Recent comments

  • Zion National Park Officials To Examine Needs of Canyon Shuttle System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I have found the flexibility of shuttle services at various National Parks to be a great way to explore, much easier than driving my own rig.
    And the Zion shuttle looks to be about just right!
    With a fully loaded day pack I will catch the first bus into the park, get off at any one of the many stops and take to a trail. Catch up with another shuttle at a stop, jump off at another stop and explore.
    Repeat until the driver says, "Whoa there pal, I am the last bus!" :-)

  • Zion National Park Officials To Examine Needs of Canyon Shuttle System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Anon, I normally prefer to have my own vehicle for the flexibility, too. But in Zion Canyon during the summer months, having a personal vehicle is a liability. There simply isn't enough parking in the canyon in the summer, and people often drove up and down the road over and over looking for a spot. It's very stressful and clouds enjoyment--and the air--of the park. In contrast, the shuttle eliminates the stress of driving and searching for non-existent parking. Shuttles operate frequently, and without cars on most of Zion Canyon Drive, visitors are safer to bike or walk the road. By doing so, they'll be able to enjoy an Anasazi ruin, a waterfall, the river, deer, tarantulas, and more that they could never have experience from the confines of their cars. Winter in Zion Canyon--I'm told--is another matter entirely.

  • Zion National Park Officials To Examine Needs of Canyon Shuttle System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    The only way to get into Zion Canyon proper, unless you're staying at the lodge, is by shuttle. That said, the shuttle is seasonal. It usually operates from mid-to-late March into October.

    You can find a primer on the shuttle here.

  • Zion National Park Officials To Examine Needs of Canyon Shuttle System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Is the shuttle the only way one can get around now? Have they completely eliminated vehicles? I hope not! I would rather have my own vehicle and the flexibility it offers.

  • Zion National Park Officials To Examine Needs of Canyon Shuttle System   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I was lucky enough to work in Zion during the shuttle's inaugural summer; the shuttle drastically improved air quality in and restored a quality of silence and serenity to Zion Canyon. Whatever the glitches in the system, I'm sure they can be worked out rather easily.

  • Bison Might be Allowed to Range Further Beyond Yellowstone National Park Borders   5 years 37 weeks ago

    In bison circles, this plan is being met with a "so what" because of what Amy says in the article. If bison are still being pushed back after May 15, de facto this changes almost nothing and creates just a different set of headaches. This remains a bison control plan and not a wildlife management plan.

    When I first read about it yesterday, I was a little excited until I realized that the essential boundaries haven't changed. All it does in effect is make an amendment of what are known as Zone 2 areas, which are tolerance areas only for a season.

    It's not looking like something that will satisfy Horse Butte residents (at least what I'm hearing through my own grapevine) who want buffalo there.

    This is better, nevertheless, than bison have under the awful, awful plan in the north.

    But, this does not represent justice for the buffalo, and so we fight on.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Has anyone thought about doing a environmental safe option like using old tires grounded up and laid out in a safe way?

  • Upon Further Review - How Wet Is a Rain Forest?   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Random Walker - thanks for an excellent comment.

    Tahoma - a good reminder that the Hoh is a rain forest, and that on a lot of days, the lady in this story wouldn't have been "disappointed." Like a lot of things in life, timing plays a big role in how a visit to a park turns out.

  • Fort Davis National Historic Site, Home of the Buffalo Soldiers   5 years 37 weeks ago

    This is one of the most evocative sites in our National Park System. It should be on everyone's "must see" list. As Bill Roberts correctly points out, the bugle calls almost alone make the visit worthwhile. For those camping, the next-door state park has a great campground. The CCC buildings at the state park are also worth visiting.

    Rick Smith

  • National Park Service Signs Off on Decision Not To Allow Bombing of Avalanche Chutes in Glacier National Park   5 years 37 weeks ago

    @ Albertson:

    This is spot on.

    Among many factors, one of the reason for this was lack of regulation... the government was too stupid and it had to get out of the genius' way on Wall Street so the bubble, errr, I mean economy, could grow. Regulations were peeled back and the regulators were not doing their job. I have to ask, how is your IRA or 401(k) doing? Good thing we let the market take care of itself.

