Recent comments

  • Search Under Way for Missing Hiker on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Good lord and still hiking at that age...I marvel at this mans spirit to seize the day in the mountains. Sounds to me Mr. Burnette is a tough old bird. I'm sure he will be found safe and sound.

  • Tamarisk Beetles Found in Grand Canyon National Park. "Oh, My" or "Oh, Me"?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    What the ****?

    "The dense stands of the shrubby trees provide shade, attractive flowers and even some fall color in the desert."

    Tamarisks don’t provide shade unless you're a dog, like mine who like to lay under them while we're in the desert.

    Tamarisk doesn’t have "attractive" flowers, unlike dandelions, which at least you can make a wish with!

    If you're going into the desert south-west for fall colors and you're depending on tamarisk to provide it-- I'm not sure there is much help for you! LOL.

    Salt cedar is a big old weed. Three cheers for the beetle invasion. My advice, stock up on raid when they’re done, they'll be coming after us.

    -rich
    San Diego, CA

  • Yellowstone National Park's Interior Roads Close For Winter on Monday   5 years 29 weeks ago

    It used to be Yellowstone and most other parks could virtually go to sleep in the winter. Not anymore.

  • Recovery Funds Will Help Seal Abandoned Mines in Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I was alarmed when I saw the title of this piece, until I read further. I'm SO glad they will install bat-friendly gates. Too often a private landowner will literally SEAL the bats in a mineshaft so as to protect themselves from liability. This is the time of year when bats get ready for hibernation, so installing proper gates are a good idea to minimize disturbance. There are about 25 species of bats known to use mines. Many colonies will use mines because they have nowhere else to go. Bats need all the safe habitat they can get!

    As you can probably guess, I am a BIG fan of bats. Thanks for posting this article.

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I'm not going to go there.

  • U.S. House National Parks Subcommittee To Consider Red Rock Wilderness Act Legislation   5 years 29 weeks ago

    First of all, being anonymous is the default, I have no problem telling you my name is Brad. What does that do for you anyhow?

    Yes, Rick, this I was pretty harsh. If it seems over the top, you need to first understand my perspective. I've lived in Utah all my life and to see areas closed that my father introduced me to when I was a young kid really miffs me. These are not new roads/trails they are closing, but existing ones. They are closing areas that have created many of my memories, memories that I wanted to share with my own kids and them with their kids. The areas I complain about are rarely visited by tourists, hikers or mountain bikers. However, they are well known areas for camping and recreation. Other than hunters, I've never seen anyone hiking and rarely seen even a mountain bike in the area.

    I couldn't agree with you more. There are millions of acres that are not 'locked up'. However, you need to recognize also that there are many more millions of acres that are already off limits to OHVs where nature lovers can always go to be alone without the company of anyone else for miles around. I'm not suggesting new roads or trails be built. And, no...there doesn't have to be a road or trail built that takes those of us with OHVs everywhere in our forests/parks. I'm not suggesting more access, but rather a preservation of what we already have.

    I've done some hiking in the Uintas and surrounding areas to fish the back country. I can promise you, we have so much available land for hikers to disappear to their liking that the demand to lock up more land is more of a special interest campaign than one that has merit.

    BTW, I apologize for the harshness. I just have some really strong feelings when it comes to taking away my opportunity to revisit cherished memories with my children.

    Brad

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I once had to tell a busload of tourists that there are lots of things to see on that stretch of interstate.

    So, you're saying we shouldn't believe anything you say?

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Established in 1856, the the little town of Cottonwood Falls (pop. 860) is the county seat of Chase County (pop. maybe 3,000). Cottonwood Falls is located about five miles south of the preserve, and it's well worth seeing if you're in the vicinity. In addition to the three-story limestone French Second Empire courthouse that Anon speaks so highly of, there's the restored Grand Central Hotel and some small shops along Broadway, the town’s three-block long main street.

  • House Passes Legislation That Could Lead the National Park Service to Rebuild Road at North Cascades National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    You report Sean Smith, NPCA, as commenting "Even if the road was rebuilt higher along the mountainside, the safety of visitors would be at risk from an area that is prone to avalanches and it would be prohibitively expensive for the Park Service to build, repair, and maintain."

    The NPS Environmental Impact Statement totally contradicts this. It says ""the road reroute would be more stable, and would need less routine maintenance and reconstruction than the former road it replaces... Routine road maintenance would average approximately $14,007 per year.
    "The road reroute between MP 12.7 and 15.3 would not directly influence the river or its floodplain; would be more stable and less prone to flood damage; and would require less routine maintenance and emergency repairs than the former road... The new ½-mile long road reroute between MP 20.3 and MP 20.8 would be built above the 100-year floodplain, so there would be less flood damage, routine road maintenance, and emergency road reconstruction than there was prior to 1995... Alternative D (Road Reroute) would not impair the following Park resources and values within the project area: soils, water quality, hydrology, channel morphology, floodplains, fisheries, aquatic habitat, vegetation, wetlands, terrestrial and amphibious wildlife, visitor experience and access, socio-economics, Wilderness, PCT, and air quality."
    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=327&projectId=15383&documentID=14545

    Construction costs are not paid by NPS, but entirely by the FHWA ERFO program, which is adequated funded.

    This legislation does not force the NPS to do anything, it simply removes a legal barrier the NPS cited, enabling it to reconsider the road reroute option.

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Check out the county courthouse near the preserve, too--quite spiffy, especially for a smaller, rural community.

