Recent comments

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Nature is beautiful,alluring and spectacular.
    And on the other side of the coin, harsh and un-compromising.
    My most heart felt condolences go out to the parents of this child after this most unfortunate event.
    This should remind us all how precious life is and how quick things can change in a moment and when in a unfamiliar places we should be extra cautious and on guard.
    Again,me and my family send our best wishes to those involved.God Bless.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Regarding Alaska Regional Director Marcia Blaszak’s comments. I find it interesting that she failed to mention the “blood money” the National Park Service receives from this trophy hunt (shoot).

    Yes, the hunting guide in the video has a multi-year concessions contract to conduct this hunt in the Katmai Preserve with National Park Service and pays a portion of his guiding fees to the Park Service. So the more bears his clients kill, the more the Park Service makes. Isn’t that convenient?

    Instead she wants to believe everything is fine in Katmai and redirect the agreement to surveys and data. This issue is NOT about surveys or data, it’s about human habituated bears, hunting ethics and “fair chase” or lack thereof, didn’t she see the video.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    I am a hunter. I am not a sports-hunter. I do not enjoy killing animals, but I do enjoy eating and I very much enjoy being out in the field...so I hunt. I have lived in Alaska my whole life, and have never killed a bear, athough I would, given the right set of curcumstances. What I have a problem with, after viewing the video, is the bow hunter who simply walked (no stalking) up on the bear, who expected nothing, shot it with an arrow, which was then followed up with a rifle shot from another guy. So, the guy shot it with the arrow, why? I found it sad, that someone would do that to an animal solely for the enjoyment of sticking it with an arrow. Very sad.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 44 weeks ago

    I am an outdoorsman whom hunts and fishes. I do not believe this is a true "hunt" and it should be managed better. I doubt there is any shortage of bears to view there or any other part of this state. If the powers that be think a certain amout of animals need to be removed, than it should be done by professionals and not the general hunting public. Then people like Bob and the non hunting public that want to use the park do not have to see a poorly run "so called hunt". This is not hunting as it should be but rather a mislabeled bear shopping spree. True hunters prefer to spend their time and effort earning a chance at chosen species where there is some value and honor and respect at the end of a trip. I agree there should be something changed about this event.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Frank, the anti Gore sentiment is already out...check FOX News! Gerald, in all due respect, but I suspect your so called Ph.D. doesn't give much insight or credence to the subject given. Give us some hard evidence to support your howlin anti environmental stance regarding the issues with the Katmai bears, and why we can tolerate more pollution in Yellowstone National Park with added snowmobiles in the park. I don't see were your logic or deductive and inductive thinking rewards you with a Ph.D...certainly your comments don't indicate this. Sorry no offense!

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Jeremy's right. We shouldn't point out, for example, when people use ellipses excessively and erroneously. Instead, we should focus on issues and the arguments. For instance:

    The Material Safety Data Sheet for unleaded gasoline shows at least fifteen hazardous chemicals occurring in various amounts. These include benzene (up to 5% by volume), toluene (up to 35% by volume), naphthalene (up to 1% by volume), trimethylbenzene (up to 7% by volume), MTBE (up to 18% by volume) and about 10 others.

    You won't find any of those chemicals coming out of Ol' Faithful, any chemicals (like sulfur) are highly localized and not carcinogenic like benzene or MTBE.

    While wildlife may not care about vehicles (although I'm not sure how that could be demonstrated), vehicles and pollution (including noise pollution) affect them (and us). Vehicles and roads alter migration patterns and kill millions of animals each year. And in Homo sapiens, air pollution fatalities exceed traffic fatalities by three to one.

    Finally, some people would like to "calm down and enjoy life", but that is nearly impossible when you're on snowshoes when stinky machines zoom by destroying peace and solitude of wilderness.

    (PS, Al Gore won the Nobel Prize--I'm sure more peevish conservative backlash will follow.)

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Am I to understand that on the one hand, a criticism is justified regarding that bicycle you ride or that pack you carry with its petroleum-based fibers and petro-powered machinery that sews it, and these things are considered offensive, but that in the previous breath, since as you say, snowmobiles are "artificial" is enviro nonsense...we humans ARE part of the ecosystem, that includes our machines that God granted us the wisdom to produce , these machines that we have produced in our wisdom are somehow addeptable, but the same petro-powered machines that sew backbacks are a blight? Talk about self-serving logic!

    Having never been inside the Hard Rock chain, let alone actually taken the time to read the countertop propaganda in any establishment that I have visitied, I have no idea whose philosophy it might mirror, nor do I much care. I speak from statistics gathered from within the county I currently reside, and those state that since 1950, wetlands in our area have diminished by over 90%, and tillable farmland has decreased by over 75%, all lost to private developers and their insatiable economic lust to provide such essentials of our modern society as strip malls, fast food franchises, big box stores, and or course, single family housing and the assoicated infrastructure (e.g., access roads, parking lots, highways, etc.) required by an expanding populace. I also can point to several credible surveys encompassing much of the country east of the Mississippi River valley that will generally draw the same conclusions, albeit with some slight variance in the actual percentages. I envy you if indeed your particular geography has not been subjected to the same manner of environmental abuses that are quite common to the majority of the nation, including many areas in the west.

    Kurt, you are quite correct in stating that science does indeed not drive policy. How can something that 95% of the general public is ill-equipped to understand be a driving force in public policy? That's also why these data are largely ignored by political groups, as they are no better educated in the long-term scientific implications than is the constituents whom they serve. Why rely on data when you have smoke and mirrors? At least this political method doesn't lend itself to the hazards of being disproven, as happens after the fact with scientific analysis. After all, the politicians are just acting in the best interests of the public, right?

    And by the way, while your grading, the term "sez" isn't in the dictionary. Typographical errors happen. That's why I hate "Spell Check" and the like; they make any earthworm appear as though they actually have the ability to produce properly formatted and acceptable documents. Talk about someone who needs to lighten up.............

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Gerald: You may be new here, and your contributions are welcome, but please criticize the argument, not the person. We are all bound to make grammatical errors occasionally, and these should not be used as the basis of an attack.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    No Kurt, the dangerous precedent was allowing the very first "environmental impact statement" which led all the other "scientists" (actually enviro ambulance-chasers) to go for the taxpayer dollars at every opportunity every time someone thought the sky was falling.
    Our parks were just fine before jewelry (radio collars) were placed on every critter...perhaps many have been stressed to endangered status....
    The bison are not harrassed...I have spoken with many rangers who (off the record) tell me that there are strict rules in place that work...the real harrssment comes from the enviro groups who try to put words in their mouths.
    ...and Lone Hiker, your argument that snowmobiles are "artificial" is enviro nonsense...we humans ARE part of the ecosystem, that includes our machines that God granted us the wisdom to produce...like that bicycle you ride or that pack you carry with its petroleum-based fibers and petro-powered machinery that sews it.
    ...and your last paragraph sounds like talking points right out of the Greenpeace bible...gee, if the rainforest was disappearing as fast as Greenpeace and the counter on the Hard Rock Cafe sez, the whole planet must be deforested by now! Heck, we must not have any wetlands anymore either!
    My, my...you people are stressed-out!
    Gerald
    PhD
    P.S.: "Anonymous": Get out your Harbrace and please capitalize where it is proper to do so...I give you an "F" on your report....

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Speaking of juck science Gerald, you should be the FIRST to realize that as an environmental scientist, your comments make absolutely no sense. The emissions from the geysers are part of the environment, and if you want to try and regulate or remove them, that's your call. You are correct in your observation that the earth is indeed resilient, which is exactly why the geysers are irrelevant to the local environment, and actually why the geysers are integral to the local environment. The snowmobiles are an artificial variable. They can indeed be introduced and removed from the equation and the results studies over time. But in no manner are the integral to ANY environment, just another convenience of the lazy sapien life form.

