Recent comments

  • Bison Hazing Operations Inside Yellowstone National Park Fuel Controversy   5 years 48 weeks ago

    This is all because the cattlemen don't want bison eating grass on OUR public lands that they think belong to their cattle. Why are we pandering to this special interest group?

  • Dead Carp at Lake Mohave Make This Memorial Day Memorable for Wrong Reason   5 years 48 weeks ago

    We rented a houseboat this weekend from Forever Resorts in Cottonwood Cove. It isn't cheap, and NO ONE informed us of the dead fish in the lake. Yes, there were hundreds and we had a hard time even finding a cove without at least 50 dead fish. We still swam and tried to make the best of it,but it was still gross and felt they should have informed us. One of the workers also said " we aren't supposed to mention anything about the carp." I was wondering why they were so nice to give us 1/2 off our jet ski. Still, $2,000 for three days for a vacation with hundreds of dead fish and the smell is really upsetting.

  • Hazing Efforts Lead to Death of Black Bear in Glacier National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    The "hazing" rounds come in a package of five and must be loaded into the shotgun in proper order. The "cracker" (3) rounds first followed by the rubber pellet (2) rounds. The hazing starts with the bear being
    shot in the rump with the rubber pellets. Once the bear is on the run, the "cracker" rounds are fired behind and above the bear. The loud noise backs up the pellets shots to condition the bear to not return to the area. My guess is that the weapon was not properly loaded. But it's only an educated guess.

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    You have all my prayers. I never had a grandpa and always wished I did. Good luck to you and your family and my thoughts are with you.

  • Mud Snares 19-Year-Old At Cuyahoga Valley National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    We went to a picnic at Virginia Kendall last month. At the Kendall Lake dock, one side had water and the other looked like solid ground. I saw a teenager jump off on the "dry" side and sink to his shins. He was after a fish that tried to swim into an area that didn't have sufficient water and had stranded itself. He proudly displayed his 10' "bass" that he hand caught to his dad. He was then told that it was only a sucker fish, which I believe is a type of catfish.

    I think hindsight is 20/20 on this issue. The lake bed I saw honestly looked like it was solid and could hold any one's weight, not just sediment that was under water and is now settling. I'm glad I didn't go out there!

  • Traveler's Checklist: Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    "5. Check out the Museum of the National Park Ranger near the Norris Geyser Basin. Located in the original Norris Soldier Station near the entrance to Norris Campground, this museum offers exhibits that depict the development of the park ranger profession from its roots in the military traditions through early rangers and to the present array of NPS staff specialized duties. A small auditorium shows a laser-disc production of the 25-minute movie, "An American Legacy," which tells the story of the development of the National Park Service."

    This is a great stop. There is also a short video called "Conviction of the Heart" that is worth seeing. I had the privilege of being a volunteer interpreter at the museum last summer. It was fun as the crowds there aren't so large as they are in other visitor centers. You can actually talk to people about park issues and help them understand the importance of Yellowstone and the rest of the National Park System.

    Norris is a great place to camp. It's really a perfect place. No cell phone service (at least last summer), no internet, no stores, no gas stations, nothing. The campground campfire circle has no electricity so the rangers giving the evening programs have to depend on their words to paint the pictures that you see in power point shows in other evening programs elsewhere in the park. The Norris Geyser Basin is reputedly the most active in the park and the boardwalks wind around brightly colored pools, mysterious fumaroles, and small geysers. The seasonal interpreters stationed at the Geyser Basin were uniformly polite and well-informed about the basin and the rest of the park.

    In my career, I probably attended close to 200 evening programs. Last summer, though, at Norris, I saw an evening program that broke the mold. The topic was something like "the history of Yellowstone." The seasonal interpreter was a concert violinist. At one point in his talk, he said something like "when the army first protected Yellowstone before there was an NPS, they always had a fiddler." He then took out his violin and played a fiddle tune. Later on he related that in the 20's and 30's, concession employees often provided evening entertainment for the guests at the hotels and lodges. He said, "You probably would have heard something like this" and played a sentimental ballad on the violin. He did this maybe four times during the talk. The visitors in attendance loved it.

