Recent comments

  • Paper Calls For Park Service To Protect Wildlife From ORVs on Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    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 boards...so the bickering goes on!

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    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 23 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 23 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 23 weeks ago

    Ship,
    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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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.

    http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=3562

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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.

  • Sen. Obama Non-committal on Carrying Loaded Weapons in National Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Interestingly, tom, the state regs generally don't apply to Yellowstone National Park, which has its own judicial system and its own history. It could, however, apply to Grand Teton. (For instance, look at fishing regs in both parks). And, yet, those parks, in terms of access, are generally administered together (though sometimes you have to go through gates at both parks). It would be tricky, at least in the case of these sister Wyoming parks. But, that is probably an exception to the rule due to Yellowstone's unique judicial history.

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

  • National Park Service Revenues Down $1.3 Million On Transition to America The Beautiful Pass   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Well, perhaps, that explains some of it. Another explanation is the high price of oil and the low dollar. In Yellowstone, there was record visitation; however, from surveys of local businesses, it appears that there was a dramatic increase in foreign visitors (not an increase in the domestic visitors more likely to buy the annual pass). To the extent that domestic visitors are using the parks less due to other cost of living factors, that might explain some of it as well.

    I suspect, though, that the raise in the user fee had something to do with it; not only was it not worthwhile to a lot of visitors, but amongst those who buy the pass, they were certainly aware of the controversy and perhaps chose not to get the pass.

    It would be interesting to see overall revenue to national parks as well as to other public lands due to visitation. That might shed some light on behavior. In any event, a raise in the fee appeared to be ill timed from the government's revenue standpoint.

    Of course, from an ethical standpoint, all user fees - from those that mostly affect the middle class (like National Park user fees) to those that mostly affect the poor (like bus fare) make the notion of a public good rather self contradictory. That kind of class gap doesn't do the places we love very good, especially those like national parks that have the pretense of being egalitarian.

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

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 23 weeks ago

    "Beyond that, though, aren't we a "people of laws"? Or should we just be able to pick and choose which laws to obey based on whether we like that law or not?"

    Kurt

    As everyone knows the 2nd amendment question is being reviewed in the Supreme Court. That aside, you asked the above question. The precedent which has been set by our sanctuary city and state governments is if they don't agree with the law they ignore it and may even encourage the breaking of the law. I think we can agree that the answer to your question is becoming more and more pick and choose.

    The right to carry in parks is being handled legislatively. At least this issue is being debated with respect to the law. For instance, Wyoming has not come out and told its law enforcement personnel to ignore the federal authority. That's what happens in our cities where police are forbidden to assist in the enforcement of federal laws. I am sure if rangers needed assistance from local law enforcement on this current law they would get it. If it was a question of an immigration law, desertion from the military, or some other law we maybe didn’t like the answer is no help to that agency.

    Joe

  • Battle Mounts Over Off-Road Vehicles at Cape Hatteras National Seashore   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Thank you for a rational answer, finally -- from someone.

  • Studies Show Bear Spray More Effective Than Guns Against Grizzlies   6 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm not sure Anonymous has though of all the issues. If it's a simple constitutional debate, they why are the National Parks the target for having weapons in? Why not airports, courtrooms and federal buildings too? The simple fact is that guns kill people. I know there's the whole people kill people thing, but the gun really helps a lot.

  • Sen. Obama Non-committal on Carrying Loaded Weapons in National Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    How will the NPS handle the carrying permit of gun owners? Easy go by the states regs just like they do with hunting licenses.

    It comes down to that the few think they should control every aspect of our lives. THEY KNOW WHATS BEST FOR US!

  • National Park Service Revenues Down $1.3 Million On Transition to America The Beautiful Pass   6 years 23 weeks ago

    The story here is even worse than it appears at face value. Given the price increase, from $50 to $80, sales completely tanked! Doing some very rough math, NPS sold approximately 440,000 National Park Passes in 2006 (which by the way isn't an anomaly, its in line with the steady increase in sales since the launch of the NPP in 2000). But that same rough math reveals that NPS sold approximately 260,000 of the ATB passes. The price increase masks the dramatic drop in sales! This isn't the fault of the NPS Fee folks by any stretch - the ATB pass was forced on them by Norton and her lobbyist cronies. The Bush/Norton legacy will haunt the national parks for a long time.