Recent comments

  • Congressional Research Service--Recreation on Federal Lands   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Whether you admit to it or not, you two (the editors) are already a resource to a vast audience. There are many people nationally who have a varied degree of interest in the topics presented in this forum, but lack the resources, intellect, or motivation to sift through the mountains of reports, articles, interviews, etc. of their own vocation. However, when given a "Reader's Digest" version of events that directly or even indirectly effect the park facilites network, readers have access to data otherwise not found through the daily course of their life's events. The knowledge base that is provided within this arena is powerful, enabling and empowering. And the open exchange of views should make for a well rounded interpretation of the scope of events and their possible effect on the public land system.

    In other words, it's about damn time you guys fulfilled your obligation to the public and opened up your library of information to the masses! Now, if we only knew the best way to handle the new influx of information...... slowly is best, I guess. I sincerely hope more than just the "usual suspects" are driven to investigate the new database. We need more inquiring minds contributing and debating these issues. Of course, a little intellect would be nice, too!

  • Dying in the Parks: Park Service Concerned About Suicides   6 years 41 weeks ago

    "Over the Edge" the book about death in the Grand Canyon states that in the year after "Thelma and Louise" came out on video, several people committed suicide or attempted suicide by driving over the edge. It's very sad when people feel their lives have no meaning and that non-existence is preferable to existence. But what is the NPS supposed to do about it? Put suicide prevention hotlines on the edge of the Grand Canyon? I think there are telephones like this or signs on the Golden Gate Bridge, but I don't know if the suicide rate there has been reduced. So now they are talking about putting up a barrier. There are some things that have no solution.

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    After seeing the picture of all those snowmobiles, I certainly wouldn't want to be anywhere after the first one.

    They need to hand out oxygen masks from the looks of things.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    For the past 2 and 1/2 months we've been arguing and fighting over hunting the Katmai brown bears. There is something more ominous thats bruing over on Katmai and thats the Pebble Mining Project by Lake Iliamna and Bristol Bay. You see if Alaska allows Northern Dynasty to Mine, there won't be any bears, Salmon, Carribou and untold other wildlife to fight over. Yes theres a bunch of us that want the brown bear hunting to stoped on Katmai and my view will never change on that issue, but we really need to start working on stopping the Pebble Mining project. Bristol Bay and the greatest fish spawning grounds in the world will be destroyed if this goes through. No fish no bears. I have no doubt that the fight to stop brown bear hunting in Katmai National Preserve will continue but if the Pebble Mining project owned by Northern Dynasty goes through everyone will have lost and there won't be any animals to fight over. This is a critical situation.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    It's a mystery to me too DRD. The good news is thanks to the fantastic media coverage of this hunt, there are literally thousands and thousands of people banding together to get this hunt moved out of GMU 9C region of the Preserve. There are many forums out there with people fighting to get this hunt stopped. Now we have the National Press Photographer Association getting involved as attempts to have rules changed to keep photographers, vidiographers and the press out of National Parks during events like the Katmai brown bear hunt. For anyone who would like information on what things can and are being done around the world to stop the Katmai bear hunt please email me www.bobdjphoto@gmail.com

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Holly, are you arguing for immunocontraception using the PZP vaccine? (PZP stands for "porcine zona pellucida", which is made from pig ovaries.) If so, Can you tell us about results of recent studies? I know that scientists were experimenting with PZP-based immunocontraception back in 2004, but I've not kept up with their research. I'd be interested to know whether it's considered safe and cost-effective. Here's what Dr. Priscilla Cohn was saying a few years ago about using PZP-based immunocontraception as an alternative to lethal reduction:

    "There are a number of practical advantages, some of which translate into ethical advantages, in using PZP. It is, on average, approximately ninety per cent effective, and does not pass through the food chain. Since only a small amount of the vaccine is needed, it can be delivered remotely by a dart, thus avoiding the stress of capture, or anesthesia. PZP does not significantly affect social behaviour and, so far, has not been found to cause any serious health problems. It is safe for pregnant animals, is reversible, and is effective on a broad range of species. The vaccine itself is very inexpensive. Costs for an immunocontraceptive program vary largely according to personnel expenses.

