Recent comments

  • On Interior Secretaries, National Park Stimulus Funds, And Oil Shale   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Don't count on the Obama administration helping the parks. As I wrote before the election, Obama/Biden have TWO national park units (one is a trail only) in their home states, so they probably have never or seldom visited a park. McCain and Palin on the other hand, have 36 national parks between them, and both are big "fans" of our parks. As a governor and executive of state, Sarah Palin deals with state/federal issues regarding the national park units on a daily basis. If nothing else, she knows that fully funding the NPS units in Alaska would help her state and it's people tremendously.
    So, no doubt that McCain/Palin would have been the ticket to better funding for the NPS.
    Just watch...out of 819 billion, you will see ZILCH for the NPS.
    $335 million for STD prevention is more important to congressional democrats:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/29/economic-stimulus-bills-allot-millions-for-std-pre/
    Now...who did y'all vote for??

  • Senate, House Far Apart on Economic Stimulus Funding for National Parks   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Don't count on the Obama administration helping the parks. As I wrote before the election, Obama/Biden have TWO national park units (one is a trail only) in their home states, so they probably have never or seldom visited a park. McCain and Palin on the other hand, have 36 national parks between them, and both are big "fans" of our parks. As a governor and executive of state, Sarah Palin deals with state/federal issues regarding the national park units on a daily basis. If nothing else, she knows that fully funding the NPS units in Alaska would help her state and it's people tremendously.
    So, no doubt that McCain/Palin would have been the ticket to better funding for the NPS.
    Just watch...out of 819 billion, you will see ZILCH for the NPS.
    $335 million for STD prevention is more important to congressional democrats:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/29/economic-stimulus-bills-allot-millions-for-std-pre/
    Now...who did y'all vote for??

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I haven't followed the story. What's the impact of snowmobiles on a snow field? Are there other areas where people can ride their snowmobiles nearby?

  • National Park Quiz 39: Winter   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Bob,

    Having spent 13 years on Lake Superior for the NPS (6 at Isle Royale, now almost 7 at Apostle Islands) I am glad to say that I did pretty well on your test. It's been a really cold winter this year up here. This morning, it was a *balmy* -10 as I bundled up for my walk to work; since we had two mornings last week when it was -22 I'm starting to think this is good.

    Here's a fun thing for NPT readers, the latest map of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan ice conditions, which show that you might actually be able to make it all the way from Apostle Islands to Isle Royale across the ice -- not that I'd recommend it. Grey in the image means "fast" (i.e. solid) ice, red means 90-100% cover, orange means 70-80%.:

    Bob Krumenaker
    Superintendent
    Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Jim, you have reason to be concerned. A dog musher near the village of Kotzebue, Alaska was recently killed when he was rammed from behind by a speeding snowmobile. The impact severed his leg. A snowmobile traveling at high speed and with reduced visibility can easily exceed his stopping ability and become a deadly missile. Where drivers illegally invade lands off limits to snowmobiles the chances are that they will not be safe drivers.

  • The World's Top Ten National Parks   5 years 33 weeks ago

    I haven't traveled outside North American extensively, but I have traveled extensively within North America. I think Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland is extraordinary for both "visual" delight and also topography. It's been called the Galapogos (hey, that's also a National Park, right?) of Geology.

    Within the U.S., Yellowstone has it all. Sometimes the best known are the best!

  • Senate, House Far Apart on Economic Stimulus Funding for National Parks   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Jobs will be created for more than just construction workers when construction projects are funded on federal lands. This will create more management level jobs within the NPS and will help to provide work to a variety of different contractors that work with the NPS in environmental planning, engineering services, biological and cultural resources monitoring, and any other jobs that would support these activities.

  • The Future of the "Gateway Arch" is On the Table—Will You be Part of the Discussion?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Well, Lone Hiker good buddy, Barky has a point, it would probably be good to remember from time to time to stay on the rails

    Here is the link, for a little reality check, for "Criteria for Parklands" now followed pretty conscientiously by NPS and mostly even by Congress.
    http://planning.nps.gov/document/criteria05final.pdf

    The NPS website also has everything you'd like to know about NPS planning -- Director's Order # 2 -- and much more that explain how to address even excellent sites, that can be effectively managed by others. Lots of sites qualified to be national parks have gotten pushed aside because they can be protected as well or better elsewhere. So most of the parks we have have come to the American People for good reasons, and deserve our respect for the process of democracy. Just for an occasional touch of reality as a bracer, I can assure you I have seen a LOT of probing and examination as new parks are considered, pro and con, as well as reviews of what we have.

