Recent comments

  • Groups Sue Cape Hatteras National Seashore Over ORV Traffic   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Anonymous (from 10/21),
    You have clearly never stepped foot on Hatteras or Ocracoke Island. If you had, you would understand how utterly asinine and inaccurate your characterization of ORV activity there is.

    Now to your "get your fat butts out of your toy ORVs" comment (you are quite the gifted and creative writer by the way). What would you have me tell my disabled daughter who can only dream of traversing the thick sand of Outer Banks beaches on foot?

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Rick - you say, "I'll say this until you are blue in the face: give me one example of a citizen with a concealed carry permit who has committed a violent crime in your sacred national park system - or any place in our country."

    I say, give me one example of a citizen with a concealed carry permit who has averted a violent crime in our sacred national park system...

    Bill Wade
    Chair, Executive Council
    Coalition of National Park Service Retirees

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    The statistics used by the Texas Concealed Handgun Instructors Association are drawn directly from the Texas Department of Public Safety Concealed Handgun Licensing Section and put into the proper context as measured against the age appropriate population of Texas. The instructors are DPS qualified and work closely with the Texas DPS.

    The Texas DPS maintains it's own website which anyone can visit:(http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/convrates.htm)

    Rather than simply taking dictation from gun control organizations, you might want to visit the websites of the actual state agencies and review the statistics concerning CHL holders. Unless of course you believe that the state and federal governments are part of some "grand conspiracy" to hide the wanton criminality of CHL holders.

    The FBI also gathers statistics comparing crime rates between states with liberal CCW laws and those with more restrictive gun laws. Not surprisingly your side does not fair well. "The FBI, drawing from data it has collected and published in the Uniform Crime Reports, concludes that "violent crime rates are highest overall in states with laws severely limiting or prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense." Particularly, the FBI notes that the total violent crime rate is 26 percent higher in the states with restrictive CCW laws than in the less restrictive states. Likewise, homicide rates are 49 percent higher, and robbery 58 percent higher, in more conservative states. The only reasonable conclusion is that liberal CCW laws help to reduce the overall crime rate, and particularly to reduce the frequency of violent crime."

    "The FBI estimates that each year, Americans use firearms for self-defense more than 2.1 million times; by contrast, there are about 579,000 violent crimes committed annually with guns, of which 70 percent are committed by 7 percent of criminals, including repeat offenders, who pay no attention to gun laws anyway. Furthermore, 99.9 percent of self-defense firearm uses do not result in fatalities. Of incarcerated felons surveyed by the Justice Department, 34 percent were driven away, wounded, or captured by armed citizens, and 40 percent decided against committing a crime for fear that a potential victim was armed."

    It is a common tactic of those whose arguments are not supported by the evidence to use false or misleading statistical claims. When called out, these people claim that everyone manipulates data and as a result no one's evidence can be trusted. This technique has the effect of putting the legitimate evidence under a cloud suspicion and diminishing the impact that evidence has in the debate.

    As I said before, it is perverse to concentrate so much passion against people who are, by all accounts, law abiding citizens willing to submit to criminal background checks and safety training just to exercise a right guaranteed them under our Constitution.

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Blair just doesn't get it:

    > the point is, why would one need to carry a handgun in a National Park?

    Why do you have fire insurance? Are you planing for you house to burn down? Why do you have car insurance? Are you planning to be in a car crash? Why do you have health care? Are you planing to be sick? Life is kinda fickle and we choose to be prepared. At least some of us do.

    We are talking about concealed handguns in the possessions of citizens lawfully exercising their rights. There's a saying, "don't take a knife to a gun fight" If I knew I would need a firearm to defend my life I guarantee you I would be carrying at least my AR-15 instead of a SIG handgun. My handgun is my little life insurance policy. It doesn't come out of the holster until the appropriate time as defined by law.

    As for that guy in Houston OK, maybe you got me there. You provided one example of a citizen doing something wrong. I didn't object to removing the scum but the law provides for consequences under those conditions. The research also proves as many as a million times a year citizens lawfully use firearms to defend themselves. I think I'm still ahead of you.

