Recent comments

  • Cables Are In Place On Half Dome in Yosemite National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Gloves and Trash

    "Many people find gloves helpful on the cables. However, if you bring your gloves up, pack them out. Hundreds of pounds of rotting gloves otherwise accummulate."

    (didn't know accumulate had 2 M's :-))

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Tom Tom--

    I agree, but cell phones in many areas in the national parks, forests, wildlife reguges, and BLM areas are useless. There is no service. The only thing that appears to be 100% reliable are satellite phones which few of us can afford to carry. I am in favor of low tech safeguards, one of which is a PFD. They cost about $60 bucks, don't depend on the presence of towers, and, if you take care of them, will last longer than your contract for cell phone service. By all means, carry a phone. If it works in an emergency, you have hit the jackpot. If not, you are still floating.

    Rick Smith

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Cell phones would have been benificial in this situation, assuming they were useable, and would keep SAR better informed and less liable to injure themselves.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Please, people in boats, use life jackets. Even Michael Phelps could hit his head on a rock and not be able to swim out of trouble. In the Grand Canyon, personal flotation devices are manadatory. Although there are long stretches of calm water between the big rapids, you must keep your lifejacket on. It's just smart.

    Rick Smith

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    "Mr. Evans was not wearing a lifejacket at the time." That could be the biggest problem he had.

  • Cables Are In Place On Half Dome in Yosemite National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    On a busy day, the stash of gloves is all claimed. I've heard rumors that now and then they are determined to be "litter" and carried off by park personnel. Better bring your own.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Which goes to show (Michael Robinson's response) about information vs judgment. If a sign was washed away, then for all we know, the boaters had been told of and were looking for the sign and ignored visual and audible warnings that they were approaching a dangerous area.

  • Cables Are In Place On Half Dome in Yosemite National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Don't they still have that stash of gloves at the base of the cables?

  • Cables Are In Place On Half Dome in Yosemite National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    And don't forget to take a pair of work gloves, unless you prefer to donate skin onto those steel cables, especially on your way back down!

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Thanks for covering this critical issue Kurt.

    I know somebody who is deeply involved in land purchases to preserve habitat. He told me that now they are focusing more and more on migration corridors, since habitat protected by their purchases probably will not support the same animals soon. As your articles says, no matter how strongly we act now, the next 40-50 years are probably already fated for significant changes. So we need to do what we can to limit extinction by allowing animals to migrate.

    As to extinction from habitat loss from development (urban and ag) vs climate change, my hunch is that the former is still having more impact, but I'm not sure how long that will last.

    It's probably too late to save the glaciers of Glacier NP, but at least El Cap won't melt.

    Btw, heat waves kill far more people that cold snaps and the glaciation of ice ages usually takes tens of thousands of years to develop.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    There is (was) a warning sign prior to the Angel Falls rapids location, but the sign was alledegly washed away a couple of weeks ago during flooding of the river.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    What about the concept of natural rights?

    The BOR affirmed what many at the time though did not be discussed that all those rights were to be respected. Howver some states insisted on the BOR in order to pass the Constitution.

    That pesky 2A which has many purposes and one of which is personal defense. This right is not confirmed by fear but an extension of the natural right of a living being to defend his/ her life.

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Kirby, I'm not sure habitat fragmentation is as great a threat to extinctions as climate change. We long have struggled with habitat fragmentation and coped -- not solved -- but coped with it via genetic importations (ie. Florida panthers), recovery/reintroduction programs (ie. gray wolf, elk, mountain goats), and even land acquisitions (either outright or via access rights, such as the case with bison range north of Yellowstone).

    Climate change is something not so easily controlled. Just think what would happen if all the pollinators vanished. Who would pollinate the crops that feed society? Where will polar bears go once the Arctic ice sheet melts? When corals die, how will it impact all the marinelife that rely on them?

    There are many, many ramifications of climate change -- some we understand, some we don't, some we probably haven't even anticipated -- that I think it stands to be the major player in extinctions if left unchecked.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Concealed weapons arent necessarily for bears...so stop being ignorant. Aside from that MY 10mm Will take care of a bear, but I carry for the TWO legged predators especially in the wildlife refuge I visit that is carpeted with illegals, and smugglers. AGAIN...stop being ignorant.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Your question about priorities is not the first time that has been raised, although perhaps not specifically in terms of signage.

    At various times on the Traveler there have been discussions about how far the NPS should go to make the parks safer for visitors. More than a few have raised the opinion that parks shouldn't be sanitized for our safety, that they should remain fairly wild places where we have to rely on our own skills.

    Not having been to Big South, I can't say whether there's a sign alerting paddlers to the rapid or not. Looking at the photo of Angel Falls, and having paddled for many years, it looks fairly obvious that on your approach you would realize that there's a significant rapid ahead, one you surely would hear. But that interpretation is just from glancing at this small photo. Without being on the river under the same conditions it's hard to say what transpired. They very well could have recognized the threat too late to pull off.

  • Traveler Tip: Staying On Top Of News From Mount Rainier National Park   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I've enjoyed watching the Visit Rainier website develop into a world class place for visitors to plan their vacation.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    This could well be a cardiac death.

    I would have one question. Is there a warning sign indicating the take out site above the rapids? I once investigated a death in the Grand Canyon of the Sturgeon River in the UP of Michigan as a medical examiner about 15 years ago where a kayaker missed an unmarked take out point, got funneled into a high wall canyon with no escape, and went over a large water fall with virtually no chance of survival. When I inquired as to why there was no signage to indicate the take out point, I was told by the US Forest Sevice that because this was a Wild and Scenic River as designated by Congress, such signage was frowned upon. It seems to me that in that case, scenery trumped human life. I wonder if the same situation exists on Big South Fork. If it is the case, imo, priorities are twisted.

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   5 years 31 weeks ago

    After hearing E.O. Wilson's (Harvard's famed conservation biologist) lecture on biodiversity recently, which he stated were in for some deep trouble folks. Professor Wilson gives us many classic examples how man is screwing up the world ecosystems globally. Many of his profound lectures, writings and well written books supports his claim that mother nature is loosing ground fast to repair itself. Just remember mother nature bats last folks. Where's old Ed Abby when we need him most...which is now.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    RAH--

    Nor should rights be confirmed based on fear.

    Rick Smith

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Ray, it's macho and image thing...straddling in looking like a bunch of big time gut pile hunters. I sense a couple of weak egos somewhere.

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Global cooling will kill us faster than warming!

    Really?

    Dr. Root's comments are interesting. I think it's likely we're already having a mass extinction, the severity of which will only be able to be judged several million years from now. His predictions of extinctions at the specific level are somewhat oddly worded and alarmist, however. Such a significant percentage of known species are insects and members of the various worm phyla, it's hard to get a grasp on numbers. It would be more instructive to look at the familiar level (i.e. how many families risk complete annihilation or decimation) or better yet, how much diversity is lost in various systems. For example, if 100,000 species of beetle became extinct in the next ten years, would that have as negative of an impact on biodiversity as the loss of two thirds of the species (about 150 or so) in the family Pinaceae (pines)?

    And while rapid climate change is a blow to diversity, I will continue to believe it pales next to habitat loss and fragmentation as the driving force of extinction. And I think habitat loss/fragmentation combined with anthropogenic introduction of invasives should be of greater concern than climate change. It doesn't make a lick of difference what the climate is if we keep making babies that need more and more land!

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    So noted.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   5 years 31 weeks ago

    The title of the article assumes drowning as the cause of death, but the autopsy results have not been released and the assumption of drowning alluded to in Mr. Repanshek's title has not been corroborated by any hard evidence.

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   5 years 31 weeks ago

    I think it looks more awesome with the lake versus the glacier!

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   5 years 31 weeks ago

    O.K...so say we CAN change the climate...reverse "global warming." So, when the needle starts to go from warm...to neutral...to cooling, what do we do then? Global cooling will kill us faster than warming! So do we then drive more SUVs? Pollute more to reverse it? Burn tires?
    Answer please, alarmists!