Recent comments

  • How Does Your Congressional Representative Rank on Environmental Issues?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Mine got a 30 and a 12. I think the 30 is a record high. I often send comments to him, but the comment form on the website has you click which topic you're writing about. I figure every time I click "Environment", it goes right into his spam filter.

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Mount Rainier has the annual RAMROD bike circuit, normally sixty miles within the park with no vehicle closure:

  • Keep An Eye Out For Bears During Your Fall Hikes in the National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Very good advise to always carry a can of bear pepper spray close at hand and to know how to use it.
    This could save your life!

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Death Valley Borax Marathon:

    Badwater Ultramarathon:

    Death Valley 49ers Wheelbarow Race:

    These are really any sort of competetive event where they shut down the roads.

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I wonder to what extent organized sporting events are permitted in other national parks?

    Crater Lake has a Rim Run. I believe marathons have been held in other parks as well. Which have held, or allow through travel for, bicycle races?

    Personally, I'd rather see parks managed for the enjoyment of the preserved natural and cultural resources than used as stage settings for organized sporting events. There will always be a conflict, however, between managing parks as sanctuaries and promoting them as economic engines to support the local tourist industry and organized recreation.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Investigation Of Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Finds Cybertracks to Pornographic Images   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Dear Anonymous (no relation !) on your point about the reassignment under the cultural resources Associate Director.

    Rather than 'not a good sign,' my reading of the way the bureaucracy works is just the opposite. This is a non-job, under an appointee of and prior friend of removed Director Mainella. The job is stationed in Frederick, MD., a non-place as far as the government Headquarters are concerned.

    Again, this is a non-job. If as some say above that Mr. Latschar's transgression is not in itself a cause for removal, it is a place to go awaiting resignation, with no authority and no staff. Because of the nature of government rules, retirements usually occur at the beginning of the calendar year. There would have to be transition out of park housing. If you want to accomplish something with minimal fuss, minimal hoopla from someone who tends to speak too imphatically in interviews, this is a way to do that.

    The person who thinks this superintendent is being protected, compared to an average employee is clearly wrong. No person who has had and used authority with the kind of zeal Mr. Latschar had wants to be in a place with nothing to do. He has lost his position immediately, while a usual case would involve employee counseling, training, performance reviews, and a chance to demonstrate improvement. They would keep their job. Mr. Latschar has lost his position and authority; unless there is truth to the rumor that he is either covering for someone else or his acceptance of the charges did not include some of the worse charges, his career is over.

  • Glacier National Park Officials Developing Battle Plan For Lake Trout in Quartz Lake   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Hi: In looking over my comment to you on 10/2209, I see that predator and gill are not spelled correctly. Sorry about that! AGP

  • How Does Your Congressional Representative Rank on Environmental Issues?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Environmental protection ratings based on voting records don't provide a perfect yardstick, but they are a lot better than nothing. With each passing year, it becomes clearer that people should take environmental issues into account when deciding who they should vote for. I note with a complete lack of surprise that my own Congressional representative (Joe "You Lie!" Wilson) scored 10 (year 2008) and 8 (110th Congress) out of a possible 100 for environmental stewardship.

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 30 weeks ago

    There is a professional boat race every summer day in Grand Canyon National Park. The winner gets the best camp downriver, and the winner usually has a motor.

  • Castle Rock Cut at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Open For Boaters   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Castle Rock used to be an island, but due to severe drought, the water has receded exposing the land that used to be covered with water.

  • Investigation Of Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Finds Cybertracks to Pornographic Images   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Latschar's reassignment as special assistant to the NPS associate director for cultural resources is ironic. The National Academy of Public Administration report on NPS cultural resources highlighted the need for new leadership. That new NPS director Jon Jarvis would transfer Latschar to support the current associate director for cultural resources is not a good sign.

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Hmm. Sounds vaguely familiar.

  • New “Roots in the River” Documentary Chronicles Congaree National Park History   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I bought the DVD and it a keeper!!
    A beautiful documentary of how a small group of people can preserve
    and protect the Congaree swamp for all of us. What a miracle!!

  • Death At Channel Islands National Park Demonstrates Need to Be Prepared   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Climbers, and in particular big wall climbers, are much more seasoned outdoor person than your average hiker.


    National Parks images

  • NPCA, PEER Voice Concerns Over Proposed Mountain Bike Rule Change In National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    what about the poop! oh my god - why does there have to be so much freaking poop all over the destroyed trails?

    horses dont belong on trails and their ... riders should ride around the farm and stay off public land

    the biggest issue for hikers being disturbed by mtn bikes is frequency of contact - which is caused by high-use cross country and downhill shuttle trails

    high use cross country trails almost always have few to no hikers due to the flatness of land and lack of classic views

    the main contention is trails heavily used by both hikers and the downhill shuttle crowd, and the shuttle crowd goes very fast /
    there will have to be some compromises in that arena - that is why i say there needs to be some bike free trails for hikers and hikers will have to concede some trails to heavy bike use

  • Suicide? Murder? What Secrets Lie in that Grave on the Natchez Trace?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    A well-done article.
    But the author is not identified - not even the picture. Please do so.
    It is high time this 'primary source' was exhumed so that by DNA we can know if it is actually Meriwether Lewis there,
    and if it is, to hopefully be able to trace the course of the bullets to see if they could or could not be self inflicted.
    How anyone can say suicide - or murder - at this point is a mystery in itself.
    How could such a master shot miss his own brains or heart?
    Why would he ask Priscilla Grinder to "heal my wounds" if he wanted to die, when he could have reloaded with all the powder & shot she said was in his cabin - & finished the job?
    (Jefferson having his own problems)- I've not seen any written words of that period saying he was either depressed or a drunk - only negative interpretations of his every word. Others made similar remarks at the time without being so accused.
    His death remains a mystery - until some real, primary source can be found to prove one way or the other.

  • By the Numbers: The National Park Service Workforce   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Thank you for responding...I will ask to see our super. (who just purchased a new set of office furniture, care of the American taxpayer, for $9,000.00)

  • Visiting Alaska National Parks – By Train   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The Denali Star is a great and relaxing way to travel. The train is not fast but the scenery is incredible. Moose, swans, and perhaps Denali can be seen on the ride. And more! For the independent traveller I would suggest using your Denali time wisely and go stay in the backcountry. One can get away from the crowds and the hustle of the front end of the park. The ride to the back country is not fast either but again the scenery is magnificent and the wildlife viewing opportunities excellent. You will travel the entire park road and go to places the other tours do not. There are three lodges in the Katishna area at the end of the road. Denali Backcountry Lodge, Kantishna Roadhouse and Camp Denali offer multiple night stays and lots to do. Having spent time visiting in the crowded front country and having been to the Kantishna area I highly recommend, after a great train experience, a trip and stay in the backcountry of Denali Park.

  • Yosemite National Park Says "No Thanks" to Major Cycling Race   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Years ago the story went around about the Park Superintendent in Alaska who had agreed to a sled dog race through his park.

    With the park staff in open revolt over what they considered an inacceptible conflict with the purpose of the park, the Superintendent defended himself by saying: but look at the law ! Sled dogs are allowed in this national park !

    "Yes," the park staff snapped back, "and horses are allowed in National Parks in the lower 48. BUT they don't allow HORSE RACES !!"

  • By the Numbers: The National Park Service Workforce   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Laborer - ask the superintendent. You should be able to get a good answer. I have been a superintendent for more than 20 years and I welcome employees who have reasonable questions about management decisions. I cannot, of course, know exactly what is going on in your park. But, it might have to do with the Continuing Resolution. Because we have no 2010 budget, parks are expected to reduce spending to past levels and be cautious in making commitments. Many parks are letting seasonal employees go in order to adhere to the directives of the CR. Yes, it is nuts.

  • Can't Connect to Some NPS Websites? Don't Take it Out on Your Computer   5 years 30 weeks ago

    We were planning a visit to Lake Quinault Lodge over by the Hoh Rain Forest this morning and clicking on the main Olympic National Park link was dead, however clicking on other links within the website worked and, once inside, the main link then worked. It seems that workarounds work.

  • Wolf Biologist Killed In Plane Crash in Denali National Park, Pilot Survived   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Ray Bane, thanks for all the in put regarding flight into Mt. McKinley...must be awesome to see from the air.

  • National Park Service Announces Superintendent Vacancy At Gettysburg National Military Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    It's basic. You don't look at anything of that nature at work. Period. He's a smart man, but he's got a problem understanding the basic rules that apply to all government employees and computers. As superintendent he is held to the same standards, and ought to be leading the way. Frankly, he needs to retire. As superintendent of Gettysburg, he must be a GS14/15 if not a member of the Senior Executive Service. There must be an investigation, and if he's found guilty, he should be demoted.

    The National Park Service should be ashamed of itself if it continues to pay this man, at his old salary, to sit around and do minor busy work out of the sight of the public.

  • By the Numbers: The National Park Service Workforce   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Workforce...I am currently employed by the NPS in NY State. I am also being let go in two weeks, anybody no why? Our leadership at our park is bragging about the large ammount of Stimulus dollars floating in from DC, yet nine of us laborers are being let go two months early, and that makes us uneligable for unemployment. I guess that the "job creation" hyped by Obama is yet another of his lies??? Nice to see that the NPS can rebuild three insignificant dams along the creek flowing through the property, I guess thats more important than "our " families.

  • Clash of Viewpoints on Public Land Ownership and Protection Arrives in Congress in the Form of Red Rock Wilderness Legislation   5 years 30 weeks ago

    The biking issue is a red herring. Bikers have been negotiating with the advocates of the Red Rock Wilderness bill about boundary adjustments to exclude popular biking routes. The leading bikers' group, IMBA, posted comments on the bill at: In my own travels I saw no evidence of biking in most of the proposed wilderness units, especially when I got away from Moab.