Recent comments

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Olallie, excellent comment. I'm referring to this part of your message:

    I do wish that more folks in the MTB fraternity would recognize that some of us hikers treasure the stillness and slow pace of travel that comes with our activity, and we don't enjoy jumping off a narrow mountain trail every time a cyclist comes rushing along. (Believe me, it's not the cyclists who make way for hikers, at least not around here.) The level of alertness that is required on "shared use" trails compromises the very feeling I am out there to experience.

    Some mountain bikers do recognize that we run the potential to compromise others' desire for solitude, absence of hypervigilance, and stillness in the wild. There's a lot of dogma on all sides on this emotional issue, and I refuse to be dogmatic. I just read a fine article in the current Skeptical Inquirer magazine on the importance and significance of open-mindedness. The author reinforced my view that being open to criticism, different points of view, and well-reasoned new ideas is vastly important. I know it is to me. I have been condemned often enough by other mountain bikers for departing from the orthodoxy that everything will be fine as long as we ride responsibly, and for embracing the heresy that our mode of travel may impair the qualities you're speaking of, depending on time and place.

    That said, though, I favor allowing mountain biking on almost all trails where it has become prohibited simply because of one-size-fits-all government regulations that have proven to be unworkable, unfair, counterproductive (look at all of the Wilderness that was not created in the last 20 years), and conducive to contempt for the law. Just as you say, reasonable people can work out a mechanism that will give mountain bikers access at times and still give you the experiences of slowness, grandness of scale, stillness, and relaxation (i.e., the lack of a need to be alert to an oncoming bicycle) that you want. It can be done and many mountain bikers are prepared to help do it. Frankly, it's what most municipal swimming pools do when they divide the day up into fast-swimming and recreational-swimming hours. It's hardly rocket science.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Well, Tom J., I would like to think "law-abiding" people have respect for all laws, not just the ones that suit them. In the case at hand, the Interior Department in the judge's opinion more than likely broke the law by failing to consider the possible environmental impacts of the rule change. Now, it's very likely that there won't be any significant impacts, but that's why the National Environmental Policy Act calls for such a study -- to make that determination so politicians can't ramrod things through the system.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Zeb, can't argue with you over the behavior of some hikers. I've seen my share of those who try to cut the switchbacks in half.

  • Yellowstone Cutthroats In Danger   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Storminator, you're right, there is no limit on lakers. I suggest you check either with the ranger station where you pick up your Shoshone boat permit or the visitor center at Grant Village to see if they can recommend a section of Yellowstone Lake where you'll have the best odds of landing some lakers.

    Enjoy Shoshone. It's a fantastic lake with some great campsites and sights to see!

  • Yellowstone Cutthroats In Danger   5 years 36 weeks ago

    as i understand it, there is no limit on lake trout fishing in Yellowstone Lake.

    my brother and i are planning a canoe trip to Shoshone Lake next summer. we also plan to spend an entire day on Yellowstone Lake pulling lake trout out- and releasing the cut throats.

    and we're not really fishermen, either! we just love Yellowstone.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    As usual, people are rationalizing their greed and desire not to share our taxpayer funded trails. Greedy hikers...

    The irony of it all is that people are arguing over miles and miles of trails that see nary a soul most of the time. It's not like mountain bikers cross your path every 2mns. Most people are too busy staying home on the couch watching TV.

    Funny anecdote. On this forum, most of the comments portray the bikers as the evil trail users ("tearing around a corner", "speeding down", etc.). This morning, as I was climbing (because we need to go up to come back down) a local park in the SF bay area, I saw a hiker climbing the hill off trail. Apparently, going up the trail was not thrilling enough for him, so he apparently decided to blaze his own trail. Not the first time I've seen this kind of behavior either. I wonder what the park lovers on this site think of this. :)

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    i love to hike- love to ride my mtn bike, too.

    the thing about the PCT, is it's the PCT!! if you're an OCD avid mtn biker- you like cross off trails you've done.

