Recent comments

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

    While my first reaction is "no way, not on national parkland," I suppressed that. As you said, this is a complex issue.

    FPL's rights to the land predate the 1989 park expansion. Would it be fair to seize those rights through condemnation should FPL refuse to sell the existing right of way, as they have indicated? As you said, this would "involve expensive and lengthy litigation, and the political clout and resolve to see the process through."

    No, despite my initial instincts, it appears to me that the land swap is a quite fair and sensible solution, since environmental impact will be minimized by running the lines along the eastern edge of the park. An examination of those maps that you linked to is quite useful in realizing this.

    Edit: This works in this case. Normally, however, running power lines or allowing development of any land designated as part of a National Park should not be allowed. This means it is irresponsible to expand such parkland without some provision for "immediately" (as possible) and "fairly" (to the environment and the general public, but with more than a nod to private ownership rights) settling the issues of "inholdings." If that meant condemnation of new Everglades parkland back in 1989, it would be resolved by now (hopefully). I'm no expert in any facet of this, but how is it possible to designate private property as national parkland and still have private property rights survive?

    Edit 2: I'm showing my naiveté, I guess. Perhaps the intitial preservation of such rights was necessary for the legislation that authorized expansion of the park. Still, it seems like a contradiction to me and a postponement of controversy for a future generation to handle.

    Edit 3: Sorry for the multiple edits, but the thoughts keep popping up. It's a bit unclear whether both proposed Everglades rights of way are included, but you say there are a total of nine possible routes? That means 7 or 8 alternatives, including up Route 1, that are all eliminated by NIMBYism? Sounds like Florida could use a bit of alternative YIMBYism. Not in anybody's literal backyard, of course, but why not along Route 1? No where else possible? Yeah, yeah, I'm naive. ;-)

    But if I were presented with a choice of destroying part of a local, national treasure like the Everglades and running transmission towers down Route 347 in Port Jefferson Station NY, the main drag a mile or two from my house, I would vote in favor of preserving my park.

  • Follow Kelly On Her Trip Through Congaree National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Nicely done.

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

    Thank you for the information update. I know that the situation will be investigated & any missteps will be dealt with accordingly. Living in the Black Hills near Rushmore makes the situation all the more concerning, as we constantly live with the possibility of fire - whether a prescribed burn or nature's own doing.
    Best wishes & the very best of luck in bringing this situation under control as quickly as is possible.

  • Flamingo Lodge is No More   5 years 21 weeks ago

    It's a shame that our government can't afford to keep up the parks better. I've been waiting for this lodge to open for years. Maybe we'll try to camp there. The Everglades are full of beautiful creatures.

  • Updated: Missing Backpacker Found in Good Condition in Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Thanks for the update, this fellow has been worrying me. Looking forward to the follow-up.

  • Black Bears Racking Up Property Damage In Yosemite National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    We were wondering if there have been more bear incidents in Yosemite. We visit nearly every year, and in 15+ years, have never come face to face with a bear. This past July 4th, we encountered 5 bears, 3 raiding a picnic area one evening. The 4% increase mentioned in this article doesn't seem to indicate a significant increase, but our personal experience would certainly lead one to think bear activity was way up.

  • Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park Now at 3,500 Acres, Some Evacuations Ordered   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I do not want to second guess the Park Service in their decisions - particularly at 800 miles from the scene.
    On the other hand, a prescribed burn in Yosemite - in late August?
    On the surface it would seem, as the fire "....quickly jumped the fire lines" that something in this plan went awry - possibly BEFORE the burn even started.
    Could we get some more clarification on just what went wrong here? I live in the Black Hills National Forest, and am familiar with Yosemite as well - it's such a tragedy when fire strikes, and even more so when the cause is man, with the best of intentions!!!!!

  • Rescue from Death Canyon at Grand Teton National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Our family and friends were hiking that trail on that day and saw the helicoptor transporting the injured climbers. Kudos to the rescue team!

