Recent comments

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Without getting too long winded I'd begin with the overwhelming liberal bias of most current and former employees of the NPS and their generally statist pro big government point of view. It is certainly no bastion of conservative, libertarian or pro 2nd amendment viewpoints, so I agree with Texas-Fight that what these people espouse or respond to in a survey is less than a valid cross-section of real public opinion and therefore "irrelevant" in helping to decide the issue.

    For the record I never said Rick or his views were irrelevant.

    Random incidents of gun violence by armed citizens have been trotted out to prove that guns in the hands of common folk is a bad thing but I could just as easily point to innumerable instances of unjustified murder and mayhem perpetrated by trigger happy agents of the state that usually goes unpunished and is eventually swept under the rug by those wielding power.

    No I don't think that rank & file NPS employees or the CNSPR represent a valid sample of American values or mainstream thinking about guns and the rights of the citizenry to own and lawfully use them. Irrelevant is an excellent word to describe their views on this particular issue.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Beamis,

    I'd say what coalition members have to say is highly relevant, more so than folks who visit parks once or twice or even a dozen times a year. And for someone like Rick, who spent more than three decades on the ground in the parks, I'd say his two cents is incredibly relevant.

    How you can say that sort of experience is irrelevant is mind-boggling. Perhaps you can explain your point of view.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Hey Rick, how about: "What a CNPSR member has to say about this is utterly and completely irrelevant".

    That sounds about right to me.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Wow--"What a civilian employee of the NPS has to say abouty this is utterly and completely irrelevant." Whose opinions other than those of NPS employees should we consider then? Texas-Fight's? People who have seen a gun in real life? Pro-gun miscreants?

    Rick Smith

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Wonderful, the usual group of knee-jerk uninformed anti-gun miscreants have reared their heads to complain about the forthcoming rule change.

    Again, let's examine Texas CHL conviction rates vs. the general population to see just how bloodthirsty and trigger-happy license holders are:

    In 2006, there were 258,162 active CHLs, but only 140 total convictions.

    Overall - The general population over age 21 is over 7 times as likely to commit any offense listed by DPS as are CHLs

    Assault - The general population over age 21 is over 8 times as likely to commit an assault as are CHLs

    Burglary - The general population over age 21 is over 38 times as likely to commit a burglary as are CHLs

    Prohibited Weapons - The general population over age 21 is over 21 times as likely to be convicted of possessing prohibited weapons as are CHLs

    Robbery - The general population over age 21 is over 63 times as likely to commit a robbery as are CHLs

    Source: Texas Department of Public Safety

    Enough with the idiotic suggestion that those of us who went through the headache of getting licensed are going to start shooting at birds and marmots because we get bored. Not going to happen.

    Enough with the surveys of former brush clearers, entrance fee collectors, and garbage collectors telling us how hard their jobs are going to become once this rule is changed. I would be open to hearing what LAW ENFORCEMENT RANGERS have to say about this, but ultimately, they don't get to make the go/no-go call on this either. What a civilian employee of the NPS has to say about this is utterly and completely irrelevant.

    Kurt: have you even seen a gun in real life? Didn't think so.

    Most of the people complaining about this change seem blissfully unaware that carry is already allowed in National Forests. I don't recall hearing of any incidents there.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Parks are for restive peace and serenity...not for gun touting fools!

    All the arguments against concealed weapons permit holders to be able to bear arms in national parks are misdirected. Allowing permit holders to carry will not diminish a park's "serenity"; concealed weapons permits holders are law-abiding citizens and not going to discharge a weapon in a national park just for the fun of it.

    Oh, and if you're really worried about "peace and serenity" in national parks, why not take on one of the biggest threats to it? Just change the phrase above to read:

    Parks are for restive peace and serenity...not for car-driving fools!

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Add Alaskan Gov. Palin to the equation here, regarding the National Parks, you'll see aerial game slaughter within the park boundaries. Again, guns within the National Parks is a dangerous precedent in policy making. Parks are for restive peace and serenity...not for gun touting fools!

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    NEWS ITEM - October 10, 2008. No-return policy gets clerk killed

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Police say a customer in a Knoxville mall fatally shot a clothing-store employee because he was upset about a clothing purchase.
    Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk says William Johnson, 42, went to Knoxville Center Mall Wednesday afternoon determined to get satisfaction from Reno Men's Wear.

    Some mall merchants say the clothing store has a no-refund policy. Police wouldn't say exactly what Johnson wanted or what the disputed merchandise was.

    But police say a preliminary investigation suggests Johnson became upset, pulled out a handgun and shot 29-year-old employee Ahmed Nahl.

    The suspect was injured in a brief gunbattle with police before his capture. He is charged with murder and is recovering in a hospital. *

    -Associated Press

    Moral - I agree that must people are responsible gun owners, but easy access to a gun makes it just too easy to overreact. Such will be the case with a harmless animal that gets too close for comfort to some visitor or the rustle in the bushes that just happens to be a child who wandered off the trail. There will be blood.

