Recent comments

  • Apparent Clumsiness Claims Life Of Famed Bull Elk In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Heres some pics I took of him in my yard in Gardiner

    and some videos

    This elk was one in a million and he will be missed. He wasnt aggresive in the winter. After the rut he was soo chill. Just hanging out in Gardiner.

  • What Would Wildlife Say About Concealed Carry in National Parks?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    What would the wildlife say?
    Nothing...they can't talk, and if they could they would say "what's that thing? if they could see it...but they can't 'cause it's CONCEALED.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Ends Elk Culling for This Winter   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I read your previous article on limiting the elk numbers in the Rocky Mountain National Park. I also reviewed the Park Video and was interested in their stated goal of limiting the elk foraging on the willows. As they stated in the video this would lead to an improvement in the water table and other park resource. At the time I thought it a little odd that the Park Service was once again trying to manage elk numbers to aid the willow environment. As reported in the book, Where the Wild Things Were, the only permanent solution in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone was placing a grey and hungry menace in the thickets. Yes I mean wolves. Rangers and hunters occasionally chasing the elk around the flats never resolved the problem. It only put a different 40 elks in the willow grove. Only fear of a fanged ambush on a regular basis had any effect on the willow predation. This forced the elk out onto the plains where they could more effectively flee from the wolves. Has anyone else noticed this retro management approach might not resolve the problem?

  • NPCA, PEER Voice Concerns Over Proposed Mountain Bike Rule Change In National Parks   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Ray. Good points, however, let me suggest the following:
    - we are already proposing everything you're suggesting: doing trailwork, proposing odd/even days, etc.
    - if mtbers disturb wildlife, then the same should be true of any other user

    The issue is that other users just don't want to share, as evidenced on this thread. Then again, why would they? They have their own private Idaho funded at taxpayer's expense.

  • Controlled Flood Proposed for the Colorado River Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Who's running these dams? NASA? First its bad, then it's good, then we destroy habitat, but discover endangered species living in the new habitat, but then we decided to 'restore' the habitat, but then we harass endangered species (did I mention exotic, endangered species?). At least if we're gonna do these things, can someone send me an invitation, I'd like to see one at least.

  • How'd They Do That?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Yo Random Walker-----if you've ever experienced the kind of winds that can often blow in that neck o' the woods you'd be a believer too.

  • New Visitor Center Coming to Great Smoky Mountains National Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    As long as it does not bother the animals, I think it will be great. All the enviromental building plans are a good thing. I live in Ohio and come every year.

  • NPCA, PEER Voice Concerns Over Proposed Mountain Bike Rule Change In National Parks   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I suggest that mt. biking can enhance their argument re: mt. bike travel in national parks by recommending reasonable regulations and limits that protect the park resources and character while also being sensitive to the wishes of others to have trails free of mechanical vehicles. This means placing some trails and areas off limits to bikes or timing trail openings to avoid disturbing sensitive wildlife activities (nesting, calving, etc.). Additionally, off-road bikers could accept the responsibility of maintaining trails open to mt. bike travel. Anyone who has done trail maintenance knows this is an important and often difficult chore. Bikers should also reach out to other park stakeholders in search of ways to work together in protecting the parks and respecting each others needs and desires.

  • How'd They Do That?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    DV Rangers,
    You have seen them move?

  • How'd They Do That?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    He is right, wind/slimy playa=rocks move
    No mystery

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    This coming March is a great time to visit Richmond. Both the NPS and The American Civil War Center are co-sponsoring, along w/ Dominion and the University of Richmond, a conference entitled "Lincoln and the South." For details and/or to register, visit this site.

  • How'd They Do That?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    It's the wind, in combination with a wet playa.

  • Why is Clear-cutting Allowed in Japan's Iconic Park, Daisetsuzan?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Very sad to see such an amazing park that takes hundrends of years to establish itself as we can see it today in a threat of demolition within months or a year. We as the Conservationist must fight as much as we can once we see something something is going wrong or threatened which require conservation voices regardless our nationalities.By the way, it is our right to received the respect we require at our best regarding the technical advice we deliver in term of conservation and other proffessionals must understand this. I'm very angry with these greed ( politicians!!??) who are pushing this activities, may be looking for votes and or loggers!!!?? who they think that their proffessional is much better than others!!

  • Bush Administration's Haste Could Doom New Gun Rules In National Parks   6 years 9 weeks ago

    There do seem to be an overwhelming proportion (identified by very unscientific means) of comments in support of the rule change. So much so I had to do some digging to make sure that mine was still in there.

    I haven't spent much time studying the public comment process... but is there an actual report that breaks down the 26,000+ comments into some numbers? Clicking through the comments one by one is not a very reliable way of building a conclusion. It would be pretty easy to run the comments through a qualitative analysis program to give us a better idea of what is going on. Further, it would allow for some demographic analysis to help show how statistically representative of the US population the comments are.

    Even if a report shows that there is strong support from the public (that did comment on this rule change), it should not mean that the proposal is automatically made a rule. It should start the process of better understanding all the impacts associated with changing or not changing the rule.

    Any decisions made concerning national parks and other protected areas need to based on the best available science, not just public opinion. (Yes, I know that you can probably find examples of bad science being used to support past rule changes in parks.)

    I remember a researcher asking people about putting a new building at Logan Pass in Glacier NP. He found that there was overwhelming support by visitors to build a revolving restaurant at the pass. Just because a bunch people want something doesn't make it a good idea.

