Recent comments

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    $10,000 is nothing in a rescue, that wouldn't even cover the costs of starting up the helicopters. Generally costs are covered by the county in which the subject went missing. The county has the option of charging the county of residence for the missing person, but this doesn't really happen ever. There have been instances where missing persons have been charged, especially if it wasn't their first time. People's families would call, regardless of the cost. What happens is that uninformed people think that SAR is easy and expect them to be there. I'm glad the boys are OK, really, but they got themselves into a bad situation and made some really bad decisions even in the planning stages of their trek.

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Just in case you people are not aware, one of these men is a police officer and a iraq vet..both very under paid jobs.. this man has served us as we are now serving him, remeber what comes around goes around.. humans dont turn their back on other humans in need regardles of the cost.. and by the way most search and rescue members are volunteers and as far as the helicopters and so on we dont charge crooks for the use of a helicopter in a police pursuit.

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    The big problem with charging for rescues is that you get people who might not consider calling for the rescue if they know they'll be charged. Who's going to call for help from any public service agency if they know they're directly going to be charged for it.

    Various fees and resources go into search and rescue funds - like an insurance premium where the costs are spread out with many people who might need them.

    Of course New Hampshire apparently tried the "charge the rescued party" route and are getting much deserved criticism. They're trying to charge $25,000, which was the cost because they had to import a helicopter from out of state.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-09-23-rescuefee_N.htm?csp=34

    The article notes that some states might charge but have a fairly low cap. If it were only $500 - I wouldn't be phased. Some people might think long and hard if they know they might be charged $10,000.

  • Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    My point is that by and large, a few miles from the trailhead there's plenty of room to enjoy some solitude. I don't mind seeing people on the trail either. It's public land after all, so I expect to have to share it. I think that a lot of the push against cyclists is that they somehow impact other perception of their "solitude". That's understandable, but frankly is a really bad argument. Again, if one wants complete solitude, one should buy his/her own piece of land and stay there. Nobody should expect complete solitude on taxpayer funded trails. They're ours to share.

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    going hiking in the parks,is quite different then someone breaking into your home,and by the way the park service fees dont cover (folks) that stray from where they are supposed to go...if you want an adventure then pay to get rescued period...

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Why should there be a charge?

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Do you think each person should be sent a bill for every emergency service requested? Say, when someone is breaking into your home and you call the police part of the information you give will be a credit card number so they can charge you for sending police to your house. No credit card, sorry no service.

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    they do charge.... it's in the park access fees.

  • Updated: Searchers Spot Missing Backpackers On Ledge In Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    hope they get out okay,but when are we going to charge for these rescues,i know it must take a lot of resourses to do these things...

  • Flamingo Lodge is No More   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I'm still mourning the loss of Flamingo Lodge. Since I travel alone, I always felt safe going to the lodge when I wanted to visit the Everglades. Staying in the local motels is NOT my favorite experience, though I have done it. The notion that a 30 room hotel will suffice, or that we should stay in "eco-tents" is ludicrous.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Epic Treks in the National Parks Are on Your To-Do List?   5 years 32 weeks ago

    We flew through Gates of the Arctic NP and landed at Summit Lake, above the Arctic Circle. We then hiked for 5 days along the N. Fork of the Koyakuk River on a trailess route. At the Gates of the Arctic itself, we picked up two small rafts and floated for 9 days until we came to Bettles, Alaska, our take out place.

    Total # of people seen: 0
    Total # of grizzly scat: uncountable
    Total # of grizzlies seen: 0
    Total # of fords of the river: numerous
    Total # of aircraft observed: several each day
    Total amount of awesome scenery: endless
    Total days of rain: almost every day
    Total number of times we packed wet tents and other gear: almost every day
    Total amount of fun: immeasurable.

    Rick Smith

  • Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Whether people are on the trails when you're on them is beside the point. If you went back there on your bike and ran into dozens of other users how would that have affected your perspective?

    Isn't part of the beauty of getting into the backcountry the solitude that exists there? Last September I spent five days canoeing Yellowstone Lake with two friends. We never encountered another party -- just wolves, grizz, bald eagles and sandhill cranes. I thought it was wonderful. This past September I took several hikes in Yosemite, and ran into other groups on each of them. It was great seeing people out on the trail enjoying the park, but it wasn't the same experience I had in Yellowstone.

    If I'm inferring your point correctly, Zeb, it's that the trails appear empty and so why shouldn't bikers be able to use them. I would reply that the "snapshot moment" you experienced didn't necessarily demonstrate that the trails are not been used, and at the same time it offered you the type of experience you were seeking. Didn't you enjoy it more having the trail to yourself than jockeying with others, be they on foot, bike, or horse?

    As I indicated earlier, I'm working on a story regarding how Americans are using the outdoors. I think we'll all find the findings interesting, and hopefully it will lead to further dialog on what can be done to see that all groups can achieve the experiences they're seeking.

  • On the Run: Racers See Four National Parks on Two Feet in One Day   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Cheryl, you are quite welcome. Congratulations to you and all of the race committee for a most enjoyable event! It was a very fun day, and the focus on keeping it green was most appreciated. I'm already looking forward to next year!

  • Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees   5 years 32 weeks ago

    This is indeed a fairly crazy debate. I've ridden around the San Francisco quite a bit. Often, a few miles from the trailheard, I hardly see another user, and that's in the midst of a huge metropolis with millions of people. I can't imagine that there are many people milling around in the backcountry in the middle of nowhere.

