Recent comments

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    You know, it seems like every time we try and do something like this to the ecosystem, the ecosystem ends up rebelling. While stocking lakes with trout for sport fishing sounds fun, I think the balance of the ecosystem gets tilted in some very subtle ways, much like Dave mentioned. If the frogs go, then that upsets the ecosystem. of course, the question gets begged because this is a practice that has been done for years, and therefore that IS the ecosystem. Still, I say sport-fish elsewhere, leave the lakes alone.

  • Interior Secretary Plans Free Weekend Entry to National Parks to Boost Tourism   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Kitty...you make an excellent point. I remember how appalled I was when the fees jumped up. It didn't stop my using the NPS parks but it certainly felt unfair to have to pay to use or enjoy something that by rights is already the domain of all citizens. I know that when I was raising my kids back in the day, there was no way we could have afforded being regular patrons of the parks. I don't think the fees will ever go away entirely nor do I believe they should. A dramatic rollback would work nicely and without having the overwhelming human crush effect that I mentioned in my earlier comments

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    The stocking of non-native fish to high alpine lakes and other lentic habitats has been shown to be detrimental to native amphibian populations (e.g. the declining Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged frog in locales such as Yosemite and Seqouia/Kings Canyon NP's). As an amphibian biologist, I sincerely hope the process of stocking the lakes of these parks is put to an end.

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I'm always amazed at our elected goof balls. Here we are in a economic free fall and thousands more are about to loose their job and these goof balls want to put fish in a lake that normally doesn't have fish. Why? I'm sure someone will make money on this deal. I see fishing lodges and camps going up and now you will find this to be the rest of the story. Maybe Our New President will have a grasp on the real needs of our nation and can this idea.

    Let's take this money and doing something good with it. Bail someone else out!!!!

    Thank and enjoyed your web site.

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Stocking with non-native fish is incompatible with the Organic Act and must be banned immediately.

    There should be areas that are free from human intrusion, and national parks are the perfect natural habitats to keep free from all destructive interferance by civilization.

    I totally agree with both statements.

    Anyone wanna bet what's going to prevail in this policy debate; the bought and sold politics of Washington, DC or the principles embodied in the Organic Act?

    I wouldn't hold my breath for the triumph of principles if I were y'all, since they are in such very short supply in the inner sanctums of the Imperial City.

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I do not think they should stock the lakes in any national parks. There should be areas that are free from human intrusion, and national parks are the perfect natural habitats to keep free from all destructive interferance by civilization.

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    Glacier NP stopped this nonsense in 1971. Almost 40 years later the principles of conservation should have reached even northern Washington. Stocking with non-native fish is incompatible with the Organic Act and must be banned immediately.

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 24 weeks ago

    I can see this from both view points. While the NPS is spending millions trying to get rid of non-natives, this park is going to add them. But since there do'nt seem to be any native fish for them to impact and the low nutrients will stop them from becoming invasive, then maybe we should preserve the tradition of stocking. It's like in other parks where we tell the visitors that everything is protected, but we let them pick fruit because it's a traditinoal activity. I think this is a tough one.

  • Fall At Haleakala National Park Kills Man And The Horse He Was Riding   5 years 25 weeks ago

    My dad was in excellent condition and always traveled with his horse. He could have easily walked the Halemau'u trail. He was taking his grandchildren and neices for the first time and thought it would be nice to give them all a ride once he got to the bottom. His horse was 28 years old and was not very enthusiastic about making the trip. The trail was dry and not wet. Please be sensitive of what you write. Mahalo -Kitty Kehaunani

  • Raising Hay At Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park also has a cattle operation as part of their historic preservation.

    18 NPS units report having Bos taurus present in park.

  • Interior Secretary Plans Free Weekend Entry to National Parks to Boost Tourism   5 years 25 weeks ago

    This is a watershed event: the first official recognition that - wait for it - fees deter visitation!
    (DUH)
    In prior administrations (both Clinton and Bush) the party line was that if you could afford to travel to a Park you were rich enough not to mind the entrance fee. Low income people just didn't visit Parks, so there was no need to accomodate them.
    Then something funny happened. A whole lot of us suddenly found ourselves a whole lot lower income than we used to be. We feel the pain of that $5 or $10 or $25 entrance fee.
    Perhaps the new administration has seen the light.
    NPS began to implement entrance fee increases at 95% of fee-charging units between 2005-2009, starting as soon as they got permanent authority to set rates without Congressional review in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. They were planning to peg fees to the Consumer Price Index, with automatic increases every three years starting in 2011. Thank goodness Congress pushed back and that plan has been shelved. Bomar froze fees at 2007 levels and I have not heard of any plans to change that. Salazar should make sure that stays in place.
    Canada has announced a two-year freeze on their Park entrance fees as well, with the stated intent of boosting tourism.
    Despite their importance to tourism-based economies, our public lands were not set aside as commodities to be marketed and sold back to us. They are places where everyone should have access and be welcome. I wish Park entrance fees would go away, but there is little political support for that. Lacking that support, they should at least remain frozen and any increases should undergo public notice and congressional review. These fee-free weekends are a great idea, one that should grow and spread.
    Thanks Secretary Salazar!

  • Trekking to Dick Proenneke's Cabin in Lake Clark National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Just saw your blog entry, I have seen this documentary on Dick Proenneke, it is a wonderful story. I hope your trip went well. I will visit the cabin after my kids are grown and out of the house, so a couple of more years for me. Please let me know how it went and if you have any photos or videos I would love to see them. My email address is listed with this if you can send.
    Thanks and nice to meet ya,
    Natalie
    Kennesaw, Georgia

  • National Park Quiz 57: Canyons   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Great quiz!

    The observance of Arizona time at Glen Canyon NRA's Dangling Rope Marina in Utah is interesting. I visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park over Memorial Day and became a bit disoriented by the time zone split there. The South Unit is on Mountain Time, while half of the north unit -- everything on the north side of the Little Missouri River -- is on Central Time. The North Unit visitor center, almost spitting distance from the meandering river and time zone boundary, observes Central Time. So, visitors traveling north between the two at, say, 3 p.m. or so, may find themselves at a closed visitor center when they arrive at 5 p.m. Central Time. The ranger at the North Unit visitor center said even park staff get confused sometimes. It seems to make more sense for the entire park to pick a time zone to observe despite what side of the river the North Unit visitor center happens to be on. Glen Canyon clearly does it right!

    Also, unless things have changed in the last five or six years, there is one trail leading to the floor of Canyon de Chelly that is open to visitors without a guide. I hiked down to the White House Ruin in 2003, one of the most beautiful canyon hikes in northern Arizona outside of the Grand Canyon. Of course, it's hard to tell if this trail is still open to the public without a guide because the park's Web site lacks a ton of basic information. The park map on the Web site implies that the trail remains open.

    [Ed: Thanks. I'll check further into the Canyon de Chelly rules pertaining to trail use. Meanwhile, I've edited the answer explanation.]

  • Upon Further Review: A Cat on a Leash   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I agree that taking cats for hikes on a leash is a great idea and much safer for the cat (not to mention the birds!). My cat also enjoys traveling and happily hikes for a couple of hours with our two dogs. I think it is helpful to start them when they are a year or younger and walking with an extendo leash works best. With our cat, the trickiest part was getting him to walk at a good pace and not stop and start too much. In part I think he learned from the dogs but offering treats helped him get the idea and picking him up and carrying him when he stopped helped too. It may not be for every cat but it is a joy for ours...

  • The Denali Road Lottery Offers Regulated Leaf Peeping at Alaska’s Denali National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I can't say exactly what method they'll use, but it's a simple matter to assign ID numbers to all entries, however submitted, and then select winning entries randomly.

  • Mules In Grand Canyon National Park: Should They Stay?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I agree with most of the posts. I took the 1 day mule ride yesterday. It should be on everyones list of things to do if they can. I would certainly understand the complaints of hikers. However, hikers have other trail alternatives that don't have mules. When I was younger I could have hiked the trail, but now that I am able to afford the trip to AZ and the Grand Canyon, I am greatful that I was able to see the panoramic view from the plateau.

  • How Low Is the Bar For National Park System Inclusion When You Add a Gas Station?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Doc, I'll willingly acknowledge that there are more than a few gas pumps scattered throughout the national parks. You can find them in Yellowstone and Yosemite, just to name two. I just can't think of any "gas stations" lying outside a unit of the National Park System that was specifically integrated into a park. It'd make more sense if Jimmy once owned the station, pumped gas, and checked your oil.

  • How Low Is the Bar For National Park System Inclusion When You Add a Gas Station?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I question two gravity gas pumps as being a "Gas Station" in "Kings Canyon National Park". Billy Carters "Gas Station" in Plains, Ga, is presently a "Museum" which makes more sense in a NP. Also you do not make mention of the Carters world famous "Worm Farm" that used to be advertised in "Popular Mechanics" back in the '50's and 60's. I've been through "Plains, Ga" If you blink, you might miss it. Check it out on "Google Earth".

