Recent comments

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Steven M. Bumgardner
    Videographer/Producer

    Maybe everyone should just stay home. They might fall in the canyon, or get in a car wreck, and then cost taxpayers money. It's just not worth it! Let's sell the land to developers, or build dams to generate power, or dig up the minerals and start getting a return on investment from these "National Parks" instead of just providing places where generations of people can connect with their natural and cultural heritage. After all, even though millions of people visit the South Rim each year, it's just not worth the cost of rescuing the one or two who were moved by the power of the place to get a little closer than they should have.

  • How Familiar Are You With Yosemite National Park?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Years ago -- too many to remember -- Sandy and I were on a flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco. I had gotten myself a fine window seat on the port side of the plane, and there I sat with camera poised, ready to get some great photos of the Sierras. As I was about to take the first photo, the pilot came on the intercom to tell those of us on the port side of the plane that we should keep a sharp eye out for the space shuttle. By coincidence, it happened to be headed for a landing at whatchamacallit airbase in southern California at that exact moment. (I can't remember if it was landing there because of bad weather in Florida or what.) We didn't spot the space shuttle, darn it, so I had to settle for some pretty good photos of the Sierras.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 45 weeks ago

    I might have gone with a different title for this article. Tourists are already a little too comfortable near the edge of the Canyon.

  • Running Lava Falls In Grand Canyon National Park: What Would Major Powell Think?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    This article title appears at first glance to indicate a volcanic eruption in the canyon... Perhaps Rafting Lava Falls, would convey the point better?

  • Body Recovered in Grand Canyon National Park; Thought to Be That Of Missing Hiker   5 years 45 weeks ago

    He should not have been alone.

  • How Familiar Are You With Yosemite National Park?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Yay Yosemite!!
    Yay SEKI!!!
    Have a good weekend :)

  • SUV Goes Over The Rim Near Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area   5 years 45 weeks ago

    [The last sentence should read] "They reported that the vehicle had been left in neutral."

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Wow. I am just glad she is ok! Sure, she should have been more careful toward the edge, but how many taxpayer dollars that were spent and/or if a ticket was issued should be the least of anyone's concerns. Maybe R Scofield needs to think about his priorities.

  • Falling Into the Grand Canyon Isn't Always Fatal   5 years 45 weeks ago

    How much did that cost the taxpayers? When someone has to use the rescue personnel do they get a ticket or a fine? The Park Service goes to great lengths to provide safe and attractive overlooks. Sure the view is more spectacular closer to the edge, but it is not so pretty on the way down.

  • Running Lava Falls In Grand Canyon National Park: What Would Major Powell Think?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    I say we put the wooden canoes back on the river and let Humphrey Bogart captain one. That would make a great movie. Wait that's already been done. Never mind.

  • Running Lava Falls In Grand Canyon National Park: What Would Major Powell Think?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Oh, for heaven's sake. Industrialized? I am hard pressed to believe that an outboard motor in the muddy Colorado threatens to impair Grand Canyon. For that matter, it's an act of wild projection to suppose that Powell would somehow be offended at the thought of an easier trip down the Colorado.

    If motors offend, take a paddle tour. If rafts offend, take a dory. But let's not get our knickers in a twist just because more customers prefer the safety and relative ease of a motorized trip.

  • How Familiar Are You With Yosemite National Park?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Many years ago Delta had an early AM flight from Fresno to Reno using an old beat-up 727. I flew on it many times when I lived in Fresno and was working on a project in the Reno area. The flight passed over Yosemite just above the minimum allowed altitude, so the view was spectacular. Each time the pilot would make a brief announcement about it, then he would dip the right wing way down as he flew over to allow a better view from the windows. It was almost like a sight seeing flight!

    Most south to north flights from the LA area to Sacramento, Reno, and Oregon allow excellent views (assuming clear weather) of Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and Lake Tahoe. Get a window seat on the right side of the plane.

  • How Familiar Are You With Yosemite National Park?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Southwest often flies right over the park on the ONT to SMF route. Be sure to get a window seat on the mountain side and you can also get some good views of SEKI!

  • Running Lava Falls In Grand Canyon National Park: What Would Major Powell Think?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Yes, industrialization is a good term to discribe the concessions services that have the lions share of summer access to the river today. Powell, who was the only person on his first trip with a lifejacket floating in a very tippy boat and who was traveling down the "great unknown" missing a hand, just might be aghast. The Colorado river in Grand Canyon has become commercialized and motorized. Powell might just tell us that in order to make sure we manage our National Parks "...in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations." we need to re-visit how the river is managed today. Yours, Tom

  • Interior Secretary Plans Free Weekend Entry to National Parks to Boost Tourism   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Here are the NPS units where fees are prohibited. I believe that Great Smoky Mountains NP was created at least partially with donated land that came with deed restrictions against entrance fees.
    16 USC 6802(d)(3)
    (C) The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, Independence National Historical Park, any unit of the National Park System within the District of Columbia, or Arlington House-Robert E. Lee National Memorial.
    (D) The Flight 93 National Memorial.
    (E) Entrance on other routes into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or any part thereof unless fees are charged for entrance into that park on main highways and thoroughfares.
    (F) Entrance on units of the National Park System containing deed restrictions on charging fees.

