Recent comments

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 47 weeks ago

    One key point in this issue needs to be emphasized – the effect of the proposed rule on agency efforts to deal with poaching.

    As noted by the survey that started this thread, almost anyone who has work experience in a park understands the magnitude of the challenge to stem poaching. Given the vast areas involved and limited staffing, the odds of catching a poacher in the act are small. The current NPS regulation limiting ready access to loaded firearms in vehicles is the most effective tool for dealing with a serious wildlife management and public safety issue.

    The guy roaming park roads at 2 a.m. and checking out fields with his spotlight isn't admiring the scenery. When he's caught with a loaded gun on the front seat, current regulations make it clear a violation has occurred, and this problem can be resolved before shots are ever fired. Most state regulations define weapons allowed under CHL's so loosely that "heavier" handguns suitable for poaching are completely legal under the proposed regulation change.

    One commenter voiced the opinion that someone intending to break the law wouldn't go out and get a CHL. He's welcome to his opinion, but I strongly disagree, because there is tremendous financial incentive for commercial poachers to do just that.

    Poaching is not just Billy-Bob out looking for some easy venison, but big business that is a significant threat to the population of bears and other wildlife. A thriving and highly profitable international market for bear parts such as gall bladders and paws provides ample incentive for crooks to take their chances – and puts wildlife populations at risk. No, that's not anecdotal – do a Google search if you want easy documentation.

    I've found nothing to prohibit an individual from having a CHL from multiple states, and no information that states share information about convictions for hunting violations, especially if the conviction is not for a felony. The background checks for a CHL are normally a routine check of computer databases, which while better than nothing, are far from complete - and I make that statement from first-hand experience from my law enforcement career. Serious gaps in reporting convictions of Texas CHL holders to the state have also been previously addressed above.

    The legal ability to carry a loaded handgun in a national park would be a poacher's dream. Utah makes it especially easy for residents of any state to obtain a permit which is then good in many other states, and numerous companies are glad to help. Here's just one excerpt:

    "Based on recognition from other states, ease of initial application and renewal, and cost only, $65.25 for a five year permit, the Utah CCW Permit is the most valuable Multi-State CCW Permit available! Our Utah Concealed Firearm Permit is valid in over 28 States, and it is available to residents of any state…. available to ANY law-abiding citizen who takes the time to apply. Get your Multi-State Concealed Firearm Permit now!"

    Utah's "training" requirement? "Approximately" 4 hours in the classroom—no need to fire a weapon. One of these permit mills points out that Utah is "shall issue" state, "Which means that, unless you have a disqualifier on your record, they must issue you a permit." Disqualifiers in Utah? Unless you've been convicted of what they consider a "serious" crime (including a felony, crime of violence, or a recent alcohol or drug-related offense)... no problem. It's noteworthy than non-felonious hunting convictions are not a disqualifier for a Utah CCW permit.

    Poaching is also a public safety issue. Only one example for the sake of brevity: at my last park, a bullet fired by a poacher at a herd of deer missed its target and shattered a window in a home adjacent to the park boundary. Fortunately, the homeowner was not injured.

    Let's put one issue to rest. I'm absolutely not opposed to hunting, and when practiced legally and safely, hunting is an important tool for wildlife management in appropriate locations. That does not mean that some areas, such as national parks, should not continue to restrict hunting to provide opportunities for non-hunters who enjoy activities such as viewing of wildlife.

    And a final point – does anyone really believe the current push for relaxed regulations on handguns is the end of the NRA agenda concerning national parks? In an April 29, 2008 statement on the proposed changes, the NRA's chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, said "This is an important step in the right direction…" Does anyone really doubt that once the camel has its proverbial nose under the tent, the next push will be to remove all restrictions on loaded weapons in parks? I sure don't.

    Whether that's a good or bad thing depends upon your ideology and your philosophy about whether national parks should ultimately be any different than any other chunk of real estate.

    There's no need for others to restate their views on the 2nd amendment, which have already been more than adequately covered above.

  • IMBA: Not Every Park Suitable For Mountain Biking, No Interests, Currently, For Trails in Wilderness Areas   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Although we haven't yet seen the proposed rule change from the Park Service, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) believes that the current mountain biking regulations appear to be working well and that there is no demonstrated need to change them. Like any use of the national parks, the use of mountain bikes on trails should be examined via a public process, environmental review, and fully comply with National Environmental Policy Act before given the green light.