    so, i think that mtn bikes should be allowed on the PCT- but only so many per year. you buy a special permit that allows mtn bike access. this helps cover that "extra damage", enables the OCD mtn biker to accomplish what cannot be conquered legally, and if you catch people mtn biking without the pass- BIG TICKET. more money to help cover the costs.

    yes, we can all get along.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    well, first of all, i don't think you'll use a comb when a brown bear comes into camp!

    you do not need a gun in the park. i have hiked back country three times in Yellowstone. no gun required.

    my next trip in will be to Shoshone Lake, so i will buy a can of pepper spray.

    if you don't have a gun, like a CONCEALED gun, you won't shoot the gun at a bear. and the small concealed weapon will do nothing but piss the bear off.

    so, if you feel you need to carry a concealed weapoin when you're in a national park- just go someplace else for your vacation.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Damn straight Mr. Smith!

    We're not going to rely on non-existent protection. As for following the letter of the law I can name quite a few things your beloved federal regime does that is very illegal and far more dangerous to life and limb than a man attempting to protect himself in the wilderness. Your continued dedication to regulations and rules is admirable in a retired agency bureaucrat but does not in any way reflect the reality on the ground. People are going to do what they need to do in order to insure their safety and that's not going to change whether the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) reflects it or not.

    Simple fact.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Conflicts between bikes and hikers can be resolved, but I think it's going to take some form of zoning or other regulation. Here in the Wasatch Range, some popular trails are on an odd-even day system, which seems to work well and allows everyone a chance to experience the woods in the manner they desire. This obviously doesn't work for through-trails such as the PCT, though.

    I do wish that more folks in the MTB fraternity would recognize that some of us hikers treasure the stillness and slow pace of travel that comes with our activity, and we don't enjoy jumping off a narrow mountain trail every time a cyclist comes rushing along. (Believe me, it's not the cyclists who make way for hikers, at least not around here.) The level of alertness that is required on "shared use" trails compromises the very feeling I am out there to experience.

    Hiking trails and singletrack are two very different animals and they don't mix well. That said, there is still much we can do to segregate uses and keep everyone happy. We've had to do it with motors and I'm sure there are reasonable accommodations we can make with cyclists. Just don't pretend that there's no issue here.

    Thanks again, Kurt, for providing this forum.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I’m afraid that there are too many ignorant people out there in the parks that are unaware that a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm, is not only protecting themselves and their families but everyone around them! This Judge that listened to the ignorant misinformed people who don’t have any respect for the “Law-abiding” person who will not be there in case of emergencies. Many of these people like myself have worked in law enforcement for many years before retiring. Now we go through the process of getting a permit to continue our “To Serve & to Protect” training while trying to enjoy the many parks ourselves! I really feel sorry for those who cannot tell the difference between a Law-abiding citizen and a “CRIMINAL”, who doesn’t play by any one’s rule! I personally have seen many of these people that wouldn’t think twice about killing you or yours without a second’s thought! I only hope you don’t get to meet one of these “Criminals” that will teach you the difference. The hard way.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    NRA members in good standing carry firearms to give ourselves a means of protection against those who do not believe in our constitutional, God given rights to life liberty and justice for all. We fight for this right because we are aware there are unfortunately people that live in this nation that believe they have the right to abuse us, rob us, steal from us and use the NRA and any other agency that we have created to protect us from them to take from us even our lives in anyway, anywhere they please. The NRA by standing up for us by fighting for an individuals, any individuals right to bear arms, allows us to remain a free country. Animals in our national Parks however are not allowed to carry firearms to defend themselves, so they must rely on their instincts to attack and defend those creatures that evade there homes and territory. After living and working in the Park system for 6 years I can assure you that there are already some individuals that enter the National Parks armed illegally now. Now they will venture into areas where they surely would not go without the security of firearms to defend them selves from the vicious, aggressive attacking animals that they run into on the trails. If anyone out there thinks this is not the case then you must disbelieve any of the stories told in any of the sporting and hunting magazines. Anytime a person hiking, camping and visiting our National Parks confronts any of these "wild" animals viciously attacking either themselves of anyone else that has ventured too close to these poor animals, the animals always lose. I myself did not believe this until I spent time trying to educate park visitors, not to try to touch the animals and give them the space and respect they deserve. I have personally witnessed a park visitor running towards a grizzly bear with a young child in her arms so the child could see the bear. I am sure that if this grizzly bear had felt aggression from this act that it would have defended itself. If a concealed carrying park patron witnessed this act of aggression I am sure the outcome would have been radically different for the bear. If we as a Nation can not control crime in our cities why do we think we can control crime in the National Parks by carrying concealed weapons. The real problem is the crime we can not or will not control so we feel safer arming ourselves.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Once again, we hear from a law-abiding concealed weapons permit holder.

