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NPCA: Olympic National Park Can't Possibly Afford Its Visitor, Infrastructure Needs

Dec 6th - 11:20am | Lee Dalton

Yet our national parks are only a small fraction of the overall neglect of America.  Besides parks, much of the nation's infrastructure is slowly crumbling and very few citizens notice.  Thousands of highway bridges, to cite only one of literally thousands of examples, are crumbling as are water systems, sewage pipes, and  . . . . ..

Hurricane Joaquin Leads To Closures At Cape Lookout, Cape Hatteras National Seashores

Dec 6th - 10:53am | Anonymous

Superintendent Hallac recently revealed the incompetance of the NPS by destorying a maritime forest at CHNSRA.  

Congressman From Maine Trying To Block President From Designating A North Woods National Monument

Dec 6th - 10:37am | Lee Dalton

Great points, Kurt.  And the same kind of controversies have raged around the creation of virtually every other national park or monument throughout the history of our national park system.  Every time, opposition has erupted from those who thought they might lose money or be unable to exploit the place to enrich themselves in some way.

Dec 6th - 09:05am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, I don't know, I think Les makes his point. You might not agree with it, but it's coherent. As for whether creating a national park or monument has "negative consequences for the state," that's your opinion.

Dec 6th - 08:02am | SmokiesBackpacker

I would never donate anything to the NPS.  But there are organizations like land conservancies and state parks to consider. The Great Smoky Mtns National Park was donated to the federal government via donations by private individuals and the growing sentiment is that was a mistake.

Dec 5th - 22:53pm | ecbuck

Les, your post is incoherent.  JP needs to read the article again - and understand we are a representative republic not a democracy.  Dahkota is kinda on course but misses the fact that once the land goes to the fed, the states lose jurisdication and taxation.

Dec 5th - 16:45pm | dahkota

Okay, maybe I'm a little slow. But how, exactly, is someone donating thousands of acres to the Feds a "forced action by the federal government to increase its footprint in our state" ? I'm not sure how anyone in the 'local community' would have any say on how I disposed of my land, particularly in a state with "a long and proud history of private land ownership, independence..."

Dec 5th - 15:40pm | JP O'Toole

If 67% of Maine voters in the congressional district support the designation of National Park or National Monument, one would think President Obama could make the designation without interference?  But, Rep. Bruce Poliquin, (R) Maine, obviously feels the need to be true to his own wishes and disregard those of his constituents. States' Rights?  I don't think so!

Dec 5th - 10:30am | Les Taylor

Apparently, math was not Rep. Poliquin's best subject.  Either that, or like the rest of the folks who are supposed to represent us in Washington; he does want HE wants or rather what Republicans are noted for - exractive industries which destroy; not preserve as a national park would do.

Op-Ed | Sacrificing The Grizzlies Of Katmai: The Plan To Turn Brooks Camp Into A Theme Park

Dec 5th - 00:48am | raybane

Dr. Gilbert is sounding the alarm signaling the pending degrading of arguably one of the greatest concentrations of brown bears in the National Park System.  In the end, this travesty is taking place for one reason - money!

Dec 4th - 00:46am | North Country

For anyone inclined to write to Secretary Jewell, here is some suggested wording to get you started:

Another Record Year Expected In National Park Visitation

Dec 4th - 20:19pm | Acadia on my mind

If Acadia National Park's visitation numbers for 2015 so far are an indication, sure seems like some records could fall systemwide, this year or next.

Traveler's View: Keep An Eye On Live Nation's Plans For Concerts In The Parks

Dec 4th - 18:43pm | tomp2

"Where in the park system would it be appropriate for a concert the likes of those Live Nation promotes and sells?"

Dec 2nd - 14:08pm | Alfred Runte

We have sports stadiums for holding live concerts and/or visits by the Pope. Why not hold these events on the National Mall? Because yes, they are destructive. Even if the sod is replaced, that is not what the park is for. You don't go about repairing a park like a car.

Dec 2nd - 08:22am | natX

I can't imagine why it would be inappropriate to charge admission to an event held on the mall.  ESPECIALLY if the main benefctor is the parks service.  Nothing is free.  It costs a lot to maintain those "beloved greenspaces".  It may come as a surprise to some but when events are held in "beloved greenspaces" the promoters pay a large deposit to repair any damage done by ha

Dec 1st - 09:02am | ecbuck

I agree that concerts would not be appropriate for places like Yellowstone or Yosemite but the National Mall has been holding concerts for decades.  Why does charging for them (to the benefit of the NPS) make it bad?  I believe NPT has been suportive of fee increases across the rest of the system why is a "fee" implementation in non-fee areas less acceptable.

