Recent comments

  • On Canyoneering, Politics, and Teens Studying Climate Change in the National Parks   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Teaching about "climate change"
    Is similar to preaching
    In that it appeals largely to believers
    Who for salvation are reaching.

    In the absence of a clear definition of "climate change"
    And correspondingly pertinent, current empirical data
    Curricular content is a "figtree" of the teacher's imagination (after the Kingfish)
    That will be recognized as such sooner or later.

  • "Wilderness Wal-Mart" Near Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Gets Go-Head From Virginia Officials   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Too often it's all about business, LASMHHTLIM.

    BUSINESS!

  • National Parks Lost A Strong Advocate With the Passing of Art Allen   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Art placed enormous effort and energy into moderating the [protectnationalparks] discussion list, which was created in 2003 to support the Campaign to Protect America's Lands and under which the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR) operated. Art helped to open the discussion list to people such as myself who weren't National Park Service (NPS) retirees or long-term NPS employees, but, were very interested in NPS issues. I learned a lot and made valuable contacts for which I will be forever grateful. This was not only good for me and others like me, but, for those within the CNPSR, as well. When the [protectnationalparks] discussion list was shut down and the subsequent Parkland Watch discussion list was started up, Art carried on with his tremendous work ethic as moderator and as an advocate for openness to discussion. I will sorely miss Art.

    Condolences go out from the Crater Lake Institute.

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

  • National Parks Lost A Strong Advocate With the Passing of Art Allen   5 years 29 weeks ago

    My condolences go out ... thanks for letting us know. I know he was a contributor to this site; you can read all his contributions here - http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/users/art-allen .

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

  • On Canyoneering, Politics, and Teens Studying Climate Change in the National Parks   5 years 29 weeks ago

    It's wise not to have commercial guides for canyoneering in Zion. Commercial guide services already operate legally in many canyons near there on BLM-managed public lands, such as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Visitor demand in Zion focuses on a few popular canyons, and all available permit spots are filled, as you reported. My concern is that commercial guiding could lead to pressure on NPS to increase the party-size and daily visitor limits in the canyons. The limits were carefully set to avoid harming plant and animal life and to preserve the wild canyon setting for visitors.

  • "Wilderness Wal-Mart" Near Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park Gets Go-Head From Virginia Officials   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Ah, but what about good ole Kelo vs. New London , 2005?

    Supreme Court upheld the forced sale of private property as emminent domain even if the resulting development was not for public use.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/04-108.ZS.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelo_v._City_of_New_London

    Why can local government seize private property to help the profitability of corporations, but not to preserve areas of concern to the public? If emminent domain can be streched to help housing developments, why can it not it be used help a battlefield where thousands of Americans died in our own country? I guess this is not a good enough "public puropose"

  • Too Many Deer in the Nation's Capital? Rock Creek Park Holds a Public Meeting on Wednesday   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I read that article, anon, and it doesn't say there are 60,000 moose in Maine. It says they don't know how many moose there are in Maine. There could be as few as 25,000 or as many as 60,000, depending on how you count. That said, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that the moose population of Maine has increased substantially. It does seem a bit simplistic to attribute that to hunting.

  • Too Many Deer in the Nation's Capital? Rock Creek Park Holds a Public Meeting on Wednesday   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Birth control would be a much better solution, if this is really about reducing the deer population. Personally, I suspect there is something more sinister agenda behind this suggestion.
    But in response to the concern raised, hunting does not guarantee a reduction in the population of an animal species. According to the article below, Maine tried this approach with Moose. The result is am increase in the Moose population from 20,000 to 60,000.
    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-15036511.html

  • Another Gettysburg Witness Tree is Lost   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I like CWB's suggestion, though I'm hopeful nature has done that for us already.

  • Wanna Be in Pictures? Casting Call for Upcoming Film at Gettysburg National Military Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Will she succeed in securing key Gettysburg properties for her firm and earning a promotion, or will she leave Gettysburg understanding that historic value sometimes trumps property value? Students will follow her journey . . .

    Teach your children well.

  • Missing Hiker Reported in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks twitter posted yesterday shortly after 3:00 pm reads:

    Missing person in Inyo National Forest/ Kings Canyon National Park found alive and well! Thanks to all who responded.

    Can't confirm this. I tried to get more info from source, but it appears that the server is down.

  • Missing Hiker Reported in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Any further information on Mr Saenz? Is anyone looking for him?

  • There Won’t be Any “Hot Springs National Park Massage Parlor” on Ken Salazar’s Watch   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Thanks for the feedback, d-2. The examples of partnerships and cooperative stewardship that you've cited show that confrontation should be the last resort, not the tactic of choice. The Hot Springs brouhaha is a no-win game for the Park Service. Let's hope it gets settled soon so it can get out from under the media spotlight. I share your feeling that Jarvis will make a difference.

