Recent comments

  • True Tales From the National Parks: Get Me Off Devils Tower!   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Maybe it's just too simple an idea, but if they were able to drop food and blankets, why wouldn't they also be able to drop another rope like his original plan?

  • National Park Service Director Jarvis Reminds Employees To Be Ethical in All They Do   5 years 28 weeks ago

    tahoma you, and T.S. Eliot, nailed it!

  • True Tales From the National Parks: Get Me Off Devils Tower!   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Actually, rock climbing is fairly big at Devils Tower. It, too, is on my to-do list...

  • National Park Service Director Jarvis Reminds Employees To Be Ethical in All They Do   5 years 28 weeks ago

    haunted...

    You have to state your expectations. It is why there are codes of conduct, oaths, expressed standards. It may sound hokey, but affirming the standards is what leadership does. The other side of it is for leadership to lead - to visibly live to those high standards.

  • True Tales From the National Parks: Get Me Off Devils Tower!   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I had no idea that climbing Devil's Tower was a rock climbing expedition. That means they must have flown everything to the top by helicopter to film "Close Encounter of the 3rd kind".

  • National Park Service Director Jarvis Reminds Employees To Be Ethical in All They Do   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow

    T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

  • National Park Service Director Jarvis Reminds Employees To Be Ethical in All They Do   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Why do I find this more creepy than comforting?

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The laws should be changed. National parks should be places of preservation not killing fields, it defeats the whole purpose
    of having a preserve in the first place. I have been Katmai twice and it is true what they say about the Bears being very peaceful
    and not bothered by the presence of people. Unlike the writer of this report though I think there should be a total ban on hunting in
    preserves not just a shorter season. Bears are very intuitive and inteligent Animals. From spending time with Bears myself I realized how little people actually understand about Bear behaviour etc, and how they really are the most misunderstood Animal I know.

  • Attendance Shortfalls at Steamtown National Historic Site Prompt Calls for Privatization   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Don't you realize that tourism brings cash? One of the best things for an economy is tourism! If Strasburg can do it succesfully, why not steamtown? Sure the Strasburg Railroad is nowhere near the milage that is covered on Steamtown's excursions, but yet they have multiple operating steam locomotives that they run regularly (as opposed to the whopping two that steamtown has) and have the resources to maintain them, unlike Steamtown! Straburg is just a farm town! If you can get people to speck on the map that is Strasburg (no offense to any of the residents) you can get people to come to Scranton! The difference between Steamtown and Strasburg is that Strasburg actually has the forsight to take care of their equipment! Strasburg is a perfect example of a shortline steam railroad. Where's our example of a big steam mainline railroad? Steamtown is not a junkyard, but an opportunity! I swear to God if I had the means, I'd buy that "rust belt" and show you a thing or two about how a main line steam railroad can attract visitors! Look at the electric city trolly museum! Look at the Neveda Northern! All privately owned and SUCCESFUL! The only problem Steamtown has is the government! There was a movie quote, what was it now..."If you build it, they will come."

  • How Many Wolves Are Enough In Washington State?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    There was a well-attended WA wolf plan meeting Nov. 5th on the Olympic Penisula:
    http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20091106/NEWS/311069994

  • Reader Participation Survey: What Was Your Most Fascinating National Park Interpretive Program?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I'll bet that was Darrell Collins. He is a man who has spent his entire NPS life working at Kitty Hawk as NPS historian. He is recognized as one of the top authorities on the lives of the Wright Brothers. He even grew up nearby.

    I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the great EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh last summer and had the great privilege of hearing Mr. Collins tell all who stopped to listen the story of the first flights. I just happened to be walking through the EAA Museum when I heard his voice and instantly recognized it as the same one I had heard many years ago when I made my own pilot's pilgrimage to the place where it all happened. Yes, listening to him did indeed bring chills down the spine of this old ranger and pilot. He held a huge crowd of busy AirVenture visitors spellbound -- including a large number of other NPS personnel who were on duty at the gathering.

    EAA = Experimental Aircraft Association and AirVenture is the biggest air show in the world.

