Recent comments

  • National Park Mystery Photo 3: It's All In the Patterns   6 years 1 week ago

    Math and physics are not alienated from nature they attempt to explain the world. Fibinocci numbers and crystalline structures. I immediately knew it was natural and not artificial but not being a native of the area did not know the answer.

    It is fascinating however.

  • Yellowstone National Park Rangers Kill Habituated Wolf   6 years 1 week ago

    I am not surprised . People will feed animals, that is how the domesticated dog started. A wolf got habituated and a deal was made. The wolf gets fed and the man gets a hunting and defensive companion. The man became the pack to be protected.

    The feeding may not have been intentional,but just a smart wolf that figured people have food and easier to steal food from campsites or picknickers. Since the vistors did not kill the wolf he became more confident and since no serious injury resulting by the negative condtioning he figured it was safe. It was not safe. Humans will kill wolves.

    This is inevitable as numbers of wolves increase and so do vistors.
    Herd predation was also inevitable and has been happening outside parks. It is easier to kill a sheep or calf than a wild animal. Sheep and cattle are also conditioned to allow dogs nearby and the wolf is a canine.

    People are very sucessful at creating food sources. It is not surprising that fellow predators want those food sources. That is why predator control was a big deal and the cougars, bears and wolves were killed almost to extinction.

    The only way is to have these in areas where people do not exist and more people are born and live every year.
    The contest for land is severw and that has happened in Afica and a good portion of wildlife is looses its territory. When it becomes aa contest between man eating or an animal eating the animal will lose.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    The tactic to skew reporting is a time honored method by many. The British have used in their crime reporting which is different how it is reported in the US. For instance a person is attacked 5 times and it is reported as 1 occurence. The skews the report which is why the anecdoctal reporting is so different from the official reports. If we depend on official reports it is a good idea to dig in to see how the methodology of reporting is done. That is true for all sides.

    I also wish to express my thanks to Kane and his research.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 3: It's All In the Patterns   6 years 1 week ago

    Hi Sue,

    I've worked in both places as a park ranger-naturalist. It was immediately obvious to me that the mystery photo is that of Devil's Postpile (located within a very small National Monumnet of the same name located near the southeastern border of Yosemite National Park). The rock is volcanic in origin. It's columnar basalt (caused when basaltic lava flows cool slowly). Columnar basalt is found throughout the volcanic regions of the USA and elsewhere, but it's the glacial polish and glacial striation that gives this mystery photo away.

    The rock formation near the East Entrance of Zion National Park is the Checkerboard Mesa. That pattern is formed from weathering in the crossbedded Navajo Sandstone, a geologically famous rock formation of Southern Utah formed from fossilized sand dunes.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • National Park Mystery Photo 3: It's All In the Patterns   6 years 1 week ago

    It is most likley Devil Post Pile but I have seen similar shapes in nature one being the eastern entrance to Zion. same shape differant rock?

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    Mr. Kane

    I too appreciate and am impressed with your knowledge and research. I do feel the need to stick up for the NPS though. Aside from units covered by the Park Police, you are correct that other units are patrolled by Park Rangers. Due to those units often being in remote areas with varying law enforcement response times and resources, many of them have mutual aid agreements with neighboring cities, local counties and even their home states. These local agencies have a much better infrastructure and logistical support in terms of handling the investigation of crimes committed in parks. This often times helps relieve law enforcement rangers because they also EMT/Paramedic, Search and Rescue, Wildland Fire, resource management and any number of other park responsibilities to handle. If a crime is significant enough, it is turned over the FBI for investigation.

    It is not the NPS's intent to minimize and skew crime statistics. Due to the nature of the parks and the responsibilities placed on Rangers and the park staff, many of the incidents are handed off to other agencies to investigate and clear. Sorry to get off topic, but I felt the jobs that Rangers perform and the great service that the NPS provides needed to be clarified.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    Mr. Kane
    Thanks for the research. I have wondered about many of the same points that you have brought out. It is not that they outright lie it is just that they only give out a fraction of the real data to support specoified agends. All I ask of NPS and all politicians is "don't lie to me". It would be real interesting to have the actual data. My daughter worked two summers in a national park and I will definately tell you there are drug offenses and related crimes of the body and property. Anyone who does not believe it lives in a fairyland.
    All of the comments are good for discussion. It is always interesting to note which sections of the Constitution people agree with and which ones they do not to promote and instill their ideological agendas on the rest of us. At least the First Amendment is alive and well. I wonder how many of the commentators want to do away with the First Amendment and the rest of the Constitution and the 27 Amendments.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   6 years 1 week ago

    Certainly a tragic event, but somewhat disturbing are several comments related to the lack of cellphone service. I believe we need to rely less on phones to bail us out of trouble and more on pre-trip research and common sense. As much as possible, we should avoid installation of cell towers in the parks on ridges, etc.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    I heard that Obama wants to get the Credit bill signed on Friday. So I heard he will sign it with the Coburn amendment. Obama is a politician and he knows that the pro gun feelings are the majority and the overwheming votes in Senate and House reflect that.

    National Forest and BLM land has been operating with the the provison that carry is allowed for a long time. Now the NPS and Wildlife Refuges can no longer restrict an Constitutional right.

    The next step is to contunue to educate people that the sight of a person with a gun is not enough to call police unless they are using the weapon incorrectly.

    The gun owners have to continue to impress not to abuse the right to other gun owners. Since the majority does not want to carry a weapon this will still be a small number to use the right.

    Now people will have the ability to carry a weapon to defend themselves in and out of parks. I certainly will not be carrying openly on daytrips but now when going on week trips I do not have to worry about breaking the law becasue I have improperly stored my gun.

    I heard that a hunter had been on NF and crossed through NPS and had been cahraged and that had a impetus to this bill. Don't knoww for sure.

    Now VA residents who have a CCW can travel on The GW pkwy with their weapon concealed like they do on other roads in Va.

    The facilities will still have carry prohibtions I beieve so the details still have to ironed out.

    I do not know all the states that have OC allowed But I do know that PA, VA, WV, KY, OH all allow OC and ther have been few incidents of abuse of that right. Most incident are poloce hassleing and charging people for a legal action an dthat had caused a lot of pushback. Gun ownes are tired of being demonized for exercisinga right and we want to be allowed to use our guns for lawful peuposes and not to be charged when we caryy a wepon. Most gun ownes who carry have to reserch laws to make sure they te don't break a law by ignorance. Getting rid of restrictions that inhibit the RKCB has been a a goal so that a free people can not have their rights infringed.

    Visitors will get used the to sight of a the rare person carrying and will get accustom. That will take time but people in AZ are used to the sight of other free man and women carrying firearms and it does not freak non carry folks. Just like at a range where it doesn't bother me to see everyone else with a shotgun or handgun on them.

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   6 years 1 week ago

    Lots of VERY bad science out there...I say just follow the money...lots of money to be made in hysteria!!

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    One just needs to compare the number of gun related deaths and injuries in the US vs. Europe to figure out that gun ownership is not the glorious freedom that gun lovers pretend it is. That being said, I wished that IMBA had the pull the NRA has in this country as we'd be riding our bikes in wilderness areas. Actually, coming to think of it, I heard that operating a wheelbarrow in wilderness is forbidden as it is mechanized (sounds stupid yet believable). Maybe, cyclists should side with the NRA (hunters like to use wheelbarrows to bring their game back) to have the definition of mechanized vehicles be revisited to allow human powered recreation in wilderness. :)

