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UPDATED: Former Yellowstone Chief Ranger Investigated For Letting Guests Stay In His Park Housing

Mar 15th - 12:32pm | rmackie

I agree Owen, employee housing issues in our large western parks get quite complicated.   

Mar 15th - 11:00am | Beigs

Sometimes perception is more important than reality,  "families with children and suitcases frequently stay in Reid's apartment for several days and then depart via rental car, creating the perception that Reid is using the apartment as an overflow for his family's bed-and-breakfast.

Mar 15th - 10:09am | Raphael

Am I the only one who thinks this isn't a big deal? I think it's downright unreasonable to say that a person shouldn't let relatives stay in his or her residence. He didn't lease or airbnb his place. I fail to see an ethical violation here, but rather a patronizing attitude towards government employees.

Mar 15th - 09:55am | Owen Hoffman

Somehow, this unfortunate situation hardly qualifies as "news." The issue seems to be that the former Chief Ranger didn't actually use his in-park government housing as frequently as required by his official capacity as chief ranger. However, he paid for this housing, and therefore it was his place of official in-park private residence.

Mar 15th - 09:18am | SmokiesBackpacker

The Jarvis model of arrogance filters to the Superintendents.  In what other place would someone have the audacity to act in such a way.  Ethics?  What is that?

Mar 15th - 08:45am | tahoma

Once again, the NPS double-standard is on display.  If a rank & file employee had pulled this stunt, they would probably have lost their job, let alone been promoted.  Apparently this management cult's mission is so holy that the ends justify the means.

Is NPS Getting Ready To Toss Bluffs Lodge On The Scrap Heap?

Mar 15th - 10:11am | Crystal Congleton

I started as a desk clerk for Bluffs Lodge being promoted to office manager after just one season. I still have a love and passion for this place that I simply cannot describe. Each nook and cranny holds a magic for me that cannot be recreated.

Mar 15th - 08:55am | Bill H

As the former General Manager of Bluffs Lodge and Bluffs Coffee Shop Restaurant, I would dearly love to see the place make a come back!  So many memories were made by guests and our employees alike, as they enjoyed a meal or created life long friendships in front of the fireplace at the Lodge.

Yosemite National Park Officials Instituting Reservation Program Changes To Stop Campsite Scalping

Mar 15th - 09:54am | Rusty

Get rid of the online reservation system all together and go with walk-up only. That way it is fair for everyone, those with and without computers. I couldn't imagine my father trying to reserve a spot who is so not technically sauvy. 

Fireside Read: Guidebook To American Values And Our National Parks

Mar 15th - 09:18am | abby

Great Review! Thank you for the candid input, and I can completely relate to the frustration around the hipocrisy and conflict of interest of the author in writing this book.  

Mar 10th - 19:37pm | Lee Dalton

Rod and Owen -- even though the "review" may have been repugnant to many of us, isn't it important that we be given the opportunity to read things written by people whose views may clash dramatically with our own?  If we are unwilling to read and even consider thoughts from the opposition, how are we going to be able to argue effectively to try to counter it?

Mar 10th - 12:07pm | Owen Hoffman

I'm sorry.  I didn't find this "book review" to be helpful at all.  The bias of the author is quite transparent, and I am surprised that Kurt found this type of  "fireside reading" to have any merit whatsoever for posting on NPT as a featured article.

Mar 9th - 20:08pm | ecbuck

I do not agree in reading the legislation and the legislative history that a case can be made that the law required the NPS to renew the lease.

Mar 9th - 19:06pm | d-2

RodF, I love the high tone of your points, and agree completely about the meaning of Parks.  I have not read Jon Jarvis' book but intend to.

At New River Gorge National River, an Iconic Bridge Attracts Suicide Jumpers

Mar 13th - 09:43am | aaronHuff

Guy Mraz,  Your family will miss you dearly if you commit suicide.  Although they may be busy with their lives, my bet would be that if you contact them, and let them know exactly how you are feeling, they will take the time to let you know they are there for you and don't want you to go through with it.  You need to give them the oppurtunity to help you and be with you, because

Mar 13th - 09:10am | Nic

Guy Mraz, does your comment mean your going to commit suicide? As you said depression is an illness and illnesses can be treated. Please get some help, I hope it's not too late. 

