Recent comments

  • Groups Sue Park Service Over ORV Use in Big Cypress National Preserve   6 years 38 weeks ago

    Snowmobiles in Florida? What's next, swamp buggies in Alaska?

  • Park History: Shenandoah National Park   6 years 38 weeks ago

    Hoover's requirement that it be above 2,500 feet was due to the fact that (at that time) mosquitoes could not live above that altitude. Having spent many nights in Shenandoah above 2,500 feet, I can tell you that is no longer the case, and I'd guess you have to get above at least 3,000 feet to be 100% out of the mosquito's wrath.

    Camp Rapidan is well preserved, and while one can't enter the buildings if you're just hiking through, it's a great spot to stop and have lunch.

  • White House Holiday Ornament   6 years 38 weeks ago

    Kurt/Jeremy: Happy Holidays, and thanks for all you do keep the latest NPS news and discussion flowing. This site must take up a huge amount of your time, and I am very grateful you do it. I wanted to pass along an idea, which is to ask folks to post their New Years Resolutions as it pertains to the NPS. For example, I resolve to visit 10 new NPS units in 2008, or I resolve to pester my senator to make sure there is ample funding for park rangers. Just a thought.

    Keep up the great work, and I hope you both have a great 2008!

  • Park History: Shenandoah National Park   6 years 38 weeks ago

    Thanks for the Great writeup. I had no idea about Camp Rapidan.

  • Groups Sue Cape Hatteras National Seashore Over ORV Traffic   6 years 38 weeks ago

    One needs to understand that Cape Hatteras was established as the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreation Area. This has never been officially changed and stands to this day. Note *Recreational*.

    Vehicular driving on the beach predates the establishment of this park and ORV access is a vital component to what attract many of the visiting public: fishing, wind boarding, shell picking, bird watching, etc, etc.

    Seasonally there are large areas closed to ORV access for pedestrian safety and bird and turtle protection and there are many areas that closed year round.

    The beach is not "ruined" as ORVs are confined to a narrow corridor of sand along the seashore and, with each storm, the evidence of ORVs is wiped clean.

    And I will you assure you the areas with ORV access are "cleaner" than those w/o since it's common practice for ORV users to clean-up the area during their stay.

    CHNSRA was established for recreational multi-use and to preserve the beauty of the northern Outer Banks. Under the management of Super. Murray he has done a wonderful job of balancing use and resource protection. Reasonable and responsible access along with scientifically-supported closures for resource protection is what the majority of ORV users want.

    Zero birds or turtles were harmed under the 2007 plan as has been the case for several years and the lawsuit, given that there is an active interim ORV plan in place, is frivolous & I predict these 3 groups will have their arses handed to them

  • Groups Sue Park Service Over ORV Use in Big Cypress National Preserve   6 years 38 weeks ago

    Conservation should be predominant. Superintendant Gustin is supposed to be the person overseeing this responsibility, but it seems her responsibilitiy lies with the snowmobilers. Protecting endangered species and the environment should be the priority here. All it takes is one change and significant damage could be done. Future generations should have the chance to see a pristine environment without the encroachment of snowmobiles.

  • Video : Winter in Yellowstone National Park   6 years 38 weeks ago

    How gorgeous! I'd love to be there right now, watching the Bison, hearing the geysers, listening to the gentle flow of water and the peaceful surround. Glad you edited out the snowmobiles. Now, can you get them out of the park altogether? I can dream, can't I?

  • Big Cypress National Preserve: The Latest Battleground Over ORVs in the Parks   6 years 38 weeks ago

    i have lived in south florida all my life, i'm also one of the few people born in the state i have lived and breathed both sides. people the dig holes with there tire and run into trees because they can is what hurt the area and not poeple that follow the tread lightly. i have a large 4x4 my self and love to go out for a drive but i do everything in my power not to dig holes or leave trash behide like other. the only way this is going to work is if we have both side sit down and talk about and not call each other names.

    thank you
    MR3 (US NAVY)

  • Senators' Letter to Open National Parks to Concealed Weapons   6 years 39 weeks ago

    I envision scenarios of armed campground users "protecting their families, in car campgrounds in particular" who end up taking potshots at passersby on their way to the restrooms in the middle of the night. Fearing that "Folks are quite vulnerable in their tents from all kinds of derelicts," they might shoot at anything that moves. Well-intentioned but trigger-happy campers seem to pose more of a threat than "all kinds of derelicts."

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    In western Montana the locals have more brains than to go camping in Glacier Park because of the Grizzly bears and out of control people from all over the USA and only the visiting Idiots go there.
    The rest of us Montana’s with common sense go to other places in the mountains where we can carry guns and be safe.
    It should definitely be legal to carry a firearm in the parks..............!

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Probably the best point of all here! I guess anyone of us would be shocked if the otherside suddenly said....Gee, I never thought of it that way and then changed our minds. Merry Christmas to all.

  • Video : Winter in Yellowstone National Park   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Wonderful. Loved the buffalo. Looks a peaceful as Alaska, but closer to our home in NC. You have decided for us where our next vacation will be.