  • There Won’t be Any “Hot Springs National Park Massage Parlor” on Ken Salazar’s Watch   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Another park where the dividing line between Park and City is indistinct is Lowell National Historical Park and the City of Lowell.

    They have a great cooperative relationship, each really valuing the other, each helping the other out where the one has capacity the other lacks.

    This is the nature of such a park. Same thing should be, at Hot Springs. Professional park management needs to understand the distinctive nature and legislative history of the specific park, and not always try to impose a 'one size fits all' approach to everything.

    At the Franklin Roosevelt home in Hyde Park New York, generations of national park superintendents and Presidential Librarians fought out just such macho nonsense over who is the real leader, who's rules should apply.

    At Jamestown, VA, there are 3 landowners, a state park, a national park, a non-profit. There have been recent (sometimes successful efforts) to make things right, but there has been too much poison over the years about who is the REAL Jamestown. But ya know what?? The public largely pays no attention to bureaucratic boundary distinctions. When they go to Jamestown and Williamsburg, to the vast majority of the visiting public, it is ONE experience of an important place. Same thing at Lowell. Same thing at Hyde Park. True, everybody knows West Yellowstone is outside the park. But under any circumstances, it is smart for all parties to figure out a way to work together, and focus on the visitor and the resource, not their administrative perogatives.

    Yes, it is critical that national parks protect their lands, and follow the exacting laws requiring non-impairment. But that is not the issue here. It is about the "what if" paranoia that the reputation of the national park, or the city, will be undermined by the bad behavior of the other. It is usually -- not always -- a far fetched concern.

    I know this superintendent, and she is not a bad person. She IS inclined to listen too hard to central office bureaucrats, and it would do all parties -- THE CITY JUST AS MUCH AS THE PARK -- to consider what really matters, to consider that the success of the other is essential to its own success, and figure out a way to work together.

    My expectation is that the new director, Jonathan Jarvis, understands what does and does not matter in these things, and understands you must make an effort to work together, rather than find needless points of combat.

  • There Won’t be Any “Hot Springs National Park Massage Parlor” on Ken Salazar’s Watch   5 years 29 weeks ago

    What is it exactly that the city should knock off? The city has done nothing wrong. The Hot Springs Advertising and Promotions Commission did things right. They have a letter dated 8/7/02 from the former Superintendant Giddings giving permission to use the words National Park in the logo. Bernard Fagan, Chief of the NPS Office of Policy, was deposed recently and acknowledged that he does not know of any policy of the NPS requiring a written license agreement with any vendor who wants to use a mark that incorporates the words "national park". So tell me why after 7 years all of the sudden the city is in the wrong?

    Without the dollars that the Hot Springs A&P Commission spend on advertising, our sleepy little town would be dead...instead it is thriving. Bringing not only transient visitors to town but also convention goers. It is a win/win for the park and for the city to allow the logo to remain as is.

  • PFDs Are Proven Lifesavers. Should Boaters be Required to Wear Them?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I'm a commercial river guide, and we would let no one on the river without a PFD. Neither would you ever see a guide without one. The more you know about the river, the more respectful you are of what it can do. In some cases, not even a PFD can save you. But it's clear that you are much, much safer with one than without one, and the designs they are coming out with now make them very unobtrusive. I wore a bulky "Mae West" jacket all the way down the Colorado on a 30-day trip and was thankful for it. Now you can get good PFDs that you're barely aware that you're wearing. But when it comes to requiring their use, I'm thinking we might just want to let evolution take its natural course.

  • There Won’t be Any “Hot Springs National Park Massage Parlor” on Ken Salazar’s Watch   5 years 29 weeks ago

    This is ridiculous. The City of Hot Springs needs to play by the rules. The National Park Service needs to play by the rules. If one or the other doesn't, they should have to deal with the consequences. What if West Yellowstone, MT went around calling itself West Yellowstone National Park, Montana?

    I used to work in a park with a similar problem. The nearby chamber of commerce visitor center called itself the "Blah Blah National Park Visitor Center" and it greatly confused visitors, especially when the chamber gave out downright false information and often dangerous advice (eg, 'even if the gate is locked, just drive around it..if you're truck is stuck, the park will come pull you out).

    If the city doesn't knock it off, the Park Service should hold them to the fire and make an example out of them.

  • There Won’t be Any “Hot Springs National Park Massage Parlor” on Ken Salazar’s Watch   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Hot Springs National Park actually has a second Bathhouse in operation. The Quapaw was recently renovated and is operated under a private lease. A third, the Fordyce Bathhouse is NPS run museum/visitors center.

