Recent comments

  • Bodies of Three Mexican Nationals Found in Big Bend National Park   5 years 44 weeks ago

    No sympathy here, they were breaking the law. Darwin candidates.

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Wow: Maybe it's time for the people in the park to read the Constitution again. Next I won't be able to say wow, that's pretty. I wouldn't want to influence the guy next to me by using my rights to speach.

    One of my least fun places is watching a person smoking a joint during the fire season. Does that cause more damage than a gun? Yes, in California it does.

    Oops, sorry, if I can't take a managment tool to protect my wife and companion dog, I just won't go. My dog is search and rescue, and no he will not become part of the food chain if you get lost.

    Enjoy...

  • Lost Backpackers Reunited with Families at Denali National Park   5 years 44 weeks ago

    This does make for a compelling example of how better cell phone coverage in the national parks can save lives.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Settlement Won't Ban ORV Use, But Will Restrict Travel   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Please contact your local Congressional delegation and urge them in the strongest possible terms NOT to co-sponsor and support Bills H.R. 6233 and S. 3113. Park beaches are not for cars. Yeesh. Must every square inch of the earth be accessible to motor vehicles?

  • Proposed Settlement Filed in Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Case   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Please contact your local Congressional delegation and urge them in the strongest possible terms to co-sponsor and support Bills H.R 6233 and S. 3113

    Dole, Burr and Jones Introduce Legislation to
    Allow Off-road Vehicle use on Cape Hatteras National Seashore
    June 11, 2008

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr and U.S. Rep. Walter Jones today introduced legislation in the Senate (Bill S. 3113) and House of Representatives (H.R. 6233) that would reinstate the Interim Management Strategy governing off-road vehicle use on Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS). The reinstatement of the original Interim Management Strategy, issued by the National Park Service (NPS) on June 13, 2007, would set aside current mandates and requirements which were put in place in the wake of a consent decree filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, that prevent off-road vehicle and citizen access to a significant portion of this National Seashore.

    “I share the concerns of many North Carolinians about the negative ramifications that severely restricting off-road vehicle use at CHNS will have on the local community and economy,” said Dole. “Beach users and members of the local community deserve to have their voices heard to ensure the development of a long-term plan that protects the natural habitat of the Seashore while maintaining its economic and recreational benefits.”

    “As Ranking Member on the National Parks Subcommittee, I always try to make sure that North Carolinians have access to our state’s scenic treasures,” said Burr. “It is unfortunate that people are prevented from accessing Cape Hatteras at times because of the new restrictions. I am certain we can come to a compromise that allows people to have access while at the same time addressing any potential environmental concerns.”

    “The consent decree has once again shown that managing the Seashore through the courts – without public input – is always a bad idea,” said Jones. “This bill would restore reasonable public access and would bring the public back into the process on a level playing field by reinstituting the Interim Management Strategy until the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee can produce a final rule.”

    If enacted, the National Park Service’s Interim Management Strategy will go into effect immediately and end upon the National Park Service establishing a long-term off-road vehicle management plan for the use of CHNS by the public.

    Background

    In 1972, President Richard Nixon issued an Executive Order that required all federal parks, refuges and public lands that allow off-road vehicles access to develop and implement a detailed management plan to regulate and assess environmental impacts. CHNS never developed a management plan, and as a result, Cape Hatteras has been out of compliance for over three decades.

    In December 2005, the NPS developed a three-phase plan to begin the negotiation process and create regulations that would allow CHNS to meet compliance standards; however, on July 17, 2007 an injunction was filed by the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society to prevent off-road vehicle use until a management plan is established and approved. A settlement negotiation process ensued, and on April 30, 2008, a federal judge approved a consent decree, proposed by the plaintiffs and agreed to by the parties involved in the case – the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The settlement, which went into effect on May 1, 2008, requires that all seashore ramps be closed to ORVs from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. through November 15, 2008, that buffers for nests and chicks are clearly defined and in some cases more restrictive, and that deliberate violations of the buffers will result in an expanded restricted area.