    Whenever we can, lets try to find ways to protect these special places, instead of declaring that we lack the wit or resolve to do so, or even worse, pitting one important place against another.

  • The Future of the "Gateway Arch" is On the Table—Will You be Part of the Discussion?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Lone,

    I hate arguments that take a simple notion and stretch it to the realms of ludicrosity. That's a logical fallacy. Clearly I was referring to sites of significant historical impact. Yes, define "significant", I know, but that's what the process for including sites into the NPS in the first place is for.

    Besides:

    Cold war missile silos -- in the NPS already
    Western heritage -- in the NPS already
    Various tragedies -- in the NPS already
    Technological pioneering -- in the NPS already
    Manipulators of the economy -- in the NPS already
    Slavery -- in the NPS already
    Plantations -- in the NPS already

    Most of the rest of your examples are in state parks, or are privately owned & operated or otherwise supported, or simply no longer exist so there's nothing to mark.

    I don't see delisting as being a slight to the prestige of the place, but more a prospective blow to the ego of those caretakers of said "monuments".

    I differ. Completely. Especially in this case where the cries for delisting are from those who simply want to tear up a site for commercial reasons.

    ===============================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • On Interior Secretaries, National Park Stimulus Funds, And Oil Shale   5 years 33 weeks ago

    All I can say about the above post is "discomfiting."

    ========================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Mizz Bonnie Abbzug was at 28, a full grown woman.

  • Park Police Arrest Men Who Brought a Loaded Submachine Gun to a Playground in National Capital Parks-East   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Mr. McDonald needs to get a clue, I was born and raised in SE part of DC, The poorest sections of any town have a choice become good citizens
    or follow theirs peers into drugs, stealing, robbing at gunpoint, gangs, murder, rape and whatever feels good. That has not changed because
    people loke Mr. McDonald coddle them and make excuses for them. That is why we must defend ourselves especially in DC. By restricking guns
    you played right into the evil doers hands. They have very little to worry about. Same thing happend in Morton Grove, Il where they banned weapons
    of any kind. Crime escalated to new levels. READ MY LIPS: THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT LAWS! make all the laws you want and me and people like me are the only one who it will effect. It is impossible for the police to protect the citizens, that is not their job. Their job is to investigate and bring to justice anyone who breaks the law. Until they break the law, they are powerless to help you. Canada, England all have real gun control laws and
    they still have a considerable amount of crime. The difference is the citizens there do not have a chance to survive, their government took that right
    away from them. Whenever a war breaks out, their is a reason why the enemy goes house to house taking all guns, they do not want you to defend yourself. For a good example see the movie "Red Dawn". My guess is when the poor can steal illigal fully automatic weapons this is not to rob Joe Blow on the street, they are into some serious drug or human trafficking and backed by larger crime organizations with making a lot of money.
    They have this kind of weapon to kill not scare who there aimed at. Not the kind of people you want to coddle and make excuses for. People need
    to be made responsible fo their actions. Unill you get that nothing will change for the better.

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 33 weeks ago

    These illegal snowmobilers have no resprect for laws, nature or wildlife ! I would like to see more effort put into catching the ones who disrepect what so many of us care for.
    Hopefully, the justice system will throw the book at them and make them an example for all.

  • Group Seeks To Intevene In Court Case Concerning Armed Visitors in National Parks   5 years 33 weeks ago

    BobR, You self proclaimed expert that probably doesn't no the difference between automatic firearms, and semi-auto firearms that are legal. The anti-gunners said that before it was pass concealed and carry in my State Of Minnesota, that there would be shootouts like the old wild west. Guess what, they were blowing smoke out of their orifice! It never happened, in fact the Chief of Police in St.Paul,MN has said there has been no problems with the law! You know people have been mauled in Glacier and Denali Federal Parks, why deny, it by bears. Your reasoning doesn't make any sense, a person should not have the right to defend themselves against a bear attack!!! The Supreme Court just ruled you should have the right to defend your self with a firearm!! There is more danger driving through that park with your auto, then being shoot!! Look at the facts don't ignore them like Handgun Control Inc. does.

