Recent comments

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

    Quote from Beach to Desert: "There are many animals that call that area home and may never return if they are scared off by people or vehicles. The land there is constantly changing-staying on the ORV paths is difficult and I'm sure there are the ones who don't care what the signs say, they do as they please".

    Beach to Desert you are correct in part of your comment........People on foot and especially those with unleashed animals have proven, in many studies, to be a much greater threat to protected species than ORV's observing the Park rules and Regulations.

    Why? ....I have observed literally hundreds of people walking in restricted areas in my 30 years+ on the Outer Banks. Why do they disregard the signs, fences, warnings? Its simple !! The thought process of these folks are....I'm only going in to get a shell. I'm only looking for a handy place to releive myself. I thought I saw a birds nest and wanted a closer look. I was going to pick up some driftwood. My animal ran towards something it spotted. My animal relieved itself there and I was going to pick up the deposit. I am bird watching. The reasons are endless....and unless you are a person with a uniform .......most will tell you to stuff it if you approach them! Enforcement of existing rules and regulations is the issue in this battle not management by lock and key!!

    On Holiday weekends in the summer take a picture of any favorite spot on a lake, at a stream, on a ski lift, on a people only beach, at a museum, at an amusement park, or on a ORV accesible beach and the picture is the same. People on top of each other with every conceivable item they can carry. Now take a picture on a non Holiday weekend..........the picture is quite different!! The picture in this article is a classic case of slanted journalism. Most OBX users know that the picture in this article was specifically user to reinforce a point of view.......This picture is the case rather than the rule!

    When the Park and then Recreational Area was given to Uncle Sam the native people were promised that they would always have access to the beaches. Now, like the Native Americans were thrown from their ancestral lands, the Outer Banks natives are being removed from their 'promised access to the beaches'.

    There has always been a co-existence on these barrier islands with animals until man interfered.......not with ORV's, which have been present on the beaches for more than 75 years but with groins and jetties to reshape the shoreline.....NPS Rangers killing foxes, skunks, raccoons and other native species in the name of protecting birds at the extreme southern limit of their range. Bulldozing habitat into oblivion in the name of safety. Allowing brush and scrub vegetation to grow in areas closed in the name of species preservation..brush and vegetation that eliminated the natural overwash areas so desired for nesting by the shore birds especially the Plovers.

    Now the extremists even want the Assateague Island National Seashore to eliminate the number of native horses on this Barrier Island. Why, you will ask........because their hooves are 'compacting' the sand to undesired levels restricting vegetation growth. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    At Cape Cod National Seashore the recovery plan has been so effective in the Plovers natural reproductive range the the NPS has them everywhere!! The interesting issue is that ORV beach access has had little or no effect on their recovery. Now NPS is in a quandry because the Plovers are everywhere and there is no Management plan to deal with the glut of birds which are still protected by ESA and NEPA.

    Management by Lock and Key is not acceptable.... but folks .......thats where we're headed if the extremists get their way!!

  • Would a Change in Gun Laws Be a Threat to National Park Bears?   6 years 23 weeks ago

    News flash today:
    Mountain lion attacks boy celebrating birthday. Father shoots lion to save son.

    On Animal Planet: A bird watcher surprises a female grizzly and her cubs and is mauled; a female mountain biker is attacked by a 130 pound mountain lion.

    And on the Biography Channel: The Yosemite Killer. The case of serial killer Cary Stayner, who killed visitors to Yosemite National Park in 1999.

    When I travel, I don't park in dark places. I lock my doors and wear my seat belt. I stay around where other people are. I don't golf in the rain or sleep on railroad tracks. When I fly, I file a flight plan. When we backpack, we carry a PLB, matches, signal device, etc. In other words, we follow the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. We take care of ourselves. No one else will.

  • Bear-Proof Food Canisters Mandatory for Most Backcountry Travel in Grand Teton National Park   6 years 23 weeks ago

    I typically fit 8 days of food, at about 3,000 calories per day, into mine. It all depends on what you choose to take.

    There's some advice here: http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstorage/packingabearcanister.htm

    And there are larger canisters that are still lighter than the standard park-issued models.
    __________
    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.

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

    Just because the ORV supporters call it "Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreation Area" does not make it so.
    1937: Cape Hatteras National Seashore
    1940: Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreation Area
    1953: Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

    At present, and since its establishment, it is a national seashore, not a national recreation area.

    "God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars." -Martin Luther

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

    Snowbird06

    Sunshine: your quote, "Leave Cape Hatteras alone and allow us to share Cape Point with generations to come". Sunshine, you forgot to mention one thing: the preservation of wildllife for all generations to come...not just for the fun frolicking beach hogs alone. A bit of selfish stand on your behalf!

