Recent comments

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Many of the comments in opposition to this activist plea for saving the planet and humankind are quite sad and evident of the "head in the sand" mentality of the masses. What a shame. Cries for protecting the ROCK, or having your nostalgia or vacation ruined is hideous. What if each generation only cared about their brief stay on the planet with no regard for the future? Well that is basically what we have now ... self-centered, greedy, ignorant people, governments and corporations. As a 21-year HIV survivor and an openly gay man, I can tell you that ACTIVISM is what saves lives. SAVES LIVES! If it were left to the ignorant (meaning uneducated) masses, there would be no fast track drug approval for ALL diseases and ailments. There would be no right for women to vote, no biracial marriage, no African American equal rights, we would still have slavery, and more. NEVER agree to be oppressed. NEVER stop expressing your thoughts. Never be stifled by comments on Facebook or anywhere. But please take these actions in the context of the intention of the activists... To help all humanity have a planet on which to exist. It's pretty basic. Open your minds and hearts to this issue of global warming. The clues are everywhere. Get your head OUT OF THE SAND and stop the denial.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Chance, I'm with you on your comments. I submit to you Chance, you have a very bright career ahead of you and at least you don't profess to be a know-it-all. Good luck to you young man.

    This comment was edited to remove unnecessary disparagements.--ed.

  • Glorieta Pass Civil War Battlefield Finally Gets an Interpretive Trail   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Preston: I recently spoke with Kathy Billings, the superintendent of Pecos NHP, and asked her about the fate of the historic building associated with the 1862 battle fought near Glorietta Pass. There is no ranch house from that era, although a 1925 ranch building, Forked Lightning Ranch, is a component of Pecos NHP. The ranch was donated to the park in the 1990s; ranger-guided tours are available by reservation. A much older structure called the Trading Post (once a stagecoach stop) was indeed present at the time of the 1862 battle. It is being repaired and will eventually provide office space and also serve as a visitor contact station for trailhead-related services.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    BLM v. NPS management of Grand Staircase-Escalante & the other Clinton Antiquities Act monuments is a separate issue from what they should be managed for. The designation as National Monuments specifies the same thing either way, including continued grazing in some. Note that several NPS-managed NPS units have active oil leases, grazing, even oyster farming.

    I, too, much prefer the no-hassles experience in areas managed by BLM that don't also have ORV use, mining, logging, etc. There _are_ some NPS units where the same no-hassle rules apply. I'm resigned to the rules & restrictions as necessary whenever visitor use is high: a few folks can camp and collect firewood and hike without trails with minimal impact, just like a moderate number of mountain bikers can ride trails with sustainable impact. 50 years ago that didn't scale to visitation in Yosemite Valley and parts of Yellowstone; now visitation to even Canyonlands and Joshua Tree is way too high to allow unfettered use without major damage to resource conditions.

    What new units to add to the NPS system is an interesting question. It was posed to NPS directors & former directors (& Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan) at the George Wright Society. The consensus response was that such decisions shouldn't be centralized and come from them, but should come from the public.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    greenpeace,get a real job.....go to brazil,russia,china,iran,irag,saudia arabia,and do your protests.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    maybe we should hang flags on your house???some things are off limits,you can make a statement without this nonsense of hanging the flags on rushmore...go to third world countrys and try to get them off their duffs and,quit wanting usa to do everything for the world...we had to fight for what we got...

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I finally got to see Mt. Rushmore for the very first time and to think that some people could be so dumb to mess up such a wonderful sight just makes me sick!! Hope every one of them pays a huge fine and does major jail time!!!

    Yeah, anonymous, it also makes me sick that the government stole Sioux land, which resulted in the carving of State leaders into sacred stone. Unfortunately, those criminals are dead, but at the very least, the government can honor the Treaty of 1868 and return all federally-held lands to the Sioux at once.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    you seem to be jumping in the environmental skepticism movement

    Global warming skeptic since 1992.

    Part of my argument is economic. Part of it is based in science. I've gone over my questions about the science, including the sunspot cycle, in other posts. As for the Earth warming, that remains to be seen. (The global temperature anomaly in January was 0.00 deg. C., the trough of the solar cycle.) There are some who are also critical of computer models that make very general predictions based on some flawed data sets. But go ahead and discredit those criticisms as being based from "CTT"s; nice ad hominem, attacking the source rather than the claim.

    I would at least encourage you to know what and who is behind the movement you so vociferously support.

    I support no movement. I am merely a skeptic. I vociferously support skepticism. And please don't assume to know what I know about climate skeptics. I've looked at this issue from all sides since studying meteorology 17 years ago.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 10: Name that Location   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Another one bites the dust. Again, the readership has demonstrated it's familiarity with the national parks, and we applaud you. Of course, it also means we'll look even harder for a stumper next week. Check back tomorrow for some details on this location.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 10: Name that Location   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Paramount Ranch, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 10: Name that Location   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I believe this is the Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains NRA. My wife and I visited Cali in December '08 to see Joshua Tree and Channel Islands... we drove through SMM NRA to get there... Is this a correct guess?

  • Plague Suspected In Death Of Grand Canyon National Park Employee   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Congratulations on dodging a bullet, Bill. Some of these infections have proven fatal. The NPS is finally giving zoonotic diseases like pnuemonic plague and tularemia the attention they deserve. The results of the NPS zoonotic disease survey should be a big help in devising more effective preventive measures. As new information becomes available we'll report it right here in Traveler.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I finally got to see Mt. Rushmore for the very first time and to think that some people could be so dumb to mess up such a wonderful sight just makes me sick!! Hope every one of them pays a huge fine and does major jail time!!!

  • Visitation On Record Pace in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Interesting follow ups temper the news of surprisingly increased visitation in Yellowstone. The Cody Enterprise is reporting that spending is reported down, though visitation is up. Jackson Hole News and Guide notes a sudden drop in hotel reservations since the holiday weekend.

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

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Would people believe that I used to work for an organization of global warming skeptics? The stories I could tell about the corruption within that very small outfit ...

    As for protests in dangerous places, that's really a decision for those driven by their conscience. And, if it costs the government money, who cares? Certainly, cost and inconvenience has to be part of what makes the tactic worthwhile to do. If people want the tactic to stop, then they have to take the cause seriously and evaluate the merits. What's important ultimately is the substance of the cause, not the tactic - people are way too hung up on tactics.

    In Bozeman, over the holiday weekend, we had kind of a farce. A group of libertarians and conservatives staged an independence day anti-tax protest at public expense, closing down Main Street for a couple hours. To my deep chagrin, a group sarcastically calling itself the Gay Loggers for Jesus, protested the way the city handled the permit for the conservative group and organized a protest where they actually raised money in order to pay for the public expense in closing down the street. I think it was an awful precedent; the streets aren't simply for cars ... they are also there for people to raise their voices. The cost of living in a supposedly free society should be on everyone alike. Instead of attacking the merits of the protest, they attacked the process of free public protest. The liberal group here was dead wrong. Likewise, the cost of protest on the monstrosity that's Mt. Rushmore should also be paid by the government. And, those who protest do so at their own risk. I would feel differently if the place of protest actually was worthwhile, but then again, it's not the tactic so much as the substance.

    I think the best response to a protest someone thinks is wrong is to organize a counter-protest. And, we as rational people should be able to look at the merits of the claim. That people are bringing up such things as the IPCC and having that discussion tells me that Greenpeace held a very successful protest. Banner drops are often ignored; they scored. Now, the real game is on, at least on this forum and probably many others.

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

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm glad that there are skeptics questioning the science of global climate change: such challenges only makes the science more robust. No, the problem I have with much of today's environmental skepticism is that it's not a fair fight. Extremely well funded Conservative Think Tanks (CTTs)--who are largely filled with economists, not scientists (although there are exceptions)--are ultimately behind the environmental skepticism movement (see Jacques, P. et al. (2008), "The Organization of Denial: Conservative Think Tanks and Environmental Skepticism," Environmental Politics, 17, 349-385). From the Jacques study, 90% of environmental skeptic books published from 1972 - 2005 are directly affiliated with CTTs. My concern isn't because they are conservative: my concern is because CTTs have no "checks and balances" system like the vetting process academic peer review goes through, and therefore all sorts of misinformation can get published before anyone has a chance to set the record to be more aligned with what climatologists are actually observing (via the peer review process). That's a dangerous amount of power to give a minority of individuals, and the media's "point/counter-point" style hasn't helped public confusion concerning global climate change matters one bit.