  • Visit Savannah’s Fort Pulaski National Monument and See Why Brick Masonry Forts Became Obsolete in April 1862   6 years 1 week ago

    When visiting the fort this spring, visitors were walking by and standing near a"cement" aligator that lay motionless by the moat. That is until it moved its head causing people to jump back in a very entertaining manner.

  • Visit Savannah’s Fort Pulaski National Monument and See Why Brick Masonry Forts Became Obsolete in April 1862   6 years 1 week ago

    [b]Lets not forget the famous Pulaski Skyway here in Jersey! Not quite a national treasure though.

  • Visit Savannah’s Fort Pulaski National Monument and See Why Brick Masonry Forts Became Obsolete in April 1862   6 years 1 week ago

    Bob,

    Thanks for another informative article! You have spurred my interest in this site enough to add a visit to it to my vacation itinerary for next year.

    After seeing the truly decimated Fort Sumter site several times, it would be nice to see a more intact example of forts of that era. Thanks again for putting it out there for us to see.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Current policy allows you to transport guns through parks, but they have to be broken down and stored out of reach. There are, of course, exceptions in that some "national preserves" and seashores and lakeshores do allow hunting.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    What exactly IS the current policy on carrying firearms in our national parks? I have been an avid backpacker for several years now and am still not quite sure. I do own firearms and am a huge proponent of concealed carry - I agree with the statement "the more guns the better" - the bad guys have and always will have them, why not give the good guys a chance to protect themselves.

  • New BLM Management Plans Could Have Major Impacts on Utah National Parks   6 years 1 week ago

    One of the problems with encouraging local protection is whether the local community's desires mesh with the values of the neighboring national parks.

    The gateway to Arches and Canyonlands is Moab, which rakes in quite a bit of economic development from the off-road vehicle community and doesn't want to see that evaporate. The surrounding counties, meanwhile, look to energy development on public lands butting up to the parks for much of their tax revenues, along with spending from the ORV enthusiasts.

    The trick is finding a happy middle ground for all involved. It's one that hasn't really been accomplished so far.

  • New BLM Management Plans Could Have Major Impacts on Utah National Parks   6 years 1 week ago


    I would think the issue of how adjacent lands are managed can be based on a definition in the planning of what the resource-to-be-protected is.

    Also, recognizing that communities near protected areas often decide they live in a region with distinctive character, and want to retain that special character. As we have learned in the National Heritage Corridor program, these communities often see that special character as an asset: an economic asset and a point of pride and quality of life. Local communities could develop a coordinated protection plan, based on identification of what matters to them. They could protect their regional character through the local and state tools available. The federal government should provide assistance to local governments and organizations who are willing to voluntarily help protect nationally distinctive resources.

    It does not necessarily follow that the adjacent lands protection would ITSELF require the next tier of protection, thus triggering the NEXT tier, as Sebatis implies. This should all be defined in the plan. The plan needs to define in its Vision Statement what qualities they want their region to retain in 20 years or more, and then identify the common actions they could take to achieve that quality of life.

    For example, if you were to define the views available from the Blue Ridge Parkway, you could identify those zones on maps. You could recognize that the Parkway attracts needed tourism because of those views, and retainin that tourism is seen as a local advantage by the local communities. You could identify land use or zoning standards necessary to retain the views from the Ridge. The local communities may also be interested in retaining village centers and farm country, and would encourage the federal and state government to enhance services so that these communities can better benefit from the tourism than they do now.

    But it would not follow that views from the adjacent lowlands and hills East of the Ridge would also require viewshed protection from developments further east.

    What it takes is defining what the resource is, and what protection strategy is needed.

  • Damage from Tropical Storm Hanna Created Expensive Repair Problems at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park   6 years 1 week ago

    Yes, a closely guarded secret can be revealed at last. Sabattis is Bigfoot. Remember that you read it here first.

  • Damage from Tropical Storm Hanna Created Expensive Repair Problems at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park   6 years 1 week ago

    Was Bigfoot seen recently at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park or did he just write the article? I was amused by the picture. :-)

  • Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park   6 years 1 week ago

    I agree with Owen. While hiking Half Dome is a nice experience, the view from top can be disappointing, because you can't see Half Dome from it. It's the same with climbing any landmark. More often then not, the best sights are from top of number 2 or 3, because you see the iconic landmarks from there. Glacier and Washburn Point are great, as is Sentinel Dome.

  • Rock Falls Close Curry Village Lodgings in Yosemite National Park   6 years 1 week ago

    I was very fortunate to be in the valley for both falls! They were awesome; both cracking and ripping free of the their rock wall cage, then crashing down to pulverize into a giant dust cloud. I was very close by for the first one and was able to experience first hand the amazing effects of the dust cloud. The second one I heard while in my tent at 6:57 a.m. I nearly stumbled out without clothes I was so excited to rush out and see it! I was not one of the lucky ones that got to see the boulders fall, but I did hear it (everyone in the valley heard both, they were LOUD), and I watched the dust cloud rise and spread. Amazing display of geology is action!!!!