Mar 12th - 17:27pm | Guy Mraz

I dont think suicide is selfish or a sin.  I wouldnt be in this position if I was as important to people as they say I am. Not to offend God, but it is quite clear there are sins that lead to death. ALL of them, some just sooner than later. Suicide allows a person to die before they become completly worthless to themselves. I want to die with some selfworth still intacted.

Mar 12th - 17:11pm | Guy Mraz

Glad to see the thoughts on suicde. It is a dredful thing no doubt, no matter the method. Dont blame the method. As one of the comments said, it s an illness. My sloppy living created more problems than could be solved. You know the stigma around depression.My family is full of it, yet noone was wlling to talk about untill they were on the road of no return.

Mar 12th - 10:56am | Tom Perkins

I know nothing of the man but I know something about depression. It will suck the literal life out of you. Until you have experienced life-killing, debilitating depression, you cannot begin to understand the utter hopelessness of life and, of course, the Lie that it will never change.

Brady Campaign Sues Interior Department over Concealed Carry in National Parks

Mar 13th - 08:35am | Paul b

that is a silly and child statement to make.    

Op-Ed | When The Bureaucracy Demands Permission: A Warning For Our National Parks

Mar 12th - 10:37am | Alfred Runte

Speaking of workplace issues. . .

Mar 11th - 23:17pm | trailadvocate

Gee, wonder who's she working for.

Mar 11th - 22:02pm | rmackie

Dr. Runte, I maybe a little confused here, I do not think "political correctness" and what ever interpretations that might apply to it, is an issue in your freedom of expression. Once you leave the classroom, job-site, etc, you are free to participate on any issue you wish.

Mar 11th - 20:47pm | ecbuck

And Loretta Lynch wants to prosecute people for their thoughts.  

Mar 11th - 20:24pm | Alfred Runte

"On "political correctness" it seems to me it is partly an attempt to ensure that our speech and conduct in the workplace, schools, etc. is not offensive to others, there is much at stake here." The problem again is: Who defines "offensive?" Life is offensive. Hard ideas are offensive. The truth hurts, as my mother used to say.

Mar 11th - 20:20pm | ecbuck

 On "political correctness" it seems to me it is partly an attempt to ensure that our speech and conduct in the workplace, schools, etc. is not offensive to others,

Mar 11th - 19:29pm | rmackie

Thank you d-2, a very informative post and yes it is a complex issue, there are many "shades of grey". I do think it was handled well, the reprimand was issued, the Director stated a mistake was made, well, these are tough jobs with many subtle and not so subtle consequences, I understand that.  The discussion here has been very informative. Thank you all.

Mar 11th - 19:14pm | ecbuck

Forcing binary only choices 

Mar 11th - 14:31pm | Alfred Runte

Excellent point, Rick. However, I think all of us know when we're being hypocritical instead of living those shades of gray, as you call them. Just once, I would like to see the President of the United States take the train. Indeed, I am only asking for once. Of course, the Secret Service would probably not allow it, but then, at least he could visit Union Station and make a speech.

Mar 11th - 13:22pm | Rick B.

The folks who perplex me are the grown adults who seem to think that binary choices between black and white, hot and cold, etc., are the only choices. From their isolated islands of disdain they don't recognise the shadesof grey that the rest of the world live in. ABC might be a principled stance, but DEF is nearly that but willl allow me to get to my work and home.  

Mar 11th - 09:56am | Alfred Runte

A good column by Mr. Hightower, and yes, the corporate conspiracy he mentions was true. GM, Firestone, et al. lost in court but were fined just one dollar. It is one of the most famous cases in American transportation history.

Mar 11th - 08:52am | ecbuck

Does he (or we) have a choice? 

Mar 10th - 20:11pm | Lee Dalton

Double Drivel.  Does he (or we) have a choice? 

Mar 10th - 19:47pm | ecbuck

Drivel.  You think Mr Hightower doesn't own a car and goes everywhere in a train?

Mar 10th - 19:27pm | Lee Dalton

Dr. Runte, this is especially for you from one of America's best political columnists:

Mar 10th - 17:43pm | Rick Smith

Gee, squirrel, many commentators on this site believe that it is the lust for money that drives the NPS.  I've seen ssmokiesbackpacker say that dozens of times.

Mar 10th - 01:11am | Earl the Squirrel

Max Weber the grest German sociologist was one of the first intellectuals to identify the insidiousness of bureaucracy.   The best book I have ever read on the  wickedness of bureaucracy is B. Traven's novel The Death Ship.    Traven is best  known for his novel The Treaure of Sierra Madre, made into a famous movie.  He was also a German by the way.

Mar 9th - 19:17pm | d-2

Yes Dr Runte, terrible things can happen in institutions.  When they run right, checks and balances -- even Ethics Offices -- can actually help.  I was subject, around 30 years ago, to a concentrated attack by political (non-professional) people, that should have taken me out.  But I was saved by people following the ethics rules, people I did not know.

A Winter Visit To Sequoia National Park

Mar 12th - 08:39am | Janet Goodban

Beautifully written, it makes me want to go visit this magical place now!

Park History: Obed Wild and Scenic River

Mar 11th - 14:28pm | Anonymous

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth. - Henry David Thoreau

Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing

Mar 11th - 09:57am | K joness

I'm very sorry for your loss!! I think safety harnesses is a great idea

Petrified Forest National Park is Still Being Stolen One Piece at a Time

Mar 11th - 09:50am | Garrett Stanger


Op-Ed | Strengthening The National Parks

Mar 11th - 00:42am | Cornell Tramontana

With respect to Grand Canyon NP, if I'm reading you correctly, you've not been to the North Rim, which is a shame. This is a higher, forested area. The North Rim is not open year round. In late May 1990, my wife, I ,and another couple went to both rims. If you place your nose in the a Ponderosa Pine's bark's crack you will smell either vanilla or butterscotch.

National Parks: Going To The Dogs!

Mar 10th - 23:38pm | Sandy

The National Parks are one of the only places left for me to hike that I don't have to be wrried about dogs coming at me. I am glad there are some places left for me to hike without pepper spray or tazer.

UPDATED: While Some Rangers Head To Greener Pastures, Their Horses Aren’t So Lucky

Mar 10th - 20:53pm | cowgirl

I work at a National Park and we have horses. Believe me, this would not happen here, we have people lined up to adopt them. They are not old enough to retire, but when they do, we will be there. Also, we do not brand our horses. I have not seen that done before. Our horses are nurtured, and have a job every day. We love them. I am sorry this happened to these other NPS horses.

Politicians, Conservationists, And National Parks

Mar 10th - 20:27pm | Lee Dalton

The Utah 2016 legislative session winds up tonight.  Here's one of the last gasps: Thank goodness they meet for only 45 days a year.  Can you imagine how much damage they'd do if they had more time?

Hub Of A Red-Rock Playground

Mar 10th - 12:39pm | Tours by Edge o...

Definitely take the Aztec Butte hike while in Canyonlands.  It is one of the highest points in the park and the views to prove it.  Just before you get to the top, there is a technical rockface that you need to go up. We found that the inching your way up (and back down) on your posterior as the best and safest way to acomplish that task to be able to enjoy the view.  

Mar 10th - 10:54am | John Veninger

About ten years ago I spent a week vacationing in Moab, with then my 13 year old daughter. Spent a few days hiking Arches and driving some trails in a rented Grand Cherokee. Finished with a 4 day trip down the Colorado and plane ride back. Was a wonderful experience.

Bears Coming Out Of Their Dens In Yellowstone National Park

Mar 10th - 08:07am | Corinne Garrett

We are visiting Yosimite in a couple of weeks.  I imagine it will be the same story there as well?  Looking forward to spotting a bear, but not too close by.

UPDATED: Forest Service Rejects Permit Request That Could Have Led To Development Near Grand Canyon

Mar 9th - 21:42pm | NormH

I think the NPS and environmental groups may have just missed a golden opportunity to remove much of the commerical development and NPS infrastructure from the park.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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