Recent comments

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Back to rebut Rick T. There is no requirement of need in order to exercise a right. It is my right to have and carry an firearm by the 2A. The need is irrelelevant. I do not have to justify my need to any equipment I bring when I visit any location including a National Park. That is what it means to be free citizen of America.

    The votes in both the House and Senate were overwhelming in favor. Next year I will plan a horse riding trip and be able to carry if I choose. I will not be a victim to any predator, human or animal. No one has the right to demand that of me. Yet those who puposedly want to disarm me be are choosing that I have no right to live if attacked.
    So, No I do not have to state a need, Rick T. You have to abide by my civil rights next February 2010.

  • Should Anything Be Done With Angel's Landing?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Yes, the outdoors is dangerous and people should be responsible for their actions. However, how many people have to die before Zion acts in some fashion? This is a sanctioned trail which is only fit for a small percentage of the mainly tourists who visit the park. Classify AL as backcountry, keep the trail open, but save some lives.

  • Tips for Staying Safe During Your Visit to the National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Chief Ranger makes some excellent points.

    I agree that the NPS as a whole and many individual parks need to look for new ways to be more effective - and proactive - in terms of safety.

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    no way...

    GWH should be Jack Black. Get him in the gym and let the hair grow and he'd be PERF.

  • Tips for Staying Safe During Your Visit to the National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Keeping visitors and EMPLOYEES safe in the National Park Service is an interesting topic. Far too often the serious injuries and or death that occur were completely preventable. System wide 101 Days of Summer campaign would be my first suggestion. The Northeast Region did an outstanding job with this a couple of years ago for their employees. The same could be adapted for visitors. Visitors need to know that the 101 days of summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day they are at their greatest risk of getting injured because they are inattentive, are in a hurry to enjoy the long awaited vacation and they've planned poorly in some instances. Our employees assume a much higher level of risk due to the incidents created during this time frame. If we could slow our visitors down, just a bit and provide them the opportunity to think before they engage in the behavior that is reckless we could avoid a tremendous amount of accidents. I applaud the units and regions that are working on this already. If we as an Agency did a nationwide campaign and blitzed the system prior to summer we would see a drop in our incident rates. We need to quit sugar coating the information and treat the public like adults so they have the opportunity to make the appropriate decisions.

  • Remember, No Mardis Gras Beads or Dry Ice While Floating at Niobrara National Scenic River   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I applaud the Superintendent for forward leaning practices that consider the impacts to the public as much as impacts to the resource. I think the more units of the service that identify items such as glass and Styrofoam that really have no place on public lands the better. If we are a green agency than lets be a green agency and ban such items from all units of the NPS rather than 1 unit at a time. I'd be curious to find out how many other units have similar bans?

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    So anti gun people are at it again? Listen you fools, you assume that "responsible" people will be the ones that carry guns. WRONG! NO ONE needs a gun in a National Park or State Park. I am a big supporter of the Constitution but until ya all come up with a way to keep guns out of the hands of the meek, scared, people, there is no way I want guns in parks. Use your common sense and stop with the chest beating NRA crap. The NRA is totally irresponsible on gun use and fight any and all legislation on gun safety. Some people use them to act big and I have been around these kinds and to boot they were drunk and shooting up everything while my small children were there. My husband almost took this idiot apart as he carries guns every place and not just one. Common sense. We don't need guns in our parks as now animals will definitely be murdered by chickens playing big man or woman.

  • Yellowstone National Park: No Cellphone Towers in Campgrounds or Recommended Wilderness, Limits on Wi-Fi   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I am also one of those people who is on call 24/7/365. Not life-threatening on-call, but professionally required to be contactable. It doesn't happen that often in off hours, but when it does, it's my responsibility to be available. So while I would not try to get coverage for either on a true wilderness experience, I would have to choose recreational activities based on these being available or reasonably accessible. A hotel with AC, hot water, and modern equipment doesn't get any less historical because there are telecommunication waves floating about that some of us may consume from time to time.

    In fact, wifi service is much easier to hide away than all of those other services.

    Yes, there will be obliviots who spend their entire experience chatting with their friends about how bored they are, but so are the idiots who experience their entire visit behind a video camera lens. Perhaps all cameras should be banned, too?

  • Yellowstone National Park: No Cellphone Towers in Campgrounds or Recommended Wilderness, Limits on Wi-Fi   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I understand limiting the number of cell phone towers to preserve the natural look of the park but it seems like there is a safety issue with restricting people's access to communications. Perhaps the best way to go, if your hiking through the park is to rent a satellite phone. [There are many online sources.] They're not as expensive as they use to be and you could just keep it handy for emergency purposes.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Sam -

    the point of concern was the fact that they falsely represented the actual crime rates by presenting their stats as accurate representations of total crimes committed rather than a small percentage of such crimes.

