Recent comments

  • "Hidden Fire" Continues To Burn In Sequoia National Park   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Hmmm? I think Paul was commenting on how fire is good for Sequoias, which it is. They are sensitive mostly to the outside influence of human interference. To truly protect their future survival, allowing a fire to run through them would be very useful. They thrive in burned areas. Anybody here know if the fire is in a grove area or at what elevation it is? Good luck Giants - hope you get some cat faces this year!

  • The 9/11 Anniversary Draws Attention to the Flight 93 National Memorial, an Extraordinary Work in Progress   6 years 13 weeks ago


    Bob, thanks for the links, as well.

    But reading through the links of Park Service support for the memorial design, I must say it is a shame when an NPS superintendent is reduced to having to make such a personal presentation of who she is and what she believes.

    Public servants should never be required to present themselves as personalities or advocates as if they were elected officials, political appointees or celebrities. A project is not "about" the public servant; they are our employees and should simply be implementing public direction through Congress and the Executive.

    Whether the $58 million cost of a project is disproportionate, should be a separate question from the personal beliefs of a public servant. We either need leadership in the Park Service, from the Director of the NPS or the Secretary of the Interior, or perhaps only from the Commission and the families of Fl 93, to defend the project in these terms. This sort of thing should NEVER be the job of a park superintendent. Someone else needs to step up, like the Director.

  • A Section of the Appalachian Trail Designed for Wheelchair Access Opens in Vermont   6 years 13 weeks ago

    My point is that there are plenty of other places where you can build a boardwalk in the woods for people to enjoy. A bridge over or a tunnel under a major highway so hikers don't get run over -- sure... but heaven forbid if someone had to walk in some water in the floodplain. So we're going out of our way to build IN the floodplain now... Ya know, sometimes less is more.

  • At New River Gorge National River, an Iconic Bridge Attracts Suicide Jumpers   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Once on top of that bridge and seeing the beauty that God created how could someone take his own life in vain? That is selfish. No wonder it's a sin in God's eyes.

  • Trigger-happy Man Shoots Another Rustling in the Brush   6 years 13 weeks ago

    seems they only feed you the info they want you to hear, so you can make up your mind without seeing all sides huh.

  • Trigger-happy Man Shoots Another Rustling in the Brush   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Ric, you've almost hit the nail on the head.

    Some want to prohibit concealed carry in national parks because they believe those guns might kill people and wildlife. I'd be all for leaving guns behind if cars were banned from national parks, too. Cars kill far more than guns in these United States (cars claim more than 40,000 human lives a year) and wreak havoc on wildlife (estimated wildlife deaths are in the millions per year--I myself once killed 192 kangaroo rats on an evening drive though Lava Beds). The number of people and animals killed by guns in national park--were they allowed to be carried--would pale in comparison to the bloody carnage caused by driving in national parks. Ultimately it's not the alcohol at fault. It's the cars. Right? Just like it wasn't the alcohol at fault here. It was the .22 rifle. Ban guns, ban cars. However, there is no amendment prohibiting the government from banning cars . . .

  • A Section of the Appalachian Trail Designed for Wheelchair Access Opens in Vermont   6 years 13 weeks ago

    I LOVE the wheel chair accessible parts of the AT. Totally awesome that they made another section, I can't wait to take my parents there. My parents are getting up there in age and my Dad is now offically handicapped. During his younger years, both of my parents hiked every inch of the AT over the course of 3 summers. They loved it an have only happy stories to tell about it. My parents still go camping with my family and I, although not roughing it in tents anymore, and it's awesome to be able to take my Dad to these few places where he can go back on the AT, even in his chair. It sparks lots of memories, funny stories, and family dicussions with all 3 generations of us. Merryland doesn't get it, for those who no longer have the option of hiking due to age, injury, and illness, these few spots are an amazing opportunity to relive a section of their past that they thought was lost forever or for some, an opportunity that they never had the chance to experience. My hat goes off to the Green Mountian Club for a job well done.

