Recent comments

  • Pronghorn Antelope Knocks Two Off Motorcycle in Grand Teton National Park   5 years 43 weeks ago

    I was lucky enough to go to the Four Corners area 2 years ago touring on a motorcycle. We loved seeing the wildlife and one of our first thrills was seeing pronghorn off in the distance...we never got to see them up close. I cannot imagine what it was for everyone involved to have the bliss of the day turned so quickly. And of course helmets, helmets, helmets.

  • As Yellowstone National Park is to Wolves, Is Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Elk?   5 years 43 weeks ago

    I feel that every wolf in the state of Montana need to be managed by means of hunting and trapping. There are more wolves in the state then the they want you to know about. The amount is way over the original trial. It is time for them to be managed.

  • New Life for a Lighthouse at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore   5 years 43 weeks ago

    I was up in this lighthouse back in 1982, when the lantern room was empty (though the tower itself was well maintained by the Park Rangers). At nightfall, something seemed to be "missing" because the tower was dark. It is so nice seeing this tower relit; it seems to have its spirit back! And the way that they did it (with an exact replica of the original third-order Fresnel lens and a high-efficiency LED bulb mounted atop a replica of the original oil lamp) is beyond praise!

    There are YouTube videos (for example: and Flickr photos ( of this lighthouse with its new light.

    With this project completed. I hope that they raise the funds and find the resources to restore the keeper's house and other buildings, if those are their plans.

  • Motorized Tours OK-ed for Cumberland Island National Seashore   5 years 43 weeks ago

    I love my wilderness, but I must admit this should put to rest a preservation-use argument that has plagued the island for decades. The trips will never impact the island as much as channel dredging/maintenance and the arrival and departure of eight or so Ohio-class "boomer" submarines. They are ported at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, just two miles west of the island.

  • Naked Hikers Let It All Hang Out On the Summer Solstice   5 years 43 weeks ago


  • Motorized Tours OK-ed for Cumberland Island National Seashore   5 years 43 weeks ago

    No No No No No!!!!!

    This is, in my humble opinion, a terrible decision which alows a foot in the door for additional traffic on this beautiful but fragile island. Let'em walk or ride bikes like I did.

  • Unresolved Search-and-Rescue Cases Are Scattered Throughout the National Parks   5 years 43 weeks ago

    As you briefly mention, the Martin case was a classic. A number of things can be said about it, but perhaps most important is its role on training SAR Incident Commanders in the years since it happened. When I transferred to Albright Training Center in early 1973, I was lucky enough to be asked (and provided a budget) to develop a training course in "Managing the Search Function" (later to become known as Managing the Lost Person Incident). We pulled together all the innovative methods being used around the country to find lost persons, but until then not widely shared. These included among many others:
    - using air-scenting dogs
    - searching for clues and not (only for) the lost person
    - probabilities and statistics
    We heavily researched the Martin case because it represented the "standard" way of conducting searches at the time. However, the new approaches quickly made it an example of many of the things NOT to do in searching for lost people in remote areas. Thus it became a good training tool, and helped dramatically improve the effectiveness of land search. So, it is sad that Dennis has never been found, but he indirectly probably saved the lives of many since. I agree with Larry Nielson - I think he's still up there, perhaps in a crevice of the fractured rock typical of the area, and overgrown with rhododendron and other thick vegetation. Though in typical humor of the otherwise serious participants of the many courses I conducted, someone almost always concluded that he was snatched by a Martian space-ship.

    Bill Wade
    Chair, Executive Council
    Coalition of National Park Service Retirees

  • Naked Hikers Let It All Hang Out On the Summer Solstice   5 years 43 weeks ago

    "Filled with nudists" is a bit of an exaggeration, dt, on two counts. The two beaches you mention are not that crowded with unclad bathers, and few of the unclad bathers are actually nudists. Nudism is a lifestyle choice, whereas nude sunbathing on public or private beaches is a recreational option practiced by lots of day-tripping and weekending people who are most emphatically not nudists. Baker Beach, which lies below big cliffs just west of the Presidio, is mainly used for sunbathing, picnicking, and surf fishing. (Swimming is dangerous there because of very cold water, deep drop offs, and strong riptides.) Although Baker is a mile long, only the northern end -- the end nearest the Golden Gate Bridge -- is used for clothing optional sunbathing. Black Sands Beach (aka Bonita Beach) in Marin County is mainly used by first-timers and diehards because it's a major pain to access it (a ten-minute hike in from Conzelman Road, then a steep return climb -- quite strenuous if toting a cooler), and the place can be windy and uncomfortable for nude sunbathing. As you've noted, Bay Area residents are generally tolerant of the clothing optional sunbathing that takes place in certain well defined areas, such as Black Sands and the northern end of Baker. The Park Service has adopted what seems to be a practical policy of looking the other way as long as nobody gets hurt.

  • Naked Hikers Let It All Hang Out On the Summer Solstice   5 years 43 weeks ago

    Naked is how we 'naturally' arrived in this world and I applaud those who choose to observe such a fun loving tradition. Especially, if it gets more people to go out and hike!

  • Another Marina Fire At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   5 years 43 weeks ago

    Come on! Consider the people involved before being so negative!

  • Naked Hikers Let It All Hang Out On the Summer Solstice   5 years 43 weeks ago

    I think there might be some sort of loophole in NPS bylaws about nudity. Certain areas of the GGNRA - Baker Beach and Black Sands Beach - are almost always filled with nudists. The park rangers don't do a think to try to stop or prevent it, and nobody seems to mind in the least. This may be something particular to the fact that it's San Francisco, of course, but I think the whole reason the nudists decided to set up shop where they did was because of the fact that they could strip down on federal land.

    either way, we shouldn't be so afraid of the human body. there are times when nudity is inappropriate, yes, but let's take a lesson from the Europeans - a culture that has a couple hundred years head start on ours - and not demonize ro shun that which is most natural.

  • Naked Hikers Let It All Hang Out On the Summer Solstice   5 years 43 weeks ago


  • Naked Hikers Let It All Hang Out On the Summer Solstice   5 years 43 weeks ago

    What is hurt, but, our sensibilities. I have yet to come across naked hikers in my many photo forays...just at hot springs.

    "So it is not nakedness that gives the sense of immodesty, the modifying the nakedness is what does it."
    - A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals, Vol. 2

    Executive Director,
    Crater Lake Institute
    Robert Mutch Photography

  • Naked Hikers Let It All Hang Out On the Summer Solstice   5 years 43 weeks ago

    Come on, live and let live.

    Blessed be and may you always walk in the Light.

  • NPCA Report: National Parks Provide Economic Security for Surrounding Communities   5 years 43 weeks ago

    tell that to the ppl who run business in the outer bancks of N.C do to the closeriers of the beaches to 4 wheel drives, has cost that economy ,upwards of over 8 million dollars ,has limited fishing areas for surf fishermen aka ppl. the nps there and at assateague island nat seashore. have been in battles for many yrs to preserve the right to drive on the beach for beach actives ,such as fishing , getting away from the crowds, just beach goers that want a little privicy an not have to lug cooler to the beach ,at AI permits are issued from about 90 dollars for day time to 170 dollars for camping in what they call the bullpen on the beach. There are over 5,000 permits issued each year an only 145 vehicels allowed on the beach at a time .which on wkends makes it inpossable to get on the beach if you get there past 8 am, there is 12 miles of beach there to drive on, which at time has closeriers where only 5 miles of the beach is open, closieres are for the pipeing plover endangered speices, there are ways to get around this closeier but the nps will not allow it aka there use to be a back road that you could go around these closeriers. but the nps will not open this road again so more ppl can enjoy THEIR national park.

  • Toddler Dies After Drinking Citronella Oil at Chickasaw National Recreation Area Campsite   5 years 43 weeks ago

    My family was there when this happened. We were two campsites down. The adults had been drinking off and on. From what we observed, they were not overly concerned with safety, sad to say.

  • Balancing Act   5 years 43 weeks ago

    Great picture of a difficult (fast, elusive) subject! Cute little devil.... :)

  • Don’t Do This with Your Helicopter   5 years 43 weeks ago

    That this idiot has been given so much slack by the authorities at Glen Canyon is amazing, considering what would have happened if he'd been caught doing something else, like picking wildflowers or carving his initials into the sandstone.

    He seems to be having a grand old time thumbing his nose at Ranger McGinn while making himself a danger to the visiting public. Talk about an agency with its hands tied behind its back.

  • Update: At 25 Years and Counting, Jackson Hole Airport Still Owes For Its Footprint   5 years 43 weeks ago

    The airport is planning a huge remodel to start soon. I know of many contractors (including ourselves) who recently submitted bids for a fall start. The remodel is huge since the airport is to stay open during construction. No plans related to any runways. I guess you can remodel with your rent money in Jackson.

  • Senate Loads Credit Card Bill With Amendment to Allow Loaded Weapons in National Parks   5 years 43 weeks ago

    great comments and sufficiently said Desert Explorer!!!

  • Don’t Do This with Your Helicopter   5 years 43 weeks ago

    This pilot is licensed, TD, and his helicopter is not a kit-built aircraft.

  • Recalling the Wonderland Hotel in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Demolition by Neglect?   5 years 43 weeks ago

    It's too bad "Demolition by Neglect" isn't a prohibited activity for National Landmark owners.

  • Still No Sign of Missing Climber on Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve   5 years 43 weeks ago

    This man was my chiropractor and really was a sweet guy. I really wish that you would have had some sensitivity to this tragedy out of respect for those reading about his disappearance. Don't you have anything else to do with your time?

  • Don’t Do This with Your Helicopter   5 years 43 weeks ago

    If it's an "experimental" Helicopter, something he built himself, often from a kit, no license may be required to operate it. I say turn the park area into an open Skeet Shooting area and let everyone take a shot or two at him. He'll change his habits quickly.

  • Don’t Do This with Your Helicopter   5 years 43 weeks ago

    How come this outrageous maniac of a helicopter pilot hasn't had his flying license revoked? He is endangering the public, and may eventually injure or kill someone. He obviosly has no respect for the rights or the lives of other people, or for common sense laws. His continued violations, even after previous warnings and citations, proves that he has no intention of abiding by the law, and will continue to break it whenever he feels like it. He must have his license to fly revoked, and his helicopter should be seized and sold to pay for court costs.