Recent comments

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated   5 years 33 weeks ago

    y_p_w

    Your comment is an interesting one. There's some discussion on that very subject on the story currently posted on the Traveler about elk hunts at Grand Teton.

  • Wintry Weather Knocking Down Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Romotrekker, I am green with envy !!!

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

    Marshall -

    I haven't checked into this, so I'm just shooting from the hip (an appropriate analogy for this topic), but I think it's likely the process of "deputizing" the hunters may have originated in an attempt to avoid setting a precedent in allowing "sport hunting" in a national park. If the hunters are "deputized," they're functioning in an "official" capacity as part of the park's wildlife management program. It's a fine line, but perhaps an important one in our political and legal system. As pointed out above, the process also gives the park the opportunity to ensure participants in the hunt receive a proper briefing on guidelines for the hunt.

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

    I have no problem with the hunts, though Anon and Jim do bring up great points that I'd never considered. Should be a good discussion. Thanks for the quick feedback...I was just wondering if they were "just words" or if there was more behind it. Thanks!

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

    Marshall, the "deputizing" is just the way the hunt is provided for in the enabling legislation.

    For what it's worth, this week's Reader Participation post will touch on such hunts in the national parks.

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

    What's the rationale for deputizing all these hunters? Just legal titles that ended up in the enabling legislature? Or something more... Any insight??

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated   5 years 33 weeks ago

    I'm certainly not anti-hunting. I'd be for some sort of control on the population of black-tailed deer that are in my neighborhood. Just the other day there was a buck with large antlers on the street which I had to avoid.

    However - I'm wondering if hunting is the ideal solution. Most hunters want big trophy animals. Natural population controls (i.e. predators) tend to target the smaller and weaker members. In many ways, isn't hunting setting up the herd to be weaker?

  • Organization Forms to Promote Expansion of National Park System   5 years 34 weeks ago

    A recent Las Vegas newspaper article mentions the possiblility of adding the Tule Springs fossil site near LV to the National Park System as a national monument. The article also says 20 new national monuments are being considered--but does not name any except Tule Springs. Can anyone "in the know" mention some other places under consideration?

    Siskiyou Crest along the California-Oregon border is another proposal with a website btw.

  • Where Can You Go to Get Your Post-Ken Burns National Parks Fix?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    This site is the best resource for all updates and pertinent information regarding our national parks. None better for national park travel.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I think it is a shame that we cannot enjoy the elk buggling and the joy of seeing elk in the city any longer, the park has taken that joy from us.

  • Bronze Spike Ceremony Marks Trail Completion at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Californiakayaker: For up to date information about new trails/segments and conditions, contact the park directly (phone 530-242-3400). To download a park map showing trails, visit this site. (There is also a HUGE (860 MB) pdf map of Whiskeytown at this site.) For Whiskeytown NRA trails information, visit this site and click on the trail you’re interested in. There is a comprehensive “All Trails Guide” at this site. Have fun.

  • Where Can You Go to Get Your Post-Ken Burns National Parks Fix?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I will stay with your site, thanks for sharing your tidbits every day.

  • Wintry Weather Knocking Down Arnica Fire in Yellowstone National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I happened to be traveling from Yellowstone to Grand Teton on Sept. 23, the day the Arnica fire was reported. On the morning of the 24th, smoke from the Bearpaw Bay fire was staying fairly low as it drifted southward, obscuring the feet of the Tetons but not the summits. By that afternoon, a much bigger, higher smoke cloud came out of the north--from Arnica, I presume--and really created some sunset "pyrotechnics." If anyone's interested, the last half-dozen of the trip photos I recently posted (http://www.flickr.com/photos/doublefinch/sets/72157622501999620/detail/)show this sequence. However, like many of the above, I felt sorry for visitors who found views obscured and/or breathing difficult, especially the next morning when Jackson Hole looked like L.A. on a bad air day.

  • Judge’s Ruling on Drilling Noise May Bode Well for National Park Soundscape Protection   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Thanks Bob. I have seen some useful information on their site.

  • What Bird is This?   5 years 34 weeks ago

    I think the first comment is about right. Non-breeding mallards (roughly mid-June through September) all look about the same, regardless of age or sex; all have the blue speculum with white borders, but males won't get their bright green heads until later this month. The yellowish bill on the front bird also says mallard; all the teal species have darker bills.

  • Judge’s Ruling on Drilling Noise May Bode Well for National Park Soundscape Protection   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Carel: I suggest that you get in touch with the NPS Natural Sounds Program. You'll find the contact information at this site. Good luck.

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Anonymous made an interesting comment in the previous post:

    hunters want the biggest, healthiest and best of each species. That, on balance is not always the best way to control overpopulation of a particular species.

    That relates directly to an article which ran on the Traveler back in April: "Humans as "Super-Predators" – New Study Offers Startling Information about Hunting and Fishing"

    Here are some excerpts from the study reported in that article:

    "By harvesting vast numbers and targeting large, reproductively mature individuals, human predation is quickly reshaping the wild populations that remain, leaving smaller individuals to reproduce at ever-earlier ages."

