Recent comments

  • Woman Dies in Fall From Angel's Landing   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I hiked up Angel's Landing with friends a couple of days ago.
    It's a wonderful place and in those warm, dry, benign conditions, was really no more dangerous than many of the world's most beautiful spots. There were signs telling us that people have died there and I think it's down to the individual to decide if they're uncomfortable rather than legislating against personal freedom. I assume safety is why the park authority put the chains there in the first place.
    I agree it'd be significantly more dangerous in ice, snow or darkness and this needs to be (and is) made clear.
    However, even in bad conditions, a properly prepared hiker who takes it gently would not be at very high risk IMO.

    No risk = no reward = a potentially rather unfulfilled life.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Ford's Theatre now has it's own superintendent.

  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Lands Windfall In Donation of Historic Buildings, Memorabilia   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I see the choice to restore Smith's parlor to the museum stage as one which embraces the most historical material. Jefferson was certainly a major player in Skagway history, and continues to be so today, but he was not the only figure. By interpreting the 1920s tourism era, it helps to explain what happened to the physical structures over time and how Skagway becomes the town it is today. It provides room to discuss Itjen, Rapuzzi and others like Harriet Pullen and how they shaped the image of Skagway and in some cases, how they shaped the physical landscape. This gives interpreters and historians the leeway to move from not only the Gold Rush but to the following years, and shows how Skagway was indeed based on a tourism economy after the Gold Rush just like today. This story is also one which would best be told by a structure that embodies this transition like the parlor museum. Certainly visitors will continue to take away Jefferson's prominence in the town as his is a colorful and exciting story, but hopefully they will consider how history did not cease to be made when he died.

  • Yellowstone National Park's Wolf Population Down More than 25 Percent   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Of course they can't inoculate wolves against any disease. They are suppose to be wild animals. Nature will work out the survival issue. The strongest and those with a healthy immune system will survive, and their offspring will then inherit the strength of the parents. To immunize wolves would be declaring them 1) they are not a wild animal or 2) they are a non native species unable to survive without human intervention in the ecosystem to which they were transplanted.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   6 years 9 weeks ago


    I have been working to expand the Ocmulgee National Monument to a National Park for about twenty years. You are right that 700 acres or even 2,000 acres is too small for that status. If archaeology were the only value, I would also agree that it is insignificant to change the status. Ocmulgee is a major multiple mound site, which has been inhabited from Clovis to historic Creek times. Many more mounds and sites lie downriver, in an area which has been recognized as the third wildest area in Georgia, with one of the State's only three black bear habitats. Only one road crosses this fifty mile stretch of river and half of the landmass is already owned by a multitude of State, federal and local governments. The Ocmulgee Monument is Macon's number one tourism attraction and the Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Authority are pushing and funding the local share of a NPS boundary expansion study. The adjacent land being proposed to expand the Monument has already been donated or is already permanently preserved as wetland's mitigation or is county-owned. No Stimulus money is needed for this expansion. However, the larger vision is to create a 60,000 acre, 46 mile long National Park, by acquiring land to link the 47% of the existing river corridor, which is already preserved, yet under utilized. Since 90% is floodplain wetlands, the cost should range from $42 to $62 million. The benefits of unifying these lands and managing and promoting them for wildlife, cultural education and preservation, tourism, recreation and as a buffer zone for adjacent Robins Air Force Base, Georgia's largest employer, can be maximized by designating them as a national park.
    If we don't save this area now, the archaeological sites will continue to be looted, the bears will gradually disappear and we will lose a last opportunity to save a unique portion of our natural and cultural heritage.
    A new, local courthouse is estimated to cost $80 million and a new 5 mile, four-lane highway is estimated to cost $120 million. Where is the better, long-term value?
    Please judge Ocmulgee on its own value. Not everything that has value has been saved and why not brand it for the highest economic return? We do want to get the most out of our public resources.

    John Wilson
    Macon, GA

  • Congressman Seeks Stimulus Funds For Restoration Work at Gateway National Recreation Area   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Estimates for Fort Hancock restoration have been reported at $60-70 million, or roughly 10% of the total to be made "available" to NPS. While I disagree with Beamis on the historic significance of the Fort, I would concede that there are far greater priorities within the system.

    To state that "Congressman Pallone joined the fight when he learned of the commercialization plans" is misleading. Congressman Pallone some time ago supported a far more extensive development and "commercialization" of Fort Hancock, including, as I recall, a proposal for a large hotel and convention center, so it would appear to be more a case of "who" than "what," raising issues of how he might be beholden to Mrs. Stanley-Coleman, a (once) local political power.

    Kurt's noting that the letter was addessed to Mary Bomar highlights Congressman Pallone's lack of serious attention to this matter. Had this been other than political posturing, the Congressman would have made sure that he and his staff were familiar with her and hers, and been more knowledgeable of the issues.

  • National Park Quiz 46: Glaciers   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Sorry to rain on your parade, Rick, but I couldn't help using drumlins in this quiz. They're a depositional feature that I've been familiar with for a very long time. Growing up in Michigan, I hunted, fished, and vacationed in an area of the state (northwestern Lower Peninsula) that has swarms of drumlins. Later, while taking a geology course, I even dug down into one of the darn things. Fascinating.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   6 years 9 weeks ago

    With all due respect Bob, as long as Congress is involved the chances of that occurring are about slim and none.

    Good post by the way.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Very cool, treehugger, very cool.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Speaking of getting all of the Teton Range (and Jackson Hole) in one picture, here's my attempt. (You'll need the QuickTime plugin to view it.) This was taken with a Canon S3IS and stitched together with Canon's PhotoStitch software.

  • National Park Quiz 46: Glaciers   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Wow, Bob, "drumlins". You had to reach for that one. Anything to keep people from getting a perfect score, right?

    Rick Smith

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I get your point(s), Beamis. However, with all all due respect, I will continue to believe that branding matters, and that having a designation system that makes sense is better than having one that does not.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I don't think that most visitors really care about the "official" governmental designation of a given NPS unit. I seriously doubt that someone visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park would be concerned or even take note that it carries the same title as Yosemite and Glacier. They're there to enjoy a couple of hours of recreation on a Sunday afternoon in metropolitan Cleveland and don't really care what it's called. The same can be said for Hot Springs or even Petrified Forest (which was the first monument to be converted by a politician for purely economic purposes). I think people tooling down I-40 are still going to stop and check out the ancient logs regardless of its name either as a monument or a park. The care factor among the vast majority of the visiting public is zero.

    As long as politicians are the ones responsible for creating parks and managing the funds you can expect this funny business in designations to continue. It is too easy for them to use their power to create economic plumbs for their districts and states by giving a place a more enticing sounding title so as to lure the masses to spend money on a visit to their newly minted national park.

    As long as Washington, DC is in charge this situation will not be resolved and I'm betting that along with fat bonuses for AIG executives there will be a new national park in Bibb County, GA in the not too distant future.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I think it is obvious that the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees is implying that they know better than the rest of us concerning the impact of concealed carry in National Parks when they joined the Brady Campaign to sue the government for allowing concealed weapons on federal parks. Indeed, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees makes only vague references to environmental impact and human safety, but they haven't produced any studies. As a former law enforcement officer, I can attest with confidence that armed citizens are safer and more responsible than those who would deny them their right to bear arms, I could also suggest that the leadership of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees review the statistics in the National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics if they have concerns about law abiding armed citizens on public property and around animals. Illegal users of firearms and criminal behavior against persons and property in National Parks is nothing new and should be the only issue here, that is why law abiding citizens should be able to readily defend themselves. Perhaps addressing the issue of crime should be a greater concern of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, than pushing a non-scientific political agenda.

  • National Park Designation is an Unholy Mess   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Editor's note: In light of the reference to the National Parks Pass and the Golden Eagle hologram sticker, this writer's experience at Mount St. Helens evidently took place some years ago.

    Imagine my surprise, then, as a visitor to your country arriving at Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument with my newly purchased National Parks Pass (the best $50 you could ever spend) only to be told, that, no that pass won't work here because this is managed by the Forest Service. But if you spend another $15 on a Golden Eagle hologram, you'll be OK.

    Had me confused for a while. Couldn't work out why a place as important as Mount Saint Helens was not run by the National Park Service.

    Still, despite all the naming issues and pork-barrel politics, the National Park system of the United States is a superb endowment to the world - it keeps me coming back year after year.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   6 years 9 weeks ago

    One thing you can do to get a great print is to take the image on a CD to a place with a large format printer. A place like Kinkos usually has the large format printers needed to give you a quality print. They charge by the square foot... and it can be pricy. Costco or sam's club may have the ability as well.

    Another option is to use a photo printing program. These programs layout the print in sections (pages) that you later cut up and tape together.