    You also make my point, concealed carry permit holders don't poach and vandalize while carrying and don't murder. I'm glad you feel safe, however. If you feel so lucky, though - well do you? Then why don't you forego your homeowners insurance, car insurance and health care? Murderers, rapists and thieves commit their acts of social indiscretion with a variety of weapons. Most of which are classified as lethal and the victim is entitled under law to respond to that assault with deadly force. Having a concealed handgun is the same as pulling out your insurance card.

    If you are ultimately the victim du jour then you and your clean conscience can go to meet your maker knowing you held to your convictions. I've chosen to even the playing field a bit and am not willing to go quietly. I've come too close to being there.

    Also, I don't know if the aforementioned shooter in Texas had a concealed carry permit. He was just the neighbor who happened to be armed and sick and tired of people being victimized by thugs. Oh yeah. And where were the cops in all this? Uuuhhh, I guess they were enforcing laws elsewhere in the town and not situated at that location protecting someone's life or valuables.

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Rick,

    Ya know, we could bat this back and forth for years and we wouldn't see eye to eye. That's OK, and it's something I plan to address in another post down the road. That said, I must admit your lack of tolerance for regulations is kinda disconcerting. How do you decide which laws or regulations are worth obeying? If wearing a concealed weapon where they're outlawed doesn't bother you, where do you draw the line?

    I also think it's telling that early on you asked for someone to provide evidence of a concealed weapons permit holder who's broken the law, and now you've retreated to asking for proof of a crime "other than a bureaucratic infraction." Along those lines, did you read that Boundary Waters story I cited? Granted, the story didn't indicate whether those involved had concealed weapons permits, but I think it's very telling of what can happen.

    Now, you say you'll pay the fine if caught, but will you also turn over your handgun?

    As I've said previously, your disdain for the Brady Campaign is interesting, as they use a lot of the same statistical sources you've cited in drawing their conclusions.

    I also think you're jumping to conclusions by lumping everyone who opposes concealed carry in the parks as anti-gun. I could care less if you own a firearm. I just don't think there's justification to go armed every time you leave the house.

    Now, regarding statistics. Here're a bunch, with the sources cited. True, one can't tell how many of these cases involved CCW holders, but I'd wager more than a few.

    * In the United States, children under the age of 15 are 12 times more likely to die from gunfire than the children in 25 other industrialized countries combined!
    Fingerhut, Cox, and Warner, "International Comparative Analysis of Injury Mortality." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. October 7, 1998.

    * In 1998, more than 30,000 men, women, and children were killed with firearms in the United States.
    · 17,424 were suicides
    · 12,102 were homicides
    · 866 died from unintentional shootings
    · 316 died in undetermined circumstances
    Sherry L. Murphy. "Deaths: Final Data for 1998" Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
    National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 48, No. 11, July 24, 2000.

    * Gunfire kills more teenagers than all natural causes combined.
    American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Violence, "The Role of the Pediatrician in Youth Violence Prevention in Clinical Practice and at the Community Level," Pediatrics, Vol. 103, No. 1, January 1999.

    * In 1999, nearly half of all murder victims were killed by someone they knew such as a friend or family member rather than a stranger.
    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States 2000: Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), 2000.

    * Women are about twice as likely to be shot by their intimate partner than they are to be killed by strangers using guns, knives, or any other means.
    Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH; James A. Mercy, PhD;
    "Men, Women, and Murder; Gender-specific Differences in Rates of Fatal Violence and Victimization," The Journal of Trauma, Vol. 33, No. 1, July, 1992.

    * In the United States, approximately two-thirds of all murders are committed with guns.
    Sherry L. Murphy. "Deaths: Final Data for 1998" Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
    National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 48, No. 11, July 24, 2000.

    * Gunfire killed 3,792 young people ages 19 and under in 1998.
    Sherry L. Murphy. "Deaths: Final Data for 1998" Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
    National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 48, No. 11, July 24, 2000.

