Recent comments

  • God, Geology, and the Grand Canyon   7 years 15 weeks ago
    Your investigation turned out very similarly to mine. http://parkrangerx.blogspot.com/2007/01/dont-believe-everything-you-read.html
  • God, Geology, and the Grand Canyon   7 years 15 weeks ago
    Kurt, Good job on this and getting to the bottom of this. I thought the whole story smelled and paid almost no attention to it. I think the actual story is the story behind PEER's release. Why did they do this? It's almost too ridiculous to believe that they thought that the bad press this would generate would be worth the shoddy look at the truth because it's such a crazy story. It all seems so bizarre to me. It's one thing to point out all kinds of red herrings, non-issues, and ideological claims cloaked as scientific ones, but it's quite another just to be flat out wrong. I keep thinking reading this that there's got to be more to the story, or is PEER really that dumb? Jim (Hey I moved my blog and have a new essay up today - I'm not nearly so prolific as you) Newest essay: Yellowstone and class http://www.yellowstone-online.com/2007/01/yellowstone-and-class.html
  • God, Geology, and the Grand Canyon   7 years 15 weeks ago
    Thanks for tracking this issue Kurt. The statement that park interpreters were not able to discuss geologic time at the Grand Canyon seemed too far fetched. I appreciate you making the necessary phone calls and emails to resolve this issue. The problem with the false statement in PEER's release is that it calls into question every other statement made in the article. In particular, I wonder about this one: "PEER is also asking Director Bomar to approve a pamphlet, suppressed since 2002 by Bush appointees, providing guidance for rangers and other interpretive staff in making distinctions between science and religion when speaking to park visitors about geologic issues." Is there really a suppressed pamphlet?
  • Congressman Opposes Parks Fee Hike   7 years 15 weeks ago
    As an Oregonian and a former seasonal interpretive ranger at Crater Lake, I am unhappy with the fee hike at Crater Lake. The 1916 Organic Act, the NPS's charter legislation, stated that parks are for all the people, not just those with $20. But to play devil's advocate, consider why the fee has been increased: new development at Rim Village. Crater Lake has a long history of charging entrance fees to pay for "development" in the park. Remove the roads, lodge, flush toilets, leaky sewage pipes, and concession stands with their artery- choking transfats, and you can eliminate the entrance fee. In fact, there is no fee for the undeveloped southwestern corner of the park (which is in my opinion, the best part of the park). Hike through the park on the PCT and you'll not be charged. Drive to the any edge of the park and hike in and you'll not be charged. Also to play devil's advocate: If one can afford $50 to $100 of gas for the roundtrip from Portland, what's an extra 20 bucks? If a family of five can afford 50 bucks for a night out at the movies, certainly $20 seems like a deal. Also consider that the Organic Act was written before throngs of tourists demanded paved roads, flush toilets, deluxe accomodations, trinket shops. As long as people seek out that which is not natural amidst that which should be, there will be fees. In a perfect world, the National Park Service would be fully funded, and the billions of maintenance backlog would be elminated. Until that happens, if you drive into a national park, prepare to pay an entrance fee.
  • Mesa Verde Birthday Bash Opens Remote Dwellings...Temporarily   7 years 15 weeks ago
    Kurt: I like your blog a lot (I'm a CLNP parkie my own self) but a word of criticism and take it how you would: Your post text shows up in bold. It's hard to read and in my reader (I use Netvibes these days), it's even harder than on the page itself. A minor thing, but I thought I'd mention it.
  • Time to Book Next Summer's Vacation?   7 years 15 weeks ago
    The Furnace Creek Inn is closed during the summer. The Furnace Creek Ranch is open. Please call 760-786-2345 for more information.
  • Gale Norton Winds Up at Shell Oil   7 years 15 weeks ago
    Dear Heather: Give me a break! Anybody that disagrees with you and your ultra radical right wing policies is "vile and hateful". I agree we have a wonderful and free country that gives me the right to dissent and criticizes those who abuse there power...such as Gale Norton. She did very ,very little to up grade the National Parks to it's proper status to function resourcefully...and that's a known fact! Oh! yes, is making all the money in the world the criteria for a good "meaningful" life? Also, for your interest, we don't patronize Wal-Mart either. Have a Happy New Year dear Heather...and God Bless America...and keep the flag flying! This American gives a living damn for this country, so don't mock me for my true sense of patriotism...it's a typical way you right wingers do your guilt tripping.
  • Gale Norton Winds Up at Shell Oil   7 years 15 weeks ago
    You certainly are a piece of work, Snowbird. Hmm...I wonder if you buy anything at all from those "evil corporations"...buy any gasoline lately?? You must grow all your own food and live in a cave.... Gale Norton, as does any American, has the right to seek employment wherever she wishes...if Shell Oil Co. offered her the best package of incentives for her talent, then she should take it...America is the greatest country in the world because one can make as much money as they are willing to work for to achieve their dreams...oh, I know...liberals like yourself want everything for free...from the government! Perhaps you should go over to a left-wing blog instead of polluting this good blog...your hateful posts and vile language are starting to reek....
  • Gale Norton Winds Up at Shell Oil   7 years 15 weeks ago
    Gale Norton, now is a piece of corporate garbage! A pimp would know better!
