Recent comments

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Beamis-
    It's election year. 'Nuf said?

    Barky-
    Exactly why [Nancy Pelosi] is commonly referred to as Ms. Dangerfield.......she gets and deserves NO respect.

    Of course, one can't work on anything of substance that one can't think of, now can they? Prime example of why our political system as currently constructed and staffed is a total disgrace.

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Bob, are you able to elaborate on why the status of this NRA was in need of "elevation"? What criteria was employed in this fairly momentous decision?

    It seems to me that this is nothing more than a cynical attempt to politicize the term "national park" by using it to convert individual units into bright and shiny baubles of regional pride. Like landing a professional sports team or building a new airport.

    With an insolvent banking system, a defeated and depleted military and a bankrupt treasury it would seem to me that Speaker Pelosi would have more pressing matters to attend to than using her political clout to help diminish what a true national park was meant to imply.

    Mather and Albright must be spinning in their graves.

    Between the politicians and the bureaucrats the administration of our parks continue their steady descent into a mire of mediocrity and increasing irrelevance in the life of the nation. It is a sad spectacle to behold.

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Mike, I'm afraid that I'm not much help. Sandy and I are cat people. Cats don't listen, and leashes aren't relevant to their way of thinking about the world and their position in it. Perhaps there's a dog whisperer out there who could help sort out this voice command thing?

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Montanan, thanks for your imput, I have to admit that I never thought about the affects of wind, and would sure hate to get the spray on me!!! I have heard that bear spray does work, but under what conditions, I don't know. I myself would like to carry both. I am a gun owner, and I do know that your chances of hitting a charging bear with either the spray or handgun isn't in your favor.

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Hello:

    I hope you will permit me to ask a question that does not directly apply to the primary issue. How is "voice control" defined? I have seen dogs inches from their caretaker not respond to basic commands. For some dogs their ability to respond to commands is only limited by their ability to actually hear a command; a function of many things. If someone is cited for allegedly violating this regulation, what type of evidence would be brought before a magistrate? It seems to me as if it could end up being a matter of opinion. Thank you.

    Mike

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Beamis, as near as I can determine, the rationale for the redesignation is "to elevate the park's status."

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    We have a country in the midst of a housing crisis, a fiscal crisis, an exchange rate crisis, an energy crisis, and a banking crisis. We're in the midst of a war nobody likes, the real enemy has slipped out of our grasp, and we're rattling sabers with someone else. And this is what the Speaker of the House, the #2 person in the line of succession for the White House, is working on?

    No wonder Congress has only a 13% approval rating.

    =================================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Can someone tell me what the rationale is for the change in designation? What does it tangibly accomplish? Will Gateway in NYC be next? If not, why not? How about Lake Mead and Whiskeytown?

    What exactly is going on here?

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   5 years 39 weeks ago

    I think there is a selection problem in the study. Most people are only going to fire a gun if they really feel threatened. I'm not as sure about the pepper spray (see the last paragraph). So the gun defense cases are going to be serious ones while the peper spray defense cases may not be, which could explain the different results as well as the differences in effectiveness.

    I'm not arguing against pepper spray but anytime the government makes a decision for you, watch out. A gun is also more useful in many situations: two legged predators, mountain lions, dogs, put down a deer hit by a car, etc. Also, one reason police carry guns is that pepper spray just doesn't work on some people or in some situations. Bears are probably the same way.

    In my few encounters with bears, we both moved in opposite directions when seeing the other. I still wish I had had something with me for comfort. I've looked a bear spray but haven't bought. The bear spray I saw at REI a few years ago was pricey and weighed more than my 357. Did they say what type worked and what didn't? That link looked like only a summary.

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    MRC, I certainly didn't mean to imply that the dog walking issue was the most important of the managerial issues that are likely to get special attention when this redesignation occurs. That said, there isn't any question that Bay Area dog owners consider the off-leash privilege to be something worth fighting for.

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    The late George Hartzog, director of the NPS from 1964-1972 said in an interview about the history of the NPS: "If you manage Lake Mead like Yellowstone, someone will want to manage Yellowstone like Lake Mead." He strictly distinguished between natural units, historical units and recreational units in the National Park System. For a long time all National Parks (with a capital N) were natural units - with the unique exception of Mesa Verde. But since the renaming of Cuyahoga Valley from NRA to "full" National Park, it could be expected that others would want "their" NRA upgraded too.

    The titles obviously carry no meaning anymore, so let the Bay area and Ms Pelosi have their National Park. And the dog issue is small over the issues presented by the residential and commercial areas within GGNRA.

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   5 years 39 weeks ago

    We have stayed at the Colter Bay campground for four nights right after this happened. We have been given instruction on what not to do with the food and other odorous stuff and there are signs and notes everywhere, on the picnic table, in the restrooms, EVERYWHERE.
    There are also food storage boxes provided per every loop, sinks for gray water and proper garbage containers.
    There is a bear safety talk every evening with a park ranger.
    Maybe there should be a fence around the campground, and "police" supervising every site.
    People must be [taught] to be afraid of bears! If we are afraid of bears, we will store food properly and learn what to do in case we do surprise a bear.
    It is stupid careless people that allowed for that 9 year old to die, just because that bear female was smart and learned where to find food.
    I want to know what happened to the campers that were so careless.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Lone Hiker, excellent points and your arguments are well structured. It's always a pleasure to read your blogs.

  • Proposed Redesignation of Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Golden Gate National Parks Worries Dog Walkers   5 years 39 weeks ago

    With the organic act being interpreted as it's interpreted right now, it's time the NPS have all recreation areas pulled from its jurisdiction. Either upgrade them to something else, or release them to an agency that can allow for recreation first, natural preservation second. I've always found it ludicrous that the first priority at national recreation areas such as Lake Mead is the natural environment – especially when they surround man-made lakes.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Scotty, in many of your arguments you're absolutely correct. The real point of contention seems to center around each individual's definition of the term "rights". Where do one person's rights terminate and how far do an individual's liberties extend? Many of us gun owners are responsible in firearms management. It is also an unfortunate fact that many are also less than responsible, which is how hundreds of children and spouses are killed and injured each year in their own homes, with legally owned/ registered weapons. But insofar as a rights issue is concerned, consider these circumstances:

    A woman has been legally granted the "right to choose" whether or not to carry a life through a full-term pregnancy. But the life she chooses to discard, which by any and all definitions is a living entity seems to have no voice, either in the courts or with its "owner" / caretaker. An abortion is granted for whatever reason the mother deems adequate and neither the instrument of the procedure, the physician, nor the person who contracted the "hit", the mother, stand any prospect of retribution, at least in this world. HOWEVER, if during the course of a "criminal act", such as robbery, drunken driving, arson etc., a mother loses her child, the person responsible for causing the loss of life is charged with murder, two counts if both mother and child die. Why is the unborn's life weighed more heavily in that circumstance, even if the mother was intending to abort the pregnancy at some future juncture? Her decision is premeditated, which in legal terms shows intent to cause harm, but neither the doctor nor she cannot be charged with any criminal wrongdoing. In the other instance the death is accidental, but charges are brought as though there was intent on the part of the person causing the loss of life. Supreme example of the term “double standard” in my opinion.

    In many states, smoking indoors has been banned in public places, such as restaurants and bars, casinos, sporting events, airports, washrooms, rental cars and many other places regularly traversed by the general public who wish not to be exposed to the inconvenience of cigarette smoke. In most cases, one cannot even smoke within a given distance from the entrance to a public facility, generally designated between 15 and 100' depending on the municipality. All well and good as defined. HOWEVER, in some states, if a person is on their own property, say in a garage, on a deck or patio, or standing next to the barbecue in their OWN yard, and their cigarette or cigar or pipe smoke is carried by the wind into their neighbor's yard, the neighbor can call the police and have the offender issued a citation, and a "cease and desist" order.

    I'm not making a personal case for any of these circumstances, but my point is, how and where is the line drawn for where a person's rights terminate? It's one person's right to enjoy the freedom of carrying a gun, but it's just as much another person's right to wish not to be exposed to undue chances of harm from stray gunshots. Ask the victims of gang-related drive-by shootings who have lost friends and family members who just so happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, which has even included being in ones own bed, sleeping. When is your behavior considered encroaching on the liberties of another? Some people are notoriously thin-skinned and demand maximum "personal space", which can get outright ridiculous at times, while others are more liberal in their "let's all try and get along" mentality. This issue polarizes the community, and unfortunately for all of us, neither side seems to be able to negotiate a reasonable middle ground. It's the "all or nothing, with all being the only acceptable compromise" attitude that tends to inflame the anti-gun proponents. That blame does indeed lie at the feet of the NRA, who seem to have the childish and completely unacceptable attitude of "any gun I want I can have", be it fully automatic, assault-style, rocket launcher, or pea shooter. There is no just cause for that type or armament EXCEPT by those who are active in military service, and no justification for personal usage of such weapons by the general public under ANY circumstance can ever be deemed acceptable. But that's the position they argue from, which is why so many of us, even gun owners, would prefer they point and shoot using their tonsils as a target. More and larger caliber guns simply does not equate to a safer society. If that were indeed the case we would be among the safest societies on planet Earth, with over 90 guns registered per 100 citizens in this nation, and Lord only knows how many unregistered weapons floating around. It's not the number of guns on the streets or in public places that are carried; it's the number of responsible people in society as a whole that's the root of the real issue.

  • Summertime: What National Parks Are On Your "Must Visit" List?   5 years 39 weeks ago

    Glacier Boy, you're dead-on concerning Glacier's possibilities. Again, this list wasn't intended to be an all-inclusive "A-list" of what's available in the park system.