  • Trigger-happy Man Shoots Another Rustling in the Brush   6 years 13 weeks ago

    It is not about needing a gun, it is about what one wants and if one wants to carry a gun into a national park, that should be OK. Just because ONE idiot shot something he couldn't see , the rest of us should not be punished for that. Put the idiot away and let the rest of us go on. If, in fact, this is his fifth alcohol related offense then why is he free anyway?

  • "Hidden Fire" Continues To Burn In Sequoia National Park   6 years 13 weeks ago

    I agree with paul. The trees are very sensitive to outside interference and fires are a big hazard.

    We need to protect these national treasures.

  • The Wild Side of Yellowstone National Park   6 years 13 weeks ago

    I recently travelled to Southern California and visited the largest tree in the world at Sequoia national park. It was a blast. I got inspiration from your blog on national parks. Keep it up.

  • Pruning the Parks: Shoshone Cavern National Monument (1909-1954) Would Have Cost Too Much to Develop   6 years 13 weeks ago

    The so called Poverty Point National Monument is another prime candidate. While Congress made the declaration in 1988 to take this amazing prehistoric site in federal hands, the state of Louisiana believes their Poverty Point State Park is perfectly fine and does not even think about handing it over.

  • Pilgrim Places: Civil War Battlefields, Historic Preservation, and America’s First National Military Parks, 1863-1900, Part VII   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Richard,

    Quite enjoyable, and very informative body of work. I found it interesting how the different battlefields were saved in different time periods, especially in regard to Gettysburg.

    I reside in Richmond, Va., where we are literaly surrounded by National Battlefield parks, as well as state and private Civil War parks. The South was indeed late getting into the game, but I suppose that can be attributed to the fact that the region was so decimated at the conclusion of the war, that there were no extra resources for such conservation. Virginia in particular was so war-ravaged that it took until nearly the turn of the century for the area to fully recover.

    From the seat where I write this, I am within a couple of miles of Chickahominy Bluffs NBP, which recently received a much needed facelift. The entire swath of Maclellan's failed Peninsula campaign lies just beyond the swamp that is known as the Chickahominy River, and basically within the arc that I-295 creates East of Richmond. With so much history in your hometown, sometimes it's easy to overlook it with complacency. That's why the conservation of these areas is so important.

    I would like to see you delve deeper into the Southern National Battlefields, The ones in the Richmond area in particular.

    Thanks for a truly fascinating read!

    dap

  • Trigger-happy Man Shoots Another Rustling in the Brush   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Ric - which 'you' are you referring to?

  • Pruning the Parks: Shoshone Cavern National Monument (1909-1954) Would Have Cost Too Much to Develop   6 years 13 weeks ago

    How about Yucca House National Monument in Colorado? Unexcavated, uninterpreted, virtually unvisited and unstaffed and managed by nearby Mesa Verde National Park, it seems Yucca House ought to be included as part of Mesa Verde, or developed such that there would be some sort of interpretation at the site to illustrate for the public the significance of an unexcavated Ancestral Puebloan site.

  • The 9/11 Anniversary Draws Attention to the Flight 93 National Memorial, an Extraordinary Work in Progress   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Yes, the creation of the park immediately was the right thing to do, despite all the good and important NORMAL reasons to wait for a decision by a future generation before dedicating a new national park.

    But, there was NO need to leap right in and build a big memorial structure, or sculpture, to accompany the creation of the park.

    This truth is illustrated by the fact that today, attempting to mimic the success of the Vietnam's Vet memorial, we -- as a culture -- have a knee-jerk response to build something as the memorial to each crisis. The knee-jerk quality, the lack of imagination on the alternative ways to best commemorate Fl. 93, demonstrates the wisdom of waiting at least a generation before building a monumental sculpture.

    But, all memorials do not need a structure, or monumental sculpture, to be incorporated into the memorial park. ESPECIALLY not one on the scale going into Fl. 93 NM. For example, Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence, RI, a national park dedicated to religious and civic tolerance, is a garden. The Fl. 93 landscape is a lovely setting, and a perfect place by itself without ornamentation for the public to contemplate the significance of 9-11 and the actions of the passengers on this aircraft.

