Recent comments

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    The first line of my previous comment is:

    "Kurt presents a list of firearms-concerns assembled by former Park-employee groups."

    Kurt presents a list. Of firearms-concerns. Assembled by former Park-employee groups.

    Read the sentence again. The concerns are "assembled" by former Park-employee groups. Kurt "presents" a list of them.

    Kurt is not the author of the "concerns". I didn't even pin authorship on the "groups". Only that they were "assembled" by them.

    Kurt presents "a list". The stuff in the list is somebody else's. Not Kurt's.
    ----

    I pointed out in my previous comment that the "concerns" (being "caricatures" (aka, 'cartoons') appear intended to:

    "provoke (ill-considered) reaction in the pro-gun community."

    In other words, to induce gun-owners to, um, go off half-cocked and, um, shoot themselves in the foot.

    This is pretty standard-brand politics. We watch McCain and Obama and Romney and Clinton and Palin and (Caroline) Kennedy do this to each other 24/7 wall-to-wall non-stop. (Biden doesn't count, because he does it to himself without provocation.) Hey, I even watch little kids who don't what puberty is do this!

    Make a statement designed to get your opponent's panties in a twist, whereupon he jumps up and in four seconds convinces the entire audience that he's a congenital imbicile. He did it to himself, and you walk.

    The former Park-employee groups are putting out these outlandish statements about how horrible it will be when folks can carry concealed pistols in the Parks. The idea is to provoke the pro-gun folks into jumping up all in a lather and making themselves look ... as ding-dong as the Park-employee groups wants the public to see them.

    It's bait. Don't bite!

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    "How will families with youngsters feel about attending interpretive programs in national parks when the person next to them might be armed?"

    They will feel the same way as they do today (whatever that may be) since the person next to them today might be armed. Not everyone follows the rules.

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Ted,

    Thanks for sicing the dogs on the bait. But first things first. Let's make the record clear that *I* didn't "present" those concerns, they were presented by the Association of National Park Rangers. I merely reported on 'em.

    I just want to make that clear because, while you understand the construction, there are others out there who are awfully darn quick to blame the messenger. Over the past few years *I've* been taken to task for reporting what OTHERS have said regarding guns in the parks. And you know what? It's tiresome and has led my wife to suggest I enter the witness protection program. I'm pretty sure she was joking.

    I mean, it's really quite amazing how "civilized" many Second Amendment-rights advocates can be. I've had my masculinity challenged, my sexual orientation questioned, my maturity and god knows what else taken to task. From folks who claim they are law-abiding, upstanding, just-a-regular-Joe-who-I'd-never-realize-was-packin'-in-the-parks. And then they occasionally use ALL CAPS or underline their words in a futile bid to raise the sound of their typing to make it appear as if they're shouting.

    Hell, Ted, if they act like that on an Internet forum....what might transpire face-to-face on a backcountry trail?

    Now, that said, let me make it clear (that's for emphasis, Ted and anyone else reading this, not shouting) that I fully realize those folks are in the minority. I would indeed agree that most CCW permit holders are upstanding individuals who'd watch my back in a pinch. At the same time, I hoped you'd agree that accidents (here's one, here's another, here are a couple more, though you can ignore the hunting accident) happen.

    Still, I'm one of those who, like Warren Z, probably are just too dang naive after spending quite a bit of time over the past four decades tromping about woods, deserts, national parks, national forests and who knows where else without a scent of crime or furry attacker and just don't feel that in the parks I need firepower to protect myself from man nor beast. Now, out on the highway, that's something else....

    Oh, one other point I'd like to make clear to those who you hope will beeline it for the bait: I'm not anti-2nd Amendment. I could care less if you own a gun. I've fired a rifle and what at the time was reputed to be the world's most powerful handgun. A good life-long friend is an ex-state trooper who often was armed around me (not that I always knew it). So let's not have any bashing Kurt cuz he's anti-gun, because he ain't.

    All that said, I'll let others debate (hopefully constructively) the list presented by ANPR. Perhaps we could even entice some active-duty rangers to describe some of the incidents they've encountered.

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 31 weeks ago

    Kurt presents a list of firearms-concerns assembled by former Park-employee groups.