    Too, one of the conflicts writers deal with is talking about their favorite haunts -- places that have been overlooked by others, and so remain as close to pristine as possible, become overrun.

  • Summertime: What National Parks Are On Your "Must Visit" List?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    And yet on the backpacking area, you omit the perennial favorite of Glacier National Park. If it not the top park named for backpacking by the pundits such as Backpacker magazine, it will always be in the top five. While I enjoyed North Cascades (especially for its solitude such as when we ran into four bears without another person around in a 15 mile radius), it does not have the same type of scenery and trails as Glacier. Generally, the other parks you mention are with respect to one particular trail within the park. Glacier has a wide variety of trails to choose from straddling the Continental Divide.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Scotty, and all due respect to you as well! The NRA does have a hidden agenda that weasels right into the National Parks. Why be dumb about it and why then would seven past National Park Directors oppose the conceal weapons legislation? I have a gut feeling, that those who are in favor of carrying conceal handguns (weapons) into the National Parks have some affiliation with the NRA. Just a profound thought. I have seen enough gun violence in my lifetime, as former surgical tech, and as a former government park employee. I've witness a young police officer gun down in the line of duty (and murdered) in a botched up armed robbery case. Had a very close family friend of mine shot in the chest by his brother (at close range) and paralyzed from the waist down. I have seen gun violence from all spectrums of society with all types of personalities involved in this deadly mayhem...sane and insane! What I've seen from my own true experiences with the gun issues across the board, and I honestly can say this, I truly believe that gun violence will increase into the National Parks...if concealed handguns are allowed into the National Parks. No doubt about it and regardless how you look at the safety issue.

  • Study Claims National Park Service is Failing to Protect Biscayne National Park's Coral Reefs   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Painful, but necessary; closure of the park. Re-open as a wildlife sanctuary.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Anon -
    In response to your comments I must respectfully submit to you sir that this is not an NRA issue. It is a freedom and liberty issue. The NRA's vision and masterplan, is not of any concern in this issue. People, all people, should have the freedom and liberty to do as they please as long as no harm comes to others. If a person is background checked, fingerprinted and certified by the FBI, State Police and Local Sheriff and licensed as a good guy to carry a concealed firearm, why should they have their rights denied? The only fears being portrayed here are by yourself. Our freedoms and liberties need not be eroded by baseless fear.

  • How To Buy National Park-Related Gifts Without Leaving Home   5 years 40 weeks ago

    On May 14th I saw a post regarding an american company, Inner Peace Designs , who makes National Park pewter ornaments. I recently contacted them to see if any new items were being made soon. They informed me that a new design of Mount Rushmore was in the works and would be available for purchase on their website and at area stores at the park. Their website is www.innerpeacedesigns.net
    If someone finds out new info please post it!! I collect pewter ornaments!

    Thanks

  • Summertime: What National Parks Are On Your "Must Visit" List?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Dapster, read a little more closely. CAHA was mentioned. Just not in detail.

  • Park History: Would There Have Been a Mesa Verde National Park Without Virginia McClurg?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Thanks for the helpful comments, Mary. As you doubtlessly surmised, I am very appreciative of the work that Virginia McClurg did in behalf of Mesa Verde preservation. It's a shame that historians haven't treated her more kindly. As for my travels, well, I don't get around very much these days. Sandy and I are currently caring for a very high maintenance 18-year old cat -- a faithful friend -- and it will be a little while longer before we are truly "free to move about the country" again.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 40 weeks ago

    This is one topic that can be argued over for ever. There will always be people who don't believe in guns as well as people that do. There will always be people that follow the rules and those that don't. As I stated earlier, you will always have guns in the park, because the dishonest people don't care about the law, and will continue to carry them into the park. (as they have done for years) It is ashame that the world has come this, but it has, and people need to take their blinders off their eyes and see reality. Just one question....do you REALLY think that by keeping honest people from having a gun in the park is going to keep guns out of the park? I will leave this issue alone, I have stated my peace, and did not intend to step on any toes. If I had upset anyone, then I am sorry. These were just my thoughts on the issue. (right or wrong).

  • Park History: Would There Have Been a Mesa Verde National Park Without Virginia McClurg?   5 years 40 weeks ago

    Hi Bob,

    My name is Mary Swanson and I am a graduate student at Colorado State University. I am currently writing a history about the establishment of Mesa Verde National Park. And part of the reason that McClurg opposed the Hogg Bill was that the geographic area included in the bill did not initally include most of the major cliff dwellings. The bill was later amended to protect Cliff Palace, etc. Moreover, I think its fair to say that McClurg never really intended for Mesa Verde to be included in a large bureacratic organization but rather she always invisioned it under the control of the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association. So once she fully realized that federal support also meant federal control over Mesa Verde, she withdrew her support.

    And I certainly hope McClurg's stroy does not remain lost. She is a large component of a paper I hope to have published. Best of luck with your travels!
    Mary