    NPCA believes that any changes made to the mountain biking regulations must take into consideration: 1) the capacity of park staffs to effectively manage mountain biking and ensure visitor safety; and 2) associated impacts on wildlife, vegetation, overall trail conditions, and the experience of other park visitors. Furthermore, any changes to the current mountain biking policy should not allow for mountain biking on parklands that have been or may be recommended by the National Park Service or others for inclusion into the National Wilderness Preservation System.

    Bryan Faehner
    National Parks Conservation Association

  • IMBA: Not Every Park Suitable For Mountain Biking, No Interests, Currently, For Trails in Wilderness Areas   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I have to admit that I was wary of going hiking on a mountain bike trail this past weekend but was pleasantly surprised. The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Outdoor Chattanooga and the National Park Service Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) maintain a single-track trail on Raccoon Mountain above the city of Chattanooga, TN.

    We took a leisurely stroll on this trail yesterday and found that it was in much better shape than most of the hiking trails we regularly use in this area and that the bikers we encountered were friendly and courteous.

    To be fair we are still in the throes of a prolonged drought which could account for the well packed and un-eroded nature of the trail surface but think that those who designed this track did a good job of matching it up well with the terrain it follows. As for the well-mannered cyclists, this is after all the Deep South so that may account for the more civilized behavior which is reportedly lacking in the mountains of Colorado.

  • IMBA: Not Every Park Suitable For Mountain Biking, No Interests, Currently, For Trails in Wilderness Areas   5 years 47 weeks ago

    I have worked at park where the vast majority of our trails were multi-use. Generally, we didn't have problems with biker/hiker conflicts. Most of our problems came out of horse/hiker conflicts that arose from horses being on hiking-only trails and spurs. Our biggest trouble with the bike trails were that after a large storm blew through, we had to go around and check all those trails for downed trees and remove them, instead of waiting for hikers/horse riders to report the damage to us, since the trees were quite the obstacle for bikers. This was a tremendous amount of effort expended on behalf of one specific group of visitors, and biking was the least popular of hiking, horseback riding, and biking....so we have to ask ourselves as managers if it is worth the effort. We could convert some trails and/or roads to bikes, but that would still be a huge undertaking.

    That being said, most trails in Forest Service and BLM areas are already open to biking? What's wrong with the idea that bikes should be restricted in national parks? True, they aren't ATVs or snowmobiles, but if I'm hiking in the Smokies or through a meadow in Yosemite, I don't want to have to worry about a bike careening around a corner and running into my family.

    @Mark E: NPT was recently criticized for using 'cut' to describe the building of bike trails instead of 'built'. You have used 'banned' to describe the prohibition of bikes on some Boulder-area trails. Why not 'prohibited' or describe the trails as closed?

    In conclusion, yes, there are a few places in the park system where biking has potential, but in the majority of sites (~2/3rds), it's either impractical due to resource/natural conditions issues (ie - do we really want bike trails in Death Valley or American Samoa?) or money to build and maintain the trails.

  • IMBA: Not Every Park Suitable For Mountain Biking, No Interests, Currently, For Trails in Wilderness Areas   5 years 47 weeks ago

    To respond to the first poster, please note that mountain bikes have only recently been reintroduced to most Boulder trails -- thanks to the good work done by the Boulder MountainBike Alliance (BMA) -- and are still banned from many of Boulder's most popular trails.

    Try a stroll on the Mesa trail and tell me if a no-bikes policy prevents trail widening and erosion. The truth is that all users have impacts, and that the shared-use trails that have been designed and built by the BMA (in cooperation with Boulder Open Space) are among the most popular -- and narrowest -- in the area. Also, please note that mountain biking is already allowed in 40 national parks at present, including parks with singletrack. I hope we see more parks following these successes!

  • About The National Parks Traveler   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Great site. I bought a national parks pass last year and visited several, so stumbling upon your site brings back memories. I still haven't visited Yellowstone yet.

  • Interior Officials Planning To Make It Easier for Mountain Bikers to Gain Backcountry Access in Parks   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    Thanks for the response. I stand corrected on the compensation issue. I'm new to this site, and assumed from its apprearance you were a paid staffer. I note from the profile linked to your photo that you do have more than a little professional journalism experience, so my assumption based on website appearance and the quality of your writing doesn't seem like a great leap.

    I might post later with some time to reflect and comment.

    Regards,

    Dave

  • IMBA: Not Every Park Suitable For Mountain Biking, No Interests, Currently, For Trails in Wilderness Areas   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Yeah you are so right! Hiking is such a better activity that we should discriminate against all other users, horses included. Give me a break! The image you create in your post above is so incorrect and based solely in Sierra Club religious dogma its sickening.