    1. Families & children at Parks will be spooked by the mere idea that some other visitors may be armed.

    People know that other people in the communities they are in, are armed. Guns are part of many families' experience. In isn't a novel concept, that some people have guns.

    2. Rangers will be forced to mount extraordinary security measures, to prevent guns in buildings.

    I understand that under Federal law, Parks staff will be required to mount signage on buildings alerting those with firearms that such weapons (and others) are not allowed within the building. While I also understand that some courtrooms and maybe even some Federal buildings have installed metal detectors, I think this is done only where it is thought (or demonstrated) that there is an actual security-threat.

    3. Solitude will be subject to threat & hazard.

    Solitude is where you find it, when you find. The fact that somebody else in the Park, somewhere, smoked pot in the parking lot before going off into the woods does not affect our solitude. The fact that somebody else in the woods, somewhere, is going through a painful divorce, with children who suck the joy out life ... is a personal tragedy. But not ours, and we don't worry about it.

    That some people have guns is, and always has been, a fact of life. Normal people aren't going to be disturbed in their solitude, at the mere thought of another visitor, somewhere, possibly being armed.

    4. Wildlife will be subject to impulsive & opportunistic shooting.

    I would guess that in some areas/Parks, a certain amount of poaching has always gone on. But I seriously doubt that much of this is by licensed concealed carry people, and it is highly doubtful there will be a change - up or down - in what poaching occurs due to the new rule.

    5. Trigger-happy varmint-hunters will be shooting up everything that twitches.

    Although some classes of citizens deplore varmint-hunting, the truth about the sport is that it takes place under specific conditions, in specific locations, with specific species as targets.

    In sum, most of the objections raised in this article are such over-wrought caricatures that I think their real purpose is to provoke (ill-considered) reaction in the pro-gun community.

    All you hunters and firearms-owners out there do understand bait, don't you? ;-)

  • Judge Tosses Surprise Canyon Lawsuit   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Hey Frank and Ned,

    I bet you both live in the San Francisco area with nothing more to do but drink your lattes and think of stuff to destroy the freedoms that we are supposed to have. Democrats obviously. More government with my latte please. Maybe we should be taxing the hell out of lattes since those cups are just filling up landfills and killing fish and birds. Wait, they don't go after that kind of stuff that would interrupt their lives.

    The problem is with so many things in this state alone. We keep voting in the likes of Boxer and Feinstein. The 9th District court of appeals. What a ridiculous organization. We vote for something, they don't like it, so they throw it out. This is just another example.

    Frank and Ned just love more government, oh and they just hate guns. Guns are evil too. People that want to enjoy the desert and the park systems are evil.

    The comment on the frivilous law suits is correct. Another example, in part, of why the government, local to federal, is in the shape that it is in.

    I have never been to Panamint City, but have been to many places in the area and that was my next trek. I am a native here and it kills me to see the likes of these "organizations (or is it organisms...a.k.a. parasites)" come in and tell me what I can and can't do. I pay my taxes and a hell of a lot of them. So, back off and go fight for this country like our fore-fathers did.

    This comment was edited to remove gratuitous attacks and language.

  • The Interior Building in Washington, D.C. Gets a "Green Roof"   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I just don't understand why some people can be so pessimistic about positive environmental actions. Of course, these projects may not be as perfect as they should be but it should always be considered as a first step towards our ultimate goal. This project may be flawed for some, but that doesn't mean the people behind it are not doing something to improve it.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Hello All, I have been reading the comments on this subject here for some time now. I hope my comments here don't sound like a wise guy, that is not my intention. I am just trying to understand. I am not anti gun, I own guns myself. I do not hunt anymore, I just enjoy target shooting. Myself, I don't feel the need to carry a concealed weapon in a Nat. Park or elsewhere. I have lived in some remote areas of Montana, Idaho and Minnesota and carried weapons and today I wonder why. I wasn't hunting and have a pretty good head about me while camping where bears, wolves, moose and other animals make their home, and have come across some rather strange people out there. I have been in the backcountry of many Nat. Parks, yet, I have not felt "I wish I had a gun that no one can see". I have read many comments on both sides of this thing and I'm not here to jump in on either side. It just seems like stubborness on the part of the pro carriers. I really haven't heard a good argument other than It's my right. That answer is too easy for me. I see the Nat. Parks as places for friends and families to enjoy what good ol' Mother Nature has given us. Let the people who are hired to protect the parks carry the weapons if necessary. So help me understand the need or right to carry a concealed weapon in a place where there are people other than the carriers family or friends. Accidents do happen and it doesn't seem fair to the others who do not carry these weapons. OK, I did get a bit on one side of this, sorry for that, but Someone give me something to help change that. Thanks for listening.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Dear Warren:

    You are correct in that the Heller opinion included language ruling that a ban on handguns in the home is unconstitutional.

    However, it appears you need reminding that the opinion also included other "very specific wording", including the following (from page 19 of the ruling; emphases mine):

    c. Meaning of the Operative Clause. Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment. We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed . . . .”

    So, in part you are correct, given words (page 64 of the opinion) such as "In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession IN THE HOME violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm IN THE HOME operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. But taking the opinion as a whole, and including the words from page 19, you seem to be kicking a dead horse here.

  • Lost to Hurricanes, the Flamingo Lodge at Everglades National Park Will be Hard to Replace   5 years 32 weeks ago

    People should camp more. Everglades Flamingo has showers so a tent and thermarests is all you need. Stove is nice but optional. Mosquito are the only issue. NPS needs do spray often, a fraction of the cost of building a hurricane proof lodge.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Dustin and Ted,

    How can you blatantly ignore the very specific wording of the Supreme Court's written opinion in DC v. Heller?

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Dear Armed and proud: Please remember that many (perhaps most?) who oppose concealed carry in the national parks are not "anti-gun." Take me for instance. I've owned and used guns for going on sixty years now. There's probably more firepower in my closet (properly secured, of course) than in yours, and unless you are exceptionally good, I am a better marksman and wingshot than you are (practice, practice, practice). I have never harmed myself or another human being with a weapon, accidentally or otherwise, and I trained my son to be just about the most careful hunter and responsible gun owner there ever was. My point here is that you need to be more careful when you sling those "anti-gun" remarks around. You may be offending some people you shouldn't want to.

  • Interior Department To Be Sued Over Cape Hatteras National Seashore Plover Habitat Decisions   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Recreational Area a Red Herring

    All National Seashores have a recreational component to them despite if “Recreational Area” was added to the name of the park as an amendment to the enabling legislation to allow waterfowl hunting in that park, as was the case with Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

    Recreation has a broad meaning to visitors. It can encompass a broad range of activities. Often, as the case with CHNS, the enabling legislation suggests the type of recreation intended with respect to other values associated with the Park.

    (Except for certain portions of the area, deemed to be especially adaptable for recreational uses, particularly swimming, boating, sailing, fishing, and other recreational activities of similar nature, which shall be developed for such uses as needed, the said area shall be permanently reserved as a primitive wilderness and no development of the project or plan for the convenience of visitors shall be undertaken which would be incompatible with the preservation of the unique flora and fauna or the physiographic conditions now prevailing in this area . . .)

    In addition with respect to the Organic Act and Park Policy recreation has a much broader meaning than ORV access.

    No where in CHNS’s enabling legislation does it discuss what means of access to the Seashore was guaranteed. Presenting an outdated brochure that has “Recreational Area” in its title is not a mandate for ORV use anywhere in CHNS.

    Anyone not familiar with CHNS would find it informative to take a close look at an aerial view from google earth at this park and see just how easy it is to access much of the beach without an ORV. Walking and boating are viable historical means of access that cause less recreational conflict and impairment of the Seashore resources and values than ORV use in some visitor’s opinion. Obviously ORV access and use is not impairment or conflict to those visitors using ORVs as their chosen means of access but to other visitors not accessing the Seashore’s beaches via a vehicle I can assure you ORV’s create a significant recreational conflict for them.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Dustin,

    Thanks for the lucid correction of the distortion that the Supreme Court ruling in D.C. vs Heller was about allow guns in the home (and not elsewhere). Stale baloney ... and a full-letter mark-down on the homework & preparation grade for everyone using this bogus talking-point. Excellent pair of comments!
    ----

