Recent comments

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    "These places are our escape from machines."

    How do you explain the thousands of miles of roads, built in some of the most inaccessible areas of the U.S., by the NPS over the last century? The agency is well known as one of the great road builders of all time.

    Rangetoo you're living in a fantasy world if you think machines aren't part and parcel of the legacy of the National Park Service. Without machines there would be no national parks my friend.

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Cape Hatteras National Recreation Area was founded with the explicit statement that access would remain open for recreational activities. Fishing is stated specifically as a recreational activity. It is also stated that areas particularly suitable for such activities will be open.

    There is not a more a suitable area for fishing than "the point".

    Closing access is a clear violation of the founding legislation.

    There is no argument about that. Go read the founding legislation if you don't believe me.

    Cape Hatteras National Recreation Area exists for use by people, not for the birds.

  • Delaware Can Relax; The New National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Series Will Celebrate “National Sites” Too   6 years 9 weeks ago

    This is great -- my kids love the 50 states quarter series. However, if they use National Parks and Monuments on the quarter, they should be required to use (or at least include) the original Native American name (ex: Devils Tower = Bear Lodge). Or Nebraska's monumental claim to fame... Chimney Rock...

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Wait, that was sarcasm. Motor vehicles have no place on any beach and no place in the natural lands of national parks. These places are our escape from machines. What does this have to do with Marxism? Marxism is a system of socialism of which the dominant feature is public ownership of the means of production. Are national parks producing some commodity?

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    How To Put Pictures In Comments

    To display a picture in these comments, the image must have its own link on the web, not be embedded in a page (theoretically, you might, but it's another trick..). In the case of SamsDad's pictures, the photo-host shows the final full-size image by itself: in other cases the final picture may be embedded in a page with other stuff. You could use this photo-host's link-URL for the picture (in this case), but it's better not to for 3 reasons.

    1. The picture is too big. It will overwhelm the page, 'break' it, and if we add too many, make it slow to download.
    2. Some hosts might object to this 'hot-linking', where we snag the picture off their server and show it on our site, without them being in on any of the action. Others don't care.
    3. Very often, we will want to resize the image, or make a thumbnail of it (which then links to the big picture, which shows by itself & doesn't overload our article-page). We then have a new picture which we have to put somewhere so it has it's own URL. Normally, this will be on our own website ... or back up on the photo-host.

    I have a regular website of my own, and I also have a modest hosting-allowance with my ISP: many of you will have similar privileges with your ISP. It's extremely handy and worth learning how to use.

    So I snagged SamsDad's picture off his photo-host, reduced it in size, and uploaded it (FTP - 'FileZilla') to my dinky little ISP website.

    If you're not ready to do your own website & FTP right now, then stick with a nice photo-host who displays images "raw", like SamsDad's, but first reduce a copy of the picture to an appropriate size for the room in the comments (remember some folks have small screens...), and also reduce the compression-ratio or 'quality' of the pic, to make the file-size smaller. Then, upload the new, smaller copy of the pic back up onto your photo-host. Now you can hot-link to the comment-pic. (A host that shows pics 'raw' like this, probably knows you want to do hot-linking like that...)

    OK - the pic is parked on the web with its own URL. Now you can do the special little comment-trick to make it show up. Here it is:

    That's a picture of the code-trick, because the code won't show up in the comment. Replace the bogus link with the link for your pic. Make sure the square brackets & slash & img parts remain as shown, and your pic comes up in the comment.

    Kurt has links right above the Preview & Post buttons for the comment-box to a page here on the Traveler that explains all the magic code-tricks you can do in post-comments, including the picture-code.

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I agree about the photo being Cape point ( I took it), but do you really believe that those picture both by the SELC and the Islandfreepress are typical? I am only guessing that you have had minimal contact with those areas. I have been to or by both of those locations and all major holidays (except 2008) for the past 8 years minimum. I have yet to see it that crowded more than maybe twice a year. Now what I want you Anti Beach Access Enviros to do is simply count of the number of vehicles in the SELC photo and the multiply that number by $500.00 (Conservative) per vehicle or you could use my average per trip at 1,000.00 per trip and now pull that from the local economy along with multiplying this by two because Cape Point has roughly the same traffic. OOPS I have seen how enviros do math and I guess as a beach loving fanatic I will have to redo your work anyway. After you have completed this divide that by 2 and now you have the cost per bird due to the consent decree. I am guessing you Enviros pay taxes? If so you will fund the next bridge, and rebuild the island after the next hurricane as the Tourist dollars for people who want to go to the beach will be dried up soon if we close the beaches.

