Recent comments

  • Softness Continues To Be the Story Across National Park Lodging   5 years 25 weeks ago

    The credit bubble has burst. The Fed inflated prices through its easy credit policy; there's tremendous downward pressure on prices, but our government keeps interfering and trying to prop up an unsustainable bubble. Stories about the "softness" of concessionaires' profit will continue for the next few years, especially after the bulk of the stimulus funds hit during the next fiscal year. Inflation will keep prices high and price all but the elite out of our national parks. Hopefully, that's as bad as it'll get and our government won't borrow and spend us into hyperinflation; things are not so great in Zimbabwe.

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Most people think that bears are the most dangerous in Yellowstone. Bison are the most dangerous. When my wife and I were in Yellowstone NP in June, 2000, there was an exhibit in the Canyon area -- I think at the visitor center -- about bison and the danger they pose. There was a video showing people being tossed in the air as if they were pillows. A photograph showed the front of Chevrolet Suburban pushed in as if the front were made of aluminum foil. Bison can easily run 30 miles per hour and can attain it quickly, a speed far faster than than any human can run.

    It is up to people to be aware of the dangers that animals pose, not the other way around. If a person does not care to take precautions or believes that the animals should give way to humans, visiting a zoo would be more appropriate.

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 25 weeks ago

    You definitely have a point, Clint. Many people have little understanding or appreciation for the fact that wild animals are truly wild, and that they can seriously hurt or even kill you If you want to see a classic example of this go to Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park. It is a constant struggle to convince visitors not to approach bears and to take precautions not to attract them.

    By the way, based on my experiences, moose are probably more dangerous than bears.

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I am noticing frequent problems accessing NPT in recent days, sometimes briefly, some lasting. As I submitted a commented a few minutes ago, I got the dreaded "Server Not Available" error, and my post was null-filed. After several more failures, the site came up again.

    Haven't seen this before on NPT, and all other web-activities continue normally.

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 25 weeks ago

    My son and I were at Yellowstone and Grand Teton two weeks ago and every ranger and NPS employee we had contact with had wonderful attitudes and were extremely friendly and sure seemed as though they loved their jobs. Our first night at Yellowstone we went to the campfire program at Bridge Bay Campground. It was presented by a male and female ranger who were husband and wife. They explained that they had both quit their jobs at the same time to accept ranger positions at Yellowstone. They made a point of explaining how happy they were to have made that choice.

    Maybe there are areas within the NPS that are more unpleasant to work at than others, but we sure did not get that impression from what we saw at Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Like my son said when I asked him if he noticed how friendly the employees were..."You would be friendly too if you got to live and work around here".

    Stephen Hicks

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I'm sure the survey is correct but on a recent trip to Grand Canyon North Rim and Cedar Breaks parks I talked to two NPS employees who said this was their 'dream job'. And they were both working the fee stations at the time. One had been laid off in Ga. and the other had been a nurse. Both thought they now had the best job in the world.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    No, not angry at all. I'm afraid I wouldn't have guessed the right park anyway. Congrats to tehoma.

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 25 weeks ago

    By the by, the bison in that story did have a reason. It felt threatened by all those people. The park rules clearly state: 100 yards from wolves and bears, and 25 yards for all other large animals. What were the father and daughter doing 15 feet from this bull bison? My guess is that rangers who see this kind of stupidity day in and day out, the last thing they want to do is make the animal suffer for it.

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 25 weeks ago

    R: Scaring the bison away was likely the safe thing to do. If that shot in the head was anything less than perfectly placed, a wounded bison would have been far more dangerous. Besides, if rangers shot animals every time some idiot did something stupid, soon there wouldn't be any animals left in the park! I remember once over by the lake there was this lady that got too close to a grizzly bear and the bear chased after her. When the rangers arrived we all showed pictures and video of how close the lady had gotten. The ranger said, "Good for the bear" for chasing her, but also said that if we didn't have pictures and video the bear probably would have been put down. Sad.

  • Is Senator Feinstein Speaking Out of Both Sides of Her Mouth on National Park Matters?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    As far as the article showing the two sides of a senator I will say environmentalist groups do the same every time they try and shut a coal plant they go and would then sue to not allow a wind farm on the same lot.

    I only wish we had politicians with ... (her guts) ... on the east coast to have prevented the issues happening on Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

    Editor's note: This comment was edited to remove some rather colorful vernacular.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Thunder egg!

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Regarding the story from robyninyellowstone linked above. The rogue bison was 15 feet from a father and young daughter after it had run into and threatened about 50 people for no apparent reason. Given the unpredictable behavior of this bison, and the immenent danger to two individuals who had not provoked the bison, why in the heck did the ranger not shoot the bison in the head instead of shooting into the ground? As far as I'm concerned, the gun shot could have just as well startled it into charging the two innocents. Have the rangers been conditioned to put the life of a rogue bison on the same pedestal as a father and young daughter who did notheing to provoke the bison?

