Recent comments

  • Parks and Tribe Establish Plan to Fight Fish Disease in Lake Superior   6 years 19 weeks ago

    These Great Lakes national parks are some of the hidden gems of the NPS. It's too bad more Traveler readers don't know about them, otherwise I'm sure there would be more comments. Kudos to the NPS for standing up and being leaders to protect these parks, something rare in these times.

  • Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Thanks for the call, Jessica. We've heard lots of info since I first posted this note, which I'm sure you have as well. Chris doesn't have Kellogg's number any more, so if you want to give us a call at the house or on the number I left on your answering machine, we'd love to give him a shout (anyway, not just because of this situation). I'm sure he's bummed, as we all are...

    Let's catch up soon!

  • Crews Remove Garbage From Marijuana Farms in Sequoia National Park   6 years 19 weeks ago

    "Ah, what the liberalism of the 60's has wrought...."

    This isn't about the liberalism of the 1960s. It's about prohibition and its effects. What right does the government have telling me what I can put into my body? At least when alcohol was prohibited, a constitutional amendment was passed. The federal government, in an unconstitutional power grab, outlawed marijuana long before the 1960s. The 9th and 10th amendments relegate other rights not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution to the states. The federal government has no constitutional authority to prohibit marijuana consumption.

    And what have the effects of prohibition been? Millions have been imprisoned at an enormous financial and societal cost. Demand has not dropped, and a black market has sprung up to meet demand. Peripheral crimes, many violent, have proliferated under prohibition. Since the average law abiding citizen can't grow cannabis in his or her back yard, people move to public lands, again highlighting the "tragedy of the commons" and fueling a destructive and dangerous black market. All of this over a plant that is consumed in its natural state? All of this over a chemical from which no one has ever died by overdose?

    Prohibition has benefited some, though. The plastics, cotton, and timber industries don't have to compete with hemp, a renewable resource that can be cultivated on marginal soil and can supply paper, clothing, and biofuel with relatively little energy input (especially when compared to corn).

    End prohibition and the negative effects described in this article will evaporate overnight. Look at the effects of the repeal of the 18th Amendment for a comparison.

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 19 weeks ago

    "Harp (not verified)
    On March 19th, 2008
    A Quote by martin luther. Come now.

    I have been to the previously mentioned beaches and hate all the vehicles there. I think they should limit the amount of vehicles per day.

    We are caretakers of the earth but not at the expense of ourselves."

    How arrogant to think that the earth depends on us, humans, for it's survival, but thats another debate!

    I'm curious Harp......How did you access the beach when you went there?

    Those of you that think a permit system is the answer, be aware, in situations where this is done, a limited number of passes is sold each year. If you don't get one....too bad. Usually the rental homes each have a pass for the renters, but no temporary passes are available for the day-tripper or weekend visitor.

    Up north, if I'm not mistaken you have to purchase the passes in person, not online.

    Ever been to a beach where they limit the number vehicles on the beach at one time??

    Lines develop, one vehicle leaves one is allowed on. So don't run to the store for more ice or to the rental house for the suntan lotion cause you'll have to wait in line like everybody else to get back on the beach. In the summertime, if you're not there early enough, it's possible that you won't be able to get on the beach at all. These type of regulated beaches usually don't allow people to stay on them after dark. No more sunrise or sunset walks on the beach.

    But then we're not concerned about that. Whats important is that the wildlife is not disturbed.

    Have a nice day!

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 19 weeks ago

    I am not sure how I feel about this... I have seen the exposed uranium mines in Capitol Reef National Park, which were made previous to the area becoming a National Park, and found it more interesting then scary. I have also seen many mines that quite honestly you would have never known, just driving by, that it was in fact an active mine. It can be done with minimal impact on the environment and on tourism (or it can a chatistrophic wasteland that brings new meaning to the term 'eye sore', on the flip side)
    I am interested, however, in why all of the sudden the interest has developed to mine that particular site. We've known it was there since at least the 1970's (well, that's when I learned it was there) so why the interest now? In addition, there are other sites in the area that have an even bigger supply of uranium and are not located near any major tourist mecca's. Why that site? Why now?

