You are here

All Recent Comments

National Park Service Director Jarvis Announces Retirement

Jan 8th - 15:32pm | Maintenance...T...

A Big, BIg, BIG, BIG...glad your gone, bigshot.  

Op-Ed | The Qualities Needed In The Next National Park Service Director

Jan 8th - 12:41pm | Lee Dalton

Oh. Thank you, Al.  I was aware of all that fooferaw but didn't connect the phrase to it. Perhaps the entire world needs to take a knee of a slightly different kind.  Drop to our knees and pray to survive the next four years.  ;-}

Jan 8th - 11:59am | Alfred Runte

Here you go, Lee

Jan 8th - 10:37am | MHornstein

Thank you Harry. This is what many of us have said in discussions amongst ourselves.

Jan 7th - 20:31pm | Lee Dalton

Alfred, por favor, will you explain to this poor addled old man what "take a knee" means?  I must have missed out on that the day it was taught in the College of Hard Knocks.

Jan 7th - 16:29pm | Alfred Runte

About McFarland's proposal that the government take over in-park "services." Actually, the railroads were largely in favor of that, too. As they discovered, and reaffirmed repeatedly, the only profit was in their trains. Building lodges and hotels for little more than a 90-day season then set their profits back. The trains they already owned, and could shift to other markets as needed.

Jan 7th - 16:09pm | glad2bretired

I would take it as a good sign if the next Director, whoever it is, meets right away with the leadership of the Coalition to Protect America's National Parks.  This organization has a wealth of experience.  All too often, when somebody retires all their expertise is lost.

Jan 7th - 13:48pm | Lee Dalton

I just trekked out to my mailbox and came back with the latest copy of Yellowstone Forever's catalog of programs for Summer 2017.  As I sat in my warm living room reading it, I was struck by the large number of outstanding learning opportunities for individuals and families to get out and EDUCATE ourselves.

Jan 7th - 13:30pm | Lee Dalton

Esteemed Comrade, you ignored something important:  (That is, however, dependent upon the assumption that Congress kept its grubby paws out of things to allow competent people to do the job.)

Jan 7th - 12:05pm | Rick B.

Agreed, Lee, as far as the parks being a spiritual first aid station. We certainly need it, and it has always been like this for me. Even when I lived in downtown Seattle, the sight of Mt Rainier on the horizon was uplifting for me, and visiting Rainier was the only real church I needed in my life.

Jan 7th - 11:58am | ecbuck

 If that had happened, can you imagine how much better our parks might now be?

Jan 7th - 11:42am | Lee Dalton

I finally found time this morning to go back and reread Harry's piece and the McFarland speech.  Then I skimmed back through most of the comments.  An interesting -- and thought provoking exercise.

Jan 7th - 10:14am | Glad2bretired

I think the most important traits we need in the next NPS Director are integrity and strong managerial skills.  An outsider with these traits would be fine with me if they have a strong background in park management.

Jan 7th - 08:35am | Harryb3570

A Final Word

Jan 6th - 22:08pm | rmackie

Glad2breretired, thank you, my aging memory is a sore point with my spouse of 47 years. It was Secretary Watt (1981-1983) when the Yosemite GMP was mostly shelved. It was Secretary Hodel (1985-1989) when Superintendent Binnewies was transfered in 1986. I did make a call on the investigators allegations regarding the taping incident. The GAO report found no basis for the allegations.

Jan 6th - 19:17pm | Glad2bretired

Mackie:  I think we were both wrong about who the Secretary of Interior was at the time.  If aging memory serves me right, it was actually Don Hodel, who succeeded the infamous James Watt.

Jan 6th - 18:58pm | Kurt Repanshek

I believe you mean Robert Danno, Ron, as the author of Worth Fighting For.

Jan 6th - 18:50pm | rmackie

Glad2bretired, yes Mr. Bob Binnewies discusses the issue in the book, (without the red meat).  The DOI Secretary at the time was Mr. James Watt. As I was present during the incident, my own knowledge of the issues coincides with Mr. Binnewies as described in "Your Yosemite".  I enjoyed the Paul Berkowitz book, very much worth reading.

