Recent comments

  • Protest Against American Revolution Center at Valley Forge National Historical Park Planned for May 15   6 years 16 weeks ago

    God. Another protest to protect our esteemed blah blah blah blah. I am an evironmentalist. I walk to shop, donate to causes, pick up litter in the parks, etc.

    But, I don't see anything wrong with building something to enhance the visitors experience and bring in a little money to help support the area those people are screaming and protesting about keeping the same.

    People need to be educated when visiting our National Parks and such. They don't get it in the schools anymore and unless they are history buffs - most of the people show up - see an empty field and leave - stopping at McDonald's on the way out of town. I gave tours and worked with two National Monuments and a group with Yosemite - if you don't offer the beautiful welcome center and have an introductory video (download it to your IPOD) - you lose them.

    And, if you say - you don't care - your a moron. If you can't get the average person to care - you are eventually going to lose it - either to budget cuts and disrepair or a sale or trade of the land you are trying to protect.

    The structure can be built "green". Because it is east coast, it will be easier to sink some items and put them underground so as not to spoil the view. There could be underground parking so that there is no sea of asphalt. If there is a parking garage - it could be terraced and landscaped with a walking park on the roof with trees and flowers.

    I hate to quote Mr. Gingrich but he said that we defeated our enemies and took care of ourselves in less than five years with World War II, it took 27 years for them to get everything they needed to build an extra runway at Atlanta's airport. I agree something is wrong.

    Don't protest - ask to be involved in the planning session. Protest to get involved but, save your energy to protesting Darth Vader and his boss who still have 8 months left to destroy this country.

  • Vet Removes Snare From Neck of Wolf in Denali National Park and Preserve   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Neil,

    What we aim to bar are comments that take direct personal attacks on others. We prefer to see comments rise above that level. Do we always succeed? Perhaps not as best we can. But some comments are so blatant in their personal attacks that the decision not to let them go through is easy.

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Argh! Can someone tell me why ironranger said that "the locals detest Voyagers"??

  • Vet Removes Snare From Neck of Wolf in Denali National Park and Preserve   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Lets see...so you can bar the comments of the people who disagree that wolves lives are more valuable than ANY humans...even the trappers. But gleefully post the comments by the wackos who think a person should be killed because a wolf got caught in this trap. Yep, I certainly see how you welcome different viewpoints!!

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Allow me to play Devil's Advocate for a moment. The NPT has long argued for increased funding for interpretation services for the Parks. Well, most of Voyageurs National Park is covered in water - what kind of interpretation can really occur there without a boat? Thus, I'm surprised that this development is treated with such skepticism.

  • National Park Quiz 1: Are You Centered?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Got 9 out of 10 myself... I had to flip a coin between Glacier and Yellowstone, since I've never been to Wallace, ID and figured that since Yellowstone National Park is actually *in* Idaho, that was the better bet...

  • National Park Quiz 1: Are You Centered?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Nice job, Barky; I'm impressed. Maybe you should be writing these quizzes instead of me? The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (not River; I've corrected the typo) was one of the original eight Wild and Scenic Rivers. The lower part of the park/riverway, the St. Croix River, forms the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. This lower section of the riverway is heavily used (picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking), since Interstate 94 crosses there and the Minneapolis/ St. Paul metro area is just to the west.

  • National Park Quiz 1: Are You Centered?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    9 out of 10. :-)

    Never heard of St. Croix National River. :-P

    ==================================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • Traveler’s Delightful Dozen: Windshield Touring Trips in the National Park System   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Edward abbey is rolling in his grave over this post...

  • Vet Removes Snare From Neck of Wolf in Denali National Park and Preserve   6 years 16 weeks ago

    This article made me so very sad, even with the GREAT news that one of the two wolves was able to be cared for.
    Why can't people let nature balance itself out and quit assuming that just because they bring in outside of nature animals that the government / law should side with them and allow this type of behavior to continue across the natural boundaries? Call me animal sensitive... but I think most of mankind should think more about how to reduce their populated numbers and their negative thoughts about controlling nature (which has done a pretty bang up job before mankind stepped in) for their own greedy needs before they continue stepping on nature's toes for the job. At least the natives had it right when they roamed this great country freely, they took only what they needed, and used all of the animal(s).... unfortunately as history has shown us time and time again
    Never mind, I'm jumping off my soap box (from my small % of Cherokee-ness)... Thanks to everyone who is attempting (and winning) the overturning of wildlife abuse.

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I could see why private tour boats would do well in some areas, such as Fort William Henry on Lake George, NY, and not in others such as Voyageurs. Lake George is associated more directly with American History and is easily accessible for all demographics. I've never been to Voyageurs but it seems more of a remote location, and lacks the easily distinguished tie-in to the historical? That being said, it's only accessible to limited numbers of people. As a result, there's naturally less potential for the private tour operators.

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I'm guessing, then that no one knows why locals 'detest' the park, as ironranger said earlier....

  • Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I would vote for sunrise (and pre-sunrise) at Canyon Overlook above the Great Arch of Zion in Zion National Park, looking west at Bridge Mountain and across Zion Canyon into Oak Creek Canyon. There is a dramatic change of color on the Great West Temple, the Temples of the Virgin and Alter of Sacrafice before the sun rises in the east. The light of sunrise on the Great West Temple from above the Rockville Bench south of the Virgin River and the mouth of Zion Canyon is also a rare and wonderful sight experienced by few visitors to Zion National Park because it requires an uphill drive on dirt roads outside the south park boundary.