  • Reader Participation Survey: What Was Your Most Fascinating National Park Interpretive Program?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I too, am a former Norris ranger and I too, attended one of seasonal ranger Daniel Perry's evening programs which I think was called something like, "Fiddling in Yellowstone." It was great. In fact I wrote the following in a letter to Superintendent Lewis: "Daniel Perry's evening program was absoultely outstanding. It was certainly one of the very best I've ever enjoyed in any park. His humor, interaction with visitors and creative use of music held everyone in the group spellbound. And while they were laughing and enjoying being entertained, they were learning a bit of Yellowstone's history and picking up some excellent concepts to help preserve our parks. Daniel even faced the challenge of having to enforce a dog regulation at the start of his program, but he did it with such finesse and humor that he gained the complete cooperation of the pet's owner -- who was actually laughing as he led the dog back to his campsite."

    Norris seemed to be gifted with gifted seasonal interpreters and I also enjoyed very much my contacts with Ranger Sue Florin. In the same letter I wrote about her: "Sue Florin's walk through the geyser basin was also one of the best I've ever seen. Again, she used humor, a lively personality and lots of interaction with visitors to keep everyone attentive, interested and involved while at the same time imparting all kinds of information about the basin and its features and the importance of conserving our parks and natural heritage. I noticed that no one in the group drifted away -- and that's an unusual tribute to the interest level produced by the ranger leading the way."

    Thanks for reminding me of a great stay at Norris, Rick.

  • Wolves, Moose, and Nutrient Flows at Isle Royale National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Thank you!

  • How Many Wolves Are Enough In Washington State?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I would like to see the population recover to a point where "management" is unnecessary. Any aspect of the natural world that requires "management" means that it is not doing well and won't sustain itself in the long run.

  • Is There a First State National Historical Park in Delaware’s Future?   5 years 28 weeks ago


    The Swedish settlement story is untold, and pretty interesting.

    The settlement period came at a point of major Swedish political and military power. It is not a stretch to see it as the continuation of Viking power. There is no doubt that during the 17th Century/ colonial period Sweden had a world-historical impact on protecting the Protestant European powers against Austria, something that also may have a large affect today.

    However, Sweden backed away from projecting military power. And its colonies were supplanted by an extremely aggressive miltary and maritime power: England/GB. I wonder if we give more creedence to miltary significance when we 'rate' the impact of a country?

    Today, of course, the United States has a large population with Swedish ancestry, not to mention Lutherans whose freedom of religion had been protected by Sweden.

    But Bob is on to something with his critique of this legislation. My guess is no one inside the NPS is helping them think this through. The best proposals for a national parks begin with a clear and simple STORY, not just a list of features.

    This reminds me of a story. Years ago I remember the critique by this guy of one of the park proposals for Alaska. He compared the one, with SEVEN "nationally significant" features, and the other, whose significance could be stated in one simple phrase. "See?" he said. "The strongest national parks here are the ones with the simple justifications. Your strength is inversely proportional to your list of features!"

  • Search Expands for Missing Hiker On Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    There are also valuable services out there that help anyone who heads out hiking (or anything) alone. One I have found is called SafeCheckIn.com where you can check out with details of your hike and when you plan on coming back. If you do not check in, SafeCheckIn will notify your emergency contacts and/ or the search and rescue.
    While many of us have people who would notice our overdue status, there are many who have no close friends or family to tell where they are going. The service is private and can a be a great back up to GPS and cell phones...batteries do die and what happens if you cannot use your high tech device in an emergency?