  • On the Run: Racers See Four National Parks on Two Feet in One Day   5 years 32 weeks ago

    As part of the race committee too, GoGreenGals was inspired that Freedom's Run adopted a green program in its inaugural year. As the marathon grows we hope to encourage our motto "Keep the pace, Reduce the footprint." When we become aware of the natural beauty around us; stewardship, conservation, and eco awareness are soon to follow. http://www.freedomsrun.org/GoGreen.aspx
    Congrats to all of the participants!

  • Pruning the Parks: Castle Pinckney National Monument (1933-1956)   5 years 32 weeks ago

    RoadRanger, there were just too damn many Charles Pinckneys for my feeble neural networks to process. Let's give this thing a rest, OK? Well, maybe not yet. Wasn't the Charles Pinckney of Charles Pinckney National Historic Site the first cousin once removed of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney? BTW, thanks for not pointing out my misspelling of the latter's name in the article.

  • Winter Reaches the High Country Of Yosemite National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Beautiful picture! We used to live in Merced ('87-"90) and would visit often. Moved back to WNY and still miss Yosemite very much.Last there in 2008 for my daughters wedding.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I'd note that there are historical reports of an effort to turn the Lake Tahoe Basin (California and Nevada) into a national park between 1915 and 1925. Several California legislators tried to push that through. That was long before there was any large scale development. There were a few scattered private resorts in the area. It would have been relatively easy and most of the area was (still is) federal land.

    Right now it would next to impossible to turn the area into a national park. There are just way too many people living there now. Any move to turn over the Forest Service lands to the NPS would be shot down by the locals.

  • Pruning the Parks: Castle Pinckney National Monument (1933-1956)   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I have been victimized by the same curse. Charles Pinckney's mother is Frances Brewton Pinckney. Eliza Lucas Pinckney was the mother of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. My apologies for not proofing more carefully. I am now ready to move on to another topic, quickly.

  • Pruning the Parks: Castle Pinckney National Monument (1933-1956)   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Bob, I'm afraid the Pinckney name curse has struck again. The Charles Pinckney National Historic Site is named for Charles (1757-1824), son of Col. Charles and Eliza Lucas Pinckney, not Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746-1825). Charles Cotesworth and Charles were first cousins. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney does have an association with the National Historic Site, historically known as Snee Farm and owned by his cousin, because he was held prisoner there by British forces in 1781. If there isn't enough confusion already, NPS fans need to know that the lowcountry farm house on the site was built after Charles Pinckney's death and has no association whatsoever with his life and times. If there ever was a place that needed a pre-visit tutorial and a genealogical chart as part of the park brochure, it is CHPI. In fact, an argument could be made that some of the national significance attributes at CHPI are quite a stretch. Could the site find itself on the "Pruning the Parks" list someday? I'd say it is a candidate in the right economic and political climate.

    Thanks for all your contributions to Traveler. Looking forward to more.

  • Reader Participation Day: What Epic Treks in the National Parks Are on Your To-Do List?   5 years 32 weeks ago

    "Trip of a lifetime"? How about the fellow who spent 17 years hiking all 16,500 miles of the eleven National Scenic trails: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/outdoors/2009991831_trailguy03m.html

    These are way out of my league anymore, but I'd like to suggest a couple more manageable epic treks at Olympic. There's the entire Bailey Range-Mount Olympus traverse, stating at Soleduc and finishing at Hoh rainforest. For a different sort of challenge, try hiking the entire wild coast from Kalaloch to Shi-Shi. Native Americans could probably be hired to ferry the tidal river crossings.

  • On the Run: Racers See Four National Parks on Two Feet in One Day   5 years 32 weeks ago

    As a member of the Freedom's Run Race Committee I would like to thank you for such a well written article, I believe you caught the mood of the day and of the race. Everything went as planned and I didn't hear one complaint all day! We witnessed many very happy people.

    I would also encourage folks to come back any time of the year to visit our region; there is always something for everyone here.
    http://www.shepherdstownvisitorscenter.com

    Our next BIG event will be Christmas in Shepherdstown. This will take place the last weekend in November and the first weekend in December. Info will be up soon on our website. A fun time for all!

    Thanks again,
    Cheryl Keyrouze

  • Reader Participation Day: What Would You Like to See Added to the National Park System?   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Hi I saw your recommendations for national parks online. I would hope that the Hiawatha National Forest (both segments) in the Upper Penisula of Michigan be made into the "Three Great Lakes National Park." All the land is Federal land, and it would connect by a park the shores of three of the Great lakes--Michigan, Huron and Superior. What a great mid west park that would be. Since it is all on Federal lands, the presidsent with the stroke of the pen could create it all as a National Monument, as a prelude to national park Status. Gabe Sheridan

  • Search Under Way For Missing Backpackers in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Also, is there a website where the SAR activities are updated? I know in San Bernardino County there is, but not sure in this area. Thanks.

  • Forest Service Drawing Line On Mountain Bikers in Potential Wilderness, National Park Service Agrees   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Hi, Kurt,

    To answer your question, the characterization of old-line conservationism is my own editorial comment and doesn't appear in the academic study. These threads are occasions for rhetorical asides and I am wont to indulge in them! I think my comment is, however, a fair inference from things that the study does discuss. I would be curious to know how many, e.g., Sierra Club members are under 50 years old, nonurban, nonaffluent, etc. I bet not many. It wouldn't surprise me if in 10 years the average member's age in the organizations the study refers to is 60 or above. That's not auspicious for their futures.

    I agree with your comments about people's isolation from nature. That's a major problem throughout the country as far as I can see. We nonmotorized outdoors enthusiasts ought not to be one another's foes and should find common ground before it's too late. That's especially so given the practicalities of visits to wildlands. I mountain-biked some high-altitude areas of Colorado this summer. They were, essentially, empty at the height of the summer season. I might as well have been in the outback of Canada's Northwest Territories for all the people I saw.

    imtnbke