Recent comments

  • National Park Service Draws Criticism for Winter-Use Plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Following this, what I keep noticing is the somewhat more timid stance on the issue that GYC has taken. First, when it appeared after Sullivan's ruling that they could have stopped the entire winter season, they suggested that 280 or so snowmobiles would be appropriate as a daily limit for this season. Before that, NPS was suggesting there might not be a winter season. That's when they came up with 318.

    Then, when Brimmer's ruling comes down and NPS decides to go with 720 as a temporary rule, GYC decides to go back to Brimmer's court and makes a point of saying that they aren't going to worry about this winter season. I'd be curious why these tactical choices have been made.

    Is it simply to fight the characterization that GYC is somehow a radical environmental organization? (wish they were, but they're not). Or, is their pressure from within to make sure that there remains some snowmobiling in Yellowstone?

    In any event, we're still smarting over the Royal Teton Ranch deal over buffalo -where GYC and other groups have raised money in support of a deal that spends a lot of money to the Church Universal and Triumphant for not much (perhaps less than not much) for bison. And, others on the wolf issue have noted that GYC has supported de-listing the wolf, one of their people even blasted the feds recently in a very conservative newspaper in Cody, Wyo.

    So, what is the deal here?

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

  • World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is Established by Presidential Proclamation   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Why would President George W. Bush have used the word "Valor" to name this national monument?

    Is "Valor" the best word to describe a national monument or national historical park, or the best description of this national monument? There is no "valor" or any comparable word, in the title of Valley Forge, or Gettysburg, or Shiloh, or Cowpens, or African Burial Grounds, or Guam/War In the Pacfic.

    Are these the best exemplars of "Valor" represented in the Pacific war?

    Does "Valor" come closest to describing what makes each site within this new National Monument distinctive? I would have thought the key story with the USS Arizona was an unprovoked sneak attack, perhaps adding the related story of the vulnerability of the American Fleet and our sailors in the way they were positioned at Pearl Harbor. The heroism of American sailors fighting to save their doomed ship and comrades seems to be the equal of the greatest stories of valor in the war in the pacific; but, were there not many, many examples of equal valor by Americans all over the Pacific? With Attu, I had thought the key story was the only occupation of American soil; my history books always said the war in the Aleutians was treated, and was, a sideshow -- not to take anything away from the suffering and courage of American troops and Aleuts. But is Attu particularly notable for "Valor?" And, is "Valor" the best way, or first way, to describe what makes the Tule Lake Relocation center nationally significant?

    Is it a good idea to stick descriptive words of human behavior in the titles of national parks? It the past, the name of the place itself has overwhelmingly had the greatest dignity and meaning.

    Why would the President in this case so title a new national monument? Would somebody in the National Park Service have recommended the word "Valor," after careful professional analysis, to the President? Something the NPS apparently did not do for two of his other national monuments, African Burial Ground and Governors Island: in their way, couldn't each of them have an argument for a valorous history?

    Or did the President choose this title because he was trying to bring attention to himself, he was pandering, after a decidedly un-valorous Presidency, and trying to enhance his "legacy?"

    National monuments, national parks, don't need this President's editorial opinion of the significance of the experience of the participants at each one of these sites. The experience of the heroes and/or the perpetrators stands for itself, just as it does in all national historical parks.

  • Wal-Mart Request Would Put a Super Center Next to The Wilderness Battlefield   5 years 42 weeks ago

    If it isn't Walmart, will it just be some other development? Walmart is always an easy target bash. The real issue is what to do about this property if it is important to the battlefield.

  • Wal-Mart Request Would Put a Super Center Next to The Wilderness Battlefield   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Walmart = Greed.....plain and simple.

  • Wal-Mart Request Would Put a Super Center Next to The Wilderness Battlefield   5 years 42 weeks ago

    NO NO NO NO NO!!! Have respect for this precious land! ! ! !...............there are ENOUGH Walmart's & shopping centers!!!!

  • World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is Established by Presidential Proclamation   5 years 42 weeks ago

    While I am certainly happy that those sites are protected as Monuments and Memorials , I hope this National Monument will not stay for long. This hotch-pot of nine different sites in three states and under the jurisdiction of four cabinet departments will be hell to administer and impossible to cherish as a visitor.

