Recent comments

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    The camera doesn't lie. But people do.

    I think justanotherhunter is lying about being on scene.

    People frequently attack the validity of what cameras record. It's because they refuse to face reality.

    And I'm not a "bunny hugger." But I am a tree hugger. I'm also a hunter and an angler.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    The video is mostly fake Bob because I was there and they used some clever camera work to make it look 100 times worse than it was but it worked. All the bunny huggers and tree huggers have come out of the woodwork and fell for it.
    Kind of sad in a way that we take it for gospel..

  • Moonlight on Elizabeth Lake in Glacier National Park   6 years 43 weeks ago

    YowZa!! I want to go there!!! NICCCEEE!

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    I'm so glad this topic has finally came up. For years I've noticed children no longer playing out in their neighborhoods during the summer. I have said that it almost looks like an atomic bomb went off...where is everyone?? I'm talking suburbs, country & inner cities (not as bad). I laugh the way people cry the blues when winter never seems to end here in northern Ohio........but when it gets here, where is everyone? Even the summer holidays, where are all the cook-outs? Memorial Day I drove around & did not see one family outside having a cook-out. We have a wonderful park system here in Cleveland & the place used to be loaded with picknickers. I rarely see them anymore. When I was young, we went picknicking every weekend.....& didn't mind driving 40 miles to get there! Kids need to get outside & watch the ants (a favorite childhood thing I did..LOL), maybe get a bird feeder & watch the birds & see which ones will visit, maybe help mom in the garden....the list goes on. As u can tell, I was raised outdoors; drove from Ohio to Grand Tetons, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, Colorado, with a tent on top of our car (in the 60's). And there were no showers at the camp sites in those days. I once read that one of the best cures for depression is to get in touch with nature!

  • Lake Quinault Lodge: A Tale Of Two Rooms   6 years 43 weeks ago

    The Red Garter (Saloon, B&B, Hotel, whatever you prefer, they all fit) in Williams, AZ. is haunted too. Most fun I ever had with my clothes on was spent stalking that ghost. Stay in the Best Gal's Room to experience the maximum effect. Ride the rails up to the South Rim, spend a few nights in the Abyss, and when you get back to Williams, she'll still be there ruining a night's sleep for some, a medium to interesting evening for others.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    30 percent of teenagers did not participate in any outdoor nature activity at all this past summer. Another 17 percent engaged only once in an outdoor activity like camping, hiking or backpacking

    Should could serve to lessen the blow, or it could give you the urge to toss your cookies, but this "out of the outdoors" mindset shouldn't be taken as unique to wilderness adventures. I get a 14 week case of acid reflux and high blood pressure every spring managing Little League and Pony League baseball. Trying to teach kids how to play a game on grass, not on TV, that they never practice during the off-season is the height of frustration for someone who lived and died with sports through and slightly beyond college. The quality of play is beyond poor, and there is absolutely NO concept of baseball acumen (e.g., proper positioning to field a ball, what base to throw to, or for that matter how to throw period, base running skills, situational hitting, etc.) or acumen for most any sport. It is my firm belief that the parents sign the kid up to get him out of the house and away from the video garbage for a few hours a week, and when he gets hurt misplaying a ball in the field, it's MY fault! When he gets hit by a pitch that he could easily have avoided by moving his feet, there's parental bloodlust for the pitcher! And God forbid their precious little one doesn't merit All-Star selection. The above scenario applies to approximately 10/12 kids I coach every year. That's right at 83-84%. Which just so happens to coincide with the 17% of kids who hit the trails a mere uno times a year.