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    The photo above is Cape Point, not Oregon Inlet, as shown in the SELC photo. They are not the same thing. Also, the above photo of Cape Point can be compared to the Island Free Press photos of Cape point, as shown in a different post above. In my experience, the Island Free Press photos are much more representative of what happens at Cape Point. This is a shortened link, for convenience:

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Rangertoo, Bless you! Until a reliable replacement is found and implemented, the internal combustion engine is the technology we have. Period. I'm all for an engine that runs on anything else, but as of today it only exists in either science fiction or some yet undiscovered inventor's workshop. The extremists would have us all go back to the pre-steam era, and operate solely under wind or human/animal power. I've often heard it stated that one volcanic eruption roughly the same size as Mt. St. Helens puts more hydrocarbons into the atmosphere that mankind has in its entire existence.

    You are indeed correct that beach driving leaves no permanent marks. A windy overnight will totally erase all tire tracks from the previous day, as do tidal cycles, within their reach. The same can be said for snow and dirt. No permament impact. Extremists would have everyone believe that all motorized access proponents are drunken fools that go around ripping apart the environment, harassing, chasing down and killing animals. While that is indeed true of a percentage of ANY group of humans, it is generally the exception rather than the rule. Most people want to preserve the area they enter, so they and their families can come again and again for generations. Also, how can the young, aged, and infirm access remote areas? Not everyone in this country is in great heath and 22 years old.

    These same naysayers would also tell us that we are too uneducated in environmental issues, and should therefore be excluded from entering, lest we reap destruction in all directions due to our blatant ignorance. That, my friends, is thinly-veiled Marxism.

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I have no issue at all. I will ask though how did you get the picture in there? Thanks for your support.

  • Grand Canyon National Park "Short Haul" Operations   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Very happy to hear that all the stranded rafters were rescued safely. I was on the trip with Western River Expeditions with a group of 28 people from Hawaii on the same date and time. We noticed there rafts were tied up at the gorge of Havasu Creek. Because of the recent storm we were concerned about a flash flood in the narrow gorge that they were hiking in. That evening as we made camp about a mile and a half down stream from were they were we noticed one of there rafts coming down stream with nobody in it. Our trip leaders, Ben and John, made a quick rescue of the raft and tied it on shore. With in minutes we noticed the other 4 rafts with nobody on them. Our leaders tried to rescue those rafts but were unable to because of the fast moving river. Ben immediately got on the satellite phone that he had for emergencies and contacted the park service of our sighting. They informed Ben that they would start a rescue operation in the morning from on top of the canyon. Our main concern was the stranded group getting caught in the narrow gorge by a flash flood.

    We were very fortunate, as were the stranded group, to be with WESTERN RIVER EXPEDITIONS and a very experienced and seasoned group of leaders in Ben, John, Jeremy and Aaron.

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago


    I am taking the liberty of posting one your pictures of the Cape here. If you rather I not, let me know and I will remove it/replace it. Waiting your permission, I'd also like to use your 2 images in my page with the distorted SELC image.

    Cape Point, Cape Hatteras Nat'l Seashore - Labor Day weekend, 2007

    (photo reduced in size, but vertical & horizontal proportions retained)

    Thank you, SamsDad!

    Ted Clayton

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    The same arguments regarding the "need" to access a beach by vehicle because it is too far to walk could be used to justify roads in any park. About time! Some parts of the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Death Valley are a long way from a road. We need a road into the Grand Canyon and I think the Bright Angel Train can be reasonably widened and opened to ORVs. In fact, motorcycles and ATVs can fit now - open it up! Why do we restrict snowmobiles to roads in the winter? It's all snow anyway and they won't leave any permanent tracks (just like beach driving). Open all areas of snow-covered park lands to snowmobiles, the inpact isn't permanent so what difference will it make. The SUV is what makes America great - we have to stop the tyranny of the able bodied youth from shutting off access to our parks just because they have a snooty prejudice against engines.