  • Where the Bighorns Are   5 years 33 weeks ago

    A nice photo and a nice tie-in with the rock outcrop in the background. For me, Yellowstone is so fascinating because you can find so much wildlife and varied geology in one park.

    rob
    ---
    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    www.craterlakeinstitute.com
    Robert Mutch Photography,
    www.robmutch.com

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 33 weeks ago

    It's also not hard to understand because the boundary is very clearly marked both by the Western Boundary trail, as well as a gazillion signs.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Group Seeks To Intevene In Court Case Concerning Armed Visitors in National Parks   5 years 33 weeks ago

    BobR, you may want to do more research on concealed weapons laws before making such inaccurate statements. CWs are allowed in both public buildings and stores. Depending on the state and the store there might, and I stress might, be certain restrictions but that doesn't mean can't. Just out of curiosity, has there ever been a case of an animal mauling a person in a National Park, a kidnapping, a murder? I know that if my family or yours was threatened by any of these things, et.al, I would be pretty upset that I wasn't able to defend against it and/or prevent it from happening because by carrying I would be infringing on your rights. By the way, what right am I infringing on of yours by carrying? For all of you wanting to ban guns I would ask that you research what happened in Australia when they DID ban guns. The results are not what you would expect. One thing I will say to my fellow concealed carrying buds...... CONCEALED means not visible! Nobody thinks you're cooler for carrying a gun, cops hate it (therefore are more liable to "bother" you), and it defeats the whole purpose of carrying concealed ( the threat is not supposed to know you have it!) Is it ok with all of you that off duty police officers often carry concealed? How about military members? Granted these people are trained professionals but so are most guns owners/carriers. Yes, some people have no business carrying a weapon, but some people have no business driving a car either. Which causes more deaths a year and which saves more? According to 2003 stats (I couldn’t find any more recent) we are 4x more likely to be killed in Auto collision vs. a gun assault. I could go on and on but I believe I've said enough.... for now.

  • The Future of the "Gateway Arch" is On the Table—Will You be Part of the Discussion?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Our nation has a multitude of buildings, battlefields and other icons that qualify as being of historic import in one sense or other, but does that designation (being of high historical value) automatically assign them to the auspices of the NPS? To what criterion do we allow jurisdiction of denoting between say, the old lady in the harbor in New York and the granite faces in South Dakota, or the engineering feats that have become icons in St. Louis or San Francisco or Washington, or maybe all inclusive natural elements of the nation such as the string of volcanic islands in the Pacific, the ex-pristine landscapes of the Great White North and the massive wetlands in south Florida? I don't see delisting as being a slight to the prestige of the place, but more a prospective blow to the ego of those caretakers of said "monuments".

    Cold War missile silos are of historical context. Ditto certain items of our Western heritage whose names are synonymous with our country world-wide, such as Tombstone, the OK Corral, Dodge City and some less savory addresses in our lore including 2122 N. Clark Street (site of the infamous St. Valentine's Day incident). All indeed historic beyond our shores, for better or mostly worse. But if the intent is to lure tourists to our "history", then they all merit inclusion in to the club. God forbid.

    As I've posed the question in prior threads, and for a continuing example, do we establish a NPS unit for each and every "historic" event in our nation's timeline? If so, then the establishment of a memorial to the Great Alaskan Earthquake is long overdue, as is one to the New Madrid Quake, the Great Fires in Wisconsin and Chicago of 1871, the tragedy that was our nation's single greatest maritime disaster, the sinking of the Eastland in the Chicago River, one of the more popular legends of our time, the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.........and what about the multitude of avionics incidents, mining tragedies, construction mishaps, etc. Then on the other hand, how about monuments to our expansionist history, our technological pioneering, for better and / or worse (e.g., the site of the first controlled atomic chain reaction coupled with the development of the cotton gin, for example), a place in the books for those manipulators of the economy such as the homies we all owe so much to (in more ways than one) like the Fords and the Rockefellers. How about NPS units dedicated to slavery, CERTAINLY near the tops of our nation's historical register. No, not the memorials to Freddy Douglass et.al. but to those without whom slavery would never have existed......the slave traders, plantation massers’ and politicians without whom the entire enterprise could not have existed. Remember, history contains both the notable and unsightly of a nation's achievements. You're doing a disservice to one to eliminate the other, as more often than not, one serves to better explain the other and how situations and circumstances were bred into and possibly removed from the conscience of a society.

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   5 years 33 weeks ago

    It was indeed indicated in the story that this is pretty common, and that catching them is relatively rare. One would hope that the magistrate in Mammoth will "throw the book" at these guys as an example to others. As a general statement, I have found that the easier it is for someone to access the back country the less respect they have for it. That is that hikers tend to have the most respect, snowmobilers and ATVers the least. I know there are exceptions. As I said, this is a general statement.
    Whatever you think about the "snowmobiles in the park" issue, acts like this should be universally condemned. It is not hard to recognize that if you go east from West Yellowstone, you are entering the park.

  • How An Earlier Administration Bolstered The National Parks Through A National Program   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Tweed was my boss for a few summers, and I'm surprised to learn of his bias after all these years.

    There's that misuse of the word "investment" again.

    One does not have to pay interest on an investment. That is called a loan.

    Again, "the debt service alone from the stimulus will cost about $347 billion over the next 10 years....That's $347 billion in interest."

    It's the equivalent of a bankrupt person maxing out high-interest credit cards to build and install a backyard hot tub, which isn't really needed and is expensive to maintain.

    We can no longer sustain our standard of living on debt financing.

    Look at the interest on Obama's proposed stimulus package: $347 BILLION. That's enough to fund the National Park Service for about 175 years, or until the year 2184. It's enough to wipe out about 47 maintenance backlogs.

    This is truly wasteful.

    We must stop consuming on Chinese credit cards and start saving--and truly investing--for future consumption.

  • Group Seeks To Intevene In Court Case Concerning Armed Visitors in National Parks   5 years 33 weeks ago

    How does this rule infringe on the rights of those in the general public who don't carry? If a law abiding citizen (the people who are affected by this law) wish to carry a firearm to protect him or herself, then what is the problem? All I have heard from a majority of anti-gunners is how this law is going to promote the unlawful killing of wildlife and generally make our national parks more dangerous places to visit. Unfortunately there is no evidence to support such a claim. Personally, I hike in a lot of places where grizzly bears, kodiak, and other large predators live, and while over the years I have learned a lot about behavior patterns and aggressive attitudes, it's always a possibility that one may charge for real. Think about that for one second, and I'm sure you'll come to the conclusion that you'd rather have the opportunity to be able to defend yourself than not.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   5 years 33 weeks ago

    As I was scanning the posts I felt like I was in one of those pro/anti gun debates I often get in with my friends. First gun ownership and use is a personal choice for most and a legal right for law abiding citizens. The fact is that legal gun owners, especially ones with concealed license, are sane and safe. Bears would be the last thing on my mind while wandering in remote areas in a national forest, parks or on private land. The most dangerous and unpredictable beast is simply man. I have heard of people being killed in protected parks and forest even in low crime states like VA. These areas are targets for criminals looking for victims for the simple reason that they know you are by law unarmed and have little chance of being detected by witnesses. Look at the crime statistics in "shall issue" states and you will see violent crime decreases while areas with the most severe gun laws typically have rising crime rates. The answer to needing a gun to ward off a grizzly is simply don't count on it. One shot stops on big bears are rare and unlikely when under duress. Shot guns with slugs are best but you wont likely have time to get it into action if the bear charges from close up, and unnecessary when they are far away. Big handguns are heavy and hard to master and only a few have the power to quickly kill big bears, however, if I were to carry a weapon in bear country, I would probably carry at least a 44 mag with a short barrel. The safest method is to stay alert and make a lot of noise when hiking and never go alone. Most fatalities are when people are alone and quietly sneak up on the bear. You would probably have more risk of a limb falling out of a tree and hitting you than a bear anyway.

  • The Future of the "Gateway Arch" is On the Table—Will You be Part of the Discussion?   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Anonymous, the difference between those other buildings and the Arch is the Arch symbolizes a truly historic event: the launch of the Lewis & Clark expedition.

    The other buildings are just buildings. Yes, they're historic, but they by themselves don't really symbolize anything.

    Part of the NPS mandate is to protect sites of historic interest, even man-made ones such as this.

    ========================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Senate, House Far Apart on Economic Stimulus Funding for National Parks   5 years 33 weeks ago

    The debt service alone from the stimulus will cost about $347 billion over the next 10 years.

    Yep. That's $347 billion in interest. Stimulating indeed.

    Full article and link to Congressional Budget Office letter here.

  • Group Seeks To Intevene In Court Case Concerning Armed Visitors in National Parks   5 years 33 weeks ago

    Who's over the top on this one? Guess? Yep! You're right, the gun people. THERE IS NO REASON TO PACK A GUN, PISTOL, RIFLE OR AUTOMATIC WEAPON IN NATIONAL PARK!!!!! Just like concealed weapons are not allowed in a public building or store. Why they feel the need to "pack" in a park is beyond me. And the business of their rights being infringed on is TOTAL BUNK. What about the rights of the general public, who don't carry!