    Hopefully congress will create some decent umbrella park unit for all Hawaiian Wold War II sites, the Alaskan sites are out of the focus anyway and no one cares how they are administered. And finally Thule Lake deserve to become unit in its own right. A NHS would be nice, following Manzanar and Minidoka. Or to think bigger, how about a highly visible Memorial for the Japanese internment in downtown LA or SF at the site of one of the assembly centers? Besides the actual internment/concentration camps that were of course in very remote parts of the country. Have any of those first assembly points been in a federal building that still is owned by the federal government? Could a part of the first floor be cleared as a small museum and visitor center? Something along the African Burial Ground NM in Manhattan?

  • National Park Service Draws Criticism for Winter-Use Plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Sabattis,

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're confusing Judge Brimmer with Judge Sullivan when you refer to who wanted the Park Service to revert to the 720 limit "because of the inherent impossibility of going through all the necessary procedures to set a new limit in time for the 2008-2009 Winter Season."

    Indeed, as I read Judge Sullivan's ruling it's silent on directing the NPS on how to remedy the problems/flaws raised by the plaintiffs. Rather, it was Judge Brimmer who directed "that the NPS shall reinstate the 2004 temporary rule until such time as it can promulgate an acceptable rule to take its place."

    As to whether the NPS had enough time between Judge Sullivan's ruling and the Dec. 15 winter opening day to develop a new rule, well, the agency has nearly a decade of studies, including two full-blown EISes as well as a Supplemental EIS. to turn to, and had come up with a plan in time for this winter when Judge Brimmer ruled.

    Agencies seem to be able to move with incredible alacrity when it's politically expedient to do so.

  • National Park Service Draws Criticism for Winter-Use Plan for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks   5 years 42 weeks ago

    The timeline provided by the conservation groups seems pretty disingenuous. Normally in a timeline you place events in the order that they occurred - only makes sense, right? In this case, though, they put the "Bush Administration published a rule authorizing up to 720 snowmobiles a day", which occurred today on December 9th *before* the US District Court in Wyoming ruling that plainly mandated a 720 snowmobile rule that occurred on November 14th. Its quite some timeline that places December 9th before November 14th, eh?

    Moreover, the timeline provided by the conservation groups completely mischaracterizes the ruling from Judge Sullivan when they imply that Judge Sullivan contemplated the possibility of the Park Service implementing a limit lower than 720 snowmobiles per day for the 2008-2009 Winter Season. The plain language of Judge Sullivan's opinion clearly contradicts this, as Judge Sullivan explicitly sets the 720 limit for the 2008-2009 Winter Season because of the inherent impossibility of going through all the necessary procedures to set a new limit in time for the 2008-2009 Winter Season. So Judge Sullivan made it clear that he was reverting to the 720 limit for 2008-2009 in order to give the rulemaking (and near-certain protests) time to play themselves out, while giving certainty for the short term in 2008-2009.

    I know that the conservation groups want to see a bogey man behind every corner, but I don't think there's a single career official in the government that's familiar with the time needed for rulemakings and protests that would have made any different decision in this instance. As much as the conservation groups might wish that we lived in a world where the snowmobile interests could not protest the 318 rule, we live in a world where the snowmobile groups will get their day in court, just as the conservation groups got their day relative to the 540 rule. In the meantime, wishful thinking won't change the plain reading of Judge Sullivan's decision - and quite frankly they lose a little bit of credibility to me the longer they persist in it.

  • Shenandoah's Camp Hoover   5 years 42 weeks ago

    My wife and I hike to Hoover Camp when we're in the neighborhood at Skyline Drive. Last year we had the opportunity to be the first "visitors" to receive a guided tour of the renovated facilities. What a treat! We were just nosing around peeking into the windows when the curator came over to talk to us. We started to ask some questions and the woman just smiled and invited us in and said this would be an opportunity for her to practice her presentation. We, of course, obliged her and had a delightful visit.

    The place has been restored quite well and the facility is a good look into the past. Lots of photos and you can really get a good sense of the history there. I would imagine sumer nights there would get rather hot and humid.

    This place is quintessentially "rustic." I don't know about Jimmy Carter but I can guarantee you Amy didn't have much of a good time when they stayed there! The fishing stream was nearly bone-dry when we were there but if there's water - and fish - this would, indeed, be a great way to pass the time.

    The hike to get there is (I think) close to 2.5 miles and probably nearly 1,000 feet in elevation. Going back up can be a bit of a workout for those folks in less-than-optimal condition. This hike gives your knees a good workout. You can schedule a ride down to the camp to see it, too. I think it's somewhere around $12 for the round trip (I may be wrong about that). If you look at a topo you'll see this is a winding road that wraps around the hollow to get there. I can't imagine what it was like in the good old days when you would most certainly sink to the axles in crummy conditions.

