Recent comments

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

    CENTERVILLE, Utah - The man escaped with a few cuts to his arm, but the toilet made out much worse.

    Police say a man's gun fell out of its holster while he pulled up his pants after using the bathroom at a Carl's Jr. restaurant Tuesday. The gun fired when it hit the floor and shattered the commode.

    A few shards of porcelain cut the man's arm, and a woman in an adjacent restroom who was frightened by the noise reported she was having chest pain. Both people were checked at the scene and released.

    Police say they confiscated the 26-year-old man's firearm while they review the incident. The man had a concealed weapons permit. No charges are being filed.

    ---

    Rick Smith

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    They may protest but how many will be using their own money?

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Come on, Bemis, how many real socialists are regular readers of NPT? And how many of us spell our country's name "Amerika"? The Pell deadbeats will protest your exaggerations.

    Rick Smith

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

    Actually, anonymous, the point is whether park visitors will be familiar with what state they're in and what laws apply. Is there a sign along the West Boundary Trail delineating the Wyoming-Idaho border, or one along the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone Trail to denote the Wyoming-Montana border?

    More so, under the old rule things were much simpler. Visitors could not carry guns, concealed or otherwise, in the parks, period. Visitors knew it. Rangers knew it. If a ranger saw someone with a gun, they knew that individual was up to something illegal. Under the revised regs, it's not exactly that simple any more.

    As for the laws of the state the LE is operating in, in Yellowstone's case then the rangers would have to know which other 23 states Wyoming has reciprocal agreements with on concealed carry and which 40 Montana has agreements with.

    Regardless of whether you support the change in regs, how anyone can describe the new rule as simpler than the old one is baffling.

  • University Researchers Suggest Solution To Yellowstone National Park's Bison Problem   5 years 35 weeks ago

    The war on elk and brucellosis in Montana has just started.

    Elk were just killed near Gardiner. http://www.kxmc.com/News/319754.asp

    This is an important and unprecedented development and a rather stupid move when it comes to building public support. Let's see these so called elk groups like Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd speak up against this; no doubt, they will be silent because they only care about killing wolves, not protecting elk. But, let's see.

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

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

    Surely it is not asking too much that our LE rangers know the most relevant laws for the states they are likely to operate in, and know what state they are in when in a border area? I would have thought this was standard practice. Else, how can they call for assistance in case of need? How can they assist other local LE agencies when asked?

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

    And, of course, there are other parks that span multiple states: Death Valley, Great Smoky Mountains, Natchez Trail Parkway. Blue Ridge Parkway just to name four.

    Lake Meade National Recreation Area, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Dinosaur National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Gulf Islands National Seashore, St Croix National Scenic Riverway, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Harper's Ferry National Park, Delaware Water Gap NRA, Gateway National Recreation Area...plus the patchwork quilt surrounding DC, Virginia, and Maryland...

    That this message didn't get out is either a failure on someone's part, or a resounding success on the NRA's part.

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

    Actually, Jim, Yellowstone is not a unique circumstance. Some other parks have what is colloquially called "exclusive" Federal jurisdiction (though to be technically correct each actually has partial legislative jurisdiction but let's not get hung up over terms.) A famous example being the original portions of what is now Denali National Park.

    Under the Assimilated Crimes Act, in these areas (and in many others with concurrent Federal jurisdiction also) state laws that do not conflict with existing Federal statutes can be cited as Federal law for the purpose of criminal prosecution. But that issue is not in play here.

    Don't get wrapped around state law. The way the change in the regulation was written (quoted below) was that the carrying of concealed firearms is allowed by Federal regulation in accordance with the laws of the state. Accordance being defined as "in conformity."

    State law isn't being applied in the parks by this change. Our regulation is simply conforming our practice to what the state practices. Sort of. Allegedly.

    (h) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.

    And Yellowstone has always recognized state boundaries within the park for a multitude of purposes. Applying Wyoming sales tax, for one. Deciding which state traffic codes should be adopted in any given area. Deciding which Department of Environmental Quality to consult with over water and sewage issues.

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

    I thought Yellowstone National Park did not recognize state border lines within its boundaries since it was established as a National Park a decade and more before Wyoming, Montana and Idaho became states :-)

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

    And, here is another thing - judicial jurisdiction in Yellowstone is in the federal court. I guess they are supposed to apply to state law to the federal regulation, but it seems to me there would have to be all kinds of complications involved with that. How do they figure out punishment, etc.? Yellowstone is a unique judicial circumstance. Does anyone know how that's supposed to work?

