Recent comments

  • Second Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone National Park   6 years 20 weeks ago

    With the experience per say that the NAtl parks have you would think that they could of caught this bear and tame it for it wildlife habitat or put it in a local zoo?I'am pretty sure most people that visits our parks today out side of the old school people are lame.dumb,and stupid.and don't take the necessary percautions when thier out in the wilderness.there should be required trainning before any gusts is allowed into these areas to provide safety and security for both nature and its dumb friends todays humans who have no brain cells left to think about anything.except of course their next meal!

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    Interesting article. Referring again to Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Parks elk overpopulation and adding bear troubles, it might not be so bad to sell a few leather jackets made of elkskin, bearskin rugs, elk and bear meat.

    The current economic activities in many of the parks, of which Yosemite is a great example, serve the needs of elites who plan semi-religious retreats years in advance, and the needs of motorists above almost any value you can think of.

    It's true that Yosemite and Zion, for example, have closed the upper reaches of the Nat'l Park valleys to private vehicles, but the lines of autos wanting to enter get longer each year and the political clamor obviates pushing the ever popular auto even further back, say to Modesto, or to the nearest town east of Zion's east entrance.

    There might be some business for those towns, don't you think? I am proposing sustainable economic activity on the fringes of a nature we hope will sustain us forever, instead of laissez faire exploitation here.

  • Any Question About Who's Calling the Shots in Yellowstone National Park?   6 years 20 weeks ago
  • Any Question About Who's Calling the Shots in Yellowstone National Park?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    Thanks for the links. I had never heard of the NP Organic Act of 1916 or the 1978 Redwood Amendment! I have known of the distinction between preservation and conservation, and that the former is supposed to apply to the Nat'l Parks.

    I am adamantly opposed to the use of individual snowmobiles in Yellowstone. But I think a reasonable compromise would be to allow tour guides to operate *quiet,* four-stroke cycle engine machines that can carry several people over roads that already exist. That way clearing the pass wouldn't be necessary, the noise and pollution of two-stroke cycle engines would be eliminated, and snowmobiles could be kept away from sensitive areas and wildlife.

    Living near Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park, as I do, the preservation of plantlife has become a conflict with the overpopulation of elk. There is a great deal of controversey over how to handle that situation. Controlled hunts have been proposed, but the outcry against them is nearly deafening.

    It would be a marvel if Congress, along with the people it represents, would come to their collective senses.


  • Did Gusty Winds Cause a Fatal Climbing Accident at Grand Teton National Park?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    You're right, SaltSage. That cute little trick cost Potter his Patagonia sponsorship and the respect of many climbers and environmentalists, including me. He's still a damn fine climber, though. What do you suggest we do with a guy like that?

  • Any Question About Who's Calling the Shots in Yellowstone National Park?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    This has been used as a significant source in a New West essay out today.

    See by Joan McCarter.

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

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    A Utah permit is not terribly difficult to get. I have one in my wallet. Only cost me $200. I had to attend an all-day class. I waited 5 months for my permit to come in the mail; background checks take time. It is NOT valid in California. Check this website:

  • Did Gusty Winds Cause a Fatal Climbing Accident at Grand Teton National Park?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    Lest readers forget, Dean Potter is the guy who recklessly climbed Delicate Arch at Arches National Park in 2006, possibly damaging it and causing the NPS there to ban all climbing of arches named on USGS quads.

    Here's a link to Outside Magazine's story on the incident:

  • Visiting the Parks: Kakaying Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park   6 years 20 weeks ago

    I used to live near Black Canyon NP and have spent many a night there, mostly on the North Rim. And though I can argue a bit with its current national park status, Black Canyon is a truly special place -- an appropriately primitive park with no running water in its visitor facilities, a very cool log cabin visitor center on the South Rim, some amazingly rugged and delightfully dangerous descents to the canyon floor and a unique sense of dizzying wildness that can be found in few other places in Colorado. One of my favorite spots in the region is Black Canyon's North Rim and its small campground -- hardly ever full even on the busiest of holidays -- home of Colorado's tallest cliff and most vertigo-inducing overlook. Accessible only via a 2wd gravel road which I hope they never pave, the North Rim gives you a feeling of remoteness similar to Toroweap at Grand Canyon, even though you're only a handful of miles from a paved road. I hope they expand Black Canyon NP one day to include neighboring Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, a continuation of Black Canyon and a wild place deserving of national park status together with the land currently within the park's boundaries.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    C'mon, Fred, you're using a pretty broad brush with your characterizations and accusations. More than a few folks know what's going on.

    By the way, did you know that Utah has the most liberal concealed carry provisions in the nation?

    If your wallet contains a Utah concealed-weapon permit, chances are good you live in California.

    Since a California concealed-weapon permit is virtually impossible to come by, the Beehive State permit is seen as the next best thing. It’s good in 33 states and also is a badge of honor. It’s a permit from the most permissive gun state in the country. Ours is the only state in the nation to allow guns in schools and increasingly a hot spot of the “open carry” movement of residents who strap on a six-shooter and walk into banks just to show they can.

    Source: the Salt Lake Weekly.

    Did you also know that a licensed concealed weapons instructor here in Utah quit his job after shooting himself in the foot while teaching a class? Or that your odds of being killed by lightning are greater than those of being murdered in a national park? Does that last tidbit cause you to avoid going outside?

    At the end of the day, you're more likely to die in a car accident, from cancer, from poor health and exercise habits, illegal drug use, and illicit sex than from roaming a park unarmed.

    Let's try to keep some perspective here.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    You've made a good point here Doc. I believe that most of those who oppose this rule change are those who are mis-informed or totally UN-INFORMED about guns and gun issues. How else could you cause someone to be so afraid of their next-door neighbor who has completed a background check, received the training, and borne the expense of acquiring a CCW permit?

    They don't know anything about this proposed rule-change simply because they don't try to keep up with current events and other important news. The section of the L.A. Times you mentioned was probably used to line the bird cage while they were reading the Entertainment news.

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    Oh John Reynolds and Rangertoo:

    Your comment is way too dogmatic, and not supportable in many many small ways. I read John Reynold's comment after my last post, so call this a Post Script:

    -- Congress, you need to understand, does not name the vast majority of names of park areas "on a whim." Most names are seriously discussed, and usually the Congress takes the park service's recommendation on what name to use. Congress & the congressional committees that authorize new parks, often shows more discipline and courage than the NPS, as unpopular as that is to say. Yes, there are exceptions, including the NPS allowed the republican appropriations staff to micromanage the parks, and never raised the arrogance of individuals to the spotlight as the leaders of the NPS should have. That committee had done weird things, such as Steamtown and the inexplicably located First Ladies park (a bill drafted by a supine NPS on the direction of the appropriations staffers), but for the most part, most names and most designations of most areas makes sense. Just go down the list, putting a check on one side or the other, and see.

    -- The public is much less aware of the agency of government, local or national, than you guys are. I have seen plenty of examples where the public really only knew THE RESOURCE and why it was important, not who managed it. If the BLM or the Forest Service or a local government has an area called 'a recreation area' or a 'national monument' it actually is -- most of the time -- descriptive of the kind of management the area has. I remember one time reading that most people in New York City did not know the Statue of Liberty was a national park, but when the Statue of Liberty was in trouble, there was a huge flow of private money to protect the Statue. NOT because of the administrator, but because the public cared about the Statue. I don't think trying to get the public to focus on park administrators rather than the meaning of a specific place is a winning strategy for supporting the NPS.

    -- All this is illustrated again and again. You know how difficult it has been for your National Park Foundation to raise money for "the National Parks" where as individual named PLACES such as the Washington Monument were celebrated and successfully funded, BECAUSE THE PUBLIC CARED ABOUT THAT SPECIFIC PLACE. Place matters, and the character and quality of the PLACE is the main thing about what is supported. Yes, of course, a talented administrator or political circle might be able to increase a public awareness for a place big time and help that place find its audience, but in the end it is not by calling all places managed by the National Park Service "National Park" that really makes the difference.

    -- You are right that calling Santa Monica a "national recreation area' is the weirdest thing in the world -- and not a typical example. Santa Monica should have been called something like a 'national heritage area' and managed like the what they call "National Parks" in England. English parks are understood to have a combination of the government owning some of the land and private and non-profits owning other parts of the land. The they have a plan based on the sensitivities of different parcels and manage each parcel professionally, based on its need. The English also have "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty" and various kinds of natural areas and reservations, with different names. Everybody in England knows each area is managed by a plan targeted to the needs of the specific area, and are not rattled by the names. But they know that "national parks" are designated for certain reasons, and "Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty" are designated for other reasons. So the name selected there, as here, is supposed to be descriptive of the analysis of the character of the resource. Yes, as with "World Heritage Site" of course there is politics in how designations happen, everywhere. But politics does not make it a "whim" or meaningless.

    I think renaming Santa Monica makes more SENSE than renaming Golden Gate a national park, if you are concerned about meaning. Santa Monica has the character of one distinctive place. Golden Gate feels like a series of quite different places, and I think "recreation area" was in common use in the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation for adaptive areas to development, with the objective of providing public use around some past or new government facility (like a dam or military base). A lot of local communities have the same kind of "recreation area," made up of cobbled-togther resources.

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    Dear Carne Asada Torta:

    changing the name from Recreation Area to National Park will not change the law on environmental protection and dog walkers.

    changing the name WILL demean the meaning of the category 'national park' and is one more way in our increasingly cynical culture our language is twisted out of recognition. Changing the name won't change the nature of the park resource.

    Actually I and many others are aware of the struggle for civil rights for Native Americans at Alcatraz, of course. But if you were going to designate one, or two or ten significant historic areas as really defining the historic struggle for Native American civil rights, would this be the spot you would pick among all others to tell that story, sufficient to change the name to a national park to tell it??

    It seems here that the name is being used to make the area something that it is not, to the loss of the significance of the original meaning of the name. It seems all about the ego of the managers to get their administrative area somehow enhanced: what the military used to call a "tombstone promotion." It seems this episode is further indication of Speaker Pelosi's unsteadiness as leader: she is doing this because she CAN not because she SHOULD. One more needless political misstep from Pelosi, from the way she wiped out Congresswoman Jane Harmon just because she was strong and valued strategic security over political and replaced her with an incompetent, the way she fought with Congressman Steny Hoyer ineptly, and many other seemingly little missteps. On the large canvas, it indicates why the Democrats cannot handle Bush. This Gateway [Ed: Golden Gate NRA?] name change thing, like the Jane Harmon thing, shows us Speaker Pelosi is politically tone deaf.

    It is so sad, because we had all hoped she would help parks and help the country in real ways, not in these silly fights.

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 20 weeks ago

    Rangertoo knows what he is talking about, and is absolutely right.

  • Crews Remove Garbage From Marijuana Farms in Sequoia National Park   6 years 20 weeks ago

    Perhaps the reason more is not done to stop the growing of pot on national park land is because the govt is taking action on other dangerous criminals, such a private livestock owners, cattle ranchers, pot belly pig owners, 4H kids, horse owners, I am not trying to be funny...I only wish this were a conspiracy theory.

    I know that protecting our national parks is important and certain tax money should go to protect them but instead the govt has given the USDA over 100 million of our tax dollars to fund a program that will keep track of every last livestock animal in the USA...geesh, they can't keep track of illegals, drug dealers and sex offenders but they want to know where granny's egg hen is at all moments...

    think I am kidding? only wish I were because if this program (NAIS is the National Animal Identification System) is not stopped I and countless others will be forced to register our premises, (like sex offenders must do) microchip our critters at our cost and file reports on every birth death and off property movement those animals make...if disease is suspected in an area, the USDA can come in and kill all animals in a 6 mile radius (140 sq miles).

    why? they say it is to protect our food supply but the real reason is to give the appearance of a animal disease tracking program so big corporate ag can sell meat on the global level and say it is disease free....but they get just one lot number per groups of animals, no microchipping and very few reporting events ....

    yup, sounds like you are getting the same shafting we are...let the pot growers go unchecked but the govt has to know where my horses are at all times....

    see for more info on this awful program and how it will affect all who eat.

  • Creature Feature: The American Marten   6 years 21 weeks ago

    I just saw a male on Fern Lake trail in RMNP at 8AM. I was walking quite fast, and I think he misjudged my speed, and I caught him scrambling across the trail. I stopped, and so did he - on a rock about head high, under a tree by the trail. We looked at each other, rather shocked to see each other. The animal is beautiful, with perky ears and a wide face with big eyes. The fur is luxurious. What a treat!

  • National Park Service Agrees, Conditionally, to Keep Yellowstone's Sylvan Pass Open For Snowmobiling   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Ok, so how do they come up with almost 4 million in costs. In the past it's only ever cost about $300,000 to keep the pass open??? Interesting.

  • National Park Service Agrees, Conditionally, to Keep Yellowstone's Sylvan Pass Open For Snowmobiling   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Kurt took some flack for fingering Cheney on this decision (see this); now the Associated Press is fingering Bush and Cheney as getting involved.

    Kurt, are you writing about this? Very cool that someone is following up on what seemed to be a plausible conjecture given the players involved and how this decision was reversed.

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

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 21 weeks ago


    With all due respect, Wake Up! The Los Angeles Times reported in a story about the possible National Park rule change, “The National Park Service says there were 116,588 reported offenses in national parks in 2006, the most recent year for which data are available, including 11 killings, 35 rapes or attempted rapes, 61 robberies, 16 kidnappings and 261 aggravated assaults ...” I think there is VERY clear reason why one should be allowed to carry a self-defense firearm in a National Park.

    Remember: When seconds count, the Police are minutes away. And in a National Park, the Rangers are often many, many miles and minutes away.

  • Traveler's View: Concealed Weapons Have No Place In Our National Park System   6 years 21 weeks ago

    If you honestly believe that there's no crime in National Parks then I invite you to come spend some time on the Ozark Scenic Riverways during the summer. Better yet, have your teenaged or early twenties daughter camp in one of those parks, alone. Locals here know better than to use those parks during the summer tourist season because of the drunken, rowdy, and dangerous urban detritus that show up during that time.

    And no, the above statement in no ways lessens the argument for guns in the hands of those obeying the State laws. State law already makes it a Class C felony to possess a firearm while intoxicated, a Class D felony if it's loaded. So the drunkards would not be suddenly allowed to carry, not that they'd care one way or another. The people you seem to fear, the people you're in favor of keeping disarmed and helpless, are the responsible, law-abiding, well-behaved folk who would be no threat to anyone except those who threaten them.

    Our state has had a "shall issue" concealed carry law for about five years now. We've not seen the promised cowboy shootouts on Main Street. We've not had the road rage gun battles predicted by those opposed to citizen self defense. We have had a few would-be carjackers come to a bad end, a few pizza deliverymen shooting armed robbers, a few convenience store clerks who fought back successfully instead of being killed.

    Even one death by a criminal in a state park because the victim was disarmed by her government is one too many. Maybe you wouldn't care for your daughter to be armed, but I'd rather my daughter be armed in a National Park than be the next Meredith Emerson.

    If it saves only one life, CCW in national parks is justified.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Thanks Anonymous. I wish I had your skill with words. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said here. See you in the Parks.

  • Visiting the Parks: Kakaying Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park   6 years 21 weeks ago

    My husband and I just returned from a Colorado trip that included a visit to Black Canyon of the Gunnison. What a hidden treasure! We aren't experienced enough to kayak those waters but the hiking on the North Rim was glorious. If you visit the South Rim, the park service runs a boat tour on the river. That's on my list for next time.

  • Why Stop At Golden Gate National Recreation Area? What Other NRAs, Monuments, Etc., Should Be Renamed?   6 years 21 weeks ago

    There is at least one pratical reason for the name change that is not, and will not, be mentioned in any of the news articles. For many years Golden Gate has struggled to proactively preserve its natural resources from organized dog walker associations. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but San Francisco is a crowded city with multi-million dollar homes that have no yards, and each resident seems to own at least two dogs. Dogs are hard on the environment, and the Presidio unit alone is home to about 13 endangered or threatened plant species. Some of these plants grow nowhere else in the world. Golden Gate also sits on the Pacific Flyway, and its protected lands have become an important stop for migrating birds. During one bird count in 2006 one birder spotted over 100 species of birds in one day, again, in the Presidio.

    One of the key arguments the dog walkers have made against the Park's leash law has been that the park was a "Recreation Area" and not a "National Park" and therefore not as valuable as, say, Yosemite.

    This name change puts a crimp in their case, and elevates the park (symbolically) to a status I think it richly deserves-- because, the Presidio is more than just a former military base it is home to the Presidio Clarkia. Alcatraz is more than just a former federal prison, it is also the site of the little known story about the struggle for Native American civil rights. It is also Muir Woods, Marin Headlands, and Crissy Field.

    While I don't disagree that hosting Lucas and Disney on park lands sullies the mission and the purpose of Golden Gate, I do believe there is enough rich natural and cultural history existing on those lands worthy of federal protection and our respect.

  • Interior Officials Want to Allow Concealed Carry in the National Parks   6 years 21 weeks ago

    Some years ago, while fishing at a local lake that is in an "out of the way" rural area adjoining the city I live in, I was accosted by a group of drunken teenagers. These five punks had knives and clubs. If it had just been me, I might not have been so annoyed, or I might have just run away. However, I had my wife, 9 year old daughter and 6 year old son with me. After locking my family in our pickup, I stood there, confronting these hooligans, with just my bare hands. Luckily, a park ranger (armed) drove by and forced them away.

    I had never felt the need for a gun before that day, but as soon as concealed carry was permitted in my state, I took the necessary classes to obtain one. I , to this day, do not routinely carry a gun, even though I am legally able. I only carry one when I am away from the mainstream of my urban life.

    It is my opinion that those who feel threatened by a person carrying a handgun legally are totallly lacking the understanding of many of us who have a concern of the person carrying a weapon illegally, or with antisocial intent. You have nothing to fear from me unless you are threatening me or my loved ones. I will not accidentally shoot anyone, because I do not "play" with my tool for self-defense. I go to great lengths to make sure my weapon is both protected from accidental handling by someone else, and locked and in a safe posture at all times. Everyone of the people, that I know, who has a legal permit to carry shows the same concern for safety. We know only too well how quickly we could be on the wrong side of the law by misusing this privilege.

    Those people who are most vocally against the legal carrying of handguns are so incrediblly insensitive to the realities of our world, it staggers me. I am not a violent or "John Wayne" type, but I do not feel I should be forced to subject myself to someone who has no social conscience. We are supposed to be living in a free country. How free are we when we must fear for our safety when just going fishing?

    If you don't like guns, don't buy one and stay away from people who have them, if you know. Don't automatically assume that you are in danger because a responsible gun owner has one in your vicinity. You are probably safer.

  • At Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Things are Not Always as They Seem   6 years 21 weeks ago

    A lecture and a stern "don't do it again" doesn't cut in my book for punishment for carrying a potent AK-47 into a National Recreation Area. There's nothing cute about this weapon, for it's main purpose is to annihilate and kill as many people possible. This weapon should never be in the hands of the general public to use or own...except for the military, police and most governmental security forces. Again, as I quoted before: NO GUNS IN THE PARKS!