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Fireside Read: Guidebook To American Values And Our National Parks

Mar 9th - 19:06pm | d-2

RodF, I love the high tone of your points, and agree completely about the meaning of Parks.  I have not read Jon Jarvis' book but intend to.

Mar 9th - 16:53pm | ecbuck


Mar 9th - 16:16pm | ecbuck

In a Nevada TV ad I watched last month, Senator Ted Cruz promised, if he is elected President, to return all of the State's Federal lands "To their rightful owners", whatever that means.  He made no distinction in that ad between BLM, Forest Service, and NPS adm. lands.  John Kasich has made a similar campaign promise.

Mar 9th - 16:16pm | RodF

Kurt asks: "What makes this book so superb, Rod?"

Mar 9th - 15:13pm | Ethical Retired...

ecbuck:  This is in response to your question to d-2.  In a Nevada TV ad I watched last month, Senator Ted Cruz promised, if he is elected President, to return all of the State's Federal lands "To their rightful owners", whatever that means.  He made no distinction in that ad between BLM, Forest Service, and NPS adm.

Mar 9th - 14:13pm | ecbuck

d-2 - could you please identify these Republicans that would eliminate Point Reyes or any other National Park and turn it to grazing and commerical acquaculture?  Fact is, the oyster farm was there first on those that wrote the enabling legislation for Point Reyes never intended for the osyter farm to be removed.

Mar 9th - 10:36am | d-2

I agree with ecbuck, Lee Dalton and Rick Smith among others on this review.  

Mar 9th - 06:41am | SmokiesBackpacker

 If we did an audit of government computers and employees logging on under multiple alias's I'll bet the number of Jarvis defenders around here would diminish. What he did and does is indefensible.

Mar 8th - 16:47pm | Kurt Repanshek

What makes it so superb, Rod?

Mar 8th - 16:37pm | RodF

Everyone interested in our National Parks to read NPT will find inspiration in Jon Jarvis' superb book

Mar 7th - 16:34pm | Mark Dowie

I am not defending this book review, or the book reviewed. But I do defend the right of a magazine or book review editor to assign or accept the review of a book, or a movie, a play, an opera, concert or art exhibit by a partisan, even viciously partisan reviewer. Can you imagine how boring book or any cultural reviews would be without some attitude?

Mar 7th - 07:28am | SmokiesBackpacker

What I appreciate is that NPT is THE only media outlet in existence that will take on the NPS without forcing people to chug the NPS kool-aid.  Testament to this fact is that I have found no other media outlet that would dare besmirch the beloved Jarvis and call him to task for an obvious and arrogant move.

UPDATED: USFWS Proposes To Remove Yellowstone, Grand Teton Grizzly Bears From Endangered Species Act Protection

Mar 9th - 18:22pm | Mary Jo Cook

HOW CAN I HELP KEEP GRIZZLIES LISTED: 1) Get the Most Out of Don't Delist Grizzlies Group: Make sure you see all the posts in this group. Go to Notifications and select ALL POSTS. Click on the three dots next to Notifications and select ADD TO FAVORITES. Add like-minded friends to this group.

Mar 7th - 09:24am | ecbuck

Are there some?  I am sure there are.  But I believe they are a tiny fraction of the decisions that are made on a daily basis.  I'm not going to make accusations against everyone and anyone for the digressions of a few.   If you have evidence of "backroom, under the table, quid pro quo dealings and pressures re the grizzlies - show us.

Mar 7th - 09:13am | Lee Dalton

Well, all I'll say is that I think it's awfully foolish of any American to even think that there are no shady backroom, under the table, quid pro quo dealings and pressures applied to the people who must administer the government Congress and some administrations have screwed up so badly.

Mar 7th - 08:15am | ecbuck

Now let's see you PROVE that there are no backroom shenanigans. Ah once again you make an accusation, provide no proof and then ask me to prove a negative.  Saul at his best.   stark shades of Black and White with nothing in between.

Op-Ed | When The Bureaucracy Demands Permission: A Warning For Our National Parks

Mar 9th - 14:27pm | Alfred Runte

A very long comment, D-2, but yes, I read every word. You make a valid point about the decentralization of the National Park Service. Superintendents often do get lots of leeway. I expect several to invite me into their parks this year to give talks on the Centennial. One has already called.