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

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Take from one to give to another. The mantra of modern democracy.

    It is the "positive thing" that Rick Smith claims Frank C can't comprehend. The fact that the government has no wealth of its own but can only confiscate it from productive members of society and redistribute it to others is a concept that seems to fall on mostly deaf ears in this forum. It seems that as long as this ill-gotten booty is used to "stimulate" a pet project or cause that NPT readers agree with the ends certainly justify the means. This is the very essence of our socialist present and a hallmark of the welfare/warfare state we have come to know as modern Amerika. It is derived from the same mob rule impulse that facilitates bloody war, bailouts of failed and corrupt corporations or the doling out of Pell Grants to slacking deadbeats.

    The distortions this kind of political chicanery causes to the natural flow of a free economy is constantly ignored as various interest groups fight over the use of this mis-allocated wealth. The fact that most readers of this site are dedicated to a socialist government model of park administration means that they have relegated themselves to being nothing more than just another competing mob attempting to steer loot to their particular area of special interest. H.L. Mencken's observation that "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods" is as valid today is is was almost a century ago when it first appeared in print.

    Fortunately the end is near as the federal government is totally bankrupt and its creditors are about to stop lending it any more money by refusing to buy treasury debt which has been the fuel of the current reckless borrowing and spending spree. The Feds will try to print their way out of the predicament but that will fail miserably and the final day of reckoning will be upon it. By the way, that day is not too far in the future.

    President Obama is about to preside over the end of an exhausted and depleted empire. It is time for those of us who love the parks to honestly look at other avenues of administration for the national park system. It would be wise to have that discussion now before its present owners auction them off in a fire sale the likes of which the world has never known.

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

    Jim, your last sentence sums it all up.

    I think more than a few readers will agree that many of us are pack rats, unable to throw anything away. In the case of the Park Service and the Nike silo, it seems as if there's a little pack rat mentality going on. Too, I wonder if the lack of funds to adequately remove the footprint of the missile base wasn't the deciding factor on how the NPS should react to this unexpected "gift."

    Had the Everglades been a DOD property rather than an NPS property I think a strong argument could have been made for preserving the base for its historical nature. And if this particular base was the last of its kind I think a somewhat strong argument could be made for not removing it.

    However, I struggle to see the unique historical significance of the base, especially when out west they at one time had so many missile bases that some have gone into private ownership. In other words, the government couldn't wait to be rid of them.

    Though I'm not sure exactly where in the Everglades this base is located, in light of the environmental threats facing the Everglades and the resident flora and fauna, my vote would have been to raze this relic and restore the land.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 35 weeks ago

    RAH, it is better when you come to an argument that you are possessed with the facts. The regulation in place in 1976 was simply another of several change in existing regulations that had existed since the 1930's prohibiting loaded firearms in parks. One could fairly say that change weakened the existing regulations in place at the time - something you won't read in a NRA publication by the way.

    Also, possessing a loaded firearm in a National Park area is not, nor has it ever been, a felony, unless some other aggravating factor wholly unrelated to the administration of the National Park service is involved.

  • Brady Campaign Sues Interior Department over Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Concealed carry permit holders have been through a thorough background check and completed classes in gun safety and handling.

    If only that were true in all states, sadly it is not. There are states that do not require a permit at all, and no vetting nor training is either required nor expected before the legal carry of a weapon. Just sayin'...

  • Brady Campaign Sues Interior Department over Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Myself and most of my family do not go to your parks because not everyone is a law biding citizen because I am not allowed to carry concealed, you will find most criminals do not obey the law and are usually carrying a weapon you will find most convected felons have or do carry various weapons. Carrying concealed legally gives me or my family a 50-50 chance instead of a 100-0 chance in a bad situation.

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Frank never saw a government program he liked. It's useless to point positive things out to him.

    Rick Smith

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    C'mon, Frank, not every cent (most perhaps, but not every) of taxes goes to waste...heck, if it weren't for Federal need-based student aid such as Pell Grants, I wouldn't be in college right now.

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Jees, Frank, I pay my taxes...

    You make it sound as if you have a choice. Try not paying them and see what happens.

    ...realizing that I get services for them.

    Services such as a $700 million embassy in Baghdad, hundreds of thousands of maimed and murdered Iraqis, bridges to nowhere, and a 80,700 pages long Federal Register.

