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Yellowstone National Park Immune From Wyoming Law Banning Certain Photos Of Water Resources

May 21st - 07:55am | SmokiesBackpacker

Unfortunately, that's not true, said Traci Weaver, the park's spokeswoman                                              ?

Dean Potter Dies In Illegal BASE Jumping Incident At Yosemite National Park

May 20th - 16:34pm | Acadia on my mind

Dean Potter had a GoPro camera on. Footage being used by investigators to try to figure out what went wrong. His friend may have hit ridge first, and Potter tried to take evasive 

May 20th - 10:21am | Owen Hoffman

Gary, thank you for mentioning the late Dr. J. Gordon Edwards.  He was my professor of entomology (study of insects) at San Jose State College in the Spring semester of 1966.  When I first received an offer to work seasonally as a NPS park-ranger naturalist at Crater Lake National Park for the summer of 1966, I asked Dr. Edwards for his advice before accepting.

May 19th - 21:50pm | Gary Wilson

It's definitely a tragedy, and these things happen way too often.  A lot of times, social media propels these people to do more and more daredevil type activities.  There was that one girl that died in Zion last year.  She was just upping her risks week after week, and a lot of it was propelled via her facebook page and the followers she garnered.  I dont think they made money from what they we

May 19th - 20:47pm | rmackie

Gary, you are right about Dean going to the extreme and often times disregarding NP rules. But he was an interesting person, it still is a tragic incident. 

May 19th - 19:33pm | Gary Wilson

I wasn't a huge Dean Potter fan.

May 19th - 16:30pm | rmackie

k8tlevy, I agree, dean was a remarkable person, this a tragic incident. 

May 19th - 14:51pm | k8tlevy

I'm a huge Traveler fan, but I've got to be honest; I'm dissapointed in this article. Rather than simply reporting the accident and providing some background on who Dean was, his accomplishments, BASE jumping in general, or anything else, really, the focus is solely on what Dean did that was illegal or wrong in the past.

UPDATED: Black Bear Put Down in Great Smoky Mountains National Park For Being Habituated

May 20th - 09:23am | Gary Wilson

John, can you remove your hater goggles for one freaking minute.  It would be a nice change.  ...

May 20th - 09:00am | SmokiesBackpacker

It is not improper storage of food.  Bear cables work fine. It is Leconte lodge patrons feeding the bears from the safety of their heated cabins to which they retreat or on their evening walks to the Cliff Tops where this bear was habituated.  Shelter visitors don't feed bears when they sleep in open, 3-sided dwellings amongst them. 

May 20th - 07:05am | Jim Burnett

Thanks for some helpful background, Gary. It's unfortunate this bear had to be put down, but given the situation as described, that was the only reasonable course of action in an area with this much public use. Yes, it's very likely improper storage of human food and trash was a big factor.

May 19th - 20:52pm | rmackie

Gary, another good post, I have mentioned this before, but a recent book by Rachel Mazur, "Speaking of Bears", is really a good read. This is not a collection of bear stories, but an in depth look at black bear biology and a well researched history of black bear management in our National Parks. It sheds much light on the issues here and some of the points you have brought up. 

May 19th - 20:49pm | Gary Wilson

It's that time of the year.  Males start getting territorial and agressive in May and June because it's their mating season.  Last year, around the same time there were quite a few incidents in the Smokies involving male black bears.  One followed a guy for a few miles on a trail, and another blackie was shot in the butt by some guy that claimed he was being stalked by it.

May 19th - 14:56pm | wild places

This is the first time I've heard of a trail clusure due to black bear activity.  I'm used to seeing it for grizzlies but not for blacks. Is this something new?

May 19th - 13:44pm | Lee Dalton

Are those bears being charged fees to use the backcountry?  They'd better be or some of our friends will be whining about that, too.

