Recent comments

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Laws that make generally law abiding people criminals because of breaking a stupid rule are bad laws. Laws should not make the law abiding criminals. All people can become criminal by definition with bad laws.

  • Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Thanks for the heads-up on the link. I'll get our quality control folks after it.;-) It should work now.

  • Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    The last link you posted is mispelled, which sends you somewhere else.

  • Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    To think that the mass amount of man made carbon carbon input does nothing to the planet is hubris.

  • Yosemite National Park Officials Looking For Suggestions on Preserving Badger Pass Ski Lodge   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I fully agree. Badger Pass is a gem, and constitutes a fairly low-impact use of park land. It doesn't compare to the mega-resort that Disney envisioned for Mineral King.

  • Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    The link is not clear. Can't see any special promotions.

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Rick - Concealed weapons permit holders are, by definition, law-abiding citizens. You can't get a CCW if you have a criminal record.

    Note that I didn't specify permit holders in my comments. I just said that firearms were being carried by anyone with half a brain. If you wish to exclude yourself from that group, feel free.

  • Sen. Salazar Sails Through Confirmation Hearing   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Did he say anything about the wolf de-listing? Was he asked?

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

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Taggert--

    So much for the old, tired refrain that all concealed weapons permit holders with half a brain are law abiding if they were all carrying illegally.

    Rick Smith

  • National Park System Would Gain Official Wilderness Under Omnibus Lands Bill   5 years 35 weeks ago

    How can such a small percentage of our population, cry so loud about not having enough quiet back-country trails to walk. God made beauty for everyone, not just a handful. And for those who are crying to protect it for your grandkids, Good Luck! The Wilderness Designation will only tighten the security to some of our most beautiful scenic places. Eventually only alowing the healthiest of these hikers to see the view. So, if your grandchild is disabled in some way ( heaven forbid ), they will never see the beauty you have. Is that Fair? Then there is forest and land management, without some form of management and access in these areas, we are setting them up for catestrophic wildfires that will destroy the whole ecosystem they are trying so hard to protect. Think twice before backing a Wilderness Designation . Thanks Senator Coburn for exposing this to the public. I have already emailed my Senators. Lets co-exist, this issue has good points on both sides.

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Beamis,

    I am a native-born, been-here-all-my-life Tennessean. I wear my camo and drive my pickup truck with pride. I come from a rural, agricultural background, and live in a community of less than 5,000 people in one of the reddest counties in the state. I shop at WalMart nearly everyday and spend most of my money there. I am a 'redneck Southerner', more or less.

    But prepare yourself. You might not understand this next part...

    I am a Sierra Club member. I don't think that guns belong in national parks.

    And I'm not the only person who can be described by both paragraph #1 and #3. So please, do everyone a favor and stop painting people with such a confrontational and broad brush. It's polarizing and not constructive in the least, and gives Tennesseans a bad name (and we wonder why our state is seen as backwards and hick...)

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 35 weeks ago

    James Watts, DOI secretary under Reagan put the regulation that guns had to be dissambled and not available . If Anonymous knows better please post the link so I can verify. I would agree that many parks had a patchwork of rules about firearms prior to that.

    My information I beleive is correct but I will be glad to check out any other claims.

  • Echoes of the Cold War in the Tropical Warmth of Everglades National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    True 'nuff MRC, and the Golden Gate site looks awesome! Thanks for telling us about it. I certainly hope to go there now, but it is a full continent away from Everglades, which is one reason to preserve the Everglades Nike base. The second is that the Everglades site addresses a specific event, the Cuban Missile Crisis, while Goga is more generic. The Cold War shaped a half century or more of our history and we need more than one site to address it. It (and Goga and the Badlands ICBM site) help make up for the shortage of parks telling the stories of either the Korean or Vietnam Wars, stories that must be understood within the context of the Cold War. How many Civil War sites are there? Was the Cold War less important?

    Anyway, it probably costs less to pull the weeds, stabilize the cement, paint some stuff and throw up a few waysides than it would to fully restore the site with the consequent removal of the soil, regrading, restoring sheet flow, etc. It's hard to rebuild the Everglades! (and the money would be better spent in the big Everglades restoration projects.)

    Just an aside, sad what we've come to when the webpage asks me to "prove I'm human" when making a comment! LOL

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I also know of the attitude Beamis speaks. Humans are social animals and as such social position is very important. City folk throughout time have ridiculed the country bumpkin cousin. Hunting was a cultural tradition that both city and country folk enjoyed and it lead to a lot of conservation efforts and many of the NPS. Roosevelt is a classic example.

    From the 1970’s and forward, hunting blinds on the Chesapeake have disappeared. The people who used bird dogs in MD also faded. My neighbor in Bethesda has national champion bird dogs and in my same neighborhood Sen. Pete Domenci lived up the street. Less people were familiar with hunting firearms and the gun control act of 1968 was a response to Kennedy’s assassination and the later riots that scared whites that blacks in cities were rioting and they have guns. So most of America was OK with the 1968 act, since it really targeted "those folks".

    Later as Sarah Brady and other gun control activists managed to persuade that "guns are bad" They pushed the utopian line that if there were no guns then crime with guns would go away. That is when DC in 1976 passed its draconian gun ban. Chicago in 1972 so the educated urban elite adopted the same left liberal attitude that "guns are bad" and only barbarians such as the hillbillies used them. Thirty tears have shown that gun bans only affect the law-abiding from the crime stats of shootings and murders with guns by criminals in the cities such as DC. The gun ban was totally ineffective to fight crime. They did not even use it to add charged to criminals they caught. Only the odd case of a homeowner or a Congressman caught with a gun has been prosecuted and those were usually dropped.

    Maryland passed a law against” Saturday Nights Special” that specifically target inexpensive guns that the poor could use for defense or for crime. They ignored the poor that were the crime victim’s and their need for a self-defense weapon, and only banned them to target the criminals. The criminals never had a problem getting guns, they would steal them. Some even came from police departments which had property losses over the years as they sold those guns to the street for their criminal relatives. So gun control was pushed as a mean to protect against the poor who might be criminal minded and the blacks. It definitely had a racist tinge.

    For example in high school I shot skeet twice a week and always had shot shells not used in my coat pockets from the night before. I would take them out and cut them open when bored in class. It was no big deal. Teachers were not hysterical about that. Students would bring in long arms to show and the only comment was is the firing pin removed? That was in the 1970’s; now compare that attitude to the often hysterical ranting of anti gun folks in comments and letters to the editor?

    Are the urban left leaning elite against guns? My opinion is yes, and that really does extend to suburbia. Guns are scary, they reminds people that danger exists. So people prefer not to see guns, because only criminals have guns.

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 35 weeks ago

    RAH, as I stated over at another article in response to your misinformation, firearms have been disallowed in national park service units since the thirties. The change in the seventies was simply one of several revisions in the intervening years that actually weakened previous protections. This recent change in large measure overturned a lot more than just thirty years of precedent.

  • Park Rangers, Active and Retired, Lament Change in Gun Rules for National Parks   5 years 35 weeks ago

    The new rules won't result in any real change in the national parks. Anyone with half a brain who goes in the back country has already been carrying, illegally, while the old ban was in effect. The vast majority of national park visitors who see the park by car and wouldn't dream of treading where flush toilets and hot dog stands aren't immediately available, wouldn't and won't be carrying. The only difference is that now, if I end up having to defend myself against a mountain lion or (much more likely) a Stayner or Manson wannabe, I won't have to worry about being prosecuted by the government for exercising one of my fundamental human rights.

  • Lost to Hurricanes, the Flamingo Lodge at Everglades National Park Will be Hard to Replace   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Flamingo is one of the most magical and wonderful places on earth. People should be able to go there and live there for a few days, regardless of age, disability or inclination to camp. The Lodge served that purpose. I agree it should be larger, but I also want it to have a minimal impact on the fragile ecology of Florida Bay. The more people who experience the magic of the Everglades, the more who will want to help save this incomparable and irreplaceable paradise.

    I know Flamingo well. I lived there for several years in the 1980s. Hidden behind the resort is the tiny offbeat village where sturdy people have lived for nearly a century at the "end of the road." Today they are all employees of the National Park Service or the hotel / marina company and their families. It is still a close knit and loving community and the Lodge is the engine that keeps it in business. I'd hate to see the NPS close down Flamingo or make it "day use only," as a unique community would then be lost, and the Everglades has lost quite enough already.

    To hear a song about Flamingo cut and paste: http://www.parkrangersteve.com/music/10%20My%20Flamingo.mp3

  • Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Bob, no turn-down service, but if you're at the "inn" they do leave chocolate mints on the night-table! Be sure to check out the donut-shaped soaps they employ.

  • Lodging Discounts Available At Furnace Creek at Death Valley National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Beginning Monday, I will be ensconced at Furnace Creek Inn for three nights, enjoying my thirty percent discount. Being a certified Olde Pharte has its distinct advantages. Will there be a turn-down service and a mint on my pillow?

  • Echoes of the Cold War in the Tropical Warmth of Everglades National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Yeah, sorry it took so long for FF3. Hopefully we'll have more regular site maintenance going forward.

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I still think you're brushing with an awfully big brush and can of paint. Some no doubt would describe me in some conversations as left-leaning, yet in others right of center. And I experience no shock and horror over gun ownership. In other words, I don't neatly fit your stereotype, and I don't think I'm alone in my views.

    As for Wal-Mart (talk about thread drift, but what the heck), I think you again are using a pretty big brush in trying to explain the "disdain" folks have with the chain. Is it really over the "swarming masses" that shop there, or is it more tied to corporate practices that pay employees as little as possible, both in salary and benefits, and which drive home-grown businesses out of business?

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Nuthin' over the top. Just the way it is here in these good ol' United States.

  • What Priorities Should The Next National Park Service Director Address?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Dear RAH, please go back and read a few of the former posts on the topic. Snowmobiles have been consistently debunked as noisy and a source for air pollution by the scientific NPS staff. They disturb the wildlife and diminish the quality of experience for all other visitors. And snowmobiles don't just leave tracks in the snow. They compress snow, letting it thaw slower and thereby influence the drainage in spring.

  • Yellowstone National Park: Poster Child For Goofy Gun Laws   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Beamis--

    You have posted another over-the-top comment. Why not chill a little?

    Rick Smith

  • Echoes of the Cold War in the Tropical Warmth of Everglades National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    The NPs has already one Nike site and interprets the history of the Cold War there. It is site SF-88 in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area: http://www.nps.gov/goga/nike-missile-site.htm The site is almost fully equipped, visitors can see the rocket being lifted up for launch, can see the bunker, the controls and almost everything else from the 1960s. The Everglades site is just the concrete shell - no installations there anymore. Frankly, I don't think it's worth preserving, and lack of funds to remove it should not be used as an excuse.

    PS: This website works with Firefox 3 again, the layout finally looks fine. Thanks for repairing it.