Recent comments

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Actually, how exactly the 2nd Amendment should be interpreted has been questioned for quite some time. Does it mean states can field a militia, or that individuals have a right to bear arms?

    We might soon have an answer to that question, as the U.S. Supreme Court this past November agreed to consider a case out of the District of Columbia that brings into play exactly what the 2nd Amendment means.

    The court's ruling, no doubt, will spur some serious reaction from both sides.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    The current federal law permits people to keep their guns while traveling in national parks, but it denies them the right to bear, or carry, guns on federal land.
    Wrong. The current law prohibits carrying LOADED firearms in the national parks. You can keep you weaponry cased and in your possession at all times, provided the piece is UNLOADED.

    Semantics.

    Suppose the Second Amendment said "A well-educated electorate being necessary for self-governance in a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed." Now suppose the government makes a law stating you can keep your books on you in a national park, but the book must be kept in a case and you can't open it and you can't read it. Absurd, right? So is the current regulation. Thinking the founders would think "bearing arms" means keeping them unloaded and in a case represents delusional thinking.

    Again, if you don't like the Second Amendment, why not go through Constitutional proceedures to change it? Why ignore it or violate it? No one will address this issue. The government and its citizens should not be able to ignore the parts of the Constitution they don't like.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Awesome...It's great to have Lone Hiker to tell us all how stupid we've been. With all the time he spends posting for the anti-gun platform we'll be singing sweet songs to each other in no time. Talk about a last word freak! If he truly feels that the data doesn't exist on either side of the isle then why would he feel it's a better option to limit the freedoms of those who have a preference? I'm not truly asking you to answer Lone Hiker (although obviously you will...it's called a rhetorical question). We know the reason you will answer is because you have to be the one to set everyone straight on each and every line item on national parks. When is the last time you were actually able to look at an issue and step out of your own experience? (Rhetorical questions again....you can't get out of your own experience) Stop trying to limit other people’s freedoms and worry about your own. If you don’t' want to defend yourself then stop trying to take the ability away from other people.

  • Tar Sands Development Could Impact Canyonlands National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Glen Canyon NRA   6 years 14 weeks ago

    In situ ("in place") processing methods are designed to use steam, solvents, controlled combustion, and related techniques to remove liquid and gaseous fuels, bitumen, wax, and other valuable commodities from tar sands and oil shale deposits while leaving the waste rock and sand right where it sits. Because it eliminates the need for huge open-pit mines, in situ processing might be developed to the point where it has very little impact on viewscapes ("You can hardly see that it's there") and causes absolutely minimal degradation of wildlife habitat and other natural or cultural/historical features on the surface. Proponents are likely to argue that in situ processing is a win-win proposition, a sort of "have you cake and eat it too" approach to utilizing strategic resources.

  • Great Basin National Park's Air Could Be Compromised By Proposed Power Plant   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Regulators no longer permit coal plants to be built.

    Tell that to the people in east-central Illinois, who were just awarded a $1.5 billion dollar "new generation" generating plant which is coal fired. The energy companies haven't abandoned the fossil fuel sources, much to the disdain of many of the population. All they know is profiteering, not conservation (which they ignore due to it's negative impact on their ledger sheets and therby their stock ratings) or environmentally friendly energy sources (which their "data" continually discount as impractical, again due to the negative dollar flow), which leaves the people of this nation little option but to take the bull by the horns and fight for our individual energy indepencence. Funny how we have to jostle with our internal suppliers (and our "concerned" government) and not the foreign sources of our own pollution.

    what do you do when the sun doesn't shine? Same for wind, what do you do when the wind isn't blowing?

