Recent comments

  • Judge Gives Two Sides Additional Week to Resolve Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Issue   6 years 21 weeks ago

    It is truely sad to me that because of the lack of action on the part of the NPS to create a long term solution (as mandated 30 years ago) they left the door open for DOW and Audobon to sue for a complete closure of the points and spits at the beach. Due to their lack of action (thus far, maybe that changes in the negotiations with DOW) my kids will never get to fish "the point" never mind even getting to see it. Well the DOW says that people can just walk to these places as they do not want to ban pedestrians but they forget to tell you that it is 2 miles from the paved road to the point.

    The NPS has really proved to behave just like every other big government program and forget about the fact that the National Parks were created fro the use of the people not 10 pairs of birds... Thanks NPS!!!!

  • Judge Gives Two Sides Additional Week to Resolve Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Issue   6 years 21 weeks ago

    On an earlier posting readers were directed to a information piece provided by the Southern Environmental Law Center explaining the reason for their current litigation.
    http://www.southernenvironment.org/cases/hatteras/index.htm
    At that site SELC makes the following science based statement that they have given to the court, the media and general public time and again over the past number of months:
    "In addition to fishermen, daily beach goers are using their trucks and SUVs for convenient beach access. In their path are nests of shorebirds like the threatened piping plover and loggerhead turtle whose existence on the Seashore is imperiled by hundreds of vehicles per day. As a result, these species are declining at a rapid pace."
    When I go to the "these species are declining" page intended to scientifically support the claim of species loss, http://www.southernenvironment.org/cases/hatteras/bird_decline.htm
    I find a table showing photographs of beautiful birds and three columns of numbers that indicate what I can only describe as a " horrific" decline of birds. The table is designed to be disturbing but to me as a scientist the table highly questionable and misleading. Species populations do not disappear that way. I suspect/hypothesize there is something seriously wrong with this information as presented. And I am more disturbed that, without clear explanation and verification, the data are being accepted at face value by much of environmentally concerned public and government bodies such as the court.
    For this data and these claims to be judged valid they need to be explained and to pass the normal test of scientific review.
    Give the potential beach access loss to the public resulting from this disturbing data, the Southern Environmental Law Center, who is publishing this information, owes it to the public to answer the following questions:
    1. Who is the specific author of this table bird population decline? What is their area of expertise?
    2. Show us the raw or original data used to create this table?
    3. From what studies were the numbers in this table taken?
    4. Were the studies on which the table based peer reviewed or published? By whom?
    5. What protocol was used to collect the data?
    6. Where and when were the data collected ?
    7. What quality control system and statistical analysis process was used in data collection?
    8. Show trends: What were the observed population counts for 1996, 1997, 1998,1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
    9. Where is the loggerhead turtle and piping plover data?
    Unless these questions can be answered sufficiently, claims of species loss related to ORV traffic based on this table should cease.

    DOW and Audubon represented by SELC are making one sided claims without any credible scientific data, I do not think that it's fair that they have posted these figures and the comments by Rylander that are flat out half truths if not just plain lies.

  • Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Exotic species is certainly a more appropriate designation than invasive, as the desert wild horses have demonstrated none of the prototypical biological characteristics that would warrant the invasive label to be laid on their doorstep. But based on the history of critter solely as established within the author's writings, exotic isn't quite a fair or accurate designation either. Considering the origination, extinction and reintroduction cycle that did indeed occur over a rather extended period of time, the term exotic, or at the very least, mutant (referring to the species being derived from the original wild-type organism and not exhibiting the strict genotypical or phenotypical traits of the wild-type) would have to be an acceptable alternative moniker. I'd suggest a bit or reseach into the definition of the term invasive prior to anyone loosely utilizing that language when attempting to "tag" one organism or another with inaccurate, imflamatory descriptions. Tamarisk, now there's something that qualifies as invasive. Zebra mussels, Asian carp, starlings..........an organism that supplants native, wild-type species from their niche....... that's a more proper example of invasive. I don't think these guys meet the same criterion.