    [Ed. Using "CHNS" as an unofficial indicator for Cape Hatteras National Seashore is probably not going to confuse the average citizen, but you should be aware that the Park Service code for the park is actually CAHA.]

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Settlement Won't Ban ORV Use, But Will Restrict Travel   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Please contact your local Congressional delegation and urge them in the strongest possible terms to co-sponsor and support Bills H.R. 6233 and S. 3113

    Dole, Burr and Jones Introduce Legislation to
    Allow Off-road Vehicle use on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr and U.S. Rep. Walter Jones today introduced legislation in the Senate (Bill S. 3113) and House of Representatives (Bill H.R. 6233) that would reinstate the Interim Management Strategy governing off-road vehicle use on Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS). The reinstatement of the original Interim Management Strategy, issued by the National Park Service (NPS) on June 13, 2007, would set aside current mandates and requirements which were put in place in the wake of a consent decree filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, that prevent off-road vehicle and citizen access to a significant portion of this National Seashore.

    “I share the concerns of many North Carolinians about the negative ramifications that severely restricting off-road vehicle use at CHNS will have on the local community and economy,” said Dole. “Beach users and members of the local community deserve to have their voices heard to ensure the development of a long-term plan that protects the natural habitat of the Seashore while maintaining its economic and recreational benefits.”

    “As Ranking Member on the National Parks Subcommittee, I always try to make sure that North Carolinians have access to our state’s scenic treasures,” said Burr. “It is unfortunate that people are prevented from accessing Cape Hatteras at times because of the new restrictions. I am certain we can come to a compromise that allows people to have access while at the same time addressing any potential environmental concerns.”

    “The consent decree has once again shown that managing the Seashore through the courts – without public input – is always a bad idea,” said Jones. “This bill would restore reasonable public access and would bring the public back into the process on a level playing field by reinstituting the Interim Management Strategy until the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee can produce a final rule.”

    If enacted, the National Park Service’s Interim Management Strategy will go into effect immediately and end upon the National Park Service establishing a long-term off-road vehicle management plan for the use of CHNS by the public.

    Background

    In 1972, President Richard Nixon issued an Executive Order that required all federal parks, refuges and public lands that allow off-road vehicles access to develop and implement a detailed management plan to regulate and assess environmental impacts. CHNS never developed a management plan, and as a result, Cape Hatteras has been out of compliance for over three decades.

    In December 2005, the NPS developed a three-phase plan to begin the negotiation process and create regulations that would allow CHNS to meet compliance standards; however, on July 17, 2007 an injunction was filed by the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society to prevent off-road vehicle use until a management plan is established and approved. A settlement negotiation process ensued, and on April 30, 2008, a federal judge approved a consent decree, proposed by the plaintiffs and agreed to by the parties involved in the case – the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The settlement, which went into effect on May 1, 2008, requires that all seashore ramps be closed to ORVs from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. through November 15, 2008, that buffers for nests and chicks are clearly defined and in some cases more restrictive, and that deliberate violations of the buffers will result in an expanded restricted area

  • Park History: Director Hartzog and the Automobile   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Don't forget, Stephen Mather was a mjor advocate for roads in parks and saw roads as a key to getting visitors to parks and increasing the public support for the National Park idea. Both the Sierra Club and AAA, as well as numerous regional and local governments, supported road construction such as the Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier. Now we have an overpass and stoplights at Old Faithful.

  • Should Anything Be Done With Angel's Landing?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    My husband and son are in Zion NP as I write this post. Yesterday the group of boy scouts ranging from 13-17 yrs old hiked Angels Landing. I was terrified all day knowing that they would be ascending upon this hike. Somehow, somewhere my husband got cell service and called me to let me know that my son who is almost 14 and in great physical condition, as is my husband, decided upon arriving to scout landing that he would go no further. I applaud his ability to be aware of his own unsuredness about the hike and not continue on because everyone else was doing it! So he, one other scout and my husband headed back down the path. Bravo to those who are in touch with their inner voice that tells them to do or not to do!

