Recent comments

  • New Electronic Applications Aim to Enhance Your National Park Visit   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Saves paper and money. Doesn't replace people, only paper. A great example of how private, free-market companies provide an alternative to government-produced interpretive products.

  • California Man Becomes Second Yellowstone National Park Visitor To Be Gored By Bison This Year   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Dan P., well said.

    I'm sure we'll see this posted here on the snowmobile issue, but I wanted to alert people that the Interior Department has just announced their newest snowmobile and snowcoach proposal for Yellowstone.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gZpd4N1IAXu6B_2FSWUrGGIdgdCQD99KATKG1

    "318 snowmobiles and 78 multi-passenger snowcoaches daily" ... based on what we saw from the NGO environmental groups last year, it seems likely they will go for that number, though I think it would leave a system in place that leaves a lot to be desired.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • This Just In : Fort Hancock STILL a Mess   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I was stationed at Fort Hancock from August 1966 to July 1969. My family and I occupied the south half of the only duplex on officers row for the last two years of that time. I can tell you for fact that it took a ton of money and time for the post engineers to maintain all of these facilities. I was also stationed at Fort Sheridan just North of Chicago when that facility was deactivated in late 1990s and early 2000s. Some parts of Fort Sheridan have been turned into a gated community wherein their officers row and historic registry buildings have been restored and sold by developers. You need to look at Fort Sheridan as a model. I could see how the buildings at Fort Hancock could be restored with the housing and large buildings all being housing units in a gated community. People working in NYC would jump at the chance to own homes and condos while maintaining the historic requirements. There could also be both boat and helicopter shuttle service to NYC. Commute time would be cut to 15 - 30 minutes. I make this suggestion because to just restore and maintain even a few of the Fort Hancock buildings is beyond the combined resources of all of you with this most noble of ideas. Let a developer restore and sell the buildings as houses and condos. Please, do check out what was done at Fort Sheridan. Their plan was the only way to save that site.

  • New Electronic Applications Aim to Enhance Your National Park Visit   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Glad you caught that error. I run that Junior Ranger Program and I would hate for parents to start expecting a badger!

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • California Man Becomes Second Yellowstone National Park Visitor To Be Gored By Bison This Year   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Usage is king, Anon! Buffalo and bison are equally applicable to these shaggy, be-horned medium-duty trucks. Those prescriptivists who would correct anyone who says "buffalo" can have their way just as soon as they fix the elk/moose confusion, and get everyone saying "wapiti."

  • New Electronic Applications Aim to Enhance Your National Park Visit   5 years 21 weeks ago

    "Kids will earn a Junior Ranger Badger."

    Speaking as a parent, I'd really rather my kid earn a Junior Ranger badge. I hear badgers are messy, bite and generally do not make good pets. ;-)

    [Ed: Nice catch. We fixed it.]

  • Take Care if You're Visiting Alaska National Parks, As Bears Aren't Being Bashful   5 years 21 weeks ago

    well, obviously "cato54" didn't read the press release from katmai national park... clearly guns work pretty well in bear country! the archeologists shot and killed an attacking, aggressive bear. but cato54's right about one thing: guns are of little help in "normal outdoor visitor use." guns are useless unless you are properly trained, and more useless when they are insufficient for the job. because the archeologists are national park service employees, i strongly suspect they were well-trained to use the proper equipment.

  • Are Our National Parks No Longer for the People?   5 years 21 weeks ago

    >>those who file lawsuits to get people out of the parks are the ENEMY and all those who enjoy steeping a foot, wheel, ski, raft, etc... in a park need to band together and insure we have access to these wonderful areas. We can deal with how and what we use for access later, but first we need to have access to discuss first.<<

    Matthew, can you point to a lawsuit "to get people out of the parks"? I'm familiar with lawsuits aimed at blocking specific uses that impact the environment and park resources, (ie ORVs, personal watercraft, snowmobiles) but can't recall any "to get people out of the parks."

    The current debate hinges exactly on dealing with "how and what we use for access," not providing access.

  • Civil War Battlefield Preservationists Looking For Your Help to Keep Wal-Mart At Bay   5 years 21 weeks ago

    I just went to visit this past summer and I was shocked at the developement. My grandparents lived in Fredericksburg and I remembered it being just a small little town. It only took 20 years for it to grow that much. Driving through I found 4 Starbucks in a 1 1/2 mile stretch of road!
    It really took away from the feel of the battlefield to hear traffic during the entire ranger talk.