  • A Sad Sign of the Times: NPS Promotes Body Armor Options To Rangers   6 years 21 weeks ago

    I believe in the 2nd amendment.

    The rangers, in NP cannot protect us legally-armed citizen. You just do not have enough rangers (Congressional fault).

    If I can pass the test for a carry permit, why can't I carry?

    I have never had a gun go off accidentally, like the latest "armed" pilot. I still would like to know what stupid stunt that pilot was performing.

    I only carry when I sense a bad situation, I would like to legally carry between states, but each state wants its fee, not safety. The NP is similar. It wants its cake and to eat it also!!

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Joel has driven the point home.

    Please consider that not all retired park rangers support the infringment of the right to bear arms. I guess that's what is so irksome about this whole debate; why does ANPR and its leadership ignore members with opposing viewpoints who believe the 2nd Amendment applies to federal lands including national parks? Why won't NPT consider the other side in its posts? People are hardly unified on this topic; it's devisive. Again, liberals who love the 1st Amendment shun the 2nd. Neo-cons who ignore Due Process worship the 2nd. Both have it wrong; you can't pick and choose which parts of the Consitution to follow.

    To quote a former park ranger:

    "The Right to Arms--a defense of the right to own and bear arms (including handguns) from my own libertarian, agrarian-anarchist, left-wing liberal point of view; too important an issue to be left to the National Rifle Association, the John Birchers and other right-wing crackpots; i.e., if guns are registered (then confiscated, then outlawed), cops--and the military--and the secret police--and a few outlaws--will have guns; consider: the democratic rifle as opposed to the authoritarian tank, the totalitarian B-52; widespread citizen ownership of firearms as the final polular defense against the tyranny of the State; etc.; tyrany always based on a monopoly of the means of violence; all authoritarian societies based on a disarmed population, a class-controlled restriction on ownership of weapons; etc., etc."

    The real issue is freedom. The NPS should not have a "monopoly of the means of violence"; no, not those swaggering, power-tripping rangers. Those rangers who behave so cavalierly with their weapons. Seems to me too many are misplacing trust in the government and sacrificing their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms when they sould be concerned that when entering a national park only the government is allowed to bear arms. Seems an antithesis to the Founders' intentions.

    "Removing that simple point of reference would seriously impair park rangers’ ability to . . . manage crowds."

    Manage unarmed crowds? With arms? In national parks? Wow. Talk about tyrany and the monopoly of power. How repulsive. Welcome to 1984. It's a Brave New World.

  • Man Drowns During Rafting Trip Through Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 21 weeks ago

    I ran Hance the day after the accident. The water was HUGE. We had heard about a death the day before. I also heard from another group that the man who died was complaining of chest pains and was dizzy the night before.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    I must assume your comments were pointed in my direction due to your poor reference to my user ID. The only item that should confound you is your and many other posters to these gun issues lack of original thought regarding methods of self-defense. It seems as though without your guns you're totally out of your element, which doesn't bode well for you in times of true crisis when one is forced to respond in an emergency with quick thinking and actions rather than brute force. The sad truth of the matter is that if and when one of you is finally confronted with an armed person intent on doing harm, your weapon will be of little use since they will already "have the drop on you" as the saying used to go. Generally, in this type of encounter, the person who "displays" first has neutralized the other party most effectively, to the point of relieving you of your "protection", if you should be in possession of such. That's the cold reality of these encounters, which is never told by the NRA. What logic do you follow that because your piece is "concealed" that you'll be any more safe than would anyone else? Is it the general consensus that unless your gun is visible you're assumed not to be carrying? Is it also conventional wisdom that dictates you won't be assaulted prior to your ability to utilize your weapon? Do any of you really believe that these creitons give a rat's ass if you're armed or not? The chances of you escalating your attacker's norepinepherine level to an most unfavorable conclusion by them detecting your arms are now far greater, since they feel you were out to do THEM harm and thereby why would they not seek to end the perceived threat to THEIR lives?