Jan 6th - 18:04pm | Glad2bretired

I think oldbuffalo got it right.  Retired NPS Criminal Investigator Paul Berkowitz alleged that Superintendent Binnewies instructed him to secretly record the meeting he held with Mr. Cushman.  According to Berkowitz, he was later instructed by the Superintendent to forget this secret recording event ever occurred.  Instead, Paul turned whistle-blower.

Jan 6th - 15:20pm | oldbuffalo

"When Mr. Whalen became Director, he brought in an excellent superintendent by the name of Bob Binnewies."        So is this the same Bob Binnewies? - From LA Times 1/29/86: 

Jan 6th - 14:55pm | Owen Hoffman

Anonymous appears to be a career NPS'er with knowledge of the various NPS directors who have served the NPS since the Hartzog era.  However, he mentioned my name in his missive above and offered that I would be a dismal choice for NPS Director.  I didn't know I was even up for consideration.

Jan 6th - 13:14pm | rmackie

Anonymous, very interesting post. As I was acquainted with both Mr. Mott and more so with Mr. Whalen, I am in agreement with you. Bill Whalen was a deputy superintendent at Yosemite in the early seventies before becoming NPS Director. He was a pleasure to work for. When Mr. Whalen became Director, he brought in an excellent superintendent by the name of Bob Binnewies. Mr.

Jan 6th - 12:03pm | Anonymous

The APA, budget formulation and reconciliation rules, all the progressive environmental legislation passed in the 60's and 70's...even WW2 and the changes wrought by that including the Cold War would make the landscape unrecognizable to many of the heady idealists of Butowsky's rosy remembrances.

Jan 5th - 16:35pm | Atascadero

In other words, Anonymous. You have no program. Why am I not surprised?

Jan 5th - 14:36pm | Anonymous

Perhaps, Atascadero, we would best be served by appointing someone who has steered his or her public statements and private lobbying to dismantling public lands (see:recent Cabinet appointments.) Or someone who has spent their career lobbying for more corporate influence and more relaxed concessioner rules and fees (See: recent opinion piece from the NPHA - already jockeying aren't they?) &nbsp

Jan 5th - 14:09pm | Atascadero

Are you putting yourself forward, Anonymous? In that case, what would your programs be? Meanwhile, do you mean to suggest, had Hillary Clinton won the election, that she would not have appointed a loyalist, too? As reported in the New York Times, approximately 5,000 jobs change with each administration. Most naturally go to party loyalists.

Jan 5th - 13:05pm | Anonymous

Worked great with French, Fran Mainella. The last, best example of what a Republican can foist onto the American public as a NPS Director from outside the agency. A patronage position to a loyal supporter, who just happened to have the word "parks" on her resume.

Jan 5th - 08:37am | ecbuck

. In fact, it is the neo-liberal economic position to eliminate all regulations and oversight by government in their business operations unless of course they can benefit from them.

Jan 5th - 08:22am | Gary Wilson

I tend to agree with those that oppose National Parks being run strictly like a business.  This does not work, and in the end a process setup to run it like a business will collapse and further erode the resources in the system.  This system already functions this way in many major National Parks, and it's creating vast issues and threats to the resources.

Jan 4th - 23:10pm | rmackie

A gracious post Harry. As i was a field employee for my 38 years, and now going on 10 more seasons as emergency hire FIO, I am not sure I can give you anymore than my own field perspective. Having not worked in the Washington office limits my understanding of the stress the Director must face.

Jan 4th - 19:49pm | spacerangerdon

Kudos for truth to both Al and Harry.    

Jan 4th - 19:29pm | spacerangerdon

As the former caretaker/historian at the Walking Box Ranch, 7 miles west of Searchlight, I'll strongly agree with Al.   So there are ATV tracks?

Jan 4th - 19:28pm | Alfred Runte

Harry, we've talked about this many times. People get "promoted" and the fire dies. What I want in the next director is someone for whom the fire has never died. Perhaps what you did not mention enough in your article is that all of the people you like LOVED their work. I still have a letter in my files Horace Albright wrote me the year he turned 94.