  • Park History: Exploring the National Parkways   6 years 39 weeks ago

    I drive the BW parkway at least four days a week. It's miserable with all the traffic and lack of public transportation in the Baltimore/Washington corridor. Nice on a Sunday morning though, and even though it's always jam-packed, at least there are no trucks!

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    This is just the same stuff politicians dust off and put out into the public debate when they want to energize their base before an election. And we're all the bunch of idiots who fall for it every time. There are so many more important issues these bozos can't seem to find the time to work on -- health care for children and the elderly, improved veterans' benefits, energy independence, the affordability of a college education, the accelerating destruction of global resources, Social Security solvency, and the list goes on.

  • Park History: Capitol Reef National Park   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Chance, sure enjoyed reading this article and look forward to seeing more from you! Great job.

  • President Bush's Dog, Barney, a Junior Park Ranger at White House   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Just like all good Junior Rangers, Barney must follow the rules, for his own benefit!
    At certain parks, the scent of non-native animals such as dogs can attract dangerous animals that might hurt a pet or deter native animals that need to wander near trails in the evenings to obtain food.

    Junior Rangers promise to help protect and preserve our National Parks, and are very careful to be aware of what the rules are at different parks and places to help keep them wonderful places for visitors and "local residents" (animals) alike!

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Appealing to emotion rather than fact is what has propelled this argument for decades now. It is not simply a case of one footstep in a meadow. These public lands are "our" lands - 300+million of us in this country alone. Add to that figure all of the foreign tourism our nations best idea generates and you have significant crowd control issues, even in the most remote areas of our public lands. That is a lot of footsteps. Moreover, it seems that lands already set aside for consumptive, controlled use are not enough to satisfy an appetite for consumption, as if we are suffering from shortages dire enough to warrant raping our parklands, thereby denigrating the very reason for their existence.

    The Earth is certainly capable of recovering from most types of human impact, but that does not convey the right for careless subjugation of it's resources. At best this practice as advocated by Gerald is disrespectful to the earth, our nation, and subsequent generations; and at worst, it is patently immoral, misguided, disingenuous, and embarrassing.

    The NPS and DOI are responsible for keeping these parks in perpetuity for us, and like it or not, it involves regulating how we use our land and protecting the future us from our current selves. Those are facts. Think in terms of long-term sustainability before calling for the easing or repeal of use policies.

  • Search Under Way for Missing Snowshoer On Mount Rainier   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Godspeed to those that search for the young man as we pray for his safe return. may the lord be with his loved ones during this time of uncertainty.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    The Casper Star-Tribune has an editorial out yesterday that I think clears up some of the issues. They come out against firearms in the parks not because they are anti-gun rights but say that the claim of inconvenience to gun owners is unfounded because all the regulation is interpreted to mean is that the gun has to be disassembled or in the trunk. So, people passing through can have their guns. They just can't have them right next to them ready to use in the front seat.

    I do think the ideological questions are important because they suggest something about government, about people, about their relationship with each other. That's what this discussion is about; it's just too bad that the discussion is fancied up by the senators as though this is really a practical consideration that needs immediate policy attention. Has anyone here ever asked whether they were carrying a firearm either when entering or while in a park? That would be an interesting poll question. (I never have in hundreds of encounters with rangers.) Because, if not, and if the policy really allows people to carry them through anyhow, then the dressing here is taken away, and people can have the important values question discussion.

    I think that people avoid that discussion and couch it in practical window dressing in order to cherry pick support to make it seem as though one view is in the majority (I used to criticize fellow pacifists for trying to do the same in co-opting opposition against the war in Iraq). It would be much better that people had the confidence of their convictions to make the argument on the strongest possible grounds by acknowledging the strongest possible argument of one's opponents. Then, we might get somewhere here.

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

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Disinformation #1-
    You feel that a good government will always stay that way.
    Find me any mention of this quote in the text of my comments. You can't, because I never made this comment or inferred this opinion in any manner. At least have the decency to accurately quote my commentary.

    Disinformation #2-
    I can't believe you can watch a few incidents a year and think that gun violence is the norm
    Gun violence is a daily occurrence throughout our nation. Accidental shootings, drive-by's, acts of domestic violence and the more typical injuries caused by the firing of a weapon during the commission of more "traditional" crimes can in NO way be classified as "a few incidents a year". The ignorance in this statement is overwhelming.

    However, the aptly stated term within this context is "gun violence". It is that indeed. For what purpose do you suppose guns were invented if not for violence? As collector's items? For display purposes? Paperweights?

    Disinformation #3-
    a collection of men as 1 body (which is government, and that would be gov. infringing on gov.)
    This may be the best of all.......Since when is every collection of men as 1 body classified as a government? What manner of ridiculous notion brought you that bit of wisdom?

