Recent comments

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I agree- Take the humans out of the bears homes.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    As for the comment on concealed carry in national parks, increasing the potential for poaching is bunk. CHL holders are law abiding citizens, a poacher is a criminal who has no regard for law.
    The statement about coming across someone in the back country with a firearm making people nervous, if they are a law abiding citizen their firearm should be "concealed" and no one will ever know.

    "Opportunistic" crimes are committed by "criminals" who could care less about the laws, not law abiding CHL holders. Why would this be any different in a national park than it is on the streets of Miami? CHL carriers walk those streets every day. Besides, who is out in the back country to protect my family & I from a murderer, rapist etc, when we are out backpacking/camping? Who collects his firearm at the trailhead? It is more likely that a CHL holder will prevent a crime being committed rather than commit one. In my opinion is it is better to have and not need than to need and not have. Why can I carry concealed in city and state parks? What makes the national parks so much different other than the different wildlife, and size?

    The comment about the 9mm pistol being no match for a grizzly can be debunked also. If you are familiar with your firearm and have trained and know where and what you have to hit you can stop most North American animals. This is an individual responsibility of each and every CHL holder, hunter & sportsman, in my opinion. Sometimes the noise from a gunshot is enough to stop an attack whether or not you hit the animal, when yelling, waving arms and bear spray do not work. Reference the story on black bears recently killed in Denali and Grand Teton.
    I agree most incidents with wildlife, whether in national parks or not, is usually due to ignorance or stupidity and can be prevented. But there are instances where no matter what you do it will not make a difference or stop an animal from attacking. People forget that when in the national parks we are in the home of the wildlife (their backyard) not at the zoo, petting zoo or on our hometown streets.
    Ask Timothy Treadwell if he needed a firearm to feel safe in Denali. Where is he today? Would he be alive today if he had a firearm? We can only speculate, but I feel he would have had better odds of surviving if he did have a firearm. Anything can happen at anytime to anyone, anywhere.

    I am very committed supporter of the 2nd amendment, matter of fact I am a firearms instructor. So your statement of "exercise restraint" to me means to use a firearm when serious bodily injury or possible death are imminent, whether it is a human or animal threat. This is the rule of thumb that is used in CHL training in my home state.

    It is more than a "political victory", it is a right guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment, not a "privilege".

    "An armed man is a citizen
    An unarmed man is a subject"

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I totally agree with that. Take the humans out of the bears habitat!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I have a concealed carry permit that I obtained specifically for camping and hiking. My major reason was protection against human predators. I carry the weapon “concealed” and there is no reason that any other hiker need ever know that I have it. I believe that people who have successfully gone through the process (including an FBI background check) to obtain a concealed carry permit should be able to conceal carry in national parks under the guidelines outlined in the laws of the state. I agree that hunters will abuse the privilege if all manner of weapon is allowed by all citizens.

  • Do You Care About Energy Exploration Near Our National Parks?   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Thank you Kath for the strongest comment on the board. Exploration/drilling is not the complete answer; but it sure makes sense to take advantage of it in a regulated way. I'm a life long Democrat but Harry Reid is convincing me to never vote straight ticket again. Sure we need to focus on alternative energy but we also need to stop sending our wealth to the Middle East.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I am a Marine, lisenced concealed weapons permit holder, and a senior citizen. I fully defend our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I am a sportsman also and truly fear only one thing. The person who illegaly carries a wepon, and will continue to do so regardless of the law, with the intent to do physical or mental harm to his fellow beings. I see no reason why a leagly licensed citizen of the United States of america should not be able to carry Arms, concealed or in plain view, anywhere in this Country.

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 7 weeks ago

    It's a shame that these bears had to die because humans were acting irresponsibly in the bears' range.....The HUMANS should have been removed from the bears' habitat!!!!! The stupid people that left food in their tents should have been fined stiffly and forbidden to come back to the park. [Ed. The unfortunate incident at Denali doesn't appear to have been a case of humans acting irresponsibly in bear country. At last report, the NPS had not yet determined -- if they ever will --why that particular black bear had become so aggressive.]

  • Man Bitten at Saguaro National Park by Gila Monster   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Can I post the word "dumbass" on this website? Because I can't really describe this any other way ...


    My travels through the National Park System:

  • National Park Quiz 10: Speak of the Devil   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Well, Professor, you found my weakness. Even if I (illegally) counted the question you excluded me from, I could only do 6 on this test! All the best, Bob

  • Bird Nests and Closures Spurring Civil Disobedience at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 7 weeks ago

    And when was the last time you went and did something positve to help the area instead of complain how bad it is? Beach cleanup, informational courses etc....

  • Development of Valley Forge National Historical Park Inholding Gets Green Light from Planners   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I just stumbled upon this, and it is just sad and depressing that someone wants to do this. It's bad enough that every last vestiges of farmland and other open spaces in Southeastern PA are being consumed for eyesore housing developments or commercial retail buildings, but now they actually have the audacity to try to build on Pawling Farm, a national landmark? This is truly a beautiful, albeit small area, a refuge from the jungle march of excessive progress, tucked within that very jungle.

    Like the poster before me said, this is a thinly veiled attempt to capitalize on the name of valley forge, without regard to the impacts a construction project would have on the farm. They can argue the benefits all they want, but they'll still be permanently altering an historical and beautiful piece of land cherished by the surrounding communities.

    Plus where will I mountain bike??

  • Should Yellowstone National Park's Elk Herds Be Culled to Fight Brucellosis?   6 years 7 weeks ago

    The basis of the push by the livestock industry to begin culling Yellowstone elk, that elk caused the brucellosis incidents in Montana over the last year that cost Montana its brucellosis free status, is false. There is no evidence whatsoever that elk caused these incidents, and good circumstantial to lay the blame on cattle.

    I have addressed this issue in depth at this site.

    Also, to correct something Jim Macdonald said above, Wyoming has completed its third year of elk test and slaughter on the feedgrounds used by the Pinedale Elk Herd.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Yes, it should be legal for persons with legally registered and permitted firearms to carry them in our National Parks for the perpose of self preservation. Why not, those who carry guns illegaly and with intent to harm others surely do. Laws are already in place to protect the wildlife, those who break them now will continue to do so. Lets give the law abiding citizens of this country the chance to defend themselves when the need arises.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    It is time for American citizens to grow up and stop hiding behind weapons, the historical fiction of the gun toting wild west mountain man myth promulgated by hollywood, the news media and our federal governments fear based policies has gone on long enough, IMHO.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Yesterday the Fairbanks, Alaska newpaper reported that a National Park Service researcher who was working in the backcountry of Denali, shot a black bear that was threatening the camp. He used a shotgun which he had special permission to carry. Kurt could post the link to the article.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    We definitely should have the right to carry firearms in national parks, and anywhere else that we travel so that we may protect ourselves and our families. I live in Indiana and am licensed to carry a firearm, however, i never abuse that privelage.

  • Fall Into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Kills California Woman   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I honestly haven't heard a thing, and I keep track of the news coming out of Yellowstone every single day. I guess the person to contact is Al Nash, the press liaison in Yellowstone - at 307-344-2015.

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

  • Fall Into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Kills California Woman   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I'm reviving an old thread, because I wish I could revive my old friend (Charlotte).
    Has anyone heard anything more about this, or have the authorities closed the investigation?

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I go to National Parks to view and enjoy our nation's great outdoor heritage. I am not a gun owner and never have been. I do not want to feel the need to purchase a weapon just so I can visit our great nation's natural resources.

    Basically I agree with commenter Sully above.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    If the only things dangerous in National Parks were animals, I would be the first to agree that there is no need for guns. I don't feel that poaching would increase. People will still poach whether or not they are allowed to carry guns legally. In all, there will not be a noticeable difference on daily life in National Parks if guns are allowed in. A concealed carry license from the home state might be nice to require. We are all smart people; let’s figure out how to make it work without many layers of government bureaucracy.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I'm a Second Amendment advocate, but carrying firearms in our National Parks would just lead to easier poaching, unnecessary killing of wildlife by anyone who feels even remotely threatened, and an increase in opportunistic crime by people who can now legally carry a gun in secluded places where young people, families, and women are hiking alone. I understand the degree of protection that a firearm can provide, against both natural and human predators, but most of this risk can be eliminated by doing things such as making noise, hiking with a friend, taking proper precautions when storing food, etc. Also, many people will feel threatened coming across someone carrying a weapon while they are out hiking in the middle of nowhere with their families. I love our National Parks, and I want everyone else to as well, regardless of how they feel about me owning a gun.

    All of this aside, there is virtually no reason to carry a weapon in a National Park in the first place. I have hiked in about 8 National Parks in Arizona, Utah, and up here in Alaska in the last year alone. This includes about a dozen back-country hikes in Denali National Park, which is definitely grizzly bear country. I have never felt like I needed a firearm to keep myself safe. I'm sure anyone can point out an incident where a hiker could have avoided injury if they only had a firearm, but these instances are very rare. The potential benefits simply do not outweigh the potential costs. I know Americans are polarized on the gun control issue, but I urge fellow Second Amendment advocates to exercise restraint and use common sense, instead of just looking at this issue as another potential political victory. Besides, your little 9mm is just going to make that charging grizzly bear angrier....

  • National Park Quiz 10: Speak of the Devil   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I disagree with (1). Many areas (for example White Sands) are declared "National Monuments" that do not feature "a geologic formation that resembles a monument". Joshua Tree in California was a National Monument before being upgraded to a National Park several years ago, as were Death Valley and Grand Teton.
    According to Wikipedia (we all know how trustworthy they are): "A National Monument in the United States is a protected area that is similar to a National Park except that the President of the United States can quickly declare an area of the United States to be a national monument without the approval of Congress. National monuments receive less funding and afford fewer protections to wildlife than national parks." [Ed. Nice catch, Anon. The Hauptquizmeister agrees that he should be called on the carpet when he does not offer the correct answer as a choice and instead indicates a distractor (teacher-speak for an answer selection put in there to lead you astray). If you will look at the revised item #1, you'll see what the quiz item looked like before the Hauptquizmeister got sloppy with draft number three of this quiz when he decided to put in a joke distractor -- that spaceport thing -- and inadvertently replaced the correct answer with another distractor. Man, that's some pretty good weaselspeak, if I do say so myself!]

  • National Park Quiz 10: Speak of the Devil   6 years 7 weeks ago

    An early morning hike in Arches on the Devil's Garden Primitive Loop trail is one of the more special places I've been in the NPS. Early morning, as the first part of the trail gets pretty crowded with people trekking to Landscape Arch and a bunch of other arches along the first couple miles of trail. Also, you'll get out to explore some great fins/mazes all by yourself. (Not as impressive as the Fiery Furnace, but also less of a chance that you'll get hopelessly lost as well.)

  • Should Yellowstone National Park's Elk Herds Be Culled to Fight Brucellosis?   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Wait a minute! I'm confused. I thought that Yellowstone's elk had been wiped out by the wolves. Herds decimated. That's what I've been reading on blog after blog, comment after comment.
    This proposal is insane. And when the elk herds REALLY HAVE BEEN DECIMATED, through "culling", what do these ranchers think that wolves, bears and other predators are going to eat? Their cows maybe? Then the call will come out to "cull" the wolves, bears, mountain lions, coyotes etc. In other words, what is being proposed, is the virtual destruction of the Yellowstone ecosystem. The end of Yellowstone National Park as the last great intact wildlife sanctuary in the lower forty eight. The end of the millions of dollars injected into the local economy annually by wildlife watchers, photographers and hunters. The end of countless businesses that rely on them. Let's face it, with gas pushing $5.00 a gallon, not very many people are going to drive hundreds or thousands of miles just to see Old Faithful; and they sure as heck aren't going to drive those miles to see cattle. Nor are they going to drive those many miles (for the majority of Americans Yellowstone is a bit out of the way) for poor to average wildlife viewing or hunting opportunities. They come here for FANTASTIC opportunities that are unavailable anywhere else in the lower forty eight. It's time that the states of Montana, Wyoming (especially) and Idaho recognize what a cash cow (sorry!) that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is, and how comparatively unimportant the relatively few ranchers in the area are. Split state status, the development of a viable vaccine for cattle, or the recognition that brucellosis is no longer a human health issue. The answer is there. Not in the slaughtering of thousands of animals, and the destruction of the last intact temperate ecosystem in the lower forty eight as well as the economies of three states. That's kind of like dropping an atomic bomb to destroy an ant hill!

  • National Park Service May Reopen the Statue’s Crown at Statue of Liberty National Monument   6 years 8 weeks ago

    I visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island just last week. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to visit the crown but enjoyed the climb to the pedestal observation area (the elevator was closed that day). Remember that you have to reserve a spot to visit the pedestal when you make your ferry reservation.

    The park was crowded but everything was well organized. Worst then the crowds was the Byzantine security gauntlet. You have to pass through a metal detector before getting on the ferry and then a metal detector and an explosives detector before going into the pedestal.

    When I got in line for the pedestal a Ranger told me that my small camera bag was okay. However, at the front of the line I was told that I would have to put my camera bag in a locker (despite the fact it was ½ the size of many of the “purses” carried by ladies in the line). What a locker it was too, I think it had more computing power then the space shuttle.

    Getting a locker requires a 6 second fingerprint scan and entering your date of birth. Only the government would have lockers that need two full time attendants because the system for renting them is so complex. Greyhound has been renting lockers for years without invading visitor’s privacy. When I returned the computerized locker system couldn’t even tell me which locker was mine, even though it had my fingerprints and birth date. The attendant told me that if I didn’t remember the number I was out of luck.

    All that being said the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are definitely worth a visit. You never can really appreciate the scale of the Statue until you see it in person. Magnificent!