Recent comments

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Hello,

    I have been working to expand the Ocmulgee National Monument to a National Park for about twenty years. You are right that 700 acres or even 2,000 acres is too small for that status. If archaeology were the only value, I would also agree that it is insignificant to change the status. Ocmulgee is a major multiple mound site, which has been inhabited from Clovis to historic Creek times. Many more mounds and sites lie downriver, in an area which has been recognized as the third wildest area in Georgia, with one of the State's only three black bear habitats. Only one road crosses this fifty mile stretch of river and half of the landmass is already owned by a multitude of State, federal and local governments. The Ocmulgee Monument is Macon's number one tourism attraction and the Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Authority are pushing and funding the local share of a NPS boundary expansion study. The adjacent land being proposed to expand the Monument has already been donated or is already permanently preserved as wetland's mitigation or is county-owned. No Stimulus money is needed for this expansion. However, the larger vision is to create a 60,000 acre, 46 mile long National Park, by acquiring land to link the 47% of the existing river corridor, which is already preserved, yet under utilized. Since 90% is floodplain wetlands, the cost should range from $42 to $62 million. The benefits of unifying these lands and managing and promoting them for wildlife, cultural education and preservation, tourism, recreation and as a buffer zone for adjacent Robins Air Force Base, Georgia's largest employer, can be maximized by designating them as a national park.
    If we don't save this area now, the archaeological sites will continue to be looted, the bears will gradually disappear and we will lose a last opportunity to save a unique portion of our natural and cultural heritage.
    A new, local courthouse is estimated to cost $80 million and a new 5 mile, four-lane highway is estimated to cost $120 million. Where is the better, long-term value?
    Please judge Ocmulgee on its own value. Not everything that has value has been saved and why not brand it for the highest economic return? We do want to get the most out of our public resources.

    John Wilson
    Macon, GA

  • Congressman Seeks Stimulus Funds For Restoration Work at Gateway National Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Estimates for Fort Hancock restoration have been reported at $60-70 million, or roughly 10% of the total to be made "available" to NPS. While I disagree with Beamis on the historic significance of the Fort, I would concede that there are far greater priorities within the system.

    To state that "Congressman Pallone joined the fight when he learned of the commercialization plans" is misleading. Congressman Pallone some time ago supported a far more extensive development and "commercialization" of Fort Hancock, including, as I recall, a proposal for a large hotel and convention center, so it would appear to be more a case of "who" than "what," raising issues of how he might be beholden to Mrs. Stanley-Coleman, a (once) local political power.

    Kurt's noting that the letter was addessed to Mary Bomar highlights Congressman Pallone's lack of serious attention to this matter. Had this been other than political posturing, the Congressman would have made sure that he and his staff were familiar with her and hers, and been more knowledgeable of the issues.

  • National Park Quiz 46: Glaciers   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Sorry to rain on your parade, Rick, but I couldn't help using drumlins in this quiz. They're a depositional feature that I've been familiar with for a very long time. Growing up in Michigan, I hunted, fished, and vacationed in an area of the state (northwestern Lower Peninsula) that has swarms of drumlins. Later, while taking a geology course, I even dug down into one of the darn things. Fascinating.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   5 years 31 weeks ago

    With all due respect Bob, as long as Congress is involved the chances of that occurring are about slim and none.

    Good post by the way.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Very cool, treehugger, very cool.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Speaking of getting all of the Teton Range (and Jackson Hole) in one picture, here's my attempt. (You'll need the QuickTime plugin to view it.) This was taken with a Canon S3IS and stitched together with Canon's PhotoStitch software.

    http://homepage.mac.com/russr/iMovieTheater36.html

  • National Park Quiz 46: Glaciers   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Wow, Bob, "drumlins". You had to reach for that one. Anything to keep people from getting a perfect score, right?

    Rick Smith

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I get your point(s), Beamis. However, with all all due respect, I will continue to believe that branding matters, and that having a designation system that makes sense is better than having one that does not.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I don't think that most visitors really care about the "official" governmental designation of a given NPS unit. I seriously doubt that someone visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park would be concerned or even take note that it carries the same title as Yosemite and Glacier. They're there to enjoy a couple of hours of recreation on a Sunday afternoon in metropolitan Cleveland and don't really care what it's called. The same can be said for Hot Springs or even Petrified Forest (which was the first monument to be converted by a politician for purely economic purposes). I think people tooling down I-40 are still going to stop and check out the ancient logs regardless of its name either as a monument or a park. The care factor among the vast majority of the visiting public is zero.