    Boulder has the least amount of trail open to bikes of any area I have ridden. The trails in Boulder were laid out and designed poorly and that is why they are wide. Mountain bikers did not build theses trails but they have been repairing and rerouting them. In fact the Boulder area now has some trails that were rebuilt by IMBA and the new sections are great for running, hiking, and cycling.

    You have seen elderly folks knocked over by cyclists, more than once? WOW! I have only once seen a cyclist hit a fellow cyclist head on and I have been riding for over 20 years. I have never even heard of a fellow cyclist tell me that they hit a hiker? We don't knock over hikers because we are very focused on staying upright on our bikes. Again this is a typical mantra of the Sierra Club to scare everyone.

    Actually the impact of cyclists on a trail network will improve the condition of the trails because unlike the Sierra Club, or most other hiking groups, cyclists put time into the trail networks through hundreds of thousands of hours of stewardship each year.

    The only correct quote in the post:
    "And, if you have 10 hikers spaced out on a 5 mile trail, chances are you might see one or two of them on your hike. But if you are hiking and have 10 bikers, it is sure that you will see every one of them."
    That's because its a shared use trail and we all have a right to ride there.

    We have a overweight epidemic going on in this country and promoting cycling in National Parks will help expand the non-motorized use of the park system. You would think that would make the poster happy?

    Enough dogma! More trails means better lives for all users! Stop pandering to the Sierra Club and be reasonable in your views since we all want the same thing, except I want to ride there.

    The bottom line is that National Parks need to open areas to cycling. This holier than thou bias needs to go away as soon as possible.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 47 weeks ago

    That's what the majority of protection rangers say

    I would like some empirical evidence for this claim, please. The above non-statistical survey does not indicate whether the employees surveyed were protection rangers, interpretive rangers, plumbers, janitors, computer techs, desk jockeys, scientists, etc.

    If the majority of protection rangers do, in fact, believe that parks are safer when they have the monopoly on weapons, then I would refer them to the founders who wrote statements such as:

    ". . . all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves in all cases to which they think themselves competent. . . that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." --Thomas Jefferson

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 47 weeks ago

    ...anyone who has a concealed carry permit has ... had the proper training to carry a concealed handgun.

    I'd feel a lot better about this issue if that were true. Unfortunately, it is not correct.

    I'd ask those who think adequate training is required to obtain a CCW permit to read the comment posted on Sept. 29, 2008 at http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2008/09/trigger-happy-man-shoots-another-rustling-brush#comment-8646 . I won't repeat, except to say that too many states require no training at all to obtain a permit – and under reciprocal agreements, they can "carry" in many other states as well. In states that do require training, it is often minimal. We can debate forever how much is "adequate."

    With minimal or no training requirements in mind, here are a few comments by Massad F. Ayoob, an internationally-known pro-gun writer, firearms and self-defense instructor and Director of the Lethal Force Institute. He has authored several books and over one thousand articles on firearms, combat techniques and self-defense:

    "Too many people are incapable of using their guns in a combat situation with sufficient expertise to either prevent an armed criminal from taking innocent lives, or to be sure of not hitting bystanders with their own stray bullets. Both knowledge and ability should be pre-requisites for the privilege of carrying a gun in public."

    "The handgun is the most difficult firearm to shoot accurately and rapidly; skill comes only with practice."

    "There are too many people carrying guns they don't know how to shoot straight, guns they haven't fired in ten years."

    " ...the license to carry concealed, deadly weapons in public is not a right but a privilege. To be worthy of this privilege, one must be both discreet and competent with the weapon. The gun-carrying man who lacks either attribute is a walking time bomb."

    A lot of the concern about concealed carry would be eased if proponents of those programs would support reasonable requirements for training – and regular live-fire qualification to prove the permit holder has at least a chance to hit his intended target – as part of CHL programs in all states.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 47 weeks ago

    This will be my last comment on this thread because I think we have explored all the angles. There are people who feel that they cannot be safe without carrying. Fine. All I say is that the parks are safer without a lot of guns than with lots of them. That's what the majority of protection rangers say and I think we should pay some attention to their point of view.