    Guys, I'm off for a work-day on the trail - finally! Lots of other catch-up work, too, so will be working both sides, and will be home & on-line part-time. But, I see a monster high-pressure system has built over Alaska, giving them extreme cold ... and this air-mass is expected to move down over the lower-48 in the next 10 days. Along the coast here, that's how we usually get our big snow-dumps. Check ya'll tonight. Will go see your blog then, Dustin.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I am not as concerned about bears as I am about the possibility of some deranged maniac out to do harm to me or some other innocent person(s) who are out enjoying the great outdoors. While crimes such as robbery, rape and murder are more prevalent in the cities they do occur in national parks (wilderness areas) not your national monument type areas. A person with a concealed weapons license isn't going to bother anyone, unless you are the deranged maniac out to hurt someone. No one ever thinks it will happen to them, but violent crime does happen. All the liberal mind anti gun sentiment in the world will not change anything. I have never seen a ranger off the asphalt in a national park. They won't get to you until after you have been victimized. So to all the anti gunners out there who have never had the the proper positve education about firearms and probably never served this great nation in the armed forces maybe you can run and get away from the thug. Hope you don't run into a bear during your getaway, if you are so lucky.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Kurt said:

    And no one is claiming that there's never been a crime committed in a national park.

    Very good point Kurt. In fact, not including unreported cases of rape, nor unsolved missing person cases where no body was ever recovered, as Unlce Lar mentioned: "The National Park Service says there were 116,588 REPORTED offenses in national parks in 2006, the most recent year for which data are available, including 11 killings, 35 rapes or attempted rapes, 61 robberies, 16 kidnappings and 261 aggravated assaults."

    of course, no one is claiming that if concealed carry becomes the lay of the land that crime will vanish, either.

    Very true indeed. In places like Florida & other States that have introduced concealed carry laws, the crime stats bear out that although after implementation violent crime was indeed reduced, it has not yet had the effect of making all crime vanish. That goal while noble is simply not realistic.

    All we're asking for is that as Americans we not have our right to choose to bear arms for our own protection infringed while we are on public property. If a private business owner wants to make a rule prohibiting men from coming onto their private property (such as a woman only Gym), or to make a rule prohibiting armed people from coming into their privately owned restaurant, I'm fine with that. As a patron I can choose to go to another restaurant that doesn't make that prohibition.

    National Parks on the other hand are public property supported by public tax money. As such they should not have unconstitutional rules that violate our civil rights. Saying only disarmed people can walk onto National Park property is similar to saying only white people can attend a particular public school. Both are infringements of civil rights. We've done away with the race segregation issue in public schools, and once the new rules go into effect civil liberty & the right to bear arms will finally be restored in National Parks, at least in the States that are not already infringing it through State laws.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Kurt said:

    According to the Supreme Court, your "right to bear arms" in your home may not be infringed, but it's perfectly legal for a government, state or federal, to restrict where you can carry.

    Actually the Heller case was specific to determining whether or not the 2nd Amendment applies to all citizens or if it only applies to members of the Military, and if it applies to all citizens the second question was whether or not the DC ban on possession & use of handguns in the home was unconstitutional. They found that yes it applies to all citizens, and yes the DC ban on handguns in the home was indeed unconstitutional.

    The issue of the "bear arms" portion of the second amendment was not addressed other than to mention they were not addressing it. The next Supreme Court challenge will probably be to determine incorporation to see if the civil right to keep & bear arms restricts only the Federal government from making laws that infringe it, or if it also applies to the States. Sometime after that the bear arms issue will probably be addressed (the issue of determining if the right to bear arms applies to law abiding citizens anyplace they're not prohibited from being, at least while on public property). Establishing precedents in these types of matters in the Supreme court will be a long process. Ironing out the 1st Amendment for example took many years in the courts to establish existing precedents.

    As for the sources in the above post, the story was about the lawsuit those groups filed. Would you prefer that in the future I insert a boilerplate sentence on the NRA's position? If you spend a little time looking at past Traveler posts, and comments, on this issue you'll find the NRA's position very well-represented.

