You are here

All Recent Comments

Burros Inadvertently Save Life Of Hiker Lost In Death Valley National Park

May 14th - 10:31am | Jim Burnett

Alert move to follow the burros to water - and then stay there until help arrived.

A Traveler Special Report: "Oil Trains" Pose A Significant Threat To National Parks

May 14th - 00:51am | rmackie

Thank you Traveler for an informative post, and thanks Jim for your insights. In 2007, 6000 tanker cars, 2013 435,000. It does not make much of stretch to wonder how much railbed upgrades, etc, have been done, little would be my guess.

May 13th - 21:34pm | ecbuck

Yes Megaera, we all can come up with potential disaster scenerios despite their miniscule probablitly. The cost of preventing all of them would be crippling. 

May 13th - 18:56pm | Perpetual Seasonal

Transporting crude oil in pipelines would be far safer than trains but enviormentalists have blocked pipeline construction. Top enviomentalist Bill McKibben has pretty much said that the reason he opposes, and has organized against, the Keystone Pipeline isn't because there is some great danger of spills from the pipeline, or because the pipeline itself is a direct threat to the environment.

May 13th - 18:25pm | Megaera

Some of those tracks the oil trains are on run under the city of Seattle, and the infrastructure is old enough that it's widely acknowledged an explosion under there would be catastrophic.Think about that one, too.

May 13th - 18:13pm | ecbuck

I hope a lot more lives won't be lost in future accidents before "incremental benefits" result in changes.How many lives have been lost so far?  It would appear not many:

May 13th - 15:09pm | Jim Burnett

True, can't reduce risks to zero. Where some of us differ is determining the point of acceptable risks. As suggested in the story, the risks under discussion could be reduced for Glacier through several steps - and with measures such as better rail cars, risks could be reduced for anyone who lives near a rail line. Unfortunately, the industry seems to be fighting some of those steps.

May 13th - 12:44pm | ecbuck

where an accident would not affect enough people, or cause enough economic harm, to be worth the cost of reducing those risks.

May 13th - 12:30pm | Jim Burnett

Article in today's news: "Oil industry balks at train safety rules. The Am. Petroleum Institute has filed a court challenge to new rules aimed at reducing the risks of catastrophic accidents involving crude moved by rail..."

May 13th - 08:47am | ecbuck

Certainly worthy of taking precautionary measures but on an annual basis passanger trains and people walking on tracks have led to far more fatalities than oil cars.  But your article is a good rationale for building pipelines (Keystone anyone) instead.

Forests At Valley Forge National Historical Park Coming Back After Deer Culling

May 13th - 22:22pm | wild places

I am curious if there is the same outrage over this as for the elk culling in the Tetons?

Reader Survey Day: Have Fee Increases Prompted You To Buy An America The Beautiful Pass?

May 13th - 18:30pm | Megaera

I renew my car tabs and buy a parks pass every year.  It's just part of owning a car, IMHO.  I live within a daytrip of five national parks, and a weekend trip of several more, and I'd feel hamstrung without one.  Have there been any rumors of a price increase for the pass, or was the $30 increase a few years ago enough to keep that at bay for a while yet?

May 13th - 13:17pm | Mike Painter

I have always bought an America the Beautiful Pass regardless of the entrance fees. I just hope they still have Golden Age Passes when I turn 62.

Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park

May 13th - 09:53am | hikerBA

I personally think that yellowstone would have followed the smokies model and had no yearly pass or cap. However, they saw the outrage from the smokies lawsuit and people who asked for that and it was ignored due to poor management at the time. The Yellowstone super is smart to add that option in.

May 13th - 08:09am | ecbuck

There are definitely not complete standards that apply across the board at all the National Parks.

May 12th - 23:04pm | Rick B.

I'm not running. My gift to you, Eric, is that I'm chosing to walk away from the sorts of junior high school debating society drivel that you've sucked me into for the past too many years. As I turn my back on you, you can write anything in the world that you want to say and you will indeed have the last word. Go for it. I'll continue to discuss politely with those capable of it.

May 12th - 22:54pm | Gary Wilson

Yellowstone also has an entrance fee, which generates millions of dollars in revenue for the park to utilize.

May 12th - 22:12pm | ecbuck

Gary, perhaps you will answer the question that Rick B as run from.  How does Yellowstone have an annual back country fee when the SMNP superintendent claims establishing an annual back country fee in an NPS unit is not possible. That is the issue Smokies is raising. 

May 12th - 21:09pm | Gary Wilson

There have been backcountry fees in most National Parks across the west for decades.  Yellowstone also had a backcountry fee long before this year.  Anyone that was planning a trip before they got there and wanted to guarantee their space used the backcountry system and paid a 25.00 fee to get a permit.  I've given that park many of my george washingtons over the years, and none of my buddies a

May 12th - 08:35am | SmokiesBackpacker

Because you are unable to answer any questions logically.  Just like the NPS discrepancy with regard to implementation of backcountry fees across the system.  Like your justifications, their rationale is all over the place with regard to these fees.  When the NPS is bothered by questions from the public they are appointed to serve, they dismiss the questions or change the rationale.

May 11th - 23:38pm | Rick B.

Two points, backpacker. One, I don't have to personally answer any questions to you or your satisfaction. Two, I told Kurt I'd stop wrestling in the mud with a few of you guys, and so have yourself a pleasant evening without my assistance.

May 11th - 21:42pm | SmokiesBackpacker

This thread is about NPS backcountry fees being rammed down peoples throats and the Smokies is a fine example of the genesis of that very thing.  If they can offer an annual pass at Yellowstone, then they can offer an annual pass at other parks like the Smokies, BS fork and other NPS units.

May 11th - 18:16pm | Rick B.

This thread has nothing to do with the Smokies.

May 11th - 14:48pm | SmokiesBackpacker

It would be  more reasonable than the edict imposed in the Smokies.

May 11th - 12:39pm | Rick B.

This seems to be a very reasonable fee structure, including the annual fee ceiling. I don't think it is prohibitive to anyone seeking to hike backcountry.

May 11th - 08:11am | SmokiesBackpacker

It's interesting how Yellowstone can offer an annual fee for folks capped at 25 bucks when we were told by Dale Ditmanson, chief moustache in the Smokies, that he wasn't able to make any concessions or changes in the backcountry fees and there would be no annual passes and he would not honor other national park passes.  

Yellowstone, Grand Teton Raising Entrance Fees This Summer

May 12th - 18:50pm | rmackie

Kurt, others that are interested in this issue, PJ Ryan's latest issue of "Thunderbear" #295 (you can google Thunderbear and access the commentary there), lays out the issue really well in his own style, he really hits the crux of the issue. It is well worth the read. I am opposed to these increases, but PJ articulates it much better than I.  

May 12th - 17:58pm | Kurt Repanshek

'fraid it was more than "a few years ago," Megaera. It's been at least six years, and likely more. That said, I think they are reviewing the pricing, but haven't heard of an imminent increase. 

May 12th - 17:47pm | Megaera

Is there any noise over raising the annual parks pass price yet?  Or was the $30 jump a few years ago enough to satisfy them?

Joshua Tree National Park Taking Comments On Proposed Trail

May 11th - 22:33pm | ecbuck

Drove through Joshua last week.  Can't say I was overly impressed. Looks like the drive from Vegas to Baker. I didn't do any hiking (dog restrictions) but I would say any interesting trails that could be added could only be a help.

Northern Tier Senators Want A Little National Park Service Love

May 11th - 19:19pm | Jim Burnett

Good question.

May 11th - 18:27pm | Megaera

Are these senators voting for more than enough money to fully fund our existing NPS units first?  Enough more to provide funds for these trails?

Polling Shows Most Westerners Approve Of Federal Land-Management Agencies, Oppose Giving Lands Over To The States

May 11th - 08:55am | Beezo

I can see it now.  Slowy states will sell off pieces of the National Parks until there is nothing left but private land.  There will be no more family trips to places like Yellow Stone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon.  All of those beautiful buffalo will be killed off by the new land owners.  From someone who has visited those places, I'd like for them to be left as is so future generations can

Rangers File Charges In Graffiti Vandalism At Gateway National Recreation Area

May 10th - 21:23pm | trailadvocate

Hmm, wonder who they voted for last cycle?

May 9th - 12:56pm | Amarillobymorning

What's the news on that obnoxious "artist" girl who painted stuff on some of the western parks?If it was up to me, I'd offer to trade these cretins to ISIS for a couple of their prisoners.

May 9th - 10:52am | ecbuck

Hope the punishment is swift and severe.  Zero tolerance and substantial deterence.

Historic House At Valley Forge To Serve As Party Venue For Next Decade

May 10th - 14:36pm | Alfred Runte

Years ago, in 1971, to be exact, I was privileged to attend the 13th Annual Seminar for Historical Administrators held in Williamsburg, Virginia. Co-sponors of the six-week conference included Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Fellows stayed in the dorms of the College of William and Mary. I was in between my M.A.

Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?

May 8th - 23:32pm | trailadvocate

There are some that pave the way to there retirement with "preferred alternatives" at the executive level.  To think that temptation and altruism never cross paths and alter outcomes are a bit naive.  

May 8th - 13:28pm | Rick B.

Scott - another consideration about this corporate thing is that there are various ways to invest which weigh social conscience as a major factor. If I chose to invest my money in various stocks, then I want it to go to the corporations which participate socially in a way I feel is socially responsible.

May 8th - 12:00pm | Alfred Runte

I keep wondering whatever happened to the idea that we are all shareholders in America. The slogan used to be for "God and Country." I don't recall corporations being any part of that, but perhaps someone can set me straight.

May 8th - 10:56am | ecbuck

I do not agree that claiming religious rights has anything to do with increasing shareholder valueTo not be forced into paying for benefits - of any kind - could improve profitability which would increase shareholder value.  But then, I am not aware of any public corporation that has tried to excercise a religious rights argument. 

May 8th - 10:30am | Scott Merritt

EC - Fair points; I will concede that election funding could arguably be in the interest of shareholders.  I do not agree that claiming religious rights has anything to do with increasing shareholder value.  You are 100% correct about effective regulation.  Thanks for making that distinction.

May 8th - 09:56am | ecbuck

They should not be allowed to be treated as a person; i.e. candidate election spending; refusing to comply with federal mandate for religious reasons (birth control). I'll accept EC's point, but you can't play both sides of the fence.

May 8th - 09:29am | Scott Merritt

I forgot one very important piece.  Back in the early 80s AB was trying to buy the second largest spring in Missouri - Greer Spring.  They were going to use it for bottled water.

May 8th - 09:18am | Scott Merritt

I think EC's comments about corporations are interesting.  I don't agree nor disagree with his statement about their purpose being very simple - generate money for shareholders.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I do have a few thoughts about it though.

May 8th - 09:12am | Perpetual Seasonal

If you go on the website of the Association of National Park Rangers or their facebook page you will see no mention of this deal with Budweiser and no posting of these articles from NPT.

May 7th - 23:11pm | wild places

 Again,if the parks are up for sale (and they obviously are)  then they should have at least gone to the highest bidder but this appears to be a backroom deal which is almost as disturbing as those who think AB is somehow promoting rape (it takes a troubled mind to make that connection).  If anything, be troubled by the possibility that they might team up with Jay Z for concerts in the parks (c

May 7th - 22:18pm | ecbuck

Man, have we "lost it" when we say that our major corporations "should not be philanthropic."Not at all.  That is not their purpose.  Their purpose is to generate funds for their shareholders.  If those shareholders want to be philanthropic, great but it isn't the role of corporations to give away money that isn't theirs purely to give it away.  

May 7th - 21:53pm | rmackie

Thinking of the posts above from Michael Kellett and Alfred, when I first started working in the Park on the trail crews, we worked 6 days a week.

May 7th - 20:53pm | Alfred Runte

As I read this, EC, I am listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary from a concert in 1965. Man, have we "lost it" when we say that our major corporations "should not be philanthropic." Bring on the "publicity," then, but what does it matter when you no longer have a country that you can sing about with pride?

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide