Recent comments

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 4 weeks ago

    One of the best comments yet on this issue. Not your usual NRA spiel or gung-ho and gun-ho comments like Freddie pistol hugging pete.

  • Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 4 weeks ago

    We just got back from Glacier and the information regarding bears is in the information handed out - but many people don't seem to read it. While we were there, a back country campsite was closed due to a bear shredding a tent. We never heard if there was food or something in the tent but it seems likely that there was something in there that shouldn't have been. We ran into several people who were backpacking and had to revise their plans due to this campsite being closed. If people don't follow proper procedure, they ruin experiences for others. We have been trying to hike the Iceberg Lake trail and the Cracker Lake trail for several years but the trails are always closed due to bear activity when we are in the park. We were finally successful this year - both trails were still open. We were on the Iceberg Lake trail when we were approaching a bend in the trail where we couldn't see the rest of the trail. We made sure to make loud noises only to be hushed by a couple on the other side who were bird watching!! They told us we were scaring away the birds!! No wonder the trails get closed. They were quietly going up the trail as they figured there were plenty of people on the trail that they didn't need to make noise. Another couple we talked to said that they had seen a lady and her group chasing after a bear for a photo because they had bear spray if they needed it. We have hiked 100 miles each summer the last few years and never saw a bear - and also ran into many people who don't make noise at the appropriate times on the trail and others that seem to lack good judgement. (I am sure you could hear endless stories!!) Last year we were in the Canadian Rockies and a man was hiking by himself and not making noise and he came across a mama and cubs and he was charged by the bear. More could be done to educate the casual hikers and visitors to these parks. You can hand them the information but can't make them read it, and not everyone seems to have common sense!

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    "At the end of the day, you're more likely to die in a car accident, from cancer, from poor health and exercise habits, illegal drug use, and illicit sex than from roaming a park unarmed.

    Let's try to keep some perspective here."

    The perspective we should keep is that of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. The Second Amendment, as with all the amendments, does not allow for probability and statistics. The Bill of Rights limits the power of the government. Period. In short, the right to carry firearms has nothing to do with the likelihood that one might need to use that firearm. Faulty reasoning, based on probability and statistics and not the law, ignores the fundamental reason why the founders penned the second amendment: protection from tyranny. The likelihood of needing to use arms to overthrow a tyrannical government might be small. But take away the right to bear arms (as was done in Nazi Germany for Jewish people), and the likelihood of needing to overthrow a tyrannical government might increase. Odds mean nothing when it comes to Constitutional Rights. I may never need to invoke the 5th Amendment's protection from self-incrimination, but god bless America, I'm glad it's there for me just in case. Just like the 2nd Amendment.

    Thank you.

  • Any Question About Who's Calling the Shots in Yellowstone National Park?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    People go to yellowstone to rest and relax, to get away from the noise of the city. Snowmobiles are too noisy, too polluting, and destroy vegetation when the snow cover is not that deep. Even when the snow cover is deep, taller plants are susceptible to damage.

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   6 years 5 weeks ago

    I am in the US Navy and currently hold a concealed weapons license and teach small arms safety. I have read most of the comments that have been written and it seems to me that the people who are opposed to allowing law abiding Americans who have been licensed by the government to carry are concerned for their safety. This intrigues me because at any given time you may be surround by any number of people walking down the side walk, through the mall, or shopping at your local grocery store that are carrying a concealed weapon without your knowledge. I haven’t heard one complaint of safety in those areas yet. Why would the National park system be any different? Do you really think that people who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon is going to randomly just shoot up a national park? Then why aren’t they randomly shooting up Wal-mart, Publix, or while walking down the sidewalk? There is no difference between the guy or gal that is carrying concealed weapon standing behind you at Wal-mart then the guy or gal hiking behind you on the trail. It is not a matter of safety it is a matter of my right to bear arms. It doesn’t matter how many people got killed, committed suicide, got attacked, raped, or otherwise, it is my right and I want it back. I want to know that I will at least have a chance to draw my own weapon and shoot back if someone starts shooting at my family and I. I don’t carry for my protection I carry for theirs and yours if need be.

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Although I disagree with your article Mr. Repanshek I most certainly enjoyed reading it. You have done a fine job researching and presenting you point.

    I am an educated man myself who has been researching the prevention of violent crime for well over a decade. I am a husband and father...and a good citizen. As a man we are obligated, we have a duty to protect our loved ones and other citizens. The single most effective tool for protection from a violent criminal is a firearm.

    Why would you argue against my being able to protect my wife and children in the same manner I do everywhere else?