    Disinformation #4 & 5
    Every time you hear a story of a sad gun attack you want to blame special interests instead of the sad reflection of the degradation of society
    I feel that the evolution of all government everywhere is to limit freedoms
    Other references above state things about the degradation of society as a whole and the govenment effectively strengthening it's stranglehold on personal liberties as the catalyst for "drastic actions" being required as a call to arms. Half correct. The liberties that were endowed upon us by the founding fathers were already in question at the time those original documents were being constructed. Research writings authored by Franklin, Jefferson, Madison and other "signers", and you will quickly discover that they had doubts whether a society would evolve that could maintain order within these guidelines, as too high a moral standard was required by EACH individual in order for the entire system no to implode. And implode is indeed has, for exactly the reasons forecast by these well-meaning, idealistic men. The only mistake they made was in not allowing for what they knew from history to be reality, that being the insatiable greed and immorality of men. As men exhibit more tendencies towards those ends, indeed efforting to escape the law, or at the very least circumvent it, most assuredly additional laws MUST be enacted to countermand that mindset and close loopholes. It is due to the immaturity of society as a whole that we are forced to enact laws, and our eacape from tyranny is to escape the hold that special interest place upon the government, not the government per se.

    Our nation currently stands on the precipice of lawlessness, with no personal accountibility to anyone for anything, yet you feel somehow that this is due to the government? In a way, perhaps you're correct. The basic structure of our laws has allowed for this usurption of the "letter" to be confused with the "intent" of the law, thus encouraging social degradation by those in powerful positions, and unfortuantely for you, these are generallly NOT the ruling bodies, but the weathly businessmen BEHIND those in power. Then, like any good puppeteer, you find men upon whom you can endow the vestiges of power and prestige, but are willing to pay the heavy price of functioning as your marionette. They become your point man, your flunky, your fall guy, functioning only to keep your hands clean. If they win, they owe you. If they lose, they take the fall. What is it about our system of government as it relates to internal compliance and subserviance to special interests that you're not able to comprehend? You're targeting the wrong people.

    If you are so sure that a view of history will show that men have their own selfish desires and the only way government can be changed (eventually....not immediately) is through drastic means, you had best be certain that you're weaponry is pointed in the correct direction. If you all were so bold as to back up this paranoid diatribe with actions, and had any foresight at all, you would quickly realize that we stand at the brink of your dreams. After 8 years of ineffective leadership and with an overall public approval rating at it's lowest in our history, our current governing body is ripe for the taking. Over the course of the next 10 months, if your group had the stones enough to "walk the walk", you could leave the existing structure in the hands of a true incompetent, from which it would fall fast and hard in a heartbeat. Then you could direct your ire at the street gangs who give gun owners a bad reputation. Then you could clean up organized crime. Then you would be free to deal with the illegal aliens and the sea of internal terrorist, which by the way, would be exactly what you've evolved your organization into, like it or not. Then as the next holier than thou group targets you as you did the previous ruling body, you can take the self-righteous attitude of saying, "But look at all the things we've done for you" as they vent their frustrations on you. And on, and on, and on, which is why in civilized circles these ideals to which you hold dear are referred to as a "cycle of violence".

    But enough of the dark side of human nature. Until we can all be intelligent enough to see through the "fog of war" so competently laid down by big business, we have no hope as a society. Happy holidays, if you believe in such things, to you all!

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Have you ever visited the morgue and seen how many people were in there who had died of a drug overdose? All violent deaths are bad. We must pursue prevention. Making something illegal only makes good media coverage. It does NOT prevent illegal activity.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Let's face it folks, the NRA has held this country hostage with fear for years, and fear sells at your local gun shop. Spend some time at the city morgue and observe the dead bodies on the gurneys from gun violence. I have and it makes you puke!

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 39 weeks ago

    What about the study that said " cross country skiers and snowshoers have a greater chance of spooking and causing injury to bison and elk than a motorized vehicle." I guess we should ban them too, or make them wear bells so the animals are forwarned. If the Park service was that concerned about pollution and it is the main reason for the snowmobile ban they should clean up there own act before casting stones. Not only is the fleet of vehicles the Park uses aging and not up to the highest standards that they are holding the snowmobiles too, the Parks own concessionaire Xanterra is using vehicles year round that are so old and produce more emissions than would be allowed in most staes that have emission requirements. Next diesels cars and pickups won't be allowed to enter the park and another concessionaire who is related to a politician or a higher up in the DOI will make more money off the people who visit who have paid for the park with taxes. I see it coming, guided tours only is what the sign will say.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    Just a quick note from the editors: While the give and take of comments is interesting, let's try not to stray into personal attacks, which will be edited out. Please try to stick to constructive input.


  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 39 weeks ago

    This is an old, volatile issue. I go hiking to SEE the creatures of the woods, not to SHOOT the creatures of the woods. However, to wander off in the wilderness without some form of self-defense is dangerously irresponsible. You would never think of hiking without a first-aid kit or matches, would you? The same goes for other "one chance in a million" emergencies.

    Currently I don't hike in National Parks because I can't bring my pistol with me. I assume people who don't want me to carry my pistol don't hike in places that DO allow concealed-carry for the same reason. Of course, you must remember that the "bad guy" will be carrying his pistol whether it's legal or not, wherever you go. Laws only apply to the "law-abiding", NOT the criminal.

    Here is the link where you can read about the countless occurrences of self-defensive uses of firearms. Read for yourself, then decide. By the way, as a typical concealed-carry permit holder, I have had THREE FBI background checks. Bad guys don't take background checks; THINK about it ......