Recent comments

  • Visitation At Olympic National Park Up Nearly 16 Percent   6 years 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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 42 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.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 42 weeks ago

    To Hunt: "To chase or search for; to search a place thoroughly; to scour an area thoroughly" (Webster's Dictionary) in pursuit of wildlife. The video does not come close to matching the intention of the definition of "hunt". What is disturbing is that the guides and the hunters have abandoned their original purpose, to go hunting.

    Wildlife, especially those species often revered in society, are reduced to a population numbers game to justify an open hunt for those willing to pay for a thrill, like buying sex. That makes Park Management the procurer. When they leave, the dignity of the area will be restored but not without the lasting effects of exploitation.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 42 weeks ago

    "Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?"
    Arrived?
    With Yellowstone's continuous build up to 6 Hotels, 8 restaurants, 7 gas stations, a multitude of gift shops, 17 ATM's and many many miles of paved trails and roads I would say my apathetic view of the National Park Service has been around for quite a while.
    My return trip to Grand Canyon National Park a few years ago was so disheartening that I fear a return to Yellowstone after a 30 year absence.
    I will still write the appropriate letter now and then, I suppose.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?

    Judging by the responses to this article, I'd answer yes it has.

    Why is the Park Service allowed to overlook hundreds of thousands of public comment letters that endorsed a ban on snowmobiles in the Park...?

    Very good question, Kurt. I'm interested in your answer, but I'll assume I'll never hear it.

    My take is that the NPS is an oligarchy heavily influenced, if not controlled, by interest groups.

    Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men, generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 42 weeks ago

    I just wanted the video to be over. While, i'm not a big fan of hunting animals at all, I most surely do not support this disgusting practice and I don't imagine most 'real' hunters do not. Please do whatever you can do make it stop. To answer the question, of course it is unethical. thank you.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 42 weeks ago

    i would like to strip these proud hunter warriors down but give them a running start and use the same fireams or high powered arrows from the same distance they shot and see how well they fare. Biggest fcking loser humans but my real joy would be the high five i give a tree after shooting them. Nevermind this is legal. Go home proud aceholes, you bastards are just another example of pathetic American mismanagement to be piled on a heap of wrongheaded human disgrace taking place during the years of the bushit (cheney) administration in a state controlled by crooks.

    This is not sport hunting. This must be shut down ASAP. This is an Alaskan death camp and National Park Service officials in charge should be prosecuted if this activity is to occur in Katmai.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 42 weeks ago

    I can tell that you are anti anything connected with hunting, fishing, firearms, etc. A dyed-in-the-wool liberal. Your comment that 'the bears were here in our space before we came' kinda says it all. If it were up to you we would all go back to whereever we came from. My question to you would be, 'how far back do we go?'
    Unfortunately this is a sign of modern progress. We can't go back. We must make do with what we have and where we are.
    If the bear herd is not thinned out, then the numbers go up. The numbers go up, the more they eat. There won't be enough salmon to sustain unlimited growth. The result? They start eating humans. Then what? A bear that 'has learned to trust humans' will eat that human if hungry enough.
    You need to deal with the real world. . .

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 42 weeks ago

    Despicable? What do you think will happen if no bears are taken? As a biologist, I would think you would know the answer. The population increases. Then what? I'd bet that there would be human fatalities at some point because the salmon won't be enough for the increase in the number of bears.
    Of course, maybe the humans should just leave.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 42 weeks ago

    These men -- and the disgusting thing acting as their guide -- are simply acting out what they cannot in certain rooms of their homes. They likely had to get juiced up on viagra just to have the energy to get their pants on over their fat asses. We can also expect that they abuse their wives, yell at their kids, and are otherwise complete scum of the earth. Hunting is fine, shooting your dog isn't. People go to jail for animal cruelty, so should these slobs.

    If the NPS doesn't want to protect these bears than perhaps Alaskans (or others) should spend more loud raucus time there at this time of year. Oh, and bring some fireworks.