    Rick Smith

  • Sky-High Ginseng Prices Boost Illegal Harvest in Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park   5 years 47 weeks ago

    dont know of anyone growing it in this area but i hear that some have..i do harvest some blood root and wild yam,and wish ginseng was bringing 900 or better a pound as of 10/19 /08 try about 265 dollars a pound lot of work for that kind of money

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 47 weeks ago

    As a former Ohio police officer and deputy sheriff, I find some of the comments about concealed carry in our national parks very offensive. First of all anyone who has a concealed carry permit has undergone an extensive background investigation. These people are responsible ones and have had the proper training to carry a concealed handgun. In my 8 years as a police officer I can tell you if you think the police can protect you, think again. This is the mindset of ignorance. If the police are doing such a great job why are there over 20,000 murders in this country every year ? I do not blame the police and believe me I am still a police officer at heart. In my 8 years of law enforcement I have seen it all. Rape, torture, and murder, violent beatings, you name it. The criminal mind has no sympathy for human beings or for anything for that matter, and they do not have established guidelines for where they commit crimes. You are not safe anyplace in this country today. The fact that the national park service officers are against concealed carry is disheartening to me because you know you cannot protect anyone in you parks as well as I do. And the thought that anyone with a gun is a threat to you is pathetic. Just ask any number of police officers across this country how many of them would be dead if not for armed citizens. For you park rangers to tell people they are safe in our national parks without personal protection is a discrace and you should be ashamed. Maybe you should turn in your guns as law enforcement officers. (Since the parks are so safe) maybe you rangers are right though. Maybe there will come a day when you are the victim of a violent crime in one of your parks, and since no one will be able to come to your aid, maybe Smokey the Bear can assist you.

    Respectfully
    Richard Lemay
    former Swanton Police Officer
    and Lucas County Deputy Sheriff

  • IMBA: Not Every Park Suitable For Mountain Biking, No Interests, Currently, For Trails in Wilderness Areas   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Mountain bikes in national parks are totally inappropriate, other than on carriage roads and other wide and heavily used areas. If you want to see the environmental damage caused by large numbers of mountain bikes, simply go to Boulder, CO, where IMBAs headquarters are. Miles and miles of trails there are heavily eroded, extensively widened, muddied, and otherwise destroyed by mountain bikes. The hiking experience is degraded to the point that most people won't even hike on the trails that allow mountain bikes - bikes whizzing by are both scary and unappealing. I have several times seen older folks knocked over by mountain bikers. And, if you have 10 hikers spaced out on a 5 mile trail, chances are you might see one or two of them on your hike. But if you are hiking and have 10 bikers, it is sure that you will see every one of them.

    There is no way that bikes should be allowed in National Parks!

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 47 weeks ago

    The vandalism of signs and such is a direct result of public ownership. When land is privately owned there are well constructed fences, security and self-interested owners who have a vested stake in patrolling and safeguarding their property. Public land, on the other hand, is overseen by tax payer funded bureaucrats, most with lifetime jobs and pensions, who have much less incentive to protect as thoroughly the domain under their purview from the multitude of users who freely access and often abuse it.

    Much like private home ownership versus public housing the contrast in care and investment is stark. Or as they used to say in Georgia, "It's a case of mine over matter----if ain't mine it don't matter."

    To try and blame the bullet holes found in remote governmental signs on concealed carry permit holders is to miss the point entirely and heap scorn on the wrong group. This is a governmental ownership problem rather than a gun problem. Just go visit a public housing project near you for some real illumination.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 47 weeks ago

    Rick is exactly correct about the much higher incidence of vandalism from gunfire in areas outside of national parks as compared to inside the parks themselves.

    Great red herring here. Also unsupported. Show me a scrap of evidence that vandalism is being caused by citizens with a permit to carry a concealed handgun. I'd like to see a study on the types of weapons people use to shoot signs. Are they using handguns, which this rule change affects, or shotguns/rifles/assault weapons? I'm also confused as to why the NPS considers protecting road signs more important than protecting civil liberties.

    In addition to the previously covered dismal or non-existent requirements for training for CHL holders

    Some states require rather extensive training, but training is not a constitutional requisite for this civil right.

    Most law enforcement officers I know . . .

    More anecdote. Does anyone have any empirical evidence, not just opinion polls, to justify the NPS's violating civil rights of law abiding CCW permit holders?

    I haven't tried to locate data on situations where officers arrive on scene to find an unidentified armed citizen, and the result is a terrible outcome - I doubt that there is a good database of such situations, but I certainly recall having heard about them.