    As long as politicians are the ones responsible for creating parks and managing the funds you can expect this funny business in designations to continue. It is too easy for them to use their power to create economic plumbs for their districts and states by giving a place a more enticing sounding title so as to lure the masses to spend money on a visit to their newly minted national park.

    As long as Washington, DC is in charge this situation will not be resolved and I'm betting that along with fat bonuses for AIG executives there will be a new national park in Bibb County, GA in the not too distant future.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I think it is obvious that the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees is implying that they know better than the rest of us concerning the impact of concealed carry in National Parks when they joined the Brady Campaign to sue the government for allowing concealed weapons on federal parks. Indeed, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees makes only vague references to environmental impact and human safety, but they haven't produced any studies. As a former law enforcement officer, I can attest with confidence that armed citizens are safer and more responsible than those who would deny them their right to bear arms, I could also suggest that the leadership of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees review the statistics in the National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics if they have concerns about law abiding armed citizens on public property and around animals. Illegal users of firearms and criminal behavior against persons and property in National Parks is nothing new and should be the only issue here, that is why law abiding citizens should be able to readily defend themselves. Perhaps addressing the issue of crime should be a greater concern of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, than pushing a non-scientific political agenda.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Editor's note: In light of the reference to the National Parks Pass and the Golden Eagle hologram sticker, this writer's experience at Mount St. Helens evidently took place some years ago.

    Imagine my surprise, then, as a visitor to your country arriving at Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument with my newly purchased National Parks Pass (the best $50 you could ever spend) only to be told, that, no that pass won't work here because this is managed by the Forest Service. But if you spend another $15 on a Golden Eagle hologram, you'll be OK.

    Had me confused for a while. Couldn't work out why a place as important as Mount Saint Helens was not run by the National Park Service.

    Still, despite all the naming issues and pork-barrel politics, the National Park system of the United States is a superb endowment to the world - it keeps me coming back year after year.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 31 weeks ago

    One thing you can do to get a great print is to take the image on a CD to a place with a large format printer. A place like Kinkos usually has the large format printers needed to give you a quality print. They charge by the square foot... and it can be pricy. Costco or sam's club may have the ability as well.

    Another option is to use a photo printing program. These programs layout the print in sections (pages) that you later cut up and tape together.

    I just realized you are talking about the post.... In that case: Try to copy and past it into another program. On a PC try notepad, Word, or any other text program. On a mac use text edit, word, or any other text program. Then print it.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Identifies Pre-Nesting Closure Areas For Piping Plover   5 years 31 weeks ago

    We want to extend an invitation to everyone interested in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area to visit the website for the campaign to Preserve Access to America's Beaches. www.PreserveBeachAccess.org is colorful and informative and features "My Story" videos of people sharing the importance of beach access and its impact on their lives, families and businesses. "Act Now" is your opportunity to add your name in support of open and accessible beaches. Thank you

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Frank, I'm starting to feel like I'm herding cats. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    * The authors of posts take responsibility for their words.

    I like this one. It absolves those at the Traveler from liability or need to act.

    * Abusive comments and personal attacks will not be tolerated and will be deleted.

    Another good policy on personal attacks, buy I have seen some ad hominem attacks slip through, particularly on the gun posts. I think "abusive comments" is a bit vague. Certainly, ideas and logic are up for attack, right? Even vociferously if needed I would hope. "Nice" is also vague. Someone who has their logic checked might feel offended. Anyway, I agree that the guidelines do help regulate discussion.

    As for Anonymous' comments, the first two sentences seem to engage in the appeal to ridicule logical fallacy. The third sentence engages not only in the hasty generalization fallacy, but also uses argumentum ad populum--the appeal to the majority--"where a proposition is claimed to be true solely because many people believe it to be true."

    So I think it's fair, but perhaps not nice, to say that Anonymous' argument is largely fallacious and hardly even worth all the ruckus.

    Finally, attacking another person's thinking, reasoning, logic--or lack thereof--should not be construed as an ad hominem. Attacking someone's grammar? Of course that's up to those at the Traveler to make that call, but grammar and writing do shine a light on a person's intellect and, indirectly, their ability to form logical arguments.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Kurt, your absolutely right...civility with the pen! Beamis, perhaps my literary and written skills are not as brilliant as yours. However, I do cherish the fact that I can put in my two cents worth of garble on NPT. It's a privilege to participate even if doesn't meet your expertise or critique as a notable piece of information. Besides, continuous whining with the pen begins to sound more like never ending soap opera.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Kurt:

    Thanks again, this information is very timely. (I have gotten lazy - long hand isn't that bad).

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Mark, you're not alone. We're investigating how to make printable posts, but I'm told the coding ain't as simple as you might think, which means $$$ to pay a tech that we don't have. Yet.

  • Interior Secretary Salazar Upholds Delisting of Gray Wolves in Part of Yellowstone Ecosystem   5 years 31 weeks ago

    In reading the article it appears that Fish and Wildlife Service is making decisions without getting all the information. It appears on the outside that two things have happen. One the service didn't do it's homework at a level that is acceptable to make the proper decision and/or politics had a part in this mayhem. Anyway you look at it there is a problem with the decision making process.

    I don't have enough information to make an educational comment on a solution, but I believe by doing research and presenting a documentary on the subject, that might bring light to the situation for everyone.

    In any case it is in the best interest for the goverment not to make any decision unless they are prepared to prove the case without question. If the government proceeds we will be in the same positition in a few years again. It is very diffult to balance nature when mankind interfers....oh yea...we are part of the food chain too.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I need to know how to shoot a panoramic - and I thank you for posting this information. However, I cannot get my printer to print this dang thing off ....................

    But, technology is not my long suit. Guess I'll just write it off in longhand!

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    OK, OK, before things get, ahem, too unruly here, let me remind one and all of this site's Code of Conduct, and point out some of the key points:

    * The authors of posts take responsibility for their words.

    * Abusive comments and personal attacks will not be tolerated and will be deleted.

    * Those behind abusive comments and personal attacks will be contacted privately and asked to be more constructive in their comments. If the comments and attacks persist, the author will be blocked from the site.

    * Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.

    * If a subject of a post feels they have been wronged or simply wishes to respond in a post as opposed to a comment, that will be allowed.

    Furthermore....

    In general, we at the Traveler are pretty tolerant of comments. We do not want to sanitize this forum, nor do we want to create the impression that it tilts one way or the other politically or philosophically. Yet there is a line, one that should not be crossed, in the common decency of civil discourse.

    In other words, let's play nice.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I'm not sure what you said exactly but am certain that your use of "there" for "their" speaks volumes about a basic lack of grammatical awareness. Your naivety concerning the use of borrowed and printed (inflated) money would not surprise me too greatly either.

    What's "constructive" about this federal spending frenzy, that our great-great grandchildren will be still paying for, is open to debate but your critique of my concerns needs to be couched in a more concise and focused manner. Your language skills convey that you are a novice in such matters and immediately call into question your overall understanding of macroeconomics.

    Nuff said?

    If I sound like an intellectual snob, well I suppose I am.

    Long live Austrian economics!

  • This Hike at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Took a Nasty Turn   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Some excellent comments!

    First, I agree with the kudos to the the rangers who conducted the successful night-time search in some very difficult terrain. I had the dubious opportunity to lead a fire crew on a small wildfire in some of that laurel hell country a few years back, and it was tough going!

    Second, I'll give the hikers mixed reviews, since I don't have all the details. They get high marks for making sure someone "back home" knew their plans and was primed to sound the alarm promptly when they didn't return on time. As the previous comment noted, that's essential - and way too many people fail to leave that information, along with details on their planned route.

    On the flip side, this in an excellent example of another common mistake. These guys kept on pushing on through that tough terrain when they should have just admitted they were lost, stopped, and called for (or waited for) help. That would have saved everyone involved a lot of time and effort.

    Finally, this is a good reminder of the need to carry at least basic emergency gear even on a day hike. It doesn't sound as if they had enough stuff to stay warm and dry until help showed up.

    The best news is this one had a successful outcome.

  • Freeze On New Regs Could Impact Efforts to Expand Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Open them up!!! Damage only occurs from mountain bikers that don't follow the rules of the trail... LIKE RIDING IN THE MUD!!!!! (hate those guys...)

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Geez Beamis, stop whining! You sound like the whining party of "NO" to everything that President Obama's administration constructively wishes to do. Most prominent economic experts will agree that the stimulus package is a god send to many of the outer national parks towns and small cities. Such as adding more economic impetus to there lagging commercial markets that supply many of visitors with goods and supplies...and to the national parks. I assure you Beamis, in time you will see a more dynamic approach in re-tooling the national parks economies in a more transparent system in how they handle there expenditures with more accountability on resource management. That's something that the Bush & Cheney administration dare not do...and it's no guess why.