    Note that all of the legislatively free Parks are in the eastern part of the country. I've never understood why everything in Washington DC is free but I have to pay $25 to see the Grand Canyon.
    In the news coverage on this issue, the NPS spin is that since fees never have been a deterrent, they don't expect much change in visitation on the free days. I think they are wrong, but how to find out for sure? I plan to go to a Park near me on two consecutive Saturdays, one free and one not, and count how many private vehicles enter between 9 and 11 am. If anyone out there is interested in joining this little informal experiment, please contact me at

  • Going to Olympic National Park this Summer? Plan Ahead Due to Major Bridge Work   5 years 45 weeks ago

    The Hood Canal bridge re-opened June 5, a week ahead of schedule.

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    What part of "non-native" do some people not understand ? If Mother Nature didn't put it there, man shouldn't. Can't we humans learn from our past mistakes ?

    I always heard that one main thing that made man superior to all other mammals (and I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement, by the way) was his ability to take facts and reason with them. Look at all our past mistakes with non-native plants, animals, fish and reptiles. Learn from these mistakes !

  • Updated: Coal Mine Proposed North Of Glacier National Park Strains US-Canadian Relations   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Hmm....maybe now we are starting to be treated by Canada how we treat Mexico. What happens upriver does have a huge impact on those down the river.

  • SUV Goes Over The Rim Near Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area   5 years 45 weeks ago

    [The last sentence should read] " had failed to be applied" Who is kidding who?

  • Updated: Coal Mine Proposed North Of Glacier National Park Strains US-Canadian Relations   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Can you imagine a day when our energy needs and our environment don't collide? There's all this talk of "green energy" coming down the pike, it would be glorious to have it actually happen and no longer worry about stuff like this.

    This post was my "unicorn fantasy" of the day. I've had a rough week and don't want to think about the ugliness of topics like this, so I'd rather retreat into a world of make believe. That, and a couple pints of Guinness.

    ================================

    My travels through the National Park System: [url=http://www.americaincontext.com]amer

  • Updated: Coal Mine Proposed North Of Glacier National Park Strains US-Canadian Relations   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Isn't any place safe? If a World Heritage Site isn't safe then what is? I also seen first hand what the mining industry did in West Virginia because I live here & it's disgusting! Outright disrespective for the environment and the people who live nearby.

  • Updated: Coal Mine Proposed North Of Glacier National Park Strains US-Canadian Relations   5 years 45 weeks ago

    Citizens in both the United States and Canada can be a part of the international effort to protect Glacier National Park from strip mining.

    To follow the World Heritage Committee meeting and decision with live blog updates and video, go to http://savewatertonglacier.com The site is up now with great video and photos. More content will be added, the live blogging from the World Heritage Committee will start when the meeting convenes on June 22nd.

    To sign the online petition supporting Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park go to: http://flathead.ca/act/friends

  • Updated: Coal Mine Proposed North Of Glacier National Park Strains US-Canadian Relations   5 years 45 weeks ago

    If the environmental groups want serious action on this, they should be trying to organize a tourist boycott of British Columbia, to last until the strip mine (is it a strip mine or a mountaintop removal mine such as they's used to destroy large swaths of West Virginia? the article isn't clear on this point) project is prohibited and the area in question is fully protected from development. I suspect that tourism is one of the few industries that can compete with mineral extraction in BC in terms of value added to the economy, and the threat of a serious boycott is likely to have a lot more impact than a status declaration from a UN body.

  • Watch Out For the Beef In Grand Teton National Park This Weekend   5 years 45 weeks ago

    SO WHAT'S THE "BEEF"??

  • House Approves Measure to Direct North Cascades National Park to Stock Barren Lakes. What Do You Think?   5 years 45 weeks ago

    well this is interesting, i might actually agree with some liberals. i don't see a problem with the ones that have been stocked for a long time, but don't see a reason to stock ones that haven't been. i have lived in this area and there are plenty of places to fish. no need to create more. the beauty of the place should be enough or go somewhere else! there are many choices to suit anybody. getting the congress involved cannot be good,have you been to your dmv lately? or called any government agency? the record speaks for it self. no more changes, leave it as is.