Recent comments

  • Comment Period For Revised Gun Regulations for National Parks About to Close   5 years 42 weeks ago

    I am retired peace officer. I am authorized to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the US. Is it illeagal to carry in national parks?

  • Oglala Sioux Just Might Reclaim Southern Half of Badlands National Park   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Hopefully but not likely our government will do the right thing and return what was wrongfully taken in the name of suppression. Perhaps but not likely we would learn a lesson from the Australians and their VERY global Olympic statement where they apologized for doing to their native peoples what we have done to ours, yet many years later issues still remain that were promised to be resolved. These kinds of issues will exist forever, as long as we decide to keep makng the kinds of bad decisions those before us made. Badlands would be an ideal place to finally make a commitment to start correcting our past mistakes. It doesn't matter what the native people want to do with the land, because it's theirs. Period. If they wish to construct casinos in an attempt to make livings for themselves and try to find ways to take care of their people then who are we to say they can't? When did the white man become the expert on what's best for the native man? We don't have the moral fiber to be able to understand how the native man lives, so we try and make him like we are. I would take Random Walkers last point and bring it one step further...it's time our government steps up and recognizes the indeigenous peoples rights. Sadly the NPS has only limited power over their own system of parks, but our government can do so much more.

  • Bodies of Three Mexican Nationals Found in Big Bend National Park   5 years 42 weeks ago

    To the author of: "No sympathy here, they were breaking the law. Darwin candidates."

    They were human beings, Gods children. Flesh and blood. Men with wives and children - whose papa is never coming home again. People trying to better themselves, and in this case trying to reach one of their wifes who was reportedly giving child birth and having problems.

    I hope if you return in the "next life" you will be more compassionate with more humility.

    Best Regards

    ShaneA

  • Comment Period For Revised Gun Regulations for National Parks About to Close   5 years 42 weeks ago

    You knew I'd have to comment on this one. With today's Supreme Court decision, are we sure we want to try to BAN handguns someplace??

    I just checked; there are more than 15,000 comments posted about the proposed rule change. I'm sure all will agree that the vast majority of the posters SUPPORT the rule change.

    I'm no lawyer, but I can't help but wonder how a lawsuit will be perceived by an American public that has spoken loud and clear about this issue.

  • National Park History: Prince William Forest Park Was a Top Secret Spy Training School   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Yeah, few visitors because no one has heard of it. I am in my 30s and grew up just south of Baltimore. This park is new to me. My family spent time camping everywhere in the mid-Atlantic but not Prince William. I am excited to visit it for the first time!!!

  • National Park History: Prince William Forest Park Was a Top Secret Spy Training School   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Another great article on the history of the NPS. Keep it up!

  • What Do Bears Really Do in The Woods?   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Great stuff!
    Here is another fun video from the USGS remote camera's in Glacier National Park

  • Oglala Sioux Just Might Reclaim Southern Half of Badlands National Park   5 years 42 weeks ago

    There are many instances throughout our park system where this hubris has been confronted and resolved.
    It is time the NPS as a whole recognizes the indigenous people rights and joins them in the caretaking of Our National Parks.

  • Mount Rainier National Park Officials Mulling Future of Carbon River Road   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Having grown up in the shadow of "The Mountain" I have enjoyed the many times this road has been closed by Mother Nature.
    Today the 5 mile walk / bike route along the wild glacier fed Carbon River through deep forest to the Ipsut Campground and picnic area is a very easy fantastic adventure. It is a great opportunity for moms and dads to introduce their children to our wondrous wilderness.
    For the unfit elderly folks, well (imho) they can join the others along the (too) many roads throughout the rest of the park.
    I am for keeping this road closed to motorized travel from today and forever, preserved for the enjoyment of our "future generations."

  • National Park Quiz 8: Firsts   5 years 42 weeks ago

    MRC: Since Congress would change the names of the parks, it can change the names of the monument to parks at the same time. There are already national monuments that were created by Congress and not under the Antiquities Act. It would be easy to add to the legislation an amendment to the Antiquities Act that simply says that sites named under that act can be called something other than "monument."

  • Yellowstone National Park Relocates the 45th Parallel   5 years 42 weeks ago

    If you want something really weird, contemplate the fact that the Northern Hemisphere 45th parallel most emphatically does NOT mark the halfway point to the North Pole! The actual halfway point is about ten miles north of the 45th parallel. That's because Earth is not a perfect sphere. Due to its rotation about its axis, Earth bulges a bit and is actually an oblate spheroid. If you wanted to be perfectly honest with your highway signs, you'd have one that announces the 45th parallel, then you'd have another, about ten miles due north, that announces the halfway point to the pole. The likelihood that we'll ever get this truth-in-signage? Exactly zero, I should think.

  • National Park Quiz 8: Firsts   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Tough one. I got my worst result of all quizzes so far (6+1), and I kind of cheated at question 6 by looking up and confirming my first idea. Thanks again.

    @Rangertoo: Won't do. At least the National Monuments must be kept as such, because according to the Antiquities Act of 1906 the president can only proclaim National Monuments without the Congress.

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

    @Avid Family Canoeist: Which part did happen and which was your fear? Let us tell that apart. The guys in question were loud, rowdy, obnoxious and cost you and your family some sleep. What did not happen? They did not attack, maim, rape, pilfer, kill or whatever. You wrote: "What if they had wanted to fight me?" - What if questions are not about reality but about perception and in this case about fear.

    National Parks and the back country as a whole are safe, as safe as they have always been. What changed is the perception of danger. This nation lives on fear - "what if" has become an important question. My idea is to get over it. Don't worry about fights in the back country, worry about accidents while driving to the parks.

  • Mount Rainier National Park Officials Mulling Future of Carbon River Road   5 years 42 weeks ago

    If the NPS keeps closing roads, perhaps we need to sell these parks off for development since only the young and fit can see them. I don't want my taxes paying for them anymore, and many of my friends feel the same!

  • Yellowstone National Park Relocates the 45th Parallel   5 years 42 weeks ago

    wow thats WEIRD. Just watching a show on TV about Nostradamus and he has a prophecy written saying "...and at 45degrees the sky will burn!" FREAKY!!! They (on the show) were trying to link it to the 911 incident. But I think the sky would burn MUCH more if Yellowstone erupted (hence the 45th parallel) which means 45degrees exact

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

    I had my family and myself threatened in a Wilderness campsite on the Jacks Fork River in Southern Missouri by a bunch of drunk fools at 2 am. They ran their pick-up just a few feet from the tent with thier brights on us, honking shouting obscenities and throwing beer cans at our tent. I have a CCW permit and I kept my gun locked in a case unloaded just as the park rules require. In my tent was two 15 year old girls, my ten year old and my wife. When I stepped out of the tent to confront these fools, I prayed that these were just drunk teen agers. They pulled out went I stepped out of the tent, but they came back hours latter to run through the camp again spinning their tires and shouting and honking at us. The nearest ranger was about 25 miles away and there is no cell phone service in that deep valley. I am 56 years old and I have never been faced with this sort of behavior in these parks. What if they had wanted to fight me? Would my kids have been raped? Might I have been beated unconscious? Put your self in that situation and ask yourself what you would have done. My wife and I are scout leaders and our kids are scouts. I have never seen the insides of a police station. I have 10 years in the military and have had more firearms training than most rangers in these parks. My concealed carry permit required a complete FBI background check. I am stunned by the attitudes of those who would deny me from defending myself in these remote places.

    You think this sort of thing will never happen to you. Put yourself in my shoes and think about this issue one more time.

  • National Park Quiz 8: Firsts   5 years 42 weeks ago

    There is a simple solution to the nomenclature issue. Everything is a National Park or a National Historic Park. Since the 1978 Redwood Act and amendments and NPS policies make it clear that parks are parks, we should get over the idea of some sort of hierarchy in names or protection of "national park" as some sort of sacred higher calling no deserved by Santa Monica Mountains or Amistad. (After all, Cuyahoga changed from NRA to national park and the world did not end.) No company would allow its brand to be as muddled and indistinct at the NPS has allowed its to be. 19 different designations at last count. And the Forest Service and BLM have national monuments and national recreation areas that are not part of the National Park System. It would be so much easier for the public to understand - and support - the national parks if they understood what they are. I believe that changing titles to the two simplest terms, both with "national" and "park" in them would be the single best thing that can be done to increase support, and thus preservation, visitation, and funding, for parks

  • Recalling Yellowstone National Park's Historic 1988 Fire Season   5 years 42 weeks ago

    So far, we've had a remarkably similar spring; a few locals are a little worried especially with all the news stories reminding people of 1988. As for me, I think fire's really beautiful.