    And just exactly what in your lack of critical thinking skills would make you assume that I and others like myself are not equipped to defend ourselves, just because we make the conscious effort to NOT carry the extra burden of firearms? Speaking strictly for myself, I have no issues with one of these lower-intellect morons "relieving" me of my chosen method of protection. That's actually what I'm counting on if such an incident were to occur. Go ahead, take it......by all means, open it! That will serve as your last action on God's earth, and provided I'm still alive, yes, I will indeed sleep soundly at night knowing there's one (or more) less of them in the world. If I'm not still alive, 1-for-1 is a fair exchange, and since I'm not trying to set any longevity records, I could care less. I like my plan much better. It's lighter to carry, doesn't look dangerous and I don't have to be concerned with being accurate. Simple and fool-proof, what could be better? I can't be responsible for the fact that you didn't think of it first and chose the hard way.

  • Should Uranium Mining Be Allowed Outside Grand Canyon National Park?   6 years 21 weeks ago

    I agree with you to a point: Extractive Energy Sources such as uranium mining also produce air pollution in their logistics, i.e., ore extraction, ore processing, ore transport.

    It is highly unlikely that mainstream society will voluntarily reduce their contribution to polluting our environment, recycling has only a small part, while conservation, although the greatest means to reduce pollution, is not being considered by mainstream anti-pollution groups.

    Nuclear energy is definitely not a solution to climate change; instead nuclear energy has subverted the climate change mania as a perverted marketing strategy imbued with sad images of drowning polar bears.

  • Lake Powell Expected to Rise 50 Feet This Summer   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Unbelievable! We are now lamenting the natural flow of snow-pack to river, & the attitude that we need to intervene in natural processes to make it 'easier' for visitors. This makes me gag. No wonder we are losing our place on Earth with species extinctions, habitat loss & environmental disasters: we refuse to allow Nature to take its course, & instead insist on manipulating all for human convenience ... terrific. I am a disabled person who is tired of having the Earth sabotaged for my theoretical benefit. What benefits me is to allow more unguided existence. Surely we humans have more than demonstrated our inability to 'govern' the Earth!

  • Body Found Below South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Condors are an asset to nature. Often misunderstood, they play a major role in keeping "Mother Nature" clean!

  • Would a Change in Gun Laws Be a Threat to National Park Bears?   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Its not up to you as to who can have a gun in the park, it's a matter of my right to have a gun!

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Your lack on understanding confounds me. You must live in a shell and never be exposed to the real world if you don't believe the necessity of self defense and firearms. Maybe you will turn up as one the the "lone hikers" found to be the victim of crime on a hiking trail with no way of defending yourself. I hope for your sake that you are not caught in the same circumstance as Meredith Emerson, recently murdered while hiking in NC. I'm sure she did not understand the need for firearms either.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Nicely said Hallie.

  • Park History: Isle Royale National Park   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Paul Gruchow included a beautiful essay in his collection "Boundary Waters: Grace of the Wild" about hiking Isle Royale. I would highly recommend it, whether or not you have visited or wish to visit the National Park.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Citizens can always count on wisdom and swift justice from Big Brother. Right? But, oh-by-the-way, some "public land" isn't safe for law abiding citizens because criminals are permitted to reign supreme. Still, it is against the law for law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm in a National Park. Personal interest ahead of the law, you say? No. A right. Just as slaves always had the right to their lives, liberty, etc... In spite of the laws which denied them their freedoms.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    As a woman who often camps and hikes with family and friends, I agree with you! As for those who use statistics to justify denying the right to use a firearm to protect ourselves in National Parks, I have to wonder if based on statistics, they would be willing to forgo carrying certain items when only planning to hike a short distance. For instance, no one I know will hike, even for a few hours, without carrying a lighter or matches, but I have never met anyone who was forced to use those things in an emergency situation. And the many people I know who carry firearms while hiking have never used them either. But that is not the point, is it?