    The rate of these changes was also startling. In animal and plant populations subject to human predation, observable changes were occurring three times faster than in natural systems.

    "Ironically, some wildlife and fish management policies contribute to the rapid pace of trait changes. "Fishing regulations often prescribe the taking of larger fish, and the same often applies to hunting regulations," said Darimont. "Hunters are instructed not to take smaller animals or those with smaller horns. This is counter to patterns of natural predation, and now we're seeing the consequences of this management." In Alberta, Canada, for example, hunters who are permitted to target the largest specimens of bighorn sheep have caused average horn length and body mass to drop by about 20 percent during the last 30 years.

    The research reported in this story doesn't mean human predation isn't an appropriate tool for managing wildlife populations in some locations, but it certainly supports the comment made by Anonymous on the story about elk at Grand Teton. If hunting is justified as a means to "manage" wildlife towards a more "natural" population, hunters will need to shift their thinking away from the trophy on the wall to removing the weaker animals which would normally be taken by natural predators. That's a huge shift, and not likely to be a popular one with many in the hunting industry.

  • Organization Forms to Promote Expansion of National Park System   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Davide -

    Thanks for asking. You can click on the link in the second paragraph of the story. Here it is again, for easy reference:

    http://www.newnationalparks.org/index.html

  • Clash of Viewpoints on Public Land Ownership and Protection Arrives in Congress in the Form of Red Rock Wilderness Legislation   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Perhaps the best way to solve this issue is to say that wilderness areas are restricted from ANY human entrance regardless of the form of transportation, be it by foot, horse, bike or motorized vehicles. If NO ONE could go into wilderness, then perhaps they would be more rational in deciding how much land should be designated wilderness.

  • Judge’s Ruling on Drilling Noise May Bode Well for National Park Soundscape Protection   5 years 34 weeks ago

    The problem of measuring low noise levels occurs more in nature. So, I am interested in the noise levels measured and the equipment that was used. Is this information available? A report maybe with results?
    Thanks.

  • Organization Forms to Promote Expansion of National Park System   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Does "The New National Parks Project" have a webpage or how would someone get more info on them?

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 34 weeks ago

    Re "When ever man tries to manipulate mother nature there are unforseen problems." You're right, but man has been manipulating nature for a long, long time -- and the park service and other public land managers have to deal with the problems we have already caused.

    Across the Plains and the West, the bison were exterminated to the brink of extinction, beavers were trapped by the millions and in some places, the inhabitants of former fox farms, mink farms, etc. were simply loose when fur coats went out of style. The passenger pigeon, once North America's most common bird numbering in the billions, went extinct in 1914. Large-scale manipulation

    The recent Ken Burns documentary series on PBS devoted a deal of time to the Yellowtone/Grand Teton area. Man manipulated nature there when the Army was in charge of Yellowstone and soldiers were ordered to eradicate the resident wolves --ranchers' dreams come true. Without wolves, coyotes were long Yellowstone's top-level predator. Coyotes are smaller and usually cannot take down big game. Grand Teton National Park originally consised only of the mountain areas, with ranches dominating the Snake River Valley. Ranchers initially opposed the addition valley land to the park, but of course, ranching had already been an introduced use of the land.

    A lot of mistakes have been made, and the effort to redress those mistakes also has its costs -- but IMHO, the cheapest way to keep a species in check is not necessarily the best. It is true that predators will seek out very young, very old, very sick or injured prey, but hunters want the biggest, healthiest and best of each species. That, on balance is not always the best way to control overpopulation of a particular species.

    Claire Walter, Colorado

  • Annual Elk Hunt Scheduled to Begin in Grand Teton National Park Oct 10   5 years 34 weeks ago

    My girlfiend and I just got back from the Yellowstone - Teton area. While we saw large quanitys of elk near Mammoth, they seemed scarce through out the rest of the park. We stayed 3 nights in Mammoth and 4 nights in West Yellowstone. While in W.Y. we talked to 2 ranchers about the wolf problem. They claim that the elk population in Yellowstone has been cut in half since the wolves were brought back. I had read somewhere else that it was estimated that the elk population had not suffered much. I'll guess that it's somewhere in between.
    Trying to use wolves to keep the elk in check in the Tetons would be a mistake. When ever man tries to manipulate mother nature there are unforseen problems. There are too many ranches around the edges of the Tetons. Wolves will take the easier kill. I consider myself a nature lover. I've never hunted in my ilfe. However, hunting is one of the best ways to keep an animal population in check. I live in the esat. The deer populations here are higher than they have ever been. Deer may be be cute, but they are also pests. Hunting has been the best, and cheapest way to keep them in check.

  • Echoes of the Cold War in the Tropical Warmth of Everglades National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    any one know anything about the old nike site located right about honey hill road and flamingo road on dade broward line?ive been out there before it was fenced off again and its as cool as it gets guard gates launcher magazines storage buildings underground tunnels even guard dog kennels.one of what i think is a bunk house has a old painting of a nike missle on it. would like to hear more on this one.

  • Judge Blocks Wal-Mart SuperCenter From Opening Near Joshua Tree National Park   5 years 34 weeks ago

    There is one Joshua Tree National Park. There are endless cities for Walmart.