we survive before the advent of cellphones? Is it a societal issue, in terms of chipping away at loneliness and keeping in touch with family? I'm not convinced. I can see it as a generational issue, as those who grew up with cellphone in hand while tapping away at their keyboards see those forms of communication as indispensable necessities.

    All that said, these types of questions and issues are exactly why Sequoia officials have opened a public comment period. Take advantage of it.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Well, Bob, I consider being lectured on how this is an open forum while I'm constantly under scrutiny to watch my tone also to be a cheap shot. Where was the defense of the "open forum" a year ago?

    "Personally, I prefer that development within the parks be held to a minimum, particularly when it comes to non-essential convenience."

    I also agree that "development within the parks be held to a minimum." However, in Grant Grove, as I have stated, development has not been held to a minimum by any stretch of the imagination, and a cell phone tower that's a fraction the height of a red fir, a sugar pine, or a giant sequoia hardly seems intrusive. It would provide a valuable link to the outside world for the permanent and seasonal residents of Grant Grove and Wilsonia. People who are not residents may think they have a valid interest in telling these residents that they cannot use cell phones (that their "electronic umbilical cords that tie [them] to the rest of the world should be...severed", but I disagree.

  • Ill-Advised Leap from a Bluff Leads to a Challenging Rescue at Buffalo National River   5 years 16 weeks ago

    My tax dollars at work? Personally I have been burned out risking my own life to save the lives of idiots who make what should be life ending choices. A little chlorine in the gene pool; otherwise this idiot may live to breed. Sorry. ...Well not really.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Frank C:

    You said:

    As for this being an open forum where people are free to express their views, I
    see that you've only been commenting since January, so I'll let this one go.

    Where I come from, this is known as a "cheap shot."

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    "Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sure sounds like telling people how to live their lives.

    As for this being an open forum where people are free to express their views, I see that you've only been commenting since January, so I'll let this one go." Frank C

    As I said, I disagree with your perspective. That doesn't mean that I do not respect it. Personally, I prefer that development within the parks be held to a minimum, particularly when it comes to non-essential convenience. The father who related his hike with his daughter and her friend said it best. Once beyond the reach of immediate electronic connection to the rest of the world they began to focus on the wonders and beauty of their natural surroundings. Yes, I hope that many others will have the same experience. You obviously have a different perspective. We disagree, but honest disagreement is the stuff of discussion.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 16 weeks ago

    I fear you are right, Anonymous. In some ways it seems to be an immature effort to deny responsibility for what is likely to be a worldwide crisis. We are all culpable. The ostrich-style denial is likely to prevent effective mitigation until it is literally too late. Indeed, we may have already passed the point of no return with rapidly increasing melting of northern permafrost and release of enormous quantities of methane gas.

  • A Natural History Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    The Smoky Mountain Directory
    www.thesmokymountaindirectory.com, this site is a local search engine that is new and can help you find local business information and guides in the area

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Ray -

    Excellent perspective!

  • Latest Lodging Deals at Sequoia, Olympic National Parks and Lake Powell National Recreation Area   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Lake powell link should be - http://www.lakepowell.com/dx109/

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Ray, you stated, "Our electronic umbilical cords that tie us to the rest of the world should be occasionally severed. Yes, I know. Everyone should be allowed to choose for themselves. Sorry, I disagree."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sure sounds like telling people how to live their lives.

    As for this being an open forum where people are free to express their views, I see that you've only been commenting since January, so I'll let this one go.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    "If you don't want to be bothered by your cell phone, turn it off or leave it in your car. I guarantee you won't be bothered by people on cell phones. Nor is it likely you'd be bothered by car alarms, screaming kids, barking dogs, traffic noise, sirens, loud speakers, construction noise. But please stop trying to tell other people what to do and how they should live their lives." Frank C.

    Respectfully, Frank, this is an open forum where people are free to express their views on the issues related to national parks. No one is trying to tell you how to live your life. That is for you to decide. However, we all have a stake in whatever affects the parks, including Sequoia Kings Canyon. You may be more directly affected by how this particular issue is resolved, but we all have an ownership interest in the park.

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Back in the '60s and '70s, I spent time hunting and traveling with Eskimos and Koyukon Indians in northern Alaska. They were true experts when it came to dealing with the wilds. From them I leaned the importance of patience and common sense in dealing with nature. They rarely took unnecessary risks and were masters of "hunkering down" in the face of extreme environmental conditions. They couldn't understand why White people seemed so determined to keep a schedule or felt they had to prove something by pushing their luck in the wilds. The idea of "man against nature" was silly, because they considered themselves part of nature.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Thank you.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Going 1/2 a mile to the VC takes seconds to get there on a bike.

    Unless you can't ride a bike because you're older or have a disability. And "seconds" to go a half mile? Uphill at 6500 feet in elevation? Maybe if you're Lance Armstrong.

    And once you get there, a co-worker is already in the VC office talking on the only government phone not locked in a personal office. Outside, phone booth, German tourists are calling home and have been on the phone for 20 minutes. There's also a long line of obviously impatient people waiting for the phone. Hike half a mile back to seasonal housing where the same person is STILL on the one payphone. All this to try to pay a bill, make a medical appointment, call friends to make plans for a weekend get away.

    "Can't think of something else to do"? Not everyone talks on the phone out of boredom. Some do it to actually communicate important information and for scheduling their busy lives.

    It seems to me that there is an element of elitism in this discussion where some people want to impose their will on others. Who is anyone to tell another what's necessary in that individual's life? If you want to "get away from it all", DON'T GO TO GRANT GROVE. It's a city. Go, instead, to Evans Grove (or Redwood Mountain or Converse Basin or Kennedy Grove or Muir Grove or Boulder Creek Grove or Landslide Grove or any of the dozens of the undeveloped groves), and if you don't want to be bothered by your cell phone, turn it off or leave it in your car. I guarantee you won't be bothered by people on cell phones. Nor is it likely you'd be bothered by car alarms, screaming kids, barking dogs, traffic noise, sirens, loud speakers, construction noise. But please stop trying to tell other people what to do and how they should live their lives.

    Thank you.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps   5 years 16 weeks ago

    Frederic, the park has a pretty well-stocked in-house library. You should probably start there -- 865-436-1296.

    Good luck!

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps   5 years 16 weeks ago

    One of my relatives - he's 101 - was offered a job by the U.S Government in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which was the newly established headquarters of what was to be “Great Smoky Mountains National Park”. According to his own words, "my assignment was to design and construct parts of a newly required highway network. Labor consisted in CCC and my foremen were local mountain woodsmen. Much bridgework and culverts were involved. Minimal steel was used. Construction was mostly limited to wood or stone masonry".
    I am looking for documents about the building of this highway network, wondering if some may be related to him. Can you please tell me how I should proceed to get these documents?

    Thank you very much in advance

    Regards

    Frederic J Gannon

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 16 weeks ago

    For safety, yes, for talking on the phone becuse you can't think of anything else to do? Sorry, that is your problem, young or not, cell phones are not a necessity. Going 1/2 a mile to the VC takes seconds to get there on a bike.