    It was also gratifying to see the kids who were enrolled in the junior ranger program line up after the evening campfire programs to get the ranger's signature. One of the requirements is that a junior ranger has to attend at least one evening program and secure the ranger's signature to verify it. I would always ask a couple of them to come down to the museum when it opened to help me put up the flag. One evening when I was ready to close the museum, there was only a French familly still there. The father was the only one who spoke English. The kids were maybe 10 and 12. I asked the father if they would like to help me take down the flag and properly fold it. He asked them in French, of course, and they responded yes. After taking it down--telling them through their father that we could not let it touch the ground, I then taught them how to properly fold the flaq. Their father told me that he did not think his kids would ever forget the experience.

    Rick Smith

  • Traveler's Checklist: Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    More people need to be made aware of the treatment of the buffalo at this time of year. Reading the updates from the "buffalo field campaign" is quite disturbing. They are hazing the buffalo to move them back into Yellowstone during the birthing season. Newborn and pregnant bison are forced to run for miles without resting or water. Not only are the bison harassed but all wildlife in the area is disturbed by this action. This is animal abuse that is allowed to continue year after year.

  • Traveler's Checklist: Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Ask Suzanne to provide an extra seat in her office because I want to complain about it also.

    Rick Smith

  • Traveler's Checklist: Yellowstone National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    A few things as background to your travel - if you've been there the past couple of days, you also experienced significant delays in the western part of the park, 1-2 hours, because bison are being hazed by the National Park Service between Madison Junction and Fountain Flats. They are doing this because there are other bison being hazed within the park by the Montana Department of Livestock (that's right, I said within the park - and by low flying helicopters), by an operation meant to rid Montana of wild bison even from areas where there are no cows and where most of the property owners support wild bison (though most of the area is public National Forest Service land). The NPS is claiming that the operations are necessary to keep too many buffalo from being in one place and because if they don't, they will surely be killed in Montana. What they aren't saying is that they operate a trap, slaughter bison themselves, and are partners in the plan that make this possible. They also haven't written a press release alerting travelers to the delays in recent days. There are several blogs that mention it, however, and I was alerted by an email from a person touring Yellowstone.

    Secondly, in late August, the critical road between Madison and Norris will close for the season. This will have a lot of effect on your travel, as you probably must split your trip into two parts unless you plan to do a day's driving to get around it. Going from Mammoth to Old Faithful (or West Yellowstone) will be supremely difficult, where right now it's relatively easy. The NPS has been holding public hearings and letting people know; it's something you should know if you are planning a late summer or early fall trip.

    Thirdly, coming from the South (the Tetons), there is a big road construction project at and near the north boundary of the Tetons. This will cost you about half an hour in delays and a few miles of bumpy travel. There's usually road construction - in recent years - in that direction.

    But, the park is huge, and there's that list of 10 and a million more things to enjoy (my personal addition might be - sit on a sand bar along Yellowstone Lake as the sun sets and the stars rise, or given my mood, go to Superintendent Lewis's office in Mammoth and complain about bison management).

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Hazing Efforts Lead to Death of Black Bear in Glacier National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    These poor animals are being killed in the very place they are supposed to be protected...very saddening.

  • The Monkey Wrench Gang: Coming to a Theater Near You?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    I love the idea as bishop love being Duvall and Woody being Seldom, But Bonnie Abzug should be Jessica Beil hands down Garofolo does not fit the attractive description that leads you to believe she could be both the hot assistant in doc's office and a troublemaker. I also like the idea if Depp playing the horseman but if you catch at the end of hayduke lives george asked the man his name and he says jack burns which is the main character in the brave cowboy another abbey novel in which he is described as a tall skinny man this could be important if hayduke lives becomes a sequel. I lovve these books can only assume it will be a flop based on the cast and director

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    PLZ PRAY FOR MY GRANDPA BOB WE ARE ALL GOING THROUGH A TOUGH TIME NOT BEING ABLE TO FIND HIM...THANX <<<>>>

  • Ride the Rails to Yosemite National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Back to the Future! In 1961, my wife and I traveled across the country by train ending up in Seattle. It remains one of our fondest travel memories. Rebuilding and expanding our national rail system is essential if we are to successfully adapt to a future of energy constraints.

