Recent comments

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Ms. Heister says the forest is being destroyed - what forest? It hasn't been a forest since before Washington stayed there. The truth is that it was farm land. The "real issue" is because the people continue to destroy the forests to make room for the latest shopping mall, housing development, or roadways. Deer are being forced to move into smaller tracts of forest which makes it appear that they are overpopulated when they previously were spread out in much larger areas.

    If you look at the Valley Forge deer and saw there is a deer overpopulation - then you're missing the big problem. Once politicians realize the problem and take actions to encourage people to drastically slow down their own growth and development, then we'll start seeing the harmony established.

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    These "Naturalists" aren't concerned about humane treatment - that is an incorrect assumption you are making. These "naturalists" simply want the deer to experience life in a natural way, on their own terms. Would a deer rather be given birth control or be killed by a coyote? I can't say for sure, but I will guarantee you that they'd prefer to be left alone - and that is what we "Naturalists" want to happen.

    While driving, just stick to a 25 mph speed limit and you'll be fine. The big problem here is that we humans continue to take and take and take, and the deer and other animals have no place else to go - and THAT is nuts. When we start controlling ourselves will be the day that we start seeing a more natural balance restored to our world.

  • Study Says Loss of Wolves Damaging Olympic National Park's Forest Ecosystem   5 years 26 weeks ago

    We should use hunting as a tool to get wolves back and nature doing its thing again.

  • Gettysburg’s Dedication Day and Remembrance Day Activities Mark Gettysburg Address Anniversary   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Aha! You wouldn't have to recognize me, because I would recognize you from your photo.

    Anyway, hope you can make it someday--it is a great experience.

  • Newspaper Turns Back the Calendar and Calls for "Buffalo Commons National Park" in Kansas   5 years 26 weeks ago

    "Kansas is vastly under-represented in national parkland, and can accurately be considered parkland poor today."

    If you add up all the units in the NPS in Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, American Somoa and Puerto Rico it would equal the number of NPS units in Kansas. While this sounds like a good idea and something I would like to visit if built, there are other states that I think are more "under-represented".

  • Traveler's Gear Box: How Do You Cook Your Food in a National Park's Backcountry?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I use a little alcohol burning stove that weighs only 3 ounces. It uses about 1/3 cup of denatured alcohol to boil 2 cups of water.

  • Newspaper Turns Back the Calendar and Calls for "Buffalo Commons National Park" in Kansas   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Interesting idea. I'm trying to picture what the marketing plan would be to get people out to West Kansas. Europeans do love the American West, but they tend to like mountains in the distance and things to do outside the parks. I think a park like this would need to pull off some kind of unique gimmick. Perhaps a cliched African-safari tour with everyone popping out of the top of Land Rovers to snap pictures?

    I'd love to see some significant short grass prairie restoration, but I'm not sure the economics of the national park would pan out the way Kansas would hope.

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    The folks complaining about their flower beds might be the voice that gets heard by the politicians, but the real issue re plants is what's going on in the natural areas overpopulated by deer. Species of wildflowers are being extirpated and forest regeneration is greatly impacted if not completely halted. There are plenty of currently robust oak forests in Michigan that won't be forests at all in a couple generations because of deer. There simply are no trees under 40 or 50 years old. Forest regeneration studies put the upper limit of deer population that still allows proper regeneration at around 10 or 15 per square mile. That's a problem, because that level means invisible deer. The public likes to see deer and quite mistakenly equate deer with healthy ecosystems. The 40 per square mile we have in some counties around here are beloved by both the animal activists (Deer are pretty!) and the hunters (Take your pick of the trophies!). So, who's on the side of sound ecology other than some ill-represented conservation groups? So far the only player with any clout is the insurance industry. Turns out they don't like paying thousands of claims every year for deer-vehicle impacts.

    The fight goes on, but convincing those with the power to do something about it that we need far fewer deer is an uphill climb.