    I was merely establishing the fact that the article was one sided, I did not mean to imply that there was something wrong with writing a one sided article. It would of course add a bit of interest to incorporate the view of folks from the other side of the issue rather than simply including the views of one side as if they were indisputable, but it is a free country so including only one side or both sides is of course always up to the author. :)
    And finally, I suppose one could say your blogs are one-sided as they don't include comment from NPCA, the coalition, or the Brady Campaign.

    I actually do often discuss the viewpoints of the other side or if not I at least link to the story I'm discussing. In my response to your article for example, I linked directly to it so everyone could read your side & judge for themselves.

  • Black Bear Attacks Child at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I totally agree, the only issue is that we can't have bears and kids playing together. So, either don't build a house in the woods and complain about the animals or stay in the city. If you are visiting a State Park that is known for bears, heck you can't walk two feet in Gatlinburg, TN without someone selling you a cute little black bear stuffed animal, T-shirt or salt & pepper shakers. So pay attention, carry a whistle, if not bear mace. So it's sad but, humans “WILL ALWAYS COME FIRST”, when it comes to bear confrontations. I have to adimit I agree to a depending on the situation.
    I would have also killed this bear, to help save the other bears! Humans have a way of wiping out what they fear or hate. I have large dogs and would have to always insist that any biting or sever mouthing or human aggression, is totally unacceptable from any dog of any size... period! Any animal that bites humans, MUST be rehabilitated, relocated or put down, humanely. Once an animal breaks that invisible line of fear and respect for humans and humans for bears, it becomes a recipe of disaster.
    I have helped with various wildlife rescues in Tennesse and love all animals. I hoping to go back to EKU for wildlife biology.

  • Black Bear Attacks Child at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I totally agree, the only issue is that we can't have bears and kids playing together. So, either don't build a house in the woods and complain about the animals or stay in the city. If you are visiting a State Park that is known for bears, heck you can't walk two feet in Gatlinburg, TN without someone selling you a cute little black bear stuffed animal, T-shirt or salt & pepper shakers. So pay attention, carry a whistle, if not bear mace. So it's sad but, humans “WILL ALWAYS COME FIRST”, when it comes to bear confrontations. I have to adimit I agree to a depending on the situation.
    I would have also killed this bear, to help save the other bears! Humans have a way of wiping out what they fear or hate. I have large dogs and would have to always insist that any biting or sever mouthing or human aggression, is totally unacceptable from any dog of any size... period! Any animal that bites humans, MUST be rehabilitated, relocated or put down, humanely. Once an animal breaks that invisible line of fear and respect for humans and humans for bears, it becomes a recipe of disaster.
    I have helped with various wildlife rescues in Tennesse and love all animals. I hoping to go back to EKU for wildlife biology.

    I am sad to hear about this event. Black bears are beautiful creatures and need space to live and be free, just like the rest of us.

    I hope we all can be blessed enough to have space and freedom. I don't think anyone can argue with that. :)

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    In fairness, Kirby, there have been pot plantations in Sequoia, Yosemite, and a few other Western parks, but I haven't heard any reports of the growers chasing any tourists, or even engaging rangers.

    And no one is claiming that there's never been a crime committed in a national park. Of course, no one is claiming that if concealed carry becomes the lay of the land that crime will vanish, either.

    * Park Ranger Kris Eggle was killed in the line of duty in Organ Pipe Cactus NM in 2002 when he and three U.S. Border Patrol officers responded to a report from Mexican authorities of two armed smugglers heading into the United States. He was ambushed.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    murders, robberies, rapes, kidnapping and other assorted acts of violence committed against innocent park visitors by sadistic lunatics and the drug runners who use the parks as their grow/lab area?

    And these atrocities are going to start happening when? Maybe I missed the news reports, but it seems likes the parks have never been, and are a far cry from becoming, anything like Detroit. :-)

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    This has been in some level of discussion since 2004 at least-petitions, bill drafts, etc. and the gun control groups have been there the whole time predicting rivers of blood, shootouts over camp space, rampant poaching, etc. all the while ignoring the fact that criminals carry wherever they want whenever they want.

    More importantly, they fail to understand that a person can cross a national park and not even know it. Are there signs or any clear way of telling when you've gone from a state/national forest or state park to a national park? What about freeways that cross national parks? Should people have to stop and unload and secure their firearm for the 2 mile trip across the forrest?

    What does the NPCA, Park retirees, Brady group, etc. plan to do about the murders, robberies, rapes, kidnapping and other assorted acts of violence committed against innocent park visitors by sadistic lunatics and the drug runners who use the parks as their grow/lab area?

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Warren flashes his political skills:

    "I am a gay man in a relationship of 18+ years ... I'll give you legal carry if you folks give me the legal HUMAN right to marry my partner of 18 years."

    Among the historical American leaders whom I resonate best to, a disproportionate number based their accomplishments mainly on the art of compromise. ;-)

    I accept that the struggle over gun-law and the struggle over gay marriage-law both take place in the murkier realms of the human animal.

    It is certainly well-and-good to have the ability to focus on the knee-bone to the exclusion of other elements of the anatomy, to give it one's undivided attention and extra-penetrating insight. However, the knee-bone is for sure connected to the shin-bone, and the thigh-bone ... and in the default normal situation, they operate as a unit.

    Congress knew that D.C. vs Heller was headed to the Supreme Court, as they were working on the guns-in-Parks rule-change, and of course would understand instantly that having both brought forward together, would have a much more potent effect than each brought forward independently, at different times.

    The key variable for both the ongoing drama of guns in America, and the on-going drama of gay domestic status in America is the same factor: Obama.

    And no doubt about it, he has made clear how ambiguous (if not schizoid) he is on these two hot-button issues: His first crucial compromise is going to be with himself.

  • First Ladies National Historic Site Struggles to Attract Visitors   5 years 32 weeks ago

    I'm sure most people here know that the National Park Service had and has ZERO interest in acquiring and administering a lot of these pork-barrel parks. Why does Cuyahoga National Park (a place that ought to be a county park at best) exist? Because local business/tourism/political interests wanted it to exist. Why was it upgraded from National Recreation Area to National Park? Because those interests thought it would attract more visitors (=$) as a NP.
    It's not preservationists or conservationists or the Park Service who are driving the establishment of these third-rate parks (like First Ladies); it's businesspeople and the boot-licking politicians who are owned by business interests. And then conservatives complain about Big Government and the inefficiency of government agencies and say they ought to be run on "business models." Would those be the business models of savings and loans, mortgage companies, investment firms, and auto companies? Or the Pentagon? If you want the National Park Service to be efficient, let qualified people decide what ought to be a NPS-administered park and what ought to be left up to the local chamber of commerce.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Dustin,

    According to the Supreme Court, your "right to bear arms" in your home may not be infringed, but it's perfectly legal for a government, state or federal, to restrict where you can carry.

    As for the sources in the above post, the story was about the lawsuit those groups filed. Would you prefer that in the future I insert a boilerplate sentence on the NRA's position? If you spend a little time looking at past Traveler posts, and comments, on this issue you'll find the NRA's position very well-represented.

    And finally, I suppose one could say your blogs are one-sided as they don't include comment from NPCA, the coalition, or the Brady Campaign.

  • Weekly Snowshoe Treks Coming to Glacier National Park   5 years 32 weeks ago

    Kurt-
    Thanks for all the recent articles about winter programs in the National Parks. I wish more of the employees and volunteers guiding these types of introductory trips would consider adding a brief explanation about trying to avoid postholing or snowshoeing in cross-country ski tracks where possible. XC skis can both grip and glide because of wax or "fishscale" patterns under the cambered (arched) center that contact the snow when weighted. Holes in the track can cause the skis to slip and waste quite a bit of energy. This is usually merely annoying to experts, but can be totally discouraging, even dangerous, for novice skiers. I've often seen uniformed Rangers on snowshoes walking side by side where dual tracks already existed. Of course, thoughtless skiers can confuse folks by using the snowshoe track too. At Olympic's Hurricane Ridge, the enlightened staff posts small, temporary signs at the start of the unplowed roads with the non-judgemental message: "Skiers & Snowshoers Please Make Separate Tracks".