Recent comments

  • Paying to Enjoy The Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I'm curious. Should others have to pay those fees? Or, is your being happy to pay them sufficient to make it reasonable?

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

  • C&O Canal Hopes to Land Some Centennial Funding   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I own 3.5 acres adjacent to CHOH (I can literally spit into the canal prism from the property line), also close to Antietam Battlefield and really hope the towpath gets repaired so that cyclists and equestrians can go from Georgetown to Cumberland once again. Between miles 80 and 90, towpath goers are forced to detour from the towpath and follow public roads which are much more dangerous. Would also be nice if there were connecting trails from the towpath to nearby parks such as Antietam.

  • Paying to Enjoy The Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I happiily pay the Annual Pass fee yet there are still parks that don't honor the pass for various reasons. Cave parks rarely honor the pass, and those with museums or historic homes as the focal point of the visit also often have separate or additional fees. I want a single fee card, whatever the price is, that will let me in everywhere. I wonder what the National Park Service would charge for such a card. $150? I'd happily pay that much, especially if it also includes all the federal lands like National Forests and BLM lands.

  • Selling Scions by the Seashore   6 years 42 weeks ago

    One more example of the current administration's push to put everything under the control of business. If you think the government-run parks are messy, you should try it when corporations - who you can't vote out and have no motives but profit - get in control. The NPS is not a place for business interests... it's bad enough we have to wrangle with concessions to do what's good for the parks.

    The selling of Alcatraz for... wait, what was the gain here?... for... no, really, I can't think of a single benefit to the park or the people. It blurs the whole idea of protection and preservation and mocks a century of purpose.

    Shame on the administrators who approved this!

  • Repairing Rainier: A Question of Values   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Back to the point, there is a fine line (as has been repeated over and over) between protecting the resource and providing access to people. I'm not sure if these things can be decided on a blanket, general basis. It seems that diverting Kautz Creek may be a frustration response by park officials who have sought to tame that road crossing for the last 50 years. Between lahars and floods, they've pumped a lot of money and time into that crossing.

    I also think that the NPS has become kind of trigger-happy when it comes to flood repair. The Yosemite situation has made them that way. After the 100-year flood of 1997, Yosemite sought to look at long-term responses rather than just "fixing what's broke." As good an idea as this was, it's 10 years later and things are still just getting started, due primarily to litigation.

    I think, as frustrating as the process of looking at the long-term may be (i.e. asking "do we really need a road here?") it is vital we do so. More and more, Rainier is becoming an island in a sea of development. If we can't retain wilderness in Rainier, where can we?

  • Selling Scions by the Seashore   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Jr. Ranger:
    Read some great books written by Edward Abbey (former NPS ranger and now deceased). May those books inspire you to stick your values!

  • Selling Scions by the Seashore   6 years 42 weeks ago

    I wouldn't worry about it. First, you probably wouldn't want to apply to work for people who "remember nastygram"s, and you certainly don't want to stop speaking your mind because someone might remember. Fear is a powerful tool used to keep people in line (see Washington Post 4-part series this week on Cheney as evidence). The best way to get Congress or authority to listen begins with refusing to be afraid and learning to organize to deal with the consequences. Any job where you are forced to tow the line on things important enough to you in order to keep it is definitely not worth it--no matter how influential it is or how close it is to your dreams. If you can't get that park job you dreamed about as a result of your beliefs, it's time to change a world that makes that happen. In the meantime, keep agitating.

    Keep speaking out; I don't recommend to Congress necessarily, but speak out, let those chips fall as they may, and see what can be done with that - but don't sell out just to be part of a world where you will be punished for speaking truth with conviction, no matter how nasty that truth is.

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

  • Selling Scions by the Seashore   6 years 42 weeks ago

    I wrote letters to my Senators and Congressman - wonder what sort of reply I'll get. I wanted to write the super, but if I applied for a job there after school and someone remembered my nastygram, that wouldn't be too good...

    ---
    jr_ranger
    http://tntrailhead.blogspot.com
    http://picasaweb.google.com/north.cascades
    http://zinch.com/jr_ranger
    President, CHS SPEAK (CHS Students Promoting Environmental Action & Knowledge)
    Founder and President, CHS Campus Greens

  • Congress Takes a Step Toward Restoring the Great Lakes   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Jim,

    I'll have to double-check, but I believe current regs require ships to swap their ballast at sea before coming down the St. Lawrence Seaway. But I've been wrong before....;-)

    Kurt

  • Congress Takes a Step Toward Restoring the Great Lakes   6 years 42 weeks ago

    When I was on Lake Erie last week, I heard a lot from an Ohio State University scientist about the need for shipping ballast regulation. In looking at what's happening in the Great Lakes and other coastal areas, have you come across any legislation on this issue? I would think that would be a touchy one in Great Lakes states that depend on trade and yet are wary of the trade imbalance. Invasive species from Russia via China coming on trading boats doesn't go over well in the industrial areas. I was just wondering given how passionately he was pressing the need for this kind of regulation because of the ecological damage being caused.

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

  • Welcome to the National Parks Traveler 2.0   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Great new interface. Big Congrats.

    all good for your and this blog

    from Portugal,
    fernando_vilarinho

  • Selling Scions by the Seashore   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Be concerned. Golden Gate NRA is the park that other NPS superintendents, looking for income-generating ideas, hold up as THE paragon of private-public partnerships. And those superintendents that do watch Golden Gate, do not have their park's best interests in mind.

  • Selling Scions by the Seashore   6 years 42 weeks ago

    ARGH! Who approved this? I don't like imports to begin with, but imports being sold in a national park is like two stabs in the back..... :(

    I should write someone a letter.

    ---
    jr_ranger
    http://tntrailhead.blogspot.com
    http://picasaweb.google.com/north.cascades
    http://zinch.com/jr_ranger
    President, CHS SPEAK (CHS Students Promoting Environmental Action & Knowledge)
    Founder and President, CHS Campus Greens

  • Selling Scions by the Seashore   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Public lands are frequently used for commercial activities but they are generally limited to those that contribute to management objectives for an area. I don't work for NPS and am not up to date on their commercial activity permit policy and process, but I'm having a tough time figuring out how lining Scions up and down Alcatraz Island furthers management objectives.

  • The Political Blotter   6 years 42 weeks ago

    I am not against snow mobiles or them having races, as long as they pass some kind of mechanical inspection, it bothers me when I see any mechanical driven vehicle burning or leaking oil. All should be required to have a valid inspection sticker, a nominal fee should be charged. The inspection should cover all mechanical and safety items, good for only 6 months. To answer a question about over crowding at any Nat'l Park during the winter why not make it simple. If the normal snow fall is say 15 feet and going back to records say 10 years ago where they had the normal 15 feet and 1000 people came in, then for todays factor 15'=1000 people. If the snow fall is only 7 1/2' only 500 people would be allowed to have thier snowmobiles inspected and allowed in the park, this doesn't apply to regular people who only want to just visit and enjoy the park. I have been to Yosemite Nat'l Park and they only allow so many people in the park at one time. If 20 cars go out then they would let 20 cars in, even as they try to accomindate everyone they still let to many in at the same time. It is realy hard to enjoy a beautiful site when it is over crowded. All the money that is ear taged for Nat'l Parks should not be deluted down with special interest. If any one sends $15k for new picinic tables at a particular park, thats what is goes for, period. I was very fortunate when I was a kid, my parents took vacations every year and we went to just about every park, Nat'l, State, City or private parks. We realy got to enjoy them, very much as this was done back in the 50's and 60's and not many people at any of them, WOW how fortunate I was..

  • Paying to Enjoy The Parks   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Joseph:
    Jus' to let ya know, TAXES were originally set up by our founders to be paid towards one thing and one thing ONLY...DEFENSE of this great nation. So don't complain....
    Granma

  • Hawaii Volcanoes Displaying its Geologic Might   6 years 42 weeks ago

    I'm in Hawaii right now, and tho' I'm not on the Big Island, this is major news all over the state. When someone mentions something like, say, the Agora Fire, some Hawaiian always points out that it will be contained and extinguished w/ the intervention of humans. Kilauea will be fiery until the eruption stops naturally.

