Recent comments

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    As a park ranger myself, I can say that the ranger in your story was probably oversteping his/her bounds by the information provided. By taking control of the situation in that manner the ranger also took responsibility for any adverse outcomes. If the child had done something that caused any sort of injury or harm while the parent was away, the Rager would have a major legal issue to deal with; as would the ranger's employer. The proper response would have been to leave this up to the parent, and then if the disagreement between the two resulted in a public disturbance the family should have been asked to leave the area and resolve it's problems elsewhere. Unless the ranger witnessed some sort of abuse, in which case there may have been some intervention with possible legal ramifications. But in most real world situations, the ranger might have tried to find a way to settle the issue with a more creative and visitor friendly solution, like just offering the parent the options of having the ranger attend the minor while the parent climbed the feature, or maybe evening finding out why the kid didn't want to go and try to explain the attraction to get the kid past any fear or other issues so he or she could enjoy the climb and not miss out on it.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The ranger was out of line. It is not his/her decision to make. The ranger undermined the parent which my cause future problems between parent and teenager. Most of the time the teenager is testing the parent and more than likely had an attitude about being on vacation with family.

    All of the people that think it was right need to think about your attitude toward law enforcement officers. Is it right for a law enforcement officer out side of the National Park to undermine the parent? I think most parents would be calling the supervisor to complain about the officer interfering.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Hooray for the Ranger who was operating by his good sense/experience apart from the Mother who was clearly operating out of her obvious & probably usual knee-jerking response of...."because I said so". I'm glad he stood his ground up against Mrs Stupid. Why stupid?....by the time a person gets to be a teenager they should have a sense for what their safety parameters should be. Hooray for the kid who recognized her limitations in keeping safe and likewise stood up to Mrs. Stupid. This same kid will probably have guts enough to stand up to her peers....those ones on their way to becoming Mrs Stupids when offered alcohol, drugs & cigarettes. I think the ranger should have directed Mrs. Stupid to the nearest exit for causing a scene in a place that is inherently dangerous and out of the ordinary.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The ranger was wrong. If we're concerned with lawsuits, precedent has shown that if visitors are informed of the risks of an activity (e.g., a cave tour) and choose to go anyway, courts won't hold the park liable. Plus unless the parent is asking the child to do something that is dangerous, such that no visitor should do it, then the ranger should step in. Otherwise it's the parent's prerogative to raise the children as they see fit (whether we like it or not).

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I remember visiting the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon and admonishment that our ranger guide gave before he led the hike down to Cedar Ridge. He basically said that after the hike he was planning on making his weekly trip to Williams for a pie at his favorite restaurant. His goal was that nobody got injured or required any sort of assistance because that would have meant that he'd be filling out paperwork and delaying his weekly visit.

    A park ranger is responsible for all parties on a tour/guided hike. If his judgment was that a fearful teen was a potential danger to others, then his judgment overrides the mother's wishes. I certainly hope that I don't run into any parent like that where the safety of myself or my family is at risk.

    Of course we probably don't know exactly what the tone was or if there might have been additional words exchanged that weren't in the article.

  • "Red Tide" Prompts Visitor Advisory at Padre Island National Seashore   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Red Tide -

    Sorry if there's any confusion about information posted on various linked websites; this is obviously a situation that is changing each day.

    I did check the embedded links a few minutes ago, and they do seem to provide current information, if you read through the various pages on the state website, it still includes information consistent with the original story.

    This situation has no doubt hurt those who rely on tourism for their economic base; perhaps that had led to adjustments in the information posted on various sites.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I agree the ranger was doing his job, but If I was the ranger I was have clarified the situation better and not have been so demanding. I would have explained to the mother the dangers that could have happened if her teenager would have paniced. I would have that the mother explain why she was assisting that her child go and than have the teenager explain their reasoning. Than I would have to think what the best interest for all three would have been. If all indications point that the teen was afraid than I being the park ranger would not have wanted to take any chances of anyone getting hurt on my watch.

  • "Red Tide" Prompts Visitor Advisory at Padre Island National Seashore   5 years 28 weeks ago

    O Sanp! I went to the page you linked, looking for the warning so I could quote it for my red tide report page (http://redtideflorida.org/pages/index.php/florida-red-tide-report), and there's no warning there, in fact the text you quoted is either completly gone or just on a different page than you linked to. Infact one of the pages you linked to said this about the current red tide:
    "If it were my family heading to the coast, I would not cancel a vacation because of red tide."

    We have had similiar problems in Florida. But with enough public pressure they are finally taking some steps (some counties, the state still refuses to play, but they are lying less)

    So sad.

  • "Red Tide" Prompts Visitor Advisory at Padre Island National Seashore   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Thanks for posting this, I was wondering if they'd ever get around to posting a warning.

    Did you see of the newspaper web sites in Texas are trying to say it was over days ago?

    Anyway, I'm in Florida and we have red tide lots more often than TX. We're monitoring on our site at: http://redtideflorida.org. Please feel free to come by and post a comment or contact me about writinfg an article for our site if you'd like.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The ranger was clearly within his rights to side with the teen...in this instance. If the mother had continued to force her it would have turned into an unpleasant trip for the child as well as other visitors. In this case I feel the mother hopefully learned a valuable lesson. Being a "bully" isn't necessarily the right way to handle frightening situations with your child.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The ranger has the ability to determine if the situation is unsafe or unwise but should talk directly to the parent not the child and give the parent a choice if there is one to proceed with or without the child. I am sure each situation is unique, but the ranger should have the final say but should not address a minor child regarding the choice of options. The parent must be responsible for her/his child and the ranger must be responsible to the park and any situation that may occur.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Jimi, a higher authority takes place over any child's safety. Always! Not a parents poor judgement considering the potential dangers of the environment (the 92 steps) which the child could be placed in. Suppose the child panic and slipped into a crowd of people below the ladder...then what? Yap, law suits all over the place. The ranger was right and did right!!

  • By the Numbers: Crater Lake National Park   5 years 28 weeks ago

    This comment makes little sense: YES, THERE HAVE

    BEEN many SENSELESS SEWAGE SPILLS, but upper Munson

    Springs-Creek is no longer CRLA's drinking

    water source; today, it is Annie Spring at approx. 6000 ft.

    that is, about 170 ft. below Crater Lake surface elevation.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    If I had of been the parent, I would have been having a discussion with the ranger's supervisor. The ranger had better not get between me and my child - the ranger had no clue what led up to the discussion or why the parent insisted and clearly stuck a nose where it DID NOT BELONG!

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Go ranger! If the child was truly frightened, then she should not be forced to ascend the steps. If she was just rebelling against Mom, well, it will be her loss when she realizes what she missed out on. Either way, the ranger was right, though perhaps a bit more tact might have helped.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    It seems she had some type of hidden fear, from observation! There may be more! We all never know because we are not the Mother or more in case, the daughter! NPS is trained to recognized emotions & situations. I was several times in this situation as a teen, where my Mother forced me to do things. Later only to say that I was lazy! As Mother's we don't sometimes realize our child's (teen or not) fears, phobias, or insecurities. It was only when I was older did I tell my Mom about them. We may recognize some BUT not all. I say it was right for the Ranger to say she isn't obliged to go. It was tight spaced & maybe the Ranger recognized that she had some fear or insecurity of that optional trip. Whether to prevent a situation from happening. The Ranger stayed with the teen until the remainder of the group came back to tour.

    *Here is a side not, if you whatsoever hit a child/teen on Federal land, is a Federal offense that carries a felony. Anyone in NPS' view sight, will be arrested! It's not within state where its a investigation & social services to visit!

    I lived in a National Park there laws are more strict & different than state!

