Recent comments

  • What's Going On With the Plumbing Of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park?   6 years 7 weeks ago

    How cool! I was a teenager the last time I went to Hawaii and the volcano was not nearly as active as it is right now. What a great show for those lucky enough to be able to vacation there right now!

  • Delaware Can Relax; The New National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Series Will Celebrate “National Sites” Too   6 years 7 weeks ago

    It's ironic that H.R. 6184 was introduced by Michael Castle of Delaware, the only state without a national park.

  • Delaware Can Relax; The New National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Series Will Celebrate “National Sites” Too   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I believe that every state should have at least one National Park, and by the way anyone know of any areas in Delaware not yet a state or other type of federally park land that could become a great National Park

  • Lightning Strike Kills Park Visitor at a Sandy Hook Beach in Gateway National Recreation Area   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Over hear on Long Island it was pretty bad. Twelve people got struck by lighting. It down poored like their was no tomorrow. Lighting blasted every minute, it was scary if you were out. I got stuck at Ikea. Where were you during that stormy mess. [Ed: The three people struck by lightning on that beach at Sandy Hook are included in the regional 12-count.]

  • Mountain Bikers to Seek Access Through Listening Sessions   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I think that this is a great success story. I believe that it is long overdue for the Park Service to realize that hikers and equestrians are not the only valid trail users in the parks. What many of those who would like to lump cyclists in with ORV users do not realize is that there is a much clearer distinction between motorized and non-motorized recreation, rather than mechanized versus non-mechanized. It was stated in the above article that “most hard-core hikers are bikers, anyway,” yet I would flip this around to say that most mountain bikers are hikers and understand well the need to co-exist on the trails together. Those of us who like to ride on trails do so primarily to visit our favorite places and enjoy the scenery and natural elements that are found there, albeit via our bicycles.

  • Mountain Bikers to Seek Access Through Listening Sessions   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Thought you might like the follow-up on your "dodging bikes" comment at Big South Fork. I hate to disappoint you, but mountain biking was apparently a success:

    Shared-use Big South Fork trail deemed a success

    By Morgan Simmons (Contact)
    Sunday, October 7, 2007

    An experiment to permit mountain biking on a trail in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area previously designated as hiking-only has come to a close, and the result is good news for mountain bikers.

    For the past year, the National Park Service has used the Grand Gap Loop Trail to test a shared-use management strategy that allows mountain biking and hiking during the week, and only hiking on weekends.

    Big South Fork spokesman Steve Seven said the pilot project brought no negative comments from hikers, and that the only complaint from mountain bikers was that the trail was closed to them on weekends.

    “Based on the feedback we received from hikers and mountain bikers, we made the decision that the testing phase was over, and that the project was successful,” Seven said.

    The Grand Gap Loop Trail, in the heart of the 125,000-acre park, is seven miles long and features numerous dramatic overlooks into the main river gorge. The trail is single-track, and rated moderately difficult for mountain biking. Some sections of the Grand Gap Look trail skirt the edge of the bluff line, while others pass through boulder gardens and rock shelters carved out of sandstone.

    While “user-sharing” trails are not new — the Tsali Trail system along North Carolina’s Fontana Lake designates alternate days for mountain biking and horseback riding — this is the first time the Big South Fork has put the concept to the test.

    Now that Grand Gap Loop has passed the experimental phase, managers at Big South Fork can designate more trails as shared use between mountain bikers and hikers as directed in the park’s new general management plan.

    One candidate for inclusion into the time-share system is an extension off the Grand Gap Loop that leads to Station Camp, along the Big South Fork River. When this trail opens, the seven-mile Grand Gap would expand into a 16-mile loop, with 13 miles of that being single-track.

    The park’s general management plan also calls for portions of the John Muir Trail and the Rock Creek Trail to be opened to hiking and mountain biking on a time-share basis.

    Big South Fork is one of the few national park units that allow mountain biking. Congress authorized the park in 1974 to protect the Big South Fork and its tributaries and to provide a variety of recreation opportunities ranging from hunting and fishing to hiking and horseback riding.

    A key player in promoting mountain biking at Big South Fork is the Big South Fork Mountain Bike Club. In addition to building and maintaining mountain bike trails, the club patrols the park to aid and assist mountain bikers. The Big South Fork has about 400 miles of trail overall — 130 miles for hiking, and about 160 miles of multiple-use trails that allow horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.

    In addition, the park has three dedicated mountain-biking trails (open to mountain bikers and hikers but not horseback riders) near the Bandy Creek Visitors Center. These are the Collier Ridge Trail, West Bandy Trail and the Duncan Hollow Loop.

    The park’s new management plan calls for the mountain-biking trail system to expand from eight to 24 miles, with the potential for more trails in the future.

    Joe Cross, president of the Big South Fork Mountain Bike Club, said he is not surprised that the Grand Gap Loop experimental project received such positive feedback from mountain bikers and hikers alike.

    “Most hard-core hikers are bikers, anyway,” Cross said.

    Morgan Simmons may be reached at 865-342-6321.

  • National Park Service Agrees, Conditionally, to Keep Yellowstone's Sylvan Pass Open For Snowmobiling   6 years 7 weeks ago

    YeeeeeeeHawwwwwwww!!
    Gettin' my sled ready!

  • Rookie Firefighter from Olympic National Park Killed by Falling Tree in California   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I went to Port Townsend High School with Andy, he was a really good kid. I pray for his family and for everyone close to him.

  • Rookie Firefighter from Olympic National Park Killed by Falling Tree in California   6 years 7 weeks ago

    A tragic loss - and a reminder that the men and women who serve on fire crews day after day all across the country have a dangerous and difficult job. They all deserve our thanks and support.

  • National Park Service Agrees, Conditionally, to Keep Yellowstone's Sylvan Pass Open For Snowmobiling   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Irregardless of the actual costs to keep this route open for winter travel, it's a shame that much or all of a badly needed budget increase for the park will be diverted to this one project.

    Here's a key to the bottom line: A 2008 Wyoming travel guide has a full page color ad on the back cover. The "headline" for the ad reads, "Cody has a nice city park. It's called Yellowstone."

    It's all well and good for local communities to receive economic benefits from the spending by visitors to nearby national parks, but when local economic benefits become the driving force for decisions on park operations, park resources and values often suffer.

  • Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Bears are curious intelligent animals and I think as long as there are humans nearby who eat, litter and recreate there are going to be inevitable encounters that result in some sort of conflict. Unfortunately the bears are usually the losers when this occurs.

    A protected habitat is one where bears are isolated from contact. In a park with trails and lots of hikers this becomes increasingly problematic. I think most of Yellowstone is generally free of these types of encounters because of it's large size but, again, with millions of visitors annually it's just bound to happen.

  • Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 7 weeks ago

    But what happens to the bears if they don't have the habitat protections of a national park?

    There are some parts of Yellowstone that are simply off-limits to humans so as not to interfere with grizzlies. Should more limits be instituted?

  • Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 7 weeks ago

    When you create a national park and then invite millions of people to visit them these kinds of things are just bound to happen. That it doesn't occur way more frequently truly does amaze me.

    Littered campgrounds, folding chairs
    Feed Doritos to the bears
    Honey, quick, the polaroid

    ------From the Dead Kennedys song "Winnebago Warrior"

  • Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Hello the bears were here first!!! if there is a problem with bears getting a taste for human food then the number of hikers per day should be cut down, and a limited amount,and type of food regulated per person.I do not see the sense in shooting a bear for the reason of finding food ,this is their territory.If anything else small game for them to eat should be bred and distributed in the part so it can breed and feed the bears.Whatever bear eat,im sure they like their kind of food better first off.

  • Delaware Can Relax; The New National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Series Will Celebrate “National Sites” Too   6 years 7 weeks ago

    An attractive feature of these special coin series is the large seigniorage (or profit) representing the difference between the face value of the coins and the costs of their mintage.Substantial gains result from public hoarding/collecting of coins placed in circulation as well as the sale of uncirculated proof and silver coins to collectors.

    The U.S. Mint estimates that the 50 States Quarters® Program will end up garnering about $3.7 billion more for the U.S Treasury than regular quarters would have.

    If the proposed "parks and sites" series is authorized, it is expected to produce a profit in excess of $750 million over ten years. Whatever the profit may be, it will accrue to the U.S. Treasury (general treasury), not to the national parks.

  • Electric Map Going Away at Gettysburg National Military Park   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I am incredibly disappointed with the Park Service decision to discontinue the electric map presenation. In my opinion, although the program was "low tech" by today's standards. it gave the viewers a feel for the North-South-East-West of the battle field for a preliminary orientation before the actual driving (or walking tour). Add in the nostalgia factor and it was the perfect place to take visitors and students not only for the history of the battle but also for the history of the map itself.... Is there a way to petition the Park service to bring back this piece of history? I will not be taking any more visitors and friends and students to Gettysburg unless the map is reinstalled. Mourning the demise of another piece of history in its own right....The removal of the map speaks volumes about the inept management and lack of vision on the part of the Park Service. Please....
    Get rid of the food court and the gift shop and make room for the map!!!!! It will be worth the effort!
    AlaskaAbi

  • Delaware Can Relax; The New National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Series Will Celebrate “National Sites” Too   6 years 7 weeks ago

    I am sure the Mint made a fortune on the state series. I hope revenues from the national parks series goes to the upkeep of the parks system.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 7 weeks ago

    No. You spray your buddy by mistake in a panic attack and are lunch for the bear.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Kurt, excellent rebuttal and it helps reading between the lines better on thee issue.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 7 weeks ago

    Frank,

    Is not just about everything we do in life based on some form of probability and statistics? We grade our kids on how well they studied, make a split-second decision on the probability of running through the yellow light before it turns red, have doctors give us the odds of dying from disease, decide whether to fly or drive depending on whether we believe there's a probability that the plane will crash, and every four years let statistics determine who will reside in the White House.

    We want to know the probability of rain today so we can dress accordingly, the odds of whether our offspring will be male or female, or the odds of winning the Lotto so we can gamble on being able to quit our job. If the odds of being murdered or accosted in a national park were incredibly high, the arguments of those who want to arm themselves would not only be more reasonable but, probably, more palatable.

    Heck, statistics even went into the Bill of Rights and the recent Supreme Court 5-4 decision on guns in Washington, D.C. What's the probability of that one swing vote going for the D.C. law and allowing local governments to ban weapons?

    Beyond that, though, you point out a very good aspect of the Bill of Rights: The 2nd amendment was intended to counter tyranny, not to make each and every American a judge and jury in the blink of an eye. So if you want to couch the 2nd Amendment on that point, and if you accept the recent Supreme Court decision that Americans are allowed to arm themselves in their homes and that reasonable laws pertaining to access to weapons are permissible, then what are the odds that someone will claim the 2nd Amendment still allows them to pack anywhere at any time?

    Would that be the faulty reasoning you refer to?

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 8 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."
    I'll give you car accident and cancer, but do you really believe the rest of that sentence? I am someone who hikes our National Parks. I've met others on trails and in campgrounds. I've never met anyone who spends time in the parks alone or in small (2-4 persons) groups who I believe is more likely to die from those things. I have, however met men in the parks who have quite frankly scared the hell out of me. I have pulled the big knife out of the mess kit while praying to God that that crazy s.o.b. that had just entered my campsite drunk and demanding that I remove my shirt didn't have a gun. I want to continue to enjoy MY National Parks. I don't want to be killed or raped. Bad people do not care about laws. They don't need permits to carry guns. Please try to understand that those of us who want to use our 2nd ammendment right to carry firearms aren't bad people.

  • Delaware Can Relax; The New National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Series Will Celebrate “National Sites” Too   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Sounds great, but... it's too bad they're limited to just 2 per state. The law should have a provision allowing for every national park to be represented on a quarter.

  • Delaware Can Relax; The New National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Series Will Celebrate “National Sites” Too   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Delaware has several areas that could make great national parks, and I've always been surprised that they have never really fought for it. My family and I often go to Delaware, not just for the tax free shopping, but for the bird watching! Cape Henlopen State Park would be my number one recommendation for upgrading to National Park status, it is just gorgeous and full of great wildlife watching. Fort Delaware State Park would be my second recommendation, very cool place indeed steeped with history.

  • Hidden Hall of Records at Mount Rushmore   6 years 8 weeks ago

    We've heard that behind Mt. Rushmore, is something hidden by our government, having to do with aliens or alien craft. Is there any truth to this, or has anyone else heard anything of this?

  • Hidden Hall of Records at Mount Rushmore   6 years 8 weeks ago

    We've heard that the carvings were put there to hide something alien or otherworldly or something that our government is hiding regarding aliens or alien spacecraft. Can anyone else elaborate on this?