Conservationists Divided Over Proposed Everglades National Park Land Swap With Florida Power And Light

Dec 4th - 17:28pm | tomp2

This is pretty far down in the weeds! Anyone interested should refer to your 2009 article:

House Subcommittee Hears Options To National Park Centennial Legislation

Dec 4th - 07:47am | Kurt Repanshek

Thanks Terry. I corrected the story earlier yesterday to reflect that Mr. Crandall's comments were made in written testimony.

Dec 3rd - 20:03pm | Terry Camp

Kurt, your article says that Mr. Crandall appeared before the Subcommittee on Federal Lands yesterday. This, however, is not the case as he was not an invited witness at the hearing and did not testify. The National Parks Hospitality Association submitted a written statement for the record.

Interior Secretary Attends Global Climate Change Conference, Uses National Parks To Illustrate Concerns

Dec 2nd - 09:42am | ecbuck

Anon- its not stupidity its intentional deceit to reach entirely different goals.  

Dec 2nd - 05:40am | Anonymous

The climate scam is championed by the stupid. Every example she gave is the result of natural/cyclical climate. It's embarrassing to have this scam parroted by our government officials.

Dec 1st - 19:18pm | Lee Dalton

Maybe Walmart needs to start selling vasectomies.

Dec 1st - 13:40pm | Alfred Runte

Washington State's governor is there, as well, rationalizing that some things can only be accomplished by meeting people face to face. But yes, 10,000 delegates makes for a lot of airplanes spewing out CO2, although again, the airplanes would probably be in the air with or without them. And so the rationalization grows.

Dec 1st - 09:34am | ecbuck

Wish the money she spent preparing and flying there had been spent on the parks instead.  

Packrafting Association Lobbies For Access To Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

Dec 2nd - 09:24am | ecbuck

I understand the paddlers frustration but think the proposed legislation goes too far into "meddling".  You want to pass legislation that says you have to study and allow some paddling, I am OK with that, but to preselect specific sections without the input of the NPS is going to far.  

Dec 1st - 22:56pm | tturiano

No one wants to see our National Parks micro-managed by Congress. However, the situation in Yellowstone and Grand Teton is an extraordinary case that warrants legislative 'checks and balances' in my opinion. Traditional primitive use, such as paddling, on our public lands is not a popularity contest. It is a public right.

Dec 1st - 22:46pm | Jim Madison

The political science anxieties at play in the comments above are confusing. Legislation in a tripartite republic often has as its aim the provision of direction to the executive branch. Such is true for the Yellowstone - Grand Teton Paddling Act.

Dec 1st - 21:37pm | Dick Stout

I think its great that packrafters are using the legislative process to correct the failure of NPS to properly manage Yellowstone's rivers.  Paddling is allowed in all other national parks.  An outright ban on floating Yellowstone's rivers is ludicrous, and seeking a legislative solution is preferable in my eyes than rushing to litigation as so many other groups do.  Remember, th

Op-Ed|National Park Service Has Correct Approach To Bear Viewing At Katmai National Park

Dec 2nd - 00:13am | North Country

It is disappointing to read Mr. Stratton's editorial and to think that I have financially supported NPCA in the past. It seems that he has fallen hook, line, and sinker for the Katmai National Park and Preserve's plan for building an elevated bridge and walkway system over the Brooks River.

Effort Under Way To Create Big Bend International Park

Dec 1st - 21:47pm | Anonymous

If Glacier NP can, Big Bend can...

Every Kid In A Park Program Off To Slow Start, But Building Steam

Dec 1st - 21:08pm | Dean Reeder

Ms. Washburn should have the means to calculate net costs. Maybe she was distracted or something. Point is, this program has real merit. It was modeled on the successful campaign that the National Ski Area Association has been conducting for several years.

Missing Gorongosa

Dec 1st - 13:06pm | Mike P.

Very intersting and encouraging. I visited Masai Mara in Kenya in the early 80s and have read the reports of declining wildlife populations in Africa in general with sadness and alarm, so it;s nice to read simething positive!

Mount Rainier National Park Ready For Winter Operations

Dec 1st - 09:29am | tahoma

Mount Rainier's managers did not seem very ready for winter operations on November 27th.  This was a widely publicized free-admission day ('Green Friday') with warm temperatures and sunny skies.  Normally, the vehicle traction requirements are posted and no rangers are on duty at the Longmire winter gate.  Despite the 'Approved Traction Tires Advised' sign, each vehicle was asked to show they h

NPS Director Jarvis States Agency's Opposition To Yellowstone-Grand Teton Paddling Bill

Nov 30th - 15:47pm | Lee Dalton

Smokies probably has one thing right when he wrote: "Just look at the new FLREA legislation pending.  Jarvis knows where his bread is buttered. . " The problem isn't so much with Jarvis as it with a multi-headed hydra called Congress.