    This is a nice hike and you won't encounter many - if any - visitors.

    Rick

  • NRDC Calls For Endangered Species Act Protection for Whitebark Pine Tree   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Should we not be concerned for the trees because of their own qualities?

    If you aren't among the charismatic megafauna, good luck getting protection...unless, of course, you have some economic value or direct health benefit to humans. Unfortunately, you're not going to get most people to think of conservation in anything but an anthropocentric context. If you want a bog plant, a not particularly attractive tree, a rodent, or a worm protected, you gotta tie it to something charismatic or monetarily valuable. Fortunately, ecosystems are such that these links are readily there and don't need to be contrived. It's just a shame that the tactic is necessary at all.

    -Kirby.....Lansing, MI

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Anyone have a link to the pre 1979 (?) NPS rules (exactly) before they initiated the ban on open weapons in the parks?

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Very well stated. I concur. I don't understand the panic of having a licensed and trained hiker or camper in the wilds with you. Some of these writers must go to some very trashy and over crowded campsites. Drunks? Guess I get too far off the beaten path in most cases. As far as wild life dangers go, I've never had a problem because I didn't do anything stupid like leave food out or not watch what was going on around me. Never had to kill a snake and move rattlesnakes out of the road. Am aware there are the occasional rabid animals that will attack and defy all the "normal" behavior patterns and that's when you want a sidearm.

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Capt:

    Thank you for your thorough arguments here. I must say I do enjoy a good debate.
    And I applaud you for your conviction to your beliefs, as I would hope you would so for me. Believe it or not, I try embrace all viewpoints and do not automatically dismiss those whose opinions differ from my own. But this being a forum set up for comment and debate, I cannot resist the invitation.

    I will tell you that I am not an employee of the BATFE. (The standard abbreviation is actually ATF.)
    So, someone who feels as strongly as I do about keeping guns out of our National Parks could only be an employee of a Federal law enforcement and regulatory agency? A fair question, and one that I would probably ask if I were on your side of this debate, feeling as passionately as I do. However, I am not an ATF employee.

    I guess I feel so strongly about this because I was not brought up in a household that owned guns. But then again, there are many gun owners and enthusiasts that also believe personal firearms have no place in the parks. Only time will show us all how this new rule will play out.
    Again I will say that I do not wish to overturn any law, governmental, universal, natural, or otherwise, that you feel grants you a right to protect yourself. I would however hope that we are all following the same rules set forth for the society we live in, and operating within the established guidelines to effect change if we see fit to do so.

    Thanks to you, Capt., and all bloggers here, I have enjoyed this debate a great deal. I think we can all agree that no matter what happens with this new rule under the incoming administration, the debate will never go away.

  • NRDC Calls For Endangered Species Act Protection for Whitebark Pine Tree   5 years 42 weeks ago

    I was able to meet Louisa Wilcox of NRDC in person for the first time the other day at a presentation I and my group were giving on the buffalo situation in Yellowstone. She has a lot of great ideas of things.

    On the whitebark pine and grizzlies, I've got a more general question. I've read that grizzlies are highly adaptive and have for instance taken a liking to a lot of exotic species that have replaced what used to be their habitat. Is there some hope that grizzlies could survive even if the whitebark pine continues to decline?

    On the other hand, do we need to justify our concern for the whitebark pine because of its importance to other species? Should we not be concerned for the trees because of their own qualities? It's interesting to me how we seem to have expanded the moral community to include large wildlife - it's obvious that they need protecting - but we still haven't gone a long way toward other species only deemed important if they provide something in the moral community some other good. I guess we are still moving in the right direction, though, on Aldo Leopold's scale.

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

  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 42 weeks ago

    The real scandal is the government policies that forced the NPS to reduce or in many cases eliminate the seasonals. Some parks are left with aging managers, and no seasonals, no new green blood. I don't think I "toe" anybody's line, but you will think so when I tell you, Frank C, that I think -- I know -- we have had several generations of Presidential Administrations that WANTED to deplete the morale and capacity of the National Park Service. Maybe other agencies, too, but I know for sure they wanted to drain away the blood of the NPS. And there was no better way to do it than drain away the eager idealists, and sow division between people within the NPS, and between the NPS and other preservation organizations. "Starve the Beast" they call it.

    Doesn't exactly make the case for continued federal government administration of these areas now does it?

    Yes, it's my broken record and I'm sticking with it, especially when others can make the case of what an obvious disaster federal management has been just as forcefully and with the same gusto and disdain.

    I don't mind saying it again: It's time for totally new management and a transition away from the politics and shenanigans of Washington, DC by pointing these parks towards independent and self-sustaining models of administration. Now more than ever, since the federal gummit is flat busted broke, we need to seriously consider how to save these areas from the incompetence and self-serving motives that are the hallmarks of federal control.

    Nuff said?

  • Interior Department To Be Sued Over Cape Hatteras National Seashore Plover Habitat Decisions   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Everone = taxpaying Amercians All are welcome at Cape Hatteras it,s the few who want to take it away

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Warren Z

    You do want to put words in other peoples mouths don't you ?
    Where did I mention the Bible ? or the Torah ? or the Koran ? Upanishads ? Medicine Wheel ? Any Organized Religion ?

    YOU might be talking about the united States of America but I was discussing the right to defend myself. That exact same right shared by every living thing in every country of the world and all of the oceans as well.
    Why do you suppose the Acacia tree has those thorns ?
    Are they landing places for insects ? Or a defense against herbivorous predators ?

    The Natural Laws of Life I was referring to are such things as; Keep breathing or die, Eat to survive or die, Defend yourself or die.

    You seem to be intentionally missing the point. Do you work for the BATFE ?

    To All ....
    Have you ever asked yourself ... If guns are so bad that we need to completely control them why do we allow government employees to carry them ? Are government employees more trustworthy than you or I ? What does it say about a government that thinks you [all of its citizens] are not to be trusted ?
    The Department of Agriculture Agents need guns ? Agriculture ?
    Are the corn plants in open rebellion ?
    Has the wheat harvest threatened secession ? Why are not the farmers up in arms ?
    What are the Agriculture Agents doing to American citizens that requires that they carry firearms to defend themselves ?
    Whatever it is must be pretty horrendous ?
    LIKE FOOD RAIDS IN OHIO !?! Yes, you read that right.
    Scroogle scraper[scroogle dot org] this: LaGrange,Ohio +Food Raid. You may or may not be amazed, shocked and angered.
    Vicky Weaver was murdered over 3/8ths of an inch of wood too short on a shotgun stock and the $200 fine it incurred because of that length discrepancy. Her 14 year old son was murdered by a gunshot from the same sniper that same day.
    Scroogle Ruby Ridge or Lon Horiouchi. Our government and our citizens.

    The framers of the Bill of Rights put The Second Amendment at the number two place because it was that important to them. Not number eight or ten but number two right behind freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and redress of grievances.
    How do you redress grievances to an armed tyrant that seems intent on ignoring and abusing you ? Ta Da .... the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is not about saving hunting rifles or shotguns .... its about saving our Republic from tyranny whether foreign or domestic. Now where did I hear that before ?

    And while I am on the subject of antique documents that the government ignores If you will read the Militia Act of 1792 you will find that All males from 17 to 45 Are REQUIRED to own a gun and the ammunition for it. That law has NOT been struck down by the way. 216 years old and still in force.
    So .... the militia is not about "helping" the standing army it's about defending the common citizen FROM the standing army in the event of a tyrant trying to usurp the protected rights of the People.
    And where have we heard that recently ?

    I have spent a considerable time in some of our National Parks and I have yet to see an incident where firearms were used. I know it has happened and that I was not and am not omnipresent but it sure seems to me that this whole brou-ha-ha sure is "Much Ado About Nothing".

    Anti-gun proponents raise enough hue and cry you would think that every single gun was operating itself and attacking the populous by itself. There are Hundreds of Millions of guns in this country why haven't they killed us all off before now ?
    Guns don't kill people, people kill people and if you're a government employee you can kill without punishment, right Mr Horiouchi ?

    A law abiding citizen should be able to openly carry a firearm or a two handed sword if s/he desires. The framers thought so as well. They wanted us to have and carry the same arms as our own army. It sure makes a possible tyrant planning a takeover think first doesn't it ?

    I am done here.
    I want to thank the National Park Service for the excellent job they have done of keeping up the parks for the People of these united States of America. And I would like to thank them for this opportunity to express my opinion here in public about this rule change which I heartily endorse but you must have figured that out by now.

    Liberty for All,

    Capt

  • MSNBC’s Top 10 National Park Lodges List Draws Curmudgeonly, but Gentle Criticism   5 years 42 weeks ago

    For the bargain hunter, the beauty of Yosemite can still be enjoyed with an inexpensive stay at Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging. The resort is now offering Yosemite-area lodging starting at only $29.00 for two nights for a yurt that can accommodate up to five people. Yosemite cabins start at only $39 for two nights for a basic cabin that can accommodate four people. With the Yosemite National Park entrance fee of $20 per car for unlimited entries for seven days, a family can spend less than $100 for two days of Yosemite-area lodging and admission to the park. These special rates are available at http://www.yosemitepinesrv.com/yosemite-lodging-camping-specials.html during the fall and winter season. Some restrictions apply. Yosemite Pines (http://www.yosemitepinesrv.com/) is an RV resort, campground, and lodge located near Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Pines offers Yosemite camping near Yosemite National Park with full hook-up RV and campsites ( http://www.yosemitepinesrv.com/yosemite-camping-rv-tent.html). Yosemite Pines also offers Yosemite lodging and cabins near Yosemite National Park with cabin and yurt rentals ( http://www.yosemitepinesrv.com/yosemite-lodging-cabins-yurts.html). Amenities include a clubhouse, gold mine, gold panning, petting zoo, swimming pool, hiking trail, general store, children's playground, horseshoe pit, and volleyball.

  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 42 weeks ago

    I agree that there have been several presidential administrations that have impacted the amount of seasonal work force. The funding for my first interpretive job was cut under the Clinton (whom I voted for twice) administration in 1995. As bad as Bush was for the environment, his budgets for the NPS were nothing new. Funds for middle management never seemed to be cut; seasonal positions were always the first go go. Expendable. Anyway, I didn't mean to turn this conversation to this direction, so I'll bow out of it now.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Rangers attempting to investigate the episode - and who wisely went armed - were forced to kill two aggressive bears while trying to retrieve the bodies and personal effects. Even armed to the teeth, the rangers "were cutting it thin" to escape being attacked themselves, according to Park Ranger Joel Ellis. Ellis reportedly had to fire 11 rounds from a semi-automatic handgun to bring down one attacking animal, as two colleagues stood by with shotguns at the ready.

    No firearms reportedly were found at Treadwell's campsite. They're prohibited in this part of the Katmai, as they are in all national parks in the lower 48.

    NoGunsInParks your link all but supported the reason to carry guns here is a clip from it

    "But had the bear enthusiast the inclination and legal right (and with all due respect, the common sense) to venture into bear country with a more effective means of self-defense than a camera tripod, perhaps he and his companion would be alive.

    There's always a "perhaps" in such cases. The mere possession of a firearm is no guarantee it will save anyone in every possible eventuality. In the wilderness, much depends not only on having the means to defend oneself, but also the opportunity and know-how. So there's no guarantee that packing a rifle or handgun would have saved Treadwell and friend.

    But had he elected to do so, he would have been breaking the law - which just doesn't make sense in this and similar circumstances. And the fact that some people don't have the desire or inclination to arm themselves in self-defense isn't a reason why everyone else should be denied that right and opportunity in a national park."

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Erik. you stated that a person in front of you told the clerk he had a permit, and then showed the clerk a gun, one, that is called brandishing and you should have called the cops on him. If he was a legal CHL holder, he would lose it and go to jail PERIOD. I have multiple CHL's and am able to carry legally in 33 different states. All people in order to get a CHL must pass a federal background check and have your finger prints placed on file. There are very few people that know I carry and I want it that way and it should always be that way. I can count on my hands how many people know, and all but 2 are direct family members. People that carry have many things to think about to protect them selves from litigation, gun type, caliber, bullet type just to name a few. This is not because you want that "Dirty Harry" gun, it is because if you do not and you do defend yourself some lawyer is going to tear you apart for it not matter what.

    There are clear faults in the original arguments, people with CHL are not gun nuts, they are not going to hunt out of season nor use a pistol for this. When I carry, I am there to protect my wife and myself. I am not a police officer, nor do I want to be. If you think that no one in the parks carry a gun, think again the person that does most likely does not have a permit and would not stop no matter what.