  • Bear-Proof Food Canisters Mandatory for Most Backcountry Travel in Grand Teton National Park   6 years 23 weeks ago

    The problem with bear canisters is they do not hold much food. I could not fit five days of food in one. I would have to carry two or three on a ten day trip.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Say, if traveling and choosing to camp amidst deep in the border parks with full knowledge of its danger...so be it..no one said you cant have that gun in your car. If you're back packing there you're probably nutts and you'll probably take a gun any way. So be it. Its likely a good issue to bring to light that the border parks are getting trashed from the illegal entry and/or drug smugglers. I hadnt been aware of such.Could be an issue gun talk has no bearing .......... I really believe Most National Park visitors that actually have a repeat camping, hiking, picnicing...national park experice would say NO, NO, NO for any change to existing law. I spent many years working and living in 3 major west and east coast parks/seashore. (many of those years in L.E. as well as working in campgrounds)

  • Bear-Proof Food Canisters Mandatory for Most Backcountry Travel in Grand Teton National Park   6 years 23 weeks ago

    In the Sierra Nevada, they started out loaning them for free. Now you either have to rent them, or bring your own.

    For standards and requirements in the Sierra Nevada, check out: http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/
    __________
    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.

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

    I see that the Senator also included that there was his need to examine other issues involved. This small facet of his thoughts shows to me he is aware that a snap answer isnt appropriate. Sounds like he is aware that there is probality of accidents ( be adults or children running around). There are laws and there is the spirit of the law. I havent necessarly been a Obama fan but I must say I think his response seems to reflect a need to view a larger picture.( what was the context of where he was asked and what time was allowed for him to respond.). Aside from this, I have wondered how a park's jurisdictional status plays into this. Some Parks have absolute jurisdiction, some joint and ?

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

    Hey, Snowbird, my husband and I regularly visit Cape Hatteras, particularly Cape Point. Our vehicle, identified by you as an oil dripping gas guzzling ORV, has nevered dropped 1 ounce of oil on the beach. The appeal of Cape Point is being able to drive out, set up for the day and enjoying the beauty of the beach without having tourisits lying next to you such as at Myrtle Beach. Ninety-five percent of the visitors to Cape Hatteras and the Point observe all rules and regulations outlined by the National Park Service. In fact, several OVRer's regularly clean the beach of debris and clean up after themselves upon leaving. It's tree huggers like you that like to ruin it for everyone else. Leave Cape Hatteras alone and allow us to share Cape Point with generations to come.

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

    I have been to Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke. They are beautiful places. And yes, the use of ORV should be stopped. There are many animals that call that area home and may never return if they are scared off by people or vehicles. The land there is constantly changing-staying on the ORV paths is difficult and I'm sure there are the ones who don't care what the signs say, they do as they please. For years there has been issues with keeping the dunes intact and saving plant life. This area should be protected for the future. There are miles and miles of other beaches to go to. There are beach areas in NC that allow only so many people a day or no vehicles at all. Only boats and bicycles. If they want to go to these areas so bad, they'll take the transportation options given to them.

  • Bear-Proof Food Canisters Mandatory for Most Backcountry Travel in Grand Teton National Park   6 years 23 weeks ago

    This sounds like a good requirement. I'm glad to see that the canisters will be available for loan at no charge. I wonder if we'll eventually have to collect a deposit to make sure the canisters are returned. Will there be a workable plan to enforce this requirement? It wouldn't take too many rule-breakers to negate the benefits we can see from the institution of this regulation.

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

    First let me say that I used to live in the Outer Banks and I visit Ocracoke every year, several times a year and have for over 10 years. I am a beach person to the core. I am also very protective of the environment, esecially the beach and the ocean, and I protect, defend and will stand up for animals. BUT there has to be a place for people to go as well. Period.

    If you have never been to Ocracoke, Pea Island, Portsmouth Island and the like, then you really have no valid comment here. You should visit before offering comments. Ocracoke is about the last special unspoiled place that NC has to offer and it should not be taken away from the wildlife OR the people. We ALL have a right to be there. Yes, some people should be more considerate, I do not disagree with that at all and I do not hesitate to call someone on it if they are not respectful and mindful of the surroundings. There are not many beaches left that humans are allowed to enjoy by vehicle. If they succeed in not allowing us to drive on the beach at Ocracoke I can tell you what will happen. People will have to going to park on the side of the road and trek over the dunes to get to the beach. And, for those of you not familiar with the beaches, you are not allowed to cross over the dunes either because of the environment and animals. So what is going to happen is NO ACCESS TO THE BEACH FOR HUMANS AT ALL. How about that?? Think about it because that is EXACTLY what is going to happen.

    Fight for the animals, yes, but fight for humans too.

  • Bear-Proof Food Canisters Mandatory for Most Backcountry Travel in Grand Teton National Park   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Bear-resistant food canisters are also required in most of Sequoia/Kings-Canyon National Park as well. In addition, large areas of wilderness on Forest Service land in the Sierra Nevada also require you to use such canisters.

    We explored the history and effectiveness of bear cans in a two-part edition of the WildeBeat:
    The Story of Bear Cans, part 1
    The Story of Bear Cans, part 2
    __________
    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.

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

    Snowbird06
    Mr. Metzgar: Take a hard look at the photo caption for this article. What do you honestly see on the fringes of the beach at Cape Hatteras? That's right, wall-to-wall with gas and oil dripping vehicles of all sorts. Now, don't tell me this beach is pristine clean and free from pollution. Maybe, I haven't been to the Cape and wouldn't want too considering all the vehicles stacked up on the beach...what an ugly sight! However, I do put much credence in the National Audubon Society and The Defenders of Wildlife comments on the destruction and the harming of the ecosystems at Cape Hatteras...and I assure you that there doing the right thing. Besides, how close do you want to be on the damn beach.

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

    Obviously you have never been to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area or you would not have made such a ridiculous comment. The comment was tantamount to telling someone to climb the Tetons in winter without wearing a coat........

  • National Mall: Cherry Blossom Festival Not Far Off   6 years 23 weeks ago

    I love the cherry blossom festival!! If you have never been to see the National Mall with the cherry blossoms in their peak, then you absolutely must go! Words can't describe how truly awesome it is. My husband and I go every year, it is that amazing.

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

    This talk of guns in the park is such a non-issue that even our presidential candidates are unaware what the contention is. The senator seems to think that bears are the problem. The problem is actually a states rights versus federal rights argument. Can the states issue carry permits that the federal government is required to honor? The NPS has so far said "no". Under our Federal system of government I don't see how a law passed by the Congress will pass Constitutional muster, without some enabling legislation that would cause a federal concealed carry permit to be instituted. In parks such as Yellowstone the Federal government has exclusive jurisdiction (i.e. no state law enforcement is allowed). How would this law work there?

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

    Snowbird06
    If one considers that 90% of are beaches in the world today are slowing dying from of lack of conscientious environment care, then I consider Cape Hatteras National Seashore is surely one of them. Now, get those oil dripping gas guzzling ORV's off the beaches. We have enough human crap fouling up the oceans today. Just asked any competent marine biologist.

  • Haleakala National Park Officials Institute Moratorium on Bike Tours   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Please save us from ourselves!! The Nanny State has arrived!!

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

    A three mile hike might be too much for granpa but the kid will catch a lot more fish there now because there are less people. How about going in by boat gramps?

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Valid point Kurt. I was just curious how the folks who visit this blog feel about the issue. I can't help but wonder how the comments will go during the 90-day period after the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is presented on April 30th. If 80% of the comments support carrying loaded guns in the Parks, what will that tell us?

    It's not a poularity contest, but it is important to allow people a voice. I certainly wouldn't want folks to avoid the Parks simply because my Dad, my brother, and I were hiking in the backcountry of our beautiful National Parks.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    C'mon, Fred, using those comments to project an outcome is about as scientific as Sen. Coburn's "poll" on the question of concealed carry in the parks on his web site. I think it's fairly well-known how organized the NRA and its supporters are on these issues. As soon as I started posting about guns in the parks at least one gun rights site -- The High Road -- pointed its readers in my direction, as did another site that I can't immediately recall.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Frank -

    You said, "Ask one question: "Do you believe that people should be allowed to carry loaded guns inside National Parks?" I believe that most ACTUAL PARK VISITORS will say "no".

    I was curious, so I counted the comments from this earlier post about guns in the Parks. There were 60 separate comments. Only 12 of those (20%) agreed with you and Kurt. Nine of those were from ONE responder (Snowbird). I get the impression that we would be told "YES" if we were to ask your question at the typical Park entrance, not "NO".

    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2006/11/guns-parks-bad-idea

  • Guns in the Parks: A Bad Idea   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Do you think it will change my park experience to be sauntering along a trail in Big Bend National Park, and encounter people carrying rifles? You bet your sweet bippy it will! Ask yourself if it will affect your park experience, as you walk _____________ (your favorite trail) in _____________________ (your favorite park unit), and encounter someone "loaded for bear".