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    So there is no misunderstanding of which side I am on- for over thirty years I have carried and used a weapon in defense of my country, my comrade-in-arms, my family, and myself. My time is mine now but I see no reason to change at this point in my life. Generally I like this site, finding it to be both useful and insightful. I have been watching this issue for some time, even before the Bush administration directive. I rarely write in to any site but I have been following the ongoing rhetoric here … I have just been busy. I have visited my representative twice for a face to face as well as having written my senators and other representatives many times regarding this issue over the passed two years. I also provided to them supporting documentation to my opinions and concerns as regards this issue. I find that to be a much more productive use of my time when I choose to support or fight an issue. In summary:
    1) The current rule regarding firearms was instituted by regulation in 1983. (i.e. the Reagan Administration). I was unable to find an EIS prepared before this rule change went into effect!
    2) The Clinton Administration issued a directive to NPs to bring their rules in line with state laws where parks were located. And chided NPS on occasion for dragging their feet. Bush administration- ditto.
    3) This issue was discussed at length in Congress during 2007-2008 session. Both the House of Representatives, H.R. 5434, , and the Senate, S3499, , both of which had the support to pass and become law. Undoubtedly, this bill would have been signed by Bush. However, the suggestion was made that this could be better done by executive order saving the expense and time of passing a bill into law. These bills were shelved in favor of that executive order. NOTE: These bills are the exact amendment attached to the “so called” credit card bill! More extensive than the executive order relating to CCW. Oh well! Start a pissing match…
    4) The NPCA and the Brady Campaign brought suit in federal court over a “procedural issue” and the judge made her ruling specifically not addressing the actual issue of firearms but the procedural issue only. In short, her decision has more meaning than the executive and legislative branches, and DOI combined. That might explain some of the reaction in the Congress.
    5) 2009, both the House and the Senate have exercised their authority as elected representatives of the people to make laws. Effectively overriding two minor organizations and a no longer relevant appointed official, whatever her name was!

    With the exception of the NPCA, The Brady Campaign, and a federal judge everyone else involved here represent as a minimum, the people of a congressional district, a state, or a nation. That’s a lot of people represented there. As far as I can find The Brady Campaign has never been concerned with the welfare of the national parks before. I can only guess what their true involvement is about. While I find my Congressman, Senator, and President to be asses on occasion… it’s still a pretty damned good system we have.

    I find much of your postings to be either misleading or misinformed. Whether this is due to lack of research on your part or to some other agenda on your part I can not say, but it has been prevalent from your earliest postings on this issue. Just a cautionary note- “Don’t drink the Koolaid”.

    Attaching this amendment to the credit card bill was a convenience, not brilliant ploy and far from bullet proof. Your reporting of the vote on the credit card bill is correct, but it is way off base on the amendment. The House used a very rarely used option to split the votes on the credit card bill and the firearms amendment.

    House roll call vote:
    #276: Firearms Amendment , 361 For – 64 Against. Passed before the credit card bill! And the numbers!
    #277: Credit Card Bill : 279 For – 147 Against. Lucky, the credit card bill had enough support to pass too!

    For Ms. Pierno, there has been significant ongoing discussion for some time. Congress did not just allow this to pass. It was most intentional.

    For Mr. Waterman, what do guns and credit cards have in common- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. SEE THE VOTES!

    For Mr. McElveen, once upon a time Congress endorsed slavery, prohibition, and not allowing the vote for women among other issues. Shall we consider more recent Congressional actions of the issues fundamental reversals of previous Congressional intents and therefore not worth pursuing!

    As for Mr. Wade! So many different venues to address it’s difficult to know where to start. So, just 3 real pet peeves.

    1) “The Survey” preformed by the Coalition and presented as expert testimony and cited by your repeatedly. Did you actually read this?
    My Congressman summed it up best when he told me “Don’t worry, the survey methodology is so obviously poor and most of the expert references are known and generally accepted as being flawed. This crap won’t be seriously considered.” It’s hard to be proud of politician, but damn! Sometimes you just have to live with the embarrassment.

    2) Next up, “The Coalition… over 20,000 accumulated man years of experience” (some of it in law enforcement, no doubt as much as 27 or 28 per cent or so).
    Last count I saw had the NRA membership of active and retired LE personnel at over 2,000,000 (yes million!) accumulated man years of actual “LE” experience in their ranks. Maybe experience does count!

    3) And finally, we all know the quote “…. lies, damned lies, and statistics”.
    The national parks and crime statistics… after researching this I find at best the quoted statistics are downright misleading. The use of smoke and mirrors by consummate bureaucrats. I researched several years, the latest being 2007, but for this post I will use 1996 as my example. Mr. Wade should be familiar with it, since he retired in 1997.

