Recent comments

  • On Stimulus Packages, Lobbyists, and Congressfolk   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Borrow and pave. Great strategy.

  • The World's Top Ten National Parks   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Surely a representative of the magnificent Canadian Parks should be nominated. Kluane and the Rocky Mountain group are outstanding. Our northern neigbors do an especially good job at interpretation and visitor

  • The Consequences of the Legal Bear Hunt in Katmai   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Let me start by saying that I consider myself a hunter. I have no problem with well managed and regulated hunting taking place in national preserves in Alaska, so long as it is in keeping with the stated mandates and intent of ANILCA. I agree with Jim Stratton insofar as the need for the National Park Service to take a greater role in setting bag limits and general management of the KNP bear population. It is interesting to note the fairly rapid increase in bear harvests in the preserve coincides with growing incursions of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) into the preserve. Prior to 1990, ATV incursions into the northern preserve were extremely rare and actively discouraged by the park. This policy was largely abandoned after this time, and ATVs became increasingly common. Most incursions originate north and west of the preserve boundary. ATV access allows bear hunters to travel well beyond the confines of lakes and rivers. Hunters on foot rarely walk more than a mile from their basic means of transportation in search of game. Traveling via ATV tremendously extends their effective hunting range and opens areas previously largely untouched. As the data suggests, bear the size and make up of the affected bear population is being affected. It is also possible that bears may be avoiding traditional concentration sites. In addition to changing the timing of the hunt and possibly setting lower harvest limits, management should consider the possibility of placing limits on motorized access for certain areas during the hunting season. A 2-to-4 mile radius around key bear concentration sites might help to rebuild bear populations and increase opportunities for bear viewing. This would not prevent hunters from walking or even paddling into such zones in search of bears.

  • On Stimulus Packages, Lobbyists, and Congressfolk   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Kudo's to the congress if they will stick to the already identified backlog (there is plenty of it there). I fear that what is happening is parks are writing new projects and moving quickly on other projects in their infancy because they see funding opportunities. Just because there is money available doesn't mean you can bypass the processes that ensure they are doing the right thing. Lets not throw things like environmental assessments, environmental impact studies, public scoping, cost assessments, government bids, scopes of work, specifications and good contracting practices (including quality assurance and quality controls) out the window. These processes take a lot of effort and manpower. If the Parks are to recieve this funding they will have to increase staffing drastically to do things right. The Park Service needs this stimulus, but they also need base funding to do the job. To throw money at the problem short term will create a careless spending spree that will injure the reputation of the service. The last thing we need are million dollar pith toilets.

  • The World's Top Ten National Parks   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Good afternoon--

    We have received only two additional nominations for the best international parks. Come on, NPT readers, we know you are world adventurers and have visited many parks or other protected areas outside the US. We really would like to pick your brains on the best ones out there. Give us your suggestions.

    Rick Smith

  • Grand Teton National Park Rangers Spending Their Days Rescuing Skiers   6 years 16 weeks ago

    "Park rangers credit Mr. Gamba and Mr. Thornberry with doing everything right to keep themselves safe and attempt their own self rescue. They carried the basic necessities and kept their wits about them during an unexpected night out in the Tetons."

    Obviously they weren't idiots, if they were they wouldn't have been found alive. Do you have any idea how much it cost to investigate a death in a national forest? Nothing close to the singe heli trip it took find them.
    I'm sure both gentlemen would be happy to pay for this expense out of their own pockets, but since we do live in America I'm happy my tax dollars went their rescue efforts. Don't be an "idiot" and be happy we live in a country that has emergency services and actually care about finding others.
    Would you feel the same way if this had happened to one of your family members or friends?

  • The Consequences of the Legal Bear Hunt in Katmai   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I do not support hunting of bears. It is like if we have superiors over us , are we happy to be just killed and be hunted???? Hunting lower species is a pure sign of weakness. So's not a sport anyway.

  • The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring   6 years 16 weeks ago

    February 2, 2009 comment update ...

    Managed to find Hyperion in Juanuary - the world's tallest redwood.

    That's the redwood tree covered in the final chapter of the book.

    Got some decent photos.

    Coincidentally, the valley with this tallest redwood also had the most traces of bear activity I've seen so far.

    Very fine looking valley - trees draped with moss and fish scurrying in the stream.



  • Sharpshooters To Begin Reducing Elk Herds in Rocky Mountain National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    when we get the opertunity to hunt we go for the bigest and best. large rack , large and healthy excetera . this is best for us but worst for wildlife. we would never shoot a weeker target we harvest the best leaving the sick criopel and small to survive . the other apex preditors select the week and dieing as pray . we are not competing with them there nitch is diferant than ares . the wolf is constinatly thining the herd of the sick and are necessary for sustaning a helthey herd. i hunt elk where well established wolfs and grizzleys exist the hunt is nt eazy but quite doible if wolf populations get higher we have the opption to hunt them and should do so . nature is trickey but man is smart enough to be good stewards .

