You are here

All Recent Comments

Missing Gorongosa

Nov 26th - 17:39pm | Barbara Moritsch

Thank you, Lee!  Greg Carr's work at Gorongosa provides an incredible model for parks and protected areas across the globe--truly inspiring!

Nov 26th - 10:14am | Lee Dalton

Stunning.  Thank you, Barbara, for sharing this with us.  I'd never heard of Gorongosa.  The last part of the story especially struck me: ". . . Greg Carr's stated dream: "That we can achieve human development and biodiversity protection at the same time." It's a great dream unfolding, and the work in progress is a model applicable to national parks and wildlands worldwide.

Packrafting Association Lobbies For Access To Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

Nov 26th - 14:56pm | Anonymous

Lee your issue isn't with amendments its with multi-topic legislation.  Rep. Lummis's bill is not multi-topic legislation.   But then if you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  

Nov 26th - 09:58am | Lee Dalton

". . . .  legislation drafted by U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming. Her measure specifically directs the Park Service to allow packrafters access to at least 50 streams in the two parks.  . . . . . during last month's committee meeting she amended it"  

Warm Waters Beckoning In The Virgin Islands

Nov 26th - 09:32am | Onislandtimes

Beautiful shot of one of our favorite St John beaches, Little Cinnamon.

Traces Of The Prehistoric Past: Fossilized Tracks At White Sands National Monument

Nov 25th - 19:34pm | Russell Shapiro

Great work!  Are the preliminary results available for review?

Exploring Cataract Canyon In Canyonlands National Park Via Raft

Nov 25th - 14:56pm | Mike Painter

Looks like fun!!

NPS Director Jarvis States Agency's Opposition To Yellowstone-Grand Teton Paddling Bill

Nov 25th - 14:38pm | Lee Dalton

Yes, argalite, but those cats were let out of the bag a long time ago.  It's very difficult to reverse a problem.  Much better to avoid them in the first place.  Or better yet, find ways that achieve a well balanced approach to management.  It might be different if Yellowstone was the ONLY place in the world where an activity could take place.  But with literally thousa

Nov 25th - 11:08am | argalite

It is strange that Yellowstone allows things that disrupt wildlife in an unnatural way (snowmobiles, cars), but something like paddling is prohubited? 

Nov 25th - 09:56am | Anonymous

Seems like there should be a few places left where their is no human encroachment. For me it would be sad to see someone paddeling in a canoe in Haden valley--JMHO

Nov 25th - 07:47am | ffarschman

Whatever else may be at the heart of this debate, from my experience, humans are not reliable. We have already done damage to so many other places. Boats do not get washed from stream to stream, therefore invasive creatures affect more and more waterways. I am a kayaker, however I don't feel that gives me the right to kayak every bit of water in the USA.

Nov 23rd - 13:03pm | Lee Dalton

Thanks, Thomas.  Will do. By the way, I do canoe and kayak and really enjoy it.  Snowmobiles are a blast.  I enjoy riding my daughter's ATV and certainly enjoy exploring in my 4x4, and I'd probably enjoy mountain biking, too.  But I still think we should reserve at least a few precious places where none of those activities are permitted.

Nov 23rd - 10:57am | Thomas Turiano

Lee...This is Thomas Turiano...for some reason, my name is not coming through from the name field. Yes, about half of the streams I mentioned flow into Grand Teton. All of these streams are wonderfully navigable by small paddlecraft such as kayak, canoe, or packraft...some only in spring and early summer, others all summer and fall.

Nov 23rd - 10:23am | Lee Dalton

Thanks for the list, but aren't about half of those streams that flow into Grand Teton and not Yellowstone?  And are Thorofare, Soda Butte, Slough and Hellroaring really "navigable" even by floats?

Nov 22nd - 21:23pm | Thomas Turiano

Thanks for the question!! Gros Ventre River, Spread Creek, Buffalo Fork, Pacific Creek, Pilgrim Creek, Snake River, Yellowstone River, Mountain Creek, Thorofare Creek, Soda Butte Creek, Slough Creek, Hellroaring Creek, and probably others I've missed...all wonderful floats that see some paddling use for many years with no apparent adverse impacts.

Nov 22nd - 21:16pm | Lee Dalton

Anon, I can't think of any streams that flow INTO the park that might be at all navigable by any kind of craft.  Isn't Yellowstone on a wide plateau upon which streams originate and flow OUTward?  Which streams are you referring to?

Nov 22nd - 21:13pm | Thomas Turiano

Many of the mal-effects of paddling that you cite can be equally applied to other primitive uses of the river corridors such as angling, camping, hiking, swimming, horsepacking, etc.

Nov 22nd - 20:06pm | Thomas Turiano

It is important that this bill passes, but not for reasons people might think. I am a paddler and have supported this bill, but it is more about legislative check on an executive oversight, than it is about paddling.

Nov 22nd - 19:55pm | BakedAlaska

A person would have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to see the waterfowl, beaver, and other animals running away from the bank or scurying to find shelter in the streamside vegetation as they float a river. Paddling may be non-consumptive in some ways, but certainly not in it's effects on wildlife.

Nov 22nd - 17:31pm | Lee Dalton

Whoa!  I had completely forgotten about invasive aquatic species.

Nov 22nd - 16:43pm | Dick Stout

Mr. Jarvis' comments indicate why this bill needs to pass.  Paddling is a non-motorized, non-consumptive use that is less-intrusive than currently allowed activites such as fishing and horsepacking.  Its unfortunate that it is going to take an act of congress to correct this example of beaurcratic mangement run amok. 

Touring The National Parks: What Does It Take To Get Into An RV Today?

Nov 24th - 21:49pm | Chris Hudsons

Great advice to take this seriously. Good insights.

Senate Legislation Would Provide $150 Million A Year To Address National Park Maintenance

Nov 24th - 21:20pm | rmackie

I think you have right Dave. 

Nov 24th - 18:59pm | Dave Sheridan

Please refer to Section 203 of the Bill, it has all the details.  The hypelink is in my ordiginal comment and in the bosy of the article. SEC. 203. CLOSURE OF FEDERAL LAND TO HUNTING, FISHING, AND RECREATIONAL SHOOTING. 

Nov 24th - 09:34am | SmokiesBackpacker

And yet it will never be enough money for Jarvis.  His constant poor mouthing and passing of the collection plate is never filled with tax dollars or schemes to charge the public once he receives more funds.  Please give me more so I can charge you to use these lands.

Nov 23rd - 18:52pm | Anonymous

Dave, Could you identify the "severe if not impossible restrictions" in the bill and elaborate when those restrictions might be "needed"  

Nov 23rd - 18:06pm | Dave Sheridan

Lee,  The "catch" is called the "Sportsmen's Act of 2015" which has more to with opening Federal Lands to hunting and shooting.   It also places severe if not impposible restrictions on an agencies ablitiy to close those lands to those activiites if needed. Click here: Sportsmen's Act of 2015

Nov 22nd - 12:16pm | Lee Dalton

Okay, what's the catch?  There has to be something hiding in the shadows.

Trails I've Hiked: Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Nov 24th - 18:38pm | Ron and Bille Jo

We liked the tunnel bypass trail so far!    

59 Illustrated National Parks: Celebrating 100 Years Of Wilderness And Wonder

Nov 24th - 16:55pm | Danny Blackburn

Looks nice

Understanding Mountain Lions at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Gets A Boost From New Lion

Nov 24th - 10:33am | C Medeiros

Saw a large mountian lion on the Limantour Laguna trail 11/13/2015 noon.  Took one look at us and ran for the hills in direction of Mt Wittenberg.  Thrilled. It was beautiful.

Mammoth Cave National Park Extends "Sister" Agreements To Slovenia

Nov 23rd - 20:13pm | Mark Van Duser

Is there a light that will slow down or stop growth of algae in caves or damp rooms?  Is such a light harmful to humans?

Muir Woods National Monument is More than Really Old, Really Big Trees

Nov 23rd - 17:48pm | Jack

This was very helpful as i'm doing a report on school for muir woods, Thanks!

Big Cypress National Preserve Proposed For Oil And Gas Survey

Nov 23rd - 13:19pm | Barbara Zachow

alternative #1. No action, continue current management

Everglades National Park Ready For Busy Winter Season

Nov 23rd - 10:45am | Sabrina Diaz

Kudos to Glenn Gardner at He has donated dozens of gorgeous photos to Everglades NP like this one used for the article! Everglades is so licky to have such an amazing volunteer who works to bring the Everglades and Dry Tortugas to life through his photography!  

Every Kid In A Park Program Off To Slow Start, But Building Steam

Nov 23rd - 10:10am | tahoma

It's disturbing to me that an Associate Director of the NPS doesn't seem to know within 25% what her program actually cost.  It also seems wishful thinking that a single or occasional childhood visit will "build a cadre..." of park supporters, comrades.

Walking Into the Queen's Garden

Nov 23rd - 06:10am | Jeff Hofmeister

Breath taking !!  The snow on the red rocks is a great contrast in colors.  

Human-Bear Incidents At Yosemite National Park Lowest Since 1975

Nov 21st - 11:37am | Judith E. Lovold

This is a great success story....keep it up...and good for the representative from California !! At last someone's good idea came to fruition !!  Bravo !!  

Op-Ed | The Importance Of Railroads In The Evolution Of National Parks

Nov 20th - 18:22pm | Antiplanner

You write that the Northern Pacific Railroad "received about 47 million acres in federal subsidies between Lake Superior, Minnesota, and Puget Sound, Washington, and subsidies to cover about one-fourth of the railroad construction costs." In fact, it received only about 40 million acres and zero cash subsidies.

National Parks: Going To The Dogs!

Nov 20th - 09:38am | ecbuck

Owen - agreed.  This is another case where everyone is being punished for the misdeeds of a few.  

Nov 20th - 09:23am | Owen Hoffman

Very interesting that Devil's Postpile, surrounded by the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area, has a more friendly approach to dogs in the park.  I am also pleased to see pet-friendly policies at Cumberland Gap, Cape Hatteras, and Cuyahoga Valley.  I am very much in favor of consideration of more pet friendly policies throughout the NPS system.

Nov 20th - 04:46am | Anonymous

Just about every one of those arguments is absolutely rediculous And down right laughable. National parks are meant to be a way for people to get out and enjoy nature, including with your dog, AT YOUR OWN RISK! But that is not for the government to make that decision.

Allies Of The Earth - Railroads And The Soul Of Preservation

Nov 19th - 17:55pm | Lee Dalton

Here's a link to one of Jim Hightower's entertaining looks at America today:

Nov 19th - 15:21pm | Owen Hoffman

Very nice review Lee.  Very nice response Ron.  In addition to population growth as an issue, what about near-term issues that will immediately put pressure on parks?  I think of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, and I think of a time, hopefully in the not too distant future, when American workers earn as much paid leave as their European counterparts.

Nov 19th - 15:20pm | Owen Hoffman

Very nice review Lee.  Very nice response Ron.  In addition to population growth as an issue, what about near-term issues that will immediately put pressure on parks.  I think of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, and I think of a time, hopefully in the not too distant future, when American workers earn as much paid leave as their European counterparts.

Nov 19th - 14:47pm | Alfred Runte

A terrific review, Lee. Thank you! Everything you say is true. At some point, the historian becomes the document, provided he or she gets to live that long. I (we) grew up as America transitioned from railroads to automobiles. Looking back, I see things I never would have "understood" had I not witnessed those changes myself.

Nov 19th - 13:15pm | rmackie

Thank you Lee, a very interesting post. I share many of your views on Dr. Runte's book. railroads were replaced by auto's, as the auto gave more freedom and access along with the infrastructure to support them, good, bad or otherwise. I do agree that light rail, high speed rail, etc. has a place in our transportation planning efforts, but as you point out, there are issues.

Postscript Op-Ed| Railroads And The National Parks

Nov 19th - 15:31pm | Owen Hoffman

Why use unpaid volunteers?  Why not hire professional park interpreters for the cooperative "Trials and Rails" prgram?

Around The National Park System: Vandalism, Record Visitation, Possible New "Parks"

Nov 19th - 11:22am | rmackie

Agree Lee. On a another subject, I just finished reading a wonderful jewel of book, "Nature Noir" by Jordan Fisher Smith. "Extraordinary... a penetrating ranger's eye view", Outside Magazine. Or "Smith writes about the natural world with more grace than anyone since Edward Abbey". Newsweek.

Nov 19th - 09:12am | Lee Dalton

Hey, Wild, no need to apologize for speaking the truth. Sorry, I just couldn't resist. Keep smiling.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

Recent Forum Comments