    Hearsay is not evidence. I find it laughable that some people use the argument of statistics to say people don't need to carry weapons in national parks (because chances of being attacked are slim), but in the next breath invent some situation that is probably even more statistically unlikely and use that near impossibility as justification for violating civil rights.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 48 weeks ago

    I WAS a law enforcement officer and Ranger. I also spent 23 years at BLM, documenting HUNDREDS of cases of TOO (Target OF Opportunity) damage to public lands outside National Parks. The issue is NOT just licensed and concealed, but LOADED weapons in the parks and refuges, with free access, outside legitimate hunting areas and seasons.

    I am a member of the Oregon Gun Owners Caucus, and a gun owner, and concealed weapons permit holder. Over thirty years experience should make mine, or any other professional's, experience and opinion somewhat more relevant than that of someone who's experience consists of playing video games, target shooting, or even PETA membership.

    The Supreme Court D. C. decision said no to banning gun ownership. AT THE SAME TIME the Justices clearly stated that REASONABLE regulations to control firearms use and possession IS WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT!

    I have a ton of photographic evidence and proofs (damage reports et al) that unrestricted firearms use DOES lead to irresponsible firearms use.

    I've seen grizzlies doing what grizzlies do, but never seen a "psycho" one. I've seen LOTS of "psycho" human beings doing what they do. Some I put in jail, some I shot at, and didn't miss(ode to Winston Churchill). PETA likes to anthropomorphize chickens, cows, dogs, and elephants in zoos, I would never do the same to a wolf, coyote, mountain lion, tiger or other predator in the wild- they are far too "civilized" to equate them to human behaviors.

    Limiting guns to CURRENT RULES in National Parks and Refuges is merely a common sense application of the Supreme Court's own determination, and DOES protect our Constitutional right to BEAR arms, without abusing that right. It also protects my right to enjoy my national parks without fear of gun owners, when bears and lions have NEVER REALLY BOTHERED ME!

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 48 weeks ago

    As a follow-up to Rick Smith's accurate observation, and as requested by several posters, here's some additional perspective from the standpoint of someone who performed law enforcement in parks for 3 decades:

    1. Rick is exactly correct about the much higher incidence of vandalism from gunfire in areas outside of national parks as compared to inside the parks themselves. Furthermore, in NPS areas such as national preserves where hunting is allowed, my experience is that weapons-related vandalism is definitely a greater problem than in parks where loaded weapons are prohibited.

    2. Most law enforcement officers I know are very uneasy about people carrying concealed weapons in crowded public places. It has nothing to do with "power," but visitor and officer safety. In addition to the previously covered dismal or non-existent requirements for training for CHL holders, here's one example of scenarios that concerns officers:

    If an officer arrives at the scene of an incident and finds one or more people dressed in civilian clothes holding a weapon, the office has to make a split-second decision about whether this person is a threat to the officer and to any citizens in the vicinity. It becomes even worse if the officer finds two or more armed civilians in a stand-off or a "shots fired" situation – which one is the victim and which one the bad guy?

    I hope no one will make the laughable claim that CHL holders are adequately trained to know how to respond in such situations, especially when the adrenalin is running wide open. Case in point: I've spent a lot of hours on firing ranges: military, law enforcement and civilian/public ranges. A cardinal rule on the range is "keep unholstered weapons pointed down range at all times." If I had a dollar for every time the rangemaster had to remind people about that rule - in that carefully controlled, low-stress situation - I could enjoy several nice steak dinners. The point is that when people are spoken to, their tendency is to turn toward the speaker. If they're holding a loaded weapon, that's not good! If this occurs in the midst of the scenario described above, that's potentially tragic.

    I haven't tried to locate data on situations where officers arrive on scene to find an unidentified armed citizen, and the result is a terrible outcome - I doubt that there is a good database of such situations, but I certainly recall having heard about them. One is certainly too many.

    Current regulations for national parks make such potential tragedies very unlikely. If rules are relaxed to allow citizens to carry concealed weapons in national parks, only time will tell if my concerns on this issue are correct.

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   5 years 48 weeks ago

    I went from Zion today. I thout it would be cool to hike up Angels Landing. But, on the bus they taked about the trail, and now I never want to go on angel landing hike. I have very good balance but i'm clumsy i have been ever sence I was little.
    Hearing about all the people who died did not make me more scared, It made me sad but they knew the risk.
    When i heard that some one took there baby up on the trail that made me mad. Who would put there kids, there baby in that risk. It sounds like to me theydon't care about there baby safty. There stupid but, it was there choose, stupid but it was up to them it is there kid and always will be.
    I will never do that take my kid on that trail, and you who all that are reading this i hope you dont neather.
    Remember be careful waer the right shoes, have every thing that you need, and lots and lots of water.

