Recent comments

  • The First Family Plans to Visit Two Western National Parks Next Weekend   5 years 29 weeks ago

    It would be nice if President Obama could take some time while here to educate himself about the trajedy that has befallen our last truly wild and genetically pure bison herd. I wonder if the BFC has any plans to attempt to meet with him either in Bozeman or Yellowstone?

  • Heat Claims the Life of Boy Stranded for Five Days in Isolated Area of Death Valley National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    tragic, indeed. But, i do have lots of questions. As should the authorities.
    A gps is satelite, correct? why didn't she start to walk out using that very high tech device? One child, 11, dies before the dog? um, who got the water first the dog?
    It just seems a little unusual, to me. I've been out there and yes it is XTREME! and yes, education is the key! But, in 5 days i think i would have ben able to save my son!!!!

  • Heat Claims the Life of Boy Stranded for Five Days in Isolated Area of Death Valley National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Media reports have it that the 28-year old mother is a nurse. It's kind of perplexing to think that an experienced health care professional would be unable to recognize the lethal risks she was taking with the three lives in that car. Now this poor woman will be haunted every day for the rest of her life.

  • The First Family Plans to Visit Two Western National Parks Next Weekend   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Welcome Mr. President Obama: Enjoy the spectacular view of the Grand Canyon in it's entire glory from sunrise till sunset. It is truly god spell in all it's glory and color. Enjoy with peace and solitude!

  • Sixteen Boaters Safe After Two Accidents at Lake Mead National Recreation Area   5 years 29 weeks ago

    These people were a little on the stupid side being out there in that kind of wind.
    Don't the marinas have wind warning flags the same as we do in Maine ??????

  • Heat Claims the Life of Boy Stranded for Five Days in Isolated Area of Death Valley National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    My sincere condolences to the mother on her terrible loss. If everyone will recall, Traveler ran the following story on June 9, 2008:
    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2008/06/gps-unit-leads-couple-trouble-near-glen-canyon-national-recreation-area.
    At that time, I commented that I almost had the same situation happen to me, except I did look over my route to make sure I was not going to get into trouble.

    One of the ways this can be fixed is for the GPS manufacturers and programmers to stop letting their programs use primitive roads as a viable option. As an example, in order to go from Escalante to Big Water, both my GPS and Microsoft's Streets and Trips wanted to send us down the Missing Canyon Road (Smoky Mountain Rd), BLM road 300. On the BLM map, this road is marked as a ATV road. I did research the road, as well as look at it on Google Maps, and saw that it was not a road we wanted to go down. And this was just one of serveral examples.

    The routing programmers need to classify these kinds of roads as primitive/4wd roads and not use them in routing unless the user has specifically requested primitve roads as an option.

    I did contact Garmin, my GPS company, about the problem, but so far, nothing has happened. GPS's are wonderful devices; My wife and I have traveled all over the US with one, but I never follow it blindly, especially in rugged areas.

  • Heat Claims the Life of Boy Stranded for Five Days in Isolated Area of Death Valley National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Kirby -

    Worthy questions, and ones that concern park personnel everywhere. It's clear there are no easy answers.

    I run these stories on the Traveler in hopes someone will read about such incidents and learn from the experience on a future trip of their own. I realize most of our readers are experienced in outdoor safety, but some are not.

    Another story posted today mentions a group of boaters that survived an accident at Lake Mead because they were wearing life jackets. Sometimes, people do act prudently.

  • Heat Claims the Life of Boy Stranded for Five Days in Isolated Area of Death Valley National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Well, we can call this a tragedy, and it certainly is. We can call this woman woefully ignorant of the consequences of her actions, and she certainly is. Rather than wasting time belaboring those facts, I will question how we fix this. How do we educate a public about the perils of wandering ill-prepared into nature? Riding an inflatable swimming pool raft down the snake river. Back-roading in Death Valley in the summer without maps or adequate provisions. Strolling up to a bison for a photo op. Pick your incident, the root cause is the same: abject ignorance of the natural world.

    I don't have an answer. I just feel that the energy spent tapping the sympathy well over incidents like this would be better spent preventing the next one. But then I walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke in front of every public building and figure educating people about safety and consequences is a lost cause.

  • Sixteen Boaters Safe After Two Accidents at Lake Mead National Recreation Area   5 years 29 weeks ago

    We all need to thank God that we have people like these rescue teams that put their lives on the line to help save others. Is sure is a wonderful thing they do and may God and His angels be with them, always!

  • Building with Notorious History in Death Valley National Park Burns in Mysterious Fire   5 years 29 weeks ago

    The Barker Ranch should be preserved for its historical value.

    It was originally built in the late 1930's by a retired police office, whose goal
    of finding gold never really worked out.

    It sure seems like a great little vacation home for those who owned the
    property afterwards.

