Recent comments

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I totally agree that the person(s) involved should pay the costs. It is way past time when people need to take responsibility for their actions !!!
    If people want to be a part a natural experience, they should take responsibility for themselves and know what they are doing. They should be prepared physically,mentally and geared for the experience.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    A fee charged to all who enter the parks for the convenience of a small percentage who require the service is simply not acceptable. Why should the general public assist in paying your personal auto insurance deductible if you get into a wreck? Granted we all pay the price in higher premiums, but that's a debate for another time.

    Personal assistance insurance is an interesting notion. But again, I don't feel personally responsible for paying inflated premiums based on a careless, irresponsible few who are the basis for the rates set initially for all of us. A gradual sliding scale based on competence level, experience, preparedness, etc. would be a thought. But for the time being, I don't see why we're even discussing the issue. You gamble and lose, you pay for your mistakes. Parents should be more prone to concentrating on the welfare of their charges. As might group leaders from all backgrounds. Individuals should be made to realize that technology is NOT the answer to all of life's issues. Irresponsibility should be treated with the same callousness of consequences as the ignorance from which it stems. These Guardian Angels who are the SAR personnel are NOT sent by God to save your sorry behind. They're just performing a neccessary task, neccessitated by the individual's lack of preparation and care.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I just read that the state of Nevada is asking Steve Fossett's widow to reimburse them the nearly one million dollar cost of searching for his lost plane. Hopefully, out of the multi-million dollar estate she will do so voluntarily. Search and rescue, even for wealthy private pilots, is not usually charged. But...

    I seem to recall that there is a warning sign or information near the Bright Angel trail that if you get down into the canyon and have difficulty walking back up, the helicopter rescue will cost X amount of dollars. Does anyone else remember this?

    That seems to be one solution. Inform people that SARs in certain known dangerous places will be billed to you. That would give pause to those who travel into those areas unprepared. Backcountry permits could include a fee to cover SARs. And certainly those who engage in very perilous activities like climbing El Capitan, or ice climbing on mountains should be told that SARs will be charged. People who fall on regular hiking trails that aren't inherently dangerous should be given SAR rescues free of charge.

  • Grand Teton Bears, Update   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Bears ROCK!!!!!!!

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Some sort of insurance program would seem to alleviate the concerns for all involved. It seems like an easy and all encompasing solution to the problems. What am I missing here?

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I would suspect that somewhere between not charging at all, and charging everyone the full cost for SAR, is a viable solution. Anyone who thinks either extreme is the only answer is a fool. Some states have imposed an additional fee on recreational lisences and are also selling hiker certificates to help offset the cost. This is most definitely charging for SAR but no one seems to mind and the monies collected have helped a lot. Instead of trying to impress everyone with how well you think you can argue either point here, lets start working on a logical solution that adresses both problems. It's probably easier that you think.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    The problem lies when an idiot Father (Or I guess a Mother could do it too) takes his kids out to the wilderness, totally unprepared, and gets horribly lost. If he KNOWS that he is going to have to blow his childrens college fund on a rescue, he may try to find his way out on his own and thus kill his entire family. People who have already done stupid things to land themselves in the position of needing a SAR in the first place are more likely to do even stupidier things to get themselves out of the mess rather then paying for it, at the cost of the minors who are traveling with them. If we make people start to pay, our numbers of missing and fatalities will undoubtedly rise.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Rescues should not come with a price. If they do, and people are aware of this; they will often try to rescue themselves and end up making the situation far, far worse (by getting more lost or injured) than it would have been. I'm not making this up, this has happened before.
    Furthermore, as stated in the article, the dividing line between negligence and simple lack of experience/bad luck is thin to non existant. Either all rescues are free or none are.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    There are documented cases of persons delaying the call for help because they feared being charged for the cost of the rescue mission. The value of a human life far outweighs the monetary cost of the rescue, and the rescuers put their lives at risk with full knowledge of the potential consequences.

    The "pay for rescue" debate will never go away. Issues or questions such as these below must be considered:

    1. Who makes the final determination concerning costs involved? And who is responsible for payment?

    2. Were the injuries sustained caused by a foolish act, negligence, or defying authority?

    3. Or did the injured party have the skills to save themselves, but because of objective dangers could not do so?

    Once these options have been evaluated, only then can a fair and equitable decision be reached.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I actually cover some of these big adventure "high risk" expeditions on my blog. I have also covered quite a few SAR events as well. I understand the need for SAR, I also understand that there will be those less experienced attempting to do what they never should. I think it is a very fine line to charge someone for rescue, when that same person is not charged by the Police or Fire departments for car accidents ect. These agencies that you speak of, including the National Park Services are already being paid to provide these services by tax payer dollars. We pay to support all of these causes, but then government steps in and allocates the money to where it seems fit...unfortunately it is not our National Parks. On a personal level, I feel that this is a political issue and not so much a public vs. federal agency issue. Until change is made in the government, or someone steps in that would like to promote the parks better, I don't think the funding will come. Unfortunately, the funding is the reason why the Parks are a bit iffy when it comes to this issue. If they were being supported correctly, the infrastructure would be there and we would not have to have this same discussion every spring. In 2006 three climbers were lost on Mt. Hood. That drew National attention, which of course, put this in the spotlight once more. To me, it isn't an argument of should the rescuee have to pay. but rather when our government will start funding the Parks systems correctly. Bill George Bush, not the local Joe.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    It is great to see people want to explore and if they get into trouble then maybe there should be a fee, but then why should we pay for someone who smokes that gets cancer or some overweight person who has heart trouble etc. Get the drift.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    No.
    What a great way to use my taxes, military etc.
    I deeply thank all the SAR volunteers and urge all to donate their time and or money in support for their selfless service.
    Americans have become so fixated on the $ it makes me hurl.
    The human thirst for exploration and adventure is righteous, and can not be characterized by terms like idiot, reckless, irresponsible, foolishness, asinine or a dollar amount.
    Anyway..... that is how I feel about this nonsense.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I agree with Montana Jim. 5$ or whatever seems reasonable per entrance fee. Although in the case of foolishness or negligence, The park should definitely go after the beneficiaries of any S&R's to recoup the costs. As far as a safety net providing a false sense of bravado, I'm fairly certain that you can't accurately predict what will make an idiot (or anyone else suffering from momentary poor judgement) act in a reckless manner. Some people just do stupid things without even thinking twice about who will clean up the mess.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Why not require insurance? When I was in Colorado, the local rescue squad in Pagosa Springs sold hiking insurance recognized state wide for $5 for two years. It covered the costs of all ground based SAR and the first $3000 of a helicopter extraction. I gladly paid the fee (heck, I would have thrown $5 in the pot as a donation), thankfully never needed the policy and went home. It seemed like a good private sector solution.

    Since then, I've looked for and found various types of mountain climbing and travel insurance but only rarely come across hiking insurance that would cover SAR in national parks. Post big signs at the entrance stating that people who are not covered will be billed for SAR. Set up internet kiosks in welcome centers where 3-5 companies can offer policies. Take a 15% cut. Allocate 5% to SAR in park and 10% to trail maintainenance system wide.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I think that there should be a $5 fee charged to all users or carload to cover search rescues. Any money left over would go towards next's years budget for the park.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Why shouldn't each participant who uses a rescue service pay? Why should taxpayers around the country pay for someone else's self-inflicted recreational problems?

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    The answer to this question is obvious. If I get injured or sick in my home, is the ambulance ride to the hospital free?

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    It depends on the circumstance, but there are irresponsible people who will do stupid things because they know that someone will rescue them. Those people should pay.

  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore Settlement Spawns Vandalism   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Vandalism is the dumbest way to make your point - no matter if you're an ultra-liberal environmentalist blowing up logging camps and living in trees in Berkley, or someone who just wants to fish. There are better ways of doing things and I hope NPS nabs the perps and puts them in jail.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I would rather need a gun in a park, than have to need a crime scene investigator. So for prevention of murder, yes guns are needed in parks.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 18 weeks ago

    I support the right to carry a firearm. Criminals have guns wether legal or not. If there was to be an assault on me, I would want the best tool available to protect my life. Wether the assailant has a gun, knife or just a big club, if my life is in danger, I have the right to keep and bear a firearm as granted by the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution, if my life is in danger. (Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about). People who want to argue that it 's not the individuals right, but a militia, please recall that there were indians scalping people and killing families in 1776 (Again, google 1776 if you don't know it's relevance) just as cereal killers and psychos are doing today. With all the crazy people shooting up public places and cereal killers taking advantage of the average citizen, it would be even easier for them to operate in the middle of nowhere. How many people per year go into national parks and turn up missing? Unfortunately, history has proven that humans are savage and no matter how safe one might feel with our laws, unless the police are there to enforce them, human savagery and lack of compassion always shows it's ugly head. If you're a lwa abiding citizen, carry a policeman in your pocket, carry a gun.

  • National Park Search and Rescue: Should the Rescued Help Pay the Bills?   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Yes, the idiots that climb mountains and go wilderness trail walking unprepared for emergencies should have to pay for S&R!!
    The year I climbed Mt.s St. Helens, I had to apply for a permit. Log in when I started the climb and log out when I returned (i believe they also wanted some contact information also). I thing that was good requirements.

    These idiots that do these assinine things, do not provide expected start and stop and possible routes to someone should be fined along with paying for the S&R.

    A cell phone does not do it! And, at today's cost Noone should go into the wilderness without a personal sat. tracking device.

    A homebody in the flat plains of penn's woods.

  • Creature Feature: The Red-Throated Loon   6 years 18 weeks ago

    Chance - thank you for sharing this information on the Red Throated Loon. Approximately 20 years ago - can't quite remember anymore I found a dead water bird on our farm after a severe storm. I searched my guidebooks trying to identify the bird, settled on a Red-necked Phalarope , but never felt confident in the accuracy of my choice.
    I believe now you have answered the mystery! The loon makes much more sense considering the location where I discovered the bird and the loon's migratory patterns.

    Thanks!
    Linda Cronin

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 18 weeks ago

    This all reminds me of one of the basic, paradoxical, axioms of economics, i.e. the world is full of limited resources.

  • Bigger Boat Tours Coming to Voyageurs National Park   6 years 18 weeks ago

    The difference between funding campground and boat ramps vs. paleontological positions is that the former are capital expenses and the latter are operating expenses. I would expect that funding for capital and operating comes out of two different pots of money for the Park Service, and so aren't really in competition with each other.

    Meanwhile, more information on the Alternative Transportation in Parks & Public Lands Program can be found here:
    http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/E7-20213.pdf
    and
    http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/E7-24129.pdf

    The Voyageurs project isn't listed in the second link, so I'm thinking that the second link represents last year's list of projects and that the full list of this year's projects has not yet been listed.