Recent comments

  • Updated: 7-Year-old Dies At Acadia National Park As Hurricane Bill's Waves Wash Three Into Atlantic, Injure 13   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I think common sense should prevail, the 7 year old had a parent there. It is indicated at all time in Acadia that you must go on the ledges and rocks at your own risk.

  • Updated: 7-Year-old Dies At Acadia National Park As Hurricane Bill's Waves Wash Three Into Atlantic, Injure 13   5 years 30 weeks ago

    We were at Thunder Hole yesterday. We left about 45 minutes before the tragedy at about the time the rangers closed off the walkway to Thunder Hole. There were still hundreds of people who were below the level of the walkway on the adjacent cliffs. The rangers made no attempt to tell them to get off of those cliffs even though they had closed off the walkway and even though those people were within one hundred feet from the top of the walkway. This is one of the most blatant examples of why the Park Service should NOT have blanket immunity from suit in situations where people are hurt or killed in a park. When the Park Service's employees are obviously negligent, there should be accountabilty.

    As he cleared people from the walkway, one ranger said "That's all I can do." To me it was obvious that people should have been told to leave the cliffs and that a few more rangers should have been assigned to the area to deal with the crowd. The waves were unpredictable and some had already reached the tops of the cliffs where people were standing. I guarantee that at least some of those people probably felt that, if there was any real danger, the rangers would have told them to get off the rocks.

    Can anyone say that a seven year old girl would know that she was in danger on those cliffs? If the rangers had told her father to move, I am certain that he would have. People were quite cooperative with the rangers when they closed the walkway.

    I love the parks and I respect the rangers and the difficult work they do. However, they - and more importantly - their supervisors in the Park Service - need to be held accountable when an imminently preventable tragedy like this occurs. Immunity breeds negligence. I know that we will hear the same old song from some people - "people need to be held accountable for their own stupidity and bad judgment." Ask yourself these questions: First, do you really want to blame a seven year old for "stupidity and bad judgment"? Second, do you realize that not everyone understands the dangers of nature as well as those of us who frequently avail ourselves of the wonders of the parks? Should the penalty for their inexperience be death? Should the penalty for stupidity be death? These questions will really haunt me, particularly because I saw how easily this tragedy could have been prevented.

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 30 weeks ago

    As long as the NPS maintains roads, this is what they're asking for. If you can drive it in, expect to see it in a national park. If you want people to get back to nature in national parks, you've got to remove all un-natural roads. And lodges, too. Funny how this site on one hand promotes lodging deals, while in another post lamenting that "glampers" won't be able to see the stars overhead. Absolutely laughable.

  • Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End   5 years 30 weeks ago

    And by the way, how dare the NPS tell me to reduce my CO2 footprints when these behemoths unnecessarily plow alpine roads? Come on. Total hypocrisy.

  • Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Plus, just because you have one good winter doesn't mean the long-term trend isn't pointing to a warming trend.

    Come, on Kurt. You just pointed out that July was the warmest on record. One warm month is weather, not climate. And then you try to have it both ways by making this statement.

    I still haven't seen anyone try to correct my facts and cited references on the red knot article's sea-level-rise propaganda.

    Fear, fear, fear. Big Brother needs your fear and will manufacture any crisis to get it.

  • Black Bears Racking Up Property Damage In Yosemite National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    A good reminder of what happens when people don't follow common sense - and regulations - concerning proper storage of food in "bear country." Anyone planning a visit to Yosemite needs to be aware of the park's regulations on food storage, which have in fact resulted in some pretty impressive progress on this problem.

    According to a 2008 study published in the journal Human–Wildlife Conflicts,

    During 1998, there were 1,584 bear incidents, resulting in over $650,000 of property damage [in Yosemite.] Of those incidents, 85% involved damage to vehicles by bears in search of food.
    .

    Those numbers prompted some major changes in the park's approach, and make this year's stats look pretty good by comparison. That's probably not much consolation to those whose vehicles were damaged this year, but the responsibility for helping solve this problem still lies with every visitor to the park.

  • Updated: 7-Year-old Dies At Acadia National Park As Hurricane Bill's Waves Wash Three Into Atlantic, Injure 13   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I have been at Thunder Hole during conditions like this. It amazes me how stupid people can be. They will climb over and around gates that have been closed to keep people back. Just to get to the top of a rock at the edge of the ocean. They can clearly see the waves crashing all around them. I feel bad about the 7 year old. She did not know any better. ...

    This comment was edited. -- Ed.

  • Young Kayaker Rescued in Glacier National Park, But Not Before A Nap in a Hollow Log   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Someone taught this boy well. When boating wear your safety gear. I bet is he rides an ATV he wears all the proper gear too. Great Job of Training up your Child.

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Beamis, it's the swampy climate. It turns their brains to mush. Politics is a rich man's game, and so they don't have to care. Here's hoping Mr. Jarvis spends most of his time OUTSIDE of Washington. I'd hate to see good talent go to waste.

  • Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Kurt, that last post is not directed at you or anyone in particular. thanks, max

  • Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End   5 years 30 weeks ago

    "Science" has has been wrong more often than not and always evolving. remember the earth used to be flat? there is much to know that humans have far to go in figuring out. nobody really knows about the "real science" they spout off about. there is alot of disagreement about "global warming" and if it really is happening. any fool thats thinks driving an electric car or other foolishness has not noticed mexico, china, india or any other country that has no intention of changing. have you been to these places? they will not change, what changes we make will have no effect on the big picture.

  • Black Bears Racking Up Property Damage In Yosemite National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Please be responsible with your food and trash. It's not always convenient but bears lives and the safety of campers is not to be taken lightly.

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 30 weeks ago

    What good is a "hands-on" director (as opposed to the previous hands-off kind) if all they have to look forward to is a position dominated by political games and a slow-paced bureaucracy? The NPS needs more than a new director to turn things around but, unfortunately, those kinds of changes are not coming to the nation's capital anytime soon.

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Is anybody surprised that when we need a hands-on director, Mr. Jarvis' confirmation is going to be buried in an avalanche of paper? I'm ever amazed that Washington ever gets anything done.

    As for "glamping," my first thought was WT*! and I rarely say WT*. I was under the impression that particular niche was filled with ultra-posh RVs equipped with everything AND the kitchen sink. Oh ya, the RV industry has tanked in this recession, putting thousands out of work, so of course, who would be so gauche as to go that route when "glamping" is apparently the new standard in luxe?

    I don't own a RV, or would ever consider "glamping". I do have a 17 year old nylon tent with so many layers of seam seal I'm amazed it doesn't stand up on its own without the poles. Amenities are 2 air mattresses for my son and me, and a can of bear spray. I'm not as limber as I used to be after waking up on a foam pad, nor do I want an up-close and personal experience with a bear. Our security system is our very yappy mini dachshund and a SIG, not concealed here in Montana where if you don't show your firearm, you're obviously up to no good. If we can't cook it over an open fire, or eat it cold when there are Red Flag warnings, we don't bring it. No chefs, maids, or butlers in sight!

    Want to be pampered? Go to a spa hotel. Leave the camping to people who know what they want without the racket of all those generators, AC units and iPod speaker systems. I can't imagine you'd enjoy the glow of a Coleman lamp.

    Let's hope this is just another fast-passing fad, because if it isn't, we'll be inundated with designer fishing gear and even more idiots with little common sense and way too much money flashing concealed weapons when they get homesick for a more "urban" experience.

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 30 weeks ago

    As a Civil War re-enactor, I often get incredulous looks when I tell people that yes, we actually sleep in those tents, and yes, we actually cook on the fire. And no, they didn't have i-pods or cell phones during the Civil War, so we can't have them either (one of the true joys of re-enacting, if you ask me!).

    I can't see how "glamping" is going to solve this problem (and I do see it as a problem).

  • Updated: Hiker Killed In Fall at Glacier National Park   5 years 30 weeks ago

    More likely a hiker than a climber.

  • Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End   5 years 30 weeks ago

    No word about the renaming effort heard here, but on the other issue, there is a difference between weather and climate. Plus, just because you have one good winter doesn't mean the long-term trend isn't pointing to a warming trend. Frankly, I'd venture that those who are concerned about climate change would be more than happy if the science were wrong.

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Boy, that picture says it all! And what is that square thing on the tent directly to the left of the doorway? Is that an AC UNIT???? I went to the site mentioned above, and found that for a mere $200 a night I could get the complete experience in Joshua Tree, only 10 minutes from the National Park. The website states, "you can bring your friends and crank up the amp, or just listen to the silence". Amenities include a spa, fully equipped kitchen, and an iPod docking station! Somebody's making some serious money - clever way of exploiting us lazy Americans. Anybody know how I can get into this racket?

  • Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Previous posters need a wake up call and not for Rush Limbaugh. Question, why is there talk about renaming the park because all the glaciers will be completely gone in 20 years???? Oh wait, 1 year we opened late yeah that's right no global warming - too funny...

  • On Politics, Bureaucracy, and "Glamping" In the National Park System   5 years 30 weeks ago

    U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn should be embarrassed along with every member of the state of Oklahoma. Holding our National Park System hostage while he plays politics. You give every good republican a bad name. Step aside and allow TRUE Americans to take over and resue our park system for future generations.

  • How Far Should You Move a Nuisance Rattlesnake? At Great Basin, Inquiring Minds Want to Know   5 years 30 weeks ago

    While working in one of the densest population areas of timber rattlers in the east, we were made aware of the study noted in the above message conducted in North Carolina. We started to relocate rattlers found in visitor use areas much shorter distances. Although we did not have the time to conduct any semblance of a scientific study, it did not seem that the snakes were returning to the high visibility areas frequented by people. I would find it of interest to see a study conducted on the movement of snakes relocated and the frequency that they reappear in areas that are of concern.

    Just a thought for consideration by one of those grad students looking for a research topic.

  • Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Open End to End   5 years 30 weeks ago

    man is so egotistical to think afer billions of years of the earth taking care of itself the humans can destroy it in a few 100 years. what t joke. solar flares are 90% of the ozone depletion and so called 'global warming'.
    [This comment was edited to remove unacceptable language.]

  • Surf Is Decidedly Up At Cape Hatteras National Seashore Thanks to Hurricane Bill   5 years 30 weeks ago

    damage report? where on 12?

  • "Bad Times" Aren't Always All Bad – These Two Ideas for "Improving the Parks" Fizzled   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Steel also wanted to build an elevator from the Lodge to the lake shore and the NPS director at the time, Horace Albright, called Steel's, within-the-rim, road idea, "chimerical." No doubt, Steel was feeling his oats after having attained money from Congress for the first survey project of a rim road (in 1907) at Crater Lake and then money for construction of the first rim road.

    Another notion, just as nonsensical, was pushed by Congressman Charles Porter, of Oregon, for an aerial gondola.....from the rim to Wizard Island in 1959.

    Thanks so much Jim. Good job.

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

  • Planners In "Wilderness Wal-Mart" Matter Oppose Development on Fringe of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    anon 3: Could it be that Walmart is "getting religion"? Or is it the pressure of public opinion? Fear of losing market share is a good motive for cleaning up their corporate act. Good move for locating on land no one else wants. Reclaiming blighted properties is always a good idea, although I think they should have gotten a good environmental hazard assessment before building on a landfill.

    Perhaps the answer for Fredericksburg is to bring pressure to bear on the county to rezone the land nearest the park. A buffer area, maybe?