Recent comments

  • Park History: National Parks Built Around Caves and Caverns   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Ah, those were the days, Jeremy! I grew up next to Lava Beds, and lava tubes were the first caves I ever explored. Did you know that Lava Beds National Monument has the highest concentration of lava tubes in North America? The great thing about these caves is that most of them are wild, free of development, and the ones that have been developed don't seem excessively so (like having an elevator or bathroom inside a cave like at Carlsbad Caverns). Additionally, these caves are far safer to explore and more resistant to impact (for the most part) than limestone caves and caves with standing/running water. If you haven't been, go. It's remote, but well worth the trip!

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    O.K....whatever, but you still didn't answer the question. Here, I'll slightly re-phrase it:

    In your opinion, has every government this country has had since at least 1913 been corrupt and run by a pack of "Thieving thugs?"

    Geez, if what you say is true, you'd sure think that a country as great as ours would have had at least one single Congress in those 97 some years decent enough to abolish that illegal 16th Amendment, now wouldn't you?

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    A great country yes! I agree.

    Love of country is NOT love of government.

    "The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights."------H.L. Mencken

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    O.K., I'm getting sucked onto a tangent of which I really have little interest, but I would appreciate a simple clarification from Beamis who says,

    'The fact that the U.S. government is run by thieving thugs who subvert the Constitution on a regular basis is not news."

    That's some statement, Sir/Ma'am, especially when you call it a "Fact." If I follow your logic (?), it appears you are saying that every congress and administration this country has had, at least since 1913, has been corrupt. That would have to be the case according to your POV, since the 16th Amendment became law in that year (Illegally, according to you). If this is indeed the way you think, I would suggest to you that you have a very unfortunate view of the greatest country the world has ever known. Again, just my opinion and I'm new around here.

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Just to be clear: a Constitutional Amendment cannot be passed by Congress. It must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of all the state legislatures across the Republic. That is not my opinion but what is actually written in the Constitution.

    The dimly remembered Equal Rights Amendment failed back in the 1980's because it was put up for a vote by the 50 legislatures of the U.S. and was not ratified because it failed to get the needed majority. That's how the amendment process works RainyRoads, contrary to your opinion or what the government says is legal and binding as the law of the land.

    The fact that the U.S. government is run by thieving thugs who subvert the Constitution on a regular basis is not news. Calling what is clearly enunciated in this now largely ignored document an opinion does not change the nature of the crime or the criminals.

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Reality check:

    Those "Few" boaters to which Lone Hiker makes mention actually number in the neighborhood of about 2 million per year. Also, the funding for this project is scheduled to come from a fund collected "Off the top" from Aramark Corp. and represent a percentage of the concessionaire's profits derived from private business activities on and around the lake. In essence, those who use the lake are those who will be paying for the project. What's wrong with that? They have nothing whatsoever to do with Iraq, Afganistan, or any other conflict around the world and would not be increased in the slightest if any of those conflicts were to end tomorrow.

    Let's keep it real, folks.

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    We're sorry to interrupt this debate for the following news update:

    "Wars" on ideologies are never won.

    And are ALWAYS lost. And there never was, or is now, just cause to spend billions of US taxpayer dollars, that could and SHOULD be spent improving our domestic issues, of which there are many, on a "war" that has and had no real point since it's inception. The REAL "war on terror" should have been fought in the mountains of the Pakistan / Afghan region, against an alleged "identified" threat, not in the deserts of Iraq against an idiot and his regime who were then and even lesser now a threat against this country and it's citizens. End that pointless conflict, and you can have all the monies you desire for improving the convenience of a few boaters in Lake Powell. Maybe mandatory boating safety classes and enforcement of boating regulations, along with making consumption of alcohol on US waterways illegal, would be a better usage of everyone's time and funding than additional digging, if the area is as hazardous as many posters have claimed.

    The independent voice of political conscience reason is dead in this country. REVIVE IT NOW!

    Now, back to the previously scheduled programming.........

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Just a slight clarification; The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is NOT a "Park." It is a "Recreation area," and as such it is run under a very different set of rules. Some will disagree with those rules and others will call for a change to the status of "Park." The most extreme will even lobby for complete restoration to its pre-dam state, but for now, it remains a "Recreation area" and as such it is administered for the recreation and enjoyment of the general public, not according to a biased agenda of a small minority.

  • Does Hiking Yosemite National Park's Half Dome Still Present a Wilderness Experience?   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Simply put, NO.

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Conversations are fluid, and I have merely responded to certain elements from other commentors' writing. Conversations, like rivers, meander--but all is ultimately related. As for politics: As long as the NPS is controlled, affected, influnenced, framed by politics, then there are bound to be political discussions on this blog. As for being off topic: If you think I'm off topic, simply ignore my comments--rather than responding to them--and read the topics you find most relevant. Please don't try to control the various threads of the fluid conversation. As for my take on Glenn Canyon, if you read my earlier comments, you'll see that I support restoring the canyon which makes the cut unnecesary.

    My many thanks to the NPT editors for providing a place for fluid, rambling, interesting discussion on issues affecting national parks. There's no other place on the web quite like it.

    PS
    "Wars" on ideologies are never won.

  • Park History: National Parks Built Around Caves and Caverns   6 years 22 weeks ago

    There's one more important cave park to be aware of -- Lava Beds National Monument (one of the 'other park units in ... California', mentioned above by Dr. Janiskee). Spelunking is probably the #1 visitor activity in this park. The caves are all lava tubes (like those in Hawaii). There are a few highly visited caves, but a majority of the 300+ caves are in the park's wilderness area. Many of the caves don't appear on maps, but if you talk with a ranger, they can really help guide you find some neat places that are pretty remote. Exploring these caves couldn't be more fun. I used to work in Lava Beds, as did one of this site's frequent commenters, Frank.

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Frank,
    Abortion is not in the constitution but it is a political, judicial and medical reality across the land. I am pro-choice BTW, just using this issue as an example of the error in your logic of a literal read of the U.S. Constitution.

    Beamis,
    Even if there is some legal or constitutional procedural ambiguity about the constitutional reality regarding income taxes, doesn't make it any less real. Every pay day a host of governmental entities take their share of my income.

    All,
    Now back on the topic at hand, the latest buzz is that GCNRA will use funds set aside for park upkeep and maintenance, and the CRC project in my opinion falls under this category. Like I've said before, its a win-win proposal for all parties. Everyone should be writing to the NPS during the public input and urging the NPS to save money by waiving this whole absurd EA process.. Let the bull dozers roll!

    Castle Rock Cut in 2008!
    -rich
    San Diego, CA

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LakePowellFishCampBoat/

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    "Just to be clear" what Beamis says is not really true. A number of people (Most notably a Mr. Bill Benson) have challenged the validity of the process that took place adding the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. It was however ratified by Congress and as such it remains "The law of the land" until such time as it is removed via the normal legal process. That has not happened and simply because someone or some partisan group says it isn't legal and binding, that doesn't make it true. Definitely NOT so "Pure and simple," rather more like an "Opinion."

    Now...can we get back to the topic at hand? That would be the deepening of the Castle Rock Cut on Lake Powell. While some may find discussions on Constitutional law interesting, there are many places on the web to conduct them. This, IMO would not necessarily be one of them. Just my opinion and, being a newbie, I don't want to upset anyone, but I am a frequent user of the Glen Canyon Recreational Area and Lake Powell, so the stated topic is important to me. Thanks!

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Just to be clear the 16th Amendment was never ratified by the required state legislatures, so it is an invalid law. It is theft pure and simple.

  • Park History: How Volcanics Sculpted Parts of the National Park System   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Here's a stretch. Did you know there's evidence of volcanic activity in South Florida's Biscayne National Park? In this land of limestone, you can find pumice on the oceanside shoreline of Elliott Key. Amidst the piles of other marine debris (both natural and unnatural), this floating volcanic rock likely came from Caribbean volcanoes which have erupted over the past several decades.

  • Park History: National Parks Built Around Caves and Caverns   6 years 22 weeks ago

    When the Lehman Caves complex lost its stand-alone status as a national park in 1986, becoming just one of the many attractions of the new Great Basin National Park, many park advocates feared that these magnificent caverns would henceforth get far less publicity than they deserve. That is exactly what has happened. As Bill Bendix's Chester A. Riley would have said: "What a revoltin' development!"

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Frank:

    I'm new to this site. I discovered it just a few days ago. I did not understand it to be a political forum however. Do you have a position on the proposed Castle Rock Cut at Lake Powell, or do you have some other drum to beat?

    Pete K.

  • EPA's Perplexing Position On Snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park   6 years 22 weeks ago

    In my work environment - I'm in a job where we send reviews of state education standards to the states - we generally don't send reviews that are as detailed the second time around as the first time around, deferring to earlier reports. Generally, the final review is in the form of a short letter, much like the short letter we see here from EPA to NPS. However, this last letter often carries more political punch to it than the previous review - because: 1) it's final; 2) high level policy makers are more likely to read it. (That is part of the reason the letter is so brief).

    I have a hunch that NPS won't receive this letter from EPA very well and that EPA meant it to be damning, but couched in the polite prose typical of such letters. When we are critical, we still always, always, always acknowledge what the state has done well and the ways it has responded positively to what we've previously stated. However, inevitably, states will always be focused on anything that's negative. Here, the bottom line is that EPA is not happy. This is very harsh, almost snide language.

    Behind the scenes of this, there was no doubt some communication. If this is the final letter that's been produced, then NPS can't possibly be happy with it. It's too late for EPA to make adjustments to it. That means we're looking at some hardball and the basis for yet another lawsuit (unless NPS makes more changes that it doesn't want to make).

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

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Frank,

    In all fairness to the writer, the word "War," as used above and in the expression, "War on terror," is a metaphor similar to "War on Drugs," War on drunk driving," etc. As such, it is commonly used to describe struggles against many things not requiring congressional approval. It was used extensively in the 50's through the 80's by both parties in the "War on Communism" and the ever-popular "Cold war."

    As for the Income Tax, the U.S. government has been collecting income taxes since 1862 when Congress enacted the nation's first income tax law to support the Civil War.
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005921.html

    The Constitution does indeed give the right to tax income and has done so since the 16th Amendment of 1913:

    Amendment 16 - Status of Income Tax Clarified. Ratified 2/3/1913

    "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

    But regardless of any of that, What are your feelings about the NPS plan to deepen a small shortcut between Wahweap Bay and the rest of Lake Powell? That is the topic, I believe.

  • Park History: National Parks Built Around Caves and Caverns   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Lehman Caves National Monument was folded into Great Basin National Park when that unit was created back in the eighties. Consequently most people aren't aware of this wonderful attraction tucked away in the Nevada outback.

    The next time you take a random scoot out on U.S. 50 I recommend y'all stop in for a spell; it's just past the saloon in Baker, NV.

  • Yellowstone Bison Population Healthy; Montana Priming For Hunts   6 years 22 weeks ago

    S.M.,

    Or, we also increase the range and not put arbitrary political boundaries (park borders, land rights, etc.) in their way. Human predation was no doubt a control on bison populations (especially, before large Euroamerican settlement in the 17th century killed off many indigenous peoples - which led to a rapid increase in bison numbers over the following two centuries before the mass slaughters of the 19th century). Yet, it wasn't human predation aided by arbitrary boundaries rationalized by an anthropocentric view of the world. Remove the boundaries, allow bison range to expand, and then humans and buffalo might be able to live out some sort of predator v. prey relationship.

    Buffalo were always a marginal part of the Yellowstone ecosystem; the growth of numbers of buffalo in Yellowstone and the subsequent years of slaughter and regeneration to higher and higher number (before another harvest) tell me that the rationale driving the 19th century view has not changed and that the assault on buffalo and the land continues. They need to be able to expand their range outside of Yellowstone. Let's hope that the sale of the Mumms land outside of W. Yellowstone to people who are now wanting the land to be a haven for the bison (and are trying to forbid the state government from bison control measures there - though the state insists on the right; quite the twist on the property rights debate, eh?) are able to allow the buffalo to have another foothold.

    Radical views like the ones I'm putting forward help explain why the Montana Department of Livestock goes after bison; they recognize that an expanded range threatens the livestock industry if not now, over time. And, to that, I say good riddance. That is another imposition on land and animals that goes well beyond the human desire to eat, even to eat meat. But, that's for another time.

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

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 22 weeks ago

    My principal was the Grandfather of this tragedy and left the school to go to Arizona for the funeral an dgrieve with his family for two weeks it stunk.

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Lover,
    Read the Constitution and you'll find that only Congress can declare war, and war can only be declared on another country, not an idea or an -ism. Read further and you'll find that the power to take money directly from people's paycheck is nowhere in the Constitution.

  • Glen Canyon NRA Officials Thinking Of Digging For Water   6 years 22 weeks ago

    Hotwheels,
    Well said. I forgot to mention that point, boating at Lake Powell opens up GCNRA in so many ways. The bottom line is that getting the CRC open to navigation (assuming that Mother Nature will not cooperate next year) does greatly enhance the Lake Powell experience.

    Frank,
    I'm sorry but our Government does not work that way. We are all in this together, our system of taxation does not allow individuals to "opt" out of funding for things they don't like. We have a representative system, we have delegated that power collectively to our Congressional representatives. It is up to them to provide for the stewardship of the park system and provide the funding to support our troops in the field until victory is achieved in the War on Terror.

    ALL,
    Playing Devil's Advocate, although I do support opening up the CRC, I can think of a good reason why some people who boat on Lake Powell would be opposed to this project. I assume the GCNRA budget is constant and any funds allocated to deepen the CRC will mean that some park projects will not be completed or commenced. Therefore, uplakers (boaters out of Bullfrog, Halls Crossing or Hite) may get short changed and some of their pet projects will be put on hold for lack of funding. Since I assume this will be a zero sum game and the NPS won't throw additional dollars into GCNRA to execute the CRC project. I do feel uncomfortable with this situation and it is a shame. However, since close to two-thirds of the GCNRA visitors enter from down-lake, I guess that is the way the cookie crumbles. Sorry folks.

    Castle Rock Cut in 2008!
    -rich
    San Diego, CA

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LakePowellFishCampBoat/

  • Yellowstone Bison Population Healthy; Montana Priming For Hunts   6 years 22 weeks ago

    It's fairly simple: since we limited their range and removed the top predators (Indians, mostly, but also grizzlies and wolves) the number of Yellowstone bison will exceed the cold-season capacity of their range unless some are removed. As the local wolves recover they should make some impact, but wolves are really a little small to take full-grown buffalo. Deer and elk are more their size.

    At no time in the last 15,000 years or more have the bison in that area not been hunted, killed and eaten by human beings. We're top predators too; it's What We Do. Before human beings arrived, there were lions and sabertooth; the paleo-Indians probably put paid to them by killing off their preferred prey species.

    So unless you'd like to introduce and acclimatize Siberian tigers (which would be a cool idea, actually), it's human-as-predators or starvation for the surplus bison.