Recent comments

  • Museum of the National Park Service Will be Built in West Virginia   6 years 24 weeks ago

    Water Witch, I guess I don't see the contradiction. In the case of Fort Hancock, you have the Park Service giving over to a commercial developer publicly owned historic buildings that he plans to transform into for-profit enterprises.

    At Harper's Ferry, not only are no park facilities be turned over to private developers, but conservation easements are being purchased to protect Harpers Ferry National Historical Park from outside development. True, a museum, hotel and conference center are being proposed, but these will be built from the ground up on land outside the national park.

    If there's a contradiction, I suppose it might be, "If a non-profit solution can be achieved on such a scale at Harper's Ferry, why can't a similar one be fashioned at Fort Hancock?"

  • Museum of the National Park Service Will be Built in West Virginia   6 years 24 weeks ago

    This certainly seems like a desirable and ambitious project. Let's hope that the community dialogue doesn't result in delays such as the rehabilitation of Gateway's Fort Hancock has been subjected to. On that subject, I have difficulty resolving NPT's support of the Harpers Ferry project with its opposition to the Fort Hancock rehabilitation. If you compare that proposal, as described in Michael Huber's summary in his 2006 letter to the Asbury Park Press http://www.thefortatsandyhook.net/news.asp?newsID=33 , it's difficult to understand NPT's contrary positions.

  • Museum of the National Park Service Will be Built in West Virginia   6 years 24 weeks ago


    Thanks Kurt, for picking up this story. The National Park Service is the first Agency in the world to attempt to preserve a Nation's legacy of natural and cultural resources. This project will be an attempt to communicate that 100 year long story.

    We are convinced that this project will be very illuminating to the public and beneficial to the entire National Park Service, honoring its history, protecting its significant historical resources, recognizing the NPS organizational heritage, and paying tribute to those who have made "America's Best Idea" a reality.

    "The further backward you look, the further forward you can see", Winston Churchill

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 24 weeks ago

    Thank You "jemo" I hope more skilled hunters like yourself express their discontent with what I also think is just a bear kill and not a hunt.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 24 weeks ago

    I am a hunter and had actually booked a bearhunt in Katami for next year, and opted for the hyped bow and arrow option. Seen this video made me realize that this is no different than those people that kill game in fenced locations. I have canceled my booking and have will file legal actions for false advertisement. This is not a bear hunt, this is a bear kill which is very different.
    To read that there is a clear decline in the beat population is also another reason for canceling.
    I hope the NPS fixes this, or changes the way the bear are accessed.

  • Museum of the National Park Service Will be Built in West Virginia   6 years 24 weeks ago

    Thanks, Kurt. We're very pleased to see a developer working with the Park Service, instead of at cross purposes. We look forward to a community dialog about this proposal.

    Joy Oakes
    Senior Mid-Atlantic Regional Director
    National Parks Conservation Association

  • Camping in Comfort: A Guide to Roughing It With Ease and Style   6 years 24 weeks ago

    "Roughing-it" doesn't have to be rough. It's mostly about your mindset and your expectations.

    All of the most memorable backcountry experiences I've had were not when everything went smoothly, but rather were when there was some excitement that let us discover, gently, that we could be happy and feel even more alive in the face of some adversity.

    A few years ago on one of the mailing lists for the long-distance hikers (I think it was the PCT list) they had a $300 challenge. The idea was to come up with a complete backpacking gear kit that someone could use to hike a significant portion of the trail, keeping their total gear weight under about 10 pounds, and be prepared for 3-season conditions, for under $300. While many of the highest-performance proposals included home-made gear, quite a few people were able to propose kits that were totally off the and met the requirements.

    Perhaps NPT should have a similar contest for car-camping gear?
    ----------
    The WildeBeat "The audio journal about getting into the wilderness"
    Listen to the programs or subscribe to the podcast at...
    www.wildebeat.net

  • Hunting Across the National Park System: Good or Bad?   6 years 24 weeks ago

    Geez Frank, your comments merits at least one good solution to the wildlife population demise in the parks. That's what I like, a clean honest take down of a animal in chase. Now that's pure hunting at it's best, which includes the down trodden and the needy in the meat sharing process. How humble you are in thoughts!

  • Hunting Across the National Park System: Good or Bad?   6 years 24 weeks ago

    Good or bad? How 'bout something in between?