  • Hazing Efforts Lead to Death of Black Bear in Glacier National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    I realise this was certainly an accident as I have had contact with the Glacier NP rangers while extensively exploring this park and I know that their #1 commitment is to the wildlife and resources of the park. However somebody has to look at these "cracker rounds" to determine why its design could actually penetrate like that. The other thing that needs to be looked at is how it was used...aimed at close range at the bear? A shot that just got away from the intended aim point? It is a shame.

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    There certainly has been a rash of incidents lately, Lynn. Some, unfortunately, are to be expected at this time of year. The climbing season on Mount McKinley just got under way, and in the West high runoff is making streams and rivers particularly dangerous.

    Lightning strikes always are unpredictable, though. As for the drownings, sad and unfortunate coincidences. And I don't know what other than a terrible accident you'd call the incident that claimed the man and his horse in Haleakala.

    Hopefully the past week isn't a harbinger for the rest of the summer.

  • Hazing Efforts Lead to Death of Black Bear in Glacier National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    I we think that they are the "ANIMALS"

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    I think I got your name wrong. Sorry, Kurt. Inexcuseable for a former journalist. Still thinking there's something odd about this rash of accidents and deaths. First time we rode the horses down Zion, I called out, "Oh, God!" over and over again. Now I think I was right.

  • Search Under Way For Missing Hiker At Grand Canyon National Park   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Hi, Kirk. Is it just me, or have there been an unusual number of tragedies at the parks so far? Seems like every tiime I check into this site, somebody's missing or dead. It's getting kind of spooky. Have things increased or are we justhearing about them more?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Congrats to Mark and Dottie, who, just minutes apart, figured it out.

    The formal name for the building is the "Stonewall Jackson Shrine." As the Park Service explains things:

    The "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine is the plantation office building where General Jackson died. The office was one of several outbuildings on Thomas C. Chandler's 740-acre plantation named "Fairfield." This typical frame structure saw use primarily by the men for recreation as well as for work. Chandler kept records in the office and one of his sons once practiced medicine there, but with three of the Chandler boys away serving in the Confederate Army, the building no longer witnessed its ante-bellum level of activity.

    The office stood bare, except for a few items in storage, when Jackson's ambulance arrived. Although offered the use of the Chandler house, Jackson's doctor and staff officers chose the quiet and private outbuilding as the best place for Jackson to rest after his long ambulance ride. If all went well, the general would soon board a train at Guinea Station and resume his trip to Richmond and the medical expertise available there.

    Today, the office is the only plantation structure remaining. The Chandler house burned at some point after the Civil War, and its shell was dismantled in the early 1900's. Once established as an historic "shrine," the office underwent restorations in the 1920's and the 1960's, and still retains about 45% original fabric. The National Park Service has augmented some of the items used during Jackson's stay with other pieces from the era, along with a few reproductions, to recreate the scene of those tragic last days of his life.

    Jackson's doctors and staff officers both worked and relaxed in this room during the General's stay. Five different physicians examined Jackson, and these men probably discussed their conclusions here over cups of coffee. Jackson's chief surgeon, Dr. Hunter H. McGuire, was the only physician present the entire six days. McGuire had performed the surgery on Jackson in a field hospital near Chancellorsville where he amputated Jackson's twice wounded left arm and removed a ball from the General's right hand.

    Jackson's chaplain, B. Tucker Lacy, had a brother who owned a house near the hospital, and took "Stonewall's" severed limb to his brother's family cemetery for burial. Lacy comforted the pious Jackson, holding devotions with him for the first two days spent at Guinea Station, but the chaplain soon returned to army headquarters. He requested that General Lee send another doctor to relieve the weary McGuire, who tried to provide round-the-clock care. In their conversation about Jackson's condition, Lee told Lacy, "He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm."

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Stonewall Jackson memorial?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    The house at Guine Station where Stonewall Jackson died ?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Nope.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Kurt...last try! Booker T. Washington National Monument!

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Right state, wrong answer.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 4: What Cabin Is that Yonder?   5 years 48 weeks ago

    Patrick Henry birthplace?