  • Newspaper Turns Back the Calendar and Calls for "Buffalo Commons National Park" in Kansas   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I live in eastern Kansas and actually enjoy the stark beauty of the western part of our state. However, many people consider it a desert, something to endure as they drive to Colorado. Buffalo Commons would give these travelers a place to stop on their journey west.

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Why are coyotes or wolves eating baby deer more humane than birth control? These "naturalists" are nuts. See human babies and children who suffer from lyme disease and cannot play in their own backyards due to repeated bouts of lyme infection with God knows what long range consequences as the lyme bacteria hibernates and re-emerges like its cousin, syphillis. And try driving at night with deer jumping in front of your car. Living in Chester County (PA) use to be a natural wonderland blessing. It is simply dangerous now. I would move to a townhouse in the city in a minute if not for my stubborn husband.

  • BRP75 Opening Weekend in Asheville Highlights Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Celebration   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Glad that things are going smoothly for BRP75, Anne. Good luck with the rest of the celebration schedule. You and the other members of Blue Ridge Parkway 75, Inc. have good reason to be proud of what you've accomplished. BTW, I happened to be in Asheville last Sunday visiting relatives. I picked up a copy of the Asheville Citizen-Times, and lo and behold, there was picture of you on page A-5! Looks to me like an awful lot of the material in that lengthy, front-page article about "Asheville34" was pretty much gleaned from your excellent book and personal interviews with you. Am I right?

  • Gettysburg’s Dedication Day and Remembrance Day Activities Mark Gettysburg Address Anniversary   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Have great time, CivilWarBuff. Alas; I'm afraid that I can't make it to Gettysburg next week myself. You can be assured that a Dedication/Remembrance Day trip to Gettysburg is on my "to do" list, though. Maybe I'll see you there next year. How would I recognize you, anyway?

  • BRP75 Opening Weekend in Asheville Highlights Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary Celebration   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Bob,

    Thanks for the great article! We have had a wonderful weekend of events in Cherokee and Asheville to kick off the Parkway's 75th -- topped off by near-perfect weather and engaged and warm crowds at each gathering. I was at nearly every event, and it seemed that momentum, excitement, and goodwill built throughout the weekend. We invite all Traveler readers to join with us in celebrating the Parkway throughout the coming year and learning about how we can take our place as the park's stewards for the future.

    Anne Mitchell Whisnant, Ph.D.
    Historian & Author of Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History
    Chapel Hill, NC

  • Traveler's Gear Box: How Do You Cook Your Food in a National Park's Backcountry?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Heater Meals. In 14 minutes you have a piping hot entree. Exothermic reaction to water while in a self contained pouch/box. With utensils and napkin! Very filling and nutricious. No flame. No stove. Lighter than pots/pans, etc. Cheaper than Big Mac Dinner!

    Rick

  • Reader Participation Day: What's the Most Important Part of Your National Park Trip?   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Nope -- I know the difference between SCA folks and Ford Motor Company. SCA interns are real volunteers. Ford Motor Company didn't come free. The real problem with the Ford folks was that it was one of the Cheney administration's attempts to demolish the parks as we know them. It went right along with the idea of corporate sponsorship of facilities in parks -- like the Blackwater Boardwalk or the Haliburton Visitor Center.

  • Gettysburg’s Dedication Day and Remembrance Day Activities Mark Gettysburg Address Anniversary   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Thanks for this in-depth article, Bob! I'll be in the parade marching with my unit, the 4th Maryland Light Artillery (sans cannon). Maybe I'll see you there!

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I travel through thos area frequently to visit my son in Phoenixville and I can tell you for a fact, there is a huge deer problem. The road through the park is main thoroughfare and driving there at night is an accident waiting to happen. I have seen several hundred deer in the fields adjacent to the road and they just meander on the road. If you drive this road it is not a matter of if you hit one but when will you hit one.