  • Groups Ask Congressmen To Help Halt Killing of Yellowstone National Park Bison   6 years 19 weeks ago

    To add to Pronghorn's point, actually the feds are only right now (press release released yesterday) starting to test before they slaughter - a very flawed test at that, which leads to flawed management decisions (for instance, males cannot transmit the disease, no thought is given to herd integrity, treating animals as mere individuals). Montana on the west side of the park will continue to slaughter without testing and will do so presumably until at least 1,700 bison are killed this winter (if the slaughter gets that high). The NPS will continue to slaughter bison testing positive for mere exposure to brucellosis. The young will be sent to a quarantine facility just up the road outside the park - where they will have none of the familial herd structure, then they will be given away like dysfunctional youth (there's an interesting essay by Bob Jackson floating around in the blogosphere on that sort of thing - links to all these things are in my newspaper).

    Elk in the meantime continue to spread the disease of brucellosis on occasion but there's no capture and slaughter program for elk. And, there shouldn't be.

    And, the cows in Montana are really stuck; trapped between the industry that has forever abused it and the bison and other wildlife who just need more space.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 19 weeks ago

    I agree with you Snowbird06.

    Unfortunatley this is typically what happens when outlandish claims are responded to with intelligent and accurate facts.


  • Paper Calls For Park Service To Protect Wildlife From ORVs on Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Where's all the fire and fury for this article. Looks like the "Raleigh News and Observer" has put some strong emphasis on the need for a good comprehensive plan to resolve the massive beach front traffic at the Cape. Three years to wait for such a plan seems like it's still in mothballs on the drawing the bickering goes on!

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Geez you guys stop the nit picking and get on with resolving the problems at the Cape with some concrete solutions.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Well bear sprays come in hip holsters, Counter Assault anyway, where you can just shoot from the hip. Also if you are in an area that looks like bears are indeed around you should have your spray out at the ready. Yes, the bear would hear the gun noise, the difference is that you are trying to aim a gun to STOP the bear so the shot has to be a pretty good one and after the sound, comes the entry of a bullet which doesn't register fast enough or hurt (assuming with high probability that you haven't made a kill shot) bad enough to stop the bear. If the noise from the spray doesn't scare the bear, or doesn't scare the bear in enough time the bear still has to make it through the mist. In fact, he may even make it to you, but chances are when he inhales that first breath he will panic (most animals do, including us, when they can no longer breath or see) making his initial intent to maul you the last thing on his list to worry about and stop short or get in one swipe before panic sets in and he leaves. Using good bear protocol while out should be top priority and knowing bear sign and the area can lower your chances of a negative encounter. Bears are wonderful creatures if people would just give them the respect they deserve. Watch a bear, really watch one, and the last thing you will want to do is carry a weapon with the intent to kill should this creature come too near your personal space. Counter Assault will be your top deterrent allowing both you and the bear a safe and wonderful experience.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 19 weeks ago

    chances are of getting your gun out, aiming and shooting about the same as getting your spray out aiming and spraying and if the sound of the spray would scare the bear then the sound of a gun would do the same. don't get me wrong, I don't think a side arm would stop a bear only make him mad, unless it's a mini cannon. I am for the guns only for self protection from other predators that may want sommething in my RV, human type. I am not for carrying weapons just want to have on onboard.

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 19 weeks ago

    So you're saying they shot a second fox which they did not report? Are your photos online anywhere? Can you post them?

    Big EL
    Maybe that anonymous has been reading too much of "The General's" militaristic rhetoric over at OBXconnections? Or maybe they found the posting of the "opposition's" home addresses at the Post Office as referenced earlier, "extreme"? There obviously can be extremists on both sides of an issue.

  • Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Ranko (as I've always known him) was a great boater and a wonderful man. I will never forget the many amazing trips, talks, and times we have had. He is my father's friend and I have known him for my entire life. He gave the most amazing bear hugs and never failed to put a smile on my face. All I can say is, at least he was doing what he loved most when he died.

  • Groups Ask Congressmen To Help Halt Killing of Yellowstone National Park Bison   6 years 19 weeks ago

    kat...the federal government is not playing an active role to stop the slaughter because the federal government is COMMITTING the slaughter...along with Montana. The management of YNP bison falls to the US Forest Svc., the Nat'l Park Svc., USDA/APHIS (all federal), Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and Montana Dept. of Livestock. They are all partners in this crime against American wildlife.

    nlitenall, yes, bison are frequently tested. Brucellosis doesn't have the same abortive effect on them, however. Blood testing detects exposure, not active infection, and males can be exposed yet they don't transmit the disease. This doesn't prevent their slaughter, however. And keep in mind that bison to cattle transmission has never happened in the wild--never. But make no mistake, the blood-lust that's occurring now has nothing to do with whether or not an individual bison has brucellosis, and up to this point, no testing has been utilized. It is a culling of the herd to appease the powerful, greedy, and corrupt Montana livestock industry. The onus should be placed squarely on livestock producers to vaccinate their cattle...wild bison should remain wild. I agree with you heartily--may they roam free on our public land.

  • Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 19 weeks ago

    i know of two people on this trip, gretchin joslin and her husband sean. hope this helps

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 19 weeks ago

    To all of those who think you need (or should have the right) to to carry fire arms in the national parks for defense of bears or people let me say this: I personally have witnessed a bear being shot while charging. A long story short, My Uncle got startled, shot in the air, the bear charged, my uncle shot the bear in the shoulder, and by the way he is a very good shot, the bear chased me up a tree, my uncle shot one more time. Needless to say I have not hunted in well over 30 years and won't ever again. 3 years ago I was camping in the same area of northern Montana, I startled a bear while hiking, I believe it was a bluff charge, never the less it charged. I used pepper spray, and did not have to play dead, run or climb any tree. That bear turned away trying to get the the spray off. So I personally see no need for concealed weapons in the National Parks. I can see someone getting spooked and not only wounding a bear or worse but maybe shooting a bystander.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Just curious, but why do people want to carry an unloaded gun into a park?

  • Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Amy, get a hold of Greg K. he'll have info.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Fred Miller wrote:

    This issue isn't about bears. It's about rights

    I guess I misread Kurt's title of this article: Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies

    I suggest that you're failing to examine the issue of your rights more deeply. A gun, narrowly defined as a device that ignites an explosive, causing expanding gas to propel a projectile, is merely a technology that can be used for "defense" against an attacker. The basic right I think you're talking about is self-defense, not owning a particular piece of technology. If your definition of "defensive arms" was a bit less narrow, I could easily see pepper spray classified as a side-arm. Indeed, it is a device designed entirely for the purpose of self -defense. And in the case of the study Kurt cites which compared the effectiveness of two different technologies at defending someone against a potential bear attack, your favorite technology was shown to be less effective.

    As for another right, when the constitution talks about freedom of the press, do you think they're only talking about the printing press? Do computer printers count? Does the constitution not guarantee freedom of communication (mass or otherwise) by modes like radio, television, Internet, blogs, or podcasts because these technologies aren't explicitly mentioned in the first amendment? The basic issue is speech, not the age-old technology of the printing press.

    Likewise, in self-defense, the issue is appropriate and effective defense, not a right to use the ages-old technology of lead and black powder.
    The WildeBeat "The audio journal about getting into the wilderness"
    10-minute weekly documentaries to help you appreciate our wild public lands.
    A 501c3 non-profit project of Earth Island Institute.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Fred, true, the 1st Amendment gives us the right to speak our minds, but there are laws against slandering folks, inciting a riot, and shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Keeping that in mind, I don't think it's unreasonable, or an infringement on the 2nd Amendment, to have laws that dictate where weapons are allowed or in what manner they might be transported.

    As I pointed out earlier, this movement, if it succeeds, will really create a regulatory nightmare in parks such as Yellowstone, Death Valley, Great Smoky Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, all of which span more than one state. Will gun owners worry about which state they're in and what laws they have to follow? Judging from previous comments under this issue, no. But rangers will, theoretically, have to police the laws. Any guess on how many gun owners will protest about unreasonable searches?

    And really, if the NRA and gun-rights advocates are so determined to carry weapons wherever they go, why focus on national parks? Why push legislation that would rely on what existing state laws say? Why not seek a uniform, nation-wide concealed carry authorization?

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 19 weeks ago

    As you know, I am a strong supporter of gun rights. This issue isn't about bears. It's about rights, like we are exercising in this blog. We don't all agree, but we have the right to say what we feel as guaranteed by the 1st amendment. We are only seeking to exercise the God-given right we have to defend ourselves as guaranteed by the 2nd amendment without being arrested for violating NPS rules and regulations.

    The NRPM will be released on April 30. We, the people, will have a 90-day period to make comments about the proposed rule change. I suspect that about 73% of the comments will favor allowing concealed-permit holders to carry their firearms in National Parks. It will be an interesting discussion.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 19 weeks ago

    In response to tom:

    The folks that did this study are not insane. The likelihood of hitting and successfully killing a bear with a gun is quite low unless you are well trained to not only be a "good shot" but to also be able to make the shot under extremely stressful circumstances. Plus, it's very likely that if you simply wound the bear, you have a better chance of the bear coming back to attack you. However, given the wide range of bearspray and the reaction from bears (which is documented) you are more likely to deter a bear attack with the spray then with a gun. Saying we need guns in National Parks to protect ourselves from the wild animals is just fear mongering. A careful and respectful hiker knows how to handle her or himself and avoid encounters with bears.

    One additional point that you elude to is the difficulty in telling whether or not a bear is going to attack. A curious bear standing on its hind legs does not mean an attack is inevitable, but given the fear the pro-gun side is preaching, I am certain that the numbers of bears and other wildlife species will be killed because someone unfamiliar with animal behavior gets scared will skyrocket.

    Let's leave the rule as it stands.

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Once again, all I hear is half the story. The Audubon and DOW collect money from people across the United States to fight their personnal battles by publishing untrue stories and numbers. The Park has done a good job with the shorebirds and no piping plover has ever been run over by an ORV! The picture shown was the most crowed day ever and was taken on the 4th of July I bet. These two groups had a chance to go to the table with eveyone else but instead filed a lawsuit. Real brave, real American......I just sat 8 hours with their lawyers and I have never seen more deceitful people in my life. Know your facts before you speak your mine.

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Boy, this thread sure has deteriorated.

    As far as wildlife being eradicated in order to protect selected species the facts are available. It has been done and will more than likely continue.

    Anonymous (not verified)
    On March 15th, 2008
    Why go to Cape Point to "protest"? It seems if these extremists had any gonads at all, they would be inside the Federal Courthouse on 4/4 and let the judge know how they feel.

    I was troubled by this post.

    First the "protest" was in fact a peaceful gathering of concerned citizens, they hardly qualify as extremist. In most "protests" there are banners and signs complaining about one thing and declaring another. The only signs present that day on the beach were American flags.

    Overall your statement is inflammatory, immature and shows a lack of respect for anyone who might have a viewpoint that differs from yours.

    On your last point so eloquently stated. I can assure you that there will be concerned citizens at this hearing. This ruling will have a direct affect on their livelihood and their future.

  • National Park Service Revenues Down $1.3 Million On Transition to America The Beautiful Pass   6 years 19 weeks ago

    I refuse to buy park passes, even though it would save me a lot of money. I feel like I'm robbing NPS of the money it so desperately needs.