  • Updated: Missing Backpacker Found in Good Condition in Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I guess I didn't read the other entries about this (I'm not into the "park accident of the day" posts). But I do have to say "God bless this man who can go backpacking across the park at 70 years old!"

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Updated: Missing Backpacker Found in Good Condition in Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    He was probably just doing what he loves to do. Hiking the trails.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 21 weeks ago

    "I'm sorry but you have no legitimate need to protect yourself in the national forests. Our great rangers will protect you.... Oh and criminals obey the law as it stands..." Green Li9bertarian.

    You seem to be a little confused. Where did you hear that it is illegal to carry a firearm in a national forest? Laws governing personal firearms in a national forest are usually in keeping with local state laws. Chances are that the murder victims were killed in a national forest where the possession of firearms is legal. Obviously, the right to carry did not save them.

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Anonymous asked

    Barky, in all do respect...why?

    when I disagreed about the National Guard fighting drug growers in the national parks.

    Here's why: you use the right tool for the right job. The National Guard is a great organization for supporting the Army in times of war. It's a great organization for responding to natural crises. It's a good (but not great) organization when used to quell riots or prison breaks. But it's a terrible organization to include in law enforcement activities. They are not law enforcement, they are a military force. Growing pot in parks is a law enforcement problem, not a military problem.

    If there was a situation where heavy firepower made law enforcement moot, and greater weaponry was needed, then I'm sure they could ask the Guard to get involved, but law enforcement would HAVE to be in charge of the whole operation. The Guard would just provide the heavy equipment.

    Use the right tool for the right job. Military people for military problems, law enforcement for law enforcement problems.

    ==========================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Who cares what the law reads? Uh, you can put me down for that one, Anon.

  • Shenandoah National Park Ranger Roy Sullivan Set the World Record for Being Hit by Lightning   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I can neither confirm nor deny any of the stories regarding Mr. Sulllivan. I will assert, however, that I have met several people in my lifetime that have been struck by lightening MORE than one time each. I have researched this phenomenon, and I believe that, once you have been struck, your energy field changes, and you become more likely to be struck repeatedly. These people did not possess less-than-average intelligence, and they were clearly not attempting to induce lightening strikes when they occurred.

    I found this website while looking to see who had been hit the most. SOmething tells me that there are others out there that have been struck by lightening as many, if not more, times. I would love to hear your stories, if you are one of those people!

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I always carry concealed in the parks. The main word concealed. Who cares what the law reads. Concealed. No ranger will ever frisk you, and if they do, then you are a problem person anyway.

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

    Thanks for pointing that out, Michel. For those interested in comparing, here's a link to Black Diamond's trekking pole page:

    http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/trekking-poles

  • Updated: 7-Year-old Dies At Acadia National Park As Hurricane Bill's Waves Wash Three Into Atlantic, Injure 13   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Well my family and I were at the Acadia Park that day.First we decided to go to Sand Beach and like everyone we walked along the beach.I told my husband that I thought that water was powerful and it scared me.So we continued on our walk on the beach.My 8 year daughter and I removed our sandals and decided to go further away from the crowd.We were very far from the water and out of nowhere a wave came all the way to where we were and threw me down...I was holding on to my daughter for dear life!I told my husband I had seen enough so we continued on our journey.We went all around the rocks and watched the water hit...mind you we stopped alot.I took so many pictures.We stopped where the tragedy happened and took pictures and a Ranger told us not to go close that it was dangerous,I agreed and backed off.I couldn't help but notice all the people on the rocks taking pictures and just standind there.I then advised my husband that I wanted to leave because all this scared me.I told him someone was definetly gonna get hurt today.My 6th sense was kicking in for sure!I had parked our car on the side of the road so we proceeded to get in ,camera in one hand.I sat down in the car and all of a sudden out of nowhere this big wave splashed and I couldn't help but see a lady walking in the path getting drenched!We looked to see for the people sitting on the rocks and left!I took pictures and when I checked the following day the time on my picture was 11:51a.m.I am sooooooooo glad I didn't witness it!I will stay clear of the ocean from now on....I have learned to never and I mean never under estimate the power and force of mother nature.Being a mom of an 8 year old.I cannot express what I feel for those parents.God had a plan!

