Recent comments

  • Reader Participation Day: So, How Was Your Most Recent National Park Visit?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    The last National Park we stayed in was Yellowstone this past June. Our only negative comment is the lack of up to date campgrounds. I understand we are talking about "protected" and "hallowed" land, and I agree. However there was barely room for our rig in the site. I am not sure what the answer it but there is a problem.
    The other negative is the reservation system: there was a busy signal for hours, literally.

    During the month of June we visited Florissant Fossil Nat'l Monument, Dinosaur Nat'l Monument, The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, and The Badlands with our 9 and 11 year old grandsons. It was an awesome tour. Rangers were present, answered questions patiently, visitor's centers were informative and interesting.

    Our National Park System is one of America's best features. We all must work to protect these impressive areas.

  • Reader Participation Day: So, How Was Your Most Recent National Park Visit?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    My most recent visit to Glacier National Park in Montana was awesome. We hiked over 70 miles in the week we were there. I saw several rangers, one in the backcountry, most in visitor's center or ranger stations. They are, as always helpful and informative. The trails were in great shape, having bridges in locations I wasn't expecting them.

    We opted to stay in lodging outside the park because the park lodging is expensive and limited.

  • Search for Human-Habituated Grizzlies in Glacier National Park Ends With Two Dead Bears   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I respectfully disagree with that assessment that there are no "problem bears" or that humans are somehow trespassing on their "territory". Bears aren't particularly territorial and this particular bear seemed to treat humans as welcome visitors in its range. I remember once joking with a Yosemite ranger (Shelton Johnson if anyone knows who he is) during a snowshoe walk that as a UC Berkeley grad I was used saying we were in "Bear Territory" - as we looked for bear scratch marks on trees. With his quick disarming wit he politely corrected me that since bears weren't particularly territorial, we would be better described as being in "bear country".

    Of course coming from Edward Abbey, I understand where it's coming from. If he had his way, the only means of entering or traversing a national park would be via foot or horseback.

    I certainly understand that a lot of the human-bear conflicts in a notorious place like Yosemite are a result of bad human behavior, such as failure to store food properly. I'm not sure what went wrong where this bear decided that humans weren't to be avoided or didn't react to typical hazing techniques.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Bighorn Sheep in the Southwest   5 years 40 weeks ago

    If I interpret your statement "An overall climate change that produces higher temperatures and lower precipitation in general, as is forecast for much of the West, also poses a threat to other bighorn sheep habitat in mountain ranges" I must assume you believe in the Al Gore "Global Warming" scheme which he says is directly attributable to the human activity. Pure dribble and cacaphony on his part. Anyone who has studied scientific history to any depth other than high school or liberal taught college is surely informed as to the cycle of global cooling and global warmup which has occurred throught history as far back as 15 billion years ago. We happen to be in a warm stretch of about 4000 years at this time, nothing more. Humans have dumped millions of pounds of pollution into the atmosphere no doubt about it. But this cannot produce "global warming". In a few hundred or few thousand years our continent or parts of it will again be locked in another "ice age" but this is the natural cycle of the earth, no more and no less.

  • Search for Human-Habituated Grizzlies in Glacier National Park Ends With Two Dead Bears   5 years 40 weeks ago

    You could make a case that the sow is better off now than at some of the alternatives. The quality of life for bears at zoos is questionable.

  • Search for Human-Habituated Grizzlies in Glacier National Park Ends With Two Dead Bears   5 years 40 weeks ago

    There is no such critter as a "problem bear."

    "If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies' territory, we must accept the fact that grizzlies,
    from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers." ~ Edward Abbey ~

  • Search for Human-Habituated Grizzlies in Glacier National Park Ends With Two Dead Bears   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Mention "problem bear" to a zoo and they won't take it. I suppose the Bronx Zoo is hoping that they can get to it early enough.

    I guess we can get all indignant about it, but the human visitation in Glacier NP isn't going away, and this bear wasn't going to stop approaching people. I don't think it was just that this sow was approaching people, but that it was setting the cubs for the same cycle of looking for human food/company and the potential for a reaction by the bear if it felt that a panicked human was a threat to the cubs.

  • Search for Human-Habituated Grizzlies in Glacier National Park Ends With Two Dead Bears   5 years 40 weeks ago

    The park's initial plan was indeed to try to find a facility that would take the sow. Unfortunately, no facility that was federally approved could be found, so the decision was made to put down her down.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 40 weeks ago

    To The Other Frank: I agree with your interpretation of door #2. I'm all for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable world! Thanks for the correction. Some Saudi prince once said that he was unafraid of losing oil revenue to 'green energy', saying "the Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones." I think most of us will be able to adapt.