    * The annual cost of gun violence in America in terms of direct medical costs, lost productivity, and lost quality of life is $100 billion. Furthermore, through public health care and public debt, the taxpaying public pays an estimated 85%-96% of medical charges for firearm injuries.
    Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig, Gun Violence: The Real Costs, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000. G.J. Ordog, J. Wasserberger, G. Ackroyd. "Hospital Costs of Firearm Injuries." Journal of Trauma, February, 1995.

    Of course, this is really an exercise in futility because -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- if the regulations remain unchanged gun owners like you will still flaunt the "questionably legal" regulations.


  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Houston, Texas last year. Man trying to stop a robbery in the house next door shot and killed both thieves in the back with no warning to the second one, despite the fact he was told to take no action by the 911 operator he was on the phone with. Need any more examples?

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    The point you are missing is "concealed handguns," not just any kind of weapon. Hunters (and poachers) don't hunt with handguns, and murderers generally don't kill with rifles (although there have been some notable exceptions). Believe me, a handgun will have little affect on either a charging bear or, if in Yellowstone, a bison. Thus, the point is, why would one need to carry a handgun in a National Park? I've always felt much safer in a park than walking down the streets of any large city, and I'm sure if you looked up the numbers, the percentage of violent crimes committed in national parks is significantly lower than what is committed in the general population as a whole. The enforcement of anti-poaching laws simply is not a valid argument in this case.

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Kur says,

    > You keep glossing over the fact that CCW permit holders who comment on this forum have already said they've packed in the parks, against the law
    > That's criminal.

    Naahhh, Kurt, I'm not glossing over anything. What I do is simply exercise common sense self-defense. As Fred notes, this is not a law it's a {questionably legal] regulation. I'll pay the fine when I call the park rangers to come after I've defended myself against a criminal attack. Let them eat the public relations fodder. Until then no one will have an reason to know if I'm carrying a firearm. When the park service provides me with personal protection I'll leave my gun in the car. Until then any claim on their part that I'm safe is just a bunch of indefensible baloney. To recap: they are law enforcement. That means they come when your already a victim. Court cases have proven these folks have no obligation to provide for your defense. I'll hire Karen Taylor-Goodrich to be my mouthpiece.

    Kurt, you persist in quoting loony groups like the Violence Policy Center who are masters at lying with figures, as Art mentioned above. These gun haters are the same ones always yapping about "children" being killed by handguns. Have you ever looked into the firearm accidental death rate statistics for honest-to-God children under the age of 15? Or revisited those data I provided? I'll let you do the work this time. As for those 19 year old "children" you mention, the 19-25 age group is responsible for most of the crimes committed in this country. Hint: it's an urban demographic. They don't have concealed carry permits. I gave Lyle Laverty as much official concealed carry permit revocation statistics as I could find as well as data from John Lott. We're not among those statistics.

    Jerry Patterson is exactly correct in what he says and has done. I'm also responsible for getting the ball rolling on eliminating a similar bureaucratic preemption of my rights here in PA. I proved the department that regulates state parks has violated the law by preventing concealed carry permit holders from possessing their firearms while beyond their campsites. Our State House approved the bill and now it goes to the Senate where it will most likely pass.

    I think the anti gun folks here are the ones glossing over the true issue. Prove that concealed carry permit holders have committed a crime other than a bureaucratic infraction. Prove they'll be a threat to you ore somehow ruin you park "experience."

    I promised I wouldn't use NRA statistics but you still need to drag the Brady Bunch and the VPC crazies into the discussion. Stick to the facts from the government and law enforcement. Prove that permit holders are a threat. Give me numbers. And not from gun hater groups. We have 40 states that have proven my case. I don't know what hat you're pulling your mythical claims from.

    Ya' know what's delightfully ironic about all of this gun control stuff? It's racist. Do a bit more reading: "The Racist Roots of Gun Control" by Clayton Cramer. Soon this type of discussion will all be moot because the Supreme Court will finally affirm the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms and that will send the gun haters scrambling like vampires from daylight. And, yes, essentially, that does include automatic firearms like a SAW and M-16 since these are arms an infantryman or citizen militiaman would typically carry into battle. Even Laurence Tribe and Allan Dershowitz finally had the intellectual honesty to admit the Second was an individual right. Only the desperate and disingenuous continue to cling to the mythical "states right" concept.

