Recent comments

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Thanks for the information and that amazing photo, Anon. There's clearly a lot more to this Lygodium business than meets the eye. I'll watch for updates and hope that some sort of breakthrough will soon happen on the biological control front. Meanwhile I've made a few edits to the article based on the new-to-me information you've supplied. I never cease to be amazed at the breadth and depth of NPT reader expertise.

  • Rules! Rules! Rules!   5 years 25 weeks ago

    i,ve ben told that you can not use a metal detector in a national park say like lake meade national park.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Sorry I'm late to this party: our connection to the rest of the internet died again yesterday.

    If you want to see a graphic image of Lygodium collapsing and killing a tree island, look at:
    http://bio.fiu.edu/lygodium/images/DSCN1108.jpg I shot this in the Loxahatchee NWR not Everglades National Park. Currently, on the order of 1/3 or 1/2 of the tree islands in Loxahatchee are infested with Lygodium. Lygodium is still sparse in ENP: a few patches in Brazilian Pepper (itself another exotic invasive species) and mangroves on the western park of the park. [The last I knew, there actually is more Lygodium in Big Cypress than in ENP.] Tony Pernas and Jonathan Taylor of NPS deserve credit.

    While Lygodium _can_ grow on sawgrass, marshes, ditches, and prairies, it doesn't grow very large there. It grows large and produces billions of spores when it climbs on trees. The reason folks are more scared about Lygodium than about Melaleuca or Australian Pine (Casuarina) or Brazilian Pepper (Schinus) or even kudzu (not a problem in south Florida) is that for the other exotic species, control actions can start on one side and roll back the infestation, because seed dispersal isn't that great. Melaleuca is "officially" extirpated in ENP because they first went after the small outlying patches that served as seed sources or foci of further spread, then they systematically went after the solid stands on the edges of the park. Lygodium doesn't have local dispersal: the spores that started the infestations in the southwest part of ENP likely blew in from Loxahatchee, 40-75km away. Therefore, Lygodium must be controlled over very large areas simultaneously.

    This report is a bit out of date in the last comment about biological control. Bob Pemberton of USDA in Davie is pretty far along in testing biological control agents (a weevil and a rust fungus). However, the patchy "islands" of habitat (tree islands, bay heads, etc.) are a major problem for biological control to be effective. Lygodium produces billions of spores, which disperse very long distances, so almost every tree island receives new spores every month, and new Lygodium infestations can pop up anywhere. Effective passive biological control would require a control organism that can colonize new patches of Lygodium at least as fast as Lygodium colonizes new tree islands: a pretty tough race against a fern with spores. My little project on spore germination & growth requirements and a bit of math suggests that biological control may be feasible, but not self-sustaining: someone is likely to have to culture the rust and weevils and release them on 5-10% of the tree islands each year.

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    If you'd like to see before-and-after photos of Tregedar Ironworks --in its heyday and then lying in ruins, that is -- visit http://web.ukonline.co.uk/b.gardner/tredegar/trediron.htm.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I won't hold you to that promise, Donna. If they ever start enforcing a "learn before you speak" rule here at NPT, I'll be out of business!

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    You'll have to forgive my ignorance in my previous comment. I found there is also much research going on to find a "killer" for this plant. I read scientists and biologists have been working on finding natural enemies of this plant in many of the areas where it originated from. On that note, I will remember to learn before I speak.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I remember this plant when I lived down south. It was all over, but most times you could see the hanging vines from where people were cutting it down to make use in home decorations. I pulled up a website for this blanket vine and found many people harvest this plant for not only medicinal purposes but for design as well. Is there a way that we can also harvest this plant to the benefit of our nation? I also read there is yet any type of "killing device" for this plant. So then, how does Japan and China, which this is most native to, keep theirs "under control"? There has got to be a way. The goats sounds great, but goats can be as invasive as well. Also, thriving in the Everglades may damper a "harvest" as it wouldn't be an easy thing to acquire. I just wonder why we haven't gone to the "source" to find out how to "control" this thriving if invasive plant.

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I toured this lovely ironworks when I was there in 2006. Amazing. Finding it was an adventure in of itself as well. I saw so many amazing older buildings (I'm a huge fan of architecture) my excitement at finding this place was bumped up a notch at wanting to just stop and check these buildings out. I didn't tour the museum since I too lacked the expense of admission at the time. But being able to walk around the grounds and be where they were during the war was intense, for me anyway. I could hear the clanging of the machines and smell the heat of the fires while they were making the ammunitions and whatever else they made there. Truly amazing.

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Richmond is definitely on my list, dap. I want to check out Tredegar (including that museum) for myself, but mostly I want to explore Richmond. At one time or another I've visited nearly all the battlefields in your area, but it's been a looooooong time since I've been in your fair city. I suppose it must have changed a good bit since 1964?

  • NPCA, PEER Voice Concerns Over Proposed Mountain Bike Rule Change In National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    A Denver Post article on the same topic has triggered an avalanche of comments there, so on the off-chance that people haven't had their fill of discussions of this issue, I'm providing a link to the debate:

    http://neighbors.denverpost.com/viewtopic.php?t=11762899

  • Bush Administration's Haste Could Doom New Gun Rules In National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Anonymous said, "The overwhelming majority of respondants, to the tune of 73%, were adamently opposed to the rule change."

    Actually, the majority of the respondents were in FAVOR of the rule change! I assume you've been following the Brady Bunch's teaching fairly closely. If you'd like to do a little independent research, you can follow this link and read the comments for yourself. There are thousands of them. Pick a dozen or so AT RANDOM. See what they say, then decide.

    http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?sid=119C6B4B6492&Ntt=e8-09606&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&N=0&css=0&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055

    President Obama's administration might reverse this rule change. But it will not be done quietly. There will be a lot of loud voices from the people of this country who are tired of being treated like criminals while the REAL criminals walk the streets "on probation".

  • Bush Administration's Haste Could Doom New Gun Rules In National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Sailorcurt,
    Sorry to be the one to inform you that you have your facts 180 degrees off! The overwhelming majority of respondants, to the tune of 73%, were adamently opposed to the rule change.

    This policy change clearly did not have the support in congress to pass, so the Bush administration defied the legal rule making process and scrambled to pass it before he left office without the required assessments and votes from congress .

    Thankfully, this rule change will not stand, and will be overturned by the courts or the Obama administration!!!

  • Spammers Are Targeting National Parks Traveler   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Sorry to hear abou that. I hope you catch them, Kurt.

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Bob,

    Thank you so very much for your kind words on my first-time-ever article! It was enjoyable to create, to say the least, and Kurt was kind enough to allow me to do so for NPT!

    I must admit that I mentioned the privately operated American Civil War Center Museum in passing because I did not tour the entire facility, since it was not part of the NPS unit per se. (Plus admission costs $8.00, which I lacked on that particular day, along with ample time...)

    The lobby proper was all that I viewed, and it did contain several exhibits. The website eludes to quite a bit more to see, and their flagship exhibit of the Restored Gun Foundry sounds quite intriguing!

    http://www.tredegar.org/

    Since I encourage any tourism to our city, I would say of course you should make the trip! Even if this part proved to be a let down, there's so much Civil War Era History to explore in the Richmond area that you would certainly not leave disappointed.

    A tour of nearby Belle Isle and Hollywood Cemetery alone would make such a trip worthwhile. (Sorry for the shameless plug...)

    Thanks again!

    dap

  • Can You Find the Desert Five-Spot In Death Valley National Park?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I've seen many Desert Five Spots in my winters in Death Valley. I would recommend driving thru the town of Shoshone and North thru the south end of the park (I believe it is Hwy 178), past Ashford Mill and Mormon Point. The flowers usually start blooming in the South end of the park and work their way North. Plus I've seen desert bighorn sheep a few times around the Mormon Point area. Don't forget to stop at Badwater on your way to Furnace Creek either!

  • Can You Find the Desert Five-Spot In Death Valley National Park?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Will be going to Death Valley next week for vacation.I know it will only be the beginning of the wild flower explosion, but I will be looking for the Desert Five Spot and many more. I am a Grand Canyon employee but must confess Death Valley is my favorite park to visit.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Well I may have been wrong and it was goats. it was while since I saw that show. I have not heard about this climbing fern before but reminded me of kudzu which has reached MD now. This is just nature at its worst or best with a new interloping sucessfully crowding out existing lifeforms.

    The qustion is do we want to try and bring it back to it's past or adapt to the new situation? This is the eternal question of parks. We had gypsy moth infestations and pine beetles. Mankind has been struggling since existence fighting against nature and in the most we have suceeded.

    It is amazing to me to see orderly farmlands revert to scrub and then forests. Volacanoe ravaged areas spring back with new growth. Life is determined to survive.

  • Bush Administration's Haste Could Doom New Gun Rules In National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I don't recall having a Bill of Needs. A Bill of Rights we do have. I don't see the Need to allow you post your drivel on the internet. However I do see you have the Right.

    -TF...

  • National Park Quiz 38: African Americans   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Thanks for the feedback, Denny. I had no idea that the Wrights and Dunbar were classmates.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Kudzu is a whole 'nuther matter, RAH. Being a South Carolina resident, I'm thoroughly familiar with "the plant that ate the South." Some people say that you can only kill kudzu by driving a stake through it's heart, but I suspect that may be an exaggeration. I've seen goats used for kudzu control, but this is the first I've heard of sheep being used for that purpose.

  • National Park Quiz 38: African Americans   5 years 25 weeks ago

    12. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park does not just consist of the Wright Cycle Company complex and other sites associated with the Wright Brothers. It also includes the Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial. This memorial, which is operated by the Ohio Historical Society, preserves the home of a renowned African American
    a. aviator
    b. musician and painter
    c. poet and writer
    d. aeronautical engineer

    I think the better question would be: Who published Paul Lawrence Dunbar's first works? A: former classmates of his, Orville and Wilbur Wright. Few realize the brothers ran a printing business prior to their cycle and later aviation work.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    As I try to clear vines and honeysuckle from overgrown gardens and cut down treees that have grown up I recall that Leif Erickson wanted to call this land " Vineland" I think that is very appropiate. It is an exhausting struggle to clear vines and this seems to a similar situation. Kudzu has taken over vast track and I saw a show on using sheep to graze the areas down and the use of border collies to round them up. The persn trailers sheep to an area and then another area just to keep thes pest from infesting areas.

  • Why is Clear-cutting Allowed in Japan's Iconic Park, Daisetsuzan?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I was able to find an official website that seems to show a protection plan and a use plan. Unfortunately I can't understand Japanese. However, Google can translate non image based text. Here is a link with a map of the park and a translated explanation of the management (it is very brief, and doesn't provide conclusive evidence of a biosphere reserve use model).

  • Why is Clear-cutting Allowed in Japan's Iconic Park, Daisetsuzan?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I surely wouldn't stand for seeing this in any US park. But, there are other models of parks where logging may be an appropriate. One example is based off of the Biosphere Reserve . In this model core zones are heavily protected, buffer zones are heavily managed, while in a transition zone consumptive activities can take place. Many "national parks" around the world even have large populations of people living within their boarders (No, not seasonal employees).

    I guess I cannot agree or disagree (and shouldn't) until I find out how the park was setup. I'll have to do some digging.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I do also Bryan. the past evidence in NF and the states have been so far good. No one wants what you fear. The primary difference is that most people equate guns and criminals and since criminals do bad things with guns that bleeds over into fear what decent people will do. But guns are just a tool used for ill or good.

    Our parks are valuable to Americans but CCW should not impact that at all. Any irresponsible use should be cracked down hard. Part of that is continuing education at ranges and hunting to use guns responsibly and to follow the rules. Most gun users are very responsible, they understand the risks too well. I have taken a greenie to the trap range and when he made a mistake , three of us instantly corrected him at the same time. It made an impression that gun safety is very important.

    I would like to see gun safety education in high schools and rifle teams so more young people get the right lessons rather than what they get from videos and movies. I want people to be competent, not afraid but use these tools responsibly.

    That is one reason why CCW holders have a better record than even police in gun handling and incidents becasue they have to jump through many hoops and all the gun community emphasizes responsible use. This has to be a continuing effort.