  • How Many Wolves Are Enough In Washington State?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Recently, Wildlife and Fish and Game held a meeting in Colville Washington to try and develop a plan to manage 2 tiny packs, 100s of miles apart from each other, and invited the local people to work with them in Colville, WA.
    Their thanks for this was to be insulted by an angry mob of ignorant, name calling, threatening so called "hunters", "ranchers" and other financially biased opponets. (these are not real hunters or sportsman, they are beer swilling drunks on ATVs, I have seen them shoot from the highways in the area) One man, Mr. McIrvin, has a nickel and dime cattle outfit, and although he has never seen a wolf in his life, used the so called evidence of 1 calf kill (likely already dead and had been eaten on a little bit by either a large dog, coyote or as Mr. McIrvin is hot to convince everyone: a wolf. Yep. There were ONE SET of tracks around the corpse. Because the feet were large, how convenient to play up the Big, Bad Wolf fear and pocket some cash from our generous government! I lived in the southwest and grew up in ranch country, and no REAL ranchers I ever knew in Colorado, Montana or New Mexico acted this hostile and childish toward wolves. In fact a cowboy I knew in his 80s, still working, rather admired them and knew as a rule they avoid people. This Mr. McIrvin from Laurier, WA, threatened everyone at Fish and Wildlife and all of us whom realise the Earth is not only designed for US alone, but we must learn to co-exist with the natural world and all the beautiful animals and species that make up our web of life. Mr. McIrvin said he hoped the wolves would tear up the people whom want them to be allowed life, and attack and kill their kids and grandkids! He also stated that anyone who did not agree with him was stupid. The article is in the "Local Stories" tab on the left column of The statesmanexaminer.com colville washington Nov 4 edition. Please all those who can, enlighten the paper by their deadline of Friday the 6th in your letters, to speak for the wolves, whom the Statesman Examiner, has clearly decided they are against by promoting and giving headlines to ignorant, selfish and rude people by splashing their nasty anti-wolf statements on the Front Page as if it were TRUE!

  • Reader Participation Survey: What Was Your Most Fascinating National Park Interpretive Program?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    There were binoculars present, but I don't recall any telescopes that evening at Glacier Point. However, Rose did invite the crowd to stay after the program and watch the International Space Station pass overhead at about 8:00 PM. We stayed. The station came somewhat out of the northwest, passed through the "pan" of the Big Dipper, and raced across the sky---visible for about 3 minutes, traveling at about 17,400 miles per hour. It was brilliant in the sky, reflecting the sun's light. It faded as it moved east because of the changing angle of sunlight reflection. I was able to follow it with my binoculars for a longer period of time than those watching with the naked eye. I heard people saying "It's gone," but it stilled glowed red through the binoculars, fading away to a dull pinpoint of brown light bouncing around in the lenses until it was gone. I once saw the space station and one of the space shuttles traveling together across the sky here in Denver. It was not nearly so bright or spectacular as when I saw it in Yosemite. The clear night sky at Glacier Point made a world of difference.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    If it's supposed to be "peaceful" then it's probably too late. It's right off the road and there are numerous businesses operating there. If you want something that really ruins the experience for me, try a group of Harley riders going down the road or getting off in a parking lot.

    There are already pay phones in the area, but most people are more familiar with their cell phones. Again - I had someone to meet at Grant Grove once, and not having cell phone service made it difficult if something were to go wrong.

  • Wolves, Moose, and Nutrient Flows at Isle Royale National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago
  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    What a beautiful place there. I have never been in Kings Canyon but I hope that one day I will go there. I think that this place should be peaceful and any mobile phones or other things should not disturb the people there. People go there to relax from their work so I think that it is a bad idea. But it is only my opinion. Thanks a lot for the interesting post and i will be waiting for other great ones from you.

    Regards,

    Greg Peterson

  • Traveler's Gear Box: A Tent For Every Occasion   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Kurt, thanks for the tent information. Since I'm a long time REI member, your tent choice appears to fit well for my next one man tent. I like the low weight compactness. Perfect!

  • Creature Feature: Rescuing the Island Fox is a Complicated Long-Term Project   5 years 28 weeks ago

    come on people , theses foxes are adorrable we need to help save themm :) !!!!!

  • Tidewater Goby Translocation: A Little Fish Gets a Big Boost   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Go gobys!

  • Traveler's Gear Box: A Tent For Every Occasion   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Well, there are lots of tents I haven't tried, but I must admit I like REI's Quarter Dome UL for solo jaunts. It's light -- under 4 pounds -- stands up to storms, and is durable. And the pricing was right; I think it was under $175 when I bought it a few years back. While it's listed as a 2-person tent, I'm 6-foot and can't imagine comfortably sharing the tent with anyone.

    If time and money weren't issues, I'd like to test a half-dozen or so other tents in each category -- solo, three-season, and four-season.