Recent comments

  • Mount Rainier National Park: Reaching Out to Camping Newbies   5 years 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 weeks ago

    Ray -

    Excellent perspective!

  • Latest Lodging Deals at Sequoia, Olympic National Parks and Lake Powell National Recreation Area   5 years 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 weeks ago

    Thank you.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 19 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 19 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 19 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 19 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.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 19 weeks ago

    It'll hurt the wildlife, it'll increase the danger. Where are the facts tio back these claims up? As usual anti-gun people make statements claiming that their opinions are facts. The actual facts are that incredibly few CCW permit holders ever do ANYTHING that violates any gun use laws. The extremely few times CCW permit holders (as in a small fraction of a percent) who lose their permits turn out to involve are cases of carrying a gun in a place (such as an airport) where guns are forbidden, not cases of actually doing anything wrong with a gun, and these cases are almost always a case of an error of some kind. But error or not, the permit gets revoked.
    Anti-gun folks would have everyone believe that any idiot who wants to can carry a concealed weapon, and that all the people are somehow dangerous. If this is the case, why did violent crime, especially gun crime, not go up in states where "will issue" laws were passed, suddenly allowing thousands of honest citizens to carry firearms, over the past couple of decades?

    Why did the shooter in Binghamton, NY block the rear door of the building before entering through the front? Because he was in NY State, which, excepting the 2 states that allow essentially NO citizen to carry a handgun, has the toughest handgun control laws in the country. In NY State you have to get a permit to even own a handgun, let alone to ever carry it anywhere. And because issuing a permit is left totally up to the discretion of the head of the police agency that has jurisdiction (he decides whether someone's reason is good enough or not, with no rules in the law for making that decision), permits are most often impossible to get unless you work as an armed guard. The guy locked everyone in the building because he knew for a fact that, unless an off duty police officer was visiting the place, he would be the only person in that building who was armed.

    If there was some way to suddenly eliminate all of the firearms in the country, not even the police would have to be armed. But it is not possible to do that. The result is that gun "control" laws only control the use of guns by honest citizens. There are too many guns in circulation to keep them away from crooks by taking away all the guns honest folks have. There is no way to confiscate all of the guns in dishonest hands. And, unfortunately, no robber, murderer, or other persdonm planning on committing a felony worries for even one second about some piddly gun control violation.

    Perhaps of the government started enforcing the existing laws, for example by prosecuting felons who attempt to buy guns, some gun "control" laws might have an effect. Unfortunately, the government for some reason does not bother doing things like that. I sure wish I knew why that is.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Kurt, I don't know what more you can do to convince people that global warming is for real. There are some individuals would rather bury their heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend there's absolutely no global warming crises at all, but just simply a little change in mother natures atmospheric chemistry...and nothing more. It's that same old lackadaisical attitude that gets us into trouble with profound ignorance and old style provincial thinking that coincides with the flat earth society...and that global warming is nothing more then benign subtle change in wind direction. Caveman thinking is still here!

  • Elk Culling Under Way in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Jim,
    I am not sure if you still can but, there is a place where you can put your name in and they draw out as many names as elk shot. If your name is drawn you get the meat. I am sure if you just google it you will find something on it.

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 19 weeks ago

    My sincere compliments to deanhicks for his comments above!

    Just do what me and my son did. TURN around and live to laugh and visit more parks.

    Many people would have a much more enjoyable visit to parks if they followed his - and his son's - example, and simply called it a day when they realize they are outside their comfort zone, or venturing outside their level of skill or equipment.

    If more people would take that approach, rangers would spend a lot less time on search and rescue missions - and body recoveries.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Let's put aside the question of whether humans are driving climate change/global warming and approach this issue from another direction.

    Here are some givens:

    * The Rocky Mountain West is under siege of a mountain pine beetle attack of historic proportions.

    * Waters in Yellowstone National Park in recent summers have become so warm that the park suspended fishing in some streams to reduce stress on the fisheries.

    * Episodes of coral bleaching, driven in part by warmer waters and aided by disease, are inflicting damage on reefs around the world.

    * Sea ice in the Arctic is melting at record levels, and ice sheets in the Antarctic are collapsing at amazing rates.

    * Oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay are a fraction of the size that existed when Capt. John Smith piloted his ship up the bay in 1608, in part due to harvesting, pollution, and diseases enabled by warmer waters.

    * Heavy metals and pesticides are polluting the high country of national parks in the West.

    * As MRC noted, as glaciers melt away and snowpacks evaporate earlier and earlier, there will be downstream ramifications not only for wildlife, fisheries, and vegetation but also for human communities that depend on runoff. We're not talking merely aesthetic changes.

    I use these examples to point out that there is change under way out there across the globe. In the case of those instances that some would say are simply natural cycles, the additional stresses applied by those things that are human-caused (ie, heavy metal and pesticide distributions, higher ozone levels caused by power plant emissions, introduction of non-native species via sea-going ship ballast discharges) exacerbate things.

    With that accepted, is it wrong for agencies and individuals alike to strive to lessen their impacts on the environment in whatever manner possible? Or should we simply accept that change is inescapable and let's party like it's 1999?

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 19 weeks ago

    These comments show why there is so little interest in Climate Change. Too many people believe it's a myth. Media are at fault in this case.. So much data comes from NASA and NOAA that demonstrates climate change. So much has pointed directly to human related causes. And yet this information is not commonly disseminated by the major news media.

    It just isn't all that attractive so to do.

    Thus, we have comments coming from lack of information.

    Global Warming is real. It is human-caused. It can be mitigated, although some of the results may be irreversible, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

    We need an informed public; then we ought to be able to bring about a solution.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 19 weeks ago

    Oh my! The humanity! The glaciers are melting, the glaciers are melting!
    Uh...nuthin we can do. The only thing we can do is plug all the vents and fumaroles in Yellowstone, as well as Redoubt, Kilauea, ...well you get the picture.
    Get a life, environmentalists!