    But don't place all the blame on the doorstep of the kid. The parents, yes the "us" generation, have to facilitate the kids access to the Gameboy, X-Box, Playstation, i-Pod, PDA's and the like, as I've yet to hear of a child being born, checkbook in hand. And why do we do it? Simple question, complex answer. Books can be written on this topic. Some of it has to do with keeping the kids quiet and out of the way while we work at home, play on OUR computers, or engage in the ever-popular R&R. Sedentary lifestyles in children are ever so closely related to behavioral traits observed in their parents. And how many kids, left to their own devices, are going to choose the hard way to engage an activity versus the easy way? The brutal truth is it's way easier to get a group of kids together to play online, or 4 controllers in a game system than it is to get those little buggers to break a sweat throwing or chasing a ball. You wouldn't believe how many times I've heard, "it's too hot to play outside", when temperatures are in the 80's. What wimpy attitudes we've created!
    As I stated in another post on a different issue, if you want to increase park attendance within the younger generation, target the parents. If you can get the lazy, overweight, out of shape parental units involved, well, let's face it, once you throw the kids in the car, they don't have much choice about the destination, do they?

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Bart you couldn't be more right. I remember a newbie that I was training to become a backcountry ranger (I later learned that she thought it would be a quick path to a law enforcement career) and she insisted that I always walk in the lead because she was terrified of spider webs and snakes. It was a shocking event in my park at the time when I later fired her. The proposed sex discrimination lawsuit died in its tracks when it was learned by her counsel that I had replaced her with another female who didn't mind hiking near spiders and actually liked the scenery in the backcountry. The time I was required to spend documenting her obvious incompetence could've been used to train five other employees.

  • Lake Quinault Lodge: A Tale Of Two Rooms   6 years 43 weeks ago

    I know: I'm obsessed. But isn't the Quinault Lodge supposed to be haunted?

    Kurt, maybe it was more than mold you were smelling? ;)

  • Video Tour of Lake Quinault Region of Olympic National Park   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Just Gorgeous! Jeremy you and Katie and the rest did a fantastic job. Wish I was there!

  • Leadership Summit: Some Afterthoughts   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Excellent points Michelle. You sound like a courageous insider. I welcome your presence in this forum and look forward to more of your insights.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Hi Karla,

    You can email me at www.bobdjphoto@gmail.com. I'll give you all the information I have. I have made contact with Mack and can tell you he's a fantastic person who's going to be a tremendous help in to resolve this issue. I'll ask him if I can send you his email.

    PS: Yhe comment made prior about the video being a fake was nonsense. I know all the people involved. In fact, I know who ownes the plane you hear in the background.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Given the distance that most NPS units are from major population centers (most) again, I don't feel this is NPS' problem. It is a larger problem altogether.

    I live in an area with much public lands surrounding an urban area and the percentage of people who DON'T use it versus those who do it quite stunning.

    One quick comment, though, about the article. I lead tons of children on outings and once they get away from the parking lot, there is a quick and distinct change... quoting a kid from a mall talking about nature (that is, if i read the article right) is just a kitschy way to put a hook into a story. Give the kids a few minutes and their brains shift, the questions begin and they would never say that again. You just need a good guide/leader/interpreter or whatever to make them comfortable, set the context (they often have zero context coming from the city) and tie it back to stuff they are learning in the classroom.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    The Park Service's latest crisis is lack of interest in nature--and therefore, national parks--among America's youth. It seems juveniles are too enamored with computers, cell phones, and ipods to care about national parks. Could it be that the Jetsons have finally usurped the Flinstones in popularity?

    While it saddens me that proportionately fewer and fewer kids seem interested in national parks, I'm not altogether convinced that NPS strategies to reach them will be very effective.

    And what are those strategies? To break kids away from their computers, cell phones and ipods, the NPS is now spending bucket loads of tax dollars on....drum roll, please...computer field trips, cell phone tours, and podcasts!

    But wait, there's more...

    ...painfully more. Part of the problem may be because significant numbers of NPS employees themselves are no different from the kids they're trying to reach. Non-NPS readers may be shocked to learn that many, many park rangers are more content to gawk at their computers, blab on their cell phones, or diddle with their ipods than to directly connect with nature. Many NPS rangers I've known seem disinclined to look at a bird, marvel at a rock formation, or explore an old fort. In fact, I've personally witnessed NPS rangers who are uncomfortable (even afraid) when exposed to nature!