    Sun not shining in this region? Oh brother......
    Locally, the percentage of available solar radiation received is approximately 85% of total availability, which ranks among the highest in the nation, as in top 2% of the national average. Due to the advent of technologically superior storage cells, any locality achieving a ranking above 60% is highly viable for utilizing solar panels exclusively as an energy source. Few parts of the nation, excluding the Pacific Northwest and the area surrounding Mount Washington qualify as "poor" candidates for solar inclusion, at the very least as a supplemental source to the power grid.
    As far as the wind not blowing you have a slightly improved arguement. If one investigates historical meteorlogical data on average wind speeds, you'll find these data to compliment the solar generation "soft spots" quite nicely, since the windspeeds tend toward increasing in frontal boundry zones, which also happen to be areas of storm generation and therefore, politely stated, not as sunny as the desert regions. In these areas the percentages are easily reversed from mainly solar to wind generation units, with solar as the supplement. This is quite a potent combination of power generation resources for use by our nation. But power company propaganda has instilled fear into the American consumer, and as the saying goes, "People are always afraid of whats different". It is this fear of change that energy companies use to keep the consumer "in line". Case in point.......how long did the Bell System litigate against integration of other phone networks, claiming that if allowed the consumer service levels would be negatively impacted? What a load of crap that was.
    But overall, the instillling a fear technique works like a charm, doesn't it?

    many/most utilities offer a program where your increased rate pays for renewable energy.
    I find this statment of fact to be the most telling statement of all. The energy suppliers are ready, willing and able RIGHT NOW to grant us our wish, provided that WE foot the bill. That speaks volumes about many topics...
    a) the technology for delivery of alternate sources is not only available, but in place
    b) it is proven to be reliable, since they wouldn't dare compromise their networks with "experimental" sources
    c) they basically refuse to change, though they readily could
    d) the whores are running the bordello, since the only issue we're haggling about is price for services rendered
    e) IT'S TIME FOR MASSIVE CHANGE

    All of our national energy generators, from Big Oil to utilities believe they have the American consumer bent over the table. And NOTHING will be changed until we, in unison demand it. The REAL power within this economy lies with the consumer, since nothing can be traded that there is no market to support. But as long as we permit, or encouage there behavior and support them with our habits, expect nothing from them and you won't be disappointed.

    By the way.......are you aware that a replacement source for your natural gas usage lies within your compost piles? Imagine that, totally FREE gas and electricity, right there for the taking.

    I'll be happy to elaborate for anyone who has a serious interest.

  • Tar Sands Development Could Impact Canyonlands National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Glen Canyon NRA   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Hey Bob, how 'bout some more info on this "in situ" process. I'd rather hear it from you before I start hearing the media spin.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    [i]The senators are only trying to keep otherwise law-abiding people from becoming convicted felons, if they should get caught with a handgun in their backpack.[i/]
    Doesn't make you much of a "law abiding citizen" if you're willfully disregarding the current the law, does it?

    [i]I find it unthinkable that I could be arrested for carrying a pistol in the dangerous back country.[i/]
    I've spent numerous nights in the backcountry. Just where is this alleged "dangerous" territory?

    [i]I would feel that my Govt. was at fault and forced me into unnecessary danger by denying me the right to bare arms in the wilderness.[i/]
    Oh, please.............

    [i]The current federal law permits people to keep their guns while traveling in national parks, but it denies them the right to bear, or carry, guns on federal land.[i/]
    Wrong. The current law prohibits carrying LOADED firearms in the national parks. You can keep you weaponry cased and in your possession at all times, provided the piece is UNLOADED. Let's attempt not to misrepresent the facts for our own benefit.

    [i]I think we/I have more respect for wildlife in their natural enviroment than you uneducated anti gun people,[i/]
    Funny how anyone who disagrees with our viewpoint is immediately tagged "uneducated". I take umbrage with your stereotyping, and will compare favorable in any educational forum you desire. Bet on it.

    [i]Laws are for the law-abiding, not criminals.[i/]
    Again, not quite true. Criminals are deemed as such due to their purposefully ignoring societal rules and regulations. Anyone can be a "non-criminal element". It's a choice we all make, every day, in many aspects of our daily lives, hopefully with some fore-thought as to the consequences associated with the wrong choices.