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I ca't get enough of Arches - since childhood over 50 years ago - and it personally offends me to see people scurry up the Double Arch area as if by climbing these landmarks they nhave somehow mastered arrogant and impolite to our Mother.

  • Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Working to Rescue Stranded Colorado River Rafters   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I've got a request in for a list of the 16 stranded rafters, but haven't heard back yet. Not sure if a larger list of all those on the river will be available, but I'll inquire.

  • Grand Canyon National Park Rangers Working to Rescue Stranded Colorado River Rafters   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Where will a list of all registered river trips - companies and private - be listed so verification can be made that all have been located and/or rescued?

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    A picture taken on the Memorial Day/4th of July/Labor Day holidays ANYWHERE will show maximum human density. To say that the SELC photo taken was of an average day would be an outright falsehood. The picture is clearly out of scale, with the vehicles too tall for their width. Intentional or not, it is what it is. Many folks have seen said picture and believed it to be an every day occurence. We must tell them that the other picture offered is more typical.

    However, half-truths and convenient science have been used throughout this issue by the Eco groups to achieve their own ends. Many journalists with well known newspapers have taken the SELC spin at face value and published it as fact without backchecking their data. This is shown in an article from the "Fayetteville (NC) Obsever" and a subsequent rebuttal by US Senator Elizabeth Dole. Link below.

    Original Article:

    Senator Dole's Rebuttal:

    Makes you wonder what is really going on, doesn't it? The truth generally lies somewhere in the middle of every issue, but in this case the truth is being railroaded by a LARGE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP, namely the Audobon Society.

    A "Reg-Neg", (Regulation Negotiation), group is meeting several times yearly to hammer out the details of the "Permanent" ORV plan, which will replace both the now defunct "Interim" plan and the Consent decree, now in place. The SELC, DOW, and AS are all present at these functions, as well as Dare County officials, business owners, etc. They have a meeting coming up in a couple of weeks, and the wishes of all parties were recently published in the "Island Free Press". See link below:

    When all this began, in the days before the Consent Decree, the Eco groups said that they "Only wanted to be fair, and only wanted to SHARE the beach AND help widlife flourish". Well, the mask has come off, and their true intentions are now plainly visible. Note how they want YEAR ROUND closures to some of the most popular family oriented beaches on Hatteras Island, those being the "South Beach" areas.

    Look at how the Dare County/ORV folks want a flexible, movable closure scheme that would allow for the transient nature of nesting as well as storm damage to nests, predation, etc. The SELC wants a private bird sanctuary. Period. They already have that in Pea Island NWR just a few miles up the road. Apparently, that is not good enough for them.

    NPS reports show that the South Beach area produces very few bird nests. See link to report below.

    How can these numbers support TOTAL, YEAR-ROUND BEACH CLOSURES? This data clearly shows that closing the beaches in the name of the birds is not what's going on here. There's a saying amongst us that frequent the area and are up on what's going on on BOTH sides: "It's NOT about the Birds!"

    The bottom line is, a "Special Interest Group", (Yes, that is what the AS/DOW/SELC conglomerate truly is, although they desperately try to distance themselves from this monicker), is directing a NATIONAL PARK, costing we taxpayes MILLIONS of dollars. Where would the monies come from to create additional parking, more dune overwalks, etc., as per their vision? Why, the localities that are losing revenue due to beach closures, of course! The Eco groups only open their coffers when suing the taxpayes. The NPS rangers have now added body armor, sidearms, tasers, and pepper spray to their uniforms. They used to dress like the "Crocodile Hunter". Now they look like a US Marine on patrol in Iraq, sans helmet. Who paid for all this hardware? You and I. Do they expect to be attacked? Apparently so. Rangers, on and individual basis, aren't that pleased with their new status either. Just ask one!

    Sure, the basis to the lawsuit that created the Consent Decree is legally sound. The DOI and the NPS BOTH dropped the ball on creating a viable plan for 30 years, and the citizens of America are suffering becasue of it. Is there a need for better management of both ORV access and species protection? Absolutely. Do we dare allow such a dangerous precident to stand unapposed? Assuredly not. If the citizens of this country had not protested LOUDLY, would a Congressional bill seeking to change this situation appeared on its own? Said bill has congressional co-sponsors from Virginia to Hawaii, but yet the DOI does not support it, showing their lack of caring for the human species right to access. This in itself should call for a look at overhauling the DOI/NPS relationship, as has been suggested previously on this website.