    I just realized you are talking about the post.... In that case: Try to copy and past it into another program. On a PC try notepad, Word, or any other text program. On a mac use text edit, word, or any other text program. Then print it.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Identifies Pre-Nesting Closure Areas For Piping Plover   6 years 9 weeks ago

    We want to extend an invitation to everyone interested in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area to visit the website for the campaign to Preserve Access to America's Beaches. is colorful and informative and features "My Story" videos of people sharing the importance of beach access and its impact on their lives, families and businesses. "Act Now" is your opportunity to add your name in support of open and accessible beaches. Thank you

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Frank, I'm starting to feel like I'm herding cats. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    * The authors of posts take responsibility for their words.

    I like this one. It absolves those at the Traveler from liability or need to act.

    * Abusive comments and personal attacks will not be tolerated and will be deleted.

    Another good policy on personal attacks, buy I have seen some ad hominem attacks slip through, particularly on the gun posts. I think "abusive comments" is a bit vague. Certainly, ideas and logic are up for attack, right? Even vociferously if needed I would hope. "Nice" is also vague. Someone who has their logic checked might feel offended. Anyway, I agree that the guidelines do help regulate discussion.

    As for Anonymous' comments, the first two sentences seem to engage in the appeal to ridicule logical fallacy. The third sentence engages not only in the hasty generalization fallacy, but also uses argumentum ad populum--the appeal to the majority--"where a proposition is claimed to be true solely because many people believe it to be true."

    So I think it's fair, but perhaps not nice, to say that Anonymous' argument is largely fallacious and hardly even worth all the ruckus.

    Finally, attacking another person's thinking, reasoning, logic--or lack thereof--should not be construed as an ad hominem. Attacking someone's grammar? Of course that's up to those at the Traveler to make that call, but grammar and writing do shine a light on a person's intellect and, indirectly, their ability to form logical arguments.

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Kurt, your absolutely right...civility with the pen! Beamis, perhaps my literary and written skills are not as brilliant as yours. However, I do cherish the fact that I can put in my two cents worth of garble on NPT. It's a privilege to participate even if doesn't meet your expertise or critique as a notable piece of information. Besides, continuous whining with the pen begins to sound more like never ending soap opera.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   6 years 9 weeks ago


    Thanks again, this information is very timely. (I have gotten lazy - long hand isn't that bad).

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   6 years 9 weeks ago

    Mark, you're not alone. We're investigating how to make printable posts, but I'm told the coding ain't as simple as you might think, which means $$$ to pay a tech that we don't have. Yet.

  • Interior Secretary Salazar Upholds Delisting of Gray Wolves in Part of Yellowstone Ecosystem   6 years 9 weeks ago

    In reading the article it appears that Fish and Wildlife Service is making decisions without getting all the information. It appears on the outside that two things have happen. One the service didn't do it's homework at a level that is acceptable to make the proper decision and/or politics had a part in this mayhem. Anyway you look at it there is a problem with the decision making process.

    I don't have enough information to make an educational comment on a solution, but I believe by doing research and presenting a documentary on the subject, that might bring light to the situation for everyone.

    In any case it is in the best interest for the goverment not to make any decision unless they are prepared to prove the case without question. If the government proceeds we will be in the same positition in a few years again. It is very diffult to balance nature when mankind interfers....oh yea...we are part of the food chain too.

  • Panoramic Photography, Or "How Do I Get All of the Teton Range in the Picture?"   6 years 9 weeks ago

    I need to know how to shoot a panoramic - and I thank you for posting this information. However, I cannot get my printer to print this dang thing off ....................

    But, technology is not my long suit. Guess I'll just write it off in longhand!

  • Should Ocmulgee National Monument Be Transformed into a National Park By Stimulus Funds?   6 years 9 weeks ago

    OK, OK, before things get, ahem, too unruly here, let me remind one and all of this site's Code of Conduct, and point out some of the key points:

    * The authors of posts take responsibility for their words.

    * Abusive comments and personal attacks will not be tolerated and will be deleted.

    * Those behind abusive comments and personal attacks will be contacted privately and asked to be more constructive in their comments. If the comments and attacks persist, the author will be blocked from the site.

    * Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.

    * If a subject of a post feels they have been wronged or simply wishes to respond in a post as opposed to a comment, that will be allowed.


    In general, we at the Traveler are pretty tolerant of comments. We do not want to sanitize this forum, nor do we want to create the impression that it tilts one way or the other politically or philosophically. Yet there is a line, one that should not be crossed, in the common decency of civil discourse.

    In other words, let's play nice.