Mar 9th - 12:20pm | d-2

Dr. Runte makes some important points.  Points I think no one else is making.  (at the bottom I will suggest a few slight disagreements with Dr. Runte)

Mar 8th - 22:24pm | Former Californ...


Mar 8th - 15:54pm | RodF

Jarvis' book is truly inspiring! This is much of merit in Alfred Runte's essay... perhaps too much?  A tight edit might permit it a wider readership. 

Mar 8th - 13:27pm | Ethical Retired...

I want to thank National Park Traveler for covering this ethics issue, which has been missed by most of the mainline media. It is expected that everybody here loves the National Parks, regardless of their views on individual issues.  The National Park Service doesn't get enough critical attention because of the Public's love for its Parks.  My criticism of the NPS and its le

Mar 8th - 12:03pm | ecbuck

Rick, that is an easy one if you believe in our Constitution.  The power lies in the people (not the government) and it is up to the people to "watch the watchers".  

Mar 8th - 11:44am | Rick B.

Isn't that always the question?   Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Mar 8th - 10:47am | ecbuck

 Why does any institution need an "Ethics Office" in the first place? The same reason we need law makers and policemen.  1) not everyone has a common set of values  2) not everyone obeys the rules.   Why do we suddenly seem so confident that a bureaucracy is better than a court of law?

Mar 8th - 09:57am | Alfred Runte

A question for the readers. Why does any institution need an "Ethics Office" in the first place? Shouldn't everyone in the organization already know what is right and wrong? Other than their preacher, priest, rabbi, or minister, must someone else always be telling them that?

Mar 7th - 22:33pm | raybane

A very thoughtful and well written comment.  Thank you, rmackie.  Your critical appraisal of the issue is well-ballanced and concise.  I have had differences with Director Jarvis, but I have always respected his personal commitment to the National Park Service.  Nonetheless, he made a serious mistake - one he likely would have disciplined a subordinate for commiting.

Mar 7th - 11:43am | Ethical Retired...

The NPS Director has claimed that the agency's Ethics Office was an excessive impediment, which is why he went around it in publishing his book.  Others have described that office as a bureaucratic mess.  I assume it has been under the Director's supervision for the seven or so years he's in charge.  My question is this:  What could he

Mar 7th - 11:25am | rmackie

Agree Lee, Dr. Runte's post is thought provoking and unfortunately true in many respects. I also take issue with a coupe of points. In the case of the NPS Director, the issue is not his writing book, it was the means to achieve the same.

Mar 7th - 10:30am | tahoma

Thanks for the lesson in comparative bureaucracy, especially this gem:"The National Park Service is not the Pentagon, but the game is still the same. If you are truthful, the other players will cut your budget to ribbons. In other words, the moment the bureaucracy asks, the moment the truth inflates. A generous overhead for the bureaucracy is built in.

Mar 7th - 09:48am | Lee Dalton

Wow! This is something we need to read several times to absorb it all. Unfortunately, Dr. Runte is right.  And unfortunately, the effects of this -- and a zillion or two other similar stories throughout virtually every curve and corner of American life -- are being seen now as frustrated people think they've found their savior in a bizarre bully.

Mar 7th - 08:03am | SmokiesBackpacker

The NPS serves the NPS, and the concessionaires.  That is spot on.  Jarvis turned the agency into a money whore while turning out those who truly wished to pursue wilderness stewardship. He should step down.  But his arrogance will not permit that.  

Yosemite Trademark Dispute Could Drag On Into 2017

Mar 8th - 15:48pm | Marsha N

To say that DNC established the Yosemite National Park brand almost to an equal extent that the NPS did is ludicrous.  Yosemite National Park has been there for over 100 years before DNC and will be there way past the time that DNC left.   DNC has not done anything more than any other concessionaire has done when they held contracts in parks which includes improvements to facilit

Mar 8th - 13:47pm | Bill Borrie

Joe, I'm not so sure that Delaware North is all that disgraceful!   While I find the whole dispute, particularly over the name of the national park itself, to be frustrating, I think Delaware North is doing what all good businesses should do and that is protect their investments.