    I take issue with someone of your alleged background standing behind the statement that the overall condition of the planet is qualified as healthy. Greatly diminished water and air quality, as evidenced by the current state of statuary and stone buildings in the Mediterranean countries, the rapid deforestation in equatorial regions, biological death of waterways due to acid rains and fertilizers, and the shrinking of our remaining wetlands are just a few causes for concern. No, the sky isn't falling. But I can't see things clearly through your rose colored glasses, either.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Wow! This one really got everyone's blood boiling.

    This bear hunt looked astronomically more humane to me than the chickenhouses, dairy farms, and pig slaughter houses that I've seen. Like they say, some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats Treadwell. Nature, she's a real beeee-yatch.

    I recall a quote from a ranger at Yosemite implying the likelyhood that more bears were killed by speeding motorists than were killed by throphy and gallbladder poachers. From my experience as a ranger, this seems very likely. In fact, the more weather-beaten my "Smokey Bear Stetson" became, the more I began to realize that I could save more of the park's wildlife by aggressively enforcing speeding regulations that I could do by hiding in the bushes looking for illegal hunting activity. Then, when my flat hat got even more sun-faded, I began to realize that a little population culling wasn't the end of the world. Maggots and Turkey Vultures got to eat too.

    Look, I'm a vegetarian who doesn't have the heart to kill spiders I find in my house, but I would have to travel to Katamai, study up on the dynamics of the bear population there, and look at options on how to allow hunting without adversly impacting the nonhunting visitor's experience before I could judge the NPS in this situation.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    gerald-

    your questioning science and protection of mostly intact ecosystems makes me a little queasy as does haunted hiker's quick endorsement.

    from an anthropocentric standpoint, we can't replace the quality of undisturbed ecosystems with mitigation sites, nor can disturbed sites so readily and quickly be as quality as the initial, undisturbed sites. nature, whatever the hell that is, may take back that road, but it won't have the same diversity of soil microbes, fungus, bacteria, etc. and general biodiversity... in other words, it won't be as good. and in this day in age, when man's reach is pretty impressive, i think we should, cliche or not, preserve all the parts, especially in national parks which were created mostly for just that. preserving.

    nature will be there, with or without us, but what type of nature does man need? personally, i'd like something more than dandelions, uniform age forests, leafy spurge and cockroaches.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Dr. Gerald-

    It appears that you also have totally missed the point and that you also have not taken a few moments from your precious schedule to do the investigating research required, thereby enabling yourself to obtain the proper persepective regarding the issue at hand. We're not talking science. We're talking ethical hunting practices. Or in language that you should be familiar with, this falls into one of the many grey areas in the studies and practices of bio-ethics. You want to kill bears, then go ahead and kill bears......that is NOT the issue we've been debating. I am not a hunter, but neither do I interfere with those who choose, within the bounds of the law, to partake of the annual deer, pheasant, duck, squirrel, pigeon, moose, bear, wildebeast, water buffalo, abalone, clam, platypus, kangaroo, penquin, mole, etc. seasons. For the most part I'm assuming, which is always a dangerous thing to do when dealing with people and firearms, these legitimate hunters make annual purchases of various licenses, and I would hope, have the decency to abide by the rules and regulations set forth governing proper usage and restrictions pertinent to their respective permits. I am not anti-hunting, a "liberal tree hugger environmentalist", whatever that is, animal rights activist, or least of all, scientifically ignorant, doctor. Our two Ph.D's put together, all the years in academia, the publications, the long hours of study, research and data analysis mean absolutely nothing to anyone, much to your chagrin I'm sure, due to the simple fact that nobody is questioning the scientific reasoning, field reports, data acquisition and analysis of those data as they pertain to the issue of the permits! I did indeed write that I was curious to know how the numbers were determined, but NEVER did I question or make any statement to the effect of banning the issuance of the permits. I did mention that the latest groups of "hunters" were improperly sanctioned, and in no small fashion carried out their pursuits in a dangerous locale, too near areas that are regularly traversed by hikers, campers, wildlife enthusiasts, and other humans.

