Recent comments

  • Yellowstone National Park Roads Opening to Cyclists Sans Automobiles   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Not in the eastern part of Zion. Bicycles are not allowed in the one mile Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel, no pedestrians either. Meaning you can't enter or leave the park towards or from Bryce Canyon. Of course you might try to hitchhike with an RV driver. Some might give you a lift through the tunnel.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Anonymous (not verified)
    "On March 20th, 2009
    There's not enuf rangers to enforce the stupid rule...so do as I do...keep on bikin'!
    I've been bikin in national parks on trails for 3 years and have never been caught!"

    Interesting attitude. I wonder how you might feel if you found that dirt bikers where cutting trails across a piece of property that you happened to own. Just fair warning, if I see you illegally on a park trail I will tell you so. If I have a camera, be sure that you will be reported. I figure that it's my park you are damaging.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 44 weeks ago

    The need to carry a concealed weapon seems to be at issue. There is absolutely no need to do so. If safety is the primary issue for those proponents of carrying firearms into these areas, then BEARing them in the open makes the most sense. The need one feels to be secretive serves no purpose of promoting safety. If more people entering the parks are obviously armed, then the bad guys will be less like to inhabit these areas themselves. Hidden arms are more likely to lead to confrontation. BEAR your arms in the open proudly. Appear to be a proponent of safety and not paranoia.

  • Yellowstone National Park Roads Opening to Cyclists Sans Automobiles   5 years 44 weeks ago

    When it comes to cycling in the parks, Zion National Park is perhaps the most accommodating. In addition to restricting the use of private vehicles, bicyclists have the right of way on the park road. Shuttle busses will not pass a cyclist unless he/she pulls over to the side.

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 44 weeks ago

    More data: The NPS has no public access statistics for their website, but Wikipedia does. In February 2009, the article on Yellowstone was accessed 35873 times, The one on Gauley River 298 times. Money is tight, there is high demand for experts time. How should the NPS spend their budget for web development and content creation? On Gauley River NRA?

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 44 weeks ago

    I too think this comparison is a bit silly. Yellowstone had 27 times as many visitors as Gauley River in 2007. Don't you think it might be appropriate to invest more time and money into its website? And not only actual visitors count: How many students in all grades and disciplines write papers on Yellowstone and how many on Gauley River? And here on the Traveler 169 articles are tagged Yellowstone National Park, two for Gauley River NRA (both today and including this one).

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Well Kurt,
    I’ve carried a concealed weapon for over forty years and there has been no environmental impact, however, there has been an impact on crime! I’m pretty sure who’s trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

  • Brady Campaign Sues Interior Department over Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    I think a more realistic way of saying it is:

    How sad that criminals exist. But they do exist. Thank Goodness that reasonable, intellegent, honest, law-abiding citizens have their God-given right to self protection guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitutions Bill of Rights. But how sad that so many fools would gladly give up not only their individual rights to self protection, but also plot to take these rights away from the sensible people as well.

  • Designations Just One Example of Disparities Within the National Park System. Web Sites Are Another   5 years 44 weeks ago

    This is a pretty weak argument, Kurt. I'd love for the smaller parks to have better websites, but there's no way that a smaller unknown unit like Gauley River would ever have a website like Yellowstone's. And, boy, I'd be pissed if they did because I bet the web traffic is probably 50-1 for Yellowstone and let's be honest, they don't have that much to post up there.

  • Forget the Camp, Send Your Kid to Yellowstone National Park This Summer   5 years 44 weeks ago

    This is an amazing way to teach youth about nature conservation. And at the same time, helping the citizens of the place maintain Yellowstone National Park. Oh and nice summer job, too!

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 44 weeks ago

    If you only knew how she tried to stop this rulemaking, but was over ruled by the White House!

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Jess, I find it hard to accept that every state, a priori, "deserves" to have at least one national park. Political subdivisions have little to do with the distribution of natural and cultural/historical resources meeting the standards set for NPS units. That said, I do understand that there is enormous political pressure to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the standards or lower the bar (pick your metaphor) in this or that particular case in order to spread the wealth. We can therefore confidently predict that various national-parkless political subdivisions (Delaware, for example) will get the NPS unit they have long been denied. Glad to hear that you'll be visiting Congaree in April. You've picked a good month (mild weather, few skeeters). Be sure to do the Cedar Creek Canoe Trail (plan ahead to rent a canoe or kayak; there are none available in the park) as well as one the longer dirt trail hikes in the floodplain forest. The canopy height and sheer size of the forest giants will blow you away! Sorry 'bout the scarcity of historic hotels and inns in the Congaree vicinity.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Why should our 2nd Amendment rights suddenly be stripped once we step foot into a national park? I wish everyone entering the national parks was highly trained in the use of personal protection firearms and had passed FBI background checks. Then, I wish it was well known that qualified people were legally carrying guns in national parks. I am being serious. That would deter criminals from preying on people because they would have to assume everyone was armed.
    Thanks for reading.