    There seems to be several "gas stations" within the NPS. Check out the following:


    Mt. Rainier National Park Longmire Service Station - Washington
    N 46° 44.968 W 121° 48.828
    10T E 590601 N 5178007
    Quick Description: This service station is one of the only National Park fuel stations that was never modernized. Outside stand the 2 original pumps, and inside are interpretive signs telling about the station and surrounding buildings.

    Semper Fi
    OMAR

  • Body Recovered in Grand Canyon National Park; Thought to Be That Of Missing Hiker   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Oh no! How very sad. Well, at least the family knows now; not knowing is so very difficult. My prayers are with them.

  • The Denali Road Lottery Offers Regulated Leaf Peeping at Alaska’s Denali National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I see that for 2009 entry by web is permitted as well as by regular mail. This is clearly more convenient, but I wonder how the randomness of the lottery will be administered with these two different types of entry. Will paper entries be digitized or vice versa? And I have read that computers are not capable of truly random choice but must follow some program or algorithm. That would not be the same as putting all entries in a huge drum and picking out the winners.

  • Interior Secretary Plans Free Weekend Entry to National Parks to Boost Tourism   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I actually have a different perspective. I believe we should be charging more for entrance fees. I recently spent a week in Yosemite with my wife - cost us $20 to enter the park for a whole week. If it had cost me $50, I would have paid it without even thinking about it, and the Park would have some much needed money for additional improvements, maintenance, rangers, programs, etc. Of the ten times we entered and exited the park, there was a ranger in the booth only three of those times. Free entry will only increase attendance and put more stress on parks that are already seriously straining. Just a different point of view.

  • Interior Secretary Plans Free Weekend Entry to National Parks to Boost Tourism   5 years 25 weeks ago

    My Gosh...wonderful concept but I see the laws of unintended consequences coming into play here. At least I now which weekend to avoid from the article. I think that a month long or summer long fee waiver would be much better as it would spread out the rush to enjoy the parks. Some of the parks IE Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, etc. are already a nightmare in season on the weekends. I maybe wrong but I don't think anybody will get their best impression on the NPS on these weekends crushes

  • Interior Secretary Plans Free Weekend Entry to National Parks to Boost Tourism   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Sweet, perfect timing for my week adventure in Yosemite!
    That is if this means I enter the park on the "free day" and go on my backpack for 5 days, no problem?

  • Protest Against American Revolution Center at Valley Forge National Historical Park Planned for May 15   5 years 25 weeks ago

    This is just my 2 cents worth, but I think that the American Revolution Center should be at Yorktown, not Valley Forge. Most of the same men that were at Valley Forge also marched South to defeat Cornwallis at Yorktown, VA. Yorktown is the real capstone of the Revolution, not Valley Forge.

    I do think that something should commemorate Valley Forge, but I think that an entire center on the war is going way too far. I think the state of PA ought to put money into buying battlefield land for preservation. I was really dissappointed to learn that most of the Brandywine battlefield is lost entirely to development while visiting a few years ago. Even the French and Indian War "Braddock's Defeat" site is lost to a sports park. Brandywine could have been another site like Gettysburg! Not to mention the nearby Wyeth studio as a major tourist draw etc.

    The beauty of a battlefield park is that the land is preserved from development, so reforestation and habitat can flourish without the fear of destruction from development. My wife and I loved to walk Manassas battlefield park in Virginia to see the herds of deer grazing and do some birdwatching. All of which would be lost if the state didn't preserve the land as a battlefield.

  • How Low Is the Bar For National Park System Inclusion When You Add a Gas Station?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    These late 19th-early 20th century railroad towns are significant in our settlement history, and I think there is a place for an example in the NPS.

    I beg to differ. The country is well stocked with these types of towns. All you have to do is casually drive the blue highways of the lower 48 and it isn't very long before you stumble into one. I have been visiting and documenting these towns for many years and they surely don't need Washington bureaucrats to "keep them encapsulated from development or just crumbling away."

    That part of Georgia (I know it quite well) is by no means bereft of these types of towns, nor is nearby northern Florida, southern Alabama or for that matter all of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, Montana, Oklahoma or most all of Texas east of the Pecos. These examples of our "settlement history" are still most assuredly with us and not about to vanish any time soon.

    Some of my favorites: Colby, Kansas; Bell Buckle, Tennessee; Quanah, Texas; Chatsworth, Georgia; Monticello, Florida; Milford, Utah; Clifton Forge, Virginia and Bridgeville, Delaware.