Recent comments

  • National Park Quiz 3: Bridges   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Why, that would be the bridge that spans the Colorado River at the bottom of the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park.

  • National Park Quiz 3: Bridges   6 years 29 weeks ago

    BTW - in what Park *is* that bridge in the photo?

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    The answer to the title of this post is quite simple - actually. The answer is "no", the NPS is not obligated to better promote proposed change in gun regulations. The NPS has followed the statutory procedures for public notice-and-comment by publishing the proposed regulation in the Federal Register, it is then up to the stakeholders to respond and to promote additional public interest in filing comments. It seems like the NRA has done just that, and it appears that the NPCA and blogs like the NPT are doing the same.

  • National Park System Benefits From Omnibus Natural Resources Bill   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Omnibus bills are often a mish-mash of things, and despite the fact that the Section D on "Memorials, Commissions, and Museums" is included under Title III - National Park Service Authorization, many of the provisions of Title III, Section D don't actually impact the National Park Service. In this case, the provision on the "National Quilt Museum" is just to rename an existing Museum of the American Quilter's Society - it won't actually produce involvement by the National Park Service.

    The most interesting things that I noticed, is that despite the Administration's request for a moratorium on new National Heritage Areas until Congress better defines exactly what these things are and what they are supposed to be - that Congress seems to nevertheless be plowing ahead with new National Heritage Areas anyways. Without better definition and direction, the whole National Heritage Area concept, with few notable exceptions, seems like just a big distraction for the National Park Service, and an inefficient expenditure of scarce dollars for the Parks.

    The other interesting note is the list of Special Resource Studies established by Congress - which is the first step towards becoming a new part of the Park System. At least two of the proposed SRS's appear to be pretty patently not suitable for inclusion in the National Park System - the Soldier's Memorial Military Museum and historic Taunton, MA. Its great that the local Congressmen of these places have such pride in the historic resources of their hometown, but its a shame that scarce Park resources might eventually be appropriated or dedicated to conducting studies on the possibility of a level of recognition for those resources that is at least one level above the recognition that those resources would truly merit.

  • Star Party Scheduled for June 21-28 at Grand Canyon National Park   6 years 29 weeks ago

    For those. who can't attend the Star Parties at GRCA,but live in the Bay area, I'd like to recommend the monthly star gazing events on top of Mount Tamalpais. They begin with a high level talk on some astronomy related issues in the amphitheater (build by the CCC, I might mention to connect this blog entry with the last one) and followed by star gazing through telescopes brought and set up by volunteers from the whole area. This seasons schedule can be found at http://www.mttam.net/Default.aspx?tabid=843. The venue is Mount Tamalpais State Park. North of the bay.

  • Is Your Backcountry Safety Net A Personal Locator Beacon or Cell Phone?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    You tell 'em dtroutma !!

  • Is Your Backcountry Safety Net A Personal Locator Beacon or Cell Phone?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    PLBs will attain the same status as 911 operators, called routinely to give baking instructions or time of day. The good part of cell phones is that in much of the remote west, you may have six square feet of "coverage" in 2,000 square miles of desert. Which means if you aren't standing in just the right spot, the coyotes acquire a cell phone from someone with 21st century technical skills, and NO survival skills. Our pampered and pandering society no longer has the desire to take care of themselves, and that has NOTHING to do with political leanings, but everything to do with personal comfort, irrespective the impact on the society, or planet. I think it's time to give back to the coyote, or polar bears, or grizzly. DEPEND on your cell phone or PLB to protect you, make it easier for the scavengers to survive.

  • Is Your Backcountry Safety Net A Personal Locator Beacon or Cell Phone?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Thanks for a great article. It's been featured on the front page of my website, http://www.scoutingwiththemouse.com (of course, with full credit given to you as the source) becuase I think this is very important information for folks to know.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Thanks Kurt. One thing's for sure: the lawyers and bureaucrats ALWAYS win.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Dear Anon, there is no "ever increasing threat to citzens in our parks systems as well as in everyday life". The crime rates are dropping, the violent crime in the parks is virtually nil. There may be valid reasons to carry a gun in a National Park (even though I doubt them), but there is no threat of violence to visitors that would make self defense a necessity. If you argue for a revision of the existing rules, please stick to the facts and don't use straw man arguments.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Fred,

    "EA" stands for Environmental Assessment. This is a measure of review -- short of a full-blown, much more encompassing and costly, environmental impact statement (EIS) -- that examines how a management action will impact a park's environment.

    In the Yellowstone snowmobile situation, they conducted three EISes and one EA (at a cumulative cost of about $10 million) over the course of about eight years. All reached the same conclusion -- that snow coaches presented a more benign impact on the park's resources than did snowmobiles. But politics won out in the end. Kind of, that is, as the lawyers for both sides have this football back in the courts.

    In this case, apparently the ongoing debate is whether there's even a need for an EA. If there is one, it will push the outcome of this matter more than a few months down the road.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Due to the ever increasing threat to citzens in our parks systems as well as in everyday life.i strongly support carriying of legal and trained pepole in our parks system.including our park Rangers.We have to many wack out maniacs that want to commit violent hanus crimes agaist the innocent and agaist wild life without a permit.I see no reason as long there are responsible adults that have the experience and the trainning shouldn't be able to carry them(firearms).

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Kurt -

    What is an "EA"? Is this some means of informing folks about this proposed rule change?

  • Guns in the Parks: A Bad Idea   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Guns? cant you use one of your wrestling holds?

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Kelly,

    I've been getting conflicting signals. The most optimistic is that there might be an EA.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    My opinion has been, and remains, that the Park Service should hand out a questionnaire at the entrance station of each and every National Park. Ask the people who actually go to our National Parks. This should not be decided by politicians, the NRA or internet blogs. It should be decided by those families, individuals and foreign visitors who actually visit the Parks, with strong input from Park Service employees, especially law enforcement rangers, who are going to have to (and will be expected to) deal with this.
    How many of the Senators and other politicians suggesting this change actually spend any time in our parks, for anything other than a photo op?

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Is there any word yet what the Department of the Interior (DOI) decided was proper procedure for this proposed rule change? The official notice for the proposed rule indicated that DOI wasn't sure what its legal obligations were in regard to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). Depending on what DOI determines is the proper NEPA process--and whether that determination holds up under public scrutiny--there could be additional public notification and public comment.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Thank you, Lone Hiker for injecting some sense into the debate. I'm sick of hearing the crap that people put out about how the big, bad, liberal government (or is it the gub-ment?) is out to ruin America by placing reasonable restrictions on guns.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Past posts from a variety of CCP holders admit that they have been and will continue to bring weapons into public lands. Fred was the only one who had the stones enough to openly admit to it, kudos to him. But I'm curious as to whether we're now supposed to consider those who knowingly and willingly disregard the law as "extremely responsible and fanatical about safety", simply due to their position that they're carrying is allegedly making the environment a safer place for us all? That qualifies as a more than a mildly "slanted" position as well. Be being as this isn't exactly what you might call a "news" site, not akin to AP, Reuters, Fox(?) and the like, opinions are more the case here than at your local ABC affiliate, editorial policy not withstanding, so "slanting" is more par for the course anyway. Certainly not worth getting your shorts in a knot over, is it?
    I'm more than mildly fascinated with all this talk based around numbers, like there really exists any reliable source of data on these issues. Neither side has any real credibility when quoting statistics......it's like trying to determine how many rapes, child or spousal abuse occur when you have no idea how many victims don't come forward. Of COURSE each side has inflammatory numbers, what good would the stats be if they simply mundane? I suggest there is NO way to determine how many crimes can and have been prevented by your CCP holding folks, NO way of telling how many incidents MIGHT happen with additional firepower in close proximity to the unsuspecting masses, NO way of telling the numbers of existing members of the Chicago Outfit regularly patrol the backcountry.
    One thing is certain though. NEVER has this issue been about scare tactics that the NRA supporters like to post, that regarding the "they're taking our guns away" cry-baby mentality. Never, in all that has be written surrounding this topic, has anyone on the "con" side said anything remotely close to removing the "right of people to defend themselves and the brothers" (insert puking soundtrack). The ONLY issue is the "where" you can and cannot, not anything to do with your ability or right to own. Public places, be they airports, sporting events, marathons, and other gatherings of the masses are simply inappropriate locations for your display. Or is the real interest the "right to carry" where and when as you damn well please? If it is, at least have the cajones to fess up and stop hiding behind these childish rants about somebody taking away your toys.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    NPCA has put out an action alert giving people info on the rule change and how to comment in opposition to the gun regs.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Absolutely. I don't know WHO would spread the word, but if folks are OPPOSED they should find out somehow. The NRA has over four million active members.

    As for CCW permit holders, they are NOT involved in altercations like you mention here. Such action would result in immediate permanent loss of permit. I understand that only only 183 permits have been rescinded. Most (98%) of those were because the holder picked up their child at school while carrying.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Fred,

    I have no doubt the NRA has mounted an enormous campaign. Unfortunately, my guess is that only those folks entering gun shops or holding an NRA membership would learn the details. That leaves an awfully huge population out there.

    Wouldn't you suppose that, just as the NRA is an obvious disseminator of the proposal, that the National Park Service would be an obvious candidate for spreading the word as well? And wouldn't the entrance gates to the parks be an obvious place to distribute information?

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Neil, I hope you're right.

    But across the country there are more than a few gun incidents involving those holding CCW permits.

    In 2006 there were 1,950 "weapons offenses" in the national parks; in 2007 that number dipped to 1,495, which still is a staggering number. Unfortunately, the NPS can't say how many of those involved permitted gun owners.

    Here's a stat that'll I'll wager you'll dispute, because it comes from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:

    ...an August 2000 study by the Violence Policy Center revealed that, from January 1996 through April 2000, the arrest rate for weapon-related offenses among Texas concealed handgun license holders was 66% higher than that of the general adult population of Texas. CCW license holders are committing crimes - including murder, rape, assault and burglary - but because the gun lobby makes it difficult if not impossible for the public to determine if a shooter has a CCW license in most states, the full story has not yet been told.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    In the interest of fairness, it should be pointed out that the NRA and every gun shop in the United States is telling folks about the necessity to post comments SUPPORTING the regulation change. IF someone OPPOSES the rule change, they should be told by SOMEONE that they can post a comment if they want to. The OPPOSERS will be in very lonely company though, IMHO.

    I'm pretty sure that comments can be posted anonymously.

  • Is the National Park Service Obligated to Better Promote Proposed Change in Gun Regulations?   6 years 30 weeks ago

    Well, first, you don't even try to deny your slanted viewpoint, good for you. But, you missed the whole point of my post. The folks who take the time and care enough to get a concealed carry permit will not cause a problem. If there are people who walk around acting like idiots (and who happen to carry a gun), then a permit is of no consequence. They are going to do it anyway...permits and park rules be damned. The only time you will even know that the law abiding gun carriers have a gun is when they are put in a life or death situation and are forced to use it. Allowing people with a CC permit in the park will in no way endanger others but will only create an environment where a CC permit holder can possibly save a life should the situation arise. They are not going to be getting drunk and shooting their guns in the air like they are in Tombstone, AZ at the O.K. Corral. That is just a ridiculous picture that your anti-gun brethren like to paint to make your weak case against guns and carry permits.