    Please help our profession retain a shred of dignity and be more prepared with your critiques in the future.

    Lone Hiker
    Ph.D. Biotechnology, Biochemistry

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Is the sky falling? Perhaps, perhaps not.

    But what does it say when park managers have to weaken the standards of what constitutes a major adverse impact in terms of noise to justify their decision to support 540 snowmobiles per day? What does it say when they have to lower the protection standards for wildlife harassment and air pollution to justify this decision?

    Science is not guiding this decision, politics is. And that impacts not just Yellowstone, but the entire park system. This decision, if upheld, sets a precedent for what can be allowed in national parks. Down the road it just might prove much easier to allow snowmobiles, Jet skis, or other motorized craft in parks that currently don't permit them because of this decision.

    Is it a travesty that $10 million has been spent, so far, on Yellowstone snowmobiles? You bet. That money could have been spent on much needier issues. But the real travesty, in my opinion, is the precedent this decision could create and how it will ripple throughout the entire park system.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Gerald!

    You're the man. Thanks for saying what I've been thinking for a loooong time.

    The so-called "apathy" is that there are "thousands of people" who realize the practicality of what Gerald just stated. 250 snowmobiles a day are not the "blight" the 10 million dollar enivronmental impact statements claim them to be.

    The other things that 10 million dollars could have been spent on...that's the real travesty.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    I would just like to follow up....
    I do see way too much unfounded fear, raw emotion and junk science out there in many of the posts in this blog...did you all stop to really THINK about some of these issues before writing a post?
    Nature is SO resilient...just look at how fast nature takes back an abandoned logging road...or an empty field, for example.
    The sky is NOT falling...so let's all take a deep breath and de-stress. We live in a beautiful country on a beautiful planet that is quite healthy. I know that Al Gore has so many people in a tizzy over global warming, but just remember, it was only back in the 1970s that scientists were worried about global cooling...just realize that where there is money to be made....(just how much is Gore making on his movie, and how much jet fuel is he burning?)
    If you all want to worry yourselves into an early grave, go for it; I am going to go backpacking and enjoy life!
    Gerald
    PhD

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 44 weeks ago

    My first reaction was close to Steve but after thinking a bit, I can't help but feel bad for the parents and the guilt that they must shoulder for the rest of their lives. However, parks that are great for families are not necessarily child-safe proof nor should they be. Nature can be dangerous and families and children need to be educated on this and made aware of these dangers.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Yet another ignorant comment, made by someone who does not even begin to address the issue here. Please Mr PhD the issue isn't about thinning the population of bears and I'm surprized that this is the only comment you can make. If you truly have a PhD you should have understood what the real issue is? You're damn right people are getting emotional!! once again we have to explain to another ignorant person that it's not about hunting the bears it's about the cruel and unethical way you hunters are doing it Du" please re-read the issue that's become an Outrage and then try to make an intelligent comment!!

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Apathy? No, it is just realizing that just as in bear hunts to manage same, snowmobiles in Yellowstone is just one more issue that illustrates that there is way too much junk science with a heaping portion of too much emotion out there being spewed by environmental extremists.
    The bison couldn't care less about a bunch of snowmobiles...just as automobiles, they have gotten used to them...and as far as pollution, ya ever notice those steaming, frothing things out there called fumaroles and geysers?? Collectively, they most likely emit (I would love to see a study on this by a motivated grad student) more in ONE MINUTE of the basic constituents of what comes out of the tailpipe of 500 snowmobiles in a ONE MONTH...or maybe an entire year!
    So, let's calm down and enjoy life, people!!
    Gerald
    Phd

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Cactusdar, that is one of the nicest posts I have ever read in this blog!
    Amen!

