Recent comments

  • Sharpshooters To Begin Reducing Elk Herds in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    As I understand it, the meat will go to folks who participated in a lottery. None of the shooters will be allowed to keep antlers or meat.

  • Sharpshooters To Begin Reducing Elk Herds in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    It seems so sad to kill the elk,but I really am not educated enough on this issue to know the right answer. I hope that the elk meat is eaten. The hunters should not be able to make money on antlers or anything else from their kill. I hope that the birth control will prove to be a solution.

  • On Interior Secretaries, National Park Stimulus Funds, And Oil Shale   5 years 25 weeks ago

    It's obviously too soon to know what steps Salazar will actually take, but I'm at least encouraged that he's willing to consider/discuss some items that weren't even on the table last month. Perhaps there will actually be an analysis in reaching decisions, instead of a one-size fits all approach.

    Three examples from a Washington Post story on Tuesday about Salazar's comments:

    ...he wants to work closely with Congress on "a plan that makes sense" for offshore oil and gas development, but that any expansion of drilling should be part of a comprehensive energy plan... "There are places that are appropriate for exploration and development and there are places that are not..."

    Cautioned against pushing too fast on oil shale development in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah until more is known about the impact on water resources and climate change. Oil shale extraction requires a lot of water that could strain the resources of the Colorado River and huge amounts of electric power that could impact climate change, he said.

    Promised to review at least 10 "midnight regulatory actions" by the outgoing Bush administration, citing as examples regulations to limit the reach of the Endangered Species Act, oil shale permitting, and oil and gas permits issued near two national parks in Utah.

    Who we voted for at this point is moot. To whatever extent we can influence the current set of decision-makers, we need to get busy and try to do so.

  • National Park Quiz 39: Winter   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Interesting map, Bob. I see that you do have fast ice in your neighborhood. Do you have many visitors crossing the ice to visit the islands? Your remarks about the extreme cold raise obvious questions, the most basic of which is: Why do people choose to live and work where it gets so darn cold?

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Snowmobiles impact snow fields in a number of ways. The passage of the machine compacts the snow increasing its density and reducing its insulation value. Depending on a number of variables, the compacted snow tends to conduct cold more efficiently and can create barriers for creatures that depend on snow cover to exist. Wildlife will often use snowmobile trails artificially concentrating their use patterns. Trappers take advantage of this tendency by setting traps along a snowmobile trail. Vegetation beneath the snow cover can be damaged resulting in a change in natural cover and even increased erosion. In heavily impacted meadows it is often possible to see the path of snowmobile travel after the snow has melted. Snowmobiles can have substantial negative impacts to overwintering wildlife. Traffic can disturb wildlife when they are most vulnerable and need to conserve energy. It can scatter wildlife, separating calves and cows exposing them to increased predation and environmental stress. Even the noise of snowmobile travel can impact wildlife. Insofar as other areas where people may ride their snowmobiles, most national forests and BLM managed lands are open to snowmobile use as are some state managed public lands.

  • On Interior Secretaries, National Park Stimulus Funds, And Oil Shale   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Don't count on the Obama administration helping the parks. As I wrote before the election, Obama/Biden have TWO national park units (one is a trail only) in their home states, so they probably have never or seldom visited a park. McCain and Palin on the other hand, have 36 national parks between them, and both are big "fans" of our parks. As a governor and executive of state, Sarah Palin deals with state/federal issues regarding the national park units on a daily basis. If nothing else, she knows that fully funding the NPS units in Alaska would help her state and it's people tremendously.
    So, no doubt that McCain/Palin would have been the ticket to better funding for the NPS.
    Just watch...out of 819 billion, you will see ZILCH for the NPS.
    $335 million for STD prevention is more important to congressional democrats:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/29/economic-stimulus-bills-allot-millions-for-std-pre/
    Now...who did y'all vote for??

  • Senate, House Far Apart on Economic Stimulus Funding for National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Don't count on the Obama administration helping the parks. As I wrote before the election, Obama/Biden have TWO national park units (one is a trail only) in their home states, so they probably have never or seldom visited a park. McCain and Palin on the other hand, have 36 national parks between them, and both are big "fans" of our parks. As a governor and executive of state, Sarah Palin deals with state/federal issues regarding the national park units on a daily basis. If nothing else, she knows that fully funding the NPS units in Alaska would help her state and it's people tremendously.
    So, no doubt that McCain/Palin would have been the ticket to better funding for the NPS.
    Just watch...out of 819 billion, you will see ZILCH for the NPS.
    $335 million for STD prevention is more important to congressional democrats:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/29/economic-stimulus-bills-allot-millions-for-std-pre/
    Now...who did y'all vote for??

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I haven't followed the story. What's the impact of snowmobiles on a snow field? Are there other areas where people can ride their snowmobiles nearby?

  • National Park Quiz 39: Winter   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Bob,

    Having spent 13 years on Lake Superior for the NPS (6 at Isle Royale, now almost 7 at Apostle Islands) I am glad to say that I did pretty well on your test. It's been a really cold winter this year up here. This morning, it was a *balmy* -10 as I bundled up for my walk to work; since we had two mornings last week when it was -22 I'm starting to think this is good.

    Here's a fun thing for NPT readers, the latest map of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan ice conditions, which show that you might actually be able to make it all the way from Apostle Islands to Isle Royale across the ice -- not that I'd recommend it. Grey in the image means "fast" (i.e. solid) ice, red means 90-100% cover, orange means 70-80%.:

    Bob Krumenaker
    Superintendent
    Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Jim, you have reason to be concerned. A dog musher near the village of Kotzebue, Alaska was recently killed when he was rammed from behind by a speeding snowmobile. The impact severed his leg. A snowmobile traveling at high speed and with reduced visibility can easily exceed his stopping ability and become a deadly missile. Where drivers illegally invade lands off limits to snowmobiles the chances are that they will not be safe drivers.

  • The World's Top Ten National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I haven't traveled outside North American extensively, but I have traveled extensively within North America. I think Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland is extraordinary for both "visual" delight and also topography. It's been called the Galapogos (hey, that's also a National Park, right?) of Geology.

    Within the U.S., Yellowstone has it all. Sometimes the best known are the best!

  • Senate, House Far Apart on Economic Stimulus Funding for National Parks   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Jobs will be created for more than just construction workers when construction projects are funded on federal lands. This will create more management level jobs within the NPS and will help to provide work to a variety of different contractors that work with the NPS in environmental planning, engineering services, biological and cultural resources monitoring, and any other jobs that would support these activities.

  • The Future of the "Gateway Arch" is On the Table—Will You be Part of the Discussion?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Well, Lone Hiker good buddy, Barky has a point, it would probably be good to remember from time to time to stay on the rails

    Here is the link, for a little reality check, for "Criteria for Parklands" now followed pretty conscientiously by NPS and mostly even by Congress.
    http://planning.nps.gov/document/criteria05final.pdf

    The NPS website also has everything you'd like to know about NPS planning -- Director's Order # 2 -- and much more that explain how to address even excellent sites, that can be effectively managed by others. Lots of sites qualified to be national parks have gotten pushed aside because they can be protected as well or better elsewhere. So most of the parks we have have come to the American People for good reasons, and deserve our respect for the process of democracy. Just for an occasional touch of reality as a bracer, I can assure you I have seen a LOT of probing and examination as new parks are considered, pro and con, as well as reviews of what we have.

    Whenever we can, lets try to find ways to protect these special places, instead of declaring that we lack the wit or resolve to do so, or even worse, pitting one important place against another.

  • The Future of the "Gateway Arch" is On the Table—Will You be Part of the Discussion?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Lone,

    I hate arguments that take a simple notion and stretch it to the realms of ludicrosity. That's a logical fallacy. Clearly I was referring to sites of significant historical impact. Yes, define "significant", I know, but that's what the process for including sites into the NPS in the first place is for.

    Besides:

    Cold war missile silos -- in the NPS already
    Western heritage -- in the NPS already
    Various tragedies -- in the NPS already
    Technological pioneering -- in the NPS already
    Manipulators of the economy -- in the NPS already
    Slavery -- in the NPS already
    Plantations -- in the NPS already

    Most of the rest of your examples are in state parks, or are privately owned & operated or otherwise supported, or simply no longer exist so there's nothing to mark.

    I don't see delisting as being a slight to the prestige of the place, but more a prospective blow to the ego of those caretakers of said "monuments".

    I differ. Completely. Especially in this case where the cries for delisting are from those who simply want to tear up a site for commercial reasons.

    ===============================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • On Interior Secretaries, National Park Stimulus Funds, And Oil Shale   5 years 25 weeks ago

    All I can say about the above post is "discomfiting."

    ========================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Mizz Bonnie Abbzug was at 28, a full grown woman.

  • Park Police Arrest Men Who Brought a Loaded Submachine Gun to a Playground in National Capital Parks-East   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Mr. McDonald needs to get a clue, I was born and raised in SE part of DC, The poorest sections of any town have a choice become good citizens
    or follow theirs peers into drugs, stealing, robbing at gunpoint, gangs, murder, rape and whatever feels good. That has not changed because
    people loke Mr. McDonald coddle them and make excuses for them. That is why we must defend ourselves especially in DC. By restricking guns
    you played right into the evil doers hands. They have very little to worry about. Same thing happend in Morton Grove, Il where they banned weapons
    of any kind. Crime escalated to new levels. READ MY LIPS: THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT LAWS! make all the laws you want and me and people like me are the only one who it will effect. It is impossible for the police to protect the citizens, that is not their job. Their job is to investigate and bring to justice anyone who breaks the law. Until they break the law, they are powerless to help you. Canada, England all have real gun control laws and
    they still have a considerable amount of crime. The difference is the citizens there do not have a chance to survive, their government took that right
    away from them. Whenever a war breaks out, their is a reason why the enemy goes house to house taking all guns, they do not want you to defend yourself. For a good example see the movie "Red Dawn". My guess is when the poor can steal illigal fully automatic weapons this is not to rob Joe Blow on the street, they are into some serious drug or human trafficking and backed by larger crime organizations with making a lot of money.
    They have this kind of weapon to kill not scare who there aimed at. Not the kind of people you want to coddle and make excuses for. People need
    to be made responsible fo their actions. Unill you get that nothing will change for the better.

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 26 weeks ago

    These illegal snowmobilers have no resprect for laws, nature or wildlife ! I would like to see more effort put into catching the ones who disrepect what so many of us care for.
    Hopefully, the justice system will throw the book at them and make them an example for all.

  • Group Seeks To Intevene In Court Case Concerning Armed Visitors in National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    BobR, You self proclaimed expert that probably doesn't no the difference between automatic firearms, and semi-auto firearms that are legal. The anti-gunners said that before it was pass concealed and carry in my State Of Minnesota, that there would be shootouts like the old wild west. Guess what, they were blowing smoke out of their orifice! It never happened, in fact the Chief of Police in St.Paul,MN has said there has been no problems with the law! You know people have been mauled in Glacier and Denali Federal Parks, why deny, it by bears. Your reasoning doesn't make any sense, a person should not have the right to defend themselves against a bear attack!!! The Supreme Court just ruled you should have the right to defend your self with a firearm!! There is more danger driving through that park with your auto, then being shoot!! Look at the facts don't ignore them like Handgun Control Inc. does.

  • Where the Bighorns Are   5 years 26 weeks ago

    A nice photo and a nice tie-in with the rock outcrop in the background. For me, Yellowstone is so fascinating because you can find so much wildlife and varied geology in one park.

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

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 26 weeks ago

    It's also not hard to understand because the boundary is very clearly marked both by the Western Boundary trail, as well as a gazillion signs.

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

  • Group Seeks To Intevene In Court Case Concerning Armed Visitors in National Parks   5 years 26 weeks ago

    BobR, you may want to do more research on concealed weapons laws before making such inaccurate statements. CWs are allowed in both public buildings and stores. Depending on the state and the store there might, and I stress might, be certain restrictions but that doesn't mean can't. Just out of curiosity, has there ever been a case of an animal mauling a person in a National Park, a kidnapping, a murder? I know that if my family or yours was threatened by any of these things, et.al, I would be pretty upset that I wasn't able to defend against it and/or prevent it from happening because by carrying I would be infringing on your rights. By the way, what right am I infringing on of yours by carrying? For all of you wanting to ban guns I would ask that you research what happened in Australia when they DID ban guns. The results are not what you would expect. One thing I will say to my fellow concealed carrying buds...... CONCEALED means not visible! Nobody thinks you're cooler for carrying a gun, cops hate it (therefore are more liable to "bother" you), and it defeats the whole purpose of carrying concealed ( the threat is not supposed to know you have it!) Is it ok with all of you that off duty police officers often carry concealed? How about military members? Granted these people are trained professionals but so are most guns owners/carriers. Yes, some people have no business carrying a weapon, but some people have no business driving a car either. Which causes more deaths a year and which saves more? According to 2003 stats (I couldn’t find any more recent) we are 4x more likely to be killed in Auto collision vs. a gun assault. I could go on and on but I believe I've said enough.... for now.

  • The Future of the "Gateway Arch" is On the Table—Will You be Part of the Discussion?   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Our nation has a multitude of buildings, battlefields and other icons that qualify as being of historic import in one sense or other, but does that designation (being of high historical value) automatically assign them to the auspices of the NPS? To what criterion do we allow jurisdiction of denoting between say, the old lady in the harbor in New York and the granite faces in South Dakota, or the engineering feats that have become icons in St. Louis or San Francisco or Washington, or maybe all inclusive natural elements of the nation such as the string of volcanic islands in the Pacific, the ex-pristine landscapes of the Great White North and the massive wetlands in south Florida? I don't see delisting as being a slight to the prestige of the place, but more a prospective blow to the ego of those caretakers of said "monuments".

    Cold War missile silos are of historical context. Ditto certain items of our Western heritage whose names are synonymous with our country world-wide, such as Tombstone, the OK Corral, Dodge City and some less savory addresses in our lore including 2122 N. Clark Street (site of the infamous St. Valentine's Day incident). All indeed historic beyond our shores, for better or mostly worse. But if the intent is to lure tourists to our "history", then they all merit inclusion in to the club. God forbid.

    As I've posed the question in prior threads, and for a continuing example, do we establish a NPS unit for each and every "historic" event in our nation's timeline? If so, then the establishment of a memorial to the Great Alaskan Earthquake is long overdue, as is one to the New Madrid Quake, the Great Fires in Wisconsin and Chicago of 1871, the tragedy that was our nation's single greatest maritime disaster, the sinking of the Eastland in the Chicago River, one of the more popular legends of our time, the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.........and what about the multitude of avionics incidents, mining tragedies, construction mishaps, etc. Then on the other hand, how about monuments to our expansionist history, our technological pioneering, for better and / or worse (e.g., the site of the first controlled atomic chain reaction coupled with the development of the cotton gin, for example), a place in the books for those manipulators of the economy such as the homies we all owe so much to (in more ways than one) like the Fords and the Rockefellers. How about NPS units dedicated to slavery, CERTAINLY near the tops of our nation's historical register. No, not the memorials to Freddy Douglass et.al. but to those without whom slavery would never have existed......the slave traders, plantation massers’ and politicians without whom the entire enterprise could not have existed. Remember, history contains both the notable and unsightly of a nation's achievements. You're doing a disservice to one to eliminate the other, as more often than not, one serves to better explain the other and how situations and circumstances were bred into and possibly removed from the conscience of a society.

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 26 weeks ago

    It was indeed indicated in the story that this is pretty common, and that catching them is relatively rare. One would hope that the magistrate in Mammoth will "throw the book" at these guys as an example to others. As a general statement, I have found that the easier it is for someone to access the back country the less respect they have for it. That is that hikers tend to have the most respect, snowmobilers and ATVers the least. I know there are exceptions. As I said, this is a general statement.
    Whatever you think about the "snowmobiles in the park" issue, acts like this should be universally condemned. It is not hard to recognize that if you go east from West Yellowstone, you are entering the park.

  • How An Earlier Administration Bolstered The National Parks Through A National Program   5 years 26 weeks ago

    Tweed was my boss for a few summers, and I'm surprised to learn of his bias after all these years.

    There's that misuse of the word "investment" again.

    One does not have to pay interest on an investment. That is called a loan.

    Again, "the debt service alone from the stimulus will cost about $347 billion over the next 10 years....That's $347 billion in interest."

    It's the equivalent of a bankrupt person maxing out high-interest credit cards to build and install a backyard hot tub, which isn't really needed and is expensive to maintain.

    We can no longer sustain our standard of living on debt financing.

    Look at the interest on Obama's proposed stimulus package: $347 BILLION. That's enough to fund the National Park Service for about 175 years, or until the year 2184. It's enough to wipe out about 47 maintenance backlogs.

    This is truly wasteful.

    We must stop consuming on Chinese credit cards and start saving--and truly investing--for future consumption.