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    I definitely think that stimulus package money put into National Parks would be an investment. It would be an investment in the people employed on stimulus package projects, who would not otherwise be employed. It would be an investment in the future availability and desirability of our parks. It would be an investment in quality of life for our children and grandchildren. All investments do not have to have a monetary return, though even there I am sure that many projects will cost less if done now, rather than put off to inevitably be done later.
    Having said that, we should not spend money frivilously. Backlogged projects should be completed, maintenence brought up to date, before we even consider any new projects.

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Jees, Frank, I pay my taxes, realizing that I get services for them. I don't regard that as forced extraction.

    Rick Smith

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

    Kurt, here are a few further priorities for the new Director that the National Parks Conservation Association has been discussing internally:

    1. Facilitate a renewed vision for the Park Service Centennial.
    2. Help garner support for increased funding for the parks in the Stimulus Package and Transportation Bill.
    3. Help garner support for increased funding for the park operations and maintenance.
    4. Obtain funding to purchase inholdings within national park units from willing sellers.
    5. Work with DOI to overturn or mitigate the impacts of the Bush Administration's "midnight regulations" that threaten park resources.
    6. Work with DOI and other agencies to protect park lands from inappropriate adjacent land uses such as oil and gas development, hardrock mining, and commerical development.
    7. Help make parks more welcoming and accessible to under served Americans.

  • Commentary: What Would An Economic Stimulus Package for the National Parks Buy Us?   5 years 35 weeks ago

    "...if an economic package is approved for the parks, let's be careful with it....if Congress deems such investment worthy..."

    An economic package for the parks is not an "investment". To invest is to save or to defer consumption. Congress appropriates money, which is taken forcibly from from taxpayers, borrowed from foreign creditors, or printed through the inflationary process.

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

    That's neo-conservative wisdom, Frank N.

    You call the Federal Reserve System a "triumph"?

    Just as Congress doesn't have constitutional authority to delegate its enumerated power to declare war to the president, Congress doesn't have constitutional authority to delegate its enumerated power to coin money and regulate the power thereof to a cartel of private banks.

    The Federal Reserve creates the business cycle of boom and bust by tinkering with interest rates; the Fed created the housing bubble through this method. The Fed inflates the money supply, which enables us to maintain our vast empire. Inflation disproportionately hurts the poor who find the "value" of fiat paper in their wallet greatly decreased. The Fed has devalued the dollar to 5% of the value it had before the Fed took over.

    FDIC. What a joke! Unnecessary if we abolished the fractional reserve system.

    Social Security is an unsustainable Ponzi scheme. A report from the National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that paying Social Security and Medicare benefits to current workers will cost $52 trillion. If these programs were funded by investments, they say, the government would have to set aside $102 trillion ("about 7 times the size of the U.S. economy") to keep the programs solvent. Assuming the government continues to use current tax revenue to pay for Social Security and Medicare, the two programs will consume one-tenth of the federal budget by 2012, almost half by 2030, and 80 percent by 2070. If these and other entitlement programs are factored into the national debt, it is staggering.

    Student loans account for one-third of the two to three trillion dollars of consumer debt. Inflating the money supply in the educational sector caused tuition prices to skyrocket over the last 20 years, and graduating students are now the equivalent of indentured servants. Luckily, Obama, and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, seem big on compulsory volunteer service and would like all citizens 18-25 to give two years of their time to the State. After all, as Mr. Emanuel has stated, "Citizenship isn't an entitlement." I certainly prefer the Porn-to-School Act to indentured servitude.

    Big government is not an answer. It is not a solution. It is a problem. It almost always exacerbates any situation rather than helping, like a doctor letting blood from a patient as a cure, but the treatment actually weakens the patient. If you think the Leviathan can be tamed if only we chain it to the right masters, think again. History has repeatedly shown otherwise.

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

    Consider a short and incomplete list of 20th-century liberal triumphs, all vehemently opposed by conservatives at the time: the Federal Reserve System; women's suffrage; federal deposit insurance; Social Security; the investor protections of the Securities Acts of 1933 and `34; public power; unemployment compensation; the minimum wage; child labor laws; the 40-hour work week; the Wagner Act, which gave private-sector workers collective bargaining rights; the Civil Rights Act; the Voting Rights Act; federal fair housing laws; Medicare; federally sponsored guaranteed student loan programs; and Head Start. Sandi: Don't try to turn "liberal" into a dirty word. You bet your bippy I'm a liberal. Every ounce and every inch of me; and proud of it.

    Conservative wisdom:
    "You've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I'm for the president to chase them all over the world. If it takes 10 years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord"?
    - Rev. Jerry Falwell

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   5 years 35 weeks ago

    Fortunately it fell naturally, not due to some idiot, like that artist who set fire under one of them.