Recent comments

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    We cancelled our plans after the earthquake reports.

  • "A Wildlife Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions"   5 years 20 weeks ago

    This is very scary! I don't care if they are not cute and cuddly to most people. the fact that they are dying and scientists don't know exactly what it is or how we can stop it is not a comforting thought !I pray that they find out soon and save them!

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    I live in Montana, love the outdoors and winter, and rarely go to Yellowstone. Plain and simple it's the snowmobiles. Sure they're fun and a source of revenue, but much like smoking in bars, the people that aren't into the smell and the noise are going to stay away. I'm more inclined to go snowshoeing or xc skiing, and the last thing I want to see is a line of stinky zoom zoomers.

  • Remains of Professor Who Went Missing in Canyonlands National Park Found in Needles District   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Ed: This comment was deleted out of respect for the relatives and friends of the suicide victim.

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    What's interesting to me is that vehicular traffic was reported up for most of the winter until this last report; I wonder if that's a strong sign of the economy's bite. Or, perhaps, it meant I visited Yellowstone (via an entrance - I skied into the park a few other times) less during the last period! LOL

    On Cody, the right wing newspaper in Cody has a different take on the issue, not surprisingly - see http://codyenterprise.com/articles/2009/04/02/opinion/doc49d3d308362fd175489924.txt - "East gate numbers will rebound in time"

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

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    I was there in mid-March and greatly enjoyed it. Regardless of the season, it is a fantastic place for any nature lover to visit.

    On a previously sore spot, todays' Billings Gazette has a story about this topic. They also state that it cost the NPS $325,000.00 to keep the Cody route open this winter and ONLY 97 snowmobiles entered the park through that route ! Hate to open old wounds but that is an extremely ridiculous amount of wasted money that could be put to better use in Yellowstone in my opinion.

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    My wife & I visited Yellowstone in February. We traveled with a photography group sponsored through the Yellowstone Association and traveled by snow coach. It was an enthralling experience and I can recommend a visit to all photographers!

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Good note, Anon. Totally forgot about that...in some part because earthquake swarms aren't THAT uncommon in the park, in part because, well, because I forgot;-) But it is interesting that Xanterra's rep mentioned that to you...

  • Is Winter in Yellowstone National Park Losing Its Allure?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    What? No mention that the earthquake cluster in December / January was causing people to cancel their vacation plans. (This according to the Xanterra rep that took my reservation.)

    I LOVED my week in Yellowstone this February. It felt like we were the only people in this vast wilderness. While snowmobiling with our guide and the three other people we rarely saw anyone else (except at the bathrooms and warming huts.)

  • Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Thanks for the corroborating info, Perry, and especially for the details about the ranger-led hikes on the battle anniversary. I'd dearly love to go along for one of those! Dividing into two groups like that is inspired. I can see that it gives the experience a whole new and exciting meaning for the participants.

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Tag on Katmai, Gates of the Arctic and Bryce.

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    I agree with Yellowstone & Rocky Mountain. I would have also included my all time favorite park, Arches in UT. I love that place. I know there aren't many trees but the rock formations are awe inspiring.

  • Have You Ever Sneaked Into Shiloh National Military Park?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Bob,

    Nice article about Shiloh, and interesting 'technical' discussion about the start of the battle.

    Just as an FYI, each year for the past several years, the park has held a series of ranger-led hikes around the park on the anniversary of the battle. The subjects covered by the hikes change each year, with the exception of the first hike, which is always the same - the Dawn Patrol hike, which re-creates the reconnaissance patrol sent out by Colonel Peabody that triggered the start of the battle.

    This hike begins at 5:00 a.m. at the park visitors center, and you are out in the park itself by about 5:30. Everyone voluntarily divides into two groups before heading out. One group re-traces the patrol itself from Peabody's monument out to Fraley Field, while the other group re-creates the Confederate picket post that encountered them.

    I've taken part in this hike the past two years, both times joining the "Union patrol." Both times, it was still just about pitch dark when we stepped off from near Peabody's monument, but by the time we arrived at Fraley Field it was getting light enough to see, albeit still rather dimly. Last year in fact, there was a thick fog hanging in the air that morning, that severely limited visibility.

    The first year I went, when we entered Fraley Field shortly before 6:00 a.m., we could just barely make out the "enemy skirmish line" maybe 50 yards away. Last year, in the fog, we couldn't see them until we were almost literally right on top of them.

    In any case, the rangers told us that they estimate that 5:55 a.m. on the anniversary best approximates the 1862 lighting conditions in Fraley Field at 4:55 a.m. on the first morning of the battle. That would indicate to me that it was starting to get light, but nowhere near well enough to make out more than just shadowy shapes off in the distance.

