Recent comments

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Okay, folks, we're wandering off track into personal battles in the last couple of comments, so let's get back to the topic at hand, or bow out of the discussion.

  • Barge Day At Kalaupapa National Historical Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    The folks who live at Kalaupapa definitely have to plan ahead for their shopping! A similar situation prevails for the staff at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, which has its headquarters in Nome, Alaska.

    If people in Nome miss their summer's barge shipment, they're reduced to having stuff shipped in by air. Nome might as well be on an island, since there is no road access to that area from the rest of the world, and unlike Hawaii, once the Bering Sea freezes over each winter, there will definitely be no deliveries by water! I spent two weeks in Nome in December several years ago – a fascinating place, but it's not a lifestyle for everyone.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    There's a difference between courage, and being over your head and unpreppared. There are many skilled outdoorsman out there that have cut their teeth over the years on terrain and weather conditions that they could manage, before trying to attempt something more challenging. All require some courage, regardless. What's ironic are the types that are way out of their element, all the sudden think they are Ed Viesturs, when all they have done was a few minor peaks, and attempt peaks 5 times the size of what they have done, and in weather conditions far removed from anything they have ever dealt with. I can name a few instances just this year where this has occurred. This happened last year in the smokies when a group of unpreppared 20 year olds from the warm climate of South Carolina thought they could trek 10 days in the Smokies during winter, when they had ZERO days of experience in such conditions. Didn't even make it 6 miles before realizing they were in over their heads, and all started succumbing to frostbite. This same sort of scenario also seems to have also happened to someone else that posts here, that loves to bash S&R on any occasion, but sure did need it once when he was way out of his element too. I also find it very ironic that someone who makes their money from taxpayer funded school districts, thinks they are "private sector" and thinks that makes them immune from the same hyperbole that they dish out. But hey, logic and reason escape some people, and they are usually the ones that end up being the ones that need a "bailout". Hypocrisy, much?

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    One thing is for sure. People who have the courage to venture off trail are not cowards who shy away from challenges and hide under their wife's skirt. They don't talk about doing things, they just do them. And I'm fine with my tax dollars helping the occasional guy who gets in over his head. I know someone here who recently got way in over his head and has been cowering ever since. He will likely be cowering for the rest of his life because of his inability to win the battle with fear.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Ohh boy, another fine day at the National Parks Troller comment section.

    1. 4 days in a row of S&R were performed in the same spot, because people that were over their heads ignored signs and warning which led to their injuries. What's the alternative? Having a park ranger stationed at that area 24/7?

    2. Interestingly (or is it more ironically), it seems that middle aged men, many of which are suffering from middle-aged crisis's for reasons known only to them are some of the biggest accounts of expensive S&R. Quite a few of these mid-life crisis accounts usually require a military helicopter to rescue them. When such a greenhorn gets in over their head, and their own stupidity almost kills them, I guess they can write a book about it to try and justify their actions so they can try to profit off their stupidity. But anyone with a brain, could realize that this guy is over his head, inexperienced, and should have not attempted something he had no business trying to do. Happens a lot. There's a big difference between the guy that was just unlucky in the woods and had a tree fall on him, or a boulder come down on him, and the guy that was well over his head, and in a situation he put himself into because he wasnt prepared, which of course puts those "unimportant rangers" and "meaningless helicopter pilots" at risk in order to save their butts. Talk about ungrateful.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Search and rescues are but a miniscule fraction of the NPS budget but they sure know how to get the most media exposure out of them. It is an unfortunate by product of an agency that continually justifies its own bloated, bureacratic payrolls. It is titillating and salacious but absolutely negligible in the grand scheme of the NPS. Not nearly as riveting as crime statistics for a trailhead, for example. I would suggest someone delve into that story and see how fast the NPS squirms to avoid showing the public how they have dealt with known problem areas. Simple solutions such as trailhead cameras are dismissed in favor of nothing and the public gets victimized at areas with documented high thefts. These car clouting incidents cost the taxpayers millions per year but in order to get those stats, you must file a freedom of information act request. It is just another example of bureaucratic diversion and Jarvis' "make the public feel the pinch" mentality. By doing nothing about trailhead crime, for instance, the NPS can cry for more rangers, most end up jockeying not steel horses but desks. Every now and again they can jump up and push a litter up a trail and wheel someone down with a sprained ankle and be touted as heroes. Then the NPS sends their employees to these blogs and elsewhere to say that we should pay more to use the National Parks because their entry fees are not in line with Disneyland. You really can't make this stuff up. Its almost as ridiculous as a national park saying they have 9 million visitors when in fact, the truth isn't even a fraction of that number because a main road happens to intersect it and folks have no choice but to drive through it. You get counted coming and going and soon you have 9 million hits. Then you can cry to the public that you are being loved to death when most of those "visitors" never even really knew they were even in a national park.

    Jarvis brought this on himself. But what can you expect from a guy whose brother is a lobbyist for a rafting company on the Grand Canyon. I'm sure he received no special treatment from his sibling. Maybe Jarvis brother can align himself with global rescue and come up with a capitated rate for rescues in the NPS? Theres an idea, boys!

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Nah. I'm comfortable with my years of experience

    I will go with the facts. You can live in your la la experience.

    "where to draw the line in the gray territory in between "wrong" and "innocent" is difficult."

    Agreed. So lets not make drawing the line necessary. Put yourself at risk - you are responsible. Whether you want to insure against that or not is your choice.

  • As National Park Service Looks At Grizzly Bear Recovery In North Cascades, What's The State Of The Endangered Species Act?   4 weeks 1 day ago

    That's good news. Hopefully some day they are also back in the sierras, and the great plains too.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Nah. I'm comfortable with my years of experience in this versus your corporate apologist stance, and am not going to parse sentences and suchlike with you. Please feel free to claim you "won" this discussion if it's that important to you.

    My original point is that charging those who clearly and stupidly screw up past warning signs is fine, but fnding the point where to draw the line in the gray territory in between "wrong" and "innocent" is difficult.

  • Doggy Daycare Near Popular National Parks: Five Great National Park Destinations To Visit With Dogs   4 weeks 1 day ago

    For the record, some parks in the eastern US allow dogs on quite a few trails. Congaree allows leashed pets on almost all the trails, and Shenandoah has a large selection of trails open to dogs.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    There is absolutely no factual basis behind your emphatic and absolute statements.

    Which statement are you claiming has no factual basis? Perhaps you would like to provide some evidence than any of my statements are wrong.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    A legitimate concern Roger. Yet I wonder how many would consider any efforts to rescue them " beyond what might be warranted" Kind of comes under the "moral hazard" issue when you seperate the receipient from the payor.

    But to be clear. I wouldn't "require" SAR insurance. I want the rescuee to be responsible and have the option to buy insurance if he wants.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Ec...

    There is absolutely no factual basis behind your emphatic and absolute statements. You are talking to my strength here, over 20 years of experience which time after time has shown you wrong. Deny, delay, defend, is truly the soulless and profit based reality. You are arguing based on ideology and your 'faith'. I wish experience could allow me to have the same faith, but that's not the case.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Rick,

    I put my faith in the Constitution and its judicial system. If an injury is actually covered, the insurance company will pay. The overwhelming majority of claims are paid with no dispute. There may be disputes as to whether the coverage actually applies. That is where our judicial system comes into play. If the courts determine the coverage applies, the insurance company will pay.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    I could support requiring SAR insurance for those visitors participating in high risk activities.

    But what concerns me is how much of the expense the unforutunate individual or insurance company should pay. The NPS and other government agencies have the ability to spend large amounts of money on SAR, often times beyond what might be warranted. There needs to be a review system in place to decide what is appropriate.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Lee...

    Of course he's wrong. Fighting insurance companies to cover the injuries of my patients that were due to be covered was one of the situations that infuriated me as a nurse. Grisham's novel/movie The Rainmaker was far from fiction. Some Wall Street folks put much more faith in insurance companies than real life experience would warrant.

  • Essential Fall Guide '14: The Big Wild: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park And Preserve   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Beautiful images and nice descriptions.

    To give folks an idea of the scope of Alaska, I live in the Southeast. From us Anchorage is less than halfway across the state -- but that is still two ten-hour days drive away. I haven't gotten to explore from McCarthy yet, but this article is very inviting.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Wasn't that what you wanted to do with collecting insurance premiums at park entrance stations?

    Nope. I wanted it done by a private insurance company. I wanted it fully self funding. And, I wanted those placing themselves at risk paying for S&R expenses.

    No new tax payer beaucracy and no "tax" on those not likely to use the service nor on those willing to self insure.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Wasn't that what you wanted to do with collecting insurance premiums at park entrance stations? That was what you said before you said you didn't except that you would before you wouldn't. It appears that you may be confusing yourself with your own arguments.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Isn't that just what I said in my original post?

    No. Your suggestion was to create another governmental beaucracy that would continue to place the burden on the general public for those it arbitrarily deemed "unlucky".

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Right.

    Isn't that just what I said in my original post? Glad you finally understand.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Oh. Private insurance companies with death panels like we had before ACA?

    I think you got that one backwards - but lets not go too far astray.

    In my view, the closer we can get the cost to those that use (or might use) the services, the better.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    Oh. Private insurance companies with death panels like we had before ACA?

    Perhaps Jim Burnett is on to something.

    As for insurance companies always paying for covered losses -- tell that to my neighbor whose company refused to pay medical costs for an injury until she got one of those awful attorneys to go after them. In the end, the company paid out seven times the original claim. I guess they win some and lose some when they try to protect their bottom line. But in the end, we all pay for higher premiums.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    No Lee, I would expect the insurance program to be privately administered and fully self funding thereby reducing the expense to taxpayers.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   4 weeks 1 day ago

    As noted above, the question of charging for rescues has been discussed a number of times on the Traveler, but the concept of visitors buying insurance raises an interesting question.

    Why not allow parks to use revenue from entrance and other user fees to pay for search and rescue costs, rather than tapping appropriated funds? In a sense, anyone paying an entrance fee would then be helping underwrite SAR costs.

    The legislation authorizing fees is currently under review, so this would be a good time to consider that approach. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe SAR costs are among those currently allowed for funding from fee revenue.

    If you look at the "big picture" of all dollars available to a park from all sources, ultimately SAR costs will take money away from some other projects, no matter which account is tapped for those expenses ... and not every park collects a fee. However, for those that do, this approach would at least eliminate the argument that taxpayers who never visit a park are having to help pay for rescues, including those described in the above story that could have been prevented by more prudent decisions by visitors.