    You're welcome to decide which stats are more credible. I have no way of evaluating the validity of Mr. Kane's claims, including a key source called the eggman.com, or its statement about the unspecified number of cases that were handed off by the NPS to other agencies. Does that site or Mr. Kane have "an agenda" to prove a point?

    How many serious criminal cases in parks were handed off to other agencies and therefore "not counted" in NPS stats? Mr. Kane implies the number is large, but doesn't cite any data to support that. I'd also have to wonder why he's hanging his hat on 1996 data. I can only say that in my own experience during 30 years in 8 parks, the number of cases in parks that were worked by other agencies was very small. I can't accurately extrapolate that experience to all parks in the system, but I suspect that neither can Mr. Kane.

    I'm a bit amused by the claims that the NPS intentionally misleads people by understating the number of crimes which occur in parks - especially back in 1996, when the gun issue was hardly an issue at all. The federal budget process is largely driven by the bean-counter mentality, which means it would be to the NPS' advantage to "claim" as many crimes as possible, in order to justify additional dollars and personnel, rather than understating them. For better or worse, that's the reality of how agencies justify budgets.

    Raw statistics on crimes occurring in parks, whether you choose to use those provided by the NPS or by Mr. Kane, become much more useful when they have some context. What do those numbers really mean in terms of risks from criminal activity actually faced by park visitors?

    My comments are simply an attempt, based on my personal experience, to provide some of that perspective. I'm yet to see any credible evidence that suggests I'm wrong in stating that the risk of a law-abiding visitor becoming the victim of a violent crime in a national park is extremely small indeed – and even smaller than suggested by merely looking at the total number of crimes reported servicewide.

  • Mules In Grand Canyon National Park: Should They Stay?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I agree that they should keep the mules. I hiked Kaibab and Bright Angel some twenty years ago. If I wanted to visit the bottom of the Canyon again the only way would be by mules. Please keep them.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Why do you need to bring a loaded gun to enjoy our National Parks?

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Why do you need a loaded gun in a National Park?

  • Mules In Grand Canyon National Park: Should They Stay?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I agree with all of the above post. Me, my wife, and 2 sons made the day trip to Plateau Point. Without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable experiences in our lives. It is imbedded in our memory forever. KEEP the mules!!

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/may/24/anchorage-bar-fight-ends-shooting/

    Coming to a park near you? People often do dumb things in the heat of the moment. If there is a gun handy there is a good chance it will be used. I fear that once the new law goes into effect some park visitors who in the past were comfortable unarmed will feel the need to have a gun to protect them from others who will be armed. It effectively sets off an arms race.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Mr. Kane makes some excellent points regarding areas the anti-gun groups have used to counter concealed carry in our national parks. While DVP makes an effort to excuse or perhaps more accurately, explain why the NPS handed off such crimes to other authorities, this was not the point Mr. Kane was making. The fact that the NPS did not investigate these crimes was not in question, the point of concern was the fact that they falsely represented the actual crime rates by presenting their stats as accurate representations of total crimes committed rather than a small percentage of such crimes.

    As for Mr. Burnett, I must agree with Mr. Kane's assessment of his position. It is obvious that he has a agenda and tries to support that agenda at every turn. While I support everyone’s right to an opinion and to work toward securing that position in the political arena, I do not approve of anyone using position or title in an attempt to lend creditability to skewed facts in order to sway such outcomes. In the numerous posts above, all those claiming NPS affiliation of some sort have continuously quoted these same stats and flawed studies as evidence against the need for concealed carry in parks. Now that someone has clearly pointed out the truth about these claims, suddenly these same people are on the defensive, trying to change the point by explaining "why the NPS was justified in handing off these cases" rather than addressing the point that the NPS misrepresented the statistics in the first place.

    I too have lost a lot of faith in the NPS and those groups that have joined in this sad attempt to mislead the public and congress in order to gain a personal victory over the will of the people.

    Just like the Brady Coalition, these groups know the facts and statistics do not support their position and that the only way to win their argument is to mislead and skew the facts. This says they are not interested in public safety, rather a personal agenda. This is a sad situation when the group is someone like members of the NPS who have a long standing reputation of being good, honest individuals. I really think these groups have given the NPS as a whole a black eye that will be long in healing.

    As many have already pointed out, these claims of blood in the street and drastic increases in crime and accidental shootings are the same rhetoric that has been spewed every time a pro carry bill has passed around the nation and to date it has never come to pass. The actual statistics show that CHL holders are among the safest in the nation, equaling or rivaling that of law enforcement. Likewise, the claims that the new bill's allowance of non-CHL holders to carry long guns in the parks poses a threat, well if it has not done so outside the parks there is no reason to believe it will do so inside the parks.

    The fact is, the overwhelming majority of the people of this country want this bill and it is not the right of the few to prevent that. It is now law and the will of the people has been achieved, despite the misrepresentation of fact by the small special interest groups. Now it is time for these groups to work on repairing the damage they have caused to the image of the NPS and themselves.

  • Mules In Grand Canyon National Park: Should They Stay?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    The mules serve a wonderful and grand tradition a the GCNP and this service needs to remain in place. My question is the number of mule trains on the N. Kaibab trail and for that matter the Bright Angle Trail on the S Rim. Last October I was on the NK going down into the canyon and 3 mule trains were separated by less than 5 minutes apart. The first train was large, pushing 20 mules and the other 2 were about 10 riders each. All total I think I stopped for 6 or 7 trains that day. It was a slow day as mule trains go I guess and the trail was a disaster. All the urine, green apple dumplings, ruts, and then the walk arounds from this mess, where possible; are causing further trail erosion. Some of the areas on the trail there is not much stand aside room to let the trains pass and when a mule decides its time to take care of business, well the splatter is down right disgusting.

    My position is not IF the trails are shared because there should be room on them for all, but spacing and the number of mule trains allowed on a daily basis needs to be seriously considered and discussed!. The mule trains need to be kept available to get those who choose not to walk down or cannot; down into the canyon to see and enjoy. However, that needs to be balance with those walking down and for those of us that choose that method we should not feel or think that we are walking in a sewer. I can only imagine what it is like on one of the south rim trails in the summer on a 100+ degree day with all the trains.

  • Mules In Grand Canyon National Park: Should They Stay?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    All should be able to enjoy the park to the fullest. The mules provide an ambiance and real feel as well as a method for some visitors who may not otherwise be able to experience the canyon floor. It would not be the same without them. Lord knows what some may purpose to replace them in order to find a way to get to the bottom. They should stay - that's the bottom line.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    No, we have to keep the Bubba Burpwads of the world firearm-free in National parks. Think 100 beer-swiggin, gun-toting, triggerhappy Cheney's misfiring at campers. And little kids vacations ruined by wildlife in the death throes of agony.

  • Descendants of Mesa Verde Anasazi Help Produce a Musical Masterpiece   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Thanks for the feedback, Eric. Regular readers of the Traveler know that I've used the terms Ancestral Puebloans and Anasazi more or less interchangeably. I'll probably use Ancestral Puebloans much more often in the future.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I suspect we've long since wrung any new ideas out of this whole discussion, so I'll move on to other topics on the Traveler.

    Rarely in webzines or major blogs have I seen the editors so involved in the comments.

  • Mules In Grand Canyon National Park: Should They Stay?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Since the parks are open to ALL THE PEOPLE of this country that also includes handicapped as well. Without the mules in place, those persons that have disabilities would never have the opportunity to see what others of us can without the mules. Leave the mules there. I get so tired of the country making decisions for just a few people and really not considering what is best for everyone, not just them. I concur with all comments already made.

  • Mules In Grand Canyon National Park: Should They Stay?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I like mules, do not mind their leavings and believe it is a great experience for folks that would otherwise just snap
    a few pictures from the rims parking lots.
    Historical (?) not in the least when compared to the canyons history, sounds tritely hubristic to my ear.
    Anyway, I agree with the park that it is time again to take a look at the commercial / private stock use, safety and impact issues, etc..

    "...adventure without regard to prudence, profit, self-improvement,
    learning or any other serious thing" -Aldo Leopold-

  • Descendants of Mesa Verde Anasazi Help Produce a Musical Masterpiece   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Hardly "mumbo jumbo," however you define it
    One of the dangers in using a catch all name like "Anasazi" is that it disguises real differences between the people lumped together. The Ancestral Puebloans descendants speak at least 6 distinct languages and differences between the peoples played a major role in the collapse of their civilization in the four corners region. Details in my recent book, The Ancestral Puebloan Primer (available from Lulu.com, Amazon.com, and specialty book stores).

  • Aerial Search Continuing for Missing Coloradan On Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve   5 years 25 weeks ago

    going alone is perfectly fine, but never,EVER travel light! always pack as if you are going to be up there a minimum of two weeks!