Recent comments

  • National Mall: Cherry Blossom Festival Not Far Off   6 years 5 weeks ago

    I love the cherry blossom festival!! If you have never been to see the National Mall with the cherry blossoms in their peak, then you absolutely must go! Words can't describe how truly awesome it is. My husband and I go every year, it is that amazing.

  • Sen. Obama Non-committal on Carrying Loaded Weapons in National Parks   6 years 5 weeks ago

    This talk of guns in the park is such a non-issue that even our presidential candidates are unaware what the contention is. The senator seems to think that bears are the problem. The problem is actually a states rights versus federal rights argument. Can the states issue carry permits that the federal government is required to honor? The NPS has so far said "no". Under our Federal system of government I don't see how a law passed by the Congress will pass Constitutional muster, without some enabling legislation that would cause a federal concealed carry permit to be instituted. In parks such as Yellowstone the Federal government has exclusive jurisdiction (i.e. no state law enforcement is allowed). How would this law work there?

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    If one considers that 90% of are beaches in the world today are slowing dying from of lack of conscientious environment care, then I consider Cape Hatteras National Seashore is surely one of them. Now, get those oil dripping gas guzzling ORV's off the beaches. We have enough human crap fouling up the oceans today. Just asked any competent marine biologist.

  • Haleakala National Park Officials Institute Moratorium on Bike Tours   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Please save us from ourselves!! The Nanny State has arrived!!

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 6 weeks ago

    A three mile hike might be too much for granpa but the kid will catch a lot more fish there now because there are less people. How about going in by boat gramps?

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Valid point Kurt. I was just curious how the folks who visit this blog feel about the issue. I can't help but wonder how the comments will go during the 90-day period after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is presented on April 30th. If 80% of the comments support carrying loaded guns in the Parks, what will that tell us?

    It's not a poularity contest, but it is important to allow people a voice. I certainly wouldn't want folks to avoid the Parks simply because my Dad, my brother, and I were hiking in the backcountry of our beautiful National Parks.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    C'mon, Fred, using those comments to project an outcome is about as scientific as Sen. Coburn's "poll" on the question of concealed carry in the parks on his web site. I think it's fairly well-known how organized the NRA and its supporters are on these issues. As soon as I started posting about guns in the parks at least one gun rights site -- The High Road -- pointed its readers in my direction, as did another site that I can't immediately recall.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Frank -

    You said, "Ask one question: "Do you believe that people should be allowed to carry loaded guns inside National Parks?" I believe that most ACTUAL PARK VISITORS will say "no".

    I was curious, so I counted the comments from this earlier post about guns in the Parks. There were 60 separate comments. Only 12 of those (20%) agreed with you and Kurt. Nine of those were from ONE responder (Snowbird). I get the impression that we would be told "YES" if we were to ask your question at the typical Park entrance, not "NO".

    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2006/11/guns-parks-bad-idea

  • Guns in the Parks: A Bad Idea   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Do you think it will change my park experience to be sauntering along a trail in Big Bend National Park, and encounter people carrying rifles? You bet your sweet bippy it will! Ask yourself if it will affect your park experience, as you walk _____________ (your favorite trail) in _____________________ (your favorite park unit), and encounter someone "loaded for bear".

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Dear Anon, if you put your personal interest over the law, you are by definition not a responsible gun-owner. By every standard, including that of the NRA, your gun should be taken from you, if necessary by verdict and for life. And those who support him should start to think. If an area is unsafe without a personal weapon, don't go there and demand from the authorities that they resolve the issues. It's their job to keep the country safe.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is so dangerous that backcountry overnight camping is prohibited and certain roads are closed due to the danger from illegals and drug smugglers. They trample the rare plants and litter the park. It's more than a little odd that while environmentalists get very upset about snowmobiles destroying Yellowstone, no one ever mentions that hundreds of square miles of this national monument are effectively closed and being trashed by pollution from illegals.

  • Grand Canyon National Park Officials Take Issue With High Flow Releases from Glen Canyon Dam   6 years 6 weeks ago

    I am constantly amazed at the comments that come in to this site from people who want to see Lake Powell drained and the Glen Canyon Dam removed. These people all seem to have two things in common; a deep desire to restore Glen Canyon to pre-lake days, and a hatred of dams in general. Personally, I find both motives self-centered and completely ignorant of the realities of life in the Southwest. In a time when the world is searching for eco-friendly, renewable alternatives to reliance on finite supplies of oil and coal, hydroelectric power is by far the best solution around. In addition, while a few hearty athletic folks no doubt enjoyed climbing through Glen Canyon prior to the development of the lake, most of the scenic wonders of Glen Canyon are now easily available to millions more, including many handicapped folks, from the safety and comfort of private and commercial boats.

