Recent comments

  • Can You Find the Desert Five-Spot In Death Valley National Park?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    I've seen many Desert Five Spots in my winters in Death Valley. I would recommend driving thru the town of Shoshone and North thru the south end of the park (I believe it is Hwy 178), past Ashford Mill and Mormon Point. The flowers usually start blooming in the South end of the park and work their way North. Plus I've seen desert bighorn sheep a few times around the Mormon Point area. Don't forget to stop at Badwater on your way to Furnace Creek either!

  • Can You Find the Desert Five-Spot In Death Valley National Park?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Will be going to Death Valley next week for vacation.I know it will only be the beginning of the wild flower explosion, but I will be looking for the Desert Five Spot and many more. I am a Grand Canyon employee but must confess Death Valley is my favorite park to visit.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Well I may have been wrong and it was goats. it was while since I saw that show. I have not heard about this climbing fern before but reminded me of kudzu which has reached MD now. This is just nature at its worst or best with a new interloping sucessfully crowding out existing lifeforms.

    The qustion is do we want to try and bring it back to it's past or adapt to the new situation? This is the eternal question of parks. We had gypsy moth infestations and pine beetles. Mankind has been struggling since existence fighting against nature and in the most we have suceeded.

    It is amazing to me to see orderly farmlands revert to scrub and then forests. Volacanoe ravaged areas spring back with new growth. Life is determined to survive.

  • Bush Administration's Haste Could Doom New Gun Rules In National Parks   5 years 39 weeks ago

    I don't recall having a Bill of Needs. A Bill of Rights we do have. I don't see the Need to allow you post your drivel on the internet. However I do see you have the Right.


  • National Park Quiz 38: African Americans   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Thanks for the feedback, Denny. I had no idea that the Wrights and Dunbar were classmates.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Kudzu is a whole 'nuther matter, RAH. Being a South Carolina resident, I'm thoroughly familiar with "the plant that ate the South." Some people say that you can only kill kudzu by driving a stake through it's heart, but I suspect that may be an exaggeration. I've seen goats used for kudzu control, but this is the first I've heard of sheep being used for that purpose.

  • National Park Quiz 38: African Americans   5 years 39 weeks ago

    12. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park does not just consist of the Wright Cycle Company complex and other sites associated with the Wright Brothers. It also includes the Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial. This memorial, which is operated by the Ohio Historical Society, preserves the home of a renowned African American
    a. aviator
    b. musician and painter
    c. poet and writer
    d. aeronautical engineer

    I think the better question would be: Who published Paul Lawrence Dunbar's first works? A: former classmates of his, Orville and Wilbur Wright. Few realize the brothers ran a printing business prior to their cycle and later aviation work.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    As I try to clear vines and honeysuckle from overgrown gardens and cut down treees that have grown up I recall that Leif Erickson wanted to call this land " Vineland" I think that is very appropiate. It is an exhausting struggle to clear vines and this seems to a similar situation. Kudzu has taken over vast track and I saw a show on using sheep to graze the areas down and the use of border collies to round them up. The persn trailers sheep to an area and then another area just to keep thes pest from infesting areas.

  • Why is Clear-cutting Allowed in Japan's Iconic Park, Daisetsuzan?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    I was able to find an official website that seems to show a protection plan and a use plan. Unfortunately I can't understand Japanese. However, Google can translate non image based text. Here is a link with a map of the park and a translated explanation of the management (it is very brief, and doesn't provide conclusive evidence of a biosphere reserve use model).

  • Why is Clear-cutting Allowed in Japan's Iconic Park, Daisetsuzan?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    I surely wouldn't stand for seeing this in any US park. But, there are other models of parks where logging may be an appropriate. One example is based off of the Biosphere Reserve . In this model core zones are heavily protected, buffer zones are heavily managed, while in a transition zone consumptive activities can take place. Many "national parks" around the world even have large populations of people living within their boarders (No, not seasonal employees).

    I guess I cannot agree or disagree (and shouldn't) until I find out how the park was setup. I'll have to do some digging.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    I do also Bryan. the past evidence in NF and the states have been so far good. No one wants what you fear. The primary difference is that most people equate guns and criminals and since criminals do bad things with guns that bleeds over into fear what decent people will do. But guns are just a tool used for ill or good.

    Our parks are valuable to Americans but CCW should not impact that at all. Any irresponsible use should be cracked down hard. Part of that is continuing education at ranges and hunting to use guns responsibly and to follow the rules. Most gun users are very responsible, they understand the risks too well. I have taken a greenie to the trap range and when he made a mistake , three of us instantly corrected him at the same time. It made an impression that gun safety is very important.

    I would like to see gun safety education in high schools and rifle teams so more young people get the right lessons rather than what they get from videos and movies. I want people to be competent, not afraid but use these tools responsibly.

    That is one reason why CCW holders have a better record than even police in gun handling and incidents becasue they have to jump through many hoops and all the gun community emphasizes responsible use. This has to be a continuing effort.

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Nice article, dapster. Makes me want to go back to Richmond and take a closer look. I'm very interested in the American Civil War Center Museum. You only mentioned it in passing, so I have to ask; is it worth a special trip?