  • Is Senator Feinstein Speaking Out of Both Sides of Her Mouth on National Park Matters?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I know Point Reyes NS well. Whether you designate it wilderness or not, it will still be there. If the only reason to designate it wilderness is to remove the oyster farm, it does not seem justified. Wilderness designation for a place that is well managed already is silly. It is a feather in their cap, but the public suffers from such designation, as the list of prohibitive acts grows with such designation. Management is the key. Let the oyster farm continue until you can get the funds to restore the area, but don't designate it wilderness unless you have a management problem that only such designation will correct. This is not that situation.

  • Don’t Do This with Your Helicopter   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Well considering that this time he was handcuffed and hauled to the hooskow...it was he with his hands tied behind his back. Hard to thumb your nose in that circumstance. Which - it appears - was completely appropriate. When you are that wealthy some tickets really have no effect. Maybe this time the4 Magistrate will apply a little learnin'?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Obviously we're going to have to dig a little deeper to find images that are more challenging. Come back tomorrow to learn about some of the background of this particular type of bomb.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Geez, I didn't even get a chance. Great (well educated) guess tahoma. Well done. Yes, the background (as low depth-of-field as it is) was not Lassen Volcanic NP.

    rob
    --
    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    www.craterlakeinstitute.com
    Robert Mutch Photography

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Terry: Why did you give up on "volcanic bomb"? I only nixed your second guess (Pele's tear), not the first one. Hope you're not too angry with us. ;o)

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    it's definitely a lava bomb. maybe from Sunset Crater National Monument?

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Death in Yellowstone is the GREATEST book.  Unfortunately, the fools that put themselves in harm's way would either not read it, or read it and take it as a challenge.  I have a pic from last summer of two picture-taking fools about 20 - 25 feet from a bison.  Nothing happened to them, thankfully, but I almost wish it had so that the 50-or-so bystanders might have learned a lesson.  I also have a pic of about 10 people standing less than 15 feet from a Yellowstone coyote.  What fools these mortals be.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Right on the mark, Tahoma, and I'm impressed. Are you sure you weren't there when this photo was taken?

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Personally, and I know this is true of a lot of people who live out here, I'm terrified of moose. They are known to be real bad asses, who will kick the @#$! out of you.

    But, I try my best also to give bison space; sometimes, in these car situations, idiots make the situation more dangerous by forcing the bison off the road, sometimes moving them right into the area you are parked - then you are left with little choice. Another time, they came running out the side of the forest, right where I was in a line of cars - there was no way around them - they came to you, and you were stuck, and they were running by the dozens and dozens. Another time, bison were forced right into my parked vehicle by an NPS snow plow, in full run and in a panic. That snowplow's work ended up being pointless, as the road was closed the next day due to snow - all it did was scare buffalo and create a dangerous situation for everyone. I've also seen buffalo while skiing on that Tower Fall road, and once we completely turned around and gave up any hope of getting through - it was too late in the day to wait them out. Another time, they were very intimidating on both sides of the road, and I was amazed out how nonchalant the other skiers were.

    Luckily, though, I personally have never been charged by one ... yet. And, I have the sense that usually the buffalo will move on; the moose doesn't seem to have that mentality, and I'm often on the trail - especially in the Tetons - imploring with visitors to be careful about the moose. I'm often surprised we don't read of more incidents in the Tetons. Bison may cause more incidents; their numbers are greater. But, soon, I'm afraid, especially in a place like the Tetons, we are going to hear a real tragedy that knowledge could have prevented.

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

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Well, Dr Watson, there are multiple questions...I'll go with natural, looks like a basalt lava bomb with a
    fracture pattern from cooling, and probably geologically young. The narrow depth of field suggests it's
    smaller than a breadbox. The blurred background looks drier than Hawaii or the Cascades. My guess is
    Craters of the Moon.

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Don't get me wrong. I do not mean to diminish the possible danger that bears pose; but when I am out hiking in the park I give bison a much wider birth than bears. I have been charged by these big guys from over a hundred yards away. I was watching one roll around in a dust bowl on the other side of the Yellowstone River once when it put its head down, crossed the river and ran right at me! I barely made it back up to my car (which I started walking toward as soon as it entered the river). Another time I was skiing the Tower Road in the winter when a big bull was standing in the middle of the road. I tried to ski past, but every time I tried, it put its head down and started toward me. I had to go way up the hill and around. Also, while driving past a herd on the road last year (something we have all done many times) a big bull head butted my car, leaving quite a dent. Now I don't pass them; I pull over and wait for them to clear the road, no matter how long it takes. Statistically bison are far more dangerous than any other large animal in the park. 98% of the time they just stand there and you go by, but look out if they start staring intently at you!

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    It's not a dinosaur egg.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Dinosaur egg, Dinosaur National Monument