    Then, of course, there is sunrise on Mt. Scott, overlooking Crater Lake from an elevation of 8929 feet. For the few of us who had official access to the Mt. Scott fire lookout, making breakfast in the lookout before sunrise afforded a 360 degree view that includes the lake, inner caldera and slopes of ancient Mt. Mazama, the volcanic crest of the southern Cascade Mountain Range, extending from Mt. Shasta, California in the south to the South Sister near Bend, Oregon in the north, and the upper and lower Klamath Basin in the southeast.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Here in Minnesota, we will bring our own boats whether there was a tour boat or no. Boating is a very significant cultural activity, and many Minnesotans own boats or have access to one through family or friends. However, those visiting the park from outside the local area often rent boats and hire guides to get to the best fishing, or the best scenery. I could see how a tour boat could aid those who are unfamiliar with watercraft, or who are financially unable to rent a boat, get some enjoyment out a park that is mostly water. Is it a needed service? Most likely not. A way for a Congressman to move pork to his district? More likely.

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Perhaps this case points to a larger question across the National Park System: Just what does the National Park Service owe communities surrounding parks, and what do those communities owe those parks?

    As I understand it, private concessionaires have not been able financially to make a go of running tour boats of this size through Voyageuers. If they can't, why should the federal government, via the NPS, subsidize that service? After all, not only is there the $1.4 million needed to pay for the boat, but then there's the annual O&M costs. And who will be driving the boat, who will be doing the interpretation, who will be handling the reservations and ticket sales, and who will be paying their salaries?

    If every congressman/woman were able, like Rep. Oberstar, to divert $1.4 million to the park of their choice, without providing the necessary funds to wipe out the Park Service's massive $8.5 billion backlog, would that improve the state of the parks?

    Should parks be seen as economic engines, or should they exist to conserve the resources for the enjoyment of future generations? Can they do both?

    Just some questions to ponder on this May day.

  • Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Best Sunrise: from the top of Mt. Dana, Yosemite National Park overlooking Mono Lake. Most glorious in color among the mountain dew.

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Why do most locals detest Voyagers?

  • Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I've seen spectacular sunrises at all the parks I've visited, but will agree that probably the best were at (and in!) the Grand Canyon. We did a rafting trip in May '03 from Lee's Ferry to Phantom Ranch, and hiked out. The hike started before sunrise at 5:30am, and it was amazing watching the sun come up and illuminate the canyon.

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Are there no boat tours because most visitors bring their own boat, or do most visitors bring their own boat beacuse there are no boat tours?

  • Report Shows Visiting National Parks Could be Hazardous to Your Health   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I'd be curious to hear more about the establishment of Steamtown - and what other, more-worthy sites were passed up. Maybe it would be a good NPT article (if it hasn't been one already.)

    But on the surface, though, how different is the establishment of Steamtown from the establishment of the John D. Rockefeller Parkway? One was established through Congress - another was established through the donation of a philanthropist.

  • Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I didn't realize that Haleakala was a National Park when I had a chance to visit in 1989. It was cloudy for me too, but the bike coasting down the mountain afterward made it all worthwhile. We stopped frequently to remove a layer of clothing. I couldn't believe that anywhere on Hawaii would it get that cold.

  • Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Joshua Tree: the dry air of the desert makes the moments before the sun gets to the horizon memorable. I've never seen such a serene light before or after. Then, when the sun comes up, the bizarre shapes of the Joshua trees make great silhouettes or look like chiseled out if they are in direct light, while the ground around them still is in the shadows.

    Bryce Canyon: You may know, that there are a Sunrise Point and a Sunset Point on the rim, just half a mile from each other. Contrary to the names, I believe sunrise is more spectacular from Sunset Point, as you can see the rays creeping into the nooks and crannies of the hoodoos in the Queens Garden area much better from there.

    Grand Canyon: It depends on the season, which location is the best to see the actual sunrise. You need a direction to the sun, where you can see it first in the canyon, meaning the first line of sight is below the actual rim. It is possible in early May (so get there now!) from viewpoints near the village, I think it was either Yaki point or Yavapai. Then you see Vishnu Temple as a silhouette against the first direct rays. From that moment you have about one hour with the most spectacular light, coming from a low angle, illuminating certain exposed rocks against the still dark canyon walls and floor.

  • Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Bryce Canyon anyone? I have seen both sunrise and sunset on many occasions and I do believe they are spectacular.

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Being a House Committee Chair (Transportation) Rep. Oberstar has been bringing home the pork to Minnesota for quite a while now. It keeps him in office, seemingly indefinitely. I'm sure this funding is most likely seed money for a private-public partnership. I don't find it likely that a concessionaire could make a go of profitably running a tour operation because most of Voyagers visitors bring or rent boats to the park. As much as the locals detest Voyagers, they don't mind a little federal cash coming their way, however.

  • Where Are the Best Sunrises in the National Park System?   6 years 16 weeks ago

    My pick is Death Valley National Park. There are so many great locales within the park to sit back and enjoy a spectacular sunrise or sunset. My favorite is Dante's View... 5000+ feet above the valley floor and an awesome view of the Panamint Mountains.