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Good for the ranger. As a victim of years of physical abuse by my mother when I was growing up, I learned that merely giving birth does not make you a mother. Ninety-something swaying steps could induce fear in anybody, particularly a vulnerable teenager. I reported a woman who was beating the crap out of her little girl in a van outside an ER room. Yes, she gave birth to that child. No, she was not a mother. Abuse comes in many forms and forcing a child to do something that just sounds frightening--never mind how it looks in person--can be one form of that abuse. I would like to know what the girl said to the ranger, if anything--but at least he recognized her fear and protected her. I have a phobia about water. I can't swim because of it. Tossing me into a pool and making me learn it the hard way would not cure my phobia--it would merely enforce it.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The ranger should have used a little more tact. I can certainly understand why they wouldn't want someone to climb who didn't want to, but a better explanation of why they felt the teen shouldn't climb would have made a difficult confrontation a little less tense.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    This is rediculous. So a ranger who has never met this family knows what is best for the child? This is all about a ranger who felt a little power. He should be fired. If the ranger was truly concerned about the child's safety, he could have asked to speak with the parent privately and asked a few questions, explained the dangers, discussed past experiences, etc. It is infuriating to think a ranger feels the right to interupt a private conversation.

  • Glorieta Pass Civil War Battlefield Finally Gets an Interpretive Trail   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The building you refer to sits less than 3 feet from the edge of Highway 50. It got a new shake shingle roof last year and had some archeologists digging around for building footings last summer. I can verify all this as I actually live on Pigeons Ranch Road, which is the road that climbs into the mountains on the edge of the property. The property, used by both sides at various times during the battle was know as Pigeons Ranch. By the way, Glorieta is spelled with one "t".

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I took a tour at Oregon Caves this spring. When I saw those stairs and heard they were completely optional, I heaved a sigh of relief. As a person scared of heights, I have been in situations where people tried to get me to "face my fear". It didn't work, the fear is still with me. No one should ever be forced or coerced up those steps. They're skinny, metal stairs and any emergency that happened there could be very difficult to deal with.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    I think he was within his rights and responsibility. It's not only the safety of the teen but that of other people who could be on the steps.

    I read the part about "worried by the stairs" which I interpreted as fear.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    There's no way to know why the girl didn't want to go up the stairs, but I think the ranger was well within his rights. It's his job to make the right judgment call. Our own fears get in the way of safety all too often, and a panic-stricken child can get herself in trouble even in the "safest" of places. This way he knew the girl was safe. For a child, a park experience should be a pleasant experience, not a scary one.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    Having had issues with heights since I was a little girl - which I have struggled with for almost 50 years, I feel that the ranger was in the right here. Yes, we do NOT know the true motivation behind the girl's refusal, it may have been laziness, but it is MORE cruel to assume that then to force someone who has a fear of heights to face those fears NOT of their own volition. To fight a phobia, you have to do it on your OWN terms, not at the will of others, or you can embed that fear all the more deeply. I have a horrible memory of a trip like this taken when I was ten years old, when halfway up the climb I became paralyzed and just couldn't take another step up, regardless of the urging and commands of my family. They eventually had to leave me behind, and catch up with me on the climb back down - but it was an EXCRUCIATING period of time before they got back to me - both because of fear and humiliation as all these other people (including small children) easily passed by me. I have fought this fear many times in the ensuing decades, and the only times I have been able to successfully overcome it was when I could mentally prepare myself, and proceed at my own pace. If there was even the slightest chance that it was a fear of heights, then to try and force the climb was not only foolish on the part of the parent, but also cruel and abusive (if they were aware of the girl's fear.) In her fear she may have become clumsy or, like me, petrified in fear, thus posing a danger to herself and anyone else trying to get by her (up OR down). The ranger may have seen this scenario many times, and therefore knows what to look for (either with fear or rebellion) and was responding with extensive experience. Having had extensive interaction with rangers the breadth and depth of this country, I can truly say that most of them are VERY aware of people and their needs, and are probably no more willing to back a rebellious recalcitrant teen than any parent, but ARE aware of what is needed to maintain public safety, decorum and a pleasurable time in our nation's parks.

  • Should A National Park Ranger Countermand a Parent?   5 years 28 weeks ago

    The ranger was right; their first responsibility is to insure the safety of the entire tour group. Whether it was the girl’s fears or the mother wanting to exert control over a teenager the forcing the girl to go up could have created a rescue situation. I have dealt with students who suffer from panic attacks, and when scared they physically flee knocking whoever and whatever out of their way. In fact from your account of the mother's words and actions had she forced her daughter to go up the stairs I would have been required by law to report her for suspicion of child emotional abuse.