Recent comments

  • A Natural History Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The Smoky Mountain Directory
    www.thesmokymountaindirectory.com, this site is a local search engine that is new and can help you find local business information and guides in the area

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Ray -

    Excellent perspective!

  • Latest Lodging Deals at Sequoia, Olympic National Parks and Lake Powell National Recreation Area   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Lake powell link should be - http://www.lakepowell.com/dx109/

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Ray, you stated, "Our electronic umbilical cords that tie us to the rest of the world should be occasionally severed. Yes, I know. Everyone should be allowed to choose for themselves. Sorry, I disagree."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sure sounds like telling people how to live their lives.

    As for this being an open forum where people are free to express their views, I see that you've only been commenting since January, so I'll let this one go.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    "If you don't want to be bothered by your cell phone, turn it off or leave it in your car. I guarantee you won't be bothered by people on cell phones. Nor is it likely you'd be bothered by car alarms, screaming kids, barking dogs, traffic noise, sirens, loud speakers, construction noise. But please stop trying to tell other people what to do and how they should live their lives." Frank C.

    Respectfully, Frank, this is an open forum where people are free to express their views on the issues related to national parks. No one is trying to tell you how to live your life. That is for you to decide. However, we all have a stake in whatever affects the parks, including Sequoia Kings Canyon. You may be more directly affected by how this particular issue is resolved, but we all have an ownership interest in the park.

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Back in the '60s and '70s, I spent time hunting and traveling with Eskimos and Koyukon Indians in northern Alaska. They were true experts when it came to dealing with the wilds. From them I leaned the importance of patience and common sense in dealing with nature. They rarely took unnecessary risks and were masters of "hunkering down" in the face of extreme environmental conditions. They couldn't understand why White people seemed so determined to keep a schedule or felt they had to prove something by pushing their luck in the wilds. The idea of "man against nature" was silly, because they considered themselves part of nature.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Thank you.

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Going 1/2 a mile to the VC takes seconds to get there on a bike.

    Unless you can't ride a bike because you're older or have a disability. And "seconds" to go a half mile? Uphill at 6500 feet in elevation? Maybe if you're Lance Armstrong.

    And once you get there, a co-worker is already in the VC office talking on the only government phone not locked in a personal office. Outside, phone booth, German tourists are calling home and have been on the phone for 20 minutes. There's also a long line of obviously impatient people waiting for the phone. Hike half a mile back to seasonal housing where the same person is STILL on the one payphone. All this to try to pay a bill, make a medical appointment, call friends to make plans for a weekend get away.

    "Can't think of something else to do"? Not everyone talks on the phone out of boredom. Some do it to actually communicate important information and for scheduling their busy lives.

    It seems to me that there is an element of elitism in this discussion where some people want to impose their will on others. Who is anyone to tell another what's necessary in that individual's life? If you want to "get away from it all", DON'T GO TO GRANT GROVE. It's a city. Go, instead, to Evans Grove (or Redwood Mountain or Converse Basin or Kennedy Grove or Muir Grove or Boulder Creek Grove or Landslide Grove or any of the dozens of the undeveloped groves), and if you don't want to be bothered by your cell phone, turn it off or leave it in your car. I guarantee you won't be bothered by people on cell phones. Nor is it likely you'd be bothered by car alarms, screaming kids, barking dogs, traffic noise, sirens, loud speakers, construction noise. But please stop trying to tell other people what to do and how they should live their lives.

    Thank you.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Frederic, the park has a pretty well-stocked in-house library. You should probably start there -- 865-436-1296.

    Good luck!

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps   5 years 36 weeks ago

    One of my relatives - he's 101 - was offered a job by the U.S Government in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which was the newly established headquarters of what was to be “Great Smoky Mountains National Park”. According to his own words, "my assignment was to design and construct parts of a newly required highway network. Labor consisted in CCC and my foremen were local mountain woodsmen. Much bridgework and culverts were involved. Minimal steel was used. Construction was mostly limited to wood or stone masonry".
    I am looking for documents about the building of this highway network, wondering if some may be related to him. Can you please tell me how I should proceed to get these documents?

    Thank you very much in advance

    Regards

    Frederic J Gannon

  • Verizon Wireless Wants Cellphone Tower Near Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    For safety, yes, for talking on the phone becuse you can't think of anything else to do? Sorry, that is your problem, young or not, cell phones are not a necessity. Going 1/2 a mile to the VC takes seconds to get there on a bike.

  • NPCA, Park Retirees File Lawsuit to Halt Change in National Park Gun Rules   5 years 36 weeks ago

    It'll hurt the wildlife, it'll increase the danger. Where are the facts tio back these claims up? As usual anti-gun people make statements claiming that their opinions are facts. The actual facts are that incredibly few CCW permit holders ever do ANYTHING that violates any gun use laws. The extremely few times CCW permit holders (as in a small fraction of a percent) who lose their permits turn out to involve are cases of carrying a gun in a place (such as an airport) where guns are forbidden, not cases of actually doing anything wrong with a gun, and these cases are almost always a case of an error of some kind. But error or not, the permit gets revoked.
    Anti-gun folks would have everyone believe that any idiot who wants to can carry a concealed weapon, and that all the people are somehow dangerous. If this is the case, why did violent crime, especially gun crime, not go up in states where "will issue" laws were passed, suddenly allowing thousands of honest citizens to carry firearms, over the past couple of decades?

    Why did the shooter in Binghamton, NY block the rear door of the building before entering through the front? Because he was in NY State, which, excepting the 2 states that allow essentially NO citizen to carry a handgun, has the toughest handgun control laws in the country. In NY State you have to get a permit to even own a handgun, let alone to ever carry it anywhere. And because issuing a permit is left totally up to the discretion of the head of the police agency that has jurisdiction (he decides whether someone's reason is good enough or not, with no rules in the law for making that decision), permits are most often impossible to get unless you work as an armed guard. The guy locked everyone in the building because he knew for a fact that, unless an off duty police officer was visiting the place, he would be the only person in that building who was armed.

    If there was some way to suddenly eliminate all of the firearms in the country, not even the police would have to be armed. But it is not possible to do that. The result is that gun "control" laws only control the use of guns by honest citizens. There are too many guns in circulation to keep them away from crooks by taking away all the guns honest folks have. There is no way to confiscate all of the guns in dishonest hands. And, unfortunately, no robber, murderer, or other persdonm planning on committing a felony worries for even one second about some piddly gun control violation.

    Perhaps of the government started enforcing the existing laws, for example by prosecuting felons who attempt to buy guns, some gun "control" laws might have an effect. Unfortunately, the government for some reason does not bother doing things like that. I sure wish I knew why that is.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt, I don't know what more you can do to convince people that global warming is for real. There are some individuals would rather bury their heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend there's absolutely no global warming crises at all, but just simply a little change in mother natures atmospheric chemistry...and nothing more. It's that same old lackadaisical attitude that gets us into trouble with profound ignorance and old style provincial thinking that coincides with the flat earth society...and that global warming is nothing more then benign subtle change in wind direction. Caveman thinking is still here!

  • Elk Culling Under Way in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Jim,
    I am not sure if you still can but, there is a place where you can put your name in and they draw out as many names as elk shot. If your name is drawn you get the meat. I am sure if you just google it you will find something on it.

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 36 weeks ago

    My sincere compliments to deanhicks for his comments above!

    Just do what me and my son did. TURN around and live to laugh and visit more parks.

    Many people would have a much more enjoyable visit to parks if they followed his - and his son's - example, and simply called it a day when they realize they are outside their comfort zone, or venturing outside their level of skill or equipment.

    If more people would take that approach, rangers would spend a lot less time on search and rescue missions - and body recoveries.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Let's put aside the question of whether humans are driving climate change/global warming and approach this issue from another direction.

    Here are some givens:

    * The Rocky Mountain West is under siege of a mountain pine beetle attack of historic proportions.

    * Waters in Yellowstone National Park in recent summers have become so warm that the park suspended fishing in some streams to reduce stress on the fisheries.

    * Episodes of coral bleaching, driven in part by warmer waters and aided by disease, are inflicting damage on reefs around the world.

    * Sea ice in the Arctic is melting at record levels, and ice sheets in the Antarctic are collapsing at amazing rates.

    * Oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay are a fraction of the size that existed when Capt. John Smith piloted his ship up the bay in 1608, in part due to harvesting, pollution, and diseases enabled by warmer waters.

    * Heavy metals and pesticides are polluting the high country of national parks in the West.

    * As MRC noted, as glaciers melt away and snowpacks evaporate earlier and earlier, there will be downstream ramifications not only for wildlife, fisheries, and vegetation but also for human communities that depend on runoff. We're not talking merely aesthetic changes.

    I use these examples to point out that there is change under way out there across the globe. In the case of those instances that some would say are simply natural cycles, the additional stresses applied by those things that are human-caused (ie, heavy metal and pesticide distributions, higher ozone levels caused by power plant emissions, introduction of non-native species via sea-going ship ballast discharges) exacerbate things.

    With that accepted, is it wrong for agencies and individuals alike to strive to lessen their impacts on the environment in whatever manner possible? Or should we simply accept that change is inescapable and let's party like it's 1999?

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    These comments show why there is so little interest in Climate Change. Too many people believe it's a myth. Media are at fault in this case.. So much data comes from NASA and NOAA that demonstrates climate change. So much has pointed directly to human related causes. And yet this information is not commonly disseminated by the major news media.

    It just isn't all that attractive so to do.

    Thus, we have comments coming from lack of information.

