Recent comments

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Is there any word yet what the Department of the Interior (DOI) decided was proper procedure for this proposed rule change? The official notice for the proposed rule indicated that DOI wasn't sure what its legal obligations were in regard to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Depending on what DOI determines is the proper NEPA process--and whether that determination holds up under public scrutiny--there could be additional public notification and public comment.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Thank you, Lone Hiker for injecting some sense into the debate. I'm sick of hearing the crap that people put out about how the big, bad, liberal government (or is it the gub-ment?) is out to ruin America by placing reasonable restrictions on guns.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Past posts from a variety of CCP holders admit that they have been and will continue to bring weapons into public lands. Fred was the only one who had the stones enough to openly admit to it, kudos to him. But I'm curious as to whether we're now supposed to consider those who knowingly and willingly disregard the law as "extremely responsible and fanatical about safety", simply due to their position that they're carrying is allegedly making the environment a safer place for us all? That qualifies as a more than a mildly "slanted" position as well. Be being as this isn't exactly what you might call a "news" site, not akin to AP, Reuters, Fox(?) and the like, opinions are more the case here than at your local ABC affiliate, editorial policy not withstanding, so "slanting" is more par for the course anyway. Certainly not worth getting your shorts in a knot over, is it?
    I'm more than mildly fascinated with all this talk based around numbers, like there really exists any reliable source of data on these issues. Neither side has any real credibility when quoting's like trying to determine how many rapes, child or spousal abuse occur when you have no idea how many victims don't come forward. Of COURSE each side has inflammatory numbers, what good would the stats be if they simply mundane? I suggest there is NO way to determine how many crimes can and have been prevented by your CCP holding folks, NO way of telling how many incidents MIGHT happen with additional firepower in close proximity to the unsuspecting masses, NO way of telling the numbers of existing members of the Chicago Outfit regularly patrol the backcountry.
    One thing is certain though. NEVER has this issue been about scare tactics that the NRA supporters like to post, that regarding the "they're taking our guns away" cry-baby mentality. Never, in all that has be written surrounding this topic, has anyone on the "con" side said anything remotely close to removing the "right of people to defend themselves and the brothers" (insert puking soundtrack). The ONLY issue is the "where" you can and cannot, not anything to do with your ability or right to own. Public places, be they airports, sporting events, marathons, and other gatherings of the masses are simply inappropriate locations for your display. Or is the real interest the "right to carry" where and when as you damn well please? If it is, at least have the cajones to fess up and stop hiding behind these childish rants about somebody taking away your toys.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    NPCA has put out an action alert giving people info on the rule change and how to comment in opposition to the gun regs.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Absolutely. I don't know WHO would spread the word, but if folks are OPPOSED they should find out somehow. The NRA has over four million active members.

    As for CCW permit holders, they are NOT involved in altercations like you mention here. Such action would result in immediate permanent loss of permit. I understand that only only 183 permits have been rescinded. Most (98%) of those were because the holder picked up their child at school while carrying.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago


    I have no doubt the NRA has mounted an enormous campaign. Unfortunately, my guess is that only those folks entering gun shops or holding an NRA membership would learn the details. That leaves an awfully huge population out there.

    Wouldn't you suppose that, just as the NRA is an obvious disseminator of the proposal, that the National Park Service would be an obvious candidate for spreading the word as well? And wouldn't the entrance gates to the parks be an obvious place to distribute information?

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Neil, I hope you're right.

    But across the country there are more than a few gun incidents involving those holding CCW permits.

    In 2006 there were 1,950 "weapons offenses" in the national parks; in 2007 that number dipped to 1,495, which still is a staggering number. Unfortunately, the NPS can't say how many of those involved permitted gun owners.

