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Hiring Freeze Exemptions Help National Park Service In Short Term, But Long-Term Concerns Persist

Feb 1st - 18:06pm | Cary Brozik

I really hope our minority vote getting president does nothing to endanger "America's Best Idea"

Traveler's View: A $15 Billion Wall Vs. A $12 Billion Backlog

Feb 1st - 16:24pm | Rick B.

I live close to the border as well - the Canadian border. No one ever complains about bilingual French/English visitors, but most of them are rather pale. It is such a shock that the hue of the person is unspoken in these border security fetishists. "I'm not racist! It is just that [and blather ensues]".  

Feb 1st - 15:35pm | Rick Smith

It always amuses me when someone from NC comments on border security.  Are you afraid SC is going to invade?  For those of us who live close to the border (45 miles for me), it's not that big a deal.  Almost the entire Texas Congressional delegation, raging librtals as they are, oppose building the wall.  It will be an economic and environmental disaster.

Feb 1st - 13:21pm | Rick B.

There is an old truism about "If you count a dog's tail as a leg, the dog still only has four legs - saying it don't make it so." The same truism applies to your self-flattering statement of " Any rational and logical thinking person would see the benefits of a wall on the border." You really didn't read a word I typed, did you?

Feb 1st - 10:09am | beachdumb

Obama increased the height of the wall around the Whitehouse for improving security. Obama had a wall constructed around his new home in DC to improve security. Israel constructed a wall that greatly improved security. 

Jan 31st - 22:56pm | Rick B.

Dumb - I served a 14 month tour in Korea, in the DMZ. A 4km wide zone stretching from sea to sea across the peninsula. When I was there is was about 20 years after the armistice, and both the north and the south had ample time to build walls and defences. Out in the DMZ there were free fire zones, where we shot at anything that moved, which if nothing else reduced the deer population.

Jan 31st - 18:54pm | beachdumb

Border security is more important than NPS backlog of mismanagement at the moment. Mexican illegals are damaging lots of West coast parks with thier marijuana farms and killing our young people with thier smuggled heroin.  The wall is a much higher priority.

Jan 31st - 17:09pm | Ridgerunner

The 12-15 billion dollars for a wall is just an estimate. It could cost three times as much and even more when anti-tunnel measures are added. Then you have that northern border with Canada. Building a wall across Glacier NP or the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota will be an interesting exercise for planners and engineers. Fortunately we have plans from the former DDR or East Germany.

Jan 31st - 13:47pm | Rick B.

Eric - nice to see you occasionally recognize that I'm right.

Jan 31st - 13:26pm | ecbuck

Rick, nice to see you recognize who actually pays corporate taxes.  Putting a tariff on Mexican imports is a bad idea.  Reform our tax and regulatory code would be a more effective solution to fixing the trade imbalance.

Jan 31st - 11:41am | Rick B.

Actually, Fevr, despite your words of comfort, most of us out here are not reassured that "one way or another" Mexico will pay for it. Any tariff/tax/fee on Mexican imports will merely pass on to the individual US consumer.

Jan 31st - 08:04am | Kurt Repanshek

Actually, hatrasfevr, the Maine monument shouldn't cost too much:Elliotsville Plantation Inc. plans to establish a $40 million endowment that could be tapped to help cover some initial operations and maintenance costs at the national monument but is intended to be a long-term source of revenue for the monument.

Jan 31st - 05:49am | hatrasfevr

Agree that the backlog of maintenance needs to be resolved. What irks me is that Obama continued to add more monuments, scenic byways, scenis rivers and other responsibilities to Interior and the NPS with resolving the maintenance problem. Do you think the boondoggle in Maine was free to the US Taxpayer? Regarding the wall on our southern border.......

Jan 30th - 21:53pm | wild places

I'm not sure I would agree that fixing our immigration problem is a lower priority than the NP needs, but agree the wall is a waste of money. Most illegal immigrants arrive legally and overstay their visas. A wall wont fix that. We have been kicking the immigration can down the road far longer than the NPS budget so I am in favor of fixing that first.

Jan 30th - 18:26pm | trailadvocate

How does the $100 million payoff to the Sierra Club to adopt an open borders agenda fit in with the discussion?  Everything is getting politically bastardized.  

Jan 30th - 13:18pm | Dennis P. Lima

Let's just call it The Great Wall National Monument. 

Jan 30th - 12:51pm | Tonya Moody

Great article Kurt!! I agree with you.  National Parks are very important.    

Jan 30th - 12:11pm | Rick B.

Political neutrality today is a confession. It is hoping that the tornado raging overhead won't disturb the cardboard box you're hiding under. Kurt is right both in his comments and in his conclusions, in my opinion.

Jan 30th - 11:51am | Jim Linville

Political neutrality, please.  Remember when you considered doing away with commenting because it was getting ugly?

Jan 30th - 10:42am | justinh

Agreed, Harry.  Nice piece, Kurt.

Jan 30th - 10:26am | Harryb3570

Skip the wall and put the money into our National Parks. The benefits to the American People will be much greater.

Jan 30th - 08:39am | ecbuck

Disagree with many of your arguments but agree with your conclusion.  The wall isn't necessary.

NPCA: House Measure Would Weaken Rules For Energy Drilling Inside National Parks

Feb 1st - 13:06pm | Vicki Steiner

National  Parks are for the present and future public and the wildlife. Not to be ruined by greed 

Good Books For Visiting...Yellowstone National Park

Feb 1st - 12:24pm | hiker303

Another to add to your list is the "ROADSIDE GEOOLGY OF YELLOWSTONE COUNTRY",  This book is great to help understand what you are seeing in the unusual geology.

2017 State Of The National Parks

Feb 1st - 09:24am | PracticingForRe...

Should not get hung up on the word "unimpaired" - keep it in context. That context varies from site to site.

Jan 31st - 13:34pm | Estep

If it weren't for volunteers and friends-of-parks/convervancies, the National Parks would cease to exist. The private funds brought in and the visitor contacts generated by both is substantial. That needs to be publicized. As a volunteer I have seen how the attrition of the Ranger and maintenance forces have affected what a park can offer to its visitors.

Jan 31st - 09:47am | Harryb3570

Thank you for your thoughtful response TOMP2. I agree with most of what you have to say and feel that your suggestions do much to improve my original post. Yes, I think both of us should work together to improved the management of the NPS. I think we would make a good team. Now all we have to do is to get the new administration to listen to us.

Jan 31st - 01:06am | tomp2

Harry-- As an exercise I went down your list of 7 points.  Here's my perspective:

Jan 30th - 23:45pm | tomp2

Bill Baehr-- I have both science and management replies to your post.  Sorry to be so long-winded. Alas, while a specific point in time as a resource management objective works for a museum or primarily historic park, it doesn't work for natural resource parks, or even parks like Gettysburg.

Jan 30th - 19:32pm | Rick B.

Bill B - is that two different userid's that you're posting from? Sounds like the same guy.

Jan 30th - 19:12pm | Cynthia Hunter

Hogwash to your world view too. Just wait and see what these corporate types do to the park service and this country. We will all be sorry when it's done, including most who voted them in. The first week has created suffering and chaos. More to come for sure. Let's keep our wits about us and remember what we value. If you're reading this site you must value open space and parks.

Jan 30th - 19:07pm | Cynthia Hunter

Hogwash! NPS hires excellent people who carry the workload of more than one... As the population increases we need more open space not less. More Parks and less fighter jets. You're entitled to your opion of course but many millions of people disagree with you. For sure.

National Park Service Gets Clearance To Hire Seasonal Workers

Feb 1st - 08:36am | Danielle Graham

l am glad for this.  I am so sorry for all the people's lives that are in limbo.  The hiring feeeze on full-time federal employees will make the best and brightest applicants look away from the NPS as a potential employer. 

Jan 31st - 23:49pm | Rick B.

Unless you are one of the ones affected by this herky jerky mismanagement by the White House, but effects on those other than you aren't your big concern.

Jan 31st - 23:32pm | ecbuck

Good for the parks, but oh, ironically this will disappoint those trying to create a boogie man.  As I said, much ado about nothing.  

New Hiking Trails Proposed At Crater Lake National Park

Jan 31st - 18:02pm | RD Payne

One of the proposals outlined in the Scoping Newsletter is to convert the Grayback Drive to a hiking/mountain bike trail.  While I've used this road on several occasions, I don't know how much use it gets and repurposing it as a trail may have its advantages, including minimizing impacts by removing vehicles from this section of the park.

Jan 31st - 14:31pm | [email protected]

Crater Lake National Park Management Does Not Need to Propose New Trails at this time because it has seriously Failed to maintain existing historic trails.  For example, The Raven Trail accessed from above Park HQ to near Crater Lake Lodge following the historic road needs to be maintained so visitors can hike to the caldera rim thereby

Jan 31st - 08:50am | tahoma

Crater Lake listed about $1.5 million in deferred maintenance just for their existing trails in 2015:

UPDATED: "Unofficial" National Park Service Twitter Accounts Challenge Trump Administration

Jan 31st - 15:35pm | Jackie Addison

Keep it up!!  Hurrah for altUSNPS!  And as for Washington overlords, I have a single finger more powerful than the lot of you.  I use it to vote with.

Everglades Coalition Urges Florida Legislature To Buy 65,000 Acres To Help River Of Grass

Jan 31st - 15:21pm | MIKE C

This is a justified way to stop this horrible pollution of all our estuaries 

Jan 31st - 14:46pm | Daniel Thompson

Save the Glades

Jan 31st - 12:18pm | David Higley

This make sense for the environment and Florida's economic engine, tourism.  Absolutely a no-brainer.

Jan 31st - 10:43am | Anonymous

Please send clean water south.

Jan 30th - 21:13pm | tomp2

1: This is state funds, purchasing lands that will become state lands, presumably part of the Everglades Water Management Areas.  This isn't federal or NPS owning lands (or even FWS expanding Loxahatchee).

Jan 30th - 18:57pm | James Humphrey

Fund restoration now.

Jan 30th - 18:48pm | Luke Smith

Please send clean water south. As an avid fly fisherman and someone that cares about the future of our water, I feel this is a no brainer. 

Jan 30th - 11:51am | Renee Starnes

Between the need for water and the bonus of tourist dollars... this is a no brainer.

Visiting Dry Tortugas National Park: The Logistics

Jan 31st - 12:29pm | Jami

where do the visitors stay at the dry tortugas national park??? I need to know for a project.

President Trump's Freeze On Federal Hiring Will Impact National Parks

Jan 30th - 12:40pm | Lee Greenleaf

Bill, that remark is embarrasing.  For you.

OIG: National Park Service Director Skirted Ethics Office In Writing Book, Reprimanded

Jan 30th - 11:15am | Lynn

There is likely a REASON it only sold 200 copies--it's not widely available.  I tried both Amazon and Barnes and Noble and the book is not available for purchase.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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