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Are Our National Parks No Longer for the People?   5 years 21 weeks ago

    You people really amaze me. Mr. Gray was simply stating if you were to apply more restrictions to certain specific park areas that visitation would go down. This little comment created the Poke your chest out and fight in lots of people including the author who states "As for Devil's Tower, true, it's off-limits to climbers for a short period in summer to pay reverence to Native American beliefs. And there has been more than a little pressure to limit snowmobile access to Yellowstone due to resource damage, and off-road-vehicle access to Cape Hatteras and even Cape Cod national seashores during certain seasons to protect nesting shorebirds and sea turtles. But really, the number of climbers, snowmobilers, and ORV enthusiasts who look to the national parks for recreation are minuscule, and lifting these restrictions won't send park visitation skyrocketing." I too have visited several National Parks and that is exactly what they were designed for "Visiting". There will never be a total agreement between any large group of people on how to handle the management of our national parks. You have the groups who only want you to walk in and walk out, some want to drive through on their way to somewhere else, some want to enjoy alternative transportation to get aroung the parks, and then there are groups who want to see people completely banned all together. The differences in these groups is that they really do not have any care about learning about other groups thoughts. Well that is too bad, because the person who started this thing said it all and placed his statement on a sign at the entrance to Yellowstone "FOR THE BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE." Many will argue and launch lawsuits to announce this means that this group or that are meant to only enjoy the park. What it really means is that any group can enjoy the park and if you wish not to be around the other groups then join in with the Special Interest groups and file a lawsuit against the park to insure you further limit the funding for management of the same areas you claim to want to enjoy.

    On a personal note those who file lawsuits to get people out of the parks are the ENEMY and all those who enjoy steeping a foot, wheel, ski, raft, etc... in a park need to band together and insure we have access to these wonderful areas. We can deal with how and what we use for access later, but first we need to have access to discuss first.

  • Civil War Battlefield Preservationists Looking For Your Help to Keep Wal-Mart At Bay   5 years 21 weeks ago

    The Wilderness Battlefield itself is remarkably pristine, just fields and woodlands, and a nice old farmhouse with Jackson's arm buried nearby (Who knows where the rest of him is buried). Unfortunately the spread-out Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania Battlefield complex is being defeated by aggressive and cancerous outer-suburban sprawl. You will never see more fast food franchises, mega gas stations, super strip malls, mammoth traffic intersections, and total lack of planning or care in these communities. The outer suburbs of Washington D.C. have swallowed up all of Loudoun County (with almost no parkland preserved), Prince William County, and much of Spotsylvania County. No sidewalks, no parks, no vision of anything, just mile after mile of quick-construction.

    Ben Lord

  • Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?   5 years 21 weeks ago

    If you have to wait for seasonofthecrab to finish his book, it might be a tad to late to include his information in your paper. :0) Perhaps he'd be willing to chat with you about his interesting documents and your mutual interests in Lew Wallace and his actions at Shiloh.

  • Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?   5 years 21 weeks ago

    "that shed a clear light on why General Lew Wallace never got a clear message about what road to take, took the Shunpike, and ended up writing BEN HUR because of the decision that ruined his military reputation."

    Living in Crawfordsville, IN... I'm quite interested in your conclusions about Lew. I'm writing a paper that is supposed to argue both ways on a point. I'd be very interested in seeing or, at least, hearing about what you have found. This is a topic, still today, among local historians.

    I must say, I think he got the shaft on this one.

  • New Concessionaire Chosen to Manage Lodging, Dining, and Retail at Bryce Canyon National Park   5 years 21 weeks ago

    Our National Parks cut of the gross receipts still hovering around 3.5 percent?

