Recent comments

  • Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Cross at Mojave National Preserve   5 years 24 weeks ago

    And there are all those depictions of Madame Pele at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

  • What Bird is This?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Doc if you look close at the "long legs" you see its just the reflection off the water. The midpoint of the legs in the photo are were they go into the surface of the water; or maybe its a two pairs of Siamese Ducks connected at the ankles. Heheheh. As to the status of there Nationality I think I see a visa, so they might be just legal tourist ducks.

    Just busting your balls, not trying to out sharp shoot a Jar Head Doc but (I guess I am) that's what I do when I'm not overseas in the sand box working together with them. My Family is pretty well diversified with Army, Navy, and Marines. I being Army, love to mix it up with the Marines with good natured rivalry and ball busting, the Navy are guys are usually way to easy to mess with. -MIKE

    Local 7.62
    Pipe Hitters Union
    HOOAH

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Cookie nailed it. But, for the bonus round, where in Virgin Islands National Park did I take this shot?

    The answer comes tomorrow....

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Deborah,

    Your comment, "One of the few downsides to allowing hunting is that hunters take strong, healthy animals, where natural predators take the weak, sick, and old." is not true.
    1) For Colorado elk hunter harvest in 2008; 21,649 Bull elk, 23,622 Cow/Calf, so MORE cow/calves than bulls. Also, with over 223,000 hunters, that is only a 20% success rate.
    2) Predators are opportunistic and will take any animal, including fully mature bulls. Scientific studies show that cows/calves are the primary targets of wolves, which one could argue are weaker than bulls. The weak, sick and old makes for a good story, but is not consistent with the way things happen in the wild.

    I agree with you on the sound issue, hence my belief that any hunts happen mid-week in the winter, althoguh I am more for rifle usage on these hunts. I personally hunt with bow-n-arrow for elk, as I tend to hunt with my kids and feel a lot safer for us all during those seasons.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    If the hunt were supervised by park service employees to make sure the hunt mimicked the science of natural predator-prey killing of the sick or injured then most people would probably support it. That's one of the reasons the NPS has hired people in the past or used it's own employees was that they would cull the herds scientifically.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Timpanogos Cave National Monument has fossil coral. Looks like fossil coral to me.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Brain Coral Virgin Islands National Park

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Looking for Some Good Artists   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Nice way to jump start your sagging career as an artist if you get selected. A beautiful creative niche to fold into and let your creative spirits flow. A very worthy prize!

  • Fall and Winter Are Prime Seasons for Camping in These Parks   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Plus the fact that you really can get a lot of package on your RV camping deals during this season.

    Warm regards,
    Andrei
    RV Resort Parks

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I believe allowing hunting is the most cost efficient way for any land manager to manage wildlife when the natural predator-prey balance is insufficient to the task. Additionally, all federally managed lands, including NPS, belong to the citizens of this country; if our wildlife is to be hunted, we the people should be given the opportunity to participate in the hunting. Hunter ethics aside, I wouldn't mind hunting being restricted to archery simply for the noise factor. I've been out hiking and backpacking in both seasons, and definitely enjoy the peace and quiet of archery season. One of the few downsides to allowing hunting is that hunters take strong, healthy animals, where natural predators take the weak, sick, and old.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    They have already used hunting in Rocky Mountain NP, using "certified" sharpshooters, hunting at night, with subsonic loads. Although this is a reasonable approach, it is costly to the taxpayer, when they could have used members of the hunting community to generate revenue for the park and Division of Wildlife. Holding a controlled hunt on a Tues/Wed in the Jan/Feb timeframe in certain areas would have very limited visitor impact. I tent camp in the park during the winter, and more often than not, my daughter and I are the only ones in the only open campground (Moraine Park), and that is on a weekend. Seeing elk in the town of Estes, on the golf course, makes me sick to my stomach, as this is so far from a wild animal experience. No doubt herd reduction is in order.