    Here's a stat that'll I'll wager you'll dispute, because it comes from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: August 2000 study by the Violence Policy Center revealed that, from January 1996 through April 2000, the arrest rate for weapon-related offenses among Texas concealed handgun license holders was 66% higher than that of the general adult population of Texas. CCW license holders are committing crimes - including murder, rape, assault and burglary - but because the gun lobby makes it difficult if not impossible for the public to determine if a shooter has a CCW license in most states, the full story has not yet been told.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    In the interest of fairness, it should be pointed out that the NRA and every gun shop in the United States is telling folks about the necessity to post comments SUPPORTING the regulation change. IF someone OPPOSES the rule change, they should be told by SOMEONE that they can post a comment if they want to. The OPPOSERS will be in very lonely company though, IMHO.

    I'm pretty sure that comments can be posted anonymously.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Well, first, you don't even try to deny your slanted viewpoint, good for you. But, you missed the whole point of my post. The folks who take the time and care enough to get a concealed carry permit will not cause a problem. If there are people who walk around acting like idiots (and who happen to carry a gun), then a permit is of no consequence. They are going to do it anyway...permits and park rules be damned. The only time you will even know that the law abiding gun carriers have a gun is when they are put in a life or death situation and are forced to use it. Allowing people with a CC permit in the park will in no way endanger others but will only create an environment where a CC permit holder can possibly save a life should the situation arise. They are not going to be getting drunk and shooting their guns in the air like they are in Tombstone, AZ at the O.K. Corral. That is just a ridiculous picture that your anti-gun brethren like to paint to make your weak case against guns and carry permits.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Sorry Neil, but I think that's a very realistic possibility.

    Even you yourself point out that "most ... are extremely responsible and fanatical." The concern here isn't the behavior of "most" permit holders, it's of those who are more cavalier.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    "or strolling across the Colter Bay campground in search of a cold beer."

    Are you kidding me? You just innocently throw in the "cold beer" reference I assume? I am sure it has nothing to do with you trying to paint the mental picture of a beer drinking, irresponsible gun owner to anyone who may wander across this page. Come on least pretend to have some kind of journalistic integrity. The fact is most that carry a gun and have a concealed carry permit are extremely responsible and fanatical about safety. The kind of folks you are trying to lump them in with will carry a gun no matter what the law and most would not waste the time to get a concealed carry permit. So please, before you try to paint all gun owners in the same light, take the time to get to know one so that you can speak from a place of honesty and knowledge rather than ignorance and sterotypes.

  • Park History: Crater Lake National Park   6 years 18 weeks ago

    During the summer of 2000, the USGS and their contractors extensively resurveyed Crater Lake's inner caldera below the lake's surface. Using the USGS benchmarked elevation for the lake's surface of 1883 meters (6178 feet), they determined the lake's maximum depth to be 594 meters (plus and minus 1.2 meters [one sigma error] or a 95% uncertainty range of from 591.6 to 596.4 meters). This translates to a maximum depth of 1949 feet (with a 95% uncertainty range of 1941 to 1957 feet).

    The average depth of Crater Lake, as determined by the USGS 2000 survey, is 350m (plus or minus 0.7 m [one sigma error]). This translates to 1148 ft, (with a 95% uncertainty range from 1144 to 1153 ft). Crater Lake is, on the average, the deepest in the Western Hemisphere and the third deepest in the world.

    Compared using average depths, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the world among those lakes whose basins are entirely above sea level. The basins of the world's deepest lakes, Baikal and Tanganyika, extend far below sea level.

    For anyone seeking a short hike with great views of the inner caldera of Crater Lake and the southern crest of the Cascade Mountain range, I would recommend the Garfield Peak Trail. This hike is 1.7 miles to the top of Garfield Peak and begins along the Rim Village promenade, just east of Crater Lake Lodge. During the early summer season, the upper portions of this trail may still be closed due to snow. Check with a park ranger for the most current information.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • National Park System Benefits From Omnibus Natural Resources Bill   6 years 18 weeks ago

    A National Quilt Museum??? Are we nuts? I'm sure quilts (see subtitle D in the article) are important, but I would think NPS has other things to spend its money on.

  • Book Review: Let's Go See:All 50! -- Visiting the 50 States Journal   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Wow, that's great to hear that you like using yours, Sia. Thanks so much for sharing. For general information, I have sent one to the Honorable Barack Obama at his Washington D.C. office with the following note. I hope he likes the journal. ;-)

    May 23, 2008

    The Honorable Barack Obama
    United States Senate
    713 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510-1305

    Re: Enclosed ‘All 50’ Journal

    Dear Sen. Obama,

    Please accept the enclosed gift in the levity with which it was intended. The All 50 journal is something with which I am very proud as its author, and hope that others may enjoy its use as well. The idea to send you one came to me from your recent slip in reference to the number of states in our great nation. My desire is that the mistake will be laughed off as it should but that attention goes to a tool that others find useful nonetheless. If you should have any questions or desire further correspondence, please let me know at your earliest convenience.


    Stephen L Martin

  • Proposed Settlement Filed in Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Case   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I vacation with my family, my parents, my aunts and uncles and their families on Cape Hatteras every year. If the beaches were closed to vehicles, we would stop going. Plain and simple. That would mean no house rentals, no week of groceries, no souvenirs, no fishing charters, no eating out, and various other shopping...our families alone spend thousands of dollars and that is just in one week--one family. I can't imagine that we are alone. Restrictions on beach driving would kill Cape Hatteras. I would like the numbers on how many chicks have been run over by trucks in the last 15 years...because that is how long I have been driving out on that beach--and I have yet to see a chick, let alone run one over. Hurricane Isabel has done far more damage to the end of that island than any off-road vehicle...and how do you know that the birds aren't nesting somewhere else? If Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a park--and by definition belongs to the people--that means all the people, not just the tree-I mean Bird huggers. I have no problem with the roping off of nesting sights, but this is getting ridiculous. We come from NY, VA and PA for one week of beach relaxation a year...don't make us seek it elsewhere.

  • Coalbed Methane Projected Proposed North of Glacier National Park Tabled   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Gas resources will soon come to an end. Instead of just throwing our money down our kitchen sinks we should better think of ways to replace methane with renewable energy sources.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Kurt -

    These are all valid concerns. I truly hope that they are un-founded. I am an avid safety "nut" and would NOT tolerate any of the actions you speak about.

    Please accept my sincerest apology. It is incredible bad taste for me to bad-mouth the media on "your" blog knowing your background as well as I do. I get terribly frustrated (as much as you, I assume) by the amazing distortions we have to put up with by people who "adjust" a story to support their agenda.

  • While Bison Are Driven Back into Yellowstone National Park, Questions Over Management Continue   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Now an even fresher memory - I'm sad to report that the nine bulls were sent to slaughter this morning. That's confirmed by BFC, as well as a person who witnessed this in Horse Butte. That brings the total to 1,613 killed; the total buffalo left in Yellowstone is estimated to be close to 2,100 (well more than half now dead from the fall population); however, no one really knows. Recent counts, which officials emphasize are not meant to be population estimates, actually show a count of much lower. You will see plenty of buffalo along the rivers right now and in plain sight, but it's simply not what it was. The herds are under enormous stress, and this doesn't help.

    Everyone knows that a bull bison cannot transmit brucellosis; everyone knows there are no cattle in the area these bulls were killed. This is not about brucellosis; this is about land use ideology. The NPS should get out of the IBMP immediately; the next president should pull all the federal agencies out. Yet, will they pay attention?

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

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Kurt -

    One reason why you perhaps haven't seen so many anti-gun-in-parks comments recently is that this is an emotionally charged issue, and I'm probably not the only one who isn't commenting publicly because I don't want to be sucked into an argument/I-am-always-right-I-will-not-compromise 'discussion' with Mr. Rick and Mr. Fred.

  • University Professor Missing in Canyonlands National Park   6 years 18 weeks ago

    According to the NPS Daily Report, this disappearance was a planned suicide and the park launched a search for Mr. Henderson previous to his expected return date.

  • Book Review: Let's Go See:All 50! -- Visiting the 50 States Journal   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I love using mine even though most of the states are empty (so far). I'd like to see it filled one day!! It's a marvelous journal BECAUSE it provides a handy structure to the process without excessive details stifling individuality so that it is truly a personal journal in the end! Excellent decision to go with "less is more".

    BTW, after hearing his recent gaffe re: 57 states & counting, Senator Obama is an potential customer with an obvious need for one of your journals~!

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 19 weeks ago


    Having played a key role in "our media" for a good part of my professional life, I take extreme exception to your comment about the media. The media does not cause a gun to go off, does not allow a gun to be in reach of youthful hands, does not get drunk or angry and resort to pulling the trigger. All these things are done by gun owners. As you said in an earlier comment, a gun is an inanimate object. It's the person behind the gun who commits the mistake ... or the crime.

    Will park visitation drop off if the gun regulations are rewritten to make weapons more available in the parks? That's a good question, one that needs to be thought through extremely carefully by the folks at Interior. But I fear they are driven too much by politics to think clearly. Personally, I don't worry too greatly about it because I head to the backcountry where relatively few others do. But if I was heading to a campground, where folks sit around campfires and drink, where kids get into things when their parents aren't watching, yeah, I'd probably think twice about it.

    Too, if you've read many of the comments that have been directed at me over this issue the past 2-plus years, you'd be rightfully concerned about the stability and focus of quite a few of the so-called good and law-abiding gun owners.

    And what about the young adults who might have just obtained their CCW permit and head everywhere they go with their firearm? What if they're hiking down a trail, figure they're far away from civilization and rangers, and decide to take some target practice? What if they miss their target and hit a hiker coming the other way that they didn't see?

    What about bluffing grizzlies? Many times they'll charge you to intimidate. Will a gun owner resort to pulling the trigger rather than taking more appropriate action and either wound or completely miss the bear and end up worse for it?

    Why are ranger groups and police groups opposed to expansion of CCW regulations? Is it because they're macho organizations that want to consolidate firepower, or do they have legitimate concerns over the frightening array of loosely written CCW laws and the increasing availability of weapons?

    I don't question that the majority of gun owners no doubt are responsible and conscientious. It's the minority that worry me.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 19 weeks ago

    It's way too soon to call, but I suspect that the proposed rule change concerning concealed handgun carry in the Parks will go forward. If it does, will the attendance change? Will people AVOID the Parks because they're afraid they might be sharing the trail with me or some other CCW permit holder? Will people START visiting the Parks more because they will be able to bring their firearm with them LEGALLY?

    I sincerely hope this rule change won't keep folks from wanting to visit the Parks. Fear is a natural thing, but unreasonable fear is unhealthy. Our media has done a good job of convincing people that guns and gun owners are bad. I honestly believe that most people are good, and that those who assume the awesome responsibility of carrying a firearm are good AND law-abiding.

    There are many ways for folks to become educated and informed about firearms and concealed-carry safety. A little research can show people that they have nothing to fear from me or my CCW-permit brethren. Conversely, we are more likely to come to your aid, not just be an "eyewitness" at the investigation.

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 19 weeks ago

    Kurt - You're right about some of these comments. Wading through some of the spelling and grammatical errors is downright painful. Their points would be much easier to perceive if they would have taken a minute to proofread their post. And it might have helped if they were trying to make some sense. Some of the comments left me asking, "What did he SAY??"

  • NPS Retirees Oppose Carrying Guns in National Parks   6 years 19 weeks ago


    Thanks for your thanks. Truthfully, I do often wonder why I spend *so* much time on some of these issues.

    Re the comments filed so far, I found at least two that oppose the change. But you're right, far and away the majority do seem to support concealed carry in the parks. But I'm not sure for all the right reasons. Here's one questionable comment I found:

    we should be able to carry a weapon in any National forest for protection due to the fact that there are wild animals that seem to attack without being provoked. Especially when wild animals keep being added to our
    parks like Bears, Wolfs, Alligators and not to mention venomous snakes.

    Now, aside from the confusion between national parks and national forests, doesn't this sort of comment raise some serious concerns that some gun owners will be quick on the draw when they see a wild animal in the parks? And then there was another comment in which the author claimed every confrontation between a wild animal and a human being ended up poorly for the human. Really?