    Bill

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Olallie, excellent comment. I'm referring to this part of your message:

    I do wish that more folks in the MTB fraternity would recognize that some of us hikers treasure the stillness and slow pace of travel that comes with our activity, and we don't enjoy jumping off a narrow mountain trail every time a cyclist comes rushing along. (Believe me, it's not the cyclists who make way for hikers, at least not around here.) The level of alertness that is required on "shared use" trails compromises the very feeling I am out there to experience.

    Some mountain bikers do recognize that we run the potential to compromise others' desire for solitude, absence of hypervigilance, and stillness in the wild. There's a lot of dogma on all sides on this emotional issue, and I refuse to be dogmatic. I just read a fine article in the current Skeptical Inquirer magazine on the importance and significance of open-mindedness. The author reinforced my view that being open to criticism, different points of view, and well-reasoned new ideas is vastly important. I know it is to me. I have been condemned often enough by other mountain bikers for departing from the orthodoxy that everything will be fine as long as we ride responsibly, and for embracing the heresy that our mode of travel may impair the qualities you're speaking of, depending on time and place.

    That said, though, I favor allowing mountain biking on almost all trails where it has become prohibited simply because of one-size-fits-all government regulations that have proven to be unworkable, unfair, counterproductive (look at all of the Wilderness that was not created in the last 20 years), and conducive to contempt for the law. Just as you say, reasonable people can work out a mechanism that will give mountain bikers access at times and still give you the experiences of slowness, grandness of scale, stillness, and relaxation (i.e., the lack of a need to be alert to an oncoming bicycle) that you want. It can be done and many mountain bikers are prepared to help do it. Frankly, it's what most municipal swimming pools do when they divide the day up into fast-swimming and recreational-swimming hours. It's hardly rocket science.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Well, Tom J., I would like to think "law-abiding" people have respect for all laws, not just the ones that suit them. In the case at hand, the Interior Department in the judge's opinion more than likely broke the law by failing to consider the possible environmental impacts of the rule change. Now, it's very likely that there won't be any significant impacts, but that's why the National Environmental Policy Act calls for such a study -- to make that determination so politicians can't ramrod things through the system.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Zeb, can't argue with you over the behavior of some hikers. I've seen my share of those who try to cut the switchbacks in half.

  • Yellowstone Cutthroats In Danger   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Storminator, you're right, there is no limit on lakers. I suggest you check either with the ranger station where you pick up your Shoshone boat permit or the visitor center at Grant Village to see if they can recommend a section of Yellowstone Lake where you'll have the best odds of landing some lakers.

    Enjoy Shoshone. It's a fantastic lake with some great campsites and sights to see!

  • Yellowstone Cutthroats In Danger   5 years 44 weeks ago

    as i understand it, there is no limit on lake trout fishing in Yellowstone Lake.

    my brother and i are planning a canoe trip to Shoshone Lake next summer. we also plan to spend an entire day on Yellowstone Lake pulling lake trout out- and releasing the cut throats.

    and we're not really fishermen, either! we just love Yellowstone.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    As usual, people are rationalizing their greed and desire not to share our taxpayer funded trails. Greedy hikers...

    The irony of it all is that people are arguing over miles and miles of trails that see nary a soul most of the time. It's not like mountain bikers cross your path every 2mns. Most people are too busy staying home on the couch watching TV.

    Funny anecdote. On this forum, most of the comments portray the bikers as the evil trail users ("tearing around a corner", "speeding down", etc.). This morning, as I was climbing (because we need to go up to come back down) a local park in the SF bay area, I saw a hiker climbing the hill off trail. Apparently, going up the trail was not thrilling enough for him, so he apparently decided to blaze his own trail. Not the first time I've seen this kind of behavior either. I wonder what the park lovers on this site think of this. :)

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    i love to hike- love to ride my mtn bike, too.

    the thing about the PCT, is it's the PCT!! if you're an OCD avid mtn biker- you like cross off trails you've done.

    so, i think that mtn bikes should be allowed on the PCT- but only so many per year. you buy a special permit that allows mtn bike access. this helps cover that "extra damage", enables the OCD mtn biker to accomplish what cannot be conquered legally, and if you catch people mtn biking without the pass- BIG TICKET. more money to help cover the costs.

    yes, we can all get along.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    well, first of all, i don't think you'll use a comb when a brown bear comes into camp!

    you do not need a gun in the park. i have hiked back country three times in Yellowstone. no gun required.

    my next trip in will be to Shoshone Lake, so i will buy a can of pepper spray.

    if you don't have a gun, like a CONCEALED gun, you won't shoot the gun at a bear. and the small concealed weapon will do nothing but piss the bear off.

    so, if you feel you need to carry a concealed weapoin when you're in a national park- just go someplace else for your vacation.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Damn straight Mr. Smith!

    We're not going to rely on non-existent protection. As for following the letter of the law I can name quite a few things your beloved federal regime does that is very illegal and far more dangerous to life and limb than a man attempting to protect himself in the wilderness. Your continued dedication to regulations and rules is admirable in a retired agency bureaucrat but does not in any way reflect the reality on the ground. People are going to do what they need to do in order to insure their safety and that's not going to change whether the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) reflects it or not.

    Simple fact.

  • Sections of Pacific Crest Trail Poached by Mountain Bikers; Could Problems Arise in National Parks?   5 years 44 weeks ago

    Conflicts between bikes and hikers can be resolved, but I think it's going to take some form of zoning or other regulation. Here in the Wasatch Range, some popular trails are on an odd-even day system, which seems to work well and allows everyone a chance to experience the woods in the manner they desire. This obviously doesn't work for through-trails such as the PCT, though.

    I do wish that more folks in the MTB fraternity would recognize that some of us hikers treasure the stillness and slow pace of travel that comes with our activity, and we don't enjoy jumping off a narrow mountain trail every time a cyclist comes rushing along. (Believe me, it's not the cyclists who make way for hikers, at least not around here.) The level of alertness that is required on "shared use" trails compromises the very feeling I am out there to experience.

    Hiking trails and singletrack are two very different animals and they don't mix well. That said, there is still much we can do to segregate uses and keep everyone happy. We've had to do it with motors and I'm sure there are reasonable accommodations we can make with cyclists. Just don't pretend that there's no issue here.

    Thanks again, Kurt, for providing this forum.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    I’m afraid that there are too many ignorant people out there in the parks that are unaware that a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm, is not only protecting themselves and their families but everyone around them! This Judge that listened to the ignorant misinformed people who don’t have any respect for the “Law-abiding” person who will not be there in case of emergencies. Many of these people like myself have worked in law enforcement for many years before retiring. Now we go through the process of getting a permit to continue our “To Serve & to Protect” training while trying to enjoy the many parks ourselves! I really feel sorry for those who cannot tell the difference between a Law-abiding citizen and a “CRIMINAL”, who doesn’t play by any one’s rule! I personally have seen many of these people that wouldn’t think twice about killing you or yours without a second’s thought! I only hope you don’t get to meet one of these “Criminals” that will teach you the difference. The hard way.

  • NRA Appeals Ruling Blocking Concealed Carry in National Parks   5 years 44 weeks ago

    NRA members in good standing carry firearms to give ourselves a means of protection against those who do not believe in our constitutional, God given rights to life liberty and justice for all. We fight for this right because we are aware there are unfortunately people that live in this nation that believe they have the right to abuse us, rob us, steal from us and use the NRA and any other agency that we have created to protect us from them to take from us even our lives in anyway, anywhere they please. The NRA by standing up for us by fighting for an individuals, any individuals right to bear arms, allows us to remain a free country. Animals in our national Parks however are not allowed to carry firearms to defend themselves, so they must rely on their instincts to attack and defend those creatures that evade there homes and territory. After living and working in the Park system for 6 years I can assure you that there are already some individuals that enter the National Parks armed illegally now. Now they will venture into areas where they surely would not go without the security of firearms to defend them selves from the vicious, aggressive attacking animals that they run into on the trails. If anyone out there thinks this is not the case then you must disbelieve any of the stories told in any of the sporting and hunting magazines. Anytime a person hiking, camping and visiting our National Parks confronts any of these "wild" animals viciously attacking either themselves of anyone else that has ventured too close to these poor animals, the animals always lose. I myself did not believe this until I spent time trying to educate park visitors, not to try to touch the animals and give them the space and respect they deserve. I have personally witnessed a park visitor running towards a grizzly bear with a young child in her arms so the child could see the bear. I am sure that if this grizzly bear had felt aggression from this act that it would have defended itself. If a concealed carrying park patron witnessed this act of aggression I am sure the outcome would have been radically different for the bear. If we as a Nation can not control crime in our cities why do we think we can control crime in the National Parks by carrying concealed weapons. The real problem is the crime we can not or will not control so we feel safer arming ourselves.