Recent comments

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt, your absolutely right...civility with the pen! Beamis, perhaps my literary and written skills are not as brilliant as yours. However, I do cherish the fact that I can put in my two cents worth of garble on NPT. It's a privilege to participate even if doesn't meet your expertise or critique as a notable piece of information. Besides, continuous whining with the pen begins to sound more like never ending soap opera.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt:

    Thanks again, this information is very timely. (I have gotten lazy - long hand isn't that bad).

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Mark, you're not alone. We're investigating how to make printable posts, but I'm told the coding ain't as simple as you might think, which means $$$ to pay a tech that we don't have. Yet.

  • Interior Secretary Salazar Upholds Delisting of Gray Wolves in Part of Yellowstone Ecosystem   5 years 36 weeks ago

    In reading the article it appears that Fish and Wildlife Service is making decisions without getting all the information. It appears on the outside that two things have happen. One the service didn't do it's homework at a level that is acceptable to make the proper decision and/or politics had a part in this mayhem. Anyway you look at it there is a problem with the decision making process.

    I don't have enough information to make an educational comment on a solution, but I believe by doing research and presenting a documentary on the subject, that might bring light to the situation for everyone.

    In any case it is in the best interest for the goverment not to make any decision unless they are prepared to prove the case without question. If the government proceeds we will be in the same positition in a few years again. It is very diffult to balance nature when mankind interfers....oh yea...we are part of the food chain too.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I need to know how to shoot a panoramic - and I thank you for posting this information. However, I cannot get my printer to print this dang thing off ....................

    But, technology is not my long suit. Guess I'll just write it off in longhand!

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    OK, OK, before things get, ahem, too unruly here, let me remind one and all of this site's Code of Conduct, and point out some of the key points:

    * The authors of posts take responsibility for their words.

    * Abusive comments and personal attacks will not be tolerated and will be deleted.

    * Those behind abusive comments and personal attacks will be contacted privately and asked to be more constructive in their comments. If the comments and attacks persist, the author will be blocked from the site.

    * Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.

    * If a subject of a post feels they have been wronged or simply wishes to respond in a post as opposed to a comment, that will be allowed.

    Furthermore....

    In general, we at the Traveler are pretty tolerant of comments. We do not want to sanitize this forum, nor do we want to create the impression that it tilts one way or the other politically or philosophically. Yet there is a line, one that should not be crossed, in the common decency of civil discourse.

    In other words, let's play nice.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I'm not sure what you said exactly but am certain that your use of "there" for "their" speaks volumes about a basic lack of grammatical awareness. Your naivety concerning the use of borrowed and printed (inflated) money would not surprise me too greatly either.

    What's "constructive" about this federal spending frenzy, that our great-great grandchildren will be still paying for, is open to debate but your critique of my concerns needs to be couched in a more concise and focused manner. Your language skills convey that you are a novice in such matters and immediately call into question your overall understanding of macroeconomics.

    Nuff said?

    If I sound like an intellectual snob, well I suppose I am.

    Long live Austrian economics!

  • This Hike at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Took a Nasty Turn   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Some excellent comments!

    First, I agree with the kudos to the the rangers who conducted the successful night-time search in some very difficult terrain. I had the dubious opportunity to lead a fire crew on a small wildfire in some of that laurel hell country a few years back, and it was tough going!

    Second, I'll give the hikers mixed reviews, since I don't have all the details. They get high marks for making sure someone "back home" knew their plans and was primed to sound the alarm promptly when they didn't return on time. As the previous comment noted, that's essential - and way too many people fail to leave that information, along with details on their planned route.

    On the flip side, this in an excellent example of another common mistake. These guys kept on pushing on through that tough terrain when they should have just admitted they were lost, stopped, and called for (or waited for) help. That would have saved everyone involved a lot of time and effort.

    Finally, this is a good reminder of the need to carry at least basic emergency gear even on a day hike. It doesn't sound as if they had enough stuff to stay warm and dry until help showed up.

    The best news is this one had a successful outcome.

  • Freeze On New Regs Could Impact Efforts to Expand Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Open them up!!! Damage only occurs from mountain bikers that don't follow the rules of the trail... LIKE RIDING IN THE MUD!!!!! (hate those guys...)

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Geez Beamis, stop whining! You sound like the whining party of "NO" to everything that President Obama's administration constructively wishes to do. Most prominent economic experts will agree that the stimulus package is a god send to many of the outer national parks towns and small cities. Such as adding more economic impetus to there lagging commercial markets that supply many of visitors with goods and supplies...and to the national parks. I assure you Beamis, in time you will see a more dynamic approach in re-tooling the national parks economies in a more transparent system in how they handle there expenditures with more accountability on resource management. That's something that the Bush & Cheney administration dare not do...and it's no guess why.

  • This Hike at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Took a Nasty Turn   5 years 36 weeks ago

    These were pretty smart hikers. If someone reported their overdue status within 1 1/2 hours they had obviously planned their trip pretty well. Too often missing hikers go unoticed for an entire day before somebody reports them overdue. Even then the description is "they were going somewhere up in the mountains" kinda a tough description in a park that has 900 miles of trails. GRSM does not require day hikers to register their trip so it is important to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Don't belittle the tracking skills of some of the rangers, even with scattered snow coverage tracking through a laurel hell would be a challenge. BZ to those who ventured into the night to rescue these hikers the risk involved in doing this is greater than many will ever know

  • The 10 Best of Everything Families: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers   5 years 36 weeks ago

    In light of the recent government spending bills...peddling may be something families could enjoy in a National Park.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   5 years 36 weeks ago

    For those of you who are willing to play with some new software for panoramic, check out Hugin. It is a very capable piece of software, it is cross platform (works with Mac, Windows, and Linux), is based on panotools, is opensource, and is free.

    Some open source programs lack good documentation, but there are some really helpful tutorials out for Hugin. The one drawback is that because it is still somewhat young (at version 0.7, but was started in 2003). However, I have found it to be very powerful and professional grade.

  • This Hike at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Took a Nasty Turn   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Amen to that anon. Moral of the story is no matter how "experienced" you are, don't be an idiot in the woods. Pay attention to where you are. I can understand getting lost in bad weather, but to simply walk off the trail and not know you are doing so reeks of, well, soggy polypro. As soon as you think you're a know it all out there, mother nature will throw you a curve ball to make sure you're paying attention. You can still enjoy the outdoors AND keep track of where you are at all times. What exactly is the definition of an experienced day hiker? Can you get certified for that? Perhaps tracking 101 could be the first required course.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Anon----I never made any such assertion.

    All I'm saying is that the pork is about to flow like lava from Vesuvius. Figuring out where it will go based on the intentions of Washington politicians is a fools game at best. It would be wise to just take these pennies from heaven and be glad a few drops hit your favorite piece of turf. That's the stimulus game. They tell us that we're all going to emerge stronger and healthier when the trillions of spending is finally done. Let's not quibble about why it got spent on Ocmulgee instead of the Everglades. Instead just be grateful.

    If you're expecting informed and precise decision making based on research and balanced judgment you're not facing up to the stark reality of who is in charge here. Any continued faith that remains for these wizards of pork to show the slightest consideration beyond the immediate goal of political gain shows an ignorance of the system that is frankly dangerous. Wise up and get ready to be "stimulated".

  • The 10 Best of Everything Families: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Good catch. Should have been pedal.

    Having been in the writing biz for three-plus decades, I can tell you that mistakes like that creep in for the oddest reasons -- poor editing, tired writers, older brains that don't accurately convey to the fingers what word they want typed, and on and on.

  • The 10 Best of Everything Families: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I started to read Repanshek's own description of Acadia: "For instance, at Acadia you and your kids can peddle away an afternoon..."
    Did he mean pedal, as in riding a bike? Or did he use "peddle" to mean sell, or was it a creative way of saying you can spend a whole afternoon?
    Mistakes like that usually give me doubts that the book is well-edited or that the author even cares.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Where does Beamis get the idea that national "parks" get more money that other designations. There is no evidence of such. Just look at the budgets of Lake Mead NRA, Gateway NRA, and Blue Ridge Parkway. Title designation is unrelated to funding.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    In my opinion, the National Monument status is just fine for Ocmulgee. I'm not sure any place that's only 700 acres should receive the National Park status, and NM status seems particularly well-suited for an archaeology site.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    One does start to wonder if they shouldn't just rename everything a National Park and be done with it.

    I would argue though, that what Park Advocates should campaign for would be legislation (ala the Antiquities Act) to allow the President to reclassify the designation of any NPS Property. This would require consolidating the number of designations in the National Park System to a small handful, based on the characteristics of use. For example, a "National Park" designation could be reserved for areas of at least a certain size that also include developed campgrounds for overnight stays, and maybe even also have at least one affiliated lodge for overnight stays as well. Remaining Natural Areas could then be designated National Monuments, or National Preserves. All the Battlefield designations could be consolidated as either National Battlefields or National Military Parks, etc.

    That would at least make the names mean something, and might even resolve many of these branding debates that have proved to be such a distraction as of late...

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Frank,

    I disagree that the editors -- actually, editor, which would be me -- don't question the proposition of the stimulus. See my response to Beamis.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    I think you need to separate the politicians from the NPS and certainly from the Traveler.

    Time and again I've pointed out -- as recently as March 1 -- that Congress likes to create parks, it just ain't that keen on funding them properly. I don't recall jumping on the bandwagon for spending stimulus funds willy-nilly just because someone dreams up a project where there's no need in the name of economic development.

    Now, I'm going to hold back on how the stimulus funding is used in the National Park System until we have the plans in hand. If it's used to upgrade monuments to parks or build skywalks or the such, it's a waste of money.

    But if it's used to help complete the Going-to-the-Sun Road restoration in Glacier, or to push forward the Everglades restoration, or build Dinosaur a new visitor center to replace the one that was condemned a couple of years ago, or repair leaking water systems or sewer systems elsewhere in the park system, I don't think you can argue that it's misspent money.

    Now, many will disagree with the concept of stimulus funding for the weight it puts on the national debt, and that's understandable. But some of the economists whose words I've read think letting the economy crash and burn is a worse option.

    Now, back to the stimulus package for the parks: Careful Traveler readers might remember this post following Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's first media teleconference back in January:

    Despite the Centennial Challenge launched by the Bush administration and his own recognition of the National Park Service's estimated $9 billion backlog of maintenance and infrastructure needs, the Interior secretary called the stimulus package a "one-time opportunity" to make significant inroads to that backlog.

    "I would hope that at the end of all of this we will have set the foundation to address what I would call my second 'moon shot,' that is, to rebuild and enhance our National Park System, our national landscapes," said Secretary Salazar. "I think this is a one-time opportunity to get that done."

    And if the stimulus package doesn't get the job done? Then what? Good question.

    My concern then and now is that if Interior officials are banking on the stimulus package to cure the ills of the National Park System, then the future -- let alone the NPS Centennial in 2016 -- isn't too pretty. The $750million -$900 million tagged for the parks is a skinny shadow of the $9 billion needed to bring things up to snuff.

    There needs to be a solid, realistic, long-term funding plan for the parks. And that hasn't materialized just yet. Even the Centennial Challenge would tackle only about a third of that backlog, and only if all the money were spent on the backlog, which it won't be.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt, you asked: "Shouldn't the stimulus dollars that have been set aside for the National Park System try to erase some of that backlog, rather than adding to it?"

    The editors and some frequenters of NPT don't question the proposition of a stimulus; most criticism comes when stimulus isn't or might not be spent some think it ought to be (on the maintenance backlog). I think looking to the government for answers is like howling at the moon; "stimulus" is the best these guys--who are, by the way, the same guys that helped get us into this mess--can do. The federal government is nothing but a long string of broken promises, and American Indians can attest to that. I can't believe that anyone still has any faith in the government to do what's right for national parks. Each successive administration--with the exception of Obama, who, for the most part, has ignored the issue--has promised, usually during a campaign, to eliminate the backlog. Heck, Bush pledged several times to eliminate the back log, and it was supposed to be gone by 2005. Well, here we are having the same old debate, and once again we've forgotten the lies broken promises. This time, it's throw us a stimulus bone so we can feed the monster (that monster being the leviathan infrastructure), but the "new" government is pretty much the same as the old government, probably much to the chagrin of those who proclaimed that all national parks needed was a Democratic administration to fix everything. Well, it ain't happening. The government is bankrupting the nation and national parks will suffer for it.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    Kurt---the stimulus money. The stimulus money! The more the merrier. Stimulus! National emergency! The Feds to the rescue!

    The NPT and its readers have been welcoming this manna from heaven as a source of much needed cash for the underfunded and financially strapped park system ever since this program was first proposed months ago. Now that the federal politicians are ready to start throwing around this freshly minted (and mostly worthless) paper in every conceivable direction it seems that there are now some among us who are beginning to get a bit huffy about how it should be spent. This is a "stimulus" package my good friends. The more the merrier! If some of it gets spent on creating what you consider to be "unworthy" parks so be it. That is the way of the politician. That is the way of Washington. It is the way the parks are already run for the most part. It's certainly nothing out of the ordinary. A multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog is not created by wise and motivated managers, whether they are on Capitol Hill or walking in the labyrinth halls of the Department of the Interior building.

    This is about "stimulating" things by spending vast amounts of borrowed, printed and inflated money. The park system is just one of many avenues of putting it into circulation and maybe getting some political mileage out of it for select members of the ruling elite.

    It is also about who runs the show, who dispenses the pork and who owns the parks, namely: the federal gummit. You know, the ones who continue to bail out AIG and GM. Rewarding failure is in their blood.

    Sit back and watch them fill the trough. Ocmulgee National Park. It does have a nice ring to it, now doesn't it?

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   5 years 36 weeks ago

    At least OCMU sits in a relatively accessible place - it's a perfect place to stop for people en route to/from Florida on I-75. Perhaps some more money spent on outreach?