    Don't worry, though, the only folks you'll see in your sacred national parks with AR-15s will continue to be the drug smugglers and pot growers. Interestingly, Lyle Laverty asked me to speculate if I thought someone in a park carrying a shotgun concealed under a long coat would be permissible under our proposal. I told him it's illegal.

    Lone Hiker is definitely living in la-la land by continuing to believe that being a nice person will magically dissuade a criminal from their intended goal. And still going on with the "macho" and "testerone" insults." How childish. "All these shouts of self-defense are becoming rather tedious," he says. I say all the bleating about surrendering my rights has long ago become tedious. Because people like him just don't like guns is an asinine reason for me to surrender my natural and Constitutionally guaranteed right to self defense. It's a shame criminals can't come to an agreement with Lone Hiker.

    How about this, Lone Hiker? "It's just a shame that criminal's thoughts of asset reallocation and self-gratification in general begin and end without consideration of other alternatives." Why don't you guys try that approach to this discussion instead of whining about citizens lawfully exercising their rights without any being able to prove any impact on your life whatsoever.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 8 weeks ago

    I'm there with you on the concealed carry permit in Chicago. There would be less shooting and armed robberies if there was a good chance the victim was carrying. The offender would think twice about pulling a gun on someone if he knows there is a good chance he will get shot. Besides, look at how well dictator Daley's law of no registered handguns in Chicago has done. Shootings and shooting related homicides are up!

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    If there is a bigger whacko than Jerry Patterson, I don't know who it is.

    Rick Smith

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   6 years 8 weeks ago

    I always find it ironic that pro-gun people say the gun control crowd has been duped/misled/confused of the truth by the Brady Campaign, when the pro-gun people have been 'duped' just as much by the NRA....

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Sorry Lone Hiker. I hate to let you down but I read this piece online the other day and felt compelled to confess. It's one thing to make a decision, and another thing altogether to carry it out. I honestly do hope that the proposed rule change goes through. Otherwise I will be a lawbreaker the next time I visit a Park in a CCW permitted state (the only kind I will visit).

    Read this piece written by the Texas State Land Commisioner that appeared in the online San Antonio news:
    http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/stories/MYSA.052808.OPED_1B_CommentPatterson.2690f28.html

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Aw, Fred!!! After I was decent enough to throw accolades your direction for being honest enough to fess up to the criminal activity that you openly professed, you go and do the proverbial 180 on us!

    And Rick, as I too have stated in prior opinions, it's just a shame that people's thoughts of self-defense in general begin and end without consideration of other alternatives, and investigation of newer technologies that put the 17th Century weaponry to shame. How nice it would be for a little intellect to go along with the claims of "I demand my God given rights", instead of taking the easy way out by placing all your testosterone in one basket of alternatives. All these shouts of self-defense are becoming rather tedious when the methods of such aren't investigated, and alternative methods and options beyond firearms fully considered as viable. What we're trying desperately to avoid is the "My gun's bigger than your gun" syndrome, or the inevitable "My gang's better outfitted than your gang", which the law-abiding citizens of this country lived through once already.

    Is it really too much to ask for one to step back and exhibit a bit of sensibility and reasoning before one decides on "the proper course of action"? And why are you always hiding behind the NRA-propped up mantle of people taking away your "rights"? I've never seen that sentiment expressed in any of these alleged discussions? Just who's putting out the fire with gasoline here?

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    OK, I'll try to ignore the fact that you have to start your argument with an insult.

    But as the saying goes, "figures don't lie, but liars figure." In other words, anyone can find statistics to back up their argument. And the fact that your set of facts comes from the Texas Concealed Handgun Instructors Association does not give them any more credibility than you place in the Violence Policy Center.

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    "Congressman Raul Grijalva, who heads the House subcommittee on national parks, is accusing Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne of pandering to the National Rifle Association."

    Who cares? The NRA is an organization which seeks to protect and insure the publics rights under the Second Amendment of the Constitution. They have every right, some might argue an obligation, to promote the interests of their constituency. The ACLU does the same thing, claiming an interest in protecting the First Amendment. The NRA, at least, has the distinction of not having been founded by an avowed communist.