The Numbers Behind National Park Visitation

Mar 8th - 13:49pm | Kurt Repanshek

Obviously our content got shuffled a bit when we did a complete software update a year ago...

Mar 8th - 12:58pm | Lyle Laylin

The chart mentioned in the last two paragraphs is missing

UPDATED: Forest Service Rejects Permit Request That Could Have Led To Development Near Grand Canyon

Mar 8th - 09:34am | JB Bergeron

Great Joy and celebration upon hearing of the Forest Service's decision!  Submitting comments does work. 

Mar 7th - 10:24am | Christy

I found this article through Earthjustice. I'm a native Phoenician, and I read online news sources because the primary Arizona news sites (The Arizona Republic newspaper, , and TV news) are all silent on any issue that opposes the Republican machine in this state.

Mar 7th - 00:24am | Leland CAMPBELL


Birding In The National Parks: The Mob That Protects Wading Birds In The Everglades

Mar 8th - 09:04am | roseman2000

Enjoyed reading the articles. What makes this research stand out is your excellent field work. Projects with remote data collection involves dedication so thanks for those efforts! Always fascinated with the process of handling outliers. They can be a source of fun or a big headache. Tim

Cool Events And Hot Exhibits On Tap In March For The Acadia National Park Centennial

Mar 8th - 06:27am | Acadia on my mind

Among the official Acadia Centennial events running all year: First-ever 100-mile virtual Acadia Centennial Trek. Hikers, runners or step-counters around the world can log their miles and see their map icon move along the route that goes over the 26 peaks of Acadia, along parts of the Park Loop Road and carriage roads, and sections of the real-life MDI YMCA Acadia Half and Fall Half Marathons.

New Study Finds Many Appalachian Trail Hikers Are Unable To Identify Key Sign Of Lyme Disease

Mar 8th - 00:11am | Grace

I know  three people that have it , one is runner, an outdoorsy person, The other was hiking out in the wilderness, and the third person was hiking  at the foot  of the Cascade mountains. I read of  case where  a guy got it playing ball in central park.

Mar 7th - 21:58pm | SuzyQ

It is in Oregon and Washington. Maybe not epidemic levels of the east coast but it is definately here. When I was at the doctors in Portland I was stunned to see lot of people getting IV and I asked this patient what they were being treated for and it was Lyme. Seemed like a lot of people to me considering only  352  cases were reported. I think the number is higher than that.

National Park Service Uses Arlington Memorial Bridge To Highlight Maintenance Backlog Woes

Mar 7th - 16:04pm | ecbuck

Rolling over Congress won't do anything for the bloated bureaucracy.  But let's stick to the NPS.  Why in the world is the Arlington Bridge part of the NPS.  Its emblematic of the NPS being stretched beyond its mission and means.  

Mar 7th - 15:32pm | Lee Dalton

And what better way to start trimming that bloated bureaucracy than by voting all the career incumbent Congress members out and replacing them with fresh blood subject to rigid term limits and campaign finance reform founded on repeal of Citizens United?

Mar 7th - 12:50pm | ecbuck

Alfred and Lee, The vast majority of those riding over Arlington bridge each day aren't going to a national park.  They are daily communters of the bloated federal beaucracy.  

Mar 7th - 10:29am | Alfred Runte

I think Lee is right. Haven't you noticed all of the signs: "Don't Feed the Politicians"?Seriously, although I haven't done the math lately, about 9,000 acres of Washington, DC, is in federal ownership for public parks--the Mall, Rock Creek Park, etc. And then there are all of the buildings and monuments.

Mar 7th - 09:33am | ecbuck

Maybe because nearly all of D.C. is a de-facto national park. I am so baffled by that comment it is impossible to respond.  

Mar 7th - 09:24am | Lee Dalton

Maybe because nearly all of D.C. is a de-facto national park.

Mar 7th - 08:33am | ecbuck

The bridge isn't an example of an NPS backlog, it is an example of assets that have no business being part of the NPS.  Why is the NPS footing the bill for commuters into DC?

Essential Park Guide, Spring 2016: Time To Spring Into The Parks

Mar 7th - 14:31pm | Ken Case

Always interested in new places to visit

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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