    The fear that Mr Wade talked about is just a fear tactic used to scare people into one view or another. Here is a fact that he would not tell you,
    states with legal CHL have lower crime rates that states that do not allow concealed carry. Washington DC enacted a ban on hand guns to lower the crime rate, in the 20+ years that law was in effect, the crime rate went up. Criminals do not care about gun laws, tell me one gang banger in DC that thinks, "I better not do this for they do not allow guns here".

    When going to court a criminal has more rights than the gun owner he was intending to rob. There are many cases to prove this. A few states have Castle laws, that state if you use a gun to defend yourself, and the police determine it to be justified you are protected from all law suits against you. I am glad they have made this law, it is an easy law to follow which the article tries to make it sound so difficult. So here it is,

    1) Are you in a state that allows CHL's to be issued? YES (go to question 2) NO, don't bring a gun into the National Park (NP)
    2) Do you have a Valid CHL for the state for the NPS you are going to be in? YES, Welcome have a great day. NO-Don't bring your gun into the NP

    The sign is easy and would not cost that much for the parks (misinformation). Placed at each entrance "Firearms are not permitted in National Park unless you have a current and valid permit to do so, any violation can result in a fine and/or Jail time"

    Lone Hiker - There are always going to be people that pull a gun and are willing to shot, but I would rather be defending myself about killing a person that was in my house, or pulled a knife on me or my wife to harm us than to be the victim in a murder trial. I hike when I can, and carry every time, this is to protect me from some animals that are out there, and that it is not uncommon to run into in Oregon and I do not want to be bear food. When I lived in California, I would carry no matter what when I was hiking, for people grow pot in the forest lands and you have no clue when you might walk up on one, and be faced with a situation that you did not want to be in.

    Having a CHL is not for everyone, legally able to get one or not. It takes the mental ability to fire and kill a person if you are in imminent danger. If you are not mentally ready for this, then having a gun or any defensive firearm it not right for you. I carry because I value life, yes I said value, and the one that I value most is my wifes and myself. I want to see the sunrise and if it comes down to someone that means me or my wife harm, then that person will miss something truly worth seeing and I will get a good night sleep, knowing that tomorrow I get to see my wife.

  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 42 weeks ago

    I have seen seasonals treated badly, and I've seen park managers do all they knew how to support seasonal rangers.

    It seems to me, a lot of that, either way, is how individuals behave, and not symptomatic of the National Park Service as an institution.

    For me, though, the main thing is the seasonals are the heart and soul of the NPS. For the permanent rangers, the seasonals are the people whose dedication and zeal bring everything to life, and really make everything about working for national parks real.

    The real scandal is the government policies that forced the NPS to reduce or in many cases eliminate the seasonals. Some parks are left with aging managers, and no seasonals, no new green blood. I don't think I "toe" anybody's line, but you will think so when I tell you, Frank C, that I think -- I know -- we have had several generations of Presidential Administrations that WANTED to deplete the morale and capacity of the National Park Service. Maybe other agencies, too, but I know for sure they wanted to drain away the blood of the NPS. And there was no better way to do it than drain away the eager idealists, and sow division between people within the NPS, and between the NPS and other preservation organizations. "Starve the Beast" they call it.

    Both the managers and the seasonals were the victims, and so were the American People.

  • Green Groups Lobbying To See Rep. Grijalva Nominated For Interior Secretary   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Grijalva looks like a very good choice, but he will have no real chance to get the job, as Arizona is already represented in the new cabinet by Janet Napolitano.

  • The Green Blood of the Coalition of NPS Retirees   5 years 42 weeks ago

    BTW, leaving out your reference to the anti-Second Amendment, you have pretty much described the new-conservative Republican party of the last 8 years--"bigger government, more spending, more burearcracy, ineffective publc works." I'm glad not to be associated with that crowd.

    For once we're in complete agreement! :)

  • Interior Officials Release Rule Change to Allow National Park Visitors to Arm Themselves   5 years 42 weeks ago

    This is only partially a gun issue, Anonymous. It's more an issue of the Constitution and civil rights.

    I laugh so much when I hear anecdotes like, "I've never seen a violent incident in a national park!" or "The chances of violent crime are so low!"

    Concealed weapons are an insurance policy. Please argue that you don't need car insurance because you haven't been in an accident or are unlikely to be in one; or argue that you don't need house insurance because the chances of your house burning down is so slim. After all, the house I live in has been here for 100 years, so clearly houses are very unlikely to burn down and I don't need insurance!

    The likelihood of needing a gun does not preclude the Constitutional right of law-abiding citizens carrying one as an insurance policy.