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President Calls On Congress To Bolster National Park Service In Time For Its Centennial

Sep 5th - 15:51pm | ecbuck

So Lee who are the "few wealthy" people that are aided by this rider which wasn't snuck through in the dark of night without review but rather was the end result of years of effort and compromise.  Again, while I would prefer single subject legislation, I see nothing nefarious in this particular rider and nothing that supports your unsubstantiated accusations.  

Sep 5th - 11:36am | Jim Burnett

The provision that some of these funds are "to remain available until expended," rather than forcing them to be obligated within a single fiscal year, could help promote better use of the money.

Sep 5th - 11:10am | Lee Dalton

Here's a news article telling of an amendment to a bill that is exactly the kind of "policy rider" I'm talking about.

Sep 5th - 10:23am | ecbuck

Rick, I generally support the legislation, especially the part that gives more flexibility as to the timing of expenditures.  However, given the number of comments here regarding the mis, mal and nonfeasance within the NPS administration (many from insiders) perhaps the legislation needs to include some internal reforms as well to insure the monies are spent wisely.

Sep 5th - 09:56am | Rick Smith

Instead of arguing back and forth about riders and the like, it seems to me that readers of NPT should get behind this proposed legislation and urge the Congress to adopt it.  No matter whether, like backpacker, you think Jarvis is a poor leader or whether you are like ec, a conservative, I think we can all agree that a properly-funded park system in everyone's interest.  My Congressi

Sep 4th - 20:23pm | ecbuck

why you equally dispute the accusation in such a willynilly manner. Because they are totally unsubtantiated.  Nothing willynilly about it.  

Sep 4th - 19:25pm | Rick B.

And, for the new folks around here who don't know you , Eric, they might wonder why you equally dispute the accusation in such a willynilly manner.

Sep 4th - 18:08pm | ecbuck

Where in the Constitution is there anything that permits legislation by rider? Unfortunately there is nothing that prevents it.   It is nearly impossible for most of us to track these things down.

Sep 4th - 17:30pm | Lee Dalton

Thank goodness we have a few watchdog groups that try to inform the public on issues like this.  Here are some excerpts from an email I just received.  Although not specifically aimed at NPS, these riders that are attached to an appropriations bill that target wolves and other endangered species are just a few examples of the literally thousands of similar riders slipped through every

Sep 4th - 16:30pm | ecbuck

Yes that is an example of an NPS official abusing/misusing his power.  It is not an example of Congress sneaking in legislation that forces the Park Service to do things at its detriment for the benefit of a few wealthy people.

Sep 4th - 14:25pm | Retired Ranger

Maybe the owner of the Washington Redskins qualifies as one of the privileged few who benefits from current NPS Management malpractice, at least partially influenced by political interference.

Sep 4th - 14:00pm | ecbuck

 prove that I'm wrong. Prove you are right.  So far just unsubstantiated accusations.  The fact you can't provide a single example seems to be proof enough that you are wrong. 

Sep 4th - 13:42pm | Lee Dalton

Ah, ec, I thought I recognized your empty empty accusations accusation.  C'mon, prove that I'm wrong.

Sep 4th - 13:13pm | ecbuck

Sorry for the Anon - Didn't realize NPT had logged me out. "For one, there was Sen. Coburn's amendment to a bill that opened parks to gun toting visitors. I wasn't aware that only "a few wealthy persons" were gun toting visitors.  If that is the best you can do, I'll have to continue to file it in the "empty accusations" file.  

Sep 4th - 13:06pm | Lee Dalton

Anon, you haven't been paying attention lately.  For one, there was Sen.

Sep 4th - 09:57am | Anonymous

The problem is that it's probably impossible for anyone to find the answer to that question.

Sep 4th - 09:37am | Lee Dalton

I've asked this question many times and now I do it again: "How much of the Park Service's alleged mismanagement, top heavy structure and other ills are caused by people within the Service itself and how much is imposed upon the Service and its people by Congressional fiat.?  How often have regulations or other requirements been added as one of literally hundreds of hidden riders or amendm

Sep 4th - 07:59am | Retired Ranger

These proposals, with higher fees, would tend to make the Parks once again a place for the privileged and wealthy, as they largely were in their early days.  And this would be without fixing any of the National Park Service's fundamental problems. The NPS is underfunded.  But, as Lee Dalton wrote, you could flood the agency with tax money and they would still waste much of it.

Sep 4th - 04:12am | just a differen...

 Lee Dalton-  As they well should. Like the rest of us, NPS needs to learn to live within its means.  This means reorganizing top heavy bureaucracy, eliminating micromanagement, and ensuring that more of the dollars that are already received actually go to the parks themselves.

Sep 4th - 04:04am | justadifferentt...

And they should. Park Service needs to reorganize their top heavy bureaucracy and utilize more of the funding they receive to benefit the parks themselves. Right now you could give NPS a trillion dollar budget and they would piss it away on bureaucracy and cry for more.

Sep 2nd - 19:22pm | dennis opl

Has anyone looked at the price of lodging in the National Parks.  The prices certainly are not affordable for a typical middle class family.   Take a look at lodging prices in Yellowstone & the Tetons.    

Sep 2nd - 19:11pm | Megaera

What the parks *need* is more tax dollars.  What the parks -- and the people who visit them -- do *not* need is lodging and camping prices so high people won't be able to afford to visit the parks that they own.

Sep 2nd - 12:14pm | L. C Johnson

Here we go again.... We seniors worked, paid our taxes to support the park system.... Now we are retired and can and want to use the parks and the government raises our entrance fees.   Raise social security to match the increase.

"Senior Skip Day" In The National Parks

Sep 5th - 10:51am | Mike Painter

Anything that gets new people out to experience the parks is a good thing of course. But I'm wondering if their money might be better spent publicizing the Golden Age Pass and encouraging seniors to buy their own for just $10, giving them lifetime free admission, rather than for just 1 day.

National Park management

Sep 5th - 07:19am | SmokiesBackpacker

This is a direct quote from the book, "Sins of the National Park Service in the Great Smokies" "the National Park Service is accountable to no one-hardly even the President of the United States.  They can do anything short of murder and get away with it." Congressman John Duncan, TN  

Sep 3rd - 14:00pm | Rangerskip

When I came on board with the NPS in 1969 as a seasonal ranger I was star struck and happy to be paid in sunsets. But as the years went along, I slowly became disenchanted as I climbed the career ladder into supervision. I quickly learned that many Park Superintendents were preoccupied with keeping visitation numbers up and expanding construction projects at every opportunity.

Sep 2nd - 20:22pm | Retired Ranger

I don't lose sleep over the mangement of our National Parks, since they seem to have survived despite a regressive, corrupt culture.  The Parks are still good places to visit because of dedicated field-level employees, especially seasonal rangers.  Fortunately, their efforts aren't completely negated by a horrible, self-serving management structure.

Too Many Retirements Impacting National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranks

Sep 5th - 01:49am | Skateeboy

As one with experience here on the inside at GCNP for the last 3 years, I can attest that you are sadly, dead on.  .   .      .

Mules To The Rescue At Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Sep 4th - 17:00pm | Jim Burnett

Nice story. Sometimes helicopters and high-tech aren't the solution to a problem in the backcountry :-)

Interior Secretary Officially Renames Mount McKinley As Denali

Sep 4th - 12:07pm | Anonymous

Gee Rick, I thought we were talking about the President's trip.  And there was nothing cheap about it.  By the way an interesting article:

Sep 2nd - 19:44pm | Rick B.

Eric, off topic cheap shots are, well, cheap.

Sep 2nd - 18:20pm | ecbuck

"I have found those that only sit behind desks are usually much less informed and effective than those who "get around". " Unfortunately this President doesn't "get around" to get informed. 

Sep 2nd - 16:56pm | Alfred Runte

A good point about getting around, Ron, but why did he wait until the seventh year of his administration to do it? Clinton and Bush were the same, only flying into the national parks when it suited some other agenda.

Sep 2nd - 11:57am | rmackie

Thank you Rick B and d-2, I agree. Thanks also to the President for making this trip. In my own experience, I have found those that only sit behind desks are usually much less informed and effective than those who "get around". 

Sep 2nd - 09:27am | drew hanson

As a geographer, I generally look to the locals to know the names of the places near them and to pronounce those names correctly. Plus, since most Alaskans seem to have wanted the great one to be called Denali for a long time, I am happy for this change.

Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Pursuing Multi-Use Trail For Hikers, Bikers

Sep 4th - 11:02am | Roger Leverton

I oppose the multi-use trail.  There are so many places people can ride their bicycles but there are very few places where hikers can walk without being in danger of being run-over by bicycles.  There are many other objections as well which you have already listed in your proposal.  The millions of dollars this would cost could be used to much better effect elsewhere.

Fatal Fall from Angels Landing in Zion National Park

Sep 4th - 00:13am | Jesse "Go Time"...

I just returned from a trip to Zion's. When I was 19 (i'm 40 now) I attempted Angel's Landing. Right as we started the trail, a freak spring snow storm came out of no where. By the time we made it to the narrow spine before the final 1/4 mile ascent, the snow was over waist deep. I kept pulling the chain out of the snow drift. When the snow finally surpassed my naval, I threw in the towel.

The Pleasures Of Visiting A Small Park: Fossil Butte National Monument

Sep 3rd - 09:03am | Anonymous

Excellent story.  Thanks

Reader Survey Day: Should Appalachian Trail Be Rerouted Away From Katahdin?

Sep 3rd - 08:42am | Retired Maine teach

Please get you facts straight concerning Scott Jurek.  

Sep 3rd - 08:02am | ecbuck

"BUT when they are not respectful, then what?" You punish them not everyone else.  My experience was that the typical AT thru hiker was far more respectfull of the trail than the typical citizen. 

Sep 2nd - 22:31pm | Rick B.

 We wouldn't be having this discussion about "over reaching so called leaders" if people hadn't been screwing the pooch.

Sep 2nd - 22:10pm | Lee Dalton

Okay, anon, agreed.  BUT when they are not respectful, then what?

Sep 2nd - 20:48pm | Don

There has been too many restrictions set byour so called leaders, This is the peoples country. as long as they are respectfull let them stay on the trail.

Sep 2nd - 19:57pm | Woodman

The ATers brought this on themselves. End it at Abol Bridge.

Sep 2nd - 09:59am | Rick

They are going overboard, though no doubt there is also some hiker abuse. The obvious solution is one that works too great effect in other places like the Green Mountains and Adirondacks - a summit steward.

Fines Being Handed Out For Dogs Off Leash At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Sep 2nd - 19:46pm | Rick B.

I have no problem with dogs on a beach as long as they are leashed and their people bag their poop.   And no, no matter how loudly you assert it, "voice controlled" equals uncontrolled in my experience.

Sep 2nd - 16:01pm | Rangerskip

Dogs used to be the biggest pains in the rear in seashore areas where I mostly worked through the years. It seemed like dog owners thought it was cool to let their pets run rampant and could care less that other visitors are put off by their dog shaking sand all over them or being aggressive. I don't envy today's rangers having to enforce the regulation.

Creature Feature: The Common Raven is an Uncommonly Intelligent Bird

Sep 2nd - 14:54pm | Gary F. Logan

EXCELLENT SITE!!!  I have a Raven "friend" whom I have known for at least 15-years.

National Parks Traveler Turns 10

Sep 2nd - 12:39pm | M13CLI@YAHOO.COM

Hey, Kurt,   THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES AND ALL YOU DO TO ENCOURAGE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE NATURAL VALUES inherent in OUR NATIONAL PARKS especially BEAUTY.  OUR CHECK is in the Mail, and THANK YOU AL RUNTE for all  your clever Input and, of course, your Books,   Ron  

Storm Cleanup Continuing At Olympic National Park

Sep 2nd - 09:26am | tahoma

All park facilities have reopened except Mora Campground & Spruce Nature Trail at the Hoh rain forest:

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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