  • Search for Human-Habituated Grizzlies in Glacier National Park Ends With Two Dead Bears   5 years 40 weeks ago

    The last release I read here stated that the sow was to be relocated to a remote area & the cubs sent to an accepting zoo - apparently the Bronx Zoo from this report.
    Then this release stating the bear was killed - on purpose - and the cub accidentally.
    As an oft visitor to Glacier, I understand the management program. But why the original mis-information on the tactics? Afraid of public reaction?
    If that's the case, I would think the publicity of the "real" tactic to be employed would be far worse than just telling the truth. Particularly now that one cub was also lost.
    It's such a shame that we as humans invade THEIR habitat & then remove them when they don't behave as we feel necessary.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Actually in the case of door number two, we spend tons of money and improve our lives by finding cheaper, more sustainable, forms of energy. This results in a cleaner, healthier, planet. It allows our children and our children's children to maintain an advanced lifestyle. It keeps our planet from being drilled and mined to death. It cleans up our air and water. And, ultimately, it allows folks to make millions of dollars by developing, building, installing and selling the new technologies, and saves billions of dollars from being funneled to overseas oil barons. The arctic wildlife refuge and other pristine places remain undrilled (for their few years worth of oil). No one gives anything up, we simply find new and more efficient ways of fueling our lives.
    Doors two and four are both win, win.
    In a way this is a lot like health care reform. If we do nothing energy (or health care) will become more and more expensive, and scarce. Soon only the rich will be able to afford these "luxuries".
    We will continue to send our wealth overseas, and the decline of the United States is inevitable. Or we can take the lead, make bookoo denaro, and tell the Saudis (and others) thanks but no thanks. Cleaning up the planet and alleviating climate change are just bonuses. The choice is ours.

    Again, it is always easy to find individual scientists (or even groups of scientists) to support a theory or point of view. It is very difficult to find over two thousand highly respected scientists from one hundred countries to agree about anything.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I don't think it's poor logic at all. As I understand the "fallacy of false choice", it involves choosing between only two alternatives when there are in fact more viable options available. Okay, so what ARE the other options? I see a lot of data cherry-picking to support your position, but I don't see you offering any other answers. I'm not convinced that variations in solar activity are the sole cause of climate change. And the reasons you have for discounting the effects of greenhouse gases don't bear close examination.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 40 weeks ago

    To Frank Not The Other Frank: Pardon me for butting into this party for the second time, but I couldn't help but notice that you might have drawn the wrong inference from your source. If I'm reading it right, Scafetta is saying data used by the IPCC is skewed because the data fails to take into account certain factors and mechanisms that would more accurately show solar effects on climate. He's not denying that greenhouse gases have an impact; what he's complaining about is the lack of accurate solar data. I would have to read his article in its entirety in order to find out what he considers "arbitrary and questionable assumptions", though - bet I can guess what they are.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Your "good sense" is poor logic. You've engaged in the fallacy of false choice.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 40 weeks ago

    If you will bear with me, here's a little exercise in good sense, no advanced degrees required:

    Behind door #1: Forced climate change does not exist, and we don't do anything about it. We don't need to! Everyone is fat, rich, happy, and alive.

    Behind door #2: Forced climate change does not exist, and we do something because we think it does exist. We spend tons of money for nothing. We're poorer, not so fat or happy, but alive.

    Behind door #3: Forced climate change exists, and we do nothing about it. Fat City keeps their money for all the good it will do them on a dead planet. R.I.P.

    Behind door #4: Forced climate change exists, and we do all we can to mitigate the damage. It will take a lot of work, be expensive and inconvenient to give up our habits. However, most will survive and there's a good chance the Earth will recover.

    Which door will YOU pick? Do you really want to take that chance? We don't have to hail from Left Blogistan to realize it's time to clean up our toxic mess and go on a reduced carbon diet.

  • If You Enjoy Watching Birds of Prey, Don't Miss Acadia National Park's HawkWatch   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I think we ran into Lora in Acadia in June. We were making one last drive around the loop before leaving the park and noticed a ranger setting up spotting scopes near the Precipice trailhead. Turns out she was doing a presentation on the peregrine falcons that nest on the Precipice cliffs. We got to see a juvenile perched for a while and a female flying around. I know I asked the ranger's name and Lora sounds familiar. Regardless, the ranger was awesome and a wealth of information. It was a wonderful and serendipitous experience!

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Other Frank: The IPCC is not immune from criticism; I recommend examing the following study (published last month) by Nicola Scafettaa, Department of Physics, Duke University: Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global mean air surface temperature change.