    Rick Smith

  • Early Tourism in Yellowstone National Park Caught on Camera   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Yellowstone is amazing. If you hike back country, you can still get up close and personal with the geothermal features. Yellowstone National Park is one of the MUST SEE places. Go before you die. It is incredible.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I find myself falling squarely on , err..., both sides of this issue. A few years back my wife and I decided to try to visit all the States in the USA, and we generally look for a National Park to visit when we go to a new state. (Next up: Congaree National Park, SC in mid-April 2009, I'm already excited about it! Only disappointment is that I haven't been able to find a historic hotel in the area to review. But I digress.) While there I take a lot of pictures and write about what I see, then put it on my website for friends, family and anyone else who can stand to look at it. At any rate, we are disappointed when we find that a State does not have a NP for us to visit as we consider a NP the highlight of our short trips. Is every State deserving of a NP? I would argue that every State, no matter how plain, has it's own ecosystem and "Original Appearance" which are worth preserving, if only just a small area of it. This allows a history lesson as future generations visit these areas and realize "this is what it looked like before logging, farming, or home building changed it." Seeing this historic approach has helped me to better understand why each State so badly wants, and perhaps deserves, a NP of their own. On the other side of the coin, I lived for many years within an hour drive of King's Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite NPs and have admittedly become a bit spoiled by the experience. Julie and I would often take a "long lunch" and drive up to Grant Grove Village in King's Canyon for a picnic lunch or maybe even lunch at the park coffee shop. We were frequent enough that the staff there knew us by name. But as a result of over-familiarization with that spectacular scenery, I find myself at times disappointed when visiting a new park and realizing there really isn't anything too exciting or different to see. That "back home" it would not likely be considered worthy of more than a regional preserve. So I don't know that there is an easy, or even a workable solution to the problem. The situation is that the Western USA is truly blessed with more awe-inspiring scenery, and so it really is difficult to try to set a uniform standard for the entire country.

    Jess Stryker
    www.Historic-Hotels-Lodges.com
    www.JessStryker.com

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 36 weeks ago

    This ruling will do nothing to stop visitors from arming themselves when they venture into wild and possibly dangerous places. I know many folks who currently do it, with nary a bad incident to speak of, and they will continue to secure their personal safety with the best means at their disposal.

    I've run across some pretty sketchy characters in some of the remoter parts of Death Valley, Joshua Tree and in Organ Pipe Cactus N.M. and boy oh boy was I glad that I was armed. If one of these nut jobs started to get violent with me and my family I was ready. The rangers can't be everywhere and as long as there are wide open spaces with potential hazards both natural and man-made many of us will continue to take the park service at its word when it says that our safety is our own responsibility.

  • Early Tourism in Yellowstone National Park Caught on Camera   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Wow, what a trip that takes you back in time with slow travel...and at leisurely pace. A pace of life that we all need in this hectic world where fast living is the mode and should not be the norm. Thanks for sharing Kurt.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 36 weeks ago

    It is disingenuous to think this court case had nothing to do with gun rights or 2nd amendment issues. The Brady folk or the NRA would not be involved if not guns in parks were the true issue.

    However the law of the case and the true issue can and are different. The required study was not done prior to the change ruling and the court decided based on that. They could have avoided by arguing none had standing, but she skipped over that and declared that DOI had failed in its duty to do the environmental impact.

    I don’t believe that any deleterious environmental impact would be found. But no such finding was done which is the point.

    On that point the court was on solid legal ground.

    The courts should not decide policy. So do the study and submit that. This will tie up the implementation of the rule change for years. Silly legalistic struggles but that is the way of things now. To strangle policies with excessive regulations.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I carry a comb in my back pocket just out of habit, never us it, as I have little hair left. When you stand next to me in line at the 7-11 you don't know I have a comb and if you stand next to me at the railing overlooking some scenic view in a national park you don't know I have a comb. The point being, what you don't see can't upset you weather in a store or in a park. Same person, same comb, what diffence does a location make??

    The number of people licensed to carry is small, and the number who enter parks is probably smaller, is it worth all this fuss over??

  • National Park Service Ban on Lead Ammo, Fishing Gear Draws Ire of Shooting Sports Foundation   5 years 36 weeks ago

    WOW, Frank C,
    If you feel that strongly about Autos in a NP how about you give up yours? Bet you could save some money on insurance and fuel huh?
    I bet the home where you live used to be home to many species of animals. Are they all extinct now because you want your home where it is? How about you tear down your Home, grow plants and trees and allow the wildlife to repopulate your development?
    Or how about leave decade’s old traditions of family enjoyment alone and stay out of the way. OBX (NC Outer Banks) beach since the beginning of their population WERE the roads. The original owners of the OBX beach property gave the land to the U.S Government to form the parks as an agreement to the government probably before you were born. That agreement between the land owners and the government was that the beaches would forever be accessible by residents and visitors of the OBX.
    BTW the NP on OBX is officially called a Cape Hatteras National Seashore RECREATION AREA. Named justly so to prevent folks like you coming out years later from prohibiting family traditions of fishing for a living. So far those with your ideals have successfully just about wiped out all the fish houses in North Carolina not to mention contributed to an amazingly fast economic decline in these areas. I’m sure I as well as many others could find several issues we might have with your occupation and force you to find another means of supporting your family without regard to your geographical location. It’s not easy or practical to commute from the OBX to the mainland for work.
    Its folks with these ideas that force the U.S to import much of its Seafood and destroy local economies. Where does the fresh seafood you eat come from? Shrimp from Taiwan while U.S tax payers suffer from the inability to make their own honest living?
    And what about family traditions that stretch back 100 years of a family surf fishing vacations on undeveloped beaches?
    How did these “endangered” Piping Plovers ever exist on the OBX with the presence of ORV’s? Did it ever occur to Pro-Beach Closure persons and Anti-Access in NPs that the mere presence of humans would deter predators from these “Endangered” birds?
    Or perhaps this is just another prime example of the “Wussification” of America? Save the weak of the species that can’t make the whole migration North in Spring and encourage them to become weaker by promoting the breeding of lesser willed and able of the population so they can forever be subject to conditions never meant for them such as entire nesting grounds being washed away without warning by something as simple as an abnormally high tide.
    Instead of preventing Japan from meeting Hitler half way across Europe, we should have simply extended an olive branch and begged for dialogue? I don’t think you would find many people who would agree that would have worked out well. The same as what the U.S is begging Iran for?
    Keep up the movement of the “Wussification” of America. You will be remembered as one who helped destroy a strong nation by eliminating family traditions, family businesses, industries and entire economies that have depended on these activities for survival since the beginning of their discovery by Europeans.
    You should be ashamed to promote or agree with the idea that Lead sinkers for fishing in the Ocean are such a danger to the existence of life on earth. Where does lead come from? How much exactly of a dose does it take to kill something or someone?
    I’m pretty sure that more humans in the U.S die each year from complications of a common cold than those animals that die from lead poisoning.
    But I’ll tell you what. I’ll agree to not drive my ORV on the OBX or any other state park if you agree to reimburse me for the thousands of dollars spent modifying it so as to leave the smallest foot print on the environment as I could. (In all truth I wanted a Town Car instead of a SUV). I want you to rally support to purchase my property I have so I could enjoy these beauties of nature. The tens of thousands in personal property tax I have paid to retain these possessions, dwellings, fishing gear, Educational materials about the environment, my family and hundreds of thousands of persons enjoy each day. Then subsidize my income to replace the food I caught, trapped and hunted so I no longer have a need or will to hunt, fish or harvest my own food.
    How many refrigerators have you disposed of in your lifetime? Air conditioners? Are you 100% sure that your car, house and vehicle AC systems do not leak a single amount of CFCs into the atmosphere? I think we should take them away from you until we can prove that they do NOT in fact leak at all. Then you should be subject to annual checks you are responsible for paying for to maintain and ensure they do not ever leak?
    Sounds incredibly ridiculous doesn’t it? Well now you know how we outdoor enthusiasts feel. What good is experiencing the outdoors if it is reduced to a simulator so as not to touch, feel and breathe the environment?