    As for Congressman Raul Grijalv, as a former member of La MEChA, an organization whose motto is, "For the race everything. For those outside the race nothing", he is an anti-American racist and any accusations he makes must be weighed in that context.

    It is perverse to focus so much concern on the harmful potential of people who have undergone criminal background checks and, in most cases, safety and proficiency training. Every legitimate study reveals the legal gun owner to be far less likely to commit a crime of any kind.

    Let Mr. Grijalv show us that he can first disarm the criminal gangs, like MS-13, which infest our cities and his former radical friends before we turn our attention to law abiding citizens.

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Kurt,

    Is this the kind of fact checking you did as a reporter? The Violence Policy Center is a left-wing anti-gun group with a long history of deception. They specialize in half-truths and twisting statistics, for instance, their report on Texas CHL holders, "License to Kill IV", states the number of CHL holders "arrested" without providing the context of what percent of total CHL holders that number represents. It provides no numbers on "convictions" or what percent of total arrests those convictions represent. They fail to inform their audience that it is standard procedure in many jurisdictions to place the CHL holder under arrest pending the outcome of an investigation into the use of his firearm. They also fail to state that many of the arrests represent minor offenses such as accidentally displaying or carrying a concealed weapon into a restricted zone. Only about 26 percent of CHL holders who are arrested for violent crimes, and go to trial, are later convicted.

    Here are the facts:

    "... an analysis of arrest data for Texas concealed handgun licensees that was performed on data from the subsequent years of 1996 - 2000. A comparison was made with the arrest data for the entire Texas population for the same time period, showing that, on average: male Texans who are over 21 years old and are not CHL holders are 7.7 times more likely to be arrested for commission of a violent crime than male Texans with a CHL; and female Texans who are over 21 years old and are not CHL holders are 7.5 times more likely to be arrested for commission of a violent crime than female Texans with a CHL. Of the violent crime cases that have been adjudicated, approximately 26% of CHL holders who were arrested were convicted ..."

    "The average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 7.7 times more likely to be arrested for the violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery, and assault than the average male CHL holder."

    "Looking at violent crimes individually, the average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 1.7 times (rate of 7.4 v. 4.3) more likely to be arrested for murder; 87 times (rate of 24 v. 0.3) more likely to be arrested for rape; 53 times (rate of 44 v. 0.8) more likely to be arrested for robbery; 3.4 times (rate of 202 v. 60) more likely to be arrested for aggravated assault; and 10 times (rate of 892 v. 87) more likely to be arrested for other assaults than the average male CHL holder."

    "No male Texas CHL holder was arrested for negligent manslaughter during the 1996 through 2000 period."

    "The average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 18 times more likely to be arrested for committing a non-violent crime than the average male CHL holder."

    http://www.txchia.org/sturdevant.pdf

    If the anti-gun side of the argument is so compelling why must they constantly stoop to half-truths, misdirection and fraud?

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Confession time: Although I have said that I've carried in a Park, I actually have not. But I have made the deliberate decision that I WOULD carry the next time I visited a Park. Sorta the same thing, I guess. That's why I feel so strongly about changing these rules. Consciously disobeying the law is morally objectionable to me in many ways. But I will NOT go in to the wilderness defenseless.

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Rick,

    You keep glossing over the fact that CCW permit holders who comment on this forum have already said they've packed in the parks, against the law. That's criminal.

    Also, did you overlook this comment I made earlier under another post:

    ...an August 2000 study by the Violence Policy Center revealed that, from January 1996 through April 2000, the arrest rate for weapon-related offenses among Texas concealed handgun license holders was 66% higher than that of the general adult population of Texas. CCW license holders are committing crimes - including murder, rape, assault and burglary - but because the gun lobby makes it difficult if not impossible for the public to determine if a shooter has a CCW license in most states, the full story has not yet been told.

    Also, check out this story: Night of Terror in BWCA. True, the Boundary Waters is not a national park, but I don't think it's too hard to envision a similar scenario if the laws are changed.