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    As a former employee at Tallgrass Prairie, this is very exciting news and long overdue. It is a beautiful place to visit and well worth the visit. The flowers are beautiful in early summer, but my favorite time of year there is in the fall. And as a Kansan, I have to say the Flint Hills of Kansas, where Tallgrass Prairie is located is very beautiful-especially in late spring/early summer and the grass has just turned green-not all of Kansas is boring!! Congratulations, Tallgrass!

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Crews Battling Bark Beetles With Insecticide   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Diego, I'm frankly puzzled by your remarks. The National Park Service stopped mindlessly suppressing natural fires more than 30 years ago and has been using prescriptive fire in a pretty sophisticated way for decades. The campfires ban you mentioned was not put in place because the NPS has an "all forest fires are bad" mentality. The primary purpose of the ban was to help prevent fires from occurring in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and at unacceptable risk to human lives and property. That said, your worries about the beetle-damaged trees are well founded. With all of that standing dead timber and other fuel to feed on, the fires that will inevitably burn in that area of the park are certain to burn hot and fast.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Crews Battling Bark Beetles With Insecticide   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Its easy these days to say Climate Change is repsonsible because we all get our daily does of media, "pop-science", and opinion journalism. However, if we want to call it a Park and not a Wilderness the National Park Service must accept the responsibility of Bark Beetle good and bad.

    I just returned from Glacier NP this summer where campfires were prohibited. It was astounding to see all the dead trees and the homogenous demarkation between infested and uninfested. Fire would seem to have addressed this issue sooner. Now it seems out of control.

    Back in the day, we used fire quite often but now fire seems to be a bad word. Yes fire, like war, kills living things. And lots of firefighters have jobs putting them out. But if we allow fires to burn again, naturally, we could restore the integrity of the ecosystem. Now we have to consider managing our parks with expensive pesticides and application challenges rather than good old natural, albeit, dangerous fire.

  • National Geographic Magazine Revisits Yellowstone National Park's Supervolcano   5 years 29 weeks ago

    As this article points out, Anon, it could erupt tomorrow, or 100,000 years from now, or never. From what I've read, I'd judge that it's exceedingly unlikely to erupt in our lifetime.

  • National Geographic Magazine Revisits Yellowstone National Park's Supervolcano   5 years 29 weeks ago

    how soon will it errupt?

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    You call that boring, Kirby? When it comes to pegging out the bore-o-meter, nothing tops the 600-mile drive on the Interstate from Denver to Kansas City. I once had to tell a busload of tourists that there are lots of things to see on that stretch of interstate. As I recall, all but three soon fell fast asleep.

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    It's on my list, too. Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge is right down the road from the Preserve, on the other side of Emporia. The problem is it's a really boring 12 hour drive from my house to Emporia.

  • On the Run: Racers See Four National Parks on Two Feet in One Day   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    I live in PA (about 40 miles west of Philadelphia) and did my first half-marathon, in Philadelphia, this past September. I loved every minute of it, and have set my sights on my first full marathon in Philadelphia in November, 2010. However, I just found this event and it sounds PERFECT! My parents live in WV, only about 45 minutes from Harpers Ferry. I like the small, local size of this race, the history and unique opportunity to run through 4 National parks in one day, it's a great time of year for a long race (November could be COLD. There's others in early September, which can still be HOT around here)...I can't wait to join you in 2010! I've already informed my parents that my husband, 2 kids and I will be coming to their place in early October!

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I'm with you, Anon. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is way up there on my own personal list and I'm trying to figure out how I can manage a trip during one of two seasons -- either early summer (flowering peak) or fall (when some of the grass tops out at eight feet or more). I've already spent time in Kansas during mid-summer, including a memorably-hot July at Fort Riley, and I must admit that I'm not keen to return to that part of the country at that time of year.

  • Bison Will Soon Roam Again at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve   5 years 29 weeks ago

    This preserve has always been on my "Places to go" list even before the buffalo got there. Hope to be there in 2010. Congrats on the Bison!!!

  • Evergreen Lodge Near Yosemite National Park Offering Holiday Packages   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Is the tree really that big? To have a holiday in such a place one would rarely be in the lodge with such amazing surroundings! Also looks like a great place to go skiing or snowboarding, would hate to hit one of the trees though.

  • Reader Participation Day: Is Your Guidebook Actually Bound, Or Do You Prefer Pixels?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I do a helluva lot of online research prior to and during [when possible] trips.

    On a trip to the USS Arizona Memorial and others I found the 'Oahu Revealed" book and it's sisters to be quite helpful.

  • Reader Participation Day: Is Your Guidebook Actually Bound, Or Do You Prefer Pixels?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Sharpie, Kurt. It will rub off if you wipe it or get it wet immediately after writing, but after several minutes it's usually permanent unless you wipe it with acetone. And since I rarely fall into acetone-filled streams, it's all good.

  • Reader Participation Day: Is Your Guidebook Actually Bound, Or Do You Prefer Pixels?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I am all about the guidebooks -- not only can I dogear, bookmark, mark things I want to do and stick things between the pages, they look awfully nice on my bookshelf as souvenirs of my travels.

  • Understanding Mountain Lions at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Gets A Boost From New Lion   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I have been hiking in the Santa Monicas for over 30 years and have never seen a mountain lion but have seen their tracks. Although my hiking partners disagree with me, it would absolutely make my day to see one of these beautiful, illusive creatures. Unfortunately, I suspect I never will. They are much more aware of my presence than I am of theirs.