Recent comments

  • Managing Resources Underwater At Buck Island Reef National Monument   5 years 17 weeks ago

    If you're interested, the NPS I&M South Florida Caribbean Network website (http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/sfcn/) has several video swim-throughs on their website (http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/sfcn/virtualtours.cfm), including during & after a coral bleaching event, as well as quite a bit of inventory information.

  • Ignorance and Complacency—Common Denominators in Many Park Accidents   5 years 17 weeks ago

    I take full responsibility for my life, my ignorance and my complacency.

    “No servant brought them meals… No traffic cop whistled them off the hidden rock in the next rapids. No friendly roof kept them dry when they misguessed weather or not to pitch the tent. No guide showed them which camping spots offered a night long breeze and which a nightlong misery of mosquitoes; which firewood made clear coals and which would only smoke. The elemental simplicities of wilderness travel were thrills…because they represented complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gave…those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts…against which civilization had built a thousand buffers.” ~Aldo Leopold~

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Yo Bemis- I don't know where you live, but where I live it really is not that bad. Criminals don't rule the roost, I don't have to lock my door and feel perfectly safe walking at night or the trails during the day. Just as safe as I feel hiking and camping in the Parks I frequent. I know... I know some day I will wish you were here with your concealed weapon to save me. Well, I am just going to do what I do as I have been for 45 years, be a true law abiding citizen, visit our National Parks and hope every one does the same. Laws change, it is someting we all live with. I will live with what ever happens with this and keep a smile on my face, can you say the same? It was that way in 1787 and it is the same way now, we just roll with the punches. That is why we live in this wonderful country, if you know of a better place, well... feel free...

  • House Consideration of Massive Public Lands Bill Could Involve Gun Amendment   5 years 17 weeks ago

    I would like to thank Rick Smith for his comment which gave more info bot this land bill. My personal preference would have liked the gun rights language.But that can be handled as a separate issue. We do not need to weigh down bills with pet agendas.

    I would like more info on how the sequester of these lands impact any energy issues. Since preservation and mining often clash.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Pike, would you please help me find documentation for this claim?

    November 2005, Carnegie was attacked and killed by wolves while hiking in remote
    Northern Saskatchewan [Canada]. Carnegie is the first human known to have been
    killed by healthy, wild wolves in North America.

    My problem is with the "known to" part of that statement. The last I heard, an exhaustive examination of the scene did not provide solid evidence that the victim was killed by wolves. Wolf tracks in the vicinity and some (reasonable) assumptions did support the conclusion that the victim might have been killed by wolves. Is there an autopsy report that nails this thing down? Did an eyewitness come forward? I'm genuinely curious.

  • Spring Blooms Not Too Far Away in Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, And Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 17 weeks ago

    You've bum-rapped the system, Sharon, because it's really not fair to say that a "senior pass" is hard to get. In fact, it's one of the simplest things you'll ever do, national parks-wise. The major constraint here is that the America The Beautiful Senior Pass (abbreviated name) has to be purchased in person. The NPS site that provides basic information about passes says only that you should buy one "at the park" (see below). What they mean is that you can buy it at any NPS unit that charges an admission fee. In fact, you don't even need to go to an NPS unit. You can buy the ATB Senior Pass at any federal recreation site that charges a fee.

    This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass admits the pass holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas (children under 16 are admitted free). The pass can only be obtained in person at the park. The Senior Pass provides a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The pass is non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.

    Bottom line: Just get your senior pass the next time you visit a national park or other federal recreation site that charges an admission fee.

    And remember that U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities are eligible to get a lifetime ATB Access Pass at no cost.

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Frank N, there's currently 200 million acres of federal land closed to bicycles (from what I read). How much more do we need to close?

    Based on the comments of a few politicians, I'm hopeful that access will change over time. It'll probably be too late for me, but it'll happen in time for my kids.

  • Spring Blooms Not Too Far Away in Shenandoah, Blue Ridge Parkway, And Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Why is it so hard to locate a place to buy senior passes or other national park passes? I have been trying on the phone and the internet to locate to purchase a pass close to me. I seem to keep being told to call here, go there, and just like run around. No one seems to know where. Can you help?

  • What Should a Park Do With "Surplus" Wood? Yellowstone National Park Has One Answer   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Anonymous -

    Sorry if I gave the impression the policy is "new." It was brought to my attention with the suggestion that the information isn't known to everyone, and therefore might be of interest to some readers.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Pike,

    As you point out, this "debate" offers quite the smorgasbord of statistics, plenty to go around.

    Quick question: The April 2008 attack in Yellowstone. Do you have any more specifics, such as date, where in the park it happened? The park public affairs office never put out a release on that one, which I certainly would consider newsworthy. I'm not questioning you, I'm just curious about the incident.