    In general, then, there are many advantages to PZP immunocontraception. It is humane for animals, since it causes neither death nor discomfort. It represents no danger to humans, since it does not involve guns or razor-tipped arrows. It is effective since there is no rebound reproduction, a phenomenon that occurs when large numbers of animals are suddenly removed. Bizarre and often troublesome animal behavior is avoided, since the young are not orphaned, and social structure is not affected. Genetic diversity is not lost since it is reversible. Lethal methods, such as hunting and culling, offer none of these advantages. "

    Hmmmmmmm. PZP Looks too good to be true.

  • Rocky Mountain National Park Officials Select "Lethal Reduction" To Help Reduce Elk Herd--Updated   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I think the Park Rangers need to try the birth control first, befire killing the Elk. The Elk is what brings people to Estes is to see the Elk, in the park and around in town. you start shooting them, and you wont hardly see as many in the Park or in town . They will be gun shy.

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I just love a good cynic!
    Careful there Bob, some people are going to misinterpret your closing line as though you actually DO support corporate charges within the system. I've tried "leaving it between the lines" before, and rarely does anyone read the intent, only the words. Whatever happened to interpretative thought anyway?

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Selfishness. Greed. Consider that these might be exactly the words to use here. They are human dispositions, and for some they are the most powerful driving force in life. Me! Me! Me! Me! More! More! More! More! You have thousands of miles of miles of groomed snowmobile trails that you can use on private property and in the national forests and the state parks. But you must ALSO be able to use your snowmobile on groomed trails atop the Yellowstone National Park loop road. There are hundreds of thousands of miles of roads in the national forests and BLM lands that you are welcome to use for your four-wheeling and off-roading. But you ALSO must be able to take your ATV and your SUV into the backcountry of America's most precious and sacred places -- the places that Congress (meaning the American people) have consecrated and pledged to defend from all who would degrade them to their own ends. When those of us who don't share your rapacious view of the world voice our objections, you insist that it's high time we turned the national parks over to the private sector so they can be run "properly" (meaning with your personal best interests in mind). Ya, right. We should have a corporation in charge of Yosemite National Park. An entity with no soul to save and no ass to kick is just what we need for managing the most precious, fragile, and irreplaceable of America's resources. Best darn idea I've heard in a long time.

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Gerald, your statements are for the most part on the mark. One exception; National parks are basicly set asides for "preservation" while other public lands are to be managed for the good of all and for economic purposes that benefit the nation, not just a few. Radical greenies , rather than good public policy, have dominated public lands issues for decades. Arguing with radical greenic logic is like arguing with a stump that's on fire.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore Visitors Seem to Prefer Things Rustic   6 years 41 weeks ago

    That's exactly what I love about Okracoke Island -- not a lot of people, cold showers at best, and not much else but sand, beach grass, and the incessantly pounding surf. how can you "improve" on something like that?

    Commercial Services -- BAH HUMBUG!

  • Are The National Parks Not Part of Our Federal Lands?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I don't remember the mission statement saying "Make available for a fee". Your homework for this week includes: 1. How many parks have suffered from budget cuts? (look up the numbers) 2. How much money does each park recieve from fee demo? 3. If you add together the budget increases (or subtract budget decreases if you can find any) along with fee demo money and the ever popular partner donations, how much money do the parks really have? 4. Try to write an intelligent essay explaining why parks are not filling vacant positions, use factual evidence to support your claims. Try not to sound like a politician!

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I'm glad here that we are talking about the history of the parks - and Yellowstone, in particular - in terms of the harsh reality behind their birth and their present. Capitalism created the national park system that we know; without it, we wouldn't have the national parks that we know, we wouldn't have the need for the parks that we have, and we wouldn't be having the discussion about snowmobiles in Yellowstone. The same force that destroyed a continent was the same force that worked to protect Yellowstone for the profit of some and is the same force that is cannibalizing itself now.

    You've put it so well, Kurt.

    The question I have is whether we really need to live like this, whether this force can be resisted. Is it a force of nature, or is it an imposition of some humans on others and on the land itself?

    It's also funny that people who resist against capitalists are often labeled socialists or communists; Marx taught that socialism arose out of capitalism, suggesting that capitalism is a force of nature that gives rise to socialism. I sure hope not; what a bleak worldview, where the places we love are reduced to machines. If it is true, then snowmobiles or the mechanisms behind geysers might as well be the same thing. Let's hope that there is nothing natural in capitalism, in the forces that have given rise to destruction, to parcels of preservation, and more destruction.