    As a hunter, I would NOT be interested in this type of hunt, as I enjoy being a lot further from civilization, but it could be a good approach for a youth-oriented hunt. However, in NO WAY should there be any hunting allowed during the fall, especially during the rut. The herds get harassed enough by visitors trying to get closer for a better photo.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Unfortunately, neither rifle nor bow dictates a hunters ethics. Good training and sound moral judgements dictates a hunters ethics. Hunts in national parks are well-controlled. I know, I have participated in several in Grand Teton National Park. Regulations are in place, law-enforcement officers are omni-present, and hunts are limiting. Elk in this area have a limited area to go to due to development and are fed in the winter. Without humanely decreasing the number of elk going into the elk refuge in Jackson, many elk would starve to death.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I'd never thought of that one, Anonymous. But, truthfully, Judy is closer...but only half right.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    extreme close-up, posterior shot of a Lynx. Rocky Mtn. National Park.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I think archery hunts would be ok in the national parks, after all the native americans were hunting animals with bows and arrows long before the whites arrived. Maybe instead of the letting archery hunters in during the September "rut" period, give the hunters access in October/November when the non-hunting tourists are not there. Also, it's been my experience that most archery hunters will have much more respect for the land and hunting ethics.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    My guess is: Brain coral. Biscayne National Park

  • Bikes in the Parks: A Look At What's Up at Grand Teton and Big Bend National Parks   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Thanks for the report on Grand Teton use; it's good to see that serious bikers have the option to continue using the road whereas families and others just out enjoying it can use the pathway. That's a nice mix and allows for greater safety for everyone. I always felt safe biking on the road in Grand Teton; it's good that cyclists going at higher speeds can avoid the hazards of the pathway (and those on the pathway avoid them). When I lived in DC, I was often on the many bike paths in Northern Virginia (some in Park Service areas), and it could grow tedious always yelling out, "On your left!", and especially worrisome when pedestrians got confused and would suddenly move to the left! All speeds were on those crowded pathways, and they weren't all paved equally (some were especially bumpy).

    The Teton pathways, as I understand it, will eventually extend all the way to the town of Jackson. That can be an awfully nice ride up to Jenny Lake. Again, it's good all around so long as they give that out for more serious road cyclists to stay on the road.

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

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Make a happy hunter...you give him an easy access for a soft kill. Remember a happy hunter enjoys a huge gut pile. Ask former Governor Palin! Easy pickings doesn't offer a true wilderness experience, or a decent challenge in sport hunting.

  • Bikes in the Parks: A Look At What's Up at Grand Teton and Big Bend National Parks   5 years 24 weeks ago

    People share trails in many places without much problem. Why is it so hard at Big Bend? Apparently, people are able to share the other 1,000 miles plus of trails open nearby just fine. Interesting. :)

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area was established for recreational use. It is not a Park and it will never be the wildlife sanctuary you want it to be. Read the facts. do not take the opinion of me or anyone else. I love that beach and driving on it with my family is what I plan to do for many many more years to come. Even if I have to buy my own judge like the competition did.

    [Ed: This comment was edited.]

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 24 weeks ago

    In response to your question re: coming across wolf kills not eaten on the spot, I have. I have monitored wolf kill sites at a number of locations along the upper drainages of the Koyukuk River in north central Alaska. In virtually all cases, wolves returned to the sites to continue feeding. Other scavengers and predators (birds, rodents, wolverine, foxes, bears, etc.) would also feed off wolf kills. Natural predators play an important role in maintaining healthy wildlife habitat and populations. I am not a romantic when it comes to wolves. I have no problem with well managed hunting and trapping, although I am opposed to aerial killing and use of toxins. I find it ironic that some "sport hunters" want to reduce or eliminate natural predators so that it will be easier for them to find and kill prey species. That seems to indicate a greater desire to kill rather than to hunt - the very trait they ascribe to natural predators.

  • Bikes in the Parks: A Look At What's Up at Grand Teton and Big Bend National Parks   5 years 24 weeks ago

    It is brand new construction in undisturbed terrain for the loop around Lone Mountain.

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Jim--

    The scientific study of evolutionary responses to human "harvesting" is both much older and much broader. However, most of the best data are from fisheries, where size-dependent harvesting is common and large sample sizes are available.

    The particular PNAS paper you wrote about in your previous post bears this out: of the 475 datasets included in their meta-analysis, there were 1 each on a marine snail, tegula, and limpet, 1 study with 24 datasets on ginseng, 1 on snow lotus in China, and 1 study with weight and horn length for male bighorn sheep (showing selective response of decreasing horn length and lower weight for a given age). The rest were all fish.

    Ric Charnov's 1981 The theory of sex allocation used data from decades of harvesting of pandalid shrimp in the North Atlantic. Nets catch the larger shrimp and let the smaller ones escape. Those shrimp first mature as males, then switch to female as they get larger. Harvesting the larger females skewed the sex ratio, and over 30 years the shrimp evolved to switch from male to female an average of 1.5 molts earlier.

    Some of the logic behind marine protected areas (no take areas) for sustainable harvest of fish has to do with preventing the selective pressure on slower growth and earlier maturity at a smaller size under size & take limits. Other work is estimating the selective pressure against dispersal (low dispersal reduces the chance of moving out of the protected area into the harvested areas).

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Based on 5 years experience of living and working in Yellowstone, I would consider cows and calves to be weaker. Considering the limited area available for grazing, *some* sort of predation is necessary to prevent diseased populations and mass die-offs. Why not wolves? Any male elk that is strong enough to not eat all fall while competing with his fellow bulls to build or protect his harem and then survive the winter too is probably tough enough to drive off wolves. Given that, then the wolves remaining elk prey are the cows and calves. If you have a problem with that, then you have a fundamental problem with nature.

    About those five elk "laid to waste", how did they die and how did you determine that? How many times did you return over the rest of the winter to verify that the carcasses were not eaten by anything and were, therefore, "wasted"? Given that this presumably was in winter or early spring (you were snowmobiling after all), the carcasses would keep for a long time and be available for various opportunistic carnivores and omnivores such as bears, coyotes, foxes, ravens, bugs and bacteria. Such is the circle of life in nature. Given the effort and risk involved, I personally would doubt that wolves killed all five at the same time and place, even if all five were sick and dieing already. Can you provide evidence otherwise? This is not characteristic of pack hunters of any species I am aware of. It *is* characteristic of greedy individual "hunters" such as the poacher you bagged - Goodonya for that!

    Reading your various posts here suggests to me that you mainly dislike the competition for game and view "waste" of game animals as any use the doesn't have humans as the prime beneficiary. If that is the case, you are welcome to your opinion but I would consider it a greedy and selfish one.

  • Bikes in the Parks: A Look At What's Up at Grand Teton and Big Bend National Parks   5 years 24 weeks ago

    There's a substantial difference between the path at Grand Teton and that proposed at Big Bend. The path at GRTE is paved (hence inline skating), so it's a safe alternative to riding on the heavily traveled road it parallels. Its not particularly interesting or exciting for mountain biking, and riders touring on road bikes covering long distances at much higher speed than the walkers and skaters (both of whom can take erratic zags at the wrong time) may find riding with the motorized traffic on the main road a safer option.

    Conversely, my understanding of the proposed Big Bend trail is that it is an unpaved, more or less single track trail that would be much more interesting for mountain biking, impassible for road bikes and skating, but open to hiking and possibly horseback riding. The location has some nice views and interesting plants, but not nearly the wildlife and potential wildlife conflicts as something at the top of the Chisos.

    At the risk of shocking the advocates of ride anywhere and everywhere reading this site, I'd like to see the funding issues resolved and see the mountain bike trail built at Big Bend. I'd even try to engineer the trail so that a second roughly parallel trail could be added later if there is a need to separate mountain bikers from hikers, and so that a second loop could be added further out from Panther Junction to allow longer rides, even if the extended loop has to parallel US385 much of the way. There may be plenty of other bike trails in the vicinity, but there aren't views like that for miles. It should be possible to locate and engineer the trail so that it requires minimal maintenance even with substantial riding use.