  • New BLM Management Plans Could Have Major Impacts on Utah National Parks   6 years 1 week ago

    The issue of viewscapes is a very interesting one. Almost by definition, a "viewscape" involves how to handle lands that were *not* designated as National Park lands. For example, if you protect certain areas as National Park land to protect the "viewscape" from a given point - you've then instantly created new lands with additional threatened viewscapes based on the new boundaries. Is the solution some kind of "bufferland" designation? If not - what other options are there for the lands surrounding the 391* (or so) National Parks out there?

  • Trails I've Hiked: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park   6 years 1 week ago

    I am 59 years old as of August and was a high school classmate of Rick Deutsch's in Arlington, VA back in the mid-sixties. Rick and I reconnected when I served on our 40th high school reunion committee. He wasn't able to attend our reunion in VA as he had a bunch of people he was hiking Half Dome with. We stayed in touch and he invited me to hike the Dome with he and some friends this past June. It was great fun, hard hiking as I am not a hiker, although I keep myself in good physical shape. We did leave the valley at 5:30 AM as Rick didn't want to get to the cables after 11:00 AM. There were indeed some people who decided not to make the final 425 feet cable ascent as it just was too much for them to imagine being able to make it up. The views from the top are magnificent with a 360 degree panorama. Rick was kind to furnish the essentials for me to include two hiking poles, which were invaluable, water bottles, a belly bag with holsters for the water bottles, and of course a lot of sage advice in order to prepare myself physically. His book, which I read, is chock full of all that you need to get prepared plus lots of neat information on the trip there and other interesting reading. It is a great destination and I have already booked my tent cabin for next June to "Do the Dome" with Rick and friends. We are actually drumming up a few of our classmates to make the trip in order to have a mini reunion along with a great hike.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    "Are you talking about boats killing manatees, boats killing people in national parks, cars killing people in national parks, cars killing panthers in national parks, cars killing wolves in national parks, cars killing grizzlies in national parks? Cars killing deer? Turkeys? Black bears? Red-tailed hawks? Owls? Elk? Moose? Raccoons? Coyotes? And so on?"

    No I am not, please read again what I said.

    "Concealed weapons permits holders are not the ones who shoot up signs or take shots at animals. Bored kids do that. And criminals are the ones killing people, not permit holders."

    And I am saying that they have and they do.

    "If you really want to protect humans and wildlife, please re-prioritize what you want to (and can constitutionally) ban in national parks."

    Guns are not banned in Our National Parks.

    "And read Beamis' comment above."

    I always read what Beamis posts.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    . . . the occasional wounded and dead animal or human will be a fact.

    Are you talking about boats killing manatees, boats killing people in national parks, cars killing people in national parks, cars killing panthers in national parks, cars killing wolves in national parks, cars killing grizzlies in national parks? Cars killing deer? Turkeys? Black bears? Red-tailed hawks? Owls? Elk? Moose? Raccoons? Coyotes? And so on?

    Oh, that's right. Those with concealed weapons permits are going to kill these animals. Concealed weapons permits holders are not the ones who shoot up signs or take shots at animals. Bored kids do that. And criminals are the ones killing people, not permit holders.

    The "wounded and dead animals or humans" you've described already litter the roadways and waterways of our national parks, killed by motor vehicles, not concealed weapons. Cars and carnage in parks go hand in hand.

    But the right to bear arms is protected in the Constitution. The right to drive a car? Not so much. If you really want to protect humans and wildlife, please re-prioritize what you want to (and can constitutionally) ban in national parks.

    And read Beamis' comment above.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: the more guns the better! Guns make it safer for everyone in society and besides why should the government be the only ones allowed to carry arms? The 2nd Amendment makes it abundantly clear that we have just as much right to be as fully armed as the tax funded jack-booted thugs defending the Homeland (whatever that is).

    I live in the Deep South and see people all the time wearing guns on their belts and it doesn't bother me in the least. In fact I feel much safer knowing that there are armed people in my midst who can and will protect themselves and their fellow citizens when and if the occasion arises.

    Criminals and the government (both two peas in a pod really) should never be the ONLY ones packing heat. Never! Remember folks that in the 20th-century governments murdered over 200 million citizens worldwide and that fact alone should steel all of our resolve to never back down when it comes to personal protection from predators of ALL kinds.

    In the wild and wooly precincts of our national parks it makes even more sense to have a gun, whether you're in the urban wilderness of the Gateway National Recreation Area in Queens or deep in the outback of Glacier National Park in Montana. Are the rangers supposed to save the day for us when we encounter a wily mugger or a psycho grizzly bear, while they're safely ensconced in their Ford Excursion patrol vehicle sipping coffee and whining about not having a girlfriend? Not hardly my friends. Not hardly.

  • Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems   6 years 1 week ago

    Add weapons and there will be problems.
    Shot up signs, windows, the occasional wounded and dead animal or human will be a fact.
    I completely reject waving a CCW/CWP in my face as proof that one is safe and sane.
    I have been around a bit ya see..