    In the choice of buffalo wandering on the trails or along groomed roads, wandering with intentions we shouldn't worry about fully understanding, we too can find the magic and romanticism because we come to terms with a harsh reality. In the harshness of Yellowstone, in the bitter cold, the volcanism, the food chain, and the noise and pollution of those who think they are entitled to the land, there is still such potent beauty. In seeing both, in recognizing things for what they are, we cannot but be in awe of these places and this place among all, which coaxes us to do better. Let's do better; we too can erupt. I think it's about time.

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

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    It continues to be a mystery as to why we humans can not seem to evolve into a higher awareness, sad commentary to the animals, seas, our very planet, and still the leadship does nothing!? The killing of the Bears, the Whales, Tigers, Silverback Gorillas's, and the list goes on, as the song said, we'll be accountable and that's the dread. The people responsible for this senseless killing should be put away, for life and their gene pool carefully watched.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    It's a terrible thing when humans loose respect for life. The hunt in Katmai is completely unethical and should be stopped immediately. Afterall, there is no hunt there, only murder.

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    It appears to this observer that the real sticking point lies within the phrase "varied use of the parks", which like the terms "federal" and "national" can be defined to reflect the intentions and peronsal interests of the beholder. I, like most other posters to this site, have my own definition of the "varied use" terminology, but I'm guessing that since my interests lie in a usage concept grounded more around the original intentions of land usage as proclaimed by the original charter of the NPS, my stance as a proponent of limiting ORVs, ATVs, snowmobiles, snowcoaches, jet skis, houseboats, and most other motorized crafts is certain to rankle some feathers. It's not the stance of a "tree hugging enviro-manic", but rather that more of a purist or traditionalist. Am I out to slash the tires and linseed oil the fuel tanks of those who choose to pursue such activities in general? Hell no. But as I, and many others have repeatedly stated on this thread and others, isn't there enough acreage available elsewhere without resorting to utilization of the National Parks? If one of the supporters of the "opposition" side would kindly explain why they feel the NPS is obligated to opening these lands to those activities that I've stated I'm against, and do so clearly succinctly and as eloquently as possible, maybe your thoughts could persuade my limited intellect into an about-face of my current position. I doubt it, but I would sincerely appreciate your best efforts, for my personal edification and that of the others who side with me on this issue.

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Aldo Leopold was a hippie socialist.
    What "Bush slant" did he use?

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Gerald, give me a example of "good science" and give me a example of "junk science" in regards to you comments (without the Bush slant). It appears to me you have no concept in what your talking about, instead you go on this anti-environmental tirade of nonsense. I get the impression that you don't venture outdoors enough to really appreciate it's intrinsic value, unless you can bring in every motorize contraption with four wheels (or motorized sled) on it. Read Aldo Leopold's essay's on Land Ethics, perhaps it might help with your backward thinking.

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Wyoming is a damn big state -- there's plenty of snow to snowmobile elsewhere without abusing the National Parks. Lots of National Forests and lots of BLM land in Wyoming and surrounding states, and Wyoming is the least populous state per square mile, so there's room to rumble just about anywhere they are. The National Park belongs to the entire country, not just Wyomingites.

    More of the greed factor -- just say "no" to every park's "Made in China" souvenir outlets. The amount of junk sold in the larger parks is way out of control. And how many national parks need that same revolving rack of stuffed birds that tweet when you push the button? My kids and I laugh every time we see them at EVERY park we visit. Look there's the cardinal and the robin again -- they don't even have cardinals or robins in this park!

    http://www.storyofstuff.com

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    What Gerald seems to be proposing is that the national parks should function like the national forests, national grasslands, and BLM lands when it comes to accommodating recreational use. I submit that Congress knew exactly what it was doing when it ordered the National Park Service to adhere to a higher standard of resource protection than that which prevails in these other public lands.

