Recent comments

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 36 weeks ago

    To quote from the article on Sandy Hook posted 8/13 on this website:

    "The decision was quickly applauded by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., who previously had called for an investigation into the Park Service's actions over the lease.

    "The National Park Service's decision today is a major victory for New Jersey and the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Park," Congressman Pallone said in a release. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the state, the federal government, local universities and other public entities to become engaged in the restoration of Fort Hancock. It is important that any redevelopment plan does not include commercialization of our national park."

    Congressman Pallone seems to be confused. Is Gateway a national PARK? He thinks so.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 12 Revealed: It's Voyageurs National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    This one, Voyagers, is in northern Minnesota, in fact on the Canadian border, I believe. It's just west of the USDA FS's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and is very similar to that park in many regards. It's also fairly new, I believe.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 12 Revealed: It's Voyageurs National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    This is a generic comment but for those of us who aren't intimately familiar with all the parks, I would love for you to at least give us a state when you mention a park.

  • Glacier National Park Officials Decide to Remove Grizzly Bear Family From Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Unfortunate but necessary. She has probably just gotten too many easy meals over the years. Our bad

  • Fall From Tokopah Falls Kills Visitor to Sequoia National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    i saw the guy falling...and run to ask for help. It's a shame how long it took to the rangers of the park to get to the place. I think it was more than an hour and it was only 2 miles away on an easy trail.
    With such a rescue service no wonder why there aren't more deaths!!!
    Obviously it's the hiker fault, but there should be a quicker response.

  • Reader Participation Day, Fine Arts Division: Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, or Maynard Dixon?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Bierstadt: There's something about the atmosphere of Bierstadt's paintings.

  • Grand Teton National Park's Snake River Proves Yet Again Too Challenging For Visitors   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Well, they're lucky.

  • Fall From Tokopah Falls Kills Visitor to Sequoia National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I've visited similar cascading falls in the past. I was too scared to get any closer than maybe 10 ft from the edge.

    I guess all it takes is a simple hit to the head. So sad.

  • Private Development of Fort Hancock in Gateway National Recreation Area Collapses for Lack of Financing   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I'm not sure how they're supposed to handle this. Commercialization within NPS units is very much a fact, whether it's a park concession operating lodging or more unique cases where private concerns have entered into long term leases. Golden Gate NRA in San Francisco has many buildings in need of repair. Some have been leased out to private parties, such as three of the historic Presidio barracks buildings to the Walt Disney Family Museum. Of course the Presidio has a unique mandate among NPS lands of being economically self sufficient.

    The Congressman's use of the term "National Park" seems to be loaded - almost suggesting that we're talking some sort of commercialization of wilderness rather than a decaying building seeking some sort of useful rehabilitation.

  • Heat Claims the Life of Boy Stranded for Five Days in Isolated Area of Death Valley National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I've seen articles warning of all these dangers and more when exploring wilderness areas all the time. The bottom line is people don't listen, they don't read or they don't think it applies to them. I also believe there are signs posted around these areas explaining the dangers. People make the choice to ignore them. Even tragedies like this are forgotten too soon.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 36 weeks ago

    While regulations may not be much different between park designations, that does not mean that "nothing changes."

    Those of us who are familiar with NPS operations know that the real rules for how parks are managed are not in the Code of Federal Regulations, but in park management plans. Are different units designated differently managed differently, with different emphasis on resource protection vs. development and tourism? You can bet your bippy.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Bat: My intention is not to denigrate people, but to expose fallacies in reasoning and challenge ideas. Perhaps you can give me some specific, concrete examples and excerpts of my writing that directly degenerates or disparages individuals rather than ideas and arguments. I'm not going around calling people whacko, stupid, or idiots. It seems to me that some people simply take offense at having their cherished beliefs criticized and are mistaking that as a personal attack.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Dear tomp:

    just to pick nits, a "national park" and a "national preserve" are separate units of the National Park System, established separately by the Congress. So they should be "counted twice" as you noticed.

    Even when you see the area(s), for example, referred to as "Wrangel-St. Elias National Park and Preserve" by the National Park Service. A 'park and preserve' is just an administrative concoction, not a legal designation.

    Wrangel St. Elias National Park is a separate unit from Wrangel St. Elias National Preserve.