    I would suggest using hunters to cull the herd as is done in many high population areas. They don't need professional "sharp shooters" they just need hunters who can pass a proficiency test and open a lottery hunt. There are some big deer in that herd and hunters would love the opportunity to cull deer from that herde.

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I don't now where you're from Anai, but around here we have more deer than we can use. Our state Wildlife and Parks Dept. estimates that there are more deer in the state now than any time in the state's recorded history. Planting of shelter belts and returning cultivated land to prairie grass have helped to increase their number. Lots of cover, lots to eat and no real predators. Just about anything the state wants to do to limit their numbers is fine. Hunting does is legal but hunters don't care much about them because they make pretty poor trophys.

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I agree with what Lee Hall re predators. Coyotes are a rare threat to humans and should be encouraged to stay where they are. If people are so concerned with the deer population, which isn't as large as Dick says, then why limit their predators? It seems like humans have decided to take on the predator role, and wasting our tax dollars in the process. Allowing the predators to do their job is absolutely - free.

    Plants are not the real issue behind the NPS' action because a similar action will be taking place in D.C.'s Rock Creek Park. It's no coincidence that both proposals were backed by residents who complained about their plants - not exactly a valid reason to shoot deer, is it?

    We need to take in account that the deer's fertility is solely based on a variety of environmental factors. A female is unable to trigger ovulation when there is little food and water available. So, if it's true that vegetation is an issue, then one cannot say there is an influx in the deer population. Lack of food = annovulation = less offspring.

  • Collecting National Park T-Shirts: The Passion and the Pain   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I stick with the passport stamps and stamping and a postcard and mailing it home to myself. Much cheaper then buying t-shirts but no less addictive.

  • Ida Gives Many Atlantic Coast National Parks a Severe Beating   5 years 27 weeks ago

    To Jane and any others who would like to help out the folks at Assateague, here's some information:

    The park is able to accept direct donations. If you are interested in donating directly to the park you may contact the superintendent by phone (410-629-6080) or e-mail (trishkicklighter@nps.gov). Donations may be sent to:

    Trish Kicklighter
    Superintendent - Assateague Island National Seashore
    7206 National Seashore Lane
    Berlin, MD 21811

    Also, there's the Assateague Island Alliance, which is a friend's group that helps the seashore in a wide variety of fashions.

  • Lawsuit Over Deer Culling At Valley Forge Highlights Troubles Of Squeezed National Parks   5 years 27 weeks ago

    As someone that lives in an area that is over run with deer, I can understand the problems at the various parks. It's bad enough here that people joke about the need for a year round open season with hand guns. Perhaps those groups so intent on letting nature manage this problem would support the introduction of a few of Yellowstone's wolf population. Coyotes are very efficient creatures but to expect them to manage a deer problem is a bit out of their expertise. Perhaps CARE members could take a few of them home and pen them up in the backyard. The novelty would soon wear off.

  • Ida Gives Many Atlantic Coast National Parks a Severe Beating   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I have to agree with Bob. Oceanfront houses on the entire Outerbanks are a risk at best. I spend a lot of time in that area, in fact I will be there again for Thanksgiving this year and it always amazes me to see new construction on the ocean side.

  • Ida Gives Many Atlantic Coast National Parks a Severe Beating   5 years 27 weeks ago

    I'm not sure who you are Anon, but I'm pretty darn sure you are not Orrin Pilkey! Seriously I respect your opinion, but I'll continue to believe that houses built right on the shoreline at Nags Head (an area I am quite familiar with, and plan to visit again in April) are structures that are waiting to die.

  • Consider Gettysburg for the Holidays   5 years 27 weeks ago

    Glad to see you're tuned in to this CivilWarBuff. But I think that you're pushing the concept of "the holidays" a tad too early. Remembrance Day is the Saturday after Dedication Day, which is by far the better known of the two events. Watch tomorrow's Traveler for an article on this.