Nov 30th - 14:14pm | SmokiesBackpacker

My moustache fear was learned in adulthood.  It tends to preceed manipulation of data and trumpted up fees to use public lands. (and it is, apparently, a prerequisite for indoctrination into the hierarchy of the NPS kool aid club)

Nov 30th - 13:42pm | Rick B.

I'm still trying to figure out the mustache-phobia. I've got a beard, and I've seen small children get scared of bearded men because when they were much younger some grumpy old man scared them, but your mustache fear is puzzling.

Nov 30th - 13:29pm | ecbuck

Sorry Smokies, that anon post was me (can't figure out why it keeps logging me out).  The "accusations" I was referring to was the one related to the Jarvis's which you admit you have no evidence of.  But with your closing line, I see you are comfortable in Lee's camp of making baseless accusations.

Nov 30th - 13:05pm | SmokiesBackpacker

I have plenty of evidence that concessionaires have been allowed to run the parks especially in the SMokies.  When Leconte lodge concession is given a perpetual contract to run the ONLY lodging in the park and no other company has even been allowed to bid, that is cronyism.

Nov 30th - 12:51pm | Anonymous

Smokies,  I have visited many a park and if they reflect a "concession driven NPS" then it is a good thing.  I have yet to visit a park where I thought the conessionaires were overly intrusive or materially detrimental to the park experience.  In fact, my experience (including several visits to the Smokies) has been just the opposite.  

Nov 30th - 11:32am | SmokiesBackpacker

I have no evidence of that, EC.  But evidence of a policy change towards a concession driven NPS under Jarvis is abundant.  And it should be troubling to all public lands users.  Just look at the new FLREA legislation pending.  Jarvis knows where his bread is buttered and caters and is catered to accordingly.

Nov 30th - 11:12am | ecbuck

Smokies, if you have any evidence that Jarvis's decisions were influenced by his brother's lobbying efforts, let us see it. 

Nov 30th - 11:04am | River Rising

There's so much talk about packrafters being banned, but that's not at all true.  a) Packrafters aren't "banned." They can paddle on almost 200 lakes in Yellowstone, dozens of miles of river in Grand Teton and hundreds of miles rivers and creeks outside of the national parks. 

Nov 30th - 10:49am | SmokiesBackpacker

Destry Jarvis, Jon Jarvis brother, has lobbied on behalf of concessionaires.  So why should Jarvis neutrality ever be in question?  Jarvis is about to get his rear end exposed in a big way.  And his time has come. The moustache club is going to need more wax.

Nov 29th - 20:59pm | Michael McNichol

Whoa!  Here on the East Coast one of the greatest threats to the endangered Right Whales are from ship strikes.  I propose we stop all shipping into all ports along the eastern seaboard.  No reason to risk a ship strike.....  none at all.  They can fly in 200,000 containers a day.  Probably get two at a time on a 747!  Easy solution, next problem?

Traveler's Gear Box: DeLorme's inReach Explorer

Nov 30th - 13:54pm | Deacon

Purchased the Delorme inReach Explorer this past July for our son to take on his solo John Muir Trail hike and it worked great. I used it this past September in the Rocky Mountians when one of our group had a pregnant wife back home in Ky and he was able to text with her everyday.

Kenya’s National Parks: Among The Best Places In The World For Wildlife Observation

Nov 29th - 22:08pm | roseman2000

Thank you for the video link. Really loved the closeups of the wildlife including the many colorful birds. And the visit to the Masai village was enlightening. We did not go during the migration (early Feb) but there was still so much to see. 

Nov 29th - 21:52pm | roseman2000

I'm posting some excepts from my son's animal picture book that we created before our visit to Kenya when he was 10. He updated each animal page describing what we saw that day. There was a herd of over 60 "red" elephants in Masai Mara who were traveling from afar. One of the mothers trumpeted at us.

Nov 29th - 20:58pm | Jean Bjerke

I love the observations posted above from the 10-year-old boy. He might enjoy the 7-minute video at this link with highlights of our visits to the three parks mentioned in the article:

Nov 29th - 14:26pm | Jean Bjerke

Thank you for your comments! Yes we were amazed at all the animals we were fortunate to see, which exceeded our already high expectations many times over.

Nov 29th - 12:52pm | Baked Alaska

My wife and I recently returned from 6 weeks in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. We saw every animal mentioned except the cheeta. The density of animals was amazing and in some short hikes there was not a square foot of ground without a track. Outside the game preserves there was no large game, few small mammals, and much fewer birds.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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