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Opps. Meant to write "feet" rather than "meters." Regardless, it was a whopper!

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Actually, the highest such wave on record occurred on July 9, 1958, in Lituya Bay on the shoreline of the Gulf of Alaska. Based on survivor reports and physical evidence, the wave swept up adjacent mountain slopes to a height of 1500 meters.

  • Sharpshooters To Begin Reducing Elk Herds in Rocky Mountain National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    The intent to create a capsulized eco system with imaginary boarders is not reality. Today in the lower 48 we have no chance of creating and sustaining a "Natural Environment" migration routes, patterns and elevation will not allow enough property to be set aside. Mainly because the adjacent property in most cases in already developed and we can't relocate a town of humans.

    Experiments with nature are dangerous, unpredictable and expensive. In a time when we will be short on funds we need to look for more practical was of managing our National wonders. I have lived for over 5 decades, adjacent to one of these wonders. I am frustrated every year that man and his influence or activity is never considered in the equation? Yet we are here, I feel a dose of reality is needed. We will never be able to recreate a true wilderness area, so why don't we start managing them with a little more logic instead of pure emotion and science alone.

    I support that heritage hunting be introduced in National Parks, were herd reduction is necessary. Using Man as our predator has many advantages over wolfs. Man can be introduced into an area quickly, he can be better controlled for what sex, size and species to harvest. He can also be removed from an area just as quick. Best of all man predators also fund themselves, so they would be little to no expense to park budgets. To allow hunting is to allow a heritage skill that allowed man to survive and populate the country. If we loose these skills, we to could be in danger. We need to insure that man maintains his or her survival skills, and that future generations are not dependent on surviving on Mac Donald's and Wal-mart super stores alone.

  • Sharpshooters To Begin Reducing Elk Herds in Rocky Mountain National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Here in Utah at least, elk do indeed conflict with people. Especially on our highways. Driving I-80 east of Salt Lake is almost like driving the Dodge'em cars at Lagoon amusement park. Splattered elk carcasses and car carcasses litter the roadside. And despite a very active hunting population throughout the annual season, elk numbers continue to increase. Maybe ROMO isn't in this fix yet. But public hunting in a national park? No, no, no! Much too dangerous a precedent. Ranger sharpshooters are a MUCH better solution.

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I don't know what's worse...having people on NPT write extremist statements that paint people with broad brushes and display their obvious hate for others, or the fact that I actually wasted my time reading those people's attacks of each other.

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Don't think too hard Jim. It's not they were unaware, its when idiots post arbitrary idiotic laws, reasonable people tend to lose respect for the law. What's wrong with you people? I certainly would never advocate riding snowmachines around the herds, scaring them up and running them around. Most snowmachiners enjoy all types of outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, camping, etc. I've seen country on the back of my machine that you will never see because it's 30 miles from any road. I can see where that might elicit a sense of jealousy from you, but to associate me with evil because I've found a more efficient mode of transportation is a little petty, isn't it?

  • Rangers Catch Snowmobilers Riding Illegally in Yellowstone National Park's Backcountry   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I don't know what's worse, Ray, who is completely misinformed, prone to exaggerating and completely biased, or you, who is naive enough to buy into that crap. Who's to say a snowmobiler doesn't appreciate nature? Why would he be there if he doesn't appreciate nature? Do cross country skiers not impact wildlife behavior? Do Cars, highways, other wildlife, etc. Of course they do. It is a far reach to claim that some hibernating squirrel, 12 inches burrowed into the soil under 8 feet of snow is going to be impacted by a 450 pound machine skimming across the snow 7 feet above him. What amazes me is how these so-called environmentalists support spending millions of tax payers dollars to introduce wolves to go around tearing the birthing calves of bison out of the mother's giving birth, but direct all their hate towards the man out recreating on his snowmachine. I could respect their opinion if they didn't all jump into their Subaru's, fire up the gas emitting engine and cruise home guilt free and unaware of the plume of toxic carbon monoxide oozing out their tailpipes. Poor bunnies. Run for your lives.

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Thanks, Jim!

    The State of Washington has a lot to say about tsunamis in its Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan , which notes that "Seiches are water waves generated in enclosed or partly enclosed bodies of water such as reservoirs, lakes, bays and rivers by the passage of seismic waves (ground shaking) caused by earthquakes."

    I'd agree with your opinion that "Seiche" is a better description than "tsunami" in this case. The media reports I referenced in the story probably figured more readers would recognize "tsunami."

  • Get Me to the Park on Time……..   6 years 16 weeks ago

    That's an interesting question, anon. To do step-on guide gigs, you need to know your stuff (loads of local and regional lore), be a "people person" (the more charismatic the better), and have good contacts. If you think you measure up, contact travel firms that offer bus tours in your area and inquire about opportunities. Of course, the best opportunities will be in larger cities and in popular tourist destinations. Consider offering to do a few gigs for free just to have some fun, get some practice, and get valuable references. If you're really good at it, you might get lots of step-on gigs and perhaps even get the chance to move up to more lucrative gigs with bigger companies that have regional, national, or even world travel agendas. Good luck!

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I beleive the proper term is Seiche in an inland waterway. The physics are the same for tsunamis or a seiche. That is the energy(mass) of the generator and the configuration of the body of water. It is beleived the largest wave ever generated was a seiche occuring from a landslide in the Aleutian Islands. If my memory serves it was over 200 feet on the oppisite shore.

  • Get Me to the Park on Time……..   6 years 16 weeks ago

    How do you become a step-on?

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Interesting comments. The wave in the recent event was reported to be about 30 feet high, and since water was reported to have reached the foundations of several residences, I'd guess that height could be pretty easily determined.

    As to the reports from 1952 and 1953 about 65 foot's hard to say if the size of waves reported in quite a few seemingly reliable sources is exaggerated or not. Whatever the height, there have obviously been some very impressive wave events on the lake! There certainly wouldn't have been any video footage available in those days, and since the whole thing was apparently over in about 90 seconds, it's no surprise that there wasn't time for anyone to grab a camera for even a still photo.

    It's hard to make a comparison with chunks of ice falling off a glacier into the ocean, since the volume of earth and rock in some of these landslides is probably larger. I don't have a good point of reference for how big 15 million cubic yards really is, but it's a lot of "stuff"! In this case the water being displaced is confined in a lake much smaller than the ocean.

    Perhaps a clue that the result of these events is different in lakes vs. the ocean is found in a report from the State of Washington about the the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens:

    ...which caused a massive tsunami in Spirit Lake. The sliding north face of the volcano slammed into the west arm of the lake, raising its surface an estimated 207 feet and sending a tsunami surging around the lake basin as high as 820 feet above the previous lake level.

    Now that's a serious wave, and I guess the aftermath of the St. Helen's event has been studied in considerable detail.

    I'm certainly not trying to defend data I didn't collect - just mentioning some interesting details from what would seem to be unbiased sources. Perhaps some readers with a professional background in the subject can offer an opinion about the credibility of those reports.

  • "Inland Tsunami" at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area Wasn't the First of Its Kind   6 years 16 weeks ago

    65 FT wave..........I am sorry but that is just so hard to beleive.Where are the pics or vidio footage.I do beleive 16 -20ft wish i could of been there i would have surfed it lol...But any ways huge chuncks of ice fall into the ocean from the glaciars all the time and i dont think they are over 60 ft?A 16 ft wave could easly wash a small boat up onto shore 60ft and with that much land falling into a small lake i am sure lake level raised for a bit starting a domino affect down stream???Would realy like to see some video footage of this event if it happens so frequently in the same location.I beleive its slightly exagerated:]but still is an interesting thing to see.

  • Sharpshooters To Begin Reducing Elk Herds in Rocky Mountain National Park   6 years 16 weeks ago

    I don't know about elk, but birth control on deer was a failure when tried. Turned out the males just stayed in rut and caused more damage. The explosion in deer has been costly to cars from the increase in deer hits by cars. Elk not being in high population centers are not a problem to cars and do need to have the numbers thinned. The problem with hunts is that they are not year round and generaly take out the biggest rather than the weakest as wolves will do.

    Hunts will help in the short term but not in the long run. I agree that wolves will help and the wolves that spread outside the boundaries and kill herds will be killed. That is just nature with humans in the mix.

    As to the opinion that hunters cannot take the antlers. why not? They did the work why not a trophy. The meat can go to food banks if accepted then they parks will have to pay for the butchers to butcher the meat.

    As to making hunters pay, they generally do pay for hunting permits and special hunts like this have lotteries and money is charged for the special hunting permit, I believe. The hunters can explain further.

  • Planning to Visit Apostle Islands National Lakeshore? Leave Your Gun At Home   6 years 16 weeks ago

    This is true for many areas as a few states do not have CCW. I believe that Wisconsin will have it soon.
    I believe that 48 states have CCW in one form or another. Some states are "shall issue" and some are "may issue". Most people only pay attention to federal laws about guns and have not realized the change in 10 years on state laws. That is where the most change occurs.

  • Secretary Salazar on Guns in Parks: He'll "Take A Look At It"   6 years 16 weeks ago

    Nice to see Interior Secretary Salazar be a 2A supporter. I agree I am comfortable around guns and peole who use them and been shooting since I been a child and you don't see people freak out at a gun range with weapons openly carried, or over the shoulder and or at rest.

    But the emotional reaction of others is strange, they are so scared of a tool. We either trust Americans to be free or we don't. An American that can bear arms is a free man. One that is not free to do that, is a subject, though he may not realize it.

    As to the fear that CCW holder will start acting irrationally and shoot people, wildlife and scenery, that doesnt happen outside parks so there is no rational reason to assume they will inside a park.