  • Carrying Guns in the National Parks -- Is This Being Fast-Tracked?   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Any capable and proficient adult who walks around in a remote area of a national park while unarmed has no business being there.

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Good point.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Most if not all of Frank's examples can be found on the website of the self proclaimed "most aggressive group in the gun control movement" - The Violence Policy Center. Instead of me visiting the NRA website and regurgitating what I just read, you should just visit www.nra.org.

    I'll credit Google for helping me find the following excerpts and quotes which are from newspaper articles, NPS press releases, and research papers:

    NPS 2007 Annual Report – 8 murders, 43 forcible rapes, 57 robberies, and 274 instances of aggravated assault

    "The most visitors used to worry about is running into a grizzly bear. Now there is the specter of violence by a masked [illegal] alien toting an AK-47," said David Barna, chief spokesman for the National Park Service (NPS).

    Press Release National Park Service, August 2008 - Director Mary A. Bomar:
    “These people slip in and out of their camps for supplies, tend and vigorously defend the marijuana crop that can be worth millions of dollars if it gets to market,” Bomar said. “And anyone who stumbles on their operations is in real danger.”

    “National parks budgets are stretched far enough without having to deal with illegal marijuana growing operations.” (Mary Bomar)

    "It's a $2 billion or a $4 billion problem, and we're throwing $1 million at it," said Supervisor Allen Ishida of Tulare County, whose deputies seized 157,000 pot plants on public and private lands and made 28 arrests this year.

    Illegal marijuana growing sites have previously been found – and destroyed – at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Santa Monica National Recreation Area, and Point Reyes National Seashore.

    The largest single bust in the nation this year netted 482,000 plants in the remote Sierra of Tulare County, the forest service said.

    Violent crimes have occurred at Mount Rainier. There was a double rape and armed robbery on Rampart Ridge in 1978. In 1981 there was an armed robbery at the National Park Inn. The 1996 death of Sheila Ann Kearns, a housekeeper at the inn, was ruled a homicide.

    April 2008 – A 55 year old man was attacked at Yellowstone. During the battle, the grizzly ripped off a big chunk of his scalp, scraped a wide groove of meat from beneath his right arm, and battered and scratched his torso. A small backpack probably helped him avoid further injury. Then the bear attacked again, he reached for the pistol he [illegally] wore in a holster on his belt and subsequently shot and killed the bear.

    US Alligator attacks 1948 to 2004 – 376 injuries

    Fatal alligator attacks (US) since 2000 - 13 deaths

    KENAI -- A man was mauled by a brown bear on the Kenai Peninsula in what state officials are calling the first mauling of 2008. was charged by a sow with two cubs when he left his home early Tuesday. The man turned and fled, but the bear quickly caught him, biting his buttocks, the back of his head and his chest.

    73 Mountain Lion Attacks between 1991 and 2003 in US - 10 victims were killed.

    August 2008 - A woman on a guided hike in the Brooks Range was mauled by a bear at her group’s campsite in the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve on Thursday morning.

    The Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve , 1996, a Washington, D.C. man was fatally mauled during a float trip down the Noatak River. He and another man were hiking through dense brush about a mile from the river when they surprised a sow grizzly with a cub at close range. The sow attacked and killed one of the men, the first fatal mauling in the park’s 28-year history.

    March 2006, A 92-year-old man who was attacked by a bull moose while walking to church in a small mountain town was upgraded to serious condition on Monday.

    A female moose with two calves attacked a 60-year-old woman while she was walking her dog. The woman was taken to hospital with minor injuries while her dog, a cocker spaniel, was so badly injured that it had to be euthanized.

    November 2005, Carnegie was attacked and killed by wolves while hiking in remote Northern Saskatchewan [Canada]. Carnegie is the first human known to have been killed by healthy, wild wolves in North America.

    SFC Frick from the magazine "Field and Stream" regarding self-defense with a gun "It's better to be sad than room temperature"

  • What Should a Park Do With "Surplus" Wood? Yellowstone National Park Has One Answer   5 years 17 weeks ago

    I received a firewood collection permit in 1999 and again in 2001. So what is so "new" about this policy?

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Does the author has to show his or her bias by saying (EVEN THE RANKING REPUBLICAN) praised the bill. You should realize there are many conservatives that believe in the preservation of the planet. Try to get along with them and we might get a head in this task at a better pace.

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Although the bill contains authorization language, it doesn't appropriate a single dollar to implement any of the provisions. That has to come later.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Yo Eric-----If the Constitution forbids the Executive Branch from starting wars but it does so anyway to defend our freedoms (and enrich their military contractor friends), who cares, because they're gonna attack Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq anyway. If the Constitution does not authorize these Beltway Bandits to print worthless paper currency, bail out of their criminal friends on Wall Street or save worthless and outdated Detroit ironmongers then why argue because they're gonna do it anyway!

    Why should we, the lumpen proletariat, worry about observing the law when our tyrannical rulers DO NOT?

    At this point it's all about doing what is right and not what is technically lawful. The criminals are fully in charge and it's time to take a stand and decide for ourselves what is right and morally correct instead of obediently following, like sheep, a carefully crafted set of oppressive rules specifically designed to keep us all in our place.

    Bob Dylan put it quite succinctly: "To live outside the law you must be honest. I know you always say that you agree."

    The Soviet States of America has finally arrived. I'm planning to be a conscious and willing dissident, and the rest of you are free to bow and scrape before your jack booted masters! The 2nd Amendment is very real and the reasons for its designation as a natural right are as apparent today as it was in 1787.

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    I'd say anything that is quiet, road-free, fairly remote and little-visited, and big enough to feel vast when traveling under one's own power.

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    I am wondering what your (all you NPT'ers :-)) definition of Wilderness is, not the "federal" definition but yours personally.

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Frank N., I'd accept your proposed Wilderness restrictions in a heartbeat.

    I know the slippery-slope effect worries people, but there's no reason to worry, because the Wilderness Act of 1964 flatly prohibits all motorized uses in Wilderness. (See 16 USC § 1133(c), available on findlaw.com.) The only way motorized uses can be allowed in Wilderness, even such minor things as the use of chainsaws by agency staff, is if an act of Congress for a particular Wilderness authorizes it.

    If you read that code section, you'll see that the Wilderness Act also forbids "mechanical transport." That's the language the Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management rely on to exclude mountain biking. But the Wilderness Act's legislative history shows that Congress did not mean to exclude human-powered travel in Wilderness even if someone used a mechanical device to move under his/her own power. There's an explanation of all of this at this site: http://www.wildernessbicycling.org/bikesbelong/mechanical_transport.html.

    Were it otherwise, there couldn't be rock-climbing in Wilderness. Or using a fishing reel to mechanically transport fish out of a river or lake in a Wilderness. (The language in 16 USC § 1133(c) forbids the mechanical transport of anything, not just humans.)

    So why don't mountain bikers go to court and get the agency prohibitions reversed? We'd love to. But we don't have the money required to hire counsel and so we need a volunteer lawyer to help. So far we haven't found one who's able to do it. The International Mountain Bicycling Association won't get involved in this effort, because it has too much to lose. It's achieved a lot through its partnerships with agencies, notably the National Park Service, and understandably doesn't want to irritate its federal government partners. That's my take, anyway.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Anonymous #3 and Colorado, I see alot of "Law Abiding Citizens" pro carry people now saying they are going to carry no matter what the law. If that is the case, why call yourselves "Law abiding"? I am a gun owner, and was on the fence on this subject but reading these comments about who cares about the law I'm gonna carry anyway, I am leaning on the side of no concealed weapons in the parks. Sounds like you all are going to do what you want no matter what the law is anyway. If there is a no concealed weapons in the Nat. Parks Law in effect and some "Law Abiding Citizen" pulls out their gun... well maybe that would weed out the not so responsible carriers. If your gonna do it anyway why tell everyone? It makes no sense.

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    IMTN, consider the captchas nothing more than an eye test;-)

    That said, I have a list of upgrades and improvements for the Traveler, and captchas are on it.

  • Congress Passes Sweeping Public Lands Package, National Parks Will Benefit   5 years 17 weeks ago

    One off-topic comment, which I hope people will indulge. I'm reading the front page of today's New York Times, which has an article on tent cities that have emerged in unlikely places like Sacramento and Fresno because of the rise in poverty and unemployment. They're latter-day Hoovervilles. This puts our disputes in perspective, I think. It's a luxury that we can debate guns in parks, bikes in parks, and quality of park websites. I suspect most people participating in these debates are OK economically, otherwise we'd be spending all of our time scrambling to find work (or keep our current job) and pay the mortgage or rent. I feel fortunate to be able to contemplate the matters Kurt brings up on these pages.

    But on the other hand, the captchas are getting so subtle (what's a "g" and what's an "8"?) that I'm getting bounced more and more for failing to interpret them accurately.

  • National Park Quiz 47: Spring   5 years 17 weeks ago

    I didn't see that TV program you referred to, Rob, but now I wish I had.

  • National Park Quiz 47: Spring   5 years 17 weeks ago

    Hmmm...I answered just 5 of 10 correctly, but, got #11 correct from having watched a recent Nat. Geog. or NOVA show (couldn't find the title) on forests of the world. Thanks Bob.

    rob
    ---
    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    www.craterlakeinstitute.com