    Only 3 urban parks are policed by U.S. Park Police, others are served by the U.S. Park Rangers. In 1996 NPS reported 5,992 offenses, Eliminating property crimes such as larceny, vehicle theft, etc. and focusing on crimes against persons such as murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, etc. there were only 509 offenses with almost 4 million visitors! An enviable record, except that these reported crimes were handled exclusively by NPS. In other words “crimes turned over to local, regional, state, or federal authorities were reported by the authority handling the case” such as the county sheriff, state police, DEA, BAFTE, FBI, etc. Not NPS! How convenient for NPS statistics, read the fine print and notes in the statistics.

    There is no way I know of to correlate the number and types of crimes committed in the national parks that are turned over and recorded by county, state, or national crime statistics so we will never know how many rapes or assaulted actually took place in the national parks. It would not be unreasonably to assume that the majority of these crimes were handled and reported by the U.S. Park Police and occurred most likely in the 3 urban parks patrolled by the Park Police. Using the visitor statistics for only those 3 parks changes the apparent crime rate very drastically.
    Perhaps Mr. Wade knows of some secret record, not generally shared with the public, where all these records are tallied at NPS? Informational backround reports and a formal report done by NPS in 1996/1997 and issued to congress gives rise to the following. There were over 11,000 narcotic related offenses in national parks “…involving gangs, organized crime, and drug dealers…” resulting in the arrest by “…Park Police…”, “…Park Rangers, and other investigators…” ( I like that… “other investigators”) of more than 2,805 people and the seizure of over 310 weapons “including machine guns, automatic pistols, shotguns,…” ( note: weapons not obtainable at the basic local gun shop or gun show!) and the confiscation of drugs in excess of $100,000,000. And yet, not even an honorable mention in the NPS stats! Handled and reported mostly by DEA and BATFE. If I can divide correctly just having NPS report this item alone would increase their violent crime rate by a factor about 21. Of course, given today’s budget a $100 million dollars probably isn’t worth a drug dealer killing or assaulting anyone over. Then again… I could be wrong!

    Bottom line here. These organizations have done themselves a serious disservice by so obviously having an agenda counter to the mainstream (remember that vote!), basing their “facts” on shaded statistics, half truths, and innuendo geared towards playing to emotions. Anything these groups, or any other for that matter, has to say to you… look into their facts for yourself or pay the price for you own laziness and stupidity. I will be highly suspect of anything these people have to say in the future. They will now need to go above and beyond to convince me to assist them with anything again.

    These groups set themselves, a judge, and a “procedural flaw” up against Congress and a point of law. The outcome is what it is. You just can not blow that much smoke up even a Senators butt!

    A parting shoot so to speak- “Guns in the Park? Do We Need Them?” Would you consider changing that headline? Allow me to paraphrase – “ NPS, Above The Laws of the Land? Or Not!

  • Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted   6 years 1 week ago

    [b]Just thought I would add some "Food For Thought" Several years ago Rush Limbaugh did an "Earth Day Show". On this show

    Charlton Heston wanted to read the foreword of Jurassic Park, the book by Michael Crichton.

    The Following is that reading:

    HESTON: You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity.

    Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There’s been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multi-cellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away — all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval.

    Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us.

    If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice.

    Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It’s powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that’s happened?

    Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being, a hundred years is a long time.

    A hundred years ago we didn’t have cars, airplanes, computers, or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven’t got the humility to try.

    We’ve been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we’re gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.

    Semper Fi

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    Now is when we find out if Obama has any guts to stand up for his principals or if he is indeed just another politician running for reelection from the moment he was sworn in.

    You've got to be kidding! A Chicago machine politician with joking Joe Biden as his VP! What do you think we're dealing with here other than the obvious? What you see is what you get.

    The rosy romanticism and syrupy idealism you run into on this site is sometimes quite hard to comprehend.

    He's a freaking power mongering politician! Did you really think he was something other than that?

  • National Park Mystery Photo 3: It's All In the Patterns   6 years 1 week ago

    To see this perspective one needs to hike up onto the top of the "pile," where glaciers not only have sheared off the ends but polished them quite nicely

    There's a bare spot just off the trail where you can see the tops of more columns, still buried underground. It looks like a tiled floor. You have to look carefully to see it, I almost missed it. It is smaller than the spot pictured. It's pretty cool, it means there are more of these things than what is famously exposed by erosion.


    My travels through the National Park System:

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    What I'm not seeing mentioned here is that this law, as written, is infinitly worse than the Bush version. This law could allow not only concealed weapons but openly carried including shotguns and semi-automatic weapons......just what we want in our National Parks.

  • Federal Judge Issues Scathing Opinion in Blocking "Concealed Carry" In National Parks, Wildlife Refuges   6 years 1 week ago

    It is interesting that parks are now posting signs not to leave valuables in cars. Interesting that they want me to leave my weapon in my car. Dumb move as it is safer on my person. At the age of 21 I became a Michigan State Trooper, I carried a gun on duty and off duty. Because I did not retire as an officer I can not carry except where my CCW allows. Funny that at 21 I could be trusted but at 64 I might shoot someone. Even dumber as an officier I was required to become involved in crime, as a private citizen I walk away. Only if it directly involves myself, my wife or an actual hostage or person taken will I react. I don't want to be taken to court or hurt someone. I have carried (CCW) all waking hours for over eight years in 30 plus states as I know what happens, I've seen it from an officers view. As carry numbers increase - crime goes down.

    As I travel state to state every winter I see more crime each year.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    Another example of gutless Democrats. We have two parties in this country: Republicans and Republicrats! Obama should veto this bill and insist on a "clean" copy. Sneaking laws though in this manner is just plain wrong. No debate on the merits of an amendment...just sneak it onto a bill that is popular and needs to be passed. We need a law that requires amendments to bills to be related to the original bill; and we need a line item veto. Perhaps Obama could play a "Bush" and sign the bill with a note saying that he is not going to implement that amendment. Now is when we find out if Obama has any guts to stand up for his principals or if he is indeed just another politician running for reelection from the moment he was sworn in.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    18 USC § 930 has been officially interpreted to mean only administrative facilities. In other words, the NPS has been directed that visitor facilities, historic buildings, and the like, are not covered by this law and guns cannot be excluded.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 3: It's All In the Patterns   6 years 1 week ago

    Kurt, need more mystery nature photo's like this on NPT. Rather see this nature stuff then some fancy pants handgun bull---- on another blog.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    Why is that everyone has to carry a weapon? If we are a country of peace then it shouldn't matter if you can't carry your weapon in the National Park System.

  • Missed Portage Leads to Death At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area   6 years 1 week ago

    Chance -

    Thanks for providing some valuable insight into the area.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    Dan P -

    Thanks for your comments.

    I will beg to differ on a key point. You state,

    The old regulation required that a gun be rendered "inoperable."

    The version of 36 CFR 2.4 that I'm referring to does not impose that requirement on those traveling by vehicle. It reads,

    ... unloaded weapons may be possessed within a temporary lodging or mechanical mode of conveyance when such implements are rendered temporarily inoperable or are packed, cased or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use.

    That "or" is an important distinction that did not impose an onerous burden on most people who were visiting a park. Yes, the reg was an inconvenience for those with CCL who were just passing through a park, and a problem for those who might be hiking. I agree that was a valid concern. That's all moot at this point.

    If I'm in error, please correct me.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    "How did this country ever get into this mindset?"

    We didn't "get" into this mindset. Being armed is a pillar of freedom and a natural right.

    Jefferson states it best:

    A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.

    One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.

    We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;

    No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

  • House Seals Deal To Allow Wide Range of Firearms into The National Park System   6 years 1 week ago

    I think many would respond that free countries remain free in part to it's citizens having the liberty to arm themselves. Where did this country get this mindset? The Revolutionary War would be a good starting point.