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Walking is beter for you, of course.

    It seems that you'd have to watch the trail constantly rather than lifting your head and eyes to view the sights around you on a bike trail. No?

    Except for those with bad knees, back, etc., why? What's the point of it?

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    It's good to see that so many people haven't read the proposed legislation again. This "rule change" would only allow those people who YOUR STATE has already determined have passed the necessary courses in order to carry a weapon on their person. The constitution clearly says they should be able to do this without a course, class, test, written deed, or any other joke of a legislative permission. I don't quite understand how we can miss the phrasing "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED". Did we miss something in the understanding of infringed? NO PART SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY. While you want to paint the NRA as a bunch of lunatics, its members contribute more money to charity, and environmental issues than green peace. You continue to look at what their efforts are as a point of insanity. The reality is we all have to live together. That means we are literally walking among criminals and bad people as well as good people. You are willing to look at the extreme unlikliness that there will be any sort of attack or need for a weapon, but will turn the same argument the other way when we want to carry the guns we already carry among you. Please quote me your statistics about NRA members? Please show me where legally obtained firearms are more likely to kill than alcohol? Why are we not banning alcohol? What about classic automobiles? (They don't have airbags, and some no shoulder belts) What about the Dr. who killed my brother through malpractice? Surely he should be banned. (What do you mean from what? Life...he killed someone and had he not existed my brother still would)

    Don' t be ignorant. Guns are a tool for saving lives more than they are for losing lives. The 2nd ammendment was put in place for one purpose and one person (not to ensure we can shoot deer, ducks, or anything else). It's purpose is literally to protect YOU from YOUR government. The awesome part is we still live in a government where we feel we can make change without violence. Mexicans are fortunate enough that they can leave a country full of corruption and void of opportunity. They are so gratefuly for this America we have. They don't have the permission to own weapons to compete with their own government (Just ask the gorilla groups who are fighting against their corruption). Want more examples? (Check the Philippines). We don't really either. If the evolution of all government is to pass new laws then we eventually give up all freedoms. Where in the history of the world has a people ever taken back their freedom without bloodshed? For the record I dont' belive it'll be in my lifetime or my kids. I just want to had down a country where the people rule and the politicians work for them.

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    When is enough ever enough for the NRA lunatics? I have hunted in the past, I support the right to hunt, and still own a gun for personal safety in my home, so I'm not opposed to the right to own firearms - I'd be upset if I lost that freedom. But the NRA and their supporters are so extreme in their positions it's just sickening. Who in the hell needs an assault rifle? Why not allow them in National Parks too? It seems there's no limit to the ridiculous justifications they push. The analogy another reply offered was, to my mind, very realistic.

    Guns have no place in schools, government buildings, airports etc. and the same is true of national parks. But the NRA never rests in its tireless and senseless assault on common sense - what are these people thinking? And it's no surprise that this appalling administration would actually consider this ridiculous proposition. We can only hope the remaining 10 months of their insanity won't result in WW3. But then we'd all need assault rifles, right? It would be good for business.

  • Who Visits Alaska's National Parks?   6 years 21 weeks ago

    I'm trying to hit all of the national parks. I'm a big passport buff. Been at it for 10 years now and for Christmas upgraded to the new large passport. For information on Alaska National Parks see: http://www.ouramericanparks.com/Alaska-National-Parks.html

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 21 weeks ago

    I couldn't agree more with Jimmy, my wife and I have been visiting Hatteras for the last couple years and it is now a mandatory vacationing spot. To close the beaches to all ORV traffic is just ridiculous not to mention the economic impact on all the local business. One more point before I go, these people that are saying that the ORV's are leaking oil on the beach.. Lets think about this, now I'm sure there are some ORV's not up to par out on the beach but for the most part I believe most people are being responsible with there maintenance. But my point is, every boat in the water is pushing it's exhaust through its out drive or into the air. EVERY boat is directly injecting gas and oil into the water. Whats next? shutting down every charter fishing outfit to eliminate water pollution? How reasonable does that sound? Now how come I'm not hearing these tree huggers crying about the boats . CLOSING THE BEACH IS NOT THE ANSWER lets work together and come up with a solution we can all live with.

  • GAO Finds Fault With Management Plan For Yellowstone National Park Bison   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Marylander, making the park larger would likely never fly in these here parts--the guvmint is already an unwelcomed intruder. Parks are more restrictive than other public lands (no huntin' or trappin' or rippin' it up on ATVs & snowmobiles in national parks).

    But check out this page http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/maps/yellowstonemaps.html scroll down to Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and National Forests (it's a small map, couldn't locate a better one without spending more time) and you'll see that the park is already surrounded by public lands. Granted, there are private parcels and the towns of Gardiner and West Yellowstone in there, too, but had the park's boundaries been drawn to acknowledge seasonal migrations corridors and such, I guess we wouldn't be having this discussion now.

    You're right-on about the interagency boondoggle, although from their perspective, it's working quite nicely, thank you. They get to "manage" and slaughter the wildlife they see as problematic (competition), and they are awash in taxpayer money for doing it.

    The public land is there. The state of Montana simply needs to designate it as bison habitat, the Forest Svc. needs to retire a few grazing permits, and let 'em roam. At this stage in the game, Montana doesn't even consider wild bison to be wildlife!

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Even with the 2nd amendment, we still restrict the use of firearms in many places including airports, public buildings, schools, etc. The parks are just another area that needs this protection.

  • Appellate Court Rules Against Yosemite National Park   6 years 21 weeks ago

    There is a blind faith sentiment from many of the public and media to believe the National Park Service when they make eloquent and lofty environmental statements. When such statements come from Yosemite's Park Spokesman, Scott Gediman, the public wants to trust that they mean well that that there is no hidden agenda. Without the Ninth District Court of Appeals to rule in favor of the plaintiffs, of whom the park’s designated Spokesman, Scott Gediman in an article by the Fresno Bee last week maligned the plaintiffs who the court agreeed with as "a few people with narrow views".

    Park Spokesman, Scott Gediman’s so-called "few people with narrow views" represent 52 amici signers nationwide, who signing on to the original litigation, which included the respected Counties of Tuolumne and Madera. In addition there is more than 1,100 signatories on the Yosemite Valley Campers Coalition’s e-petition and more than 500 on their written petition in support of the return of campsites removed after the 1997 flood without public input, after congress gave the park service millions of dollars for campsite flood recover.

    The court's decision may now encourage the media and public to delve deeper into these Yosemite planning issue stories to sort through deceptive statements from the Yosemite National Park Service's spokespeople.

    Isn't it great that there is a justice system where a small grassroots organization like this and other concerned citizens can find justice and hold accountable the National Park Service who panders to large corporations and private interests in their ongoing effort to raise money for the privatization and commercialization of Yosemite and our other National Parks.

    As the late and well respected David Brower once said, "Yosemite should be a nature center, not a profit." Mr. Brower was a staunch supporter of Friends of Yosemite Valley and of their efforts to protect the park.

    Mark

  • Park History: Isle Royale National Park   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Find time and visit this enchanting and wild Isle. You will never see a more spectacular shade of blue than you will witness from Look- out- Louise as you view Lake Superior. Raspberry Island with its wildflowers and bogs makes one imagine that's how the earth would might have smelled on the first day of creation........clean healthy earthy! The boat ride from Copper Harbor in the cool breezes of Superior is the ride of a lifetime. Please visit and cherish this gift that belongs to Michigan!