    [i]The tax code is confusing to most, should we stop paying taxes? [i/]
    DEFINATELY!!! You really need to ask?

    Well put Jon!

    [i]and all of us "hick" gun owners are so dumb)[i/]
    Guilty conscience? I never saw the term "hick" in the text of the Times article referenced above. And by the way, many laws vary from state to state, including basic automobile operations, business practices, warranties, schooling, marital prerequisites, etc. And as any judge or peace officer will attest to, "ignorance of the law is NO excuse".
    That was a pretty poor arguement on your part. One could just as well reply with sonething akin to "show me the data that purports to raise the safety levels in areas where persons with concealed weapons trod". In neither instance does the data exist.

    I like your logical tirade Barky. One a a pitiful few comments in this segment that elicits any manner of thought progression sans emotion and testosterone.

    I'm back Kurt!! Hope the holidays went well for you all.

  • Climate Change and the National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    what is the affect of camp fires on climate change and could this be banned in the near future ? what impact on camping could such a ban bring to tourisum ? my guess is the same impact as no smoking in public places. signed RV FullTimer...keep the campfires burning...

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    I have been hiking all over the US and overseas. For the most part I have carried a firearm every time, with the exception of Hawaii, and Europe. I have never needed to use it, but it gave me great comfort knowing it was at my disposal. I find it unthinkable that I could be arrested for carrying a pistol in the dangerous back country. Especially when you can go for long periods of time before someone could come to aid you after an attack from either wild animal or man. I would feel that my Govt. was at fault and forced me into unnecessary danger by denying me the right to bare arms in the wilderness.

  • National Park Status Proposed for Oregon, West Virginia State Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Hmm, smells of pork...

    As a resident of Oregon, I have to admit the Silver Falls area is beautiful, but is already very well governed by the state. I don't know if every waterfall in the country needs an NPS designation; if so, the Columbia River Gorge would be far more deserving of NPS status than the Silver Falls area (the Gorge is currently a National Scenic Area under Forest Service jusrisdiction).

    If I look at the potentials for NPS designations, there are other higher priorities than these two areas. And an even higher priority than new NPS designations would be for us to take care of the ones we have.

  • Great Basin National Park's Air Could Be Compromised By Proposed Power Plant   6 years 14 weeks ago

    You state "I find this to be a little specious... Why not ask "What are the ways that we can retain visibility (and enhance it elsewhere) as well as improve the livelihoods of people and economies?"" Of course that is a question you can ask but for the immediate future (which is what we are talking about in the case of the coal plant being built for "Sin City") they will need to have power NOW which was really the main context being addressed. Your question is a long term question and does not address this issue. People will have to accept that coal plants will be built until 1 of the following things happen:
    1. Coal is no longer the cheapest source of baseload generation (baseload is defined as a reliable, consistent, and sustainable generation resource to meet required maximum capacity and does not include wind, solar, and many other renewables).
    2. People band together and open their wallets to pay more for their electricity by demanding it from the utilities that serve them (really a change of philosophy when it comes to a capitalist based economy).
    3. Regulators no longer permit coal plants to be built.

    However. whatever utility is installing this plant should be using the most recent, proven technologies to keep emissions at a minimum and if not they need to be held accountable by there regulators who they answer to. The regulatory commission/committee/legislator they are governed by should be your point of contact. In my experience, utilities are usually funding new technologies and installing proven ones as they become available. As was stated before, for the LONG TERM invest your own money in green technologies that seem to have the best potential and could potentially have economies of scale that will rival coal in the future. Or perhaps, you could even invest in technologies that could create near zero emissions from coal. There are currently many R&D firms and universities working with utilities to make this a not-too-distant reality. If this were the case, you could urge legislators to give tax breaks to utilities who install these technologies We could then market the technologies to the largest and growing users of coal in the world (China and India) which would in turn bolster our economy and lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy as we have enough coal in this country to last hundreds of years.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    So all the wilderness and animal lovers actually believe that the concealed permit holders HAVE NOT been camping or hiking along side of them for years. Naive!
    I can assure you that many more people than you know have carried pistols in their backpacks. Haven't heard of any Dodge City shootouts around the campfires, or piles of dead wolves and grizzlies.
    The senators are only trying to keep otherwise law-abiding people from becoming convicted felons, if they should get caught with a handgun in their backpack. The same gun that they have probably been hiking with for years, and not felt the need to shoot man or beast yet.