    My heartfelt thanks to Kurt Repanshek for offering up an objective look at this astoundingly beautiful part of the world. To have the human species removed from it entirely would be a travesty.

  • Will Second Century Commission Succeed With Its National Parks Assessment and Recommendations?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Rick, I appreciate your reply and base some of my statements on what I hear from my friends who are still employed in the agency and are now in the ranks of mid to upper management. Many of them tell me that they wish the NPS would get back to the basics of what it means to be a ranger instead of straying off in pursuit of the latest fad or WASO generated initiative.

    In the case of one ranger friend it means having a staff that is actually knowledgeable and conversant about the resource entrusted to its care. The unit where this person works has a staff that is not as well versed in the natural history of the park as it should be and tend to view it more or less as a stopover point on the career ladder with which to snag a management position and then move on to greener pastures in a more glamorous western park or preserve.

    Trying to improve the situation has been an uphill struggle and somewhat damaging to their career as they have been rebuffed more than once by upper management due to the perceived irrelevance resource knowledge has in pursuing the latest and greatest bold new initiative handed down from WASO such as podcasting and laughable claptrap like the "Interpretive Renaissance".

    Luckily for the American people this particular person loves the park in question and is more interested in learning further about it and finding better ways of protecting it than moving around the country in pursuit of a position description to place on an SF-171.

    I agree that this has been a good thread and I hope some of the commission members have been reading NPT in preparation for their upcoming task. Kurt should be the chair. All in favor say aye!

  • Toyota's Donation to Yellowstone National Park: Corporate Greenwashing, or Good Partner?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Riches in Yellowstone amount to plowing buffalo off the northern road in the winter, grooming the other roads for snowmobiles and snowcoaches (the rich rubbing the backs of the rich), and a budget to slaughter and haze bison, build overly large visitor's centers (now called education centers) - so if it were up to me, I would be glad to give the money and cars away. But, alas ...

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

  • What's the Solution For Cape Hatteras National Seashore?   6 years 9 weeks ago (copy and paste to the browser you choose)

    The above pictures (taken at 3:30pm 8/31/2007 on the with the same point in the background as the SELC) combined with the un-doctoring by Ted Clayton above clearly refute the SELC photo as both a doctored photo and an irregular occurance. This was Labor day weekend in 2007 without a consent decree in place. For all of those who care to comment without ever having set a foot in the sands of this paradise please shut up. I traveled out to the point that day around several bird closures as I have for several years. These species have been protected by both the NPS and the persons who enjoy these beaches. Please also note my son in the photos above is an prime example of what you will see if you ever get the courage to visit. Calling him crass and obnoxious is why I will repeat "YOU WILL NEVER WIN THIS BATTLE" because we fight for these memories and you fight for a few birds that really have not the sense to use the areas given to them already. PS I know Mr Pitt personally and he did not doctor his photo, but he did include it to show that the entire seashore (and the facts) are not what the SELC wants you to believe.

  • Toyota's Donation to Yellowstone National Park: Corporate Greenwashing, or Good Partner?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I see no problem with the dontation. What concerns me, and as I have written about here before, is this is yet another example of the have and have-not park system that is developing. Yellowstone has the largest budget of any park (but not the most visitors). Plus, it takes in millions more from fees. There are many, many parks that are struggling with tight budgets that would love to have somone donate cars to them. But, the rich and famous get the attention. When it comes to national parks, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  • Is It Time to Overhaul the National Park Service and the National Park System?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    No one has suggested that these areas be "sacrificed", just that maybe the rangers would be wearing different uniforms and driving different colored trucks.

    The Kissimmee Prairie State Preserve (50,000 acres) is the last remaining piece of undeveloped natural Florida prairie left on the peninsula and is considered to be of great national significance by scientists and preservationists all across the fruited plain. I'm happy to report that after a recent visit to the Kissimmee Prairie it is doing just fine as a unit of the Florida State Park system. The rangers were knowledgeable, the campground was clean and the trails were well marked and free of litter. Florida was treating its national treasure quite well.

    Monticello, Jefferson's home in Charlottesville, is certainly one of the most important historical homes in the U.S. and is doing just fine outside of the purview of the NPS, as is Mount Vernon and the Hermitage.

    Just because something is important doesn't necessarily mean that it has to be subjected to federal control. In fact the places I've mentioned are much better off without the politics, budget shortfalls and institutional neglect that is inherent in a massive federal bureaucracy. It would be a sad day indeed if any of the places I've mentioned above were to come under the administration of the Department of the Interior.

    Americans are quite capable of successfully administering nationally significant areas without the involvement of Washington, DC. I'm quite sure that most of my fellow citizens would agree.

  • Collapse of "Wall Arch" Proves Gravity Does Work at Arches National Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    We stayed in the Devil's Campground the night of the collapse. During the night I thought I heard thunder. But it never happened again. Then early that morning, my family and I hiked the Devils Garden Trail (in 107 degree heat!) and came upon the collapsed Wall Arch. At this point in the morning, park rangers were only just being alerted to the collapse. We took lots of pictures and continued to view the rest of the arches on that trail. Amazing!!! Arches is my favorite NP. So Far....!!!!!

  • Black Bear Attacks Child at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Unfortunately these things tend to happen. What i'd like to know is, where were the parents when this happened?

    Myself, my fiancee and our 5 year old daughter stayed at Leconte Lodge and hiked it via the Alum Cave Trail on July 31st. We never let our daughter out of our site, because nature, although beautiful is very dangerous. I'm just glad the boy didn't suffer severe injuries.

    "Remember, if you carry it in, carry it out"

  • Is It Time to Overhaul the National Park Service and the National Park System?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Canaveral National Seashore encompasses more than 57,000 acres. It is a rare undeveloped stretch of Atlantic Coast and one of the only protected remnants of an ecoregion that WWF considers to be "critical/endangered." Only by ignoring Canaveral NS's enormous ecological importance could one claim that it does not have national significance or doesn't seem to amount to much. This area (and De Soto and Castillo de San Marcos, which have also been suggested for sacrifice) deserves to be in the National Park System and should stay there.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    To introduce a few things about myself, i have been backpacking, rock climbing, ice climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and road biking for the majority of my life. Everywhere from Yosemite to Chennai (formally Madras in India). I love tossing on my pack and walking off into the woods for a week or two as often as possible. I do not own a Segway, but would if i could afford one, not because i am lazy, fat or our of shape. but because they are simple a different way to enjoy your surroundings as well as something to be enjoyed all on its own. i have spent some time riding them around. Bob pointed out many truths about the segway.

    the average speed of a mountain biker on single track is 12 mile per hour, and they go much faster when their path is more than a foot and a half wide. segways max speed is 12 mph. a segway also does not take up any more ground space then a person standing (by design). My Jamis takes up a fair bit more.

    What is most important here is people being able to experience the parks the way they choose too, so long as they are not destroying the parks. which i see no way a segway destroys the park any more than a person on foot or a bike. The inventer of the segway Dean Kamen invented the segway not get rid of walking. He made it so people who get in their cars to drive 2 miles would have some other solution that isnt a bike. after all bikes have been around over a hundred years yet hundreds of millions of people still get in their cars and drive 2 miles to do what ever, the segway offers two new things for national parks.

    A new way to experience the parks, which means possibly seeing more encouraging people to come back and explore the great outdoors even further.

    it also gives people a new fun and safe means to see the parks that doesnt involve driving a car or motorcycle. the segway is a new solution to get people to stop driving cars where they dont need to be driven, it isnt like those people havent ever seen a bike, or are unaware of the troubles that face the environment today.

    correcting a few things, if a segway hits a person, everyone gets hurt and the segway stops. this isnt a train hitting a house cat. Riding a segway is work, just watch the documentary 10mph, and see how tired that guy is each day. i have been avoiding stereotypes here, but i have never seen an "lardass" riding a segway actually.

    What makes an experience more than anything else are the people. if we are friendly, respectful and enoy of each others company it doesnt matter if someone is jogging or on a bike or a segway, everyone should have a wonderful positive experience. it is when people turn sour toward each other that our experiences at the national parks are ruined.