  • Interior Officials Planning To Make It Easier for Mountain Bikers to Gain Backcountry Access in Parks   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Let's be clear: wilderness should be open to bikes as Congress contemplated it when it passed the act over 40 years ago (look it up... it's in the notes). Bikes are no more mechanized than carbon fiber hiking poles and do less damage than horses. The number of visitors to the parks is dwindling every year. Opening wilderness to biking makes logical senses and would bring back people to their parks. The banning of bikes from wilderness is not based on objective science but rather some illogical reasoning. The pseudo environmentalists hang on to the ban as a way to appropriate to themselves a public good. Get used to it, at some point, reason will prevail and bikes will be allowed in wilderness once again.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Frank C--

    I am not providing a study, only speaking from personal experience. Every time I visit a USFS area in NM to camp or hike, I see signs that are shot up. I have seen similar shot up signs on BLM and USFS lands in other states. One sees little of this kind of thing in the weapons-free national parks. I think there is a relationship.

    Someone in the above posts mentioned the fact that most law enforcement organizations oppose concealed weapon regulations. He or she claimed they did so because of a question of power. I think that is a bogus argument. They oppose concealed weapon regs because they know that the more guns there are, the more dangerous their jobs are. That's why both the organizations that represent rangeers in the NPS, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge and tha Association of National Park Rangers (of which I am a member even though retired) oppose the proposed new NPS reg. I kinow you think that their views are irrelevant. I don't.

    Rick Smith

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   5 years 48 weeks ago

    It seems all we're getting are slippery slope arguments and straw men.

    Arguers also often link the slippery slope fallacy to the straw man fallacy in order to attack the initial position:

    1. A has occurred (or will or might occur); therefore
    2. B will inevitably happen. (slippery slope)
    3. B is wrong; therefore
    4. A is wrong. (straw man)

    This form of argument often provides evaluative judgments on social change: once an exception is made to some rule, nothing will hold back further, more egregious exceptions to that rule.

    Note that these arguments may indeed have validity, but they require some independent justification of the connection between their terms: otherwise the argument (as a logical tool) remains fallacious.

    A is the change in concealed carry permit rules.
    B is the killing of people, wildlife, signs, and windows.

    Unless someone can show a valid study of concealed weapons permit holders in a comparable environment, say in Forest Service land, that shows that allowing people to carry concealed weapons in these areas leads to a higher incident of people, wildlife, sings, and windows being shot, these arguments remain fallacious.

    I look forward to reviewing some facts.

  • Interior Officials Planning To Make It Easier for Mountain Bikers to Gain Backcountry Access in Parks   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Dave, unlike IMBA's track record on this issue, in which, once they got their feet in the door, they slowly expanded what they really seem to want from the National Park Service, I think the Traveler's position has been clear from the get-go, as I previously noted.

    That said, as to your concerns:

    * The photo was taken of IMBA riders at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It was an IMBA event and so I thought representative of the vision IMBA had of riding in the parks. It certainly seems to mesh with Jenn Dice's thoughts on what mountain bikers want.

    * You're absolutely right, of course, about hikers being just as likely to bring invasive species into parks as cyclists.

    * As I mentioned, "cut" is vernacular for trail building, whether for hikers, cyclists or equestrians.

    * I'll let Jenn Dice's words speak for themselves. I think she made herself clear.

    * I, too, have been known to ride mountain bikes. Got one in my garage, as a matter of fact. I've also been known to water ski. But I don't think all national parks should be open for water skiing and power boating. Ditto for snowmobiling.

    Finally, watch for a piece Sunday on IMBA and their views on wilderness areas.

    And, as D-2 and Bob have already pointed out, I don't get paid a dime for this website.

  • Interior Officials Planning To Make It Easier for Mountain Bikers to Gain Backcountry Access in Parks   5 years 48 weeks ago

    You are quite correct, d-2. Dave's remark is way out of line. Everyone who writes for Traveler is an unpaid volunteer. Kurt also has significant out-of-pocket expenses that aren't reimbursed.

  • Interior Officials Planning To Make It Easier for Mountain Bikers to Gain Backcountry Access in Parks   5 years 48 weeks ago


    Dave, I don't think it is correct to say Kurt gets paid. My understanding is this is a webside serviced by volunteers. To be fair.