Recent comments

  • Yellowstone National Park: No Cellphone Towers in Campgrounds or Recommended Wilderness, Limits on Wi-Fi   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I applaud this ban......... There are those that are responsible and considerate, however they are in a very minor group of people. Park attendees have survived without the technology and will continue to do so with the greater peace and quiet being the winner. R & R

  • Yellowstone National Park: No Cellphone Towers in Campgrounds or Recommended Wilderness, Limits on Wi-Fi   5 years 26 weeks ago

    When it is necessary to protect the enviroment for the wildlife then that is fine. But to say they are protecting a historic experience is a little ridiculous. That might make more sense in Colonial Williamsburg, than in Yellowstone. I don't really think of Yellowstone as a historical experience.

  • National Park Superintendents Have Authority To Allow Bear Spray   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I would never go into Glacier National Park without a can of counter assault and it is encouraged as the only safe way to save your life in an encounter. There is talk of lifting the gun restriction here, so I would rather have pepper seasoned bears over dead bears. Keep the spray and use it wisely.

  • Yellowstone National Park: No Cellphone Towers in Campgrounds or Recommended Wilderness, Limits on Wi-Fi   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Wow. Yellowstone isn't historic? Not wilderness? I don't think Asa has really experienced Yellowstone.

    Yellowstone was the first National Park in the WORLD. It has more history than you can imagine. The first park Rangers, the first attempt at wilderness preservation. The reintroduction of wolves... the list is almost endless.

    Sure, the main parts aren't pure wilderness anymore. And for good reason. They are fantastic. Unlike any other place on Earth. We have to make those places available to the public. And impaired people deserve to experience it, also, like Jimhikers kid.

    We made a lot of mitakes in the beginning. Did you know Old Faithful used to have a large cone on it? The first visitors took away so many souvenier chunks- it's gone now. As a general rule- people are dumb. They have to be kept at bay. Thats why we have rules and trails to stay on.

    If you want to experience Yellowstone as true wilderness, you have to hike the back country. A simple stroll to Fairy Falls is a great beginning. Or try Lone Star Geyser. You can't expect the wilderness to come to you. A bison will- but I don't suggest getting very close to them!

    As for cell phones... once upon a time we didn't have cell phones. And we all survived. I, for one, enjoy being out of range. That's the reason I go to our National Parks and Monuments. To get away from the busy world, and enjoy the beauty of our country. Preserved for everybody to enjoy now and into the future. I don't want to see those ugly towers in the park. It's bad enough to see them everywhere else. Let's not destroy the view any more than it already has been.

  • Happy Birthday to the National Park Service Arrowhead Emblem   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Under the hood is white decal lettering- NGOWCS.

    Non-Governmental Organization Wildlife Conservation Society, perhaps?

  • Happy Birthday to the National Park Service Arrowhead Emblem   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Wow, John, that's some truck. Sure wish I could help you with your quest, but I'm afraid that I wouldn't even know where to start. Have you tried asking your local Dodge dealer for help? Seems to me that having the VIN number should enable you to track it down.

  • Yellowstone National Park: No Cellphone Towers in Campgrounds or Recommended Wilderness, Limits on Wi-Fi   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I have a multiply handicapped son and as such have mixed feelings on the cell service zones in NP's. I have needed my cell service many times inside parks to communicate with my wife to make sure we have some piece of equipment or to bring this or that. We place out phones on quiet mode and try not to be to disruptive to others. Then again I am not sure why, most have the ringers turned up as loud as they will go, take calls regardless where they might be and when talking make sure everyone around them can hear. I think I will get some good walkie talkies for us, as they will accomplish the same thing from a communications need and put a base unit in the van.

  • Are National Parks That Recommend Bear Spray Encouraging You To Break the Law?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Dave Smith

    The numbers +/- 5 may be to close to draw conclusions, but with anything to do with the outdoors or wild animals: overconfidence kills. Lack of proper bear spray use can create issues as well.

    Your statement about a park superintendent being able to make an exception to the Code of Federal Regulations for his or her particular park is huge news to me. I know about the wild, not about park hierarchy, park legal issues or park politics. Is there a source that you can point me to that shows that the superintendent has this power?

    I am not making a judgment yet as to if I am for or against the law but as with any "weapon", I am not against having to get a permit after being properly trained.

    I am upset at the lack of transparency and what appears to be selective enforcement.

  • Are National Parks That Recommend Bear Spray Encouraging You To Break the Law?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Bear related injuries have increased in Yellowstone Park's backcountry since bear spray became popular. From 1988-1997, there were 8 bear related injuries. From 1998-2007, there were 13 injuries. I'm can't prove there's a direct cause and effect: More people carrying bear spray = more bear related injuries. But backcountry use was about the same all those years. And the bear population in Yellowstone Park was probably the same. The much-publicized growth of the grizzly bear population in the Yellowstone region occured outside the park--Yellowstone was full. I think carrying bear spray fosters overconfidence that leads to confrontations and human injuries. The statistics for Denali National Park are similar.

    Bear spray is illegal unless a park superintendent makes an exception to the Code of Federal Regulations for his or her particular park. It's worth noting that any superintendent could make the same exception to allow firearms. No public review. No public comments. Just change the law and the heck with everybody.

  • Rescue of Injured Woman from Isolated Canyon at Death Valley National Park   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I had not checked this page for a couple of days and was somewhat surprised by the discussion thread that resulted from my comment about use of taxpayer dollars. After all is said and done, I'll stand by my original comment. I said I would give the person injured at Darwin Canyon the benefit of the doubt without additional information. And based upon the comments and first-hand accounts, I do indeed think that the use of taxpayer dollars here was appropriate. I still will further maintain that the situation at Buffalo National River sounds completely different in that it was not only "ill-advised" as the article indicates but it sounded really rather idiotic. Dare I say, "criminally negligent" as suggested by haunted hiker? And in the Buffalo National River case, I maintain yes, we should bill the person rescued for the costs of the rescue.

  • Yellowstone National Park: No Cellphone Towers in Campgrounds or Recommended Wilderness, Limits on Wi-Fi   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I don't know about this. It seems to me they're saying cell phones and wi-fi are the dividing line between "a historic lodging experience" or not, which seems pretty arbitrary. I think the "historic experience" train left a long time ago at Yellowstone. The main areas of Yellowstone are not wilderness or in my mind, especially historic so restricting wi-fi won't really do anything other than deny a service that many guest apparently want.

  • Yellowstone National Park Video On Using Bear Spray: Is It Legal To Use?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    they also encourage you to use bear spray at glacier park. which has a large grizzly population and people have been attacked there. it is sold in most sporting places in montana. i have one in my pickup. i would not hesitate to use it in ANY threatning situation. i really don't care what kind of stupid laws our government might have. it is not a gun! which i also have and would not be afraid to use. pepper spray will not kill a grizzly, but he can darn sure kill you. it has happened in montana several times in recent years. if you go to bear country don't be a fool, protect yourself! and be aware of your surroundings.

  • Are National Parks That Recommend Bear Spray Encouraging You To Break the Law?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Rick,

    If it is a non issue why was I contacted by a senior in the GSMNP?

    You are making huge assumptions that simply does not agree with the current law. Irritant gas is an irritant gas regardless of the form. At least that is what my lawyer told me today.

    How many people were cited? Good question. Selective enforcement of weapons laws would be a poor policy for any branch of our federal government to have.

    I am Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Storm Totals: Roughly 4 Feet   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Our forecast by the end of the week is near record highs (Denver: Thurs-Fri 81 degrees), which means fast run-off. Most of the ground is decomposed granite, so the moisture doesn't stick around long.
    This means there will still be high fire danger for those of your visiting our state.
    Please pack your common sense, leave your brain engaged, and don't forget to go home after your vacation.

  • Rescue of Injured Woman from Isolated Canyon at Death Valley National Park   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Thanks for the clarification!

    Although there were some comments above about solo hiking, that was not an issue in this case - and this was clearly one of those accidents that can happen when hiking in rough terrain. I'll edit my comments above to make that clear.

    The intent of the original article was to highlight the excellent work of the rangers and the CHP helicopter crew, so I apologize if subsequent comments took the discussion in the wrong direction.

    The best news is that a full recovery may be possible for the person involved!

  • Are National Parks That Recommend Bear Spray Encouraging You To Break the Law?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I suspect that the answer lies in when the regulations were enacted. The original weapons definition was probably enacted well before the use of OC spray to stop bear attacks and most likely was referring to tear gases like CS gas. The Alaska reg was probably created after OC spray came into common use for repelling both human and bear attacks. Regulators probably wanted to clarify the allowance since bear encounters are more common in Alaskan National Parks.

    So why wasn't the weapons definition changed? Changing regulations is a difficult process that few are willing to undertake unless there issue at hand is significant. If those who interpret the reg in the field (park rangers) read the weapons definition to mean tear gas canisters and not bear spray, then it is a non-issue. Are there any cases of rangers citing people for carrying bear spray? I doubt it.

  • Are National Parks That Recommend Bear Spray Encouraging You To Break the Law?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Ahh, gotta love Monday mornings and a touch of sarcasm. Not sure how large a carbon footprint these devices would leave, and since the "Brady group" is focused on firearms, and since bear spay is recognized as being "non-lethal," not sure they'd be interested in pursuing bear spray or mace matters.

  • Happy Birthday to the National Park Service Arrowhead Emblem   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Having a love for old Dodge Powerwagon trucks, I purchased one recently. It is painted a light green color, which I thought was unusual. What's more, on one side of the truck's door is affixed a well worn Arrowhead Decal of the Department of the Interior- National Park Service. I was told that this M880 Dodge was an Army vehicle and later a Park Service vehicle. Under the light green paint is olive drab or camo paint. I am interested in this 1977 Dodge truck's history but don't know where to look. I am also wanting to somewhat restore it to original National Park Service shape with new decals for both sides of the truck in honor of the Park Service. Any information on the light green paint preference and where to buy correct decals would be appreciated. Being a fan of the outdoors, I hope to accomplish this. The truck is a 4 wheel drive, 318 motor, single cab, longbed automatic. Under the hood is white decal lettering- NGOWCS. Inside the cab, the vehicle ID plate with M880 and VIN W24BE7S119186. Anyone knowing any history of this truck please email me at Thankyou.

  • Are National Parks That Recommend Bear Spray Encouraging You To Break the Law?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Was there an Environmental Impact Study done on this chemical loaded weapon? Chemicals used in this weapon can be lethal and will leave a large carbon footprint when the contents are expelled. I think the Brady group should file a lawsuit to force an EIP?

  • Glen Canyon NRA Releases EA on Castle Rock Cut Deepening   5 years 26 weeks ago

    I have not seen any mention of water quality. As i see it, Wahweap Bay is mostly backwater (except when Wahweap creek is flowing), or when water from the Castle Rock cut is flowing. With the deepening of the Cut, however, fresh water would flow into Wahweap Bay, and eventually to the dam, for at least a longer time during the year.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Looking For Volunteers To Help With Elk Education   5 years 26 weeks ago


    What a wonderful opportunity! I have been a volunteer with the Elk Bugle Corp in Rocky Mountain National Park for much of the last 10 years. The gentle giants are such an attraction for large groups of people. The genuine awe that viewers have for the elk and a great desire to learn about them is truly inspiring. To be able to stand among them as the herds move past in relative silence is amazing. Participation In Elk Bugle Corps is an honor and a responsibility you won't soon forget. Their amazing antics during the fall rut are a wonder to behold.

  • Are National Parks That Recommend Bear Spray Encouraging You To Break the Law?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Isn't the key word here "missiles" ? A tear gas cannister would be a missile but not a spray?

  • Interior Department Agrees To Conduct EIS on Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Laws are broken every day, sometimes because of the individual, and sometimes because of the law. So, yes laws will be broken, none have not been. An EIS should be a review to determine if an ecosystem will be harmed due to a decision. If they want to slow down and take another look at the rules, then do that, but don't hide and anti gun position under the sham of an EIS. EIS are important, no doubt, and some wildlife will be harmed, but the impact clearly would be negligible. You want to have your EIS on that point then I say go ahead, but it better come back as no significant impact and allow the guns. I can think of a hundred ways that our everyday use in the parks has a greater (and accepted) impact on wildlife. I repeat my earlier comments and point, have hearings on the rules, get public opinion, make the rule whatever these debates end up as, but don't soil the idea of an environmental impact statement over a non-environmental political issue. It harms the very core of what an EIS is for, and would diminish their effectiveness.

  • Interior Department Agrees To Conduct EIS on Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    This gun issue gets more bizarre as time goes on. As Anonymous said “Create enough bureaucracy

    and then you can guarantee that nothing gets done.” The wildlife, trees, and humans have

    nothing to fear from the licensed gun owner, as Anonymous wrote “Do you think the NPS current rule

    keeps criminals from taking their guns into Parks?” That’s the danger if there is any.

    Looking at the crime statistics in the parks, very few incidents, this whole argument is about groups of

    people making enough noise to keep and improve their positions and their finances.

  • Rescue of Injured Woman from Isolated Canyon at Death Valley National Park   5 years 26 weeks ago

    It's Always Good TO HAVE THE FACTS WHEN WRITING AN ARTICLE!!!! First lets clarify the issue that has many people complaining about. The hiker was hiking with her husband!!! They had earlier seen the rangers so initiall he yelled for help. Eventually - he went looking for the rangers and was able to locate them to come help his wife. According to the victim and her husband - the rangers and the CHP were terrific and they are very grateful for the successful rescue!!!! She has had two surgeries and expected to have another this week... so when she is able she may have time to clarify for everyone!!! Again thanks to the rescue team YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!