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

    I have a pair of Black Diamond sticks that provides the same kind of locking mechanism. Very worth the price.

  • Battle Against Marijuana Growers Temporarily Closes Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Bat, you're absolutely right about being civil and not condescending. And at the Traveler the last thing we expect is for everyone to be in agreement. We encourage and welcome debate and discussion ... as long as it's conducted with civility. That's harder for some than others. We try to be judicious in monitoring comments.

    Over the years we've exhibited a wide latitude. Frankly, we've got better things to do than serve as hall monitors. But after individuals have been cautioned -- in some cases repeatedly -- about the tenor and pointedness of their comments, comments that are directed at a specific individual rather than made in a more general nature, we feel there's little recourse but to rein things in.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I'm sorry but you have no legitimate need to protect yourself in the national forests. Our great rangers will protect you.... Oh and criminals obey the law as it stands...

    2 Virginia Tech Students Found Murdered in Forest
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,543985,00.html

  • Ancient Mammal Footprints Excite Paleontologists at Dinosaur National Monument   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Betty

    http://adoptpet.info

  • Searchers Set to Resume Search For Backpacker Missing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Reading this report only makes it more evident that even the most prepared, experienced hikers can find themselves in the worst of situations. I hope and pray to hear good news soon and am glad to hear that dogs are now being used in the search. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Morgan right now. Keep looking!

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 21 weeks ago

    It amazes me that there are people who believe there should be "signs", fences , gates, anchored safety lines, etc.... to warn of danger. Humans evolved as a result of the ability to properly react to danger, adapt and survive. The "safety nets" are a recent addition to the world. If a person can't recognize the danger, can't, or won't, acknowledge their own limitations, and continues beyond their ability to cope with the situation, there are consequences. One must be willing to accept those consequences. However, thought also needs to be given to causing others to put themselves at risk to rescue, or recover, your unfortunate rear-end. Quit posting signs. Quit placing aids to navigation (i.e. anchored lines) and lets get back to insisting people exercise personal responsibility for success, or failure. Too many "aids" and signs give too many unqualified people access to areas they shouldn't be in. Not everybody should go everywhere. What makes a risk "reasonable" is proper preparation and skill development. If you don't prepare, don't blame others for not putting a sign up. It's your own fault. Own it, and remember, there's somebody at home that will miss you. So get out there, enjoy, explore and push the limits, within your limits.

  • Searchers Set to Resume Search For Backpacker Missing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I am suprised that this story has not engendered any respose. This man has evidently given of himself to the NPS and the AT. Again, it shows that even with expertise and experience that things go awry. Let us hope that there is a chance that he may still be found and my heart goes out to his family and those who are searching for their friend and colleague.

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 22 weeks ago

    I was there last month and people were hiking the trail with really young kids and flip flops. Not too smart. I didn't do it although I've hiked it 2 previous times and didn't feel like I needed the adrenaline rush this time plus maybe I'm getting old. I wanted to make 2 points specifically about Angel's Landing: (1) It's a little dangerous but most technical climbing gives people more exposure. On the A.L. trail, You have a foot or two between you and the edge and there really is no reason to fear falling except if its icy in the wintertime and I believe they close it then. The foot or two in the narrow parts doesn't seem like a lot to me when I'm hiking it but if you are careful you will be OK. My second point (2) is that Angel's Landing is the parks most famous trail but if you want beautiful hiking and views of the park without quite the extreme drop-off do the West Rim and / or Observation Point (unless you are in great shape probably not both in the same day). I've hiked all over the country and these 2 are close to the top on my list of all time favorite hikes.