    Clean renewable power, unlimited recreational opportunity, a huge economic uplift to a financially stressed part of the state. What's not to like about Lake Powell? The recent senseless simulated flood pushed by BOR has been such a colossal waste of water (by bypassing the turbines and generating clean hydropower) that there should be a Congressional inquiry to prevent such an event from happening again. This flood has been nothing else but a stunt to promote the left wing-nut drainer crowd’s dream of decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam. Enough already. Get used to it; it’s going to be around for hundreds of years.
    -rich

  • Bison Slaughter In Yellowstone National Park Draws Protest Against Park Service   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Very tragic news.

    If the numbers are correct, the AP is reporting today (link) that the number of bison killed this winter will soon be at an all time high when bison captured yesterday are killed. That number is 1,090, or approximately 23% of all the buffalo that were alive this fall. What's the really bad news is that the total could easily rise by as many as 700 this winter if that many bison go west or north of the park. And, even after the magic 3,000 number is reached, bison will still face hazing and then testing to exposure to brucellosis.

    In Bozeman, we're having a teach-in on this issue and beginning to organize grassroots efforts in solidarity with Buffalo Field Campaign. That teach-in is March 26 at 7 PM at the Procrastinator Theater. The teach-in features a film documenting the buffalo slaughter in recent years and a discussion with Mike Mease of Buffalo Field Campaign. The goal is not simply educational, however. The goal is to begin organizing a group of people interested in this and other issues in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley. Part of that is solidarity with Buffalo Field Campaign.

    Full information of the announcement can be found at http://bozemanactivist.wordpress.com.

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

  • Would a Change in Gun Laws Be a Threat to National Park Bears?   6 years 6 weeks ago

    It's not the bear or animal I fear, it's the two legged critters who want to do me harm. 99% of people who legally pack a weapon are very nice, respectable and law abiding. They are not hot heads, ready to start a shootout like some of the liberals claim. The weapon is a last resort to protect your life, and I hope the law is changed to allow concealed carry in National Parks, just crossing a border from a state to a federal property does not make me want to become a criminal, the law does.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    I'm with Anon and Kath. Some of the Parks I want to visit have backcountry so far "back" that they're probably not visited by Park Rangers more than once or twice per season. I might be illegal when I carry my gun, but i"m going to carry it.

  • Clinton, McCain, Obama Answer Questions on National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    After hearing Hillary and seeing her dirty tactics in the democratic primaries, I don't put much trust in her handling the NPS affairs with much credibility.
    It looks like her true personality is starting to show: that being, an unethical women with substandard values! I believe that Obama will and can reflect a more open door policy in implementing a better and stronger image of the National Park Service with proper funding and management. He appears more compassionate and understanding towards protecting the environment, even more so then the other candidates...and he listens!

  • Park History: Channel Islands National Park   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    Thanks Rick! Plan to take my daughter and her husband. One quick question, what time of year is the best time to visit... for the optimum experience? Your personal choice!

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Good point, Anon. The same could be said for Organ Pipe Cactus. The cross-border human and drug smuggling is very bad there. It's a no-go park for the average traveler.

  • Clinton, McCain, Obama Answer Questions on National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    I would like to have them address a very specific question such as; How would your administration handle the issue of snowmobile access in Yellowstone?

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 6 weeks ago

    For once an honest response, I'm not posting my name this time because I am probably over trained and over armed. I am going to be illegal in national parks until they the laws are changed. I travese the roads on the border states and experience smugglers. I avoid them, but you can only do so much. Big Bend Nat'l Park is ignored as a drug import area and yet you can drive across the border in some places. Wonder why I carry loaded weapons? This was edited to remove a superfluous derogatory comment aimed at others.

  • Park History: Channel Islands National Park   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Snowbird--

    You won't regret it. It's a bit of a chore to visit the park as Kurt mentions in his introductory piece. But, the islands are spectacular and the historic resources on Santa Rosa are interesting. If you are a diver, this is a must.

    Rick Smith

  • Park History: Channel Islands National Park   6 years 6 weeks ago

    You don't need a private boat or charter one, as there is a regular service to all of the islands. Even in the winter, there is at least one trip per day from one of the departure sites to one of the islands. In summer many more.

  • Park History: Channel Islands National Park   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    I'm going Rick! You just sold me.

  • Park History: Channel Islands National Park   6 years 6 weeks ago

    This is one of the great parks of our National Park System. I was fortunate to have worked in the NPS's legislative division when the Act that changed Channel Islands from a national monument to a national park was being negotiated. I was also lucky enough to have been on the region's dive team while stationed in Yosemite. We often did training dives in the kelp forests off the islands. It is a unique, wild, and beautiful place; I treasure the memories of my visits there.

    Rick Smith

  • Carrying Guns in the National Parks -- Is This Being Fast-Tracked?   6 years 6 weeks ago

    Packing Hiker -

    I couldn't have said it better myself. Right on!