Trails I've Hiked: Douglas Spring to Bridal Wreath Falls, Saguaro National Park

Jan 8th - 12:37pm | Ferd Berfel

That is one of the great hikes in Southern AZ!

Will Trump's "All Of The Above" Energy Policy Impact The Parks?

Jan 8th - 10:28am | Lee Dalton

A very important question that needs to be asked is this:  How much of the gas and oil produced by Trump's energy "policy" will remain in the U.S. and how much will be shipped overseas to pump dollars into the pockets of the big oil companies and their stockholders?

Mandatory Evacuation Notice Issued For Non-Essential Personnel In Yosemite Valley

Jan 8th - 09:17am | ecbuck Check the chart - no discernable increase in either frequency or intensity. In fact the droughts of th 30s and 40s were worse. 

Jan 8th - 04:15am | Gary Wilson

Actually, an increase in extreme rainfall is one of the effects of a warming climate.  Many times over the last decade we have seen patterns of extreme drought bouncing to extreme rain on an amplified level as the climate continues to warm.  Cyclical patterns seem to indicate this, and these sort of events are increasing as we pump a higher dosage of emissions into the atmosophere.

Jan 7th - 20:47pm | Kurt Repanshek

Thanks Lee. Proof of why we need to expand the Traveler's staff.

Jan 7th - 20:41pm | ecbuck

.just like some climate scientists have predicted And as everyone else has predicted.  Has happened for millions of years before carbon fuels and will happen for millions of years after carbon fuels. Hay, I don't believe in AGW and predict the sun will come up tomorrow.  If I am right about the sun, does that mean there is no AGW?

Jan 7th - 20:25pm | Lee Dalton

Mandatory evacuation order issued by Maricopa County Sheriff????? Maricopa County is Phoenix.  Yosemite is Mariposa.  I thought Yosemite was exclusive NPS jurisdiction.  What's up?

Jan 7th - 19:34pm | Gary Wilson

Extreme drought to extreme deluges...just like some climate scientists have predicted.  This has happened in many other areas of the country over the last decade, that it's a pattern worth noting.

UPDATED: Major Storm Bearing Down On Yosemite National Park Could Flood Valley Floor

Jan 7th - 16:25pm | M Moretz

Please all be safe!  

Jan 6th - 19:15pm | Lee Dalton

Thank you, Ron.  I've looked at it using Google, and it's apparent there have been some very big changes.  It's a shame.  That was one of the most pleasant places I've ever lived.

Jan 6th - 16:46pm | Rick B.

I wish for the safety and well being of all who are in the area, in particular those who have an LE or other 'protect the public and the resource' reason for staying in harm's way.  

Jan 6th - 13:48pm | Philip Kinzli

OMG !...Awesome video !...I'll always remember reading John Muirs description of such an awesome event in one of his books when I was a kid .

Jan 6th - 10:44am | rmackie

Lee, the El Portal trailer Park still exists  but only as skeleton of its former self. Some of the pads, I think, are used for VIP motor homes, etc. Still some long term employees residing there. Some discussion of revitalizing it, but it is in the floodplain. Housing a huge issue for the park. Difficult to find rentals in the county as many homes have been converted to vacation rentals.

Jan 6th - 10:39am | Patrick Cone

The California floods of 1861-2 left Sacramento underwater for months. Read this Scientific American article: 

Jan 6th - 10:05am | Lee Dalton

Those videos are very impressive.  Fingers crossed for this year. My young family lived in a trailer smack beside the river bank in the employee trailer park in El Portal.  Can anyone tell me what happened to the trailer park in 1996 and 1997?  I have a hunch it may all have washed away.  Did it?

Steam Festival Chugs On At Golden Spike National Historic Site

Jan 5th - 11:01am | Alfred Runte

Makes me want to become a rail fan! Oops, I forgot. I think I already am. Thanks for sharing, Lee, and I do hope everyone notices your "reminders" of the differences between trains and airplanes. We built love into our railroads. Now all we think about is getting there.

Jan 5th - 00:50am | Rick B.

Looks like a lot of fun, given you have the right long johns and etc.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

Recent Forum Comments