    In parks where deer, elk, and other critters have--due to lack of predation--out grown the ecosystem's carrying capacity, traditional hunting should be allowed. By traditional I mean hunting with primitive weapons like atlatls, spears, and bows, but not of the synthetic, compound variety. This should be done by experts, Native or otherwise, and not Joe-redneck-Schmoe. We could glean valuable data about how the Ancients lived, too. Any meat from such hunts could be donated to homeless shelters and non-profits that help the needy.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 24 weeks ago

    All good points in this discussion. Just to add a bit more substances to the subject from a personal observation viewed today. While heading out to the local Baylands to observe nature in it's fall pattern of bird migration, I couldn't quite get mind off the local golf course ( adjacent to the refuge) which was super busy for Thursday afternoon. The course was pack to the gills with dot comers, business people and old retired farts...most were net working and playing less golf. Very noticeable from the wildlife refuge. It occurred to me while remembering this blog (Kids Detached from Nature) why is this beautiful refuge so empty, when the golf course is so busy, especially when folks are so squirreled up with stress these days. Then I thought of them as hard working parents and wondered about their value system. Is everthing about money and networking, and the most important places to be at the lunch hour....is the golf course? Just a nice walk away, you can commune with nature, and perhaps touch your soul a bit while at the refuge...bear in mind, the refuge was almost void of people. I guess nature takes a back seat to money and it certainly look that way today. Well, in regards to the poor detached kids from nature...I didn't have to look far to see why! I guess the game of golf and making money is far more important then being at the refuge center and learning something about nature, and maybe learn something about yourself in the process, and perhaps teaching your kids something about the web of life...instead of the importance of making a web of money, procuring more frivolous toys and things. So, so meaningless when you have children that can't feel or assimilate with nature today. Such a tragic travesty!

  • Centennial Projects: Mountain Biking in Big Bend National Park   6 years 24 weeks ago

    I am an avid mountain biker and sometimes racer. I am also an avid hiker and life-long advocate for the NPS and wilderness. I have hiked and ridden many Big Bend NP and region trails, and appreciate the arguments on both sides. Final disclosure: last year we wrote in support of the BBNP mountain bike trail proposal.

    I will also admit that I do not know the terrane for the proposed trail around Lone Mountain. Having a trail head near Panther Junction would make management easier, but that should not be the only consideration. Both the trail design and the substrate need to take sustainability into account, especially as this trail will be a test case not just for BBNP but for all NPS units. And like some posters have suggested, this trail needs to emphasize the access to scenery and setting, rather than a thrill ride experience. But like good hiking trails, dealing with the natural terrane is part of the enjoyment, so a flat featureless bike trail would be a let down.

    Now for some general discussion. Bikes have impact on trails, sometimes severe under poor conditions and with poor trail design. But so do feet, human and animal. At worst, it is a matter of degree and time. Just because hikers may take 10 years to wear a trail to the same state that bikers might reach in 3, does that make hikers more noble? If you really want to preserve the environment, then you have to outlaw all access--even hikers. As for existing access, as some above have written, bikes can legally ride the dirt roads in BBNP, including the Ore Road. I have ridden the Ore Road more than once, and while enjoyable, it is not the same as a twisting narrow trail. Imagine hiking the Ore Road instead of the existing trails. And anyone who thinks bikes can access 100's of miles of trails outside the park is just plain wrong. Big Bend Ranch State Park has opened some new trails to bikes that add up to about 10 miles, not counting dirt roads. The Lajitas resort allows access to the area around the airport that hosts another 20-30 miles of trail. And that's it.

    The story is true for much of Texas and the US, and that's why bikers fight for access. I agree that bikes do not belong eerywhere, but we need to agree that some trails can accommodate both walkers and riders. By the way, I have seen far more bikers than hiker working to maintain trails, both in raising funds and in hands-on labor.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 25 weeks ago

    Simple acts like walking or riding a bike to school are also becoming a thing of the past. Kill your TV. Our Christmas season has been so pleasant around our house without cable TV these past 5-6 years. When the kids aren't sure what they want for Christmas and ask mom and dad for ideas, that's a GOOD thing. That means the media giants don't have a stranglehold on them. That means the media superpowers haven't driven a wedge between we the parents and our own kids, and that's a good thing too.

  • Hunting Across the National Park System: Good or Bad?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    1) The Cape shouldn't be stocking the park with non-native species.
    2) The National Park Service should be in the business of species preservation, not destruction.
    3) I don't have any problem with people hunting animals that are not endangered or not at the top of the food chain, but not in a National Park.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 25 weeks ago

    WELL MY KIDS GO CAMPING AND FISHING AND FLOATING "KAYAKING" ABOUT 25 WEEKENDS A YEAR BECAUSE WE TAKE THEM
    AFTER 3 YEARS THEY ARE TIRED OF IT BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS AT THE MALL AND THEY FEEL THEY ARE MISSING OUT ON SOMETHING BUT THEY HAVE SURE MET A LOT OF FRIENDS AT THE RIVER MOST KIDS AT SCHOOL CALL MY 11 YEAR OLD A LIAR ABOUT WHAT SHE DID LAST WEEKEND BUT SHE HAS FLOATED THE BUFFALO AND MULBERRY RIVERS IN ARKANSAS AMONG MANY OTHERS HAS HER OWN KAYAK AND FLY FISHES FOR TROUT AND CAN LIMIT OUT MY SON ALSO DOES THE SAME
    BUT STILL ME AND MY WIFE WILL SAY DO YOU REMEMBER BEING KIDS AND MOM AND DAD WERE AT CAMP AND WE WERE RUNNING AROUND WELL NOT ANYMORE IT'S MOM AND DAD RUNNING AROUND AND THE KIDS SETTING IN CAMP I THINK MOSTLY BECAUSE IT ISN'T THE NORM TO BE CAMPING AND YES WHEN THEY GET HOME THEY IMMEDIATELY TURN ON THE TV'S
    BUT SETTING AROUND A CAMPFIRE WITHOUT TV'S TO DISTRACT EVERYONE FROM REAL COMMUNICATION YOU GET TO KNOW YOUR KIDS WELL AND WHEN YOU GET HOME YOU WILL NOTICE THE TV SEPARATES ALL TO THEIR OWN LIKES AND DIFFERENCES THE TV IS WHAT DESTROYS FAMILY AND I LIKE IT AS WELL AS THE NEXT GUY BUT WE ARE NUMB TO WHAT IT IS DOING TO US WHAT IS YOU KID WATCHING RIGHT NOW AND
    YOU CAN'T BLAME THAT ON GEORGE BUSH OR THE WAR TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    Awwww Shucks.. you take all the fun out of it Kurt.

    But your right. Neither side will probably ever agree so it is pointless to try and impose our own personal veiws on others.

    Agree to disagree and we move on..

    Thanks

  • Hunting Across the National Park System: Good or Bad?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    Jeremy, I have to question your risk assessment skills when you say you'd prefer to startle a bear and not a hunter. ;)

    Hunters (not the famous Katmai Killers! but this does include those carrying compound bows) need to be very aware of their surroundings. I have found that many times the hunters know far more about what is going on in the area with wildlife and terrain than, say, a nature enthusiast/hiker/backpacker because they make less noise, are not talking actively, move much more slowly and do that whole sitting, waiting and watching thing. For those of you non hunters, think about the difference between you hiking and sitting when watching wildlife. And, if you disagree with that, you probably don't see as much wildlife as you could.

    But I agree, NPS lands should not have hunting unless it's always been there, like on some of the Preserves. NPS should, however, be able to use sharp shooters to cull deer herds when they are out of balance with carrying capacity.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    OK folks, in light of the most recent series of give and take, this is where the moderator reluctantly steps in. I'm afraid this thread has deteriorated into a he-said, he-said monologue with some personal attacks tossed in.

    While we certainly appreciate the spirited debate that's gone on the past three weeks, the most recent comments seem to have gone beyond constructive dialogue. While we don't want to completely shut off this discussion, we do ask that you get back on track with substance rather than attacks.

    Comments that are little more than personal attacks will either be edited or deleted.

    The editors.

  • Hunting Across the National Park System: Good or Bad?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    My opinion - hunting should not be permitted in any NPS managed lands. Hunting is not compatible with other forms of park recreation. On a hike, I'd rather startle a bear than startle a hunter. The video and subsequent controversy in Katmai has to do, in part, with the fact that a camera crew was there filming those folks on a bear hunt. The bear people say the video people ruined their experience. I'd offer it was quite the other way around.

    There was quite a lot of controversy a number of years ago when Olympic NP wanted to kill every last mountain goat in the park that was destroying very rare and very fragile high alpine vegetation. The goats had been introduced to the landscape, before the park era, to give hunters something to hunt. Public outcry stopped the goat hunt, and native vegetation now suffers.