  • Spammers Are Targeting National Parks Traveler   6 years 9 weeks ago

    We are having the same problems on our forum...the spam bots have gotten very sophisticated. We had to stop using the character recognition and switched to the question and answer - which so far has worked well.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Thanks for the information and that amazing photo, Anon. There's clearly a lot more to this Lygodium business than meets the eye. I'll watch for updates and hope that some sort of breakthrough will soon happen on the biological control front. Meanwhile I've made a few edits to the article based on the new-to-me information you've supplied. I never cease to be amazed at the breadth and depth of NPT reader expertise.

  • Rules! Rules! Rules!   6 years 9 weeks ago

    i,ve ben told that you can not use a metal detector in a national park say like lake meade national park.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Sorry I'm late to this party: our connection to the rest of the internet died again yesterday.

    If you want to see a graphic image of Lygodium collapsing and killing a tree island, look at: I shot this in the Loxahatchee NWR not Everglades National Park. Currently, on the order of 1/3 or 1/2 of the tree islands in Loxahatchee are infested with Lygodium. Lygodium is still sparse in ENP: a few patches in Brazilian Pepper (itself another exotic invasive species) and mangroves on the western park of the park. [The last I knew, there actually is more Lygodium in Big Cypress than in ENP.] Tony Pernas and Jonathan Taylor of NPS deserve credit.

    While Lygodium _can_ grow on sawgrass, marshes, ditches, and prairies, it doesn't grow very large there. It grows large and produces billions of spores when it climbs on trees. The reason folks are more scared about Lygodium than about Melaleuca or Australian Pine (Casuarina) or Brazilian Pepper (Schinus) or even kudzu (not a problem in south Florida) is that for the other exotic species, control actions can start on one side and roll back the infestation, because seed dispersal isn't that great. Melaleuca is "officially" extirpated in ENP because they first went after the small outlying patches that served as seed sources or foci of further spread, then they systematically went after the solid stands on the edges of the park. Lygodium doesn't have local dispersal: the spores that started the infestations in the southwest part of ENP likely blew in from Loxahatchee, 40-75km away. Therefore, Lygodium must be controlled over very large areas simultaneously.

    This report is a bit out of date in the last comment about biological control. Bob Pemberton of USDA in Davie is pretty far along in testing biological control agents (a weevil and a rust fungus). However, the patchy "islands" of habitat (tree islands, bay heads, etc.) are a major problem for biological control to be effective. Lygodium produces billions of spores, which disperse very long distances, so almost every tree island receives new spores every month, and new Lygodium infestations can pop up anywhere. Effective passive biological control would require a control organism that can colonize new patches of Lygodium at least as fast as Lygodium colonizes new tree islands: a pretty tough race against a fern with spores. My little project on spore germination & growth requirements and a bit of math suggests that biological control may be feasible, but not self-sustaining: someone is likely to have to culture the rust and weevils and release them on 5-10% of the tree islands each year.

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    If you'd like to see before-and-after photos of Tregedar Ironworks --in its heyday and then lying in ruins, that is -- visit

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I won't hold you to that promise, Donna. If they ever start enforcing a "learn before you speak" rule here at NPT, I'll be out of business!

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    You'll have to forgive my ignorance in my previous comment. I found there is also much research going on to find a "killer" for this plant. I read scientists and biologists have been working on finding natural enemies of this plant in many of the areas where it originated from. On that note, I will remember to learn before I speak.

  • National Park Mystery Plant 1: Will This “Lime-Green Cancer” Derail Everglades Restoration?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I remember this plant when I lived down south. It was all over, but most times you could see the hanging vines from where people were cutting it down to make use in home decorations. I pulled up a website for this blanket vine and found many people harvest this plant for not only medicinal purposes but for design as well. Is there a way that we can also harvest this plant to the benefit of our nation? I also read there is yet any type of "killing device" for this plant. So then, how does Japan and China, which this is most native to, keep theirs "under control"? There has got to be a way. The goats sounds great, but goats can be as invasive as well. Also, thriving in the Everglades may damper a "harvest" as it wouldn't be an easy thing to acquire. I just wonder why we haven't gone to the "source" to find out how to "control" this thriving if invasive plant.

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I toured this lovely ironworks when I was there in 2006. Amazing. Finding it was an adventure in of itself as well. I saw so many amazing older buildings (I'm a huge fan of architecture) my excitement at finding this place was bumped up a notch at wanting to just stop and check these buildings out. I didn't tour the museum since I too lacked the expense of admission at the time. But being able to walk around the grounds and be where they were during the war was intense, for me anyway. I could hear the clanging of the machines and smell the heat of the fires while they were making the ammunitions and whatever else they made there. Truly amazing.

  • Tredegar Ironworks: A Civil War Icon Preserved at Richmond National Battlefield Park   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Richmond is definitely on my list, dap. I want to check out Tredegar (including that museum) for myself, but mostly I want to explore Richmond. At one time or another I've visited nearly all the battlefields in your area, but it's been a looooooong time since I've been in your fair city. I suppose it must have changed a good bit since 1964?

  • NPCA, PEER Voice Concerns Over Proposed Mountain Bike Rule Change In National Parks   6 years 9 weeks ago

    A Denver Post article on the same topic has triggered an avalanche of comments there, so on the off-chance that people haven't had their fill of discussions of this issue, I'm providing a link to the debate: