Recent comments

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore Visitors Seem to Prefer Things Rustic   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Hear Hear. Cape Hatteras is really developed, so if you want a developed national seashore, you can go there, and if you want a more rustic/natural seashore then Cape Lookout is the place to be. I love that there is no road access to Cape Lookout. That's what makes it so nice--and quiet.

    "God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars." -Martin Luther
    The Lone Ranger

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    I absolutely love the National Parks. Although Yosemite is amazingly beautiful, it does not rank in my top ten favorite parks as it does for many people. Why not? It was too crowded. Adding Segways would only contribute to the congestion and detract from the purpose of National Parks and the beauty that they preserve. We need to encourage the National Park Service to prohibit Segways from becoming a part of the National Park System.

  • National Park Service Retirees Outline 2008 Goals for Park Service   6 years 36 weeks ago

    There is a glaring ommission in the retiree wish list. None of their items are even vaguely possible without clear, loud, unwavering support from our elected officials.

    Who in Congress is an outspoken advocate of the parks themselves? Many are trying to find ways to make money off the parks (concession contracts, fee hikes, mining/forestry/hunting rights, etc.), but, to my knowledge, none of our elected federal officials are actually and truly advocating the protection, promotion, and improvement of the sites in our National Park System.

    On my wish list for 2008 is the election of candidates who believe in and support the NPS as it is truly intended.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    I cringe at the thought of hordes of Segways jostling for position in Yosemite - or any other large park - while the operators make a mint. They would be a nice alternative to the eternal traffic jam at Cades Cove in Great Smokies, though, if done properly.
    ---
    jr_ranger
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Emerson
    http://tntrailhead.blogspot.com

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    I agree with all the other previous posters here. However, should we ask the reason that people visit the parks? I used to look down on people who experience the park from the inside of their car, or those who never venture more than 100 feet away from their motor homes.

    Is the goal for people to get value out of their park? Yes. Can people get value from Yosemite without ever leaving a car? Yes. Can people enjoy Lake Mead while drinking beer in a motor boat? Yes. These people may not get as much value as people who go for a hike or camp in the backcountry. Personally, I would say that you can't really experience a park unless you get out in it, (e.g., going for a hike), and that drinking beer in a motor boat on Lake Mead is not the best way to experience one's park, but I can't say whether those other uses of a park are necessarily wrong or bad. It may not be the perfect way to do so, and I would say that people who ride a Segway around Yosemite Valley would not get as much out of it as I would on a hike.

    So, NO, I don't think Segways are a worthwhile way for somebody to "experience their America." At least not for me, but if somebody gets some extra appreciation of Yosemite while riding on a Segway, is that a bad thing?

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    It is wrong., goes against my personal ethics that Our National Parks are considered a source of profit for private corporations.

  • 2007's Top National Park Stories   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Just found your website. From what I have seen so far, looks good. I am a lifetime visitor of our National Parks and over the past ten years spend as much time, more really, visiting them on the web. What I have found over the last 12-18 months, since their websites have been taken over by the Washington Repubs, is the lowering of content. The news releases from the different parks has all but disappeared. The content that was put-up by the staff of the various parks has all but disappeared. It, that content, showed what made each park unique. But now, it has been replaced by bland cookie cutter info. The webcams are often times inoperative.
    It is easy to believe that the people in charge of the NPS websites are working in a basement room somewhere and I personnally have no doubt they (I really doubt that there are more than two doing the work) have been to a park or stayed longer than it took to watch Oldfaithful erupt.
    It is to me the real show of negelect to which our National Park System is being subjected. We need to do more to save these wildplaces.
    footsore

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Wow kurt you have brought out the longest list of comments on any article i have read so far. good job. segways like many products have a place in the market, is the National Parks a viable market? maybe. would it be better to fire up a 4x4 pickup truck to run next door or use a segway? less fuel no pollution. Do we need segways running around a park like mopeds on a island in the caribbean? NO.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    This fall I was on the waterfront of the SF Maritime museum building that is being renovated and Golden Gate Park. I was enjoying a very nice evening walk along with several other walkers/runners when along came a Segway tour. I can only assume this group had a commercial use permit to operate within the park. This tour didn't slow down or detour and actually the tour leader honked a horn at those of us in his way and shouted as us to move! How's that for a friendly tour? If this is the future of the Segway in the NPS I say no way in addition to all of the other reasons stated above.
    Also, if you've ever had the chance to be on a Segway, you might find out that they might make parks more accessible for some with disabilities, but many will not be able to use them due to the stamina and fine motor skills needed to operate them. As it has been pointed out you must stand and in addition have excellent balance since the movements are controlled by the operator leaning forward, backward and twisting side to side.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Segways in the National Parks...how tacky! Next we'll have conveyor belts to help the super obese get their fat butts around the parks. Parks are for wholesome exercise: physically, mentally and spiritually.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Segways are toys. They aren't transportation. They aren't for the handicapped. Little old ladies who need wheelchairs because of their hip replacements or osteoporosis won't be using Segways as an alternative.

    Segways are just toys. Take them to your city park to play, but don't put up another building housing another concessionaire or more paved trails so that people who want to play with a toy have another place to play with a toy.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Might as well throw another tire on the fire. Another not very brilliant idea actually receives the validity of controversy. Must we really even entertain this hair- brained idea? There is no practical use for a segway in the parks. The Handicapped can't stand on a segway, and if they can, they should just walk or take a shuttle.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    I see a perfect place for these – as an alternative to the summer shuttle in Zion (or other shuttle-only roads). But the rental must be economical – and not Xanterra economical, either.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Just, please make then available for the Handicap!!

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Maybe they need to have baskets on them also so people can carry their candy, cigarettes, soda and Big Macs around.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Let's be realistic here.

    Segways are not an off-road vehicle. I doubt they can even go on a lawn, much less a trail.

    So, that limits their use to the following:
    -- roads
    -- sidewalks
    -- paved or well-graded interpretive trails

    I made my visit to Yosemite this past fall, and I don't recall too many well-graded interpretive trails. In fact, I remember none, but I didn't go everywhere.

    So that leaves roads and sidewalks. And, based on my relatively off-season (early October) visit, there wasn't a heck of a lot of room on those, either.

    From a practical perspective, there's nothing "park related" that can be done on a Segway in Yosemite, nor most of the other parks I've ever been to. You can't go into the woods, you can't see the sites, Segways don't help you experience the natural wonders at these sites. So, the only purpose would be to play with toys and joy ride. Those are activities that can be done anywhere.

    The park system has many missions, one of which is preserving the natural beauty of specific places for appreciation by the public. Segways don't enhance that mission at all.

    I could possibly see Segways on the carriage trails in Acadia, but they're hilly, I don't know how the Segway does on hills. Otherwise, I can't think of a park where Segways could help in the appreciation of nature.

    OTOH, I could see them being useful in places like Gettysburg or Antietam or other historical sites, but in those cases, you're also sharing roads with locals. I'm sure they'd love to see hoardes of Segways clogging traffic during lunch hour ...

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    They are more environmentally friendlier than cars and motorcycles. If they could be used in such a way to cut automotive congestion in the parks, I'm for it. Also, they would be a handy tool for park rangers in certain areas. The Chicago police department use them to patrol the city parks.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Segways, the conveyance of the future. That is all well and good. I can see ones with handicaps using such a vehicle to get around in. I understand that. But.....National Parks!!! Please. The object of a National Park and the reason so many of us go there is to see and experience the outdoors. Which means walking, using those 2 branches of the human body that the "Big guy upstairs" gave us. For so many people and so much of government agencies touting "health" and all that it can give us, why then would this be a good thing. Wouldn't this be a "step" backwards? A step mind you, not on wheels....which is the whole point isn't it?

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    No, no, no, no and no.

    "Perhaps there are places in the national park system where Segways make sense..." That'll be another no.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Allowing Segways in our National Parks is one of the dumbest ideas that ever came down the pike. Perhaps a case could be made for allowing disabled people to use them, in which case the Segways should be clearly marked as conveyances for the physically disabled. Being overweight and lazy should not be an acceptable excuse for using a Segway in a national park. If you want to lead the lardass parade -- in a park or anywhere else -- you should do it on foot.

  • About The National Parks Traveler   6 years 36 weeks ago

    mexico adventure wrote:

    a real vacation means exploring new countries and cultures

    I'll grant that this definition supports your business model well.

    But I think a more accepted definition is simply: ...a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation.

    Notice that it says "in travel -or- recreation."

    Most Americans are at this point are predominantly urban and suburban dwellers. I argue that an escape to a natural, undeveloped setting, such as a wilderness area of a national park, would be a sufficiently foreign experience as to profoundly broaden their understanding of the world around them. In contrast, most financially successful commercial tours to "foreign" countries wind up providing the traveler with the same kinds of civilized comforts that they've come to expect at home, which makes their "cultural experience" in that foreign country pointlessly superficial. To be fair, most tourist trips which stick to the developed areas of U.S. national parks could also be seen as pointlessly superficial.

    (Editors: I realize that my and mexico adventure's comments are way off topic for this thread, and I would not object to the deletion of both.)
    __________
    The WildeBeat "The audio journal about getting into the wilderness"
    10-minute weekly documentaries to help you appreciate our wild public lands.
    A 501c3 non-profit project of Earth Island Institute.

  • Segways in the National Parks: Do We Really Need Them?   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Please do not allow segways in parks- thanks

  • Lynx, Long Sought in Yellowstone National Park, Is Caught on Film   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Bryan,

    Since 2000 the Canada lynx has been recognized as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In November 2006 the agency identified areas of critical habitat for the lynx around Voyageurs National Park, Glacier National Park, and North Cascades National Park, but none around Yellowstone.

    That said, under their threatened status lynx may not be hunted or trapped in the Lower 48.

    Kurt

  • Lynx, Long Sought in Yellowstone National Park, Is Caught on Film   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Intentionally killing 18 lynx during the winter of 1971-72 was a pretty sorry thing to do, but the size of the trapper take implies that there was a respectable population of lynx in the area back in the early 70s. Road kill can also be interpreted this way. There are lots of dead possums, raccoons, and foxes along the roads in our community. It's sad to see this carnage, but it couldn't happen if there weren't lots of possums, raccoons, and foxes living in this area. It's a good bet that these species are replacing their losses, too, since the road kill count doesn't seem to have changed much in recent years.

  • Lynx, Long Sought in Yellowstone National Park, Is Caught on Film   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Are there any protections that can be granted if this individual has naturally recolonized to the area? Are lynx threatened or endangered outside of the park boundaries?