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    I truly hope that you are right RAH.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Good for you Red Mountain Rob. May you never have to use the weapon against any predator human or animal.

    Remember bears may be armed and cougars get hungry. With your fire they can get a lot more than a quarter pounder. Many days of nicly cooked meat.

    But seriously you will find that most gun info indicates handguns are a poor choice against bears. The bullet just does not penetrate enough to stop them. That is why rifles with a better caliber are used to hunt big game and bears.

  • Secretary Salazar Calls for Review Of Gun Rules in National Parks   5 years 39 weeks ago

    I may be a wildlife biologist or ethnologist. You do not know. I asked questions and thanked you for the links. As I said east coast NPS park info does not warn about charges and we only have black bears. I have traveled the back country for 40 years and have never met a bear in a hostile encounter. I have seen their scat and heard them at night while backpacking. I have had more problems with deer and turkey running into tents at night, and skunks who search campgrounds.

    So I wondered about the number of bluff charges and if this is a rare or western behavior and if the charges are becoming more common or not. The numbers of bears in western parks are higher and that may lead to more conflicts between visitors, but again western parks are much larger and most visitors stick to the public areas.

    Since many here have described this behavior I wondered if any have expereienced it. Your links indicated it is very rare and a dangerous behavior. I certainly am not an expert on bear behavior but like any animal it will defend it's territory and young and search for food. Bears have associated people with food and that leads to problems. People in the backcountry bring food and bears can get accustom to searching out people for food. The recent warning about leaving the shoes outside the tent to allow bears to check out shoes and not tear open a tent is a problem for backpackers since they generally only carry one set of boots.

    On research most bear attacks have been on National Forest land where people already have the right and there has not been people shooting bears unjustified. So this fear of CCW holders being scared and shooting bear is overblown. Most hikers in the backcountry try to keep their distance from bears.

    I know a personal case where the person was portaging and encountered a black bear that attacked his dog and him and tried to block his escape to the river. The person had a knife and did manage to kill the bear with that and got to the river and was taken with dog to medical help. That was not a bluff but was a hostile encounter.

    A handgun is very poor weapon to defend against a bear. It mostly can anger them and should only be used at dire circumstances. Most people who use and practice with guns are very aware of that.

    I have read the warnings about bears and dogs in Yosemite and how the dogs often lead the bear to the owner. That is a concern and because of that I decided not to go to Yosemite a couple of years ago. I like to camp in NPS and bring my dogs with me. So I do pay attention to warnings to keep my family , dogs and wildife safe.

    I am not CCW holder and so this rule does not apply to me. I abide the rules about guns if I have them and keep them secured. Mostly I do not travel with them, though I have sometimes. Depends if we plan to go to ranges or not. Ny travel with guns is generally only for 2 legged predators and not for NPS lands. But I still support the right to carry in NPS and would prefer it not to be limited to only conceal carry.

    CCW has been allowed in NF and has not been a problem so I do not expect a proplem in NPS. Just seems to be a lot of fear about guns that is overblown.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Red Mountain Rob

    I've just recently had to come to face this issue in my own life. I have hiked many a mile, climbed most of the 14'ers in Colorado and not once carried gun while hiking. But things in my life have changed, I'm older, retired, my health is not what it once was, moved to a new area and no longer think I can get myself out of most any jam by my wits.

    Since moving here I have attended various seminars and workshop on wildlife and the environment. My passion is photography not hunting, and have been told by virtually every person, protect yourself, you can become the hunted. I have been told in private and heard it said at seminars, and I paraphrase, you cannot have a fire in this park. Period. But if your life is at stake, build a fire.

    So what would a hungry bear say about me looking back at him? Ahh, a quarter pounder with cheese!

    I have enrolled in a class to learn about weapons and will get a concealed carry permit.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    First of all, the premise that the public is irresponsible is not one I accept. If that was true then we should not rule ourselves but rather have rulers imposed on us like divine kings.
    Members of the public may exhibit irresponsible behavior and that should not be santioned and they should be educated as to the error of their ways. So recklesss discharge , shooting at signs and animals without cause should be prosecuted as it is already illegal and will remain so.

    The concerns that Bryan have are the same concerns that people expressed in various states about allowing CCW in the first place. Wild shootouts and road rage and inconsiderate shootings. However the result has proved that to be false. In the states that allowed CCW, many who were opposed have changed their minds since these fears did not come to pass.

    So the evidence has not shown these concerns to have validity. Based on that I expect the same result in NPS. No real change and no hot tempers resulting in bad shootings.

    Since the rule is effect we will wait and see. I trust that the CCW holders will validate that trust as they have in 48 states.

  • Secretary Salazar Calls for Review Of Gun Rules in National Parks   5 years 39 weeks ago

    So you have become a wildlife biologist or an ethologist by now? Please don't interpret the facts, just accept them in the first place. Bluff charges are real, they happen much more often than real charges and not only bears use them.