  • Everglades National Park Wildfire Grows To nearly 33,000 Acres   6 years 8 weeks ago

    What chemicals were used to suppress the fire?

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    the anti-gun crowd continues the basic concepts here. We're talking about eliminating the unconstitutional prohibition of a citizen's right to self defense. Regulation 36CFR 2.4 will be amended to assimilate state CONCEALED CARRY laws. Everything else remains status quo.

    Any one of you anti-gun people, prove to me that a citizen with a concealed carry permit has used their firearm criminally within the national park system. Give me one example. Now prove to me that a citizen with a concealed carry permit has done the same outside the parks. You'll have a hard time. Beyond that anything you say about citizens exercising their Second Amendment right is imagination, supposition and paranoia.

    I said this before in another post. You claim there are not many crimes in the parks. My point is if you are one of those lucky victims you will now have the opportunity to defend yourself. That doesn't mean shooting someone. Most times just showing the assailant you have a gun is enough to dissuade them from proceeding. Unless they're intent on cleansing the gene pool. In which case I'd be happy to oblige them.

    Stop the baseless speculating and your obsessing about people acting lawfully and focus on the criminals who are the problem. If you have facts put them on the table.

  • Research Indicates Annual Precipitation Might Control Yellowstone National Park's Geysers   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Thanks Kurt !! The video camera is too cool !!

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago

    This would take an incredibly good lawyer. How would counsel prove to the court that my UN-fired 9mm pistol had been used to poach a full-grown elk ??

    When I visit the Parks, no one, including you, or the animals, or the foreign tourists, are going to know that I am carrying a concealed handgun. How on earth is that going to affect their experience?

  • Congressman Accuses Sec. Kempthorne of Pandering to NRA on Gun Issue   6 years 8 weeks ago


    To Tom Smith:

    because right now if a park ranger finds evidence of poaching on wildlife, in parks where hunting is illegal, a loaded weapon, carried illegally, is significant evidence.

    Furthermore, in areas where poaching is known to be high, but difficult to catch the poacher in the act, by enforcing the rules against carrying weapons park rangers significantly reduce the incidence of illegal poaching.

    The opportunity to view unhunted wildlife is a major reason many people visit parks. Even parks with comparatively low wildlife populations provide plentiful viewing opportunities because the animals are not as cautious. A significant number of visitors to parks, including significant tourism with significant dollar values to the US economy come to national parks for this experience.

    Rules allowing guns would significantly undercut enforcement against poaching, and have a disproportionate impact on the visitor and tourism experience.

  • Artists' Paint Pots Area in Yellowstone National Park Temporarily Closed Due to Thin Surface Crust   6 years 8 weeks ago

    Definitely. I was on the West Thumb overlook trail 15 years ago, and the thermals were coming through the established trail. We thought it was quite exciting, and we found and told a ranger who basically laughed us off - not sure why because the ranger was giving an interpretive program talking about how quickly thermals change. I wonder if there was some evidence of this beforehand and was it reported. Maybe, maybe not - I wouldn't raise the speculation if not for my own personal experience.

    Yellowstone is dangerous; in backcountry, you don't always have ways over thermal run off areas that you have to cross. You just don't know what will happen. I think that's part of what makes it so exciting; you are in a forest - not everything seems scenic, and then holy @#$%, where's that steam coming from?

    It's like when I see pictures of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - it sure is beautiful, but when you are in the canyon, hiking in it, you realize just how alive the canyon is with some of the strangest things you'll ever see or hear or smell. I love it!

    I am glad to see the person was so burned has at least been released from the hospital and am sorry that happened - perhaps, it would do us good to warn people who go to Yellowstone that this possibility is about as dangerous as anything else that might befall you when out and about in the park.

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

  • Research Indicates Annual Precipitation Might Control Yellowstone National Park's Geysers   6 years 8 weeks ago

    You say that geysers spout hot water, but we were once lucky enough to be totally showered by the Beehive Geyser, near Old Faithful. The water was cold. Apparently, the water that sits on top of the thermal source does not get heated by it.