    There is a movement afoot to name every Unit a "national park,' but it will be interesting to see how they deal with situations like Wrangels or Gates of the Arctic NP/Preserve. The reason the were designated, in Alaska, differently is because the Government of Canada and many US conservationists reacted so strongly to the NPS proposal that sport hunting be permitted in the new, proposed, 'National Parks' in Alaska. Canada pointed out that many countries in the world had taken the NPS lead that the park designation would mean: NO SPORT HUNTING. At some political peril, it took political discipline for these countries to hold the line, and they expected the NPS to show some guts as well.

    Plus, when Yellowstone was established the term "conserve" the wildlife was taken to be a term of art to mean: NO SPORT HUNTING. NPS even won a case against the National Rifle Association based on the idea that under the 1916 Act 'conserve' when it applied to an NPS Unit meant no hunting.

    There is an argument that the 'park/preserves' in Alaska are not actually distinct units when it comes to the character of the area: all those alaskan areas are geographically unified places. But, it will take an Act of Congress to unify them, and it would be really dumb to have TWO Wrangels, if they simply rename all existing Units of the NPS "national park."

    But the National Preserves in the lower 48 -- unlike the "park/preserves" of Alaska -- have integrity as areas distinctive for their ecological purposes, to be managed (like wildlife refuges) consistent with their specific features and needs.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Anonymous--

    I tried but I can't help you with 391 units. If you look at the NPS Planning site:
    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parks.cfm
    you get a list of 467, which includes administrative offices.

    If you go to the public use site
    http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/park.cfm
    and select Annual Park Type Report for 2008, you get visitation numbers from 358 :
    10 National Battlefields
    1 National Battlefield Park
    74 national historic sites
    43 national historic parks
    4 national lakeshores
    27 national memorials
    9 national military parks
    69 national monuments
    58 national parks
    4 national parkways
    9 national preserves
    17 national recreation areas
    1 national reserve
    4 national rivers
    10 national seashores
    7 national wild & scenic rivers
    11 "Park (Other)"

    The internal NPS site has a "NPS Park Unit List" of 466 names, with flags indicating whether that name is not in the 390 units, is counted once in the 390 units, or is counted twice in the 390 units (park & preserve). I've posted a pdf version on the public side at:
    http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/monitor/stats/ParkUnitList.pdf
    The 391st unit might be Flight93 Memorial.

    And, don't forget that several Clinton-era National Monuments are administered by BLM (1 by FS) and thus don't count in the 391 number.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 36 weeks ago

    "If by credible you mean Liberal, then no". Now who's committing "association fallacy"? And I do believe I challenged your fact-challenged "findings" quite adequately, thank you. As have many other posters whom you have denigrated.

    If you don't want people to get upset you shouldn't disparage them just because they don't agree with you. This line of discourse isn't getting us anywhere which was probably your intent all along.

  • Another Entrance-Fee-Free Weekend in the National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    My family and I are slowly working our way through the National Parks, enjoying the unique and beautiful nature of each. We bought an annual parks pass and while it doesn't alleviate all the fees associated with enjoying a park (tour fees, camping fees, etc) we feel that the fee price is paltry when compared to the vast benefits we gain in each and every park. Even though National Parks do change and evolve (Yellowstone Park of 1970 is not the same Yellowstone Park of today), the changes are necessary to keep the park system open, operating, and visitor friendly. We are a military family so have been able to enjoy National Parks all over the country, including Alaska. When we pull up roots and move to our next duty location, we pull out the US map and plot our driving route around the National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and National Monuments. For us, it is worth every penny to introduce our children to the wonders of volcanic craters, the smell of geysers, the sound of waterfalls, the beauty of pristine mountains, rain forests, and grassy prairies, and the wildlife you may see nowhere else in the world. And, we know that in every park, we will encounter a similar set of values and programs: Junior Ranger programs, fireside lectures, informed and knowledgeable park rangers, maintained trails, roads, and facilities, and more. However, even though we have 4 kids who all love to get souvenirs, we don't visit the parks to "buy" - we visit the parks to see the park. Getting rid of the entrance fee is, in my opinion, not a good business practice. The National Park service is a government agency, subject to political agendas and cost-cutting initiatives; even in the best of private businesses it is extraordinarily difficult to get the money back once you've given it up. Since when is the National Park service in the business of making sure the local outfitters make money? The National Park system is held in trust for it's citizens by the federal government; if the park system is unable to generate it's own income based on fees, will the federal government then feel compelled to privatize the parks to "make ends meet"? We take every opportunity to visit the nearest National Park and would pay ten times the fee just to make sure we our children have great National Parks to visit with their children.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Bat: I'm not sure why you're getting so upset and making personal attacks rather than attacking ideas. Nothing in my comment was meant to disparage the individual behind the comment.