May 19th - 13:13pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Another news outlet says the bear followed the NPS guy back to the lodge.  Where he has undoubtedly been fed by lodge patrons.  I have seen this many times on Leconte.  No wonder the leconte lodge employees were so vocal about needing backcountry fees.  Their primary concern was dogs at their lodge.  Now they can be concerned about bears at "their lodge".  And normal taxpayers are denied their

National Park Service Considering A National World War I Memorial On National Mall

May 19th - 19:18pm | Harryb3570

A long overdue project. I hope the planners understand the war and America's role in winning the war. This project has my full support and I will watch it carefully.

A Traveler Special Report: "Oil Trains" Pose A Significant Threat To National Parks

May 19th - 16:06pm | ecbuck

Tomp2 - Pipelines for Bakken oil and Tar sand oil aren't mutually exclusive.  It may improve safety more to ship Bakken by pipeline than train than the improvement in safety by shipping tar sand oil but both are better shipped by pipeline than train. 

May 19th - 13:51pm | wild places

private companies prioritize which pipelines they want to build based on return on investment and potential profits

May 18th - 14:45pm | Lee Dalton

Unfortunately, Ron, there are too few people out there like tomp2.  And people who try to become informed are up against almost insurmountable odds as they try to face the well funded propaganda machines of the profiteers.  We see the results of those propaganda campaigns quite frequently.

May 18th - 12:27pm | Rick B.

Agreed - you sound like very informed and non-inflamatory commentary.

May 18th - 11:53am | rmackie

Thank you tomp2, I am in agreement with your comments and find that, in community meetings, your points are the major objections expressed by informed people on this subject. 

May 18th - 11:30am | tomp2


May 15th - 20:05pm | ecbuck

Rick,The Amtrak crash had nothing to do with infrasturcture. The engineer was going twice the speed limit (perhaps intentially).  But it is no surprise you want more "government" as the answer.  Amtrak on the NE corridor is a money pit and always will be as long as it is government subsidized. 

May 15th - 17:48pm | Rick B.

While discussing this issue it is hard not to consider both the tragic Amtrak crash near Philadelphia, followed almost immediately by Congress drastically cutting the funds Amtrak needs for their infrastructure.

May 15th - 15:00pm | Kurt Repanshek

Due to copyright issues, we had to delete the last comment. I'm afraid we're not allowed to take stories from other media and post them here without prior approval.

May 15th - 12:57pm | CJDillon

More than 100 trains a day pass through Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, one of the most biologically diverse parks in the National Park System. Many of theshe trains contain oil cars and other hazardous materials. Train-caused fires are not uncommon and a derailment has long been a threat. The NPS is currently suing one railroad for the fires it caused in the park.  

May 15th - 10:45am | ecbuck

So Ron, you prefer the riskier methods of transportation at the expense of American jobs?

May 15th - 10:28am | rmackie

Tahoma, others, thinking about the posts on this issue, I was reminded of a lunch  with David Brower in San Francisco. We were looking over at the Marin Headlands while discussing the NPS plans for the post 1997 Yosemite Flood planning recovery effort in Yosemite NP.  Mr.

May 15th - 10:00am | rmackie

Thank you tomp2 and tahoma, interesting posts. 

Birding In The National Parks: "Can't You See It? It's Right There!"

May 19th - 12:25pm | Rick B.

My aging eyes have floaters, which can make it difficult to pick out the real bird against a blank sky!

May 19th - 10:50am | Jim Burnett

Kirby - been there and done that, on both sides of the conversation :-) Thanks for some practical tips!

Modest Fee Increases On Tap At Joshua Tree National Park

May 18th - 07:49am | SmokiesBackpacker

Modest?  I'd say fairly steep fee increases.  Jarvis, the fee Czar of the NPS.  What would Mather have said?  Bet I know what Roosevelt and Muir would say about Jarvis legacy.

Northern Tier Senators Want A Little National Park Service Love

May 17th - 21:54pm | drew

As the bill's title asserts, parity is needed. These three National Scenic Trails fulfill the requirements of unit status and are at least as important to our Nation as Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site and half or so of the other existing units.

Restoring The Marinescape At Biscayne National Park

May 17th - 14:22pm | Lee Dalton

Fascinating.  Thank you, Jameson.But one sentence stands out and that one sentence says a lot: "Thus, politics and economics have become entwined to cast an ecosystem out of balance."

Musings From A Very Busy Zion National Park

May 17th - 13:53pm | Lee Dalton

You got it, Owen.  Another factor with extra heavy weekend use right now is that it's springtime and local folks know this is best time to visit without broiling.  (However, this past weekend was anything but broiling.  It was downright chilly!)We used to think back in the early 1980's that things were crowded.  Little did we know what was coming.

May 17th - 12:54pm | Owen Hoffman

After reading this report and the ensuing commentary on traffic and crowds at Zion, I'm sure glad my own experiences stem from working there in 1969.  I wonder how much the internet and social media have influenced park visitation?  I think social media have made it much easier to post images of park scenery and bring parks into the homes and offices of urban, suburban and even rural America.

May 17th - 12:48pm | ecbuck

It's very easy to criticize instead of making a sincere effort to learn the facts.

May 17th - 11:38am | Lee Dalton

MINIMAL infrastructure????????????Spending one or two weekdays in a quick visit to a park is certainly not the best way to learn about the place.It's very easy to criticize instead of making a sincere effort to learn the facts.  I'm actually surprised that Zion's backlog is as small as it is.

May 17th - 10:55am | Kurt Repanshek

Infrastructure takes the lion's share -- $43,573,822. That includes roads that need paving, parking lots, bridges and tunnels. You can find the dollar details here:

May 17th - 10:46am | ecbuck

Glad to see that visitation is up. My only point was that I didn't get a sense of over crowding. From the second article "Zion National Park is close behind with $62.1 million in postponed repairs."I sure would like to see that list.  Zion has minimal infrasturcture so its hard to fathom a repair list that large.

May 17th - 10:25am | Lee Dalton

Two links to recent articles from The Spectrum, St. George Utah's local newspaper:

May 17th - 08:23am | ecbuck

Funny, I was there two weeks ago and experienced none of that.  Drove in from the east entrance and made it all the way to the tunnels without a required stop.  (Actually wish we had spent more time here stopping and exploring as I found its topography more interesting than the canyon.)  At that point the ranger had halted traffic and I had three cars in front of me.  Waited about 60 seconds an

May 16th - 22:41pm | Lee Dalton

Forgot to mention that I watched my odometer and noted that vehicles waiting to enter the long tunnel from the east were backed up for 7/10ths of a mile!  I'm certain that by the time the eastbound line I was in cleared the tunnel, that line headed west had to have been more than a mile long.

May 16th - 22:03pm | Lee Dalton

I was in Zion this morning around 9:30.  Had the naive idea that I might find a vacant site in South Campground.WRONG!The park was insanely busy this Saturday, May 16.  I simply entered the Springdale entrance and continued without stopping out the east entrance.  It was as busy -- and perhaps even busier -- than it was back over New Years weekend.

Teenager Posing For Picture Gored By Bison At Yellowstone National Park

May 16th - 18:06pm | wild places

Shame on the host family for being either ignorant, reckless or both.  I'm not sure that a 16 year old and a foreigner to this country should be expected to know better, particularily when they witness adults behaving so recklessly but the adults have no excuse.  I hope they received the appropriate fine and that she recovers with no lasting ill effects.

Burros Inadvertently Save Life Of Hiker Lost In Death Valley National Park

May 15th - 19:39pm | rmackie

Dittos brenda, over the years, I had the opportunity to work with many excellent SAR volunteer groups. It was always a pleasure. Thank you for your efforts. 

May 15th - 18:34pm | Acadia on my mind

Thank you brendat for being part of the search & rescue, and helping to bring the hiker to safety. Hope the hiker will recover without any long-term harm. He was out there a long time, a week, but how lucky he was to find those burros, and water. Having hiked the Death Valley backcountry, we know how disorienting the desert can be. 

May 15th - 13:12pm | brendat

My husband and some of the members of our Kren River Valley Search & Rescue Group went out on this search. The man was way out there in really the middle of nowhere. Thank God that he thought to follow the burros.

New Navajo Leadership Opposes Escalade Project At Grand Canyon

May 15th - 09:54am | rmackie

Good news.

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