    "...adventure without regard to prudence, profit, self-improvement,
    learning or any other serious thing" -Aldo Leopold-

  • California Man Becomes Second Yellowstone National Park Visitor To Be Gored By Bison This Year   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Before someone calls foul on the language on the pictured flier - they are bison not buffalo - it is my understanding that the language was scripted by a biology-challenged federal judge in a consent decree settling a lawsuit over a previous goring years ago. Perhaps someone else can check my facts here.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park, and Why?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    I feel that every National Park that I have visited is special in it's own way and for the memories I made there. I've visited Glacier, where I saw a Big Horned Sheep and hiked on snow in July. I've visited Yellowstone, where I got to see and capture on film a coyote running with prey in its mouth. I've been to Denali, where I got to see Mt. Denali for 3 days and saw a pack of wolves! Last summer I visited Zion, where the scenery took my breath away. I also visited Bryce, where I saw amazing land formations. I went to the Grand Canyon (North and South Rim). While staying on the North Rim, in a rim cabin, I got to watch a thunderstorm happening on the South Rim. Also there, I got to get pictures of an amazing sunset with a storm rolling in. My first experience with the South Rim was a coyote posing on the side of the road. I also visted Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and was utterly fascinated. I highly recommend a visit to this National Monument. Though, I do have to admit that Glacier does hold a special place in my heart because up until that trip I had never crossed the Mississippi River, and I live on the east coast.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park, and Why?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    For the best wildflowers, backcountry skiing and exhilarating recreation - Mount Rainier

    For astonishing biological wholeness & variety - Olympic

    All time favorite because of the grandeur, mystery, and challenge of backcountry travel - Grand Canyon
    Walk beneath the rims into the Smithsonian Museum of field geology and wonder... Oh, I forgot the solitude!
    One has to get pretty far from the Bright Angel corridor, but it's the only place in all my many wanderings I've repeatedly backpacked for two weeks without encountering another soul.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park, and Why?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Yosemite because it makes me happy.

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park, and Why?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    1. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (why? It's self evident.)
    2. Badlands National Park
    3. Capitol Reef National Park
    4. Glacier National Park
    5. Mt. Rainier National Park
    6. Olympic National Park
    7. Arches National Park
    8. Canyonlands National Park
    9. North Cascades National Park
    10. Bryce Canyon National Park

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park, and Why?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    This question is tormenting me, because each park I've been lucky enough to visit is so unique and magical. If I absolutely had to pick one, I'd go with Olympic because it's like visiting three parks in one. We caught it on an absolutely beautiful clear day -- Hurricane Ridge looked like something out of the Sound of Music. A short distance away is another world at Rialto Beach, where the forest meets the ocean. Not far south of that is the Hoh Rainforest, an absolute wonderland where everything is dripping with green. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  • California Man Becomes Second Yellowstone National Park Visitor To Be Gored By Bison This Year   5 years 22 weeks ago

    This happens so many times with so many animals. When I worked in Everglades a father sent his 6 year old daughter to "hold the hand" of the 12ft gator for a picture. I can't even count how many times in Shenandoah I had to tell people not to chase the bears. Sometimes that great photo just isn't worth it.

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Young Girl Drowns in Middle Fork of the Kaweah River in Seqouia National Park   5 years 22 weeks ago

    My name is manoel beyris. I'm 21. I was here this day. When I arrived the girl was already under the rock. I went under the rock but it was too late.
    I'm traumatised, and I need to contact the family, this mom that I had In my harms, the brother and the sister. I need to contact them I gave my witness to the rescues, and as I'm just a tourist I continued my travel to LA this day. My hearts is broke, I want to contact them, please If anybody can help me, find a number, a name. Maybe the police or rescue number, please write to me.
    All my thinks ans my heart to the family, I will never forget.
    Mano

  • Reader Participation Day: What's Your Favorite National Park, and Why?   5 years 22 weeks ago

    This is a tough one. So many great parks to choose from. However, if I have to narrow it down a single one I guess it would have to be Katmai. It has a dynamic mixture of active volcanism, terrific fishing, great wildlife viewing, opportunities for water travel, expanses of true wilderness, world class hiking, comfortable lodge and campground accommodations, etc., etc.

  • Wolverine Photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 22 weeks ago

    I own a home at the West entrance of RMNP (Grand Lake area) surrounded by the park. My neighbor Ken Bruton who is a full time resident and licensed big game outfitter, told me he saw a wolverine several years ago as he was taking guests on a hunting trip. He said he was in the Never Summer Range somewhere around Bowen Lake. The area is a designated primative area accessable by foot or horseback only.

  • No Fishing with Hand Grenades in Afghanistan’s New National Park   5 years 22 weeks ago

    Thanks for the clarification, Tlilly. I have to admit that it never occurred to me that a Traveler reader might actually think that it's safe to drive the routes I described. I'm looking forward to seeing your pics. Let us know when they're ready for viewing.