    The study's conclusion reads in part:

    A comprehensive interpretation of multiple scientific findings indicates that the contribution of solar variability to climate change is significant and that the temperature trend since 1980 can be large and upward. However, to correctly quantify the solar contribution to the recent global warming it is necessary to determine the correct TSI behavior since 1980. Unfortunately, this cannot be done with certainty yet. The PMOD TSI composite, which has been used by the IPCC and most climate modelers, has been found to be based on arbitrary and questionable assumptions [Scafetta and Willson, 2009]. Thus, it cannot be excluded that TSI increased from 1980 to 2000 as claimed by the ACRIM scientific team. The IPCC [2007] claim that the solar contribution to climate change since 1950 is negligible may be based on wrong solar data in addition to the fact that the EBMs and GCMs there used are missing or poorly modeling several climate mechanisms that would significantly amplify the solar effect on climate. When taken into account the entire range of possible TSI satellite composite since 1980, the solar contribution to climate change ranges from a slight cooling to a significant warming, which can be as large as 65% of the total observed global warming. (Emphasis added.)

    Appeal to majority ("the overwhelming majority of scientists...agree") and appeal to authority (the IPCC's "findings have been publicly endorsed by the national academies of science...") are a logical fallacies, not evidence.

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Our family has visited three of the ten: Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Niagara Falls. We were suitably impressed. I studied Geology in college, and do appreciate what these sites have to offer. We hope to visit the other seven on the list, and more.

    Regarding the Petrified Forest, we'd really like to go one day soon. I wrote an article on petrified wood, borrowing photos with permission from a nice family and other folks, who have been there. If you'd like to learn a little more about 'petwood', and why the interest, just read "Petrified Wood, Part I" at: http://www.delminsociety.net/motm/motm_feb2006.shtml and "Petrified Wood, Part II" at: http://www.delminsociety.net/motm/motm_mar2006.shtml.

  • Sound Advice For Backcountry Travelers in the National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Lighten up, i have been in much worse places the key is BE aware and stay safe

  • Picking a Lot of Apples This Day Helps Keep the Bears Away in Yosemite National Park   5 years 40 weeks ago

    It is possible for apple trees to be that old and still produce fruit. Several of the original trees in Shenandoah and on the BLue Ridge Parkway still produce fruit. In a lot of parks they will replant the trees using the seeds to keep the genetics going. Often these are heritage apples and are varieties that can't be found commercially. So I guess they could be considered historic.

    I know some parks have trouble because that is a fine line. There are some Tamrisk trees in Death Valley that were planted by the CCC...are they historic now and should be protected or are they evil invasives? It's a very fine line sometimes!

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • If You Enjoy Watching Birds of Prey, Don't Miss Acadia National Park's HawkWatch   5 years 40 weeks ago

    I highly recommend this. Lora is a good friend of mine and is the person who got me into birding. She is a great ranger and is very knowledgeable. You'll have a great time!

    Ranger Holly
    http://web.me.com/hollyberry

  • Sound Advice For Backcountry Travelers in the National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    is this some kind of joke? i backpack and go fly fishing in the backcountry 3-4 times each summer and fall and never take anything as ligthly as these comments seem to make out. if anybody doesn't take REAL CARE in the woods than maybe you shouldn't be there in the frist place. leave the backcountry to those who have the respect needed to survive there.

  • Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Northern Flying Squirrel and other Threatened Mammals   5 years 40 weeks ago

    The overwhelming majority of scientists that study climate change agree that human activity is responsible for changing the climate. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is one of the largest bodies of international scientists ever assembled to study ANY scientific issue (ever), comprised of more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries. The IPCC has concluded that most of the warming observed during the past 50 years is attributable to human activities. Its findings have been publicly endorsed by the national academies of science of all G-8 countries, as well as those of China, India and Brazil. The Royal Society of Canada – together with the national academies of fifteen other nations – also issued a joint statement on climate change that stated, in part: "The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognize IPCC as the world's most reliable source of information on climate change."

    How much evidence do you want? One hundred percent of all scientists everywhere will never agree about anything. If you were to ask why the sky is blue, there would always be some squablers!
    Plus we're running out of fossel fuels, and beating the heck out of the environment. Shouldn't we be looking for alternatives, as the gal says in the gum commercial, "No matter what"?

  • National Park Geologic Sites Draw Raves and Rants   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Whether or not it's a duplicate, the key word would be "most spectacular". I've been to parts of the area that are covered, and I didn't consider any part I visited as spectacular as Yosemite Valley.

    It's a bit odd that they would include an area roughly the size of New York State. If that was the case, they could include the entire Colorado River drainage basin which would include Grand Canyon NP and Canyonlands NP as well as several other NPS units. I just think their methodology is a little bit flawed if Yosemite Valley isn't considered one of the 10 "most spectacular" geological sites in the continental US.

    This would be my top 5:

    1) Yellowstone Caldera
    2) Grand Canyon
    3) Yosemite Valley (which would also cover several waterfalls)
    4) Mount St Helens (I don't necessarily think of it as a place for an extended visit since the mountain has turned into what it is - a big brown landslide. It is a fascinating piece of geological history though)
    5) Carlsbad Caverns (from reputation - I hope to make a visit).

  • Acadia National Park In the Round   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Yes, it is beautiful. And I will also be in Acadia in 3 weeks, and I also am looking forward to our visit.