Recent comments

  • National Park Quiz 69: Camping   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I think the $80.00 fee for an America The Beautiful pass is way too much. I had a National Parks pass just before the change and used it regularly mostly in national parks and monuments in Colorado. I very rarely use other agencies camping areas. I will wait until I turn 62 in 15 months and buy the permanent $10.00 senior pass. The age for the senior pass should also be lowered to between 55 and 60.

  • Various Care-Taking Projects Under Way in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Bobby Mcgill writes "Wasn't the cabin work completed or mostly completed prior to the wilderness designation earlier this year?"

    True, but irrelevant. National Park Service policy is to administer any potential or recommended wilderness area as if it were designated wilderness. http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?fuse=NWPS&sec=manageNPS 94% of RMNP has been recommended wilderness, and has been administered as defacto wilderness, since 1974. The actual wilderness designation in 2009 causes no change in administration of RMNP.

    The (re)construction of Chasm Creek Patrol Cabin (a new building of all new materials, in a rustic style) within Park wilderness is precisely what was ruled illegal by the 2005 Burgess decision in Federal District Court for Western Washington, which is binding only on Olympic, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades NPs. In both cases, NPS performed full Environmental Assessments, and found the structures essential for the safety of Park visitors and administration of the area, and these findings were not challenged. Simply the construction of a new structure within wilderness was outlawed here.

    As historic structures, many built by the USFS, long predating the designation of these National Parks or wilderness areas, are lost to the ravages of time and weather, they can be replaced in any National Park... except Olympic, Rainier and North Cascades NPs. That's the effect of this court ruling.

    We need a single, uniform, national wilderness policy. We don't have one. And we need these historic structures... they save lives.

  • SPOT – The Good, the Bad and the Silly Uses for Those High-Tech Communicators   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Yes, there needs to some some sort of verification before anyone is deployed, or we are going to have a serious "boy who called wolf" problem, and eventually it will not make sense to respond to all calls, including real emergencies.

  • FAQs About the Out-of-Control Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Anonymous--

    Alas, its not quite that simple. At least for chaparral, we (almost certainly) need more fire on the landscape for ecosystem reasons, but more burns probably won't reduce the intensity, size, & danger of future fires the way it does in other forests. If you're interested, google Jon Keeley USGS: either his USGS or his UCLA website has links to pdfs of some of the most recent research and thinking about fire in chaparral.

  • National Park Quiz 69: Camping   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Your memory is spot on re the Golden Eagle Pass offering the same public lands access as the $80 ATB.

    For what it's worth, there have been efforts in the Senate to restore the $50 National Parks Pass. Not sure how successful they'll be, however.

  • National Park Quiz 69: Camping   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I remember that I was planning on a trip to Yosemite just after Christmas 2006. I didn't have any reservations, but that wasn't the peak season and finding a place to stay outside the park is easy. My employer shut down for a week and I had two full weeks off. It was going to be about playing and hiking in the snow.

    Then I went down with cold symptoms that didn't improve for 10 days. By then it was too late. I wasn't able to schedule a trip until mid February. By then they'd switched over from the $50 National Parks Pass to the $80 America the Beautiful Pass. That was an additional $30 that didn't do me an good since only used it at NPS sites and I didn't use at all in the tail months of its validity. Now that I think of it, I probably could have saved $3 that I could have used to go to Muir Woods NM the same month, but I wasn't sure if my boss was going to approve my vacation. I did end up getting at least $80 worth out of it, with later trips to Yosemite and SEKI, as well as several NPS visits near home.

    The $80 got my wife and myself to quite a few places over 13 months starting August 2008. We actually got to use it at Mt St Helens. Still - I thought the older "Golden Eagle" passes were only $65 with an option to buy a National Parks Pass and buy a $15 endorsement sticker that made it effective the same thing.

  • Gustavus Moose Hunt: If You're Heading to Alaska for a Moose Hunt, You Might Want to Read This   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The same way someone shot a llama thinking it was an elk. Inexperienced hunters who just want a big trophy. Will I love your description of a moose. In A Walk in the Woods they were described as a cow drawn by a 3 year old.

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

  • National Park Quiz 69: Camping   5 years 36 weeks ago

    YPW, you're right. My mother loves to visit the parks but she is not very well off. She usually avoids all the parks except for the ones I work at so she can get in for free. She simply cannot afford the entrance fees. I know when she turns 62 she will be all over that pass so that she can get into the parks without me.

    I consider the $80 pass to be too expensive. I'm also not very well off (lots of student loans!) and it is hard for me to afford that although I scrimp and save to do so. Even though it's only $30 per year difference I miss the old pass. I only visit parks and I perfered having the option to get an inter-agency pass instead of having to get it.

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

  • A Sad Sign of the Times: NPS Promotes Body Armor Options To Rangers   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Anonymous, the only way you legally can carry weapons in the parks is if you're licensed to do so. My guess is that since you live abroad you'd have a hard time qualifying.

    As for going "deep" into the Rockies and Yellowstone, I've been doing it for three-plus decades and have never needed a weapon.

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I just can't believe that the designers and approvers of this 2,200 acre memorial site had the nerve to carve such a large site plan without knowing in advance that the property would be available, and now the audacity to force the owners of the property to sell or have their property condemned.

  • A Sad Sign of the Times: NPS Promotes Body Armor Options To Rangers   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I am british, so I won't get in to this discussion as I have no right to discuss what happens in you're country.
    I was attacked in my tent by a group of men whilst I was camping in a national park in England. I was badly beaten & had a lot of gear stolen, fortunately I'm male, I think it would have turned out much worse if I'd been female.
    We have practically no right to defend ourselves, with the victim getting harsher punishment than the criminal if they try to defend themselves.
    We have no 2nd Amendment, so only the criminals are armed.
    I work as an outdoor instructor & spend most of my free time in the outdoors, so I will not let this incident ruin my life. So in not wanting it to happen again I must break the law, by carrying a hunting knife & a trench mace. ( Normal people don't have access to firearms.)
    If this has happened to you, then it makes no difference what the laws are because it has'nt happened to the people that made those laws, they just can't understand & I definately don't want it to happen to me again.
    By the way, if you are allowed to carry a firearm in your national parks, would that apply to foreigners too?
    I want to take a trip deep into the Rockies & Yellowstone, but would worry about 2 legged critters if I can't carry. (Probably 2 barrel shot gun as its easier to get a licence for.)

  • Update: Seizure Threat Accelerates Land Acquisition for Flight 93 Memorial   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Absolutly....I went to school with some of their family members that own that land and no one should have to sell their land if they want to. I just hate the gov't thinking they can use their power to get whatever they want no matter who gets hurt.

    I know the girl who quit the council because she too believed it was wrong to just take someone's land. I don't care if it is for a memorial or not. They have no business sticking their nose in other people's business.

    If the gov''t don't get what they want, they just take what doesn't belong to them!!! As always!!!

    I pray they do not win this argument.

    [This comment was edited.]

  • Free Firewood At Mammoth Cave National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Camped at Mammoth Cave last Dec. and they had all the firewood you could use at most campsites. So I guess free firewood is not new to this park. We also took the cave tour. It was packed, all "3" of us had what I guess you could call a personal tour.

  • SPOT – The Good, the Bad and the Silly Uses for Those High-Tech Communicators   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Jim, This doesn't surprise me. After all, we live in a country where people will call 911 because they can't find their car keys. Your last sentence is spot on; both SPOT and EPIRB units need alert and cancel buttons. Along with GPS, these devices are tools that need a person using their brain to use them.

  • Fatality Reported on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    For the brave hikers who reach too the stars, they are not forgotten. The abiltity too experience solitude and accomplish a hikers dream..priceless. Although there is risk, these brave souls will never be forgotten. In short memory of the most recent hiker.....may u never be forgotten...prayers go out....

  • Gustavus Moose Hunt: If You're Heading to Alaska for a Moose Hunt, You Might Want to Read This   5 years 36 weeks ago

    How does one miss a moose?

  • FAQs About the Out-of-Control Big Meadow Fire at Yosemite National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Great to see the commentary about fire ecology and the effects of humans on the natural environment. We need more fire on our landscapes to keep firefighters and our homes safe.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    My vote is Cape Hatteras; especially at night. I don't go for the tan and cheap beer - I go for the wild scenery, critter spotting, and stargazing. You can't beat a Perseid meteor shower viewed from these beaches. And to be among the first to beachcomb just after the tide goes out - I've found some real treasures!

    P.S. My captcha for tonight: "12 infrared". Now that's hot!

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt,
    I'm so sorry man....
    I forgot to turn around to look at Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. All just minutes away. The world never looks better than when your on top of Half Dome.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Bruce, dude, it's gotta be in a national park! Can you zoom in on one?

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Surf up Dudes!!! Living in the central valley of California, its just a couple of hours to hit all of the beaches up and down the California coast. You've got to love all of the variety that is offered. San Francisco Bays sights, Montereys history and fishing, L.A.'s sunbathers and muscle beach at Malibu and Venice. Did I mention Highway 1 and the 17-mile drive along Pebble Beach, the most scenic drives in the world? Also, we've got the sunsets.....

  • Gustavus Moose Hunt: If You're Heading to Alaska for a Moose Hunt, You Might Want to Read This   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I've shot a few moose over the years and depended on them for winter meat. Sometimes I was lucky and go one on the first day. Other times I had to camp for several days before finding a legal animal. Shooting a moose is fairly easy, because it usually makes a good size target. However, that is where the real work begins. Field butchering a moose is a brutal job, especially if you are alone or have to pack the meat any distance.

    As I recall, moose are a relative newcomer to the Gustavus area. I seem to remember that they didn't really get established in the lowlands around the park until recent times. Wolves have followed them into the area.

  • Grand Canyon National Park Crews Installing, Ahem, New Vault Toilets on South Rim   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Shouldn't it be P U?

  • Should the National Park Service Rescue the National D-Day Memorial?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I traveled to the D Day memorial yesterday. My dad served in WWII and died on Memorial Day this year. He never spoke of the war. He operated anti-aircraft generators at the top of the cliffs, after thousands of lives were lost. When I arrived I had no idea what operation Overlord was, and a tearful woman told me. The water blasts that are part of the beach scene had a chilling effect on me. I will write my congressman to support the effort for this to become a National Park.

  • Reader Participation Day: Are You An East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf Coast National Seashore Person?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    I know the area well. I lived in East Windsor for a number of years before setting off in a round about way to move here. I used to ride my bike on the towpath up there and spent considerable amount of time in Princeton going to the movies and what not.

    It really is a small world and getting smaller thanks to the Internet.