    The visit by Secretary Salazar was disappointing to say the least. We (the majority of Hot Springs residents) had hoped for a more productive visit. It is so unfortunate that the relationship between the city and park has become so contentious in just the past 5 years. It is our hope that Superintendent Fernandez finds herself promoted to a new park ...

    This comment was edited to remove a gratuitous remark. Ed.

  • Court Ruling Blocks Some ORV Access to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Other Federal Lands   5 years 29 weeks ago

    One less "road" that off-road enthusiast can enjoy thanks to courts. Another right taken away by environmental extremist. Sad day.
    -rich
    San Diego, CA

  • Another Gettysburg Witness Tree is Lost   5 years 29 weeks ago

    poor tree we will miss you =(

  • Wanna See Something Too Gorgeous for Words? Check Out the New Non-Narrative “Living Death Valley” DVD   5 years 29 weeks ago

    This is BEAUTIFUL. I camped in the mountains above Death Valley for many years (I live in Fla now). It is my very favorite place. This film shows why. Love it.

  • There Won’t be Any “Hot Springs National Park Massage Parlor” on Ken Salazar’s Watch   5 years 29 weeks ago

    You can still get a massage at several resort lodges within NPS units, like Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort at Olympic National Park. Is it a massage parlor? Hardly so. However - they do list rates for massages.

    http://www.visitsolduc.com/hotspringsandpools.cfm

    Still - I been part of online discussions of what should be designated a National Park today. One very strong theme was that Hot Springs National Park wouldn't likely to receive a "National Park" designation if it were to be considered today. The gist seems to be that it was declared a National Park at a time when nobody was really sure what should or shouldn't be declared a National Park.

    Still - I understand the concern that the NPS has. It seems that the city is blurring the line between what is Hot Springs NP and the city. Anyone walking in West Yellowstone, MT is acutely aware that it's not NPS land. The visitor to the city of Hot Springs may not be so aware.

  • It Ain't Sexy: Charting The Next Two Decades At Apostle Islands National Lakeshore   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Thanks Mike!

  • It Ain't Sexy: Charting The Next Two Decades At Apostle Islands National Lakeshore   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    In case you need a little fodder for a future update, here is my post after going to the open house meeting in Madison, WI.

    http://www.parkstamps.org/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?16604.last

  • There Won’t be Any “Hot Springs National Park Massage Parlor” on Ken Salazar’s Watch   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Well, Anonymous Robert, other than some sly word-play here and there, I don't see anything 'written' here by Bob Janiskee that besmirches Massage. Unless you are talking about his quote of our Secretary of the Interior from Colorado. Who knows? Maybe in Colorado 'Massage Parlor' remains a euphemism, or has at least a double meaning? Nothing against Colorado, of course, just guys who never take off their hat.

    And Bob Janiskee, since you are the King of Naming & Classification for National Parks, this very early national park at Hot Springs is one of the best examples of the limits of rigorous logic or jesuitical precision to the language of national parklands.

    The town and the park have always been rolled together. The somewhat bizarre effort of the current superintendent to create a distinction is surely inconsistent with the history of the town and park, whatever it says in the Management Policies or CFR. When the distinguished Senator Dale Bumpers as one of his legacy efforts at the end of his career in Congress (performed about the same time he served as chief counsel for the defence of W.J. Clinton before the Senate impeachment trial) was to try to put the park up to a higher level, after years of neglect and want. Does any one in the NPS doubt that the main reason that happened is Bumper's concern for the town? You'd think a smart superintendent would wrap her park's future around the town.

    The rank-and-file-Yosemite-mafia-type-Ranger of course has always been uncomfortable with Hot Springs, because it is really so different from the purple-mountain's-majesty-type national park, or the Basin and Range ideal. But because it is a throwback to an earlier era, and is one of the very earliest national parks in the United States, most of these guys don't know whether to attack it or support it. It is a perfect topic for Bob Janiskee's List of Anomalies. Truth is, it is the American take on the Victorian or 19th Century European 'pleasuring ground,' in the original concept of 'recreation.'

    I mean, where would 'The Last Year at Marienbad' be without the spa? Or all the other famous European or English resorts? You didn't just go for the scenery and the hiking.

    Although we have people today who see any resort in a national park - even the one at Yellowstone - as an intrusion, there was a time when the relationship between the place and the resort was inextricable. Like, at Hot Springs.

    Even a cowboy from Colorado in a cowboy hat will have a hard time extracating this one. I suggest, we need fewer lawyers involved, and a few more people with a sense of the cultural history of recreation. And a superintendent with a sense of humor.