    Global Warming is real. It is human-caused. It can be mitigated, although some of the results may be irreversible, such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

    We need an informed public; then we ought to be able to bring about a solution.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Oh my! The humanity! The glaciers are melting, the glaciers are melting!
    Uh...nuthin we can do. The only thing we can do is plug all the vents and fumaroles in Yellowstone, as well as Redoubt, Kilauea, ...well you get the picture.
    Get a life, environmentalists!

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 36 weeks ago

    We made the trip to Zion in 99. My wife and the 2 boys(ages 18, one which was not ours) decided to hike AL. When we got to Scout's Lookout, we realized that we had quite a ways to go. Well, the 3 of them took off and I remained at SL. After about 5 minutes, I decided that I would follow them. WELL, with huge backpack and tri-pod in tow, I set out. The very first section leading up to the first set of chains is when I knew I'd made a mistake. All of a sudden panic set in. With all of the gear on, I found it very difficult to turn around. After finally getting turned around, I made my way back down. After getting composed, I looked up and here came my son back down. He had gotten frightened and turned back. So me and him both chickened out but both of us are hear today, although he's in Afghanistan with the Army.

    Not sure how far the wife got and the other kid but I don't believe they made it all the way. Well, in 2002, me and my son went to Yosemite. We hiked Half Dome. I didn't even try to make it to the summit but my son tried. Same thing. He came back down. He said"Dad, when I started slidding backwards and I had to hold the chains, I knew it was time to go down".He didn't have hiking boots, but he's like me. Don't think we like heights, I know I don't.

    Don't think the NPS should police the trails. Just do what me and my son did. TURN around and live to laugh and visit more parks.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The glaciers at Glacier National Park are not going to vanish in twenty years, the leading researcher reinterpreted his own data and now says they will be gone by 2020: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090302-glaciers-melting.html - That is eleven years from now. The same time span as looking back to 1998. No more glaciers in a mountain area means no or at least much less run off in the creeks and streams. And the little water will have a much higher temperature. This is a drastic change for all aquatic ecosystems and and an important one for all the other life forms.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Conserving the scenery requires a global carbon cap-and-trade system? The NPS can no more affect global weather patterns than they could roll back the volcanoes of Hawaii. Or should we engage the organization in a crusade to stop continental drift while we're at it?

    Climate change is a partisan hot-button, and well outside the NPS's purview. The deeper the NPS gets embroiled in this, the more likely it is to alienate important supporters.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    So what? There isn't a damn thing we puny humans can do about it...wake up and smell the sunspots.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Please get off the global whining hysteria and focus on our parks!

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I don't want to see anybody get hurt. It would be so easy to make angle's landing safe by making it mandatory for people to use a harness and having a cable that run the whole length. People could clip into the cable eliminating the risk of an accidental fall. The last thing i want to see is sombody fall while i am on vacation. The sad part about it is the trail is so well maintained and constucted all the way to angle's landing and then you get the last section that has chain lacking in certain spots. People get in situations they don't want to be in, accidents/slips can happen to anyone. I think the park system needs to keep people safety in mind. Alot of different options could be used to make the trail safe.

  • NPCA: Climate Change Greatest Threat Facing the National Park System   5 years 36 weeks ago

    The whole global warming issue is so yesterday. It is so Al Gore with a huge dollop of hippy-dippy Earth Day tie-dyed stoner socialist thinking. It is anti-market, anti-freedom and just plain wrong. If the earth is in fact getting a whole lot warmer, which by most accounts it is not, it certainly cannot be scientifically linked to the activity of humans with any degree of validity. No way, no how. Thankfully a large and growing awareness is forming among the vast majority of the world's population that is quite able to understand what a ridiculous hoax the whole thing has been. In fact one of the greatest fables ever foisted upon the consciousness of humankind.

    I leave it to Czech President Vaclav Klaus to elaborate:

    "Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment."

    When he was asked: “How do you explain that there is no other comparably senior statesman in Europe who would advocate this viewpoint? No one else has such strong opinions...”

    He responded: “My opinions about this issue simply are strong. Other top-level politicians do not express their global warming doubts because a whip of political correctness strangles their voice.”

    Another interesting question: "Don't you believe that we're ruining our planet?"

    His marvelous reply: "Perhaps only Mr. Al Gore may be saying something along these lines: a sane person can't. I don't see any ruining of the planet, I have never seen it, and I don't think that a reasonable and serious person could say such a thing."

    I couldn't agree more.

    The NPCA is just another Johnny-come-lately spouting off gloom and doom about a subject that makes most rational people smile at the sheer silliness of the concept. We are indeed, as Frank C pointed out, in a historic solar minimum and, as I have said for a quite a few years now, I'll bet anyone that is willing to bet, that the Earth will become much cooler in the next 10 years and NOT warmer.

    Any takers out there? Wanna wager some of your carbon offset credits?