  • National Park Service Issues Beach Access Report for Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Users   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Sad to hear that our great national treasures are slowly being cordoned off from American travelers. Thanks for blogging.

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Yes indeed, if I were a criminal, I'd have absolutely no qualms "doing my thing", as I'd be quite certain that whether you're armed or not, since I'd have the element of surprise over you, and be brandishing my artillery first, your weapon becomes inconsequential. Actually, while I'm in the process of relieving you of your valuables and possibly your life, if you're stupid enough to resist and I'm sufficiently pissed off, you're serving to supplement my arsenal with your own weapon, which I can utilize in further criminal activity with total impunity, at least for a while, since it's registered to YOU.

    Over and above that, the pointless, thoughtless arguments about matches, pencils and tools are completely off base. Maybe you can answer this basic question........what specific purpose do firearms serve BESIDES inflicting bodily harm?

    An unarmed person is also a citizen. Nice try.

    Criminals prey on those to which they stand to gain the greatest profit at the specific instance that they require something, the profit being whatever suits their purposes at the time. Sometimes it pertains to money, sometimes sex, sometimes transportation; the possibilities are limited only by the need of those in need, not by whether you are weak, armed, or vulnerable. If that were indeed the case, then car alarms would be totally effective, as would guard dogs, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, and peace officers.

    Maybe we should all relocate to this alleged nirvana with a zero crime rate and no criminal element. Where is it?

    Please explain how the revolution would have been inhibited by gun control. Unless of course you're referring to gun control as the total outlawing of all guns, which is NOT what anyone believes the definition of gun control is, was or ever will be. That statement has no basis in logic.

    Finally, the elimination of guns would indeed bring peace. Not total peace. Other weapons would serve the purpose, but the cowardly killings would cease. Personally, I'd encourage buying stock in Louisville Slugger.

  • National Park History: Big Bend National Park   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Here's the skinny on javelinas from Wikipedia:

    (And as a year-round resident of Terlingua and BBNP area, i have to go with the "hell on earth" statement...it's obviously not the best place to spend summer!)

    Peccaries (also known as javelinas and by the Portuguese and Spanish name javali or Spanish pecarí) are medium-sized mammals of the family Tayassuidae. Peccaries are members of the Artiodactyl suborder Suina as are swine Suidae and hippopotami Hippopotamidae. They are found in the southwestern area of North America and throughout Central and South America. Peccaries usually measure between 90 and 130 cm in length (3 to 4 feet), and a full-grown adult usually weighs between about 20 and 40 kilograms (44 to 88 pounds).

    People often confuse peccaries, which are found in the Americas, with pigs which originated in Afro-Eurasia, especially since some domestic pigs brought by European settlers have escaped over the years and now run wild in many parts of the United States. These feral pigs are popularly known as razorback hogs.

  • Lost Backpackers Are Reported Alive and Well at Denali National Park   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Thank God !!

  • Air and Ground Search Under Way for Missing Backpackers in Denali National Park and Preserve   5 years 44 weeks ago

    The 2 girls have been found and are OK. They got lost but they survived!

  • Park History: Grand Teton National Park   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Brenda,

    I wouldn't have jumped at the chance to acquire the Tetons - so much that has gone wrong in this world comes from the big fish swallowing up the small fish. The irony here only is that it's the Tetons that were swallowed up, but by the same means Rockefeller used to build his refining empire we are now faced with a global energy crisis that again will only most adversely hurt the poorest people in society. Rockefeller giveth and taketh away. If we want to avoid the mistakes and truly protect the places we love, then we must do things differently and connect the means and ends. You have to consider how you go about things and not excuse the abuses of capitalism for some of the accidental pleasures that arise from it.

    It's interesting you write this today because the JY Ranch - the Rockefeller's private ranch within Grand Teton was finally formally donated to the Park Service today, the largest extension of the Tetons since most of Jackson Hole was added in 1950.

    Anyhow, whether you find me incorrigible and boorish or jealous and petty doesn't really matter. What matters is whether what I've said is right - and if wrong, where the contradiction lies, or lacking that, what I've said in my premises is suspect. I love these places with all my heart - more than you'll ever know or realize - but I am not about to excuse what brought them into being.

    As for God's creation of the Tetons, we can agree on that; that's perhaps why it's sad that the Tetons from the small landowners to the big landowners to the federal government have been caught in a place where loving thy neighbor was not practiced when it came to the bottom line.

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

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   5 years 44 weeks ago

    First of all, I think the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees need to stay retired. They and so many other people blow this whole thing out of porportion.

    Its not so you can shoot a bear if you or he crosses paths.
    Its not so troublesome people can tote a gun.
    It is not so idiots can target practice in the parks.

    It is so a trained person With a carry permit may legally carry a fire arm and defend him or herself against an otherwise possible death.

    If you were a thief, crook, criminal, rapist whatever, would you indiscriminately do your thing if you knew that the chance of the person you are about to assault may just be carrying and that you may just get your ass burned? Just knowing that law abiding citizens can, may and most likey be carrying would make you think twice. Criminals primarily prey on those who can not defend themself.

    One city that told their citizense to buy and keep a gun for self defense (unless they didn't think they could use or not feal comfortable with it). The crime dropped to almost nil. The criminals moved out!!

    Parks, even though safer than cities still have their problems too. There have been rapes and attempted rapes, theft, murder. By the time you call for help (and usually there's no cell service) and you tell him to hold up a minute so you can try to call while he waits to hold the knife to your throat--well, if you don't get the picture, your not human or a criminal).

    Track records prove that those who have concealed carry permits are generaly safer and very law obiding citizens.

    Think carfully about the following thought provokers:

    1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

    2. A gun in the hand is better than an officer on the phone (that is if you even have service).

    3. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

    4. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

    5. If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

    6. The United States Constitution (c)1791. All Rights Reserved.

    7. 64,999,987 legal firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

    8. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

    9. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

    10. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

    11. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.

    12. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

    13. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

    14. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.

    15. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

    16. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

    17. If tools kill rather than people, then outlaw cars and all other transpertation, as they also are tools.

  • Park History: Grand Teton National Park   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Mr. Macdonald:

    After reading your article about the Grand Tetons, I find you incorrigible and boorish. I wouldn't take my hat off for you, but Rockefeller, gets kudos. You sound jeolous and petty . The magnificance of the Grand Tetons could only be created by the man I call God. Whether Rockefeller wanted it as a park or not.

    I bet if you had the chance to acquire the Tetons you would have jumped at the chance. I bet you wouldn't call it a scam. Just good business.!!!!!! As for the big fish swallowing up the little fish. It seems a whale swallowed Jonah and he became a very blessed and wealthy man.

    The "boon" was wonderful for the Grand Teton National Park, it is certainly beautiful to the eye , the natural habitat of all the animals. All the visitors and the Rangers, who watch out for them, makes it most desirable .

    You probably have the first dollar you made from her existance. Why not donate to the fund and help keep the park beautiful and maintained. Why not give the rangers a nice tip.

    Brenda Byles

  • Commentary: Who Runs the National Park System?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Sabattis,

    You're right that almost any recreational use "for enjoyment of the people" will have some impact. I don't think anyone questions that. So the goal should be to aim for the least impacting activity, no?

    After all, it's been accepted, even by the courts, that the Park Service's primary mandate is to conserve (or preserve, depending on whom you talk to) those resources for future generations. With that as a given, if you have two forms of recreation -- in this case snowmobiling and snowcoach tours -- that overlap in their primary purpose, which is to navigate Yellowstone in winter for enjoyment, and one is more environmentally intrusive than the other, shouldn't the Park Service support the less-intrusive form of recreation?