  • Economic Greed Tarnishes Our National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    The abundant extractive resources that exist in these parks are already off-limits to the American people (yes, the corporations are the American people via the fact that most of us own mutual funds in mining, oil, & timber companies). But that's O.K....we want to see them pristine...to a common-sense point.
    Nothing humans can do short of mining, pumping or cutting (although I have always felt that many of the larger parks could self-sustain thru timber on a few set-aside acres in limited watersheds) can damage the parks...the 60's-spawned junk-science "holistic" enviro movement thinks that one footprint in a meadow will...OH MY!...not allow any flora to exist there ever again! Oh, the humanity!
    Good science says that deer, bear and other critters also trample the meadows and therefore we know that that one visitor who steps in the meadow for a good angle for a picture is O.K., just don't do a dance out there, O.K?
    Likewise, snowmobiles, jet-skis all have their place and should be allowed and monitored. No harrasing wildlife, and in the case of sleds, make sure there is enough snowpack to not cause damage to flora.
    I keep repeating, if the American people cannot have varied use of the parks, then they need not exist; sell them off for development. 60's era junk science (some would say it's a pagan religion) cannot be allowed to reign in the parks...spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money for a friggin EIS to fix a road washout is unacceptable. Here common sense vs junk science is epitomized: Adding dirt fill, some of which may go in the river and "damage the fishery" is way less than THE WASHOUT ITSELF! Duh!
    All said, I hope to go to Yellowstone myself soon and both ski and snowmobile.

  • Are The National Parks Not Part of Our Federal Lands?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    You are right on, Lone Hiker.
    An individual park yearly pass is a pittance to pay for what the visitor gets...at a cost of one meal for two in your average restaurant. Two meals for the America the Beautiful Pass.
    Keep the fees. User pays. Low income folks spend lots of money on beer and cigarettes, so no lame excuses there either.
    I get so sick of many in this forum who want to socialize everything...get off your butts and get to work, and if you don't have the education to make good money, then work for that too. The gubmint owes you nothing except your security via our powerful and admired armed forces.
    The great thing about this great nation of ours is that you have the freedom to work as hard as you want to achieve your dreams. That is why we are the envy of the world and people board rickety old boats in treacherous waters and brave the heat to cross the southern border.

  • Are The National Parks Not Part of Our Federal Lands?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Lone Hiker is right on target with that complaint about government officials using important words like "federal" and "democracy" without due regard for their nuances of meaning. If elected officials or other public servants have so little respect for the English language that they don't even bother to use the correct words for particular concepts, it raises serious questions about their commitment to effective communication. More to the point, we on the receiving end of this blather are left to assign meaning to the misused words according to their context and our personal preferences. A particular word can therefore mean anything you want it to, which is the same as saying that it means nothing in particular. Losing the connections between symbols and the concepts they represent can only spell big trouble.

  • Are The National Parks Not Part of Our Federal Lands?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I sure there's a reasonable explanation, something akin to nobody in government being aware or making public admission of the nuances separating the terms "federal" from "national" and "democracy" from "republic". These four terms are bandied about freely and without concern for the distinct differences between the two ideals. I guess the general public is supposed to have it automatically ingrained in our colloquial linguistic societal speech patterns that the terms are interchangable at the "federal" level. By utilizing this technique, another layer of teflon is added to the insulation of the actual words spoken by elected officials, as they can always use the ever popular, yet ever lame, "that not exactly what I said when I was quoted" or "I believe that when you examine the text of my speech you'll find I was misquoted" excuses.

    And I refuse to believe that a $50 annual park pass is too much of a burden for most ANY family with the mobility to visit the various NPS units. Even the "daily" fees passes, which hover somewhere around $20 system wide, come with the built in provision for "in and out" privileges for up to a week per park unit. And how many families stay in one unit for more than one week? This is sure as hell cheaper than DisneyWorld, Six Flags, DollyWood (God forbid), museums, aquariums, or even family pack admission to the Sears Tower. Get over this alleged issue with entry fees already people. It truly is a non-factor, whether you enter the parks alone or with a van load of kids and/or adults. It's more of a vehicle fee anyway, since they don't charge individual fees unless you enter alone. Think of it as a weekly (or yearly) parking permit if that makes it more palatable for you. And don't try and make it sound as though a family intending to visit the NPS units is overburdened by being forced to allocate an additional $20 in the vacation budget, making is so "we just can't afford to go there this year, little Jimmy. Mommy and Daddy just can't go without their lattes and baguettes for a day to save the little bit of extra money that we'd need".

  • President Bush's Dog, Barney, a Junior Park Ranger at White House   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I wonder if Barney received the same Jr. Ranger activity kit that my kids found 10 minutes of amusement with, or if he got the special "Milk Bone" edition.