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   5 years 36 weeks ago

    When the fact of the matter is that any object, including a human fist, can be used as a weapon with deadly force, a gun is just another option. The intent of both wild and domesticated animals, humans included, is what harms. Guns are not to be feared, the inhumane nature of some people is, how do you regulate that? Leave our guns and freedome alone.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    There's not enuf rangers to enforce the stupid rule...so do as I do...keep on bikin'!
    I've been bikin in national parks on trails for 3 years and have never been caught!

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The judge's ruling won't hold water. The 2nd Amendment is absolute...if the USSC hears this case, we will never have to worry about this issue again.

    Editor's note: This comment was edited to remove a gratuitous comment.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The NRA got involved in this issue because they saw through the smoke and treated it as another attempt to usurp an individual's right to bear arms. Isn't that why Brady got involved...to restrict/eliminate one's rights under the constitution, they certainly don't care about Condors or the effect of lead sinkers on fish.

    The Constitution certainly gave the right to Congress to establish laws and the appropriate agencies can promulgate regulations, rules, etc. Such laws, regulations, etc must however, be constitutionally sound and yes, I am saying the 2nd Amendment does trump any law/regulation, etc. that is contrary to the right to bear arms. The fact you cannot take firearms into certain places or that certain persons cannot legally bear arms is because the Supreme Court has ruled such a law as constitutional or that particular law has not been challenged, period! No government body can create a law, etc. that is contrary to the Constitution.

    And yes, I do feel the prior gun regulation was unconstitutional as there is no law barring concealed weapons in NP's. I am not a 2nd amendment zealot nor an avid NRA or Brady supporter but I do believe the latter two serve a purpose in that they don't let each other get out too far. I believe in the three branches of government and I don't want any of them to usurp my constitutional rights and the last time I looked, the NPS is not one of the three.

    While you feel there are places where concealed weapons should be barred, only a law that has passed the constitution test can grant your wish. I am unaware of any law that passed the constitutional test specifically barring individuals from bearing arms in NP's, therefore, it should not be barred. You all may disagree but such disagreement lacks legal validity or status.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt--

    Give it up. You cannot argue with 2nd amendment believers. It's their way or the highway. I liked Anon's perspective. If one favors any kind of gun control, you are immediately labeled as a member of the Brady bunch or some kind of wild-eyed liberal by them. What I am most tired of is the statement, "what part of 'shall not be infringed' do you not understand?" There are places where concealed weapons are not appropriate. I happen to believe that one of those places is in areas of the National Park System. All that means is that I don't agree with those who think that guns are appropriate any place. It doesn't mean that I want to hug-a-thug. It also doesn't mean that I think everyone with a concealed weapons permit is a law-abiding citizen. We have ample evidence on this blog that concealed weapons permit holder carry, no matter what the law or rule.. So much for the statement that they are law-abiding citizens.

    Let's let this play out in the courts and see what happens. That's the way issues get settled in this country. I worked in parks for 31 years. I never saw parks the way Tom sees them: "Welcome to your National Parks! A place where you may be assured that you have no right to protect yourself and where criminals have the assurance that they may attack you unimpeded." Nor do I think that the injunction is, as Dan sees it, "This is nothing more than classic legal obstructionism, wasting the court's time and resources to further a back-door political agenda." This is an issue about which intelligent people disagree.

    Rick Smith