    The accounts that I've read about the battle seem to indicate that while it was still quite difficult to see when the patrol entered Fraley Field, it was getting light enough to barely make out the opposing lines. I've guessed it wasn't too different from our experience out there in 2007. Mostly though, I think the two sides mainly fired at each other based on the muzzle flashes, at least for a little while.

    Anyway, again, nice article, and interesting discussion.

    Perry

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Among the "park" parks: Congaree, Theodore Roosevelt, Acadia, Olympic, Big Bend, Shenandoah, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, Badlands, Everglades

    -Kirby.....Lansing, MI

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    In no particular order:
    Yosemite, North Cascades, Olympic, Denali, Canyonlands, Rocky Mountain, Bandelier, Yellowstone, Sequoia Kings Canyon,
    Wrangell - St Elias.

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

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    For what it's worth, here is my top ten from a day hiking and photography perspective (in order of preference) Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Grand Teton, Zion, Smokies, Rainer, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Death Valley, Olympics.

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    This video was extremely too short. My family and I have camped every change of season in Yosemite for decades. We still can't get enough. Please show more of God's great outdoor cathedrals.

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Finally, Rocky Mountain NP gets some love! It's about time!

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Only one park in the East?? I agree with Deborah - where are the Smokies? And what about the Blue Ridge Parkway? And Shenandoah?

  • Good Oysters and Bad Oysters   5 years 20 weeks ago

    I know - a little bit old, but I found this in a search for something else.

    Tomales Bay is only partially under the control of Point Reyes NS. The southern end along Point Reyes is private land around the towns of Inverness and Inverness Park. A good section of it is Tomales Bay State Park. The entire eastern end is not NPS save a couple of short stretches that are less than 1 mile and part of Golden Gate NRA. The shellfish farmed and harvested there are not the native Olympia oyster anyways. They're Pacifics, Atlantics, Kumamotos, and manila clams. In any case the State of California holds all fishing rights to Drakes Estero and Tomales Bay, and Drake's Bay Oyster Farm has a state shellfish permit to use the area that currently expires in 2029. They're also trying to reintroduce Olympias back into Drakes Estero.

    The note that Congress designated Drakes Estero to be a wilderness area by 2012 is patently false. I've read the 1976 act (it's very short) that designated the current wilderness and potential wilderness areas, and it makes zero mention of any dates. It's only about 1 page long and the only years mentioned are 1976 and 1962 (for the act designating Point Reyes NS).

    http://www.nps.gov/pore/parkmgmt/upload/lawsandpolicies_publiclaw94_544.pdf

    Here's an alternate take:

    http://www.ptreyeslight.com/cgi/opinion_archives.pl?record=10

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    What about Great Smoky Mountain? It IS the most visited!!

  • Spring Plowing Operations Under Way in Glacier National Park   5 years 20 weeks ago

    So incredibly glad that the Two Medicine road is being plowed early...East Glacier backcountry skiiers would like to send a big THANK YOU to the park admin.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Not only that, but where is Mt. Rainier National Park? The beauty of Federation Forest and Spray Park should put it on that list!

  • Showdown at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park   5 years 20 weeks ago

    Beamis suggests:

    "My constructive suggestion, as I've made many times before, is to take the parks out of the purview of the U.S. federal government and put them into the hands of non-profit private trusts. Take the politics and careerism out of vital land management decision making."

    If the parks are in the hands of non-profit private trusts, will that take "politics and careerism" out of decision making?

    I work for a non-profit. Careerism is rampant here. It is at every non-profit organization, at every for-profit organization, and at every governmental organization I've ever known. I am not criticizing my organization or any other organization ... I'm simply pointing out the facts.

    Decisions at my organization are influenced by politics. They're influenced by money, by fads, by personalities, by the appearance of the person making the suggestion. (Yes! Suggestions made by beautiful young women are more likely to be adopted than suggestions made by me. Suggestions made by wealthy donors are more likely to be adopted than suggestions made by me. Does this astound anyone?)

    But in my organization, there is no Inspector General to go to. Employees who complain are not reassigned, they are fired.

    While decisions made by the government are influenced by the desires of the wealthy, decisions made by non-profits are dominated by the desires of the wealthy.

    I agree with Bemis that the NPS is imperfect. But his suggested remedy will magnify -- not rectify -- those imperfections.

  • Top 10 National Parks: Do You See Your Favorites in This Short Video?   5 years 20 weeks ago

    I agree that Crater Lake should be on the list!