    In Simple Proposal #2 I discussed the lack of knowledge and enthusiasm many NPS employees have for their places (while I made sure to acknowledge the notable exceptions). I proposed that NPS staff be REQUIRED to learn about and directly connect with their sites.

    Simple Proposal #9: Before connecting others to national parks, try connecting yourself first!

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Just a quote from Director Bomar to make people think ...
    QUOTE
    the director went on to say that throughout her Park Service career she has "worked with archaeologists, historians, biologists ... and often we don't sit down and listen to their information that they've gathered."
    UNQUOTE

  • Is New Jersey Delegation Unduly Forcing Great Falls of Paterson Park on NPS?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    "The National Park Service recently announced the site meets its criteria to be included in its park system, but questions remain about who will ultimately oversee the site and how. The Waco Mammoth Foundation has more than $1 million committed in its $3 million fundraising campaign to build the project's first phase, which includes a visitors center, roads and a climate-controlled pavilion to protect the bones."

    There are plenty of new areas that use a new paradigm for construction, maintenance, and management of the "park". This could well be one of them. I don't know if that's being considered in New Jersey or not.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Yes, visitor center -- OUTSIDE the park. Parking lot -- outside the park, and you walked INTO the park from there. Wow, what a concept! And no car required all day long. I took the train, then the bus, and it drops you off right there at the entrance.

    It was Tyresta Nationalpark, south of Stockholm.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Welcome back Merryland to the real world of a hyper-ventilating society with tantrums to throw in with the spoil kids. It seems the general poplace in Europe do a much better job in educating there children to "tread softly and leave no rock unturned" than we do...I wonder why! I know that European outdoor flavor very well. Welcome back and skoal!

  • Is New Jersey Delegation Unduly Forcing Great Falls of Paterson Park on NPS?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    If local communities want to hang the NPS shield on less than nationally significant sites maybe they should be required to pony up a substantial amount of the operating funds. They get the arrowhead, the agency gets much needed funding from locally derived sources.

    In St. George, Utah the Feds helped pay for private land that a local developer had cleared for a subdivision and then subsequently discovered a huge layer of rock strata that was full of dinosaur footprints, trackways and long tail drags. The local U.S. Representative got the Congress to appropriate the needed funds for the initial purchase of the land and then had it transferred to the local government for development into a park. No one that I know of has lamented the lack of an arrowhead on the exit ramps of I-15.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Bob and Mack,
    I would love to volunteer,
    I would love to get so much more information on this,,
    And I would definitely love to talk to Marcia myself.
    At this point I am just so relieved the "hunt" is over.
    But I want it stopped and NEVER to happen again. EVER!
    I would leave my email address for you to directly reach me,,
    But if so many butcherers are reading these comments,
    I'd be afraid to give them access to me.
    Please let me know what I can do.
    Just because it's past the 21rst,, doesn't mean this is over by ANY means.
    I will speak for the bears who were slaughtered.
    They will not be killed in vain, and will not be forgotten.
    I PROMISE.

  • Leadership Summit: Some Afterthoughts   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Here's how I see it:

    1. The National Park Service (and the government in general) established a legacy of mismanaging funds, which ticked a lot of people off (remember the outhouses which cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands?).

    2. The taxpayers finally got savvy to the fact that the NPS really isn't a bunch of altruistic Dudley Do-Rights.

    3. For this and other reasons, money was taken from the NPS, thereby enabling the corporations to make more.

    4. Now that the NPS can't take care of itself (lack of adequate funding coupled with continued mismanagement), the agency has to go begging to the corporations for its money back.

    5. This has made the problem worse, because begging for money takes even more time and costs even more money... and is therefore even more inefficient.