    As for that "unique recreational experience," well, that experience can be attained on adjacent Forest Service lands, no? In fact, an argument could be made that more of a recreational experience can be had on Forest Service lands where snowmobile trails leave the roads. In Yellowstone snowmobiles are required, (though not all do, unfortunately), to stay on the groomed road surfaces, not head off trail. So why is a snowmobile ride through the park so unique? If you want to see the major thermal features, you have to park the snowmobile in the parking area and walk. And the contention that snowmobiling offers a more solitary experience doesn't really ring true, either, as the existing rules call for guided snowmobile tours.

    As for your tossing off of the scientific reports, well, the reports (and the analysts) speak for themselves and were used not only to identify the environmentally preferred alternative but also point to acceptable levels of snowmobile traffic if the park decided it couldn't accept the environmentally preferred alternative or the no action alternative.

  • Development of Valley Forge National Historical Park Inholding Gets Green Light from Planners   5 years 44 weeks ago

    As a brief note on the above, the quotation comes from the Report Language that accompanied the establishment of Valley Forge NHP. As such, it does not have the force law - which is a shame, as otherwise it could potentially make a strong case for a legal injunction against this development.

  • National Park Service Open to Cutting Single-Track Bike Trails in the Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    I think it is quite the hyperbole to imply that mountain-biking paths will turn the National Parks into "becoming simply another public multiple-use landscape." The "multiple uses" of Forest Service and BLM lands as the Forest Service and BLM would describe them typically begin with agriculture and extractive industries. Even if you include motorized recreation sports, that's still a significant step beyond allowing non-motorized mountain biking. Although you quoted the a portion of the National Park Servic Organic Act, the first half of the act also says that "The service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the... national parks..." and then goes on to say "which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment future generations."

    So I think there is a very interesting question here - does the phrase "leave them unimpaired for future generations" imply that this is the primary mission of the NPS as stated above? Or is the phrase "leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations" expressed as a limitation on the purpose of providing for their enjoyment by the people?

  • Development of Valley Forge National Historical Park Inholding Gets Green Light from Planners   5 years 44 weeks ago


    1. It is interesting what you find when you look at park planning documents, or the language Congress uses when directing the National Park Service.

    This is some language I found in for Valley Forge:

    ". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .the authorizing legislation of 1976, which defined the purpose of the park, the
    Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs noted in House Report No.94-1142, May 14, 1976 that; ' the restoration
    and strengthening of the historic integrity of the Valley Forge site should be the first priority for any Federal
    management of the area. The Committee expects the Secretary to take early and positive steps, once the
    National Park Service assumes operational responsibilities, to manage the park with increased emphasis on the
    restoration and maintenance of the historic scene. Nonconforming recreational uses are to be phased down or
    relocated. Non-historic technological intrusions such as grass mowing are to be eliminated where possible and
    appropriate, and the rerouting or elimination of inappropriate and unsafe roadways is to be undertaken, as it is
    possible. '"

    It seems pretty clear from that it is the responsibility of the National Park Service to "restore and maintain" the historic scene within the park boundary. That would seem to mean the park service director must prevent new development, such as the ARC museum on undeveloped land. Even if the NPS is short of money, they should submit the priorty request to purchase the property if necessary to prevent threats. And NPS knew it was a threat, because it was negotiating for years with St. Gabes to buy the property.

    2. I also found on a website for the Philadelphia radio station WHYY (NPR outlet) a statement from their reporter that ARC stated ARC was encouraged by the park service to build on historic Pawling Farm. THIS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE. It would be impossible to even approximate the maintenance of the historic scene, as Congress intended, if it were built on. It does not appear that the Director has either denied or confirmed that the park service encouraged ARC to build at this site, but clearly it would be against the intention of Congress, as reflected in the committee report when the NPS took over the park from the State.

    How could NPS have thought they were simply making this problem go away, or sweep it away, by building on private undeveloped land? Unless pressured by an uninformed political appointee, no experienced NPS professional could have. Congress intended NPS to protect all land within the park boundary whether private or not. So ARC's statements quoted to WHYY seem either impossible, or someone at the park service is behaving inappropriately.