    So, to answer your question Kurt, if I were Director, I'd make sure there were no hunters out there killing for the sport of it, but if my land managers told me that park resources were in danger, and the only way to solve the problem would be to thin out a particular animal population, I'd hire a contractor to do it quickly and efficiently - guides with video cameras and compound bows need not apply.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    Justanotherhunter, pay attention or perhaps have someone help you understand what's being written! You just called yourself unintelligent no one else did. I merely asked if you would make an intelligent comment about the issue. I think it's obvious you think it's OK to shoot and kill the bears the way they're being shot and killed on Katmai.. you could have just said that instead of going on with all the dribble you just wrote. Mack I don't beleive Justanother hunter was out there either, but he did get one thing correct and that is the media's power with the public and elected officials. Poor hunter and guid that suposedly was charged by a bear, my God man, their out there shooting the hell out of these animals, what do expect Duuuu!! I'd charge your ass too!!! The tables will turn... they will turn. I think the media is ready and waiting for the criminal charges to be filed so all the guides and their clients lives can be made public around the world. There you have it, Justanother hunter said the bear kill was easier than most. The issue isn't the legality of hunting, bear hunting in Alaska, but the BARBARIC SLAUGHTER bears in this particular region. I support good ethical hunting, just not what's being called bear hunting in this area of Katmai National Pareserve, Katmai National Park.

    Everyone write your local Congressman to protest the October, 1 2009 bear hunt on Katmai National Preserve GMU 9C 703

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    Mack,

    Why is it so hard for you to believe I was there? Or maybe are you just trying to dsicredit my statements because you are worried about the truth hurting your "cause"?

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    No Mack, I'm not lying about being on scene. I was.

    But your referring to something a jury says as gospel.. holly cow man, were talking about 12 people that arent smart enough to get out of jury duty!!!!!!!! Oh.. sorry... dont take that personal..

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    Mr. Anonymous: He used the rifle as a securtiy measure so the animal wouldnt disaapear in the brush but the camera crew got in the way and the guide couldnt take a comfortable shot. He was worried about the anti's getting hurt. They were trying to position themselves for a better view and put themselves in a very dangerous position. The hunter made a perfect shot. After the arrow struck the bear, she took off in the direction of the camera crew and of course we wouldnt want one of them to get hurt.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    justanotherhunter wrote "The video is mostly fake Bob because I was there..."

    I think justanotherhunter is lying about being on scene.

    As they say in jury instructions, if you find any part of the testimony to be false, you must find the entire testimony to be false.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    So Bob, your saying I shouldnt name call so I cant use the terms like : being un-intelligent, or sarcastically remarking about me being the "best rep.", or being "barbaric"? Now you tell me... wont want to make that mistake again.

    And it also sounds like your saying that their is no challenge in this hunt like losing your life to one of these "habituated" animals? So I guess the hunter and guide that were charged by a bear, that would have killed them in a New York second had they not shot it, were just taking the easy way out?
    They didnt show that in the "video" did they? That wouldnt have suckerd people like you into believing this was easy would it? Was it easier than some of the hunts I've been on? Yes. Was it a saunter through the tundra? No.

    Well they did a great job getting their point across didnt they?You guys and gals went for the bait, hook, line and sinker. Of course maybe you wanted to?
    Channel 2 news and the biologists achieved their objective but while they did that they also broke the law. They interfered with a legal hunt. And just because the Capt. said they would not pursue a criminal case doesnt mean the law wasnt broken. It proves to me that the media controls the elected officials. Think of it this way, if you were running for public office like this Capt.s boss, would you want to piss of the media that controls what people see and hear?

    Lone Hiker: Of course this video had "everything" to do with the basis of this debate.

  • Hunting Across the National Park System: Good or Bad?   6 years 25 weeks ago

    The Katmai Bear 'Kill' was unjust and certainly not, a hunt. Those men should be ashamed to call themselves hunters, but, of course, they aren't. Will the same thing happen with the birds? Probably, unless they are in flight. Hunting should be a challenge and a skill. I have a cousin that hunts pheasant with bow and arrow. Once in a while he comes home with a pheasant and sometimes not. But he isn't disappointed because it was challenging and a fair hunt.

    I think any hunting should be a park-by-park decision, depending on the population of wildlife inhabited there. Each park should have their own regulations; who better to know what lives in their park, but the hunting should always be fair. If hunting were allowed across the park system, without knowledge or regard to the wildlife population, certain wildlife species could certainly be depleted.