Recent comments

  • Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Cross at Mojave National Preserve   5 years 33 weeks ago

    As a practicing Christian, I can understand how someone of a different faith would be upset at seeing that "memorial". The cross as a symbol is offensive to many people, partly because it is a reminder of Jesus' statement that the only way to the Father (God) is through Him, and partly because of the reprehensible behavior of people throughout the centuries claiming to be Christians.
    In a similar manner, I have been offended when hiking the Grand Canyon. Areas of surpassing beauty that I consider to have been created by God have been given names such as Zoroaster Temple, Vishnu Temple, Brahma Temple and many other such names. An argument could be made that Hinduism (and some, but not all, other religions) are being endorsed by the government here.
    The good thing about this argument is that it recognizes the mutually exclusive worldviews of different faiths. This would not be worth discussing if "it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are sincere". Clearly, Mr. Buono thinks it does matter what you believe. In that, I agree wholeheartedly with him.
    Please keep us posted as this develops.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    If it was my call I would allow the hunting. It could be regulated & limited to chosen areas. They could consult with someone like the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or any state with a successful elk management program to figure out a good game plan. Also I'm sure the NPS could always use the added revenue, that could help the Park in multiple ways. I'm sure anyone could find draw backs, but I believe with a little research any rational person could see the benefits to the elk, park and the taxpayers would be positive. I am against paying of anyone to sharp shoot animals for culling of the herd. -MIKE

  • Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Cross at Mojave National Preserve   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Susan's posting below states, "...it has no architectural value (it is just a couple of tubes painted white.)" As a Christian, I work diligently on not Judging others, lest I be judged by the standards I apply. Therefore, all I will do is sincerely pray for Susan's salvation, Frank Buono's salvation, and that of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    In Jesus' name, Amen.

  • Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Cross at Mojave National Preserve   5 years 33 weeks ago

    It seems to me that Frank Buono just wanted to grab some of the spotlight for him self! I don't see why a cross put up 65 years ago in memory of fallen fellow soldiers is an issue at all. And for Frank to say that it might not be fair to other groups is about the lamest idea I have ever heard! Life itself is not fair and you will never please everyone! As to Susan's comment that a cross is entirely exclusive of other faiths isn't true at all! While a cross is a Christian symbol it is also a symbol to mark a grave! Do you ever pass a cross on the side of the road where someone has dies and think "Oh, they were a Christian" no you think "Oh, someone died there! Personally I think people need to find something better to do with their time and leave the memorial alone!!!

  • Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Cross at Mojave National Preserve   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Susan beat me to hitting the post button...

    The simple white cross isn't just a simple tribute to veterans of WW1:

    The lawsuit came about after NPS refused to allow Jewish or Buddhist symbols to be erected alongside the cross. As long as the NPS would allow other ministries in the parks, the Christian Ministry isn't favoritism of one religion over others.

    Easter sunrise services have been held there for decades. I've never seen an Easter sunrise service at my local cemetery, nor do I think they happen at Arlington. The sunrise services are held there because the cross is a religious symbol, not a tribute to veterans.

    Several historical parks have chapels in them that are part of the interpretation of the site. Just like the F.L.W. synagogue, they have historic & cultural significance.

  • Tracing The Postage Stamp-Sized History of the National Park System   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Dawn,
    You could go to your local library or book store and check the values of your stamps in a Scotts Stamp Catalog. Keep in mind that the catalog value is for very fine condition and well centered, plus most dealers would only pay a small percentage of the value. Most US 19th century stamps are readily available for purchase in mint and used conditions.

    Very nice article. I enjoy the National Park series of stamps both past and present.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Well, it's definitely not a "living" coral, but its definitely stood the test of time in its current location!

  • Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Cross at Mojave National Preserve   5 years 33 weeks ago

    There are marked differences between the Mojave cross case and the first example you cited. First, the cross was put up by an individual, without evaluation, discussion or permit. Unlike the Wright synagogue, it has no architectural value (it is just a couple of tubes painted white.)

    Another point you didn't address is that a Buddhist group requested permission to place a shrine in the same vicinity and was turned down.

    Also, as a "memorial" to war veterans, the cross is entirely exclusive of other faiths. If you doubt this, imagine a large star of David in its spot. Would you feel that was an appropriate tribute to your Baptist Uncle Ernie who died in WWII?

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Why must it always come down to bashing hunters? The vast majority of hunters are true conservationists. Remember, it was the most active presidential hunter, Teddy Rooselvelt, that set aside many of the lands we all enjoy today. Most hunter-based groups are based upon his ideals and fair chase principals (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited). Just like any other race/group of people, there are good and bad.

    A "happy hunt" is one where I see animals. I spent 11 days chasing elk here in Colorado last month, but never did get presented with an ethical shot with my bow. I was solo hunting in a wilderness area, covering ground that most people on this blog wouldn't even think of hiking (think 2,000 vertical feet before sunrise). The highlight of my hunt was a sunset on the Elk Mtns with a blizzard moving in and a streak of sunlight breakling through on a band of sandstone. Sorry if this doesn't fit your view of a hunter. If you have never been on a hunt, or been hunting, then don't speak about what you have no knowledge of.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Gift shop? I don't think it looks healthy.

  • Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Cross at Mojave National Preserve   5 years 33 weeks ago

    And there are all those depictions of Madame Pele at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

  • What Bird is This?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Doc if you look close at the "long legs" you see its just the reflection off the water. The midpoint of the legs in the photo are were they go into the surface of the water; or maybe its a two pairs of Siamese Ducks connected at the ankles. Heheheh. As to the status of there Nationality I think I see a visa, so they might be just legal tourist ducks.

    Just busting your balls, not trying to out sharp shoot a Jar Head Doc but (I guess I am) that's what I do when I'm not overseas in the sand box working together with them. My Family is pretty well diversified with Army, Navy, and Marines. I being Army, love to mix it up with the Marines with good natured rivalry and ball busting, the Navy are guys are usually way to easy to mess with. -MIKE

    Local 7.62
    Pipe Hitters Union
    HOOAH

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Cookie nailed it. But, for the bonus round, where in Virgin Islands National Park did I take this shot?

    The answer comes tomorrow....

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Deborah,

    Your comment, "One of the few downsides to allowing hunting is that hunters take strong, healthy animals, where natural predators take the weak, sick, and old." is not true.
    1) For Colorado elk hunter harvest in 2008; 21,649 Bull elk, 23,622 Cow/Calf, so MORE cow/calves than bulls. Also, with over 223,000 hunters, that is only a 20% success rate.
    2) Predators are opportunistic and will take any animal, including fully mature bulls. Scientific studies show that cows/calves are the primary targets of wolves, which one could argue are weaker than bulls. The weak, sick and old makes for a good story, but is not consistent with the way things happen in the wild.

    I agree with you on the sound issue, hence my belief that any hunts happen mid-week in the winter, althoguh I am more for rifle usage on these hunts. I personally hunt with bow-n-arrow for elk, as I tend to hunt with my kids and feel a lot safer for us all during those seasons.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    If the hunt were supervised by park service employees to make sure the hunt mimicked the science of natural predator-prey killing of the sick or injured then most people would probably support it. That's one of the reasons the NPS has hired people in the past or used it's own employees was that they would cull the herds scientifically.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Timpanogos Cave National Monument has fossil coral. Looks like fossil coral to me.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Brain Coral Virgin Islands National Park

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Looking for Some Good Artists   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Nice way to jump start your sagging career as an artist if you get selected. A beautiful creative niche to fold into and let your creative spirits flow. A very worthy prize!

  • Fall and Winter Are Prime Seasons for Camping in These Parks   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Plus the fact that you really can get a lot of package on your RV camping deals during this season.

    Warm regards,
    Andrei
    RV Resort Parks

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    I believe allowing hunting is the most cost efficient way for any land manager to manage wildlife when the natural predator-prey balance is insufficient to the task. Additionally, all federally managed lands, including NPS, belong to the citizens of this country; if our wildlife is to be hunted, we the people should be given the opportunity to participate in the hunting. Hunter ethics aside, I wouldn't mind hunting being restricted to archery simply for the noise factor. I've been out hiking and backpacking in both seasons, and definitely enjoy the peace and quiet of archery season. One of the few downsides to allowing hunting is that hunters take strong, healthy animals, where natural predators take the weak, sick, and old.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    They have already used hunting in Rocky Mountain NP, using "certified" sharpshooters, hunting at night, with subsonic loads. Although this is a reasonable approach, it is costly to the taxpayer, when they could have used members of the hunting community to generate revenue for the park and Division of Wildlife. Holding a controlled hunt on a Tues/Wed in the Jan/Feb timeframe in certain areas would have very limited visitor impact. I tent camp in the park during the winter, and more often than not, my daughter and I are the only ones in the only open campground (Moraine Park), and that is on a weekend. Seeing elk in the town of Estes, on the golf course, makes me sick to my stomach, as this is so far from a wild animal experience. No doubt herd reduction is in order.

    As a hunter, I would NOT be interested in this type of hunt, as I enjoy being a lot further from civilization, but it could be a good approach for a youth-oriented hunt. However, in NO WAY should there be any hunting allowed during the fall, especially during the rut. The herds get harassed enough by visitors trying to get closer for a better photo.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Unfortunately, neither rifle nor bow dictates a hunters ethics. Good training and sound moral judgements dictates a hunters ethics. Hunts in national parks are well-controlled. I know, I have participated in several in Grand Teton National Park. Regulations are in place, law-enforcement officers are omni-present, and hunts are limiting. Elk in this area have a limited area to go to due to development and are fed in the winter. Without humanely decreasing the number of elk going into the elk refuge in Jackson, many elk would starve to death.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    I'd never thought of that one, Anonymous. But, truthfully, Judy is closer...but only half right.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 14: You Might Know What This Is, But Where is It?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    extreme close-up, posterior shot of a Lynx. Rocky Mtn. National Park.

  • Reader Participation Survey: Should Hunters Be Used to Manage National Park Wildlife?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    I think archery hunts would be ok in the national parks, after all the native americans were hunting animals with bows and arrows long before the whites arrived. Maybe instead of the letting archery hunters in during the September "rut" period, give the hunters access in October/November when the non-hunting tourists are not there. Also, it's been my experience that most archery hunters will have much more respect for the land and hunting ethics.