Recent comments

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 23 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 23 weeks ago

    Nicely said Hallie.

  • Park History: Isle Royale National Park   6 years 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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 23 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:

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


  • Park History: Isle Royale National Park   6 years 23 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!

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    With permission, I quote "Anonymous" who said it much better than I can:

    I'm afraid ignorance of our Constitutional rights and their continued erosion by both liberals and conservatives because of personal prejudices are a ticking time bomb. Each has foisted constitutional abuses on the American people. Conservatives are guilty of abusing the Commerce Clause to support the war on drugs and liberals have introduced various gun bans that are clearly un-Constitutional. These represent the slowly warming water that will ultimately boil us to death.

    I think it was said best by one of our brightest founding fathers.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    American's need to grow a thicker hide and stop looking to government to solve our problems, because we all know they create more problems than they solve.

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    There is no absolute in any law. If we want to take the 2nd Amendment argument to legal extremes, we would be encouraging children to bring guns to school, and everyone else to carry weapons into government buildings, bars, etc. But this is outlandish, and the law clearly prohibits these actions, just as it prohibits loaded weapons in national parks. To most "law abiding citizens," this seems reasonable. Others, of course feel compelled to carry a gun at home, at work, in the car, to the baseball game (oh wait, we can't take guns there, either—imagine what could happen if you were rooting for the wrong team!), to the bathroom, and everywhere else. Maybe they fear the entire world. In any case, the laws of this great nation place clear limits on the right to bear arms. And personally, I'm not as worried about poachers in our national parks as I am about gun-toting, "law abiding citizens" who, feeling secure in being miles from civilization, decide to take a few pot shots at their fellow park-goers.

  • Groups Sue Cape Hatteras National Seashore Over ORV Traffic   6 years 23 weeks ago

    I've been coming down to the Outer Banks every year save one since 1965. Hatteras Island for the last 15 years. We always got a house very close to the southern edge of Avon. To date, I've never seen anyone doing donuts, or driving recklessly (On the beach.... highway 12 might be another matter). Perhaps one yahoo that got his vehicle a little too close to the ocean and almost lost it in the drink, but otherwise, the OVRrs are a very sedate group.

    Oil on the beach use to be a problem in the 60s, but that was from ships at sea. It's very clean there now.

    The folks that get themselves worked up over what they think is right for the environment sound like they've never been to Hatteras. You guys need to learn about the area a little bit before going off into histrionics.

    Mr BO

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Well said, Kurt. Let's hope the NRA isn't able to push guns into our treasured national parks. The NRA is trying to create a society where gun-owners' rights trump the rights of all other Americans. The gun lobby apparently doesn't care if this results in more gun violence - we are told that is not even a consideration. We need groups like yours to stand tall and affirm that public safety isn't only a necessity, it's a basic component of "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" mentioned in our Declaration of Independence. Thank you for your efforts.

  • Benefit Planned for Joshua Tree National Park   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Thank you, National Parks Traveler folks, for posting this.

    I wish I lived close enough to go to the concert, in order to show support for the work of Donna and Larry Charpied. The Charpieds are a great example of private citizens who have made difficult sacrifices in their lives to keep a place they love from being harmed. Because the priorities of government agencies and environmental groups often change over time, private citizens are crucial to victory in these multi-decade fights. Go Donna and Larry!

  • Decommissioning National Parks: Some History, And Some Ominous Clouds   6 years 23 weeks ago

    This is a terrble, incredibly short-sighted idea. The "we can't even afford to take care of the parks we have" argument is totally bogus. It's perpetuated by the Grover Nordquist-types who want to shrink government until they can "drown it in a bathtub." I can't believe that national park advocates fall for this disinformation, but they have -- going along with rising fees while the Congress feels no pressure to appropriate more money. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    This argument has been with us since the beginning. And it is no more valid today than is was 100 years ago. Don't take my word for it:

    "The insidious opposition to National Parks will say, ‘There is a feeling in Congress that we should not have any more National Parks at this time’; or, ‘We should wait until present ones are improved.’”
    —Enos Mills, Your National Parks, 1917

    The bankruptcy of the idea of cutting parks is shown by the suggestion that Glen Canyon National Recreation Area should be on the reject list. Until it was drown under Lake Powell reservoir this area was once the biological heart of the Colorado River ecosystem. Now a prolonged drought, rising water demand, and the effects of climate change are draining the reservoir. Hydrologists predict that Lake Powell will remain nearly empty indefinitely and will never fill again The Canyon is already showing amazing restorative capacity and many of the side canyons are revealed for the first time in 40 years. We should upgrade Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to a National Park to restore and fully protect this amazing place. Take a look at these photos of Glen Canyon before it was flooded ( tell me this is not a place that rivals any of our existing National Parks.

    We should not cut one park. We should not even be considering it. Instead, we should be greatly expanding the National Park System. There are hundreds of areas on national forests, BLM lands, national wildlife refuges, and private lands that need the strong protection of the National Park System. Yes, we need to build the public support to adequately fund what we have -- the conservation movement has been pathetic in accomplishing this. But we need to add as many parks as possible while we still can.

    Instead of acting like victims, whining about how our parks don't have any money and talking about throwing some overboard, we need to rebuild the national parks movement. There is no movement today. Other than National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), no major national advocacy group does anything more than give lip service to national parks. And there is no new national parks movement at all. That needs to change.

  • Who Visits Alaska's National Parks?   6 years 23 weeks ago

    I'm going to Denali to go backpacking this summer. It will be my third consecutive annual visit to Alaska, and I hope to keep that trend up. Last year I didn't visit a national park, but a state park. The year before was Wrangell/St Elias. I'd like to visit the more remote parks, and Gates of the Arctic is my goal for next year. But the costs are a challenge. The main reason I'm going to Denali this year is because there is no need to rent a car or hire a plane. I'd rather go somewhere else and avoid the permit system if I could afford it.

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    Ranger Tyler, how is the constitutional issue being avoided? Doesn't the Constitution provide for the establishment of laws, and isn't the current regulation a law? Just as it's reasonable to have laws that impact First Amendment rights (You can't incite a riot or yell "fire" in a theater without being arrested in most states or libel/slander someone without facing the consequences), why is it so outrageous to have reasonable laws that involve the 2nd Amendment?

    If you want to argue constitutional issues, what about states that currently deny concealed carry or have tighter restrictions than the NRA would approve? After all, under the NRA's current drive, they want national park gun laws to mirror those of the states in which the parks are located. So even if the current regulations are changed to adopt those guidelines, unless you live in California and have a California-issued CCW permit you won't be able to carry in Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Death Valley or other NPS units there as that state doesn't recognize other states' CCW permits.

    Of course, this all likely will be moot after the Supreme Court rules on the D.C. gun case.....

  • Acreage Donated to Expand Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park   6 years 23 weeks ago

    the headline is misleading - donating is giving - he did not give he sold.

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 23 weeks ago

    This site again avoids the Constitutional issue. As an anonymous commentor has already voiced, if you don't want people to carry loaded arms on federal land, work on amending the Constitution. Red herring arguments, like safety or necessity, ignore the 2nd Amendment. Why are citizens outraged when the NPS wants to limit the 1st Amendment's free speech protections on the National Mall to a "pit" to protect grass, but then embrace the NPS when it violates the 2nd Amendment to supposedly protect deer? Poachers will continue to ignore regulations and poach; meanwhile, law-abiding citizens are denied their Constitutional rights.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 23 weeks ago

    I still call it a fat man's toy. If you can't walk your dead!