  • Gerald Ford Remembered   7 years 15 weeks ago
    I find this tid bit very interesting. It may have very well contributed to his "green" policies. I posted a short review of his landmark strides in environmental conservation on my blog. I link it to this site so visitors can see this rare picture. Enjoy! http://blactivegan.wordpress.com/2006/12/27/the-passing-of-a-funky-president/
  • Gerald Ford Remembered   7 years 15 weeks ago
    During my years working in Yellowstone, both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton visited (and Clinton several times). One of my co-workers actually met Clinton. Jimmy Carter was escorted up Mt. Washburn (which he didn't hike much of; they drove him up most of the way). I remember the hoopla over presidential or ex-presidential visits and remember feeling underwhelmed by it all. It's interesting that Ford was actually a seasonal ranger in Yellowstone. I don't really have a comment on it besides that. Since Chester A. Arthur's visit in 1883, Yellowstone has sporadically attracted presidential types. It makes the whole thing feel like a palatial playground for the powerful. There's a large part of me that we didn't have the slightest bit of knowledge of when these people went to Yellowstone or other national parks. There seems to be something decadent about it all (whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or even Ralph Nader). It is interesting that people are using Ford's service in the national parks to boost up partisan pride or to mock gently the way things used to be done in the parks (as though Ford was part of an era that is thankfully gone), but I think that there is a pox on everyone's house and not sure that the dynamic has changed that much from the "bear feeding" days. Jim
  • Gerald Ford Remembered   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Yeah...you're right...Carter didn't lie like Clinton did!
  • Fee Creep In the Parks   7 years 16 weeks ago
    The parks belong to the US people. They are mine - I should not need to pay anything more to visit what is mine. User fees only real purpose is to create a barrier to keep out the non rich. It is a means to create more country clubs and golf courses for the rich. Either way so called user fees are obscene and should be repugnant to all Americans.
  • Gerald Ford Remembered   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Dear Heather, what misson accomplished? That's not how the American voters felt in the last election. Right? Why brag about a republican President that has done very, very little for the middle class...or for the National Parks...or for the environment...except rape and pillage! At least Carter doesn't lie!!
  • Gerald Ford Remembered   7 years 16 weeks ago
    I find it amusing that everyone has an unabashed opinion on how each of the 43 presidents ranks when it comes to greatness. What should matter is what each, particulary those of the 20th century and early 21st, have done for conservation. Conservation isn't about popularity. It's about doing the right thing for fish and wildlife and wild places.
  • Cape Cod National Seashore Considering ORV Options   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Where is it written that humans must be able to go everywhere all at once? Where's the compassion for the future of a tiny, unassuming shorebird species? Look no further than the pix of the SUV on the beach for the answer.
  • Gerald Ford Remembered   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Excuse me, Snowbird...but why do you bring up President Bush? Shirley never mentioned him..it's funny how you liberals are SO fixated on him..you all just can't get over him whipping Algore and Flip-flop Kerry can ya?? LOL!!! Mission Accomplished - 4 more years!! It's true that Carter was the worst President this country ever had. He destroyed the economy and made us weaker militarily and morally. Thank God Ronald Reagan brought us back as a proud, strong nation!
  • The Masterpieces of Chiura Obata   7 years 16 weeks ago
    The young man definitely has good taste. Good choice Sean!
  • Gerald Ford Remembered   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Well,well Shirley! Maybe if Bush II had a job with the National Parks (instead of screwing around as a Texas playboy) perhaps he just might of had a little more compassion for the environment...instead he chose the philosophy of rape and pillage. I'll choose Carter any day!
  • Gerald Ford Remembered   7 years 16 weeks ago
    A truly good man who America came to regret not electing in 1976...instead we got the disaster that was Jimmy Carter. Israel has suffered greatly since as a result of Carter's appeasement of the murderer Arafat. RIP Mr. President!
  • Entrance Fee Trivia   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Thanks, Tom. Same to you. I'm sure you can find some trails to your liking in the national parks.
  • Back at it!   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Hey Mookie, same to you! Sixteen national parks in one year is pretty impressive. Can't wait to see how many you visit in the coming year.
  • Back at it!   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Happy Holidays Kurt...keep up the great work in 2007. My wife and I visited 16 National Parks in 2006, plus numerous Nat'l Monuments, Recreation Areas and Wildlife Refuges. We hope to do better in 2007!
  • Entrance Fee Trivia   7 years 16 weeks ago
    Kurt: Just sending along some Christmas greetings ... keep the excellent commentary coming; with any luck I'll actually get to visit some National Parks this year.
  • Entrance Fee Trivia   7 years 16 weeks ago
    I used to visit Colonial National Historic Park's Yorktown unit while on Air Force Reserve duty in Hampton, Va. The park has long charged $5 a day to get in. But I always wondered just how many park visitors really paid. After all, it's an honor system (or was when I last stopped by). So, just how many of the hundreds of bicyclists that ride the park's tour roads on sunny weekends take the time to stop at the visitor center and pay up before cycling? My bet is not that many. The entire fee-paying system is rife with inequities, inequalities and loopholes. I myself only bothered to pay the $5 fee 50 percent of the time, at best. OK, I plead guilty. But I also visit several national wildlife refuges fairly regularly and always purchase a federal Duck Stamp. Buying a Duck Stamp is an easy way to inject real cash into land conservation. Stamp sales generate dollars for the purchase of wildlife habitat, usually additions to refuges.