Recent comments

  • That “America’s Marines” Commercial Shows Five NPS Units, Not Six   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I believe that the music was written to go with the commercial. BTW, if you'd like to see a very thorough discussion of the commercial, visit this site. The comments-in-reply are absolutely outstanding. As for the article that drew the comments, well, that's another story.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Oysters, Icon of the Chesapeake   5 years 32 weeks ago

    There are multiple problems. Certainly, the pollution of the bay is a substantial one. With climate change, though, warming waters are allowing the parasite to move into areas where it couldn't previously survive. Add that to the stress caused by the pollution, and it's almost a no-win situation.

    There was a report I saw the other day (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/08/03/oysters-on-the-comeback-in-chesapeake-bay-thanks-to-elevated-homes/) that efforts were succeeding to boost oyster numbers by, essentially, creating higher beds for them to grow on. Unfortunately, that doesn't solve the parasite problem. While the pollution can be stemmed, it seems the long-term health of the oysters requires either an oyster that is somehow immune to the parasite, or colder waters that kill the parasite.

    Futhermore, NOAA reported the other day that ocean temperatures in July were the highest ever recorded.

    The agency said the average sea surface temperature was 1.06 degrees higher than the 20th-century average of 61.5 degrees. Though July was unusually cool in some areas, like the eastern United States, analysts at the NOAA Climate Data Center said the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 1.03 degrees higher than the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, the fifth warmest since worldwide record keeping began in 1880. The agency also said that, on average, Arctic sea ice covered 3.4 million square miles in July, 12.7 percent below the 1979-2000 average and the third lowest on record, after 2007 and 2006. -- NYTimes.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Oysters, Icon of the Chesapeake   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Oh drat...teach me to begin reding before the page finishes loading. Now I get the connection! Blonde moment

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Oysters, Icon of the Chesapeake   5 years 32 weeks ago

    This is going to be tough because when it comes to the Bay, Virginia has some terrible environmental laws. But isn't the real problem with the Bay pollution and not climate change? Or does it all somehow link together?

    I remember a couple years ago they were talking about introducing Asian oysters into the Bay to try and bring back at least some type of oyster.

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 32 weeks ago

    The whole National Park Service is a compendium of geologic wonders. I'm not sure how they could include some of these places when there are some incredibly iconic places such as Yosemite Valley, Arches NP (Delicate Arch is possibly the most awe inspiring piece of rock I've ever seen), or Zion Canyon.

    That they didn't consider Yosemite Valley to be one of the top 10 geologic sites in the continental US is telling.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Frank,

    While I admire the effort you're investing, your concern about whether the scientists who advised on this project are "climate scientists" is a reach.

    Dr. Steve Running, who was a lead chapter author for the International Panel on Climate Change (2004-2007) and who shared in the Nobel Prize for his efforts, is, in short, a forestry expert (PhD in forest ecophysiology, Master's in forest management, B.S. in botany); Dr. Dan Fagre, a Glacier National Park scientist who has spent the past 15 years working to understand how global-scale environmental changes will affect our mountain ecosystems, is, in short, a wildlife biologist; E.O. Wilson, who knows a thing or two about climate change and who has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his writing, is a biologist who focused his early work on bugs. Since he's not a writer by degree or trade, should his Pulitzers be questioned?

    The list, as I'm sure you know, goes on and on.

    Beyond that, while you lament the lack of a "climate scientist" on the team that researched this topic for NPCA, you should know that they reviewed upwards of 100 peer-reviewed papers on climate change and wildlife, papers that in turn were written by dozens more scientists from various fields. What scientific credentials do you bring to the table in connection with the citations you mention? If you're not a "climate scientist," should they be summarily dismissed?

  • Our National Parks: "For the Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People" (If You Don't Mind the Entrance Fee)   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Gives "roughing it" a whole new meaning, doesn't it!

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 32 weeks ago

    The two times I've been to Petrified Forest I was one of those people who didn't get out of the car. When I was 16 I made a crosscountry trip with firends of the family and they didn't believe in hiking so I just had to look out the window. The second time the visitor center closed 20 minutes early (and yes I was on the correct time) so I didn't get any help from staff and wasn't sure where I could go while hauling my travel trailer. BUt even though I saw the park through a windshield, it was enough to capture my interest and it made me want to come back and experience even more.

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Harper (not his/her real name) states in his/her bio, "Andrew Harper has an abiding passion for classic hospitality and refined service..."

    In other words, places where nature is kept managed and to the fringes and the lodging of choice is a four-star hotel, not a four-man tent. He's writing to a completely different set of travelers than those who frequent this blog. I have a feeling a trip with Harper would be a truly mind-numbing and frustrating vacation for me!

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Anybody complaining about him halting traffic should pull their head out of where ever they hide it. This was announced way ahead of time. Either you were in a jam because you wanted to be close to our president or you are an idiot for not altering your to do list for the great Yellowstone-Grand Teton area. There is so much you could have been doing not far away. So if your an idiot get over it and don't blame the president for your poor planning. You can't see the park in 1/2 a day anyway, so just needed to plan that part of the day elsewhere. As I said in my other post. I am glad he went to my favorite Park and hope good comes of it. I also agree with d-2 post; Obama gets briefed before hand and that is very important to we who hold the park dear.
    Dave Crowl

  • About The National Parks Traveler   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I just found your site - great job and great cause. We're a full-timing RV family that is using the National Parks as a major part of our kids' road-school curriculum. We've studied everything from wildlife to the Indian Wars to civil rights to Jazz: and all at our National Parks.

    Keep up the great site.

    Tom Wahl
    Wahls Across America
    http://moaablogs.org/wahlfamily
    http://web.me.com/wahlsacrossamerica
    http://twitter.com/wahlsrvamerica

  • That “America’s Marines” Commercial Shows Five NPS Units, Not Six   5 years 32 weeks ago

    anyone happen to know what song was used in the commercial?

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I've visited La Brea tarpits, and while some of it was informative and interesting, I left quite disappointed that there wasn't more information or the ability to better see into any of the working pits. We read everything there was, and were out of there in under an hour. I think a lot more could be done.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Frank C....the key word in Ray Bane's comment is "denial". He has a point about the ostrich effect or syndrome that some posses.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Natural climate change deniers constantly use appeal to authority; "That study was written by a geologist, not a climate scientist!"

    None of the "researchers" nor the policy advisor for this essay are climate scientists.

    But enough with logical fallacies. Here's some refutation, although this probably belongs under the marine biology Armageddon global warming post:

    Physicists at the University of Rochester have combed through data from satellites and ocean buoys and found evidence that in the last 50 years, the net flow of heat into and out of the oceans has changed direction three times....In addition to the correlation with strange global effects that some scientists suspect were caused by climate shifts, the team says their data shows the oceans are not continuously warming—a conclusion not consistent with the idea that the oceans may be harboring "warming in the pipeline." Douglass further notes that the team found no correlation between the shifts and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Source: Changes in Net Flow of Ocean Heat Correlate with Past Climate Anomalies

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 32 weeks ago

    MRC is right-on about the fossil sites. If the new VC at Dinosaur NM continues the traditional logbook for
    visitors, don't miss the stunned comments by shaken religious fundamentalists! The Emmons Glacier at Mount
    Rainier is probably the best example of an active glacier in the lower 48, but don't wait too long... Crater Lake is an even more impressive, more beautiful, and more accessible site of explosive volcanism than Mount St. Helens. BTW, interesting recent article on the latter in the NY Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/science/18helens.html?hp

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I will go along with Rick B. comments. Geez, this President is walking on egg shells, every move, word or deed is under a severe microscope by a element of people that must be purely jealous of clear academic frame of mind...most rational and pragmatic then most U.S. Presidents we had in the past...especially after the last one. His pick for the next National Parks Director (Jon Jarvis) was a brilliant move. Kathy, most basketball junkies also hike, bike and climb mountains and I'm one of them.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Wow. Linking global warming to the Nazis. You've proved Godwin's law.

    "You can tell when a USENET discussion is getting old when one of the participants drags out Hitler and the Nazis."

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 32 weeks ago


    Kathy & Jim McDonald, come on. You both ARE out on a limb.

    Especially you, Mr. McDonald, who should know better. The Secret Service dominates these trips, and unless the President goes out of the way to curtail what they say they must do -- and just the time involved to micro-manage the Secret Service makes that kind of forcing changes in things like road closings -- REALLY impractical. If any of Mr. Obama's staff were to try to intervene, you can bet the Secret Service would tell them they would be responsible if something happened to the President.

    Mr. Obama's trip was not that disruptive. Now, when President Clinton visited Baltimore to watch an Orioles baseball game, now THAT was disruptive to a national park! The Secret Service had him land his helicopter right in the middle of Fort McHenry. The helicopter stayed there the entire time of the game. Unlike Yellowstone, McHenry is small, and that meant the entire park took no visitors whatever during any of these surprise trips. So, get a grip and compare this trip to other Presidential Trips. How about a G-8 conference?

    It is important that a President visit National Parks. The disruption will be momentary. Even if Kathy is right -- brushing aside the obvious bias -- and the President knows nothing about Parks, it is great that he now is learning something. Does ANYONE on this blog realize a trip like this means the President gets briefed in advance? That means pro-park people get a chance to give him the basics facing the NPS, something that almost never happens. Do you realize how difficult it is, with so many things going on, for any US agency to get a moment to raise the President's awareness of its issues?

    Please, people, get a grip!

  • Acadia National Park In the Round   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Beautiful. I'm a fan of his pictures and Glacier, anyway. Will be visiting Acadia in 3 short weeks. Can't wait.

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I'm glad the Yahoo traveler writer didn't get out of his vehicle in the Petrified Forest. If he would have stopped at the visitor's center he would have learned something. I have visited the site many times and am planning to go again. It is beautiful but you have to get out of your vehicle and explore the wonderful trails in the park. After hearing how Yahoo Traveler writers "explore" travel sites I know why their site isn't exactly helpful in planning trips. I'm glad Mr Harper didn't get out of his vehicle. He can stay on the interstate highway systems and miss the wonders of Arizona.

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 32 weeks ago

    To understand Petrified Forest you have to get out of your car and walk! The spectacular parts are not scenic views from your car. The beauty of the landscape becomes evident when you lose yourself amidst the rolling terrain of arroyos and hills. There are places where dinosaur fossils literally lie on the surface if you know what you are looking for. The Yahoo travel writer had no idea what to look for. Perhaps he should have stopped at the visitor center, read a guide, or talked to a ranger!

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Why Niagara? To have at least one out of ten locations in the northeast? Erosion is covered by Grand Canyon. And what else can you see (regarding geology) at Niagara? And I'm not sure if the La Brea Tar Pits should be "the" fossil site of the list. Dinosaur National Monument or John Day Fossil Beds National Monument might be better choices, even they are much more out of the way. Maybe they included the Tar Pits because they are easy to reach for many of their readers.

    And regarding Petrified Forest: I'm fine with it, if those who rely on Yahoo for information don't go there. The park is not crowded by any means, but having the Mr. Harpers stay on the interstate highway and pass it without stopping, can only improve the experience for everyone else. This park is for those who enjoy walking among the Blue Mesas, explore the fossilized wood and the other fossils of the park or just hike into the badlands of the southern or the painted desert in the northern part of the park.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I just wanted to clarify that I didn't notice my username after I tried posting (it was the anonymous post earlier) and I posted again after I was logged in. There was a certain similarity since I was trying to recreate the same line of thinking. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I'm using sock puppets to bolster my own posts.

  • Did You Hear the One About President Obama's Trip To Yellowstone National Park?   5 years 32 weeks ago

    He said he hadn't been to the Grand Canyon since he was 11. I am his age and I've been there something like 6 or 7 times and I've never lived close by.

    He's into basketball as his sport, rather than hiking. It's not a bad thing. But national parks are not his thing.