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    It makes me wonder when the NPS might think a quota system will be necessary for crowd control in Zion. I'm thankful for the bus system there, though. When I first visited a decade ago, the place was gridlock all the way to the Narrows. Today, the bus is a breeze, with local stories from the bus driver to boot. Last summer I even managed to fight my way through the crowds and snag a frontcountry campsite mid-way through the July 4 weekend, despite the "campground full" signs posted everywhere. Zion was a circus, but not so crazy I couldn't find a place to park, which has happened to me on beautiful fall weekends at Rocky Mountain National Park. They probably couldn't keep the cars out of Zion anymore than they do now because, for those willing to pay the fee or show a park pass, it's on a through highway.

  • Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 5 weeks ago

    It is not only the visitors that need to be educated, but the staff. I stayed at White Wolf campground a few summers ago, and the camphost left out eggs to entice the bears to the campsite his niece was staying at. It angered me, we had bears in the camp all night, people yelling and banging pots & pans, so much for the tranquility of nature. Also, you can not tame a wild animal and/or put it in a zoo. We all need to be more aware and responsible when camping/hiking.

  • Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 5 weeks ago

    With the experience per say that the NAtl parks have you would think that they could of caught this bear and tame it for it wildlife habitat or put it in a local zoo?I'am pretty sure most people that visits our parks today out side of the old school people are lame.dumb,and stupid.and don't take the necessary percautions when thier out in the wilderness.there should be required trainning before any gusts is allowed into these areas to provide safety and security for both nature and its dumb friends todays humans who have no brain cells left to think about anything.except of course their next meal!

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Interesting article. Referring again to Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Parks elk overpopulation and adding bear troubles, it might not be so bad to sell a few leather jackets made of elkskin, bearskin rugs, elk and bear meat.

    The current economic activities in many of the parks, of which Yosemite is a great example, serve the needs of elites who plan semi-religious retreats years in advance, and the needs of motorists above almost any value you can think of.

    It's true that Yosemite and Zion, for example, have closed the upper reaches of the Nat'l Park valleys to private vehicles, but the lines of autos wanting to enter get longer each year and the political clamor obviates pushing the ever popular auto even further back, say to Modesto, or to the nearest town east of Zion's east entrance.

    There might be some business for those towns, don't you think? I am proposing sustainable economic activity on the fringes of a nature we hope will sustain us forever, instead of laissez faire exploitation here.

  • Any Question About Who's Calling the Shots in Yellowstone National Park?   6 years 5 weeks ago
  • Any Question About Who's Calling the Shots in Yellowstone National Park?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Thanks for the links. I had never heard of the NP Organic Act of 1916 or the 1978 Redwood Amendment! I have known of the distinction between preservation and conservation, and that the former is supposed to apply to the Nat'l Parks.

    I am adamantly opposed to the use of individual snowmobiles in Yellowstone. But I think a reasonable compromise would be to allow tour guides to operate *quiet,* four-stroke cycle engine machines that can carry several people over roads that already exist. That way clearing the pass wouldn't be necessary, the noise and pollution of two-stroke cycle engines would be eliminated, and snowmobiles could be kept away from sensitive areas and wildlife.

    Living near Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park, as I do, the preservation of plantlife has become a conflict with the overpopulation of elk. There is a great deal of controversey over how to handle that situation. Controlled hunts have been proposed, but the outcry against them is nearly deafening.

    It would be a marvel if Congress, along with the people it represents, would come to their collective senses.

    Regards.

  • Did Gusty Winds Cause a Fatal Climbing Accident at Grand Teton National Park?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    You're right, SaltSage. That cute little trick cost Potter his Patagonia sponsorship and the respect of many climbers and environmentalists, including me. He's still a damn fine climber, though. What do you suggest we do with a guy like that?

  • Any Question About Who's Calling the Shots in Yellowstone National Park?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    This has been used as a significant source in a New West essay out today.

    See http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/an_8500_ticket_to_yellowstone/C530/L37/ by Joan McCarter.

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

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    A Utah permit is not terribly difficult to get. I have one in my wallet. Only cost me $200. I had to attend an all-day class. I waited 5 months for my permit to come in the mail; background checks take time. It is NOT valid in California. Check this website: http://carryconcealed.net/legal/reciprocity.php

  • Did Gusty Winds Cause a Fatal Climbing Accident at Grand Teton National Park?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Lest readers forget, Dean Potter is the guy who recklessly climbed Delicate Arch at Arches National Park in 2006, possibly damaging it and causing the NPS there to ban all climbing of arches named on USGS quads.

    Here's a link to Outside Magazine's story on the incident: http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200606/dean-potter-delicate-arch-climb-1.html

  • Visiting the Parks: Kakaying Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park   6 years 5 weeks ago

    I used to live near Black Canyon NP and have spent many a night there, mostly on the North Rim. And though I can argue a bit with its current national park status, Black Canyon is a truly special place -- an appropriately primitive park with no running water in its visitor facilities, a very cool log cabin visitor center on the South Rim, some amazingly rugged and delightfully dangerous descents to the canyon floor and a unique sense of dizzying wildness that can be found in few other places in Colorado. One of my favorite spots in the region is Black Canyon's North Rim and its small campground -- hardly ever full even on the busiest of holidays -- home of Colorado's tallest cliff and most vertigo-inducing overlook. Accessible only via a 2wd gravel road which I hope they never pave, the North Rim gives you a feeling of remoteness similar to Toroweap at Grand Canyon, even though you're only a handful of miles from a paved road. I hope they expand Black Canyon NP one day to include neighboring Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, a continuation of Black Canyon and a wild place deserving of national park status together with the land currently within the park's boundaries.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    C'mon, Fred, you're using a pretty broad brush with your characterizations and accusations. More than a few folks know what's going on.

    By the way, did you know that Utah has the most liberal concealed carry provisions in the nation?

    If your wallet contains a Utah concealed-weapon permit, chances are good you live in California.

    Since a California concealed-weapon permit is virtually impossible to come by, the Beehive State permit is seen as the next best thing. It’s good in 33 states and also is a badge of honor. It’s a permit from the most permissive gun state in the country. Ours is the only state in the nation to allow guns in schools and increasingly a hot spot of the “open carry” movement of residents who strap on a six-shooter and walk into banks just to show they can.

    Source: the Salt Lake Weekly.

    Did you also know that a licensed concealed weapons instructor here in Utah quit his job after shooting himself in the foot while teaching a class? Or that your odds of being killed by lightning are greater than those of being murdered in a national park? Does that last tidbit cause you to avoid going outside?

    At the end of the day, you're more likely to die in a car accident, from cancer, from poor health and exercise habits, illegal drug use, and illicit sex than from roaming a park unarmed.

    Let's try to keep some perspective here.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    You've made a good point here Doc. I believe that most of those who oppose this rule change are those who are mis-informed or totally UN-INFORMED about guns and gun issues. How else could you cause someone to be so afraid of their next-door neighbor who has completed a background check, received the training, and borne the expense of acquiring a CCW permit?

    They don't know anything about this proposed rule-change simply because they don't try to keep up with current events and other important news. The section of the L.A. Times you mentioned was probably used to line the bird cage while they were reading the Entertainment news.

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 5 weeks ago


    Oh John Reynolds and Rangertoo:

    Your comment is way too dogmatic, and not supportable in many many small ways. I read John Reynold's comment after my last post, so call this a Post Script:

    -- Congress, you need to understand, does not name the vast majority of names of park areas "on a whim." Most names are seriously discussed, and usually the Congress takes the park service's recommendation on what name to use. Congress & the congressional committees that authorize new parks, often shows more discipline and courage than the NPS, as unpopular as that is to say. Yes, there are exceptions, including the NPS allowed the republican appropriations staff to micromanage the parks, and never raised the arrogance of individuals to the spotlight as the leaders of the NPS should have. That committee had done weird things, such as Steamtown and the inexplicably located First Ladies park (a bill drafted by a supine NPS on the direction of the appropriations staffers), but for the most part, most names and most designations of most areas makes sense. Just go down the list, putting a check on one side or the other, and see.

    -- The public is much less aware of the agency of government, local or national, than you guys are. I have seen plenty of examples where the public really only knew THE RESOURCE and why it was important, not who managed it. If the BLM or the Forest Service or a local government has an area called 'a recreation area' or a 'national monument' it actually is -- most of the time -- descriptive of the kind of management the area has. I remember one time reading that most people in New York City did not know the Statue of Liberty was a national park, but when the Statue of Liberty was in trouble, there was a huge flow of private money to protect the Statue. NOT because of the administrator, but because the public cared about the Statue. I don't think trying to get the public to focus on park administrators rather than the meaning of a specific place is a winning strategy for supporting the NPS.

    -- All this is illustrated again and again. You know how difficult it has been for your National Park Foundation to raise money for "the National Parks" where as individual named PLACES such as the Washington Monument were celebrated and successfully funded, BECAUSE THE PUBLIC CARED ABOUT THAT SPECIFIC PLACE. Place matters, and the character and quality of the PLACE is the main thing about what is supported. Yes, of course, a talented administrator or political circle might be able to increase a public awareness for a place big time and help that place find its audience, but in the end it is not by calling all places managed by the National Park Service "National Park" that really makes the difference.