    Next point: The backcountry belong to them, we are just visiting their realm. So your claim that every bear that ever bluff charges is dangerous to man and you can kill him or her is inacceptable. If you are afraid of wildlife and think you need a gun to venture into wildernes, just don't go into a National Parks backcountry. It is perfectly fine not to go into places where we don't feel safe.

  • How Will Stimulus Help the Parks? At Great Sand Dunes National Park It Could Mean Reclamation and Restoration   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Red Mountain Rob

    I wish I had been born smarter instead of the handsome creature that I am! Truth be, I don't know if the Presidents plan will work or not. I do know we've have 8 years or tax cut or relief in various forms _ and it has not worked. We are in a mess. No sense on blaming it on Republicans or Democrats, they/we've all hand a hand in it. FDR's Hoover Dam is credited with putting people to work and helping end the Great Depression, Eisenhower"s Interstate Road Program changed how we travel and put people to work. There's that word again _ work _. And that is the key to this thing I think. So many people are out of work, and so many more are afraid of losing there job they have stopped or greatly curtailed spending. I think many of us don't relate to unemployment, kinda like surgery. Its minor surgery if its on you and major surgery if its me going under the knife.

    I cannot think of a major project that would put a lot of people to work, so its a lot of small projects that will put people to work. Maybe. I know its hard to call these projects small when each gets millions upon millions. If your on this site I assume you love the outdoors and the greatest park system in the world that is ours to enjoy and protect. At least we will get something out of this.

    When I hear all the bitching and moaning I have to remind myself _ we are all on the same team (aren't we?)

  • Freeze On New Regs Could Impact Efforts to Expand Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Dubbya, I mean Zebulon,
    I guess science is just a bunch of hocus-pocus magic that has no basis in the real world. Because obliviously the trail degradation that my eyes took in (increasingly deeper ruts (around a 1/4 to 1/3 of the wheels radius), loss of trailside vegetation as people try to avoid the ruts and widen the trail, the associated increase in erosion following a hard rain, etc.) in the areas that I have biked must all be make believe. I'll refer you back again to the study you posted as it reiterates what I have seen: In all seriousness, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and postulate that in the area that you live the ground is of a tougher soil composition or made up of a higher percentage of rock, which would explain why your eyes don't perceive this reality that occurs in other areas. But realize this however, not areas are created equal. You may not be seeing it, but that does not mean it does occur. And I don't disagree in regards to horses, but pointing your finger and complaining that 'if they get to, then why not me' is a petulant, contrived argument. Sad. I've said my piece and I'll put my faith in that clearer heads will prevail.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Folks, I think the bottom line here is that in general, the public is irresponsible. Adding guns to our peaceful National Parks will just add violence. Anyone can argue about the few "drug dealers" or anyone who disobeys laws that will ultimately carry weapons in the NPS may/will rob and/or murder others. What I believe will occur in our NPS by allowing CCW is the unlawful killing of animals in so called "self-defense", hot tempers leading to grabbing a gun, and again irresponsible people target shooting, littering and/or ruining the natural landscape and maybe even killing someone else accidentally. Guns, in general are not needed nor (in majority) wanted in our peaceful NPS. I read the comments here all the time, but have never posted here before. This topic disturbs me. I only see this being an issue from a disgruntled Presidents slash and burn policy while exiting office. I am not affiliated with any party nor do I see a need for a political discussion and I am not a "gun hater". I believe guns have a place in our society, just not in our NPS. In the grand scheme, there have not been problems in our NPS, just think what problems are going to come about allowing CCW in the parks. Its just my humble opinion.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Bears shoot in the woods? You mean I had it wrong all these years?

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Actually, if more people were armed, then animals would be afraid of people and stay away from them like they used to rather than thinking that they are unarmed prey like the Mt. Tamalpais lady. Oh, that's right! People were more worried about the orphaned cats than the orphaned kids. There are also National Forests that have been taken over by druggies, so a few law-abiding citizens killing them would be a good thing.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Nobody can predict bear behavior (especially over a long period of time). However, it is possible to read their behavior in a way that will help a person predict their next move. I am not talking "horse whisperer" reading, but bear experts can tell you if a bear is acting aggressive or is unconcerned.

    So... Anonymous seems to think that many CCW holders are already breaking the law... From what other CCW holders are saying that is not true. Who is right?

    This is just a thought, but the illegality of having a loaded weapon in parks may be enough of a motivation that CCW or CCDW (I don't know which acronym is correct...) who have been in parks arm themselves with other defenses or they just are more patient when it comes to bear/human interactions.... (They ask questions first, shoot later)

    I could come up with theories (as could every other person here), but a study is really what is needed. The challenge will be to have one done that doesn't get challenged and held up in court for the next 10 years. And good luck to the researcher who tries to get that study through the Office of Management and Budget. OMB doesn't like studies investigate polarizing topics.

  • Freeze On New Regs Could Impact Efforts to Expand Mountain Biking in National Parks   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Toothdoctor, what a lame argument. Bikers need to get over it because they impact the trail! 1) the science does not back your claim, and 2) why are horses allowed since they destroy the trails more than any other user? Another poorly thought out contrived argument to justify the unjustifiable. Funny.