    Further, it seems like your argument, Frank, is at heart an economic one, not a scientific one, as you state that the free market is a better way to "go about fighting this perceived threat." While I am no fan of increased government, I am neither convinced that free markets are the saviors to mankind. The CTTs' arguments are based largely in economics, in part for fear that free markets would somehow be curtailed by necessitative environmental policy. The goal of CTTs, therefore, is obfuscation: create doubt concerning climate change (i.e., present that scientists are equally divided (they are not), the earth isn't really warming (it is), and we aren't responsible for it (we're 90% likely responsible)) so that the average citizen has no earthly clue what to believe. But if there's doubt, environmental legislation won't happen, and free markets stay intact. So, hooray, we keep our Hummers while we destroy our planet.

    Oh, one more item: you assailed Kurt over needing to avoid ad populum arguments. I would caution you to be careful about your own bandwagoning sins, as you seem to be jumping in the environmental skepticism movement (which isn't a majority, thankfully) in spite of weighty, academic evidence to the contrary. Now, while I would hardly assume that you would be swayed by any of this, I would at least encourage you to know what and who is behind the movement you so vociferously support.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Again, I'm more than willing to watch my energy bills go up if it means the end of coal and all the grief it causes.

    How noble of you. How about all those who are struggling to make ends meet and can't afford higher energy bills? Hmm?

    And if coal companies are polluting private property, the courts are the proper place to seek compensation and to get an injunction against pollution.

    At any rate, the coal issue is a red herring which shows your inability to substantively respond. You've replied with an appeal to emotion and made another straw man by implying I think people from the South are uneducated. Any disparaging comments made about your education (or lack thereof) were directed solely at you, and were not intended to disparage the hardworking, Tenth-Amendment-defenders of the South, many of whom would be devastated by cap and trade taxation and higher energy prices.

    So many fallacies. Gosh, kid, keep crackin' the books. Don't forget to read Rothbard.

  • Social Networking Site Pushes Petition for a "Maine North Woods" National Park   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Frank -- you're forgetting that Thoreau wasn't around when strip malls and clear-cutting were ELIMINATING the lands that he held so sacred. I'd like to see him let Walden Pond be bulldozed instead of protected.....

    It's not for a king -- it's for the entire nation to enjoy when it's protected.

    And you want to talk wild? It's not "wild" when it's being CUT DOWN.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Actually, Frank, last time I looked, I attend the University of Tennessee, an institution that includes five campuses across the state, over 44,000 students, and manages this little thing known as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, home to the National Institute of Computational Sciences, the world's 6th fastest supercomputer, the largest farm-based alternative fuels research program in America, and the world's largest neutronic science research facility - hardly a community college. I could be wrong, though, considering that it's run by the big bad government...

    Perhaps you should take a trip down here to the land of the uneducated Southern rubes to enlighten yourself and see what it's like to have your house totally demolished a few days before Christmas by toxic sludge. Better yet, save your money and read any of the 390+ stories written in the Knoxville newspaper about the ash spill.

    Again, I'm more than willing to watch my energy bills go up and government play a bigger part in my life if it means the end of coal and all the grief it causes.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I can envision old Ed Abbey and Hayduke applauding Greenpeace for a job well done. Here I quote: The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, is the duty of the good citizens not to be SILENT.
    True Patriotism (1898)

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    Go somewhere else and hug a whale. Leave Mt. Rushmore alone.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 23 weeks ago

    With the depopulation of North Dakota, and the potential population declines with the dropping Ogalala aquifer, a central North American Grassland free range area that reintroduced the possibility of Bison migrations would be an awesome thing to behold. I have no idea how it would be managed, but imagine if the pre-European grassland ecosystem could be reestablished.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    I am glad to have started such a robust discussion of global warming. It is good to see that everyone has not drunk the Kool-Aid.

  • Updated: Greenpeace Climbers Arrested for Climate Change Protest at Mount Rushmore National Memorial   5 years 23 weeks ago

    As a South Dakota born citizen, Mount Rushmore is a fitting monument to make a declaration that immediate change and action is needed to prevent global climate catastrophe. The point of the action is clear: What monument will we leave for future generations?

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 23 weeks ago

    My interview mentioned above is for a LE position. Do you guys think that a full time LE position is worth persuing? Or am I going to end up working for another gov agency with nepotism? How many hours does a LE ranger normally work? I'm getting out of a career where I make around 70k but work 60 hours a week. To me the trade off between a life and money just isn't worth it.

    Any thoughts?