    6. Plus, once we get the money, there will be strings attached!

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    katmai lover, at this point my issue is not about the size or health of the brown bear population nor is it about hunting brown bears in general - I am not well enough informed to discuss those issues, but soon will be.

    My issue is with what is clearly and unquestionably evidenced in the video: non-fair chase shootings of brown bears.

    I am 100% opposed to non-fair chase shoots. I will no longer call them "hunts" as there is no hunting involved.

    Marcia Blasak informs me that fair chase or non-fair chase is a *cultural* issue. And this is true.

    If these bears are so habituated to humans that a shooter can easily approach and shoot with difficulty, then this practice should be prohibited, in my opinion. And apparently many agree.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Merryland:

    Where were you?

    I worked at a national park in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps volunteer and experienced the same situation as you. None of the Bulgarian national parks had paved roads; they built visitor centers OUTSIDE the park. That's not to say that the parks there didn't have problems or issues, just that they were generally more peaceful and natural.

  • Is New Jersey Delegation Unduly Forcing Great Falls of Paterson Park on NPS?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    Good on you guys for continuing to ask the hard questions about dealing with corruption at the higher levels.

    My apologies in advance for comments which may appear irrelevant to the initial postings, by submitting "Simple Proposals" at the park level. However, problems I'm attempting to address are microcosms of a much higher level of corruption, and every bit as vile. If we can't get our acts together within the boundaries of our own parks, how can we ever fix the mess that is Washington, DC? Therefore, I continue to post "Simple Proposals"... and ask for your indulgence.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Today, a significant amount of NPS work revolves around implementing a constant barrage of initiatives. Some initiatives come and go, while others linger, like the bad smell of fish in your kitchen. Occasionally an initiative will start out small, then grow, resembling some horrible, radioactive mass from a bad 1950's movie...to eventually engulf everything and everyone in its path...

    Most NPS employees, from the lowest paid "essential" staff to the highest paid "non-essential" levels, hate initiatives. Well, at least that's what they say in private.

    Regardless, many staff have learned to embrace, cultivate, and even promote intitiatives, not because they agree with them, but because initiatives are their ticket to career "success." Spend a lot of time and tax dollars implementing the latest initiative, even if it doesn't make any sense, and you can slather it--and its acronym--across your resume.

    Who knows, to assuage any guilt, maybe you'll even come to believe that the initiative is brilliant!

    Yes, some will argue that we have no choice; initiatives are mandates from much higher levels. Fine. But pay the initiative what bare minimum attention it deserves...then get back to the important business of caring for your public and your park.

    Simple Proposal #3: Please Don't Feed the Initiatives!

  • Is New Jersey Delegation Unduly Forcing Great Falls of Paterson Park on NPS?   6 years 43 weeks ago

    There's a place up for consideration in Waco, Texas as well... a site of many mammoths found back in 1978, all buried from a single mudslide event (as far as they can tell at the moment). Baylor University is currently overseeing it, but there's definite excitement locally about getting the NPS shield put up on the interstate to have people stop, look, and spend their money. And face it, the NPS logo has much better stopping power than any state park sign ever would.

    Here's the story I read when I was out in New Mexico a coupla weeks ago:
    http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2007-10-17-waco-mammoth-site_N.htm

    Can't say I blame 'em for trying though.

  • Kids Detached From Nature? Here's One Example   6 years 43 weeks ago

    I was in a national park in Europe this past weekend. And only 15 miles from a major city with a million residents I was able to experience total silence, save the occasional warbling warbler or pecking woodpecker, or my own footsteps. As the day warmed up, families started appearing here and there on the trails and not a single one of them annoyed me in that special way only ugly Americans can seem to annoy. No screaming at the top of their lungs, no throwing rocks at the wildlife, no swinging from the tree branches -- just a bunch of families out enjoying the outdoors together, singing songs, roasting things over the fire, poking sticks in the mud, tossing pebbles in the lake. What's happened to us?