Recent comments

  • Is This the Most Unique Job in the National Park Service?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Sandy Kogel held this job for many years. She is an amazingly accomplished outdoors person and dog musher. The person who is qualified and lucky enough to get this job will have big snowshoes to fill.

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Look, Elk Lover before Europeans arrived in the new world there were thousands of elk and thousands of wolves. Now, obviously humans have reduced the populations of both species, but wolves have been killing elk for thousands of years. Plus, if you love elk so much why aren't you opposed to legal human sport hunting of elk? Another thing is that if you were a real conservationist you would let mother nature do her own thing like she has been for millions of years. I am also opposed to the National Park Service killing off animals. The purpose of the National Parks are to showcase nature's beauty, not destroy it. If there going to allow hunting why not call Grand Teton National Park, Grand Teton Big Game Hunting Park. I will retire now that i've put in my two cents.

  • Is This the Most Unique Job in the National Park Service?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    "they don’t run out of gas or have mechanical parts that freeze up,"

    Nice to know someone in the HR department has a sense of humor...

  • Is This the Most Unique Job in the National Park Service?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Well...I like like to travel and...and...that's about it. Somehow, at 60 with thyroid disease and arthritis, I don't think they'll put me at the top of the list. Especially since I spent five years in North Idaho and like to froze to death.

  • The Pacific Northwest Trail Will Establish Important Linkages   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Blessings!! Yeah.. pollyanna attitude here..... I am so open to a usage fee that will help maintain the trail... although I believe that people who hike the trail are living their passion thus able to take weeks off and not be affected ecomonically... and what about hiking the trail in portions!! whoo hoo.. that is what I am going to do when I am unable to hike the whole trail....

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

    I thought the same, ypw. Or even more simple and possibly wrong...if the Navy offered used of a helicopter, why wasn't he immediately offered an evacuation that way?

    I spent the summer working at a maritime museum here on Lake Superior, and one of the tidbits I picked up was that the first helo rescue on the Lakes wasn't till the early 50's, so perhaps their helicopter wasn't the same as helicopters today, and those evacuations weren't possible.

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

    Ethics and Openness

    In Jon Jarvis’s recent memorandum to all National Park Service employees, he writes that the rules for ethical behavior as a government employee can be complex. They are; and they can be complex, confusing, and convoluted.

    Perhaps our lives would be easier if we read the rules, and then followed these three basic suggestions:

    1-Practice the “Golden Rule” ----Treat others like you would like to be treated.

    2-Never forget ...that what we say and what we do matters---it’s important, it makes a difference, and it affects people. What we say and what we do help define who we are, and it affects those who hear us and those who see what we are doing, and it makes a difference in how we experience life and in how others experience life. And what we say and what we do cannot be taken back; there are no “do-overs.” What we say and what we leave impressions on people, create memories, affect attitudes and influence behavior.

    3-Good ethics often can be summarized by a simple rule-of-thumb: don’t do anything, or say anything, or make a decision that would embarrass you if it was printed and publicized on the front page of the New York Times. This is especially important when acting on behalf of, or speaking to, or making decisions for groups or on behalf of groups, or when employed in a position of public trust. It’s especially important for people who have fiduciary responsibilities like officers and managers of pubic companies, government agencies and bureaucracies, and charitable eleemosynary organizations in which others have invested their hopes and dreams. And it means that when we make decisions which affect other people and organizational operations, when we spend time and money which isn’t ours, and when we work for public companies and governmental agencies, we should be willing to have our budgets, our decision, and our activities be open and transparent to public scrutiny and oversight.

    Simply stated, basic ethical behavior doesn’t have to be complicated. The Department of the Interior has given us some additional basic rules and regulations to read and follow, and we’ve been offered the help of some authorized ethics officers. But basic ethics haven’t changed: be fair in how you treat people, be deliberate in what you say and do, and don’t do anything or make decisions which would embarrass you if it was made public.

    The National Park Service is special; it’s not just any government agency or bureaucracy; it’s loved because it’s “America’s Best Idea.” And people don’t just visit parks; they have special experiences in them, they have “the best days of their lives” in them, they go to them for very special occasions like honeymoons, anniversaries, family reunions, and “once-in-a-lifetime” family vacations. In short, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the dreams, the memories, and the impressions of millions of people every year. And the people who work for it, work for it not because it’s just another safe, virtually tenured government job, but because it’s the National Park, it’s a place where hopes and dreams are being lived and fulfilled, and it’s a place where people can be proud of being part of “America’s Best Idea.”

    Consequently, everyone working for the National Park Service has a greater responsibility to be fair, to be ethical, and to be careful in everything we do. And everyone has to be willing to be accountable, and as President Obama has written, “accountability requires transparency.”

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

    I wonder what was the 1941 equivalent of today's "D'oh!"?

  • History Abounds in the Waters Surrounding Isle Royale National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    November 10 - Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service
    . A memorial service for the men lost on the Edmund Fitzgerald will be held on November 10 at Dr. Henri Belanger Park in River Rouge, Mi. The service will be held near the Mariners Memorial Lighthouse beginning at 6:00 p.m. The tug boat will be on hand to take out a wreath to be placed on the river. The service will feature a plaque presentation, bell ringing, lantern lighting, and refreshments will be served. For more information call Roscoe Clark at 810-519-2148 or Dolores Swekel 313-842-7822.

    The service will be at River Rouge Michigan on the Detroit River next to where the ship was built at the slips and on the other side is where Zug Island is located. MAP

    A special Edmund Fitzgerald open house
    will be open to the pubic from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the River Rouge Historical Museum

    River Rouge Historical Museum
    10750 W. Jefferson Ave.
    River Rouge, Michigan 48218
    (Formerly Gallagher Funeral Home)

  • 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


    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:

  • 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 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?