Recent comments

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Perhaps this will cause a boom in the bullet-proof tent industry.

    I've spent approaching 500 nights out in wilderness areas throughout the 48 states and a few places in southern Canada. I've never been in a survival situation where a deadly weapon would have been an effective solution to the problem. As far as I can recall, I've never even heard, second-hand from someone who was there, of a situation where a deadly weapon would have been the most effective solution to their predicament.

    That doesn't mean such situations might not exist. But by several orders of magnitude, people more often meet unpleasant fates by hypothermia, and then less frequently, by drowning, suffocation, or falls. Attacks by animals and humans are much fewer by comparison. (My unquantified sources are a combination of anecdotal discussions with SAR experts, and frequent review of daily reports from various national parks.)
    __________
    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.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Can someone produce some hard statistics or a study that can back up Anon's statements? It would be nice to be able to point to something specific instead of making claims without giving the source (no offense).

    ---
    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

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Well, for those of you promoting guns in national parks for safety, here's a tidbit of information for you. Success in using bear spray as a deterrant to attacks from wildlife -- 94%; success in using guns as a deterrant from wildlife attacks: 60%. Any questions?

    Further, how many people are threatened by others in National Parks? Not enough, if any, to allow the gunners in. I feel safer WITHOUT the guns thank you.

  • Robin Winks on the Evolution and Meaning of the Organic Act   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Because this is a very long and detailed discussion of the contradiction issue, I suspect that many NPT followers will give it only a quick scan or not read it at all. That's a shame, since it is a very illuminating discourse. If you are one of those who hasn't the time or inclination to read the whole treatment, including Gavin's "further thoughts" here is the gist of it. Quoting Gavin, "There is no "fundamental contradiction" in the Organic Act if one can define impairment. The complexity arises because one person's "impairment" is another's "acceptable impact."

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    It would be nice to live in a Utopian society where all the bad people stay at home and we can count on individuals to live up to the social morals we hold dear to us. That would be beautiful. It would be nice if we could count on everyone to drink responsibly and not get behind a wheel of a car. It would be great if we didn't have to worry about a pervert putting an image of an erection in Disney movie just so he can laugh with his cartoonist buddies. It would be incredible if marijuana was used just for medicinal purposes (maybe we'd stop hearing about how it's better for clothing than cotton....LOL). Ah peace and love....it sounds great. It's also safe to assume that if someone wants to target children they will continually find places where children go (i.e. family vacation areas or maybe even a national park). A lot of people would assume that we have the second amendment so we can protect our homes from intruders but I highly doubt that Thomas Jefferson had a bunch of masked men enter his home looking for new stereos. More than likely, the writer and signers of the declaration intended we had the RIGHT to protect our "pursuit of happiness". At the time this was intended against Tyranny (a government that doesn't fear its people rules its people). Basically we have the right to own any weapon to compete against our own military so that if it were needed we could defend ourselves against our own government. So while it's funny to you that someone would protect their family in the realm of "PUBLIC PROPERTY"...and you use clever remarks about bears and cougars because you have seen then in the wild and feel all warm inside, to me it's a sad state of our government that our 2nd amendment right has been reduced to discussion point of where and when I have the right to have the ultimate ability to level the playing field with any "would-be evil doer". Here's a challenge...find the number of times individuals like Bruce or I (Concealed Carry Permit Holders) have used our weapons to hurt families. Don't be childish. It's time to look at the truth. Good people with guns don't make news. You are a product of modern media. What if you are wrong on guns? What if Bruce or I had our gun in a N.P. and saved you or your family from someone who intended you horrible harm? Should we go to jail? Should we have our gun taken? C'mon don't hide behind what sounds good at a dinner party.

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    What part of "NO" don't you understand, Senator? This policy is only confusing to the lower intellects on the evolutionary scale. Your freedom and your "rights" ends the minute my freedom to my family's safety is threatened, whether that threat is real, or just "an accident waiting to happen". I know, you're just carrying your gun to protect you from the big bad bears and mountain lions, right? Maybe my cross-bow would be a welcomed visitor too. What the hell, why stop at guns? How 'bout we bring in some grenades and a laser range finder too! Bet those mean old cougars wouldn't stand a chance against that arsenal.

    This is a classic example of what happens when a politician loses what little brains they had prior to being elected to public office and is then subjected to the influence of the NRA and various other lobbyists.

    Bruce, the worst choice of all is taking your weapon into the public arena. Cant' find a secure vault to keep the piece in at home?

  • Senators Pushing To Allow Concealed Weapons in National Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I am a licensed Florida gun owner. There is no facility for checking my weapon when entering a local National Park. My choice is leaving the weapon at home (not an option) or locking it in my car. Another poor choice.

  • Park History: Capitol Reef National Park   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Chance, mark my words....you're going places with your pen. I love your spirit for the outdoors. Kurt, get this young man job!

  • Park History: Capitol Reef National Park   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I like to think that medical doctors will take to heart the dictum “First, do no harm,” even though it is not part of the Hippocratic Oath (which new doctors don’t take, anyway). Similarly, I like to think that park rangers will abide by the dictum” First, love the parks,” even though they take no such formal vow when they don that flat brimmed hat. Chance exemplifies the “love the parks” spirit, and it warms my heart to know that he is preparing for a career in national park stewardship.

  • Mountain Bikes In the Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    IMBA's proposals, to the best of my knowledge, are for "shared use" trails, not trails solely for cyclists. A perfect example is the trail proposed as a centennial project at Big Bend.

    IMBA does want access to existing hiking trails in national parks.

  • Mountain Bikes In the Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Mr. Repanshek,

    You have mentioned in your article that IMBA intends to cut trails for mountain bikers. Yet you also express concern that user conflicts may occur. If IMBA is building mountain bike trails for mountain bikers, then why would there be a user conflict? I can't imagine any existing hiking trail could be opened to mountain biking, unless of course an environmental assessment says it can be done. Hikers can go places where bikers cannot, not simply because of user designations, but rather because of the sheer versatility of being on one's own two feet. I enjoy mountain biking as well as hiking. In most of my personal experiences, hiking trails do not make good mountain bike trails. That is why IMBA has trail care crews who have the experience to create lasting routes that can withstand the two wheeled traffic. I have ridden the White Rim, and I can say it was a wonderful experience, and I am in fact helping a friend plan another visit this spring! I think it would be an asset to most National Parks to allow mountain bikers and I would like to see more trails in the future. After all, mountain bikers love the natural resources and wild settings that National Parks can offer.

  • Olympic NP Tribe Wants Land Swap For Trail Access   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Here is some history for those so inclined.
    Is Your Tribal Land Secure? By Larry Ralston (this is a word document)

  • Park History: Capitol Reef National Park   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Chance what an honor! I am so very proud of you and I'm sure your mom is smiling from ear to ear. It is going to be fun to watch you grow and become the Ranger that you want to be. Your Dreams Will Come Through! Thumbs Up!

  • Olympic NP Tribe Wants Land Swap For Trail Access   6 years 41 weeks ago

    The Quileute ceded millions of acres for what is today the Olympic National Park. Why aren't we ceding back the few acres the tribe needs so it's people can survive a tsunami, or now the inevitable and inescapable rising sea levels? Let's finally do it right this time.

  • National Parks Contribute Holiday Ornaments to White House Christmas Tree   6 years 41 weeks ago

    As a National Park lover and visitor, I wish they would put these ornaments for sale - this could be a great fundraiser for our National Parks. Then this would really make a difference for our parks.

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

    For those wanting to follow this proposal...it is trackable as Senate bill S. 2438.

    Rick D.

  • 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.