Recent comments

  • Get Me to the Park on Time……..   5 years 46 weeks ago

    How do you become a step-on?

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Interesting comments. The wave in the recent event was reported to be about 30 feet high, and since water was reported to have reached the foundations of several residences, I'd guess that height could be pretty easily determined.

    As to the reports from 1952 and 1953 about 65 foot's hard to say if the size of waves reported in quite a few seemingly reliable sources is exaggerated or not. Whatever the height, there have obviously been some very impressive wave events on the lake! There certainly wouldn't have been any video footage available in those days, and since the whole thing was apparently over in about 90 seconds, it's no surprise that there wasn't time for anyone to grab a camera for even a still photo.

    It's hard to make a comparison with chunks of ice falling off a glacier into the ocean, since the volume of earth and rock in some of these landslides is probably larger. I don't have a good point of reference for how big 15 million cubic yards really is, but it's a lot of "stuff"! In this case the water being displaced is confined in a lake much smaller than the ocean.

    Perhaps a clue that the result of these events is different in lakes vs. the ocean is found in a report from the State of Washington about the the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens:

    ...which caused a massive tsunami in Spirit Lake. The sliding north face of the volcano slammed into the west arm of the lake, raising its surface an estimated 207 feet and sending a tsunami surging around the lake basin as high as 820 feet above the previous lake level.

    Now that's a serious wave, and I guess the aftermath of the St. Helen's event has been studied in considerable detail.

    I'm certainly not trying to defend data I didn't collect - just mentioning some interesting details from what would seem to be unbiased sources. Perhaps some readers with a professional background in the subject can offer an opinion about the credibility of those reports.

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   5 years 46 weeks ago

    65 FT wave..........I am sorry but that is just so hard to beleive.Where are the pics or vidio footage.I do beleive 16 -20ft wish i could of been there i would have surfed it lol...But any ways huge chuncks of ice fall into the ocean from the glaciars all the time and i dont think they are over 60 ft?A 16 ft wave could easly wash a small boat up onto shore 60ft and with that much land falling into a small lake i am sure lake level raised for a bit starting a domino affect down stream???Would realy like to see some video footage of this event if it happens so frequently in the same location.I beleive its slightly exagerated:]but still is an interesting thing to see.

  • Sharpshooters To Begin Reducing Elk Herds in Rocky Mountain National Park   5 years 46 weeks ago

    I don't know about elk, but birth control on deer was a failure when tried. Turned out the males just stayed in rut and caused more damage. The explosion in deer has been costly to cars from the increase in deer hits by cars. Elk not being in high population centers are not a problem to cars and do need to have the numbers thinned. The problem with hunts is that they are not year round and generaly take out the biggest rather than the weakest as wolves will do.

    Hunts will help in the short term but not in the long run. I agree that wolves will help and the wolves that spread outside the boundaries and kill herds will be killed. That is just nature with humans in the mix.

    As to the opinion that hunters cannot take the antlers. why not? They did the work why not a trophy. The meat can go to food banks if accepted then they parks will have to pay for the butchers to butcher the meat.

    As to making hunters pay, they generally do pay for hunting permits and special hunts like this have lotteries and money is charged for the special hunting permit, I believe. The hunters can explain further.

  • Planning to Visit Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? Leave Your Gun At Home   5 years 46 weeks ago

    This is true for many areas as a few states do not have CCW. I believe that Wisconsin will have it soon.
    I believe that 48 states have CCW in one form or another. Some states are "shall issue" and some are "may issue". Most people only pay attention to federal laws about guns and have not realized the change in 10 years on state laws. That is where the most change occurs.

  • Secretary Salazar on Guns in Parks: He'll "Take A Look At It"   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Nice to see Interior Secretary Salazar be a 2A supporter. I agree I am comfortable around guns and peole who use them and been shooting since I been a child and you don't see people freak out at a gun range with weapons openly carried, or over the shoulder and or at rest.

    But the emotional reaction of others is strange, they are so scared of a tool. We either trust Americans to be free or we don't. An American that can bear arms is a free man. One that is not free to do that, is a subject, though he may not realize it.

    As to the fear that CCW holder will start acting irrationally and shoot people, wildlife and scenery, that doesnt happen outside parks so there is no rational reason to assume they will inside a park.

  • Group Seeks To Intevene In Court Case Concerning Armed Visitors in National Parks   5 years 46 weeks ago

    I find it curious that anti gun folk complain when other people exercise a civil right protected by the Constitution. They rarely complain about the exercise of other civil rights. But because this civil right is about the right to keep and bear(carry) arms they get all upset.

    Those who choose to carry arms are not infringing on the anti gun folk, their civil rights, so please do not infringe on the gun carry folks rights. That is tolerance.