  • Welcome to the National Parks Traveler 2.0   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Hey - if you guys did such a great job apart, imagine what NPT will be like! Keep up the great work! The new look and feel is wonderful.

  • Grizzly Attacks Man in Grand Teton   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Sally - how do you know the bear wasn't there first?

    Oh, wait, you don't. Excuse the rhetorical question.

  • The Political Blotter   6 years 42 weeks ago

    The days of government management should be drawing to a close. The continuing faith that is placed in this oversized and self-perpetuating bureaucracy with its legendary mismanagment is truly astounding! Can any of you out there name even ONE efficient federal government agency? One that is free of self-promotion, careerism and image mongering? Yeah, that's what I figured.

    I say it is time to begin a dialogue about deconstructing this silly mess of vertically structured incompetence and get "the crown jewels" placed in the hands of private or semi-private organizations that care about each individual park and want to do their utmost to preserve and protect them on a place by place basis. A good first step would be to have a non-partisan commission set up to look at getting rid of the "park barrel parks" that are in existence due to political malfeasance, much like what was done for military base closures in the 1990's. Do we really need a Women's Rights NPS unit? Or a park that honors "America's copper smelting heritage" in the upper peninsula of Michigan? How about Steamtown in Pennsylvania? Are these places worth the millions that are appropriated away from Yosemite and the Everglades every year to fund their upkeep?

    Once these units are properly done away with we can then concentrate on how best to divest the crown jewels from the political theater of the absurd that is the U.S. Dept. of the Interior and put them into the hands of more competent and area specific caretakers who will be dedicated to their particular park area and not to some nebulous and sappy "national park ideal". Freeman Tilden is dead. So are his half-baked and mostly silly ideas. Let's move into the 21st century with a viable plan for preservation, not a continuing template for unaccoutable careerists who move from park to park to further a job ladder climb rather than a dedication to particular places that they hold near and dear to their hearts.

    It's time to deconstruct! The 100th anniversary of the NPS should be about the end of the line, not more meaningless blather about a laughable "Centennial Intiative" followed by an endless string of more meaningless intiatives and yet more inane acronyms with a new museum in Washington, DC to "honor" the contributions made by the NPS in the distant past. No folks it's time to put this whole broken system out to pasture and start anew. That is the only way we will save the parks from their biggest threat: the NPS!

  • Paying to Enjoy The Parks   6 years 42 weeks ago

    You, sir, are an illiterate

  • Welcome to the National Parks Traveler 2.0   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Congratulations! The new interface looks great, and I'm eagerly anticipating the results of your collaboration. Both NP Traveler and Park Remark have proven their worth many times over, and this new vision should be even more valuable for those of us who love the parks.

    Ranger Bob

    Home Page: http://www.bobmackreth.com

    Blog: http://retreadranger.blogspot.com/

  • About The National Parks Traveler   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Very nice new look and the content remains solid. This is gonna be fun!

  • Welcome to the National Parks Traveler 2.0   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Congratulations. It's great to see the two of you partner. I'm about to launch RSS feeds for the sections of the Yellowstone Newspaper (actually, they're already up, but I haven't published them yet as I see if there are any kinks). That can hardly cover the full range of stuff for all the parks, but it does a pretty good job for Yellowstone and Grand Teton. I hope you and your readers will find them useful and will let everyone know when they are live (probably July 1, though it could be a day or two sooner).

    National Parks Traveler has been an amazing source for new information and fresh commentary. When I compile the aforementioned newspaper, it's always, always, always a stop along my way.

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

  • Paying to Enjoy The Parks   6 years 42 weeks ago

    I think if have all that money to give away, and is are tax dollers. For WARs that are needless. We should NOT PAY one penny. to use parks that was payed for with tax dollers !!!!