Recent comments

  • Hot Springs Hoopla Goads Government   5 years 30 weeks ago

    This can't possibly be a priority for an agency that is supposedly underfunded and over-extended in its mission. What difference does any of this make? It is just another local public relations black eye waiting to happen for an organization that seems to lose more and more of its credibility and relevance with each passing day.

    By the way, is it still necessary for the federal taxpayer to be running this place? It seems that this is just the sort of unit that could easily be transferred to a number of entities either public or private.

    Is this park a crown jewel? Wouldn't a national historic designation suffice and then see if someone else might be interested in running it? That this unit pays to have on staff a national park superintendent just like Glacier or Yosemite (at a similar pay rate I would presume) seems not only silly but an insulting affront to hard working taxpayers everywhere. I say let this artifact from a bygone era of park designations join Platt National Park in the history books as a hot spring site that came and then went away as a named national park.

  • Rangifer tarandus   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Can't help looking twice at this photo that shows a slightly underweight beast and wondering what the rest of the herd looks like. Nice photo that catches the grace of the animal.

  • Hot Springs Hoopla Goads Government   5 years 30 weeks ago

    >>it has nothing to do with status.<<

    Theoretically....;-)

  • Hot Springs Hoopla Goads Government   5 years 30 weeks ago

    To Anonymous - changing the name of a national park unit does not "downgrade" it. The title designations have no rhyme or reason. Hence, Hot Springs National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and so on. Changing the name might be a good idea - but it has nothing to do with status.

  • Upon Further Review: If It Smells Like Gasoline...   5 years 30 weeks ago

    A firefighter, too.

  • Stanley W. Abbott, Wizard of the Blue Ridge Parkway   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Thanks, Linda. I hate to admit it, but I was completely unaware of this interesting fact. I'll definitely stop to see this marker for myself the next time I'm in the area.

  • Rangifer tarandus   5 years 30 weeks ago

    As Ray points out, Aniakchak is not exactly overwhelmed with visitors. During the last three years of record, Aniakchak had a grand total of 96 recreational visits, which is an average of 32 visitors per year). No visits at all were recorded during 26 of those 36 months. This NPS unit is certainly a great place for solitude seekers. It averages one visitor per 18,836 acres per year.

  • Upon Further Review: If It Smells Like Gasoline...   5 years 30 weeks ago

    As Bugs Bunny would say,"Whaat a maroon!"(What a moron)

  • Rangifer tarandus   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Ah, brings back memories. I recall flying a Cessna 206 on floats into the crater and landing on Surprise Lake at the bottom. It was truly otherworldly. The weather is perhaps the most extreme of any unit of the National Park System. Aniakchak may also be the least visited park unit.

  • Latest Pastime of Yellowstone National Park Bison: Human Tossing   5 years 30 weeks ago

    If you read the darn story, the father and daughter were in the neighborhood of 100 yards away from the rogue bison in a group of about 50 people with a RANGER! The bisopn charged another individual who headed for the group and the ranger seeking safety in numbers. The crowd scattered, but the father was no doubt hindered by the relatively slow speed of his daughter. These two people did nothing wrong! They were NOT idiots! If the ranger could walk up to within 15 feet of the bison, next to the threatened individuals, he could have easily shot the critter in the head. I would have guessed it was about 50/50 as to what that bison would have done when the ranger shot into the ground.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 8: Well, It's Kinda Oval   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Steven M. Bumgardner
    Videographer/Producer

    Is that a silver sword in the background? Haleakala?

  • Hot Springs Hoopla Goads Government   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Hot Springs is, IMHO, hardly National Park worthy as is. (National Historic Park, yes.) The dispute could easily be resolved by offering the city one of two alternatives--either the park is downgraded to a National Historic Park or the city provides additional land and funding to make the park truly National Park worthy. Of course, this is politically unfeasible.

  • Hot Springs Hoopla Goads Government   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I take offense to the comment that our beautiful town is dirty and run down...it has seen a resurgence in the past 10 years due to the Advertising and Promotions Committee...it boasts the largest convention center in the state which brings in countless visitors to our city each year! Without them the city/park would NOT have the millions of visitors each year. They have the budget and ability to promote and advertise our fair city...you can't tell me that the National Park does not benefit from all of the great things that they do. As to who was here first....the indians were...this has long been sacred spot...long before the park came along...Hot Springs was here first!

    Until the past few years we have always enjoyed a great working relationship with the NPS...why now is this such an issue... Josie Fernandez, Park Superintendent, has done nothing but pick fights since she got here...tell me what is wrong with a map that does nothing but point out all of the attractions our city has to offer in a facility run by the A&P Commission? And license plates...please...they do nothing but promote and let people know that we are proud of our town!

    Outside of the National Park...we have some of the most beautiful lakes in the country in some of the most beautiful scenery, outstanding golf, great accommodations, ...we one of the oldest Thoroughbred Racing Parks in the country, an ORV Park...the Park is a small part of our city, yet we are very proud to be a part of it...there is nothing I would like more than to see Superintendent Fernandez promoted out of here so that we can once again enjoy the relationship we once had.

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Owen, don't forget the Stonemeadow Riots and the bigotry and corruption displayed by some NPS cops and their bosses. After reading my mentor's autobiography and accounts from the time period Owen referenced, it's clear that this proclaimed "Golden Age" wasn't entirely golden, especially when it came to bureaucratic management. Since then, the bureaucracy has only gotten bigger and badder, spurred on in part by the rash proclamation of national historic sites and other "lesser" parks, which the '60s Historical Perversion Act catalyzed.

    But I do believe in other ways, things have changed drastically, especially in the quality and experience of naturalists. The agency is just another bureau now, and its ponderous weight stifles innovation and repels competent employees.

    One commenter cautioned us "not try to emulate the private sector because I think we can all see how well that works." For thousands of conservation trusts, it works quite well.

  • Traveler Tech Update: IE8 and Latest Performance   5 years 30 weeks ago

    No more scrolling for this caveman to find 'Latest News & Views'. Thanks Doc!

  • UNESCO Agrees to Send Field Team to Inspect Threats to Glacier, Waterton National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    National government has done such a bang-up job with parks; can't wait to see where world government takes land mismanagement.

  • Traveler Tech Update: IE8 and Latest Performance   5 years 30 weeks ago

    With regard to IE8 I found that Microsoft has added a new button called “Compatibility View: websites designed for older Browsers will probably look better, and problems such as out of place menus, images and out of place text will be corrected”. It’s located next to the refresh button on the address bar. (it looks sort of like a page torn in half) ;-))

    Semper Fi
    Doc

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Yes, it's true, there was a time when Dr. Carl Sharsmith was reassigned to a duty station other than Tuolumne Meadows. This was during the late 1950's. Carl had been working summers in Yosemite since 1931. He was the only naturalist at Tuolumne Meadows until 1946. Will Neely joined him at Tuolumne Meadows in 1950. By the late 1950's, he and Will had become very popular with return Tuolumne campers. Many of these return campers purposefully sought them out for walks and evening programs. Less experienced staff had difficulties competing. But, part of Carl's re-assignment was to perform a special ecological survey for the NPS on visitor impact of High Sierra lakes and meadows of Kings Canyon National Park. He and Will Neely were eventually reinstated at Tuolumne Meadows, and the ranger-naturalist programs there continued to prosper.

    In the years prior to his "reassignment" Carl had been awarded the Department of Interior medal for meritorious service, after he had completed 25 seasons of service. He went on to serve the NPS each summer at Tuolumne for another three and one-half decades, completing his last season in 1994 at the age of 91.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Stanley W. Abbott, Wizard of the Blue Ridge Parkway   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Abbott Lake at Peaks of Otter was named after Stanley Abbott. The Park Service installed a marker there in his honor. See http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=9743 for a photo of the marker.

  • Hot Springs Hoopla Goads Government   5 years 30 weeks ago

    That city has become so run down and dirty, it probably doesn't make much difference what name they use.

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 30 weeks ago

    I agree with Tahoma. Beamis should write us another chapter of Park Circus! Because the NPS has a chronic disease and laughter is the best medicine.

    Owen, be grateful for your memories. I'm not sure so much has changed. For example, Harry Yount resigned under pressure and frustration after only 14 months and a young Carl Sharsmith endured reassignment by managers jealous and threatened by his talents. Also, with all due respect, five summers in a short season park is a honeymoon.

  • Survey Says National Park Service Is Far from the Best Government Agency to Work For   5 years 30 weeks ago

    With all this negative flow about quality work issues regarding the NPS, I sure hope this doesn't deter the younger generation from going into resource management...especially when we need the very best and the brightest in the field of resource & wildlife management. Why does the NPS get the dipstick in the job pool with mediocre talent? Who's lowering the totem pole for supervisory talent? It's understandable, why the younger generation doesn't look towards the NPS as prestigious employment. The cronyism that forestalls the rewarding of those who display their intellectual mantle for a job well done, is a prime example of structural interdepartmental family nepotism that stifles the creativity of the best and the brightest. Yes, seasonal workers must earn those brownie points for advancement by doing the job of of a glorified custodian that wipes toilet bowl clean. You pay your dues college boy! There's a lot of blame to go around with the NPS and starts at the very top...the President and down. The last administration didn't give a living hoot how the NPS was run...as long as there was rape, greed and pillage on the drawing boards. Put the right people in who could careless about the proper direction of the NPS and it's natural resources and care, borderlines on defunct administration that's hell bent towards failure. Sure looked like it over the past eight years. A complete overhaul is needed and let's kick in some young talent for change. The old school is dead! Let's start afresh and it's NOW!

  • Hot Springs Hoopla Goads Government   5 years 30 weeks ago

    Well, who was there first? The city or the park service? The answer to that could possibly be the solving of the problem, while at the same time, eliminate the free advertising they are both getting while the squabble continues .

  • UNESCO Agrees to Send Field Team to Inspect Threats to Glacier, Waterton National Parks   5 years 30 weeks ago

    the world heritage should not be telling the us or canada what to do period...stay to hell out of our business...thats what we get to be a one world country.....

  • Have You Seen the National Park Service's Redesigned Web Portal Yet?   5 years 30 weeks ago

    As the NPS begins to increase its reliance on web-based methods of electronic communication and public outreach, so should it invest in frequent auditing and updating of posted information. For example, sometimes I've found more complete, accurate and updated information for specific park units on Wikipedia.com or on websites maintained by non-profit organizations, than on nps.gov.

    It's one thing to initiate a new structure and feel to an old web site that function's as the Agency's front page. It's quite another thing to audit, correct, and update accurate information for each park unit. I wonder what effort is being put into www.nps.gov to ensure ease of use and accuracy of posted information at the level of individual park units?

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830