    -- You are right that calling Santa Monica a "national recreation area' is the weirdest thing in the world -- and not a typical example. Santa Monica should have been called something like a 'national heritage area' and managed like the what they call "National Parks" in England. English parks are understood to have a combination of the government owning some of the land and private and non-profits owning other parts of the land. The they have a plan based on the sensitivities of different parcels and manage each parcel professionally, based on its need. The English also have "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty" and various kinds of natural areas and reservations, with different names. Everybody in England knows each area is managed by a plan targeted to the needs of the specific area, and are not rattled by the names. But they know that "national parks" are designated for certain reasons, and "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty" are designated for other reasons. So the name selected there, as here, is supposed to be descriptive of the analysis of the character of the resource. Yes, as with "World Heritage Site" of course there is politics in how designations happen, everywhere. But politics does not make it a "whim" or meaningless.

    I think renaming Santa Monica makes more SENSE than renaming Golden Gate a national park, if you are concerned about meaning. Santa Monica has the character of one distinctive place. Golden Gate feels like a series of quite different places, and I think "recreation area" was in common use in the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation for adaptive areas to development, with the objective of providing public use around some past or new government facility (like a dam or military base). A lot of local communities have the same kind of "recreation area," made up of cobbled-togther resources.

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Dear Carne Asada Torta:

    changing the name from Recreation Area to National Park will not change the law on environmental protection and dog walkers.

    changing the name WILL demean the meaning of the category 'national park' and is one more way in our increasingly cynical culture our language is twisted out of recognition. Changing the name won't change the nature of the park resource.

    Actually I and many others are aware of the struggle for civil rights for Native Americans at Alcatraz, of course. But if you were going to designate one, or two or ten significant historic areas as really defining the historic struggle for Native American civil rights, would this be the spot you would pick among all others to tell that story, sufficient to change the name to a national park to tell it??

    It seems here that the name is being used to make the area something that it is not, to the loss of the significance of the original meaning of the name. It seems all about the ego of the managers to get their administrative area somehow enhanced: what the military used to call a "tombstone promotion." It seems this episode is further indication of Speaker Pelosi's unsteadiness as leader: she is doing this because she CAN not because she SHOULD. One more needless political misstep from Pelosi, from the way she wiped out Congresswoman Jane Harmon just because she was strong and valued strategic security over political and replaced her with an incompetent, the way she fought with Congressman Steny Hoyer ineptly, and many other seemingly little missteps. On the large canvas, it indicates why the Democrats cannot handle Bush. This Gateway [Ed: Golden Gate NRA?] name change thing, like the Jane Harmon thing, shows us Speaker Pelosi is politically tone deaf.

    It is so sad, because we had all hoped she would help parks and help the country in real ways, not in these silly fights.

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Rangertoo knows what he is talking about, and is absolutely right.

  • Crews Remove Garbage From Marijuana Farms in Sequoia National Park   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Perhaps the reason more is not done to stop the growing of pot on national park land is because the govt is taking action on other dangerous criminals, such a private livestock owners, cattle ranchers, pot belly pig owners, 4H kids, horse owners,......no I am not trying to be funny...I only wish this were a conspiracy theory.

    I know that protecting our national parks is important and certain tax money should go to protect them but instead the govt has given the USDA over 100 million of our tax dollars to fund a program that will keep track of every last livestock animal in the USA...geesh, they can't keep track of illegals, drug dealers and sex offenders but they want to know where granny's egg hen is at all moments...

    think I am kidding? only wish I were because if this program (NAIS is the National Animal Identification System) is not stopped I and countless others will be forced to register our premises, (like sex offenders must do) microchip our critters at our cost and file reports on every birth death and off property movement those animals make...if disease is suspected in an area, the USDA can come in and kill all animals in a 6 mile radius (140 sq miles).

    why? they say it is to protect our food supply but the real reason is to give the appearance of a animal disease tracking program so big corporate ag can sell meat on the global level and say it is disease free....but they get just one lot number per groups of animals, no microchipping and very few reporting events ....

    yup, sounds like you are getting the same shafting we are...let the pot growers go unchecked but the govt has to know where my horses are at all times....

    see nonais.org for more info on this awful program and how it will affect all who eat.

  • Creature Feature: The American Marten   6 years 5 weeks ago

    I just saw a male on Fern Lake trail in RMNP at 8AM. I was walking quite fast, and I think he misjudged my speed, and I caught him scrambling across the trail. I stopped, and so did he - on a rock about head high, under a tree by the trail. We looked at each other, rather shocked to see each other. The animal is beautiful, with perky ears and a wide face with big eyes. The fur is luxurious. What a treat!

  • National Park Service Agrees, Conditionally, to Keep Yellowstone's Sylvan Pass Open For Snowmobiling   6 years 5 weeks ago

    Ok, so how do they come up with almost 4 million in costs. In the past it's only ever cost about $300,000 to keep the pass open??? Interesting.