    The NPS, which can be inefficient and frustrating, does have it's own limitations, but here has made a good decision and is doing its job, which is the point. National Parks need protection and regulation.

  • Upon Further Review - How Wet Is a Rain Forest?   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Just don't forget to check the forecast. For any doubters, here's a bit of tonite's NWS Seattle:

    The flood watch continues for portions of western Washington, including the following counties: Grays Harbor...Clallam...Jefferson...Skagit... Whatcom.....

    * Through late tonight: Periods of locally heavy rainfall are expected to continue over the watch area through Friday night. Rainfall amounts of 6 to 8 inches are possible on the coast and the Olympic range...with 5 to 7 inches possible in the northern and central Cascades. There is the potential for localized amounts to exceed 10 inches on the southwest facing slopes of the Olympics.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I think that while policies might improve, tight economic times will prevent much investment in parks or wild lands.

    Whatever you think the impact of public works was on the economy, it supported people's spirits, and kept some fed. So if times get real bad, we will likely see public works again. But whether it would be a CCC-type program that built a lot of wild infrastructure - well, I'm skeptical.

    One other thing. If we do move strongly in the direction of renewable energy, we might have clearer skies in some parks.

    PS - The Depression ended with WWII, which had deficits roughly twice those of mid-1930's programs. So maybe they just didn't spend enough?

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Net result: wild increase in wilderness designation at the request of the Sierra Club, which will result in banning mountain bikers from hundreds of miles of trails that they currently enjoy.

    Other than that, any new policy can't be worse than the old one.

  • Fort Davis National Historic Site, Home of the Buffalo Soldiers   5 years 37 weeks ago

    My first visit to Fort Davis wasin 1954 and it was in sadly neglected. Been there twice since and it is inspiring what has been done. Visitors need good walking shoes, but there are only slight inclines for the most part. Be prepared to spend some time and enjoy the bugle calls that are played at the correct time for the correct activity. A real western fort. Not Hollywood.

  • Upon Further Review - How Wet Is a Rain Forest?   5 years 37 weeks ago

    It is when I close the guidebook, abandon the brochures, fold up the map and walk away from my expectations that I experience happiness exploring Our National Parks.

  • Grand Canyon's Star Party   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I would like to know if there are star parties scheduled for 2009 yet.
    I enjoyed the article in Astronomy magazine, and would consider attending.
    Because of driving the Bryce Canyon would be first choice.

    Jim Marshall

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 37 weeks ago

    No, I wish

    The best we have is the Boston Harbor Islands where Indians were held after the war in concenstration camps.

    There are many problems with this, the name of the park and its focus being the biggest.

    The Taughton River is another place we have and was the main reason why it was called a scenic river because of the battlefields along the river.

    Hope Hill is where the King was buried, there is also believed to be many artifacts in the area because it is where a famous village was as well.

    My hope is to turn the area into Grave of the King National Historical Park.

    Many sites have been lost and Hope Hill is kind of a loner.

    In addition, because of lack of funds Boston Harbor Islands can't do a Archeological survey to find out anything, but the islands have been used, a lot, so no one is quite sure what is there.

    I have talked to people about my park idea and pretty much got "wow that is a great idea good luck with that".

    This is all I know off the top of my head, and would love to see an article about this long forgotten subject.

    P.S. I am not Native American at all

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Perhaps one of our readers can shed light on this interesting topic. I don't know very much myself about the Narragansetts, King Philip's War in 17th century New England, the Great Swamp Massacre (500+ Indian dead?), and the slaying of King Philip (Metacom). Have there been any formal proposals to establish a national park oriented to King Philip's War?

  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I just wish they would do something with Hope Hill in Rhode Island, where King Phillp was shot down.

    I think currently it is owned by Brown but closed off, I am not sure

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    I have hope.................................Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm not much

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    Iraq, the economy, and the environment(including NPS) ARE connected. It is not so much a "left vs right", but right vs wrong, intellect vs stupidity. For the past eight years(more actually) stupid has ruled.

    On economics: Paul Krugman's "The Great Unraveling" has a columns going back to the first Bush administration's blunders, and before. "Bad Money" by Kevin Phillips spells out in more complex writing the failure of politics as economy, and the myth of "capitalism" under neocons that got us into trouble, for a long time. Barney Frank actually has spelled out how they tried to save Fannie Mae, and the public, but were shot down and shafted by Republicans, deregulation, as even Greenspan admitted this week "how could we have known", well very easily, "don't be stupid". Fareed Zakaria does a very good job in "The Post American World" in not spelling out the fall of America, but the RISE of the rest of the world, and how poorly this has been interpreted since the Reagan administration. Reagan inherited a national debt under a trillion dollars. REPUBLICAN spending and policies now have that over $11 TRILLION. "Private" debt is over $60 TRILLION, due to predatory lending policies, and unregulated inflation, especially in housing.

    On Iraq, prior to our invasion there was NO Al Qaeda in Iraq. Our operations against them in Bosnia and elsewhere have been thwarted by stupid decisions by the Bush administration. Afghanistan is a mess not so much because of too few troops, as too little intellect. WE by the way, as Charlie Wilson knew, CREATED the Taliban, and through inaction or outright stupidity, Al Qaeda. If Greg Mortenson's philosophy in "Three Cups of Tea" had dominated our foreign policy, instead of the military industrial complex(DON'T get me started), we would have been much better off. My son has been in our "areas of interest" with regard to the "war on terror", and stupid dominates. Using $68,000 Hellfire missiles to do the job a bullet can do for a couple dollars, is an example of how expensive, and stupid we've been. Especially when lousy intelligence has you bombing weddings instead of people with weapons intent on using them. A friend just back from Iraq on leave last week has "interesting" observations.

    These tie, believe it or not, directly to the environment, AND preservation of our National Parks and public lands in the fact that we must stop ignoring science, reality, real values, real priorities, real math and economics, and the quality of leadership we select.

    I am encouraged and optimistic that we ARE on the threshold of intelligent leadership, that will listen to SOUND advice, and proceed with logic, instead of dogma, as a guide.

    It is NOT going to be easy, nor quick, but our most critical resources and lands have been, like the "economy" and "wars" beset by deregulation and MISmanagement by idiots. To be any less direct in the assessment would be an injustice to the public.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    you're howling in the wilderness with this crowd

    Perhaps so, but your howling helped me better understand economic theory, and I hope to help others, even if my efforts only reach one person. That's the great thing about discussion on NPT: It's a free market of ideas.

    But to clarify an earlier point I made about "investment" (even if I'm just howling into the wind--I thank Kurt for giving me that opportunity), I turn again to Rothbard:

    In recent years, particularly in the literature on the "under-developed countries," there has been a great deal of discussion of government "investment." There can be no such investment, however. "Investment" is defined as expenditures made not for the direct satisfaction of those who make it, but for other, ultimate consumers. Machines are produced not to serve the entrepreneur, but to serve the ultimate consumers, who in turn remunerate the entrepreneurs. But government acquires its funds by seizing them from private individuals; the spending of the funds, therefore, gratifies the desires of government officials. Government officials have forcibly shifted production from satisfying private consumers to satisfying themselves; their spending is therefore pure consumption and can by no stretch of the term be called "investment." (Of course, to the extent that government officials do not realize this, their "consumption" is really waste-spending.)

    Government can "improve" the infrastructure of the NPS (and the country), but it cannot "invest" in it.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Officials to Outline Paving Options for Cades Cove   5 years 37 weeks ago
  • Glory, Shame, and Remembrance at Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site   5 years 37 weeks ago

    To be fair, Chivington would have gone to trial, but for the post-Civil War general amnesty. The cost of putting the Civil War in the past, and reunifying north and south, unfortunately included pardoning a few monsters like Chivington.

  • Election 2008: Fearless Forecasts, Foregone Conclusions, and Prescient Prognostications   5 years 37 weeks ago

    It must be very important for you to believe that.

    I pray that your son comes home alive and in one piece.

    I support the troops. I want them all to come home.