    There was no serious contemplation of the parkland itself being the memorial. We should not limit our imagination or alternatives to the knee-jerk, one-size-fits-all-response to every national crisis.

  • Trigger-happy Man Shoots Another Rustling in the Brush   6 years 13 weeks ago

    You won't win any friends or influence any people with this one. What you did do is distroy any credibility that you might have had. If your argument held water then ban driving in the parks, (hummm.... not such a bad idea) because drunk drivers kill thousands of people a year.

  • Pruning the Parks: Shoshone Cavern National Monument (1909-1954) Would Have Cost Too Much to Develop   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Here is what you learn when you go to the home page of Hohokam Pima National Monument, which was authorized in 1972 to protect an ancient Hohokam village (Snaketown):

    The Monument is located on the Gila River Indian Reservation and is under tribal ownership. The Gila River Indian Community has decided not to open the extremely sensitive area to the public. There is no park brochure, passport stamp, picture stamp or other free literature available.

    Is Snaketown worth preserving? Of course! But to say that the managerial arrangement for Snaketown is inconsistent with the concept of a national park is an understatement of gargantuan proportions. This one would be near the top of my list for transfer and decommissioning.

    Here is the statement included at the bottom of an email message I just got from the Public Affairs Officer of a major park. I've highlighted the relevant words.

    EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA
    The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American
    people so that all may experience our heritage.

  • Trigger-happy Man Shoots Another Rustling in the Brush   6 years 13 weeks ago

    I think you hit the nail right on the head with your comment, not the gun but the person.

  • A Section of the Appalachian Trail Designed for Wheelchair Access Opens in Vermont   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Merryland, remember that the newly constructed AT segment (boardwalk and path) replaced an AT segment that consisted of road surface (Thundering Brook Road). This new trail segment is a step toward nature, not away from it. Further, the segment was built across a floodplain, which made a boardwalk a logical choice and wheelchair access a sensible provision. There are plenty of other stretches of the 2,175-mile AT where you truly can get away from it all in the sense of wilderness experience.

  • Trigger-happy Man Shoots Another Rustling in the Brush   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Obviously this nut job has not taken any hunter safety course, which I took at age 12. You don't shoot at a sound. You identify your target, check your background, look for the proper spot to place your shot and aim for that point. Sounds like some big city psycho that should stay in the big city.

  • Federal Judge Blocks Recreational Snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park   6 years 13 weeks ago

    They do make perfectly quiet snow transportation with zero pollution. It's called cross country skiing.

  • A Section of the Appalachian Trail Designed for Wheelchair Access Opens in Vermont   6 years 13 weeks ago

    So much for getting away from it all. Next they'll install people-movers so you don't really need to hike the trail. Walk left, stand right folks.

  • Trigger-happy Man Shoots Another Rustling in the Brush   6 years 13 weeks ago

    I can see that most of you haven't camped at the various National Recreation Areas. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are staples there. The "issues" at Chickasaw are legendary.

  • Pruning the Parks: Six National Parks Acquired via Transfer in 1933 Were Subsequently Abolished   6 years 13 weeks ago

    Beamis - Platte National Park did indeed get incorporated into a National Recreation Area - the Chickasaw NRA, which is still part of the National Park System to this day.

    Lepanto - I agree with you that this is what National Heritage Areas are supposed to be, but unfortunately Congress has viewed them as an opportunity to slap the NPS Arrowhead on whatever locally-run historical and cultural sites are in the area. In practice, its sadly been even worse than the current "name game" redesignation wave for places like Congaree and Cuyahoga Valley.

  • Pruning the Parks: Shoshone Cavern National Monument (1909-1954) Would Have Cost Too Much to Develop   6 years 13 weeks ago

    I'm wondering if Hohokam Pima National Monument would be on your list for "delisting". Like Shoshone Cavern, it has never been opened to the public. On the other hand, there is also no question that "Snaketown", which Hohokam Pima National Monument protects, is a nationall-significant resource. To me, this raises something of a conundrum. I'd imagine that the National Monument/National Park System status affords a great deal of protection to the "Snaketown" resources - but can a National Park be solely about protection? Or does there also have to be a visitation element as well?