    The Barker Ranch, like the Geologist Cabin, and a few other buildings in the
    Southwest Corner of Death Valley National Park have existed for decades as
    shelters for visitors to use. They have been places where in an emergency,
    one could find water, shelter, and non-perishable food that has been donated
    by previous visitors.

    This is the culture of "desert people."

    This is a culture where people do look out for one another. If one's vehicle is broken down,
    you help them.

    If people don't live like that...guess what might happen if your vehicle breaks down.

    As for Manson, he hated what he called "desert people." He hated people in nearby towns.

    He was a thief, troublemaker, and did everything he could to stand out like a sore thumb.
    (guess who he was caught)

    The Barker Ranch should be preserved.

    The Barker Ranch is a historical place connected with the most vile crimes in US history, but
    one with an interest in history, I believe historical sites should be preserved for future generations.

    I believe the preservation of the Barker Ranch makes a statement.

    This statement is that despite the evil of Manson and his goons, this is still a beautiful place.
    The Barker Ranch is located in a beautiful little canyon, one that is full of life.

    Preservation of the Barker Ranch, and its reclaiming by "Desert People," (prospectors, 4wd enthusiasts,
    gutsy backpackers for example) is one way to punish Manson who once whined that "I'm not fit to live
    in your desert!"

    Right, "Charlie." I don't think Manson is fit to live anywhere, but when I camped out where his
    buggys once roared, the only noise I heard was birds chirping.

  • Judge Mulling Request To Address Yellowstone National Park's Wandering Bison   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Two bits of news ... I was away in the Bechler region of Yellowstone the last couple days and am only now just seeing this ...

    Buffalo Field Campaign has reported a buffalo from Yellowstone killed in Idaho this week by an APHIS employee.

    Secondly, as I said, I was in the SW corner of the park, and on my way to a hike along the Western Boundary Trail in Idaho - which begins at the Bechler Ranger Station, I saw three cows (cattle) inside the park boundaries between the boundary and the ranger station. I don't recall any news about them, how they were hazed out of the park, or shipped to slaughter. I doubt a lot of tourists realize that cows can wander into Yellowstone National Park, but buffalo cannot go to cowless areas of Montana (or anywhere in Idaho).

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

  • Reader Participation Day: Do You Believe There Should Be Overflight Tours of National Parks?   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Noise from the helicopters would shatter the peaceful beauty of Oregon's only national park

    Owen, you worked at Crater Lake, right? Did we work at the same park? Do you honestly believe the Waragonian's line about "peaceful" beauty? Did you miss my last post with the pictures of noisy road and Rim Village construction? How about the photos of the noisy boat tours?

    I don't want any extra noise at Crater Lake any more than the next person, but for Pete's sake, can we please stop repeating the myth that Crater Lake is pristine and serene? That's a big, warm load of BS.

    The "peaceful beauty" is shattered everyday by thousands of cars, several boats, dump trucks, submarines, research boats, tour boats; my god I don't have the energy to repeat the HUGE list of things that have been shattering Crater Lake's mythical peace for the last century.

    The myth must stop.

  • The First Family Plans to Visit Two Western National Parks Next Weekend   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Mr. President, I hope you and your family have a great visit. It would be nice if you could be accompanied by your nominee, Jon Jarvis, for the office of the NPS director.

  • Free Weekends AND Free Tours At Mammoth Cave National Park   5 years 29 weeks ago

    The cave is a great attraction, but the park itself is an awesome and magnificent little gem. I of course have been on more than one cave tour, but its the park I love so dearly.

  • Snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Environmental Extremists in the Obama Administration   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I am a die hard environmentalist, a Life member of the Sierra Club, and a generous contributor to environmental causes. I also own snowmobiles. I have snowmobiled in Yellowstone and it is an incredible experience. It should be on everyone's "bucket list". I can tell you that I did not see any indication that anyone was going off into the back country and everyone was very respectful any wildlife they encountered. There are park rangers on snowmobiles with radar guns strictly enforcing the speed limits and ticketing anyone who drove outside of the lines. I was given a stern warning for parking with one of my front skis on top of the berm.
    We rode the entire loop from West Yellowstone, where 10 of us rented machines, in one long
    8+ hour day. It was great to be able to stop where and when we wanted to, as opposed to being in a snow coach.
    I would not want to deny this experience to anyone who wished to enjoy it. I am for limiting the number of
    snowmobiles that can enter per day, and requiring that they be four stroke rather than two stroke machines.
    They are much quieter and way less polluting.
    There are limits on the number of permits to raft the Colorado River, another thing that should be on your bucket list, and limits to the number of back country permits issued in many parks. I think that with sensible regulation we can all enjoy and preserve our National Treasures for many years to come.

  • The First Family Plans to Visit Two Western National Parks Next Weekend   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I will be in grand teton and yellowstone next week but I am leaving on the 15th THANK GOD seeing him would ruin it

  • Interior Department Releases Study That Tracks Decline Of Glaciers in Alaska and Washington State   5 years 29 weeks ago

    As with Health Care Reform, the public debate on global warming is fraught with mis-information. Some of this is organized and funded by industry, some stems from the influence organized public relations campaigns have had on uninformed opinion, including the opinion of so-called scientists.

    It's amazing to me how many who comment in opposition to anthropogenic climate change discount official sources of information, including the detailed report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because they are "government funded." The report of the IPCC is quite thorough. It addresses the important role that the sun plays in determining climate change over the past decades and centuries. However, the IPCC concludes that there is a 90% chance that the shifts in climate are due to increases in green house gases emitted from human activities.

    Thus, my chips go with Kurt, Matt, and Ray. Nevertheless, I hope Haunted Hiker is right and that the glaciers will one day return, within my limited lifetime.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Interior Department Releases Study That Tracks Decline Of Glaciers in Alaska and Washington State   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Yesterday I hiked through a record breaking August snowstorm in the High Sierra.

    I pushing my chips toward the Beamis and Whitten corner.

    The glaciers will return, perhaps with a vengeance, and we may rue the day.

  • Happy Birthday to the National Park Service Arrowhead Emblem   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Maria: The official Arrowhead emblem items(s) you want to buy are, as far as I know, sold by the NPS Arrowhead Store only to authorized purchasers -- a list that is restricted to park rangers, ex park rangers, park volunteer workers (V.I.P's), park partners, and other specified classes of personnel who work in or for the national parks in some capacity. The general public cannot buy official Arrowhead items from the Arrowhead Store. I suggest that you shop for suitable substitute items the next time you visit a national park with a well stocked bookstore. You can also shop online for some items that aren't restricted. I'm sorry it took so long to answer your comment, and that I could not provide a more helpful answer. Maybe a helpful Traveler reader can help you with your search. Anybody want to chime in on this? Good look, Maria.

  • Snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Environmental Extremists in the Obama Administration   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Not limiting access to people, only use of snow machines! I believe snowshoeing and nordic skiing are activities allowed in many areas. Limited mobility? Use the snow coaches.

  • Snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Environmental Extremists in the Obama Administration   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Amen, Mark, amen, amen, amen. Keep the darned snowmobiles out! The snow coaches are there for visitors, and the snowmobilers can't follow the rules. It happens all over---the snowmobilers (and ATVers) think they own the place, leaving the rest of us smelling their fumes, listening to their noise, and repairing their damage to the environment.

    lasergirl
    New Mexico

  • The Park Under the Bridge   5 years 29 weeks ago

    I would note that Fort Point is under the authority of the Superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The rangers who provide services there are rotated from the GGNRA staff.

    It's also really windy there. Anyone visiting should bring a wind-resistant jacket and maybe a cold-weather hat. Once I was watching (from what used to be the rooftop gun battery of Fort Point) a sailboat that ran into one of the piers of the Golden Gate Bridge. The wind just kept on pressing the boat into the pier until the operator could get the sail down. By then the Coast Guard had already arrived and I suppose they were required to escort them back to port and take a report.

  • National Shooting Sports Foundation Upset Over Grand Teton National Park's Suggestion That Lead Ammunition Is Health Threat   5 years 29 weeks ago

    There may never have been a documented case of HUMANS getting lead poisoning from lead ammo but it is way past time that some humans realize that there are OTHER CREATURES on this earth that ALSO MATTER ! If some of you don't mind eating lead that is fine with me but I want to protect the innocent.

  • Interior Department Releases Study That Tracks Decline Of Glaciers in Alaska and Washington State   5 years 29 weeks ago

    Wow, a lot of misinformation here. Come on, just think about it. When you lay in bed at night, if you put on another blanket you are more insulated and get warmer. That's just what happens. We are adding (literally) tons of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere. Greenhouse gases trap heat. Shocking, we're getting warmer as we further insulate ourselves. That's what greenhouse gases do. To deny that is to deny basic laws of physics.

    I find it amazing to read the round-about conjectures trying to explain our increasing warmth as NOT being the result of adding that extra layer of insulation. Occam's Razor and all.

    I am also fascinated to read that some believe that government scientists with guaranteed year-to-year funding regardless of results are supposedly less-believable sources than scientists funded by oil companies and the like. If a chemist from this company (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Lakes_Chemical_Corporation) doesn't believe in human-caused climate change, surely it can't be true!

  • National Shooting Sports Foundation Upset Over Grand Teton National Park's Suggestion That Lead Ammunition Is Health Threat   5 years 29 weeks ago

    No studies?!? Look on the left side. Yes, this is primarily about condors, but surely they aren't the only animals affected.

    http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/california_condor.shtml/