    Rail transit contributes to global warming. "Most light-rail lines use as much or more energy per passenger mile as an average SUV, and many emit more pounds of CO2 per passenger mile than the average automobile. While some rail transit operations are energy and CO2 efficient, the energy and CO2 costs of construction overwhelm any savings."

    Are you getting your data from a credible source...?

    If by "credible" you mean Liberal, then no. It comes from the libertarian think tank, CATO. Of course, feel free to take the easy way out and commit the association fallacy (a type of ad hominem) rather than challenging the findings with empirical evidence.

    Anonymous: I have far more questions than answers when it comes to global warming. In that way, I'm the exact opposite of those who are fundamentally certain of global warming. I have offered up many concrete solutions and constructive ideas to fix national park management; perhaps you've missed those.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Salmon of the Pacific Northwest   5 years 36 weeks ago

    My inside source from the California F&G Department tells me:it's the climate that's unraveling the ecosystems of most world fish species. Not just climate change but urbanization, mass pollution and the channelization of are waterway systems. Thanks to are so called irrigation engineers that couldn't see beyond there slide rulers. The water wars in California will eventually wipe out most California native fish species...in given time. Watering wasting crops (like cotton) should never be planted during prolong drought periods...especially during severe decline of native fish species. And, most forestry ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest are trashed with very little regard for the HOLISTIC ecology of the forest. It shows now and even more when winter comes.

  • Another Entrance-Fee-Free Weekend in the National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    not everyone is made of money!! They should be free all the time!! dont we pay enough in taxes already? I have limited income and a family to support, we enjoy the parks also and it shouldn't only be for people with money.

    This comment was edited.--ed.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Anon, If you're simply after a handy reference source for the national parks, I suggest that you download a copy of the new NPS Index 2009-2011 to your desktop. It's available online in two versions. You'll find the pdf version at http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/nps/index2009_11.pdf. The index lists national parks by state, with affiliated areas, wild & scenic rivers, and national trails at the rear. The alphabetical index, which begins on page 119, lists all the parks, affiliated areas, wild & scenic rivers, and national trails. It is current through January 2009.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I have found numerous mistakes in Wikipedia articles about national parks, including many I personally consider to be serious. I'm not going to joust with anybody about what is serious and what is minor. Accuracy matters, period. I stand by my original advice: Never use a Wikipedia article as a primary information source if a more reliable source is readily available. I do encourage people to fix the problems in the Wikipedia articles if they have the expertise, time, and inclination.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Salmon of the Pacific Northwest   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    Thank you for posting that analysis. As an engineer, I tend to be very data and fact driven, so in my mind, the validity of global warming has not yet been proven. In fact, by the time it has been proven, it will be well underway and too late to reverse.

    That said, as an avid fisherman on West coast rivers and streams, I appreciate the article's description of many of the other threats that have also harmed wild fish. The steps that the article lists to help our native fish populations apply not just to salmon, but to most fish in our fresh water streams and rivers. They are also very applicable steps throughout the West coast, not just the Pacific Northwest.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide For a Warming World   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Man-made carbon emissions are now above the ‘worst case’ scenario envisioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), causing the most rapid global warming seen since the peak of the last Ice Age. At the same time the carbon is acidifying the oceans, with harmful consequences for certain plankton and shellfish.

    “At current emission rates it is possible we will pass the critical level of 450 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere by 2040. That’s the level when, it is generally agreed, global climate change may become catastrophic and irreversible,” they add. “At that point we can expect to see the loss of most of our coral reefs and the arctic seas.”

    “The climate is currently warming faster than the worst case known from the fossil record, about 56 million years ago, when temperatures rose about 6 degrees over 1000 years. If emissions continue it is not unreasonable to expect … warming of 5.5 degrees by the end of this century.”

    Andrew S. Brierley, and Michael J. Kingsford. Impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems. Current Biology, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.05.046

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 36 weeks ago

    @Bob:

    Regarding Wikipedia and the NPS: I see many omission, which is natural as the whole project is a "work in progress". But "riddled with mistakes"? Have you found serious mistakes in NPS-related articles at Wikipedia recently?

    Call for participation: Let's collect five Wikipedia articles on NPS units that need improvement. Then we choose one and put all our expertize together and brush up this article.

  • “There’s Only 58, So Get Over It!”   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Where can I find an accurate and up to date list of the 391 NPS units?