Recent comments

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Mookie: the point is that reducing the max. from 720 to 540 is NOT a reduction when the average is only 250. A reduction would be to make the max 240, or 200. Random: how right you are. Now they are talking about a hotel, employee housing and a wrecker station at Tower Junction! What happened to "left unimpaired for future generations"? If it really were, all such developtments would be outside the border of the park.
    The Park Service repeats the same ol' thing every time, "Well, the public comments were never intended to be a vote!" Why have them then?
    Kurt, I think people just get burned out. They comment, they write to Congresspeople, they write to the Park Service, they write to Interior......and it does no good.
    It's time to comment in the voting booth.

  • World War II Sites in the National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Thanks for the input everyone. I realize that I forgot an important NPS unit related to the war: Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama. I've updated my list above to include that site.

    And, like the site Kath mentions, there are a bunch of other non-NPS managed sites out there related to the WWII. A couple others that I thought of today in that category, the USS Alabama museum in Mobile, Alabama, and the USS Missouri which I believe is available for self-guided tours in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 41 weeks ago

    They don't have to "climb over or under" anything to fall off the edge. Most of the edge does not have a fence. I would not have let go of my child's hand for one second.

  • World War II Sites in the National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    In the Fremont National Forest in Oregon, there's a monument to Elsie Mitchell and five school children. They were killed instantly in 1945 when a Japanese balloon bomb exploded. The Japanese built these bombs and set them aloft in the jet stream to drop on the United States. The goal was to cause mayhem, terror and forest fires. These bombs fortunately mostly exploded harmlessly or didn't explode at all except for the tragic case in Oregon. These children and Mrs. Mitchell were the only casualties on the U. S. mainland from enemy action during World War II.

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 41 weeks ago

    An adult has to hold onto a 4 year old at all the Grand Canyon overlooks. Constantly and tight.

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Isn't iit obvious? Children move fast. The poor parents will be beating themselves up over the guilt for the rest of their lives.

  • World War II Sites in the National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    At Fort Sumter in Charleston, SC, the USS Yorktown(the 2nd one) is open to tour. I don't remember it actually being a NPS site but you pay to enter at the same place you pay to tour Fort Sumter. I spent 7 hours on it and didn't want to leave. I missed seeing Fort Sumter!
    In Fredericksburg, TX near LBJ Ranch, there is the George Bush WW II Museum & Nimitz Museum. It's my favorite museum in the world. Once again not really an NPS site but associated close enough to be mentioned.

  • World War II Sites in the National Park System   6 years 41 weeks ago

    If you are in Boston the Charlestown Naval Shipyard National Park is home to the U.S.S. Cassin Young which is a WWII built destroyer. She is currently in her 1950's configuration, but she was hit by two kamikazes. The last one just two weeks before the war ended and potentially the last ship hit by a kamikaze in the Okinawa campaign. Even in the 1950's condition she retains most of her WWII equipment and looks. She is in good condition and free of charge. She is located across the pier from the U.S.S. Constitution. Two great ships one worthwhile visit.

  • Visitation At Olympic National Park Up Nearly 16 Percent   6 years 41 weeks ago

    We try to do our part. My wife is in a race with a coworker to fill up their National Parks Passport. Since we got married 16 years ago, we have been to the following National Parks/Monuments/Sites: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Glen Canyon, Arches, Grand Canyon, Aztec Ruins, White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountains, Wilson's Creek, George Washington Carver, Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Everglades, Glacier, and a few more I probably missed. We've camped on the shores of the Colorado River, on a mountain plateau, and in a canyon.

    This year our vacation took us to Theodore Roosevelt NP, Olympic NP, Mt. St. Helens NM, Mt. Rainier NP, Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, Devil's Tower NM, Mt. Rushmore NM, Jewel Cave NM, Wind Cave NM, and Badlands NP. And that dang missile silo was not open on the weekend! We spent one night camping at Sol duc Hot springs, an afternoon touring the Hoh Rain Forest, 4 nights in the Quinalt River backcountry, one at Mt. Ranier, one at Yellowstone, and one at Mt. Rushmore.

    Camping in the backcountry is our cup of tea. We don't like the crowds in some of the areas, but we didn't have far to go to get away from them. Without the system of national and state parks, I guess we would have to put our tent up between motor homes at some RV park.

    The people in the west don't seem to realize how lucky they are to have so many national parks close by.

    Next year will probably be Nevada and California. And we are not done. We still have to go east.!

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 41 weeks ago

    How in the hell does this stuff happen? What were the parents doing? How can anyone climb over or under and fall that distance. Anybody give a damn???

  • Visitation At Olympic National Park Up Nearly 16 Percent   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Hopefully people are realizing that nature's beauty is more fulfilling than watching TV, going to the mall, etc. Maybe these changed attitudes will help people to be much more conscientious about our wonderful scenic planet & do all that can be done to preserve it. Parents need to keep children in tune with nature so when they grow up, they will have an appreciation of preservation of all that is natural.

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

    The bears are habituated and the hunt is unethical but too bad we couldn't all get this fired up about the killing of our soldiers and civillians in Iraq.

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

    Ah, Craig, Craig Craig........

    Real world? In the "real world" you would have a bit more basic information than you obviously possess. There are too many holes in your logic for me to begin. First, great white biologist, bears are in the catagory commonly referred to within the sciences as "omnivores", which strictly translated is defined as any creature that derives sustenance from multiple sources, including plants, fruits, nuts, berries, grains, AND meats. So when the salmon run ends, as it does every year, bears turn to humans as their primary food source? PLEASE!!!!

    In nature, being a top predator comes with the inherent responsibility to self-regulate one's population based upon availability of food and acceptable mates, environmental resources such as water, and a host of other concerns. The sole exception to nature's rule is man, who never learned this "keep it in your pants lest the entire herd run out of food, shelter, water, etc." theory, and which is why we are the ONLY top predator that has overpopulated it's niche. It is also the driving force behind industrial "farming" methods, as we can no longer provide enough free-range space to raise enough domesticated livesotck to feed our ever-growing masses, so we now limit their movement and activity level to whatever they can do in a cage prior to their eventual slaughter to save the world by providing such delicacies as Arches McNuggets, BK Stackers, Colonel Buckets World of Grease and the like, but that has little to do with this discussion.

    Bears start to eat humans..........outside of Mr. Treadwell and his tag-along, in the entire history of the Katmai Park, do you know how many humans have been the victim of a fatal bear mauling? ABSOLUTELY ZERO. These two were the first and last to date. Period.

    In future, read a bit more and come prepared to display something besides the typical rhetoric and diatribe that every slob hunter hides behind. "He'd have killed me if I didn't get him first" just doesn't wash in the "real world".

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

    It is true that most game management is paid for by folks that hunt. (shoot actually) and fish. See 'Sunrises" thoughtful and informative response above.

    But ofcourse the management needs to be done because humans want to kill (harvest is the word usually used) and without some "management" humans could, and history has shown would, over harvest the animals to their detriment. Simply put: the management of animals is necessary to keep from over impacting animal populations not to put them there in the first place. They would be there to view without management but not if hunters killed too many of them.

    Saying bears are humanized is a misuse of terms (and concepts). Bears never become more human but they do get used to and ignore humans. It's called habituation. Most bears seem naturally wary of humans, but some come to trust them (after repeated benign interactions). You can't walk up to any bear just because it happens to be getting it's fill of food. Please don't try this.

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

    As a mostly left leaning liberal who has guns and hunts for meat (I fish for meat as well), your first sentence is unneccassarily simplistic and of course divisive. Secondly, both bears and humans are fairly recent arrivals in the new world. As always,"who was here first" has little meaning or weight.

    Also bears don't roam in herds, you are probably thinking of prey species e.g. deer. All animal populations have exsisting influences that control their numbers. Often it is availability of food although in the case of bears biologists aren't in total agreement what is the primary control. (could be different types of mortality, availability denning sites, etc).

    Your last 2 conclusions are just not supported by facts. First bears (black, brown, and polar apparentally do not consider humans a prey species). Without details the data just don't show this. (yes, people have been killed and some consummed by bears but at such a low rate it does not even suggest food gathering behavior ). Lucky for us,especially before the invention of firearms.

    And last: a "bear eating a human it has learned to trust is not supported either in the literature or in anyone's experience that I'm aware of.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I'm not sure if it qualifies as apathy, or a momentarily disgusted expression of disbelief, culminating in the old expression most parents utter to their children at one time or another, "Just what the hell do I have to do to get through that thick skull of yours?". Indeed, how best DO we penetrate the thick skulls of the NPS when their measured response to the issue is already picking who they prefer to defend themselves against in court?

    Why is the Park Service allowed to overlook hundreds of thousands of public comment letters that endorsed a ban on snowmobiles in the Park, some of which Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash claimed lacked substance because they were form letters?
    I guess by this logic, we are all quite within our rights to ignore the tax code, as well as the call to arms, as they are also the product of form letters, right Al? WHAT A BONEHEADED THING TO SAY!!!
    Oops, sorry, government employee, what else can we expect?

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

    WOW, NOW THAT IS HUNTING. THESE ARE REAL MEN HERE. IT JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU WHAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH HARD WORK, DETERMINATION, AND MOST OF ALL A HUGE WALLET FULL OF MONEY TO PAY FOR THE LICENSE AND GUIDE. THESE GUYS REALLY DID SOMETHING HERE, AND SHOULD BE PROUD OF IT RIGHT. THERE NOT JUST OUT TRYING TO COMPENSATE FOR A SMALL MANHOOD RIGHT??? I COULD NOT DO IT. LOOKING AT THAT ANIMAL HANGING ON THE WALL THE REST OF MY LIFE, I COULD'NT HELP BUT FEEL PITTY FOR MYSELF FOR WHAT I HAD DONE. SO I DO'NT DO IT, AND I STILL FEEL LIKE A REAL MAN BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

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

    This is one of the most despicable and unsportsmanlike acts I have ever witnessed. To shoot defenseless, habituated bears at close range is so unfair it is incredulous that NPS could be supportive of such cruelty. The administrators who promoted this shoot should lower their heads in shame. This activity is unjustified and inexcuseable.

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

    The U.S. National Park Service should purchase a Wild Animal Park in California or Florida from the bush/cheney Iraqi oil baron pipeline fund. Then send in these fearless camoflage losers with their bushit superiority complex to take out a herd of habituated domesticate zebras to really set their egos on fire. Super loser aceholes disgrace the human race.

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

    We had the opportunity to travel into Katmai with Ken and Chris this summer on a bear watching expedition. We are deeply saddened by what is taking place there now. This is not "hunting", but rather needless slaughter. As a child I accompanied my father on hunting trips where we actually had to HUNT for animals. Hopefully the powers that be will recognize that this "hunting" is not in the best interest of the park, the bears, or conservation. The world need more naturalis like Ken and Chris who have dedicated themselves to preserve Alaska for our future generations to enjoy!

  • Katmai Bear Hunt: Outfitter Says It's No Walk in the Woods   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I have traveled to many places viewing and documenting our natural treasures. No place has touched me and my family as has Alaska and specifically the Katmai bears. The first and number one question asked is did you see a bear. I can not accept the brutal and unabated slaughter of Alskas brown bears on Katmai. This is not fair chase hunting and in fact it's not hunting at all. No more than wealthy people with unethical tendencies little hearts and huge egos. I have spent several years out on Katmai and have noticed a significant decrease in the number of bears especially the big males. These bears are exposed to large numbers of people throughout the fishing and viewing season and have become habituated to humans. It's extremely unethical and unfair to be able to step off a plane walk a few feet and blast away at these animals. I would like to thank my extended family Ken and Chris Day, Derek Stonorov and everyone else for their toerless efforts to bring this brutal bear killing to an immediate hault. It's quite ironic that Alaskans picked the bear to be on one of it's coins. I urge those in power to have compassion and stop this at once.

  • Katmai Bear Hunt: Outfitter Says It's No Walk in the Woods   6 years 41 weeks ago

    There is no need to have an unrestricted open hunt on the Katmai. I have been to the Katmai for the past 8 years. The number of bears decrease every year. I haven't seen a large male in several years. The polar bears attack because they have no food, this is not the case with the bears on the Katmai. They have plenty to eat, hence their size. I am going to assume you have never been out on the Katmai, because if you spent any time out there you would know how wrong you are regarding the bears' behavior. Fisherman camp in the streams among the bears every year with no fear. Where are all these animals who are going to eat the meat? I have camped out on the Katmai and I wonder what your comments are based on.

  • Katmai Bear Hunt: Outfitter Says It's No Walk in the Woods   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Have you ever been to the Katmai for bear viewing? I have for the last 8 years. I have NEVER seen a roughe bear. What I do see is decreasing numbers year after year. I can't tell you the last time I saw a large male on the Katmai. These bears will allow you to come within 50 feet of them, I camped on the Katmai as do many fishermen and you know what? I have never heard of anyone coming up missing. Get Educated.

  • Katmai Bear Hunt: Outfitter Says It's No Walk in the Woods   6 years 41 weeks ago

    I have been going to the Katmai for 8 years. I did not see ANY males over the age of 4 this year. IS THAT MANAGEMENT? I am not debating hunting, I am questioning the your insistance that there is number management in that location and a fair hunt. I have camped on the Katmai and these bears are basically tame. Why not shoot animals in a zoo? The odds of a kill are about the same.

  • Fall's Brightest Colors Descending on National Parks   6 years 41 weeks ago

    Great post on Fall colors in the National Parks, Kurt.

    Here's a bit more information on Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.

    The color's in the upper elevations of the park are just starting to explode.