    However, now that we are hearing of scientists in NASA or EPA being forced to "restate" their professional opinions under pressure from the Bush Administration, or FAA air traffic controllers who raise safety concerns being crushed, or accountants at the defence department being pushed aside for not paying unjustified bills from cronies of the Vice President Chaney, we cannot just assume that Bush appointees in the park service did not cause this problem, in support of political cronies and against the duties of the National Park Service. The NASA thing was so bad that the supposedly qualified "NASA Official" who was rewriting professional opinions even was lying about his college degree.

    NPS Director, a new Bush appointee with the thin credentials, should confirm or deny that she encouraged ARC to build on that site. Or to find out and assure us that none of the Director's subordinates did.

    Better yet, protect the land at Pawling Farm ! If NPS cannot protect the birthplace of the American Army what can it protect?

  • Commentary: Who Runs the National Park System?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    I think there is a difference between a report that indicates that snowmobiles would have more impact on the environment and snow coaches and concluding that science dictates that there must be no snowmobiles in the Park. After all, an EIS on the Grand Circle Road would surely show increased air pollution, noise pollution, and stress on animals as well. Almost any recreational use for "enjoyment of the people" will have some impact on the environment. Pretty much short of managing all of Yellowstone National Park as Federally-designated Wilderness areas, there will be the need to make some balance between recreational use and environmental impacts. To reduce the argument to the salient point - I find it highly unlikely that a single snowmobile in Yellowstone National Park would cause significant harm to the environment. Obviously tens of thousands of snowmobiles would be a major problem. Yet, a snowmobile provides a unique recreational experience for visitors - in some cases it allows for independent travel and a more solitary experience. It also puts the visitor in closer contact with the winter elements of the Park. It would seem sensible then, to allow a sustainable level of snowmobiles that would still leave the Yellowstone environment unimpaired for future generations.

  • What's In Your National Park Reading Room?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    This is great stuff, guys. Thanks so much for sharing. If I may, I'd like to recommend the Yellowstone Association website as a way to obtain these books and more, while also supporting our national treasures at the same time. The recent story concerning the financial plight of the Twain and Wharton homes should encourage us to do more, if possible.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080616/ap_on_bi_ge/uneasy_economy_historic_homesites

    http://www.yellowstoneassociation.org/store/productList.aspx?categoryId=32

  • National Park Quiz 6: Watchable Wildlife   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Wow - I had a perfect score of 12 out of 12 this week - a first for me... I loved question #6, BTW - very clever.

    One side note on question #9 - there are actually at least three free-roaming bison herds in the National Park System, at Yellowstone, Wind Cave, and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks (both the North and South Units.)

  • Forever on the Mountain   5 years 44 weeks ago

    I'm not so much worried about myself, but I am about the younger generations, even my own kids. I suppose the generations before me worried about the same things but I just can't imagine it getting any better.

  • National Park Service Open to Cutting Single-Track Bike Trails in the Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Segways are a BAD idea. Horrible idea! Come to visit the National Mall in Washington D.C. for even part of a day and you will clearly see why. Mountain bikers, if they run smack into you, will also fall down and get hurt which is probably why they take care to NOT run into you. Segways, on the other hand, can plow right into you without even slowing down and no consequence to them! I lost count of how many times I have been nailed by a segway in D.C. I have seen them hit the elderly with walkers, knock over a baby stroller with a baby in it, and those Segway tour groups are a lawsuite waiting to happen. You have to have a bit of skill to use a mountain bike, not everyone can do it, especially on a trail. Segways, on the other hand, can be used by even the most reckless idiots on the planet. Segways can go remarkably fast [Ed. top speed about 12 mph], which makes impact with a pedestrian oh so much more painful. I could go on and on about why Segways in the Parks is a bad, bad idea. Instead, for anyone who thinks Segways are a good idea for the Park system, I challenge you to sit (at a safe distance) on the National Mall on a Wednesday afternoon and watch the Segways. I am on board for trails for the mountian bikers, but I would rally against the Segways and I am glad that they mentioned that just because they make a trail for the mountain bikers does not mean they would for the Segways.