    This new change to carry provisions in National Parks do not effect retirees of the NPS any more thjat it effect everyone. Which is very little. However a revokation of the rule does effect those who wish to exercise their right to carry in NPS.

    Though a waepon may help in defending against attacks of dangerous wildlife, a handgun is not the best tool. It is more to allow to defend against the two legged predator.

    The most common usuage would be to travelers who have CCW who now do not have to stop every time they travel by car on a road that goes in and out of a NP. I do not know how many times when I drive down a road that I go in and out of a NP. It may be different in the west. But on the east coast that happens a lot near Catoctin and other parks.

    To the non carrying public this change will have no effect. They should not be aware when a vistor has a gun with them since it is supposed to be concealed. I personally would prefer to see open carry than just conceal carry. Then I know who is carrying most of the time and can make my own judgement.

  • National Park Quiz 39: Winter   5 years 46 weeks ago

    You can keep your snow and cold, Bob. The summer heat down here in South Carolina may be disagreeable, but at least I don't have to shovel it. Here's an arcane fact for you. My Masters thesis, a tome that dealt with human biometeorology, investigated the way that weather systems and perceptions of heat and cold affect human comfort in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  • National Park Quiz 39: Winter   5 years 46 weeks ago


    We have a few hundred hardy ice fishermen who cross ice to visit mostly the innermost of the Apostle Islands, although there's a story one former employee told of driving his pickup all the way out to Devils Island -- the northernmost -- one particularly cold winter. I've seen a few (human) tracks when I've skied out to islands, but not very many. The NPS issues only a handful of winter camping permits a year, so the non-fishing use is really small.

    As to why to we live and work in places that get this cold, right about now I ask myself that same question. On the other hand, if you really dislike very hot weather, as I do, you relish this climate in July and August. And the autumns, short as they are, rock. The problem isn't really how cold it is up here, the problem is how long the cold lasts!

    [and Kurt, for reasons unknown, today the map shows up in Firefox when it didn't the other day]

  • What's It Take To Hike At Grand Canyon National Park?   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Hiking in the Grand Canyon is wonderful. And on several trails you do not have to go far to get away from huge crushes of people.

  • Pruning the Parks: Papago Saguaro National Monument (1914-1930)   5 years 46 weeks ago

    What?! You mean to say that I only missed one of the key political aspects of this tale? I think that's a new personal best. Wait 'til I tell Kurt. I'd like to read that out-of-print book you mentioned, since I've always been interested in Papago Park's post-1930 history. Thanks for helping to flesh out the story. Papago park is certainly an interesting place.

  • Pruning the Parks: Papago Saguaro National Monument (1914-1930)   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Glad you highlighted Papago Saguaro, which was designated as a sister park to Saguaro National Monument near Tucson (which later became Saguaro National Park). It's a clear case of how being named a National Monument does not necessarily engender protection - it's up to the public to help make sure the place is ensured protection. I think you also missed a key political aspect of this tale, which was that while the state took over the Monument, it was for the unspoken purpose of fulfilling some of these other demands, such as the fish hatchery, SRP offices and utility corridors, and so forth. It just took the competing forces a while to divy out the goods. There's an interesting out of print book out there called Papago Park: A History of Hole-In-The-Rock from 1848 to 1995 (by Jason Gart, Pueblo Grande Museum) which charts the interesting history of the area, from its National Monument status to the Ku Klux Klan initiations to its role as a POW camp.

    Oh, and I'd also throw out Sonoran Desert National Monument (especially the "Area A" portion) and Ironwood Forest National Monument (both of these are run by the BLM, not the Park Service, and are part of the National Landscape Conservation System) as additionally beautiful saguaro forests - and both of these places are much closer to Phoenix than Saguaro National Park.

  • Having a Bad Day? Consider the Plight of Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park   5 years 46 weeks ago

    In Southwest Kentucky and NW Tennessee, they are predicting it will take a month or more to restore power to everyone. I hope ABLI fares better!

  • Pruning the Parks: Papago Saguaro National Monument (1914-1930)   5 years 46 weeks ago

    I have used and enjoyed Papago Park for 40 years and never realized it was once part of the National Park Service. As the article mentions, it now is home to the Phoenix Zoo and the Botanical Gardens, both excellent attractions and most definitely worth an Arizona visitor's time. But if it is saguaro cactus that you are looking for, head southeast to the Saguaro National is one of the most unique and beautiful forests in the country, and only a short drive from the Phoenix area.

  • This Park Nourishes Its Forest Service Roots   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Thanks very much for the correction, Steve!

    It's been quite a few years since I visited Walnut Canyon, and I obviously misread the information in the park newspaper that covers both Walnut Canyon and Sunset Crater.

    I'll correct the article and repost it.

  • This Park Nourishes Its Forest Service Roots   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Nice little article, but just one necessary correction: the campground 'across from the visitor center' is actually located across from the Sunset Crater National Monument visitor center, some 25 miles from Walnut Canyon NM.
    Still, the partnership program with the Forest Service is still going strong and improving every year.

  • Paul Hoffman Still Defending His Proposed Changes to the National Park Service's Management Policies   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Thank you, Bill. It is officials like Hoffman who pose the greatest threat to the National Park System. It takes dedicated managers to stand up to the short sighted people, such as Hoffman, and refuse to compromise on the mission of the National Park Service as stated in the Organic Act.

  • Updated: Lake Clark National Park's Redoubt Volcano Begins To Awake, Eruption Thought to be Imminent   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Wow, that is an amazing photo. Hope no one ends up trapped in the various cabins and lodges on the western shore of Cook Inlet. This time of year, there probably aren't many people there, but still ...


    My travels through the National Park System:

  • What's It Take To Hike At Grand Canyon National Park?   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Hiking the Grand Canyon are great highlights of my life. One thought: don't hike the inner canyon in the summer unless you're prepared for some serious heat. I hiked down the Kaibab trail to the river and up the Bright Angel trail one October day a few years ago. Started in raingear (it was raining and lightning on the rim), changed to shorts halfway down and finished in a rainstorm that afternoon. Another great way to hike the canyon is from a boat trip down the Colorado. Lots of interesting side canyons are accessible from river level but not from above. Go and have fun!

  • Updated: Lake Clark National Park's Redoubt Volcano Begins To Awake, Eruption Thought to be Imminent   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Anyone who doubts or downplays the forces of nature MUST BE BLIND.

  • Visiting the Parks: Running the Colorado Through Canyonlands National Park   5 years 46 weeks ago

    This particular raft appears to be a private citizen rowing in Cataract Canyon of Canyonlands National Park. The Permitted Outfitters for Canyonlands have familiarity that exceeds the knowledge of the private boater and will have more successful passage than the video represented here. Having made that statement, it must also be pointed out that the National Park Service was stationed with a "rescue" craft in this video, this indicates levels exceeding 55,000 CFS . (CFS is Cubic Feet Per Second. It is a standard measurement deployed by the USGS - United States Geologic Survey - Water Science Center. This roilsome hallmark does reach a definitive 50% - 50% opportunity to contend with upset of one kind (Folks Falling Out) or another (Rafts Flipping) no matter who captains the craft. That is why Park Service also situates a videographer among the "Big Drops" to capture the increased action that comes with this temporary water level.

    Let be known that is an amazing resource to truly understand the duration, frequency or lack of frequency, of flows. Careful inspection of these levels will ultimately aid river runners to select levels appropriate for personal skill levels.

    Also, about this video: the participants were seemingly prepared for recoil wearing helmets and wetsuits. BRAVO!

    We all need to remember to avoid pulling upstream to train the focus on power going downstream and better anticipate meeting laterals perpendicularly.

  • Updated: Lake Clark National Park's Redoubt Volcano Begins To Awake, Eruption Thought to be Imminent   5 years 46 weeks ago

    A great picture which shows the amazing force of nature. Let's just hope that no one gets injured, should Mount Redoubt really erupt.

  • What Interest Is a Civil War Battlefield in Virginia to Vermont?   5 years 46 weeks ago

    I find myself wondering what the response would be if Trader Joe's wanted to build in the same location. In these troubled economic times Wal-Mart is continuing with expansion (they also provide jobs and pay taxes). I worked at Wal-Mart during my college years and they were a good employer. Yes they employ many retirees on a part time basis to avoid paying for benefits but not nearly as many as the federal government (seasonal employees). Thus far I have not seen Wal-Mart ask the Fed for a bailout.

    I think it would be pretty difficult to find a parcel of land in Virginia that was not significant during the Civil War. I have to question the motives of at least some of the people fighting this fight, is this about historical significance...or is it about Wal-Mart.

  • Upon Further Review – How Not to Protect Yourself from a Bear   5 years 46 weeks ago

    RJ -

    Thanks for an excellent comment, including the useful perspective on the small number of actual grizzly bear attacks.

    Hope you'll be back in the park this summer!

  • Upon Further Review – How Not to Protect Yourself from a Bear   5 years 46 weeks ago

    Great article, Jim. I spent last summer working as a field technician in YNP, and I could not believe just how many visitors to the park lacked that "common sense." As part of my training, I was required to take a bear safety course provided by the NPS at the training center in Gardiner, MT. The speakers provided us with some interesting mortality statistics of YNP since the parks conception, which are well documented in the book "Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park" (

    Something interesting to know, more people die annually from bison attacks than grizzly bear attacks. And over the course of YNP's existence, more people have died in park boundaries as a result of Native American ambushes than from grizzly bear attacks. Thanks for posting. Hoping that I will be back in YNP this summer working on, well, a grizzly bear study!