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

  • Oglala Sioux Just Might Reclaim Southern Half of Badlands National Park   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Phil, if you read this article carefully it specificaly says that OST owns the land. NOT the federal government. How would you like it if someone else was making all the decisions concerning your yard?

  • National Park Quiz 8: Firsts   5 years 42 weeks ago

    I know you want to college, Sabattis, so I have to ask you this; Are any of your professors still alive? I mean, are there any that you didn't drive to suicide?

  • National Park Quiz 8: Firsts   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Terminology is definitely one of the difficulties that Park Advocates have in all aspects, from both the light-hearted (like these quizzes) to even the most serious issues. I have yet to see anyone come up with a good solution for how to handle the fact that the word "National Park" refers to both any one of 58 "National Park National Parks" and refers to any one of 391 "Units of the National Park System." Unfortunately, "National Park National Parks" just sounds goofy, and "Units of the National Park System" sounds stilted.

    But yes, it looks like Acadia needs to update their claim-to-fame as being the "oldest" National Park East of the Mississippi - but not the "first."

  • Day Hike Turns Fatal at Mount Rainier National Park   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Recreational insurance? That's the most rediculous thing I've heard. It's organized extortion. Complaining about how much SAR costs taxpayers is ludacris. Do you also complain about the cost of police and fire patroling your community? Bad things happen, sometimes to experienced individuals and sometimes not, whether it's high on a mountian or on your local freeway. It's life.

  • Appellate Court Rules Against Yosemite National Park   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Rif Raf? Im sorry my friend but nature is open to everyone, it does not discriminate such as you do. We all come from this earth and we all have a right to enjoy it. Man cannot and will not be able to limit who can enjoy the earths natural wonders with meaningless "prices".

  • National Park Quiz 8: Firsts   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Jeez, Sabattis, now I gotta take ten minutes out of a busy day just to deal with your questions and make sure my weaselspeak is as bulletproof as I can make it. :-) Don't be downtrodden that you missed #1. Until now only four people in the world, all of us insiders, have been privy to that information. Item #4 has obviously sent you into a tizzy. Note that I capitalized National Park (of which there are currently 58) and stop muddying the water with all those historic sites and battlefields and such. That said, you are correct about Mackinac Island National Park, which was part of the system (originally as Mackinac National Park) for a while before being de-authorized and subsequently converted into a Michigan state park. The Hauptquizmeister will revise the quiz to take this into account. Hot Springs National Park is a red herring, pure and simple. I have no doubt that you already know that and are just yanking my chain (sigh.....). Hot Springs Reservation was established by Congress in 1832 to protect the thermal springs, not to create a pleasuring ground open to the public (one thing you have to do if you want to call a place a park). It wasn't until 1880 -- eight years after Yellowstone became a national park -- that Congress finally got around to adding that public recreational proviso. And it wasn't until 1921 that Congress designated Hot Springs National Park. As for #10, well, who says that none of the the quiz items can be devilishly difficult?

    PS: Sabattis, we need to contact Acadia National Park, remind them about Mackinac Island National Park, and tell them they've got it all wrong on their official NPS-approved home page, which includes this statement (boldface is mine):


    The First National Park East of the Mississippi River

    People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.

  • National Park Quiz 8: Firsts   5 years 42 weeks ago

    Tough quiz this week - only seven right! The first question was a really good one (and one I was unaware of - that Yellowstone was originally desigated as simply "Yellowstone Park"), but question #10 was tough simply for the sake of being tough.

    I'd also like to quibble with question #4. The honor of the first National Park east of the Mississippi probably belongs to Mackinac National Park, which was later delisted. A number of other areas of the National Park System east of the Mississippi were also set aside earlier including Rock Creek Park (like Yellowstone only missing the "National" in its name - albeit "not like Yellowstone" in so many other ways), Ford's Theatre, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Statue of Liberty, the original five Civil War Battlefields (Chickamauga & Chattanooga, Anitetam, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Vicksburg), and to be real nit-picky about it, the Chalmette Battlefield, which is now part of Jean Lafitte NHP&Preserve, is located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi.

    And finally - what no question about Hot Springs National Park? Hot Springs, of course, was set aside as a Reservation in 1832.... 32 years before Yosemite and 40 years before Yellowstone!