  • Senators' Letter to Open National Parks to Concealed Weapons   6 years 14 weeks ago

    I believe that anyone who has a concealed weapons permit should have the right to legally carry in our national forests. After all, these forests belong to us. Recent events that have occurred in our national forests not only suggest that being armed could have stopped some very hideous crimes, but these crimes demand that since the government can not protect us, we must protect ourselves. Our police forces will tell you that they are there to protect us but really they are there to keep the peace. How often has someone called 911 emergency service with a life and death situation and then been found dead before the police could respond. I am not critisizing the police. They have a very difficult and serious job to perform, and I think they do a good job of it, but they can not be everywhere at the same time. So I feel very strongly in being allowed to defend myself, as I feel that others have that same right. So wheter they allow us to defend ourselves legally or we carry concealed illegally, the choice is up to us. Someone once said " I would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six". This is my way of thinking and I hope more feel the same way.

  • Senators' Letter to Open National Parks to Concealed Weapons   6 years 14 weeks ago

    I'm glad to see this issue being discussed, and I believe some modifcations to the current "no firearms in national parks" policy should be made. In my case, I have come across two particular issues. First, as someone who enjoys the backcountry areas of national parks, I would like to be a "legal" carrier of a loaded handgun. My justification being self-defense from dangerous wildlife. (Given the changing weather patterns, I can envision bears becoming more aggressive in the future.) Second, in discussions with rangers/NPS law enforcement personnel, I have personally seen what may only be described as a bias against legal in-park fire arms possession--or a lack of knowledge of actual firearms regulations.
    At a minimum, national park firearms policy ought to reflect policies similar to a majority of city/county arrangements found throughout the U.S. (to include concealed carry provisions and associated safety/background checks).

  • Great Basin National Park's Air Could Be Compromised By Proposed Power Plant   6 years 14 weeks ago

    This isn't a park vs. community situation... The technology proposed in this plant is a major problem (not state of the art in 2008--what will it be in 2018?). Also, the energy produced in Ely will be sent to Las Vegas, so the whole issue of conservation becomes even more of an issue. People in Ely need economic development, but should they be have to settle with the something that threatens not only their environment, but also their health (remember Mercury?).

    Anon above states "As unfortunate as it is to lose visibility into the night sky, is that more important than the livelihood of the people and our economy?" I find this to be a little specious... Why not ask "What are the ways that we can retain visibility (and enhance it elsewhere) as well as improve the livelihoods of people and economies?"

  • Great Basin National Park's Air Could Be Compromised By Proposed Power Plant   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Anon has got it mostly right. All of us (yes, even Dick Cheney!) should understand that the cheapest, fastest, safest, and most intelligent energy alternative is to "use less energy and waste less energy."

  • National Park Status Proposed for Oregon, West Virginia State Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Silver Falls State Park is nice, but it's features aren't unique enough to merit National Park status. Instead, the federal government could takeover the 48 state parks in California that the governor is proposing be closed due to the budget crisis. Those parks include Sutter's Fort and the mission at Lompoc, both historical treasures of national significance.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    This isn't supposed to be about gun people bashing anti-gun people and vice versa. This is about the safety of the parks, the safety of wildlife and the safety of people. I don't oppose owning a concealed permit, but there is a time and a place and the parks are not the place to carry. Follow the law (don't change it) and just enjoy a nice visit to our wonderful parks.

  • National Park Status Proposed for Oregon, West Virginia State Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Thanks to Oregon Lottery dollars, state park user fees and recreation vehicle license fees, Oregon State Parks are in the black. They are well maintained and staffed. Turning them over to a federal agency that can't afford to maintain its current land holdings would be a mistake and is not in the best interests of Oregonians.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    If you read the Constitution, you'll see that the Second Amendment states "the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." There's been some argument over what these phrases mean, but it really seems to be common sense to me. The current federal law permits people to keep their guns while traveling in national parks, but it denies them the right to bear, or carry, guns on federal land. Each federal employee takes an oath to defend the entire Constitution, not just parts that individual likes. I suggest that if the NPS wants to keep people from carrying guns on federal land, then the Constitution, specfically the Second Amendment, needs to be amended, not ignored.

  • Park Service OKs Monetary Settlement On Great Smoky Mountains National Park's North Shore Road   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Thank god this area will be perserved for future generations. This road would have been very foolish.

  • Great Basin National Park's Air Could Be Compromised By Proposed Power Plant   6 years 14 weeks ago

    While solar is becoming an option, what do you do when the sun doesn't shine? Same for wind, what do you do when the wind isn't blowing? If we want more wind and solar there has to be a better transmission infrastructure to dispatch the load around the country where it is needed. Until there is a major backbone grid installed around this country, wind and solar are only part of a local resource plan. Until then a balanced resource plan that has stable baseload generation such as coal or nuclear are currently the best options. Coal still remains the cheapest reasonable generation source but if you want to purchase green energy, many/most utilities offer a program where your increased rate pays for renewable energy. As unfortunate as it is to lose visibility into the night sky, is that more important than the livelihood of the people and our economy? This computer your using to read this right now is a major reason for the increased electricity usage we have seen since the mid 1990's. Conservation and common sense are our best avenues to try to keep usage of electricity from rising but more people and the bigger TV's and more electronics are still going to cause an increase in usage. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact flourescents or LED's. Use programmable thermostats. Get your utility to install off-peak meters and load control devices, etc. There are a lot of things we can do to curb our usage but you can't be a hypocrite first and criticize the electricity you use everyday. Make sure you are doing your part first and then contribute money to companies that are researching green energy technologies. Contrary to the current status quo, whining and complaining are not the foundations this country was built on. Innovation, resourcefulness and a willingness to work together to find the best solutions for everyone will continue to make us a front-runner in developing green technologies while keeping the lights on for everyone.

  • Great Basin National Park's Air Could Be Compromised By Proposed Power Plant   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Senator Reid (D-NV) tried to solve the problem by making the air in the park Class I - the highest level of protection under the Clean Air Act, be he failed. See [url=http://tntrailhead.blogspot.com/2007/12/reid-fails-in-plan-to-increase-air.html

    ]http://tntrailhead.blogspot.com/2007/12/reid-fails-in-plan-to-increase-air.html[/url]

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    I agree most people with conceal carry permits are less likely to pull or use their weapon, because they know that pulling that weapon can in most cases cause them to wind up with feloney charges. I as a gun carrying American hope and prey I never have to use my gun on another person but with our world today I will not think twice about using it to protect or defend myself or my family. Most people who carry know that a gun for self protection is not the same gun you use for hunting. I think we/I have more respect for wildlife in their natural enviroment than you uneducated anti gun people, which are the same people who I've seen trying to walk up to wild animals to either pet them or try to feed them even though there are signs telling them not to approach animals .

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 14 weeks ago

    Oh yes, I'd feel safe camped next to a confused gun-loaded holder. NOT! A loaded gun at your side may makes you feel brave in a national park where wildlife has the right-of-way, especially when you stumble into the path of a bear because you're not paying attention - feeling brave. What about poachers; the people that will have "license" to kill whatever they want? I don't want to ever see anything like this! But I especially don't want to see some child hurt or killed by a wayward shot. The parks have done fine without loaded weapons. Why change the law now?