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 44 weeks ago

    I am satisfied with Ms. Blaszak's explanation of the parameters of federal jusidiction and justification for yearly thinning. Her science is quite sound and well reasoned.
    It is quite obvious that many of the commenters on this page are getting way too emotional...hunts have taken place for years. These bears will continue to thrive in Katmai thanks to sound mangement practices.
    Thank you, National Park Service!!
    Gerald
    PhD
    Wildlife Management

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 44 weeks ago

    What parent has never done something stupid or careless that could have resulted in tragedy? Ever "almost" get in that car wreck that could have killed yourself or your kids? It only takes a second, folks. My heart grieves for this family. Their grief will be deep and lasting and I pray that if they have other children they manage to find joy with them in future years.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Yes!! Ms Blaszak's comments really read as if she's only addressing the legal rights of the hunters massacreing the bears on Katmai. In fact her entire comment seems nothing but pro hunter jargon however it comes to no surprise that yet another politician would once again completely avoid the real issue.. "ruthless, unfair chase, unsportsman like killing of wildlife on Katmai National Preserve" I too have been thinking of the sensless slaughter of seal pups which is so closely associated with this behavior!! rest asure, the next Board of Fish and Game meeting in Anchorage is going to paint a different picture. I truly beleive the bears on Katmai National Preserve will prevail. This issue is being spread around the world. I also truly beleive that the Alaskans do not want to be painted or branded with the image of "The Killing Fields"

  • National Park Foundation to Host Conference on Philanthropy in the Parks   6 years 44 weeks ago

    i'll take the "corporate intrusion" if it buys things like the rockefeller parkway (or whatever it's called) between yellowstone and the tetons. AND, i'll take it if it isn't funding what they want for marketing rather than funding what the nps needs. but don't let it supplant traditional funding and turn the parks private. that would be messy.

    i imagine the corporations are interested because it gives them specialized access to a limited market where other marketing impressions aren't necessarily easy to make, except in the gateway communities.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 44 weeks ago

    Ms. Blaszak-

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but your "response" to the comments that you may or, in this instance, obviously did not read to well, completely ignores the issues that have been raised within the discussions posted on this website. The topic as raised that actually ignited our conversation had little to do with the history of the "hunts", or what allows them to persist in your ever-knowledgable schedule, in the fall of odd-numbered years and in the spring of even-numbered years, and I don't recall any other these authors questioning the act as illegal, Section 203 provides that sport hunting in national preserves shall be permitted, as you have dutifully pointed out. If you had taken a moment to review the title of the original article, you would have quickly noticed that this entire discussion is based around the general public's questioning the ETHICAL practices involved in this lack of sporting venture. Since this type of "harvest" is far from what even those contributors to this discussion consider legitimate hunting, I suppose that your statement regarding the fact that Sport hunting is regulated by the State of Alaska doesn't actually apply, being as this farce is a far cry from sport hunting. If you do indeed consider the observed practices of these individuals, as stated in the original article, to be in line with what qualifies as maintaining a high standard of ethical and sport hunting, then I submit that either the State of Alaska is ignorant of the actual conditions surrounding the "harvest", or is guilty of sanctioning what amounts to the same tactics as used on Harp Seal pups, and is turning a blind eye to the event in favor of the revenues generated by allowing such incompetent hunting within the preserve. If that is the actual position of those charged with administrating policy within the State, then it's time for truly legitimate hunters to rethink their position about visiting your State, given it's inability to guarantee the safety and well-being of those who choose to hunt professionally, ethically, and SAFELY from those drunken slobs with high-powered rifles, cross-bows, and assault weapons, who prefer to shoot as close to camping areas as possible, limiting the person effort involved in educating themselves on their intended prey, learning it's habits and trails, initial reconnaissance, and the inevitable field dressing and removal. THESE were some of the topics your article refuses to address. Why did you purposefully avoid the actual issues we were discussing? Afraid to ruffle some feathers by commenting on the tactics instead of the supposed legality?