Recent comments

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    ".....against all the proscribed rules, ALWAYS carried a Colt Model 1911 in his day pack."
    ".....I might be illegal when I carry my gun, but i"m going to carry it."
    ".....I am going to be illegal in national parks until they the laws are changed."
    So much for the highly touted "law abiding citizens should have the right...blah, blah, blah!" By their own admissions these individuals are not "law abiding citizens".
    Personally I don't like guns. I wish that they did not exist. If they did not, there would be zero gun related deaths or injuries; I don't think that anyone can argue with that. However, they do exist, and I am not arguing against anyone's second amendment "rights". Nor am I arguing for the abolition of guns. I have no problem with my next door neighbor owning several hunting rifles, or a store manager carrying a gun while transporting money (even though, as a store manager for several years, I transported 30 to fifty thousand dollars in cash and checks daily without one); nor do I have a problem with someone owning a gun for self protection in their home (though, once again, I think it's a bad idea with children around....just my PERSONAL opinion, not to be forced on anyone else). There will ALWAYS be, however, certain places where guns are inappropriate. As gun happy as the current Supreme Court is, for example, I sincerely doubt that any of the Justices would care to see lawyers and defendants packing heat in that august institution. The same is true for other courts and government buildings (I wonder if we will see metal detectors go up at park visitor centers?) Schools are another example. Even though some would argue that, if students and faculty were allowed to carry guns, Columbine or Virginia Tech could have been stopped; I really do not believe that the majority of parents in this country want our schools turning into shooting galleries; especially as unstable as your average teenager is: "What do you mean you are breaking up with me?!" BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!! Nor do I believe that teachers became teachers because they wanted to be police officers. Surprise attacks by sick individuals who are ready to die are never going to be stopped by, I don't care how many, terrified people pulling guns and blasting away themselves. If anything armed, professional security people or metal detectors are a far better answer. The bottom line is in the statistics in the article above: "During 2006, when 273 million visitors toured the parks, 11 deaths were investigated across the system." There simply is no need to change this law (and I don't give a darn how many of those visitors were repeat, that's still a ton of people!)
    "So I hope you continue to enjoy your many days in the wilderness without event but I know that treks into the woods don't always go the way man plans." Thanks, Doc. I intend to. I do it by being smart. By being cautious. By always knowing where I am and by always paying attention. I do it by making plenty of noise where viability is poor, and by not thrashing through the willows during the fall rut! I do it by attuning each one of my senses to the environment around me....good advice in the city or the mountains. A fellow that I respect very much once told me that bear spray is a two edged sword. On the one hand it can save your life (proven more effective against attacking bears than guns BTW), but on the other, people tend to carry their bear spray and leave their common sense in the car. I'd rather they did the opposite, he'd say. That's how I feel about guns in National Parks. I'd rather carry my common sense than a false sense of security strapped to my shoulder.
    My Daddy used to always tell us kids, "You can spend your life worrying about what MIGHT happen, or you can just spend your life LIVING!" I prefer to do the later.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    The most dangerous thing you will ever meet on an isolated trail is another human being. As a woman that would love to prowl local trails on her own, I don't do it, because I live near Atlanta, and don't want to be a victim. Remember Meredith Emerson at Vogel State Park ? What about Jennifer Ewing on the Silver Comet Trail? All these ladies wanted was to use the parks THEY paid for with their tax dollars. They might both be alive if guns had been permitted.

    The federal government has closed large parts of state parks out West because of the coyotes and drug traffickers, and rangers are murdered. Your government doesn't want you to be aware of these issues, but you CAN inform yourself via the internet. Usually the stories are on sites of local newspapers and television stations. Get informed!

    I would like to use my parks more, and I think I could do it safely if I were permitted to carry a sidearm. If you believe these attacks are isolated, please check out this link on the Washington Post from yesterday. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/07/08/DI2008070801660.html?hpid=artslot

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I'm a nature lover and really appreciate the beauty and serenity of our National Parks, but am now feeling that there's a lot of fear out there -- especially from those individuals who feel they need to take weapons with them when they are on vacation (and hopefully, relaxing). I am not a gun owner and just hope that I don't run into any of the people out there who seem to think we still live in the Wild West. I do not support the right to bring guns into our National Parks.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Everyone’s safety will be enhanced if certified concealed carry citizens are armed in the parks. Currently, a criminal can be pretty certain that any intended victim is unarmed. Take that certainty away and the opportunity to prey diminishes. For those gentle people who believe the police and or rangers can protect them; when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. In a National Park those minutes may become hours. Never forget, Virginia Tech was a “gun free zone.”

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Does Grant Teton still has eastern European college students as campground wardens, who neither speak enough English nor are trained how to pass the information on how important it is to keep food away from bears? The Denali case looks just like bad luck, but since the campgrounds in Grand Teton are operated by concessionaires and not staffed adequately, the NPS had to take down a number of bears every season.

    See http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2007/09/grand-teton-puts-down-another-bear and the comments by Melissa there.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Exactly!

  • Comment Period for Proposed Gun Rule Change in National Parks Extended 30 Days   6 years 29 weeks ago

    My wife and I are avid supporters of our national park system and to date have visited 40 national parks and goodness knows how many national monuments and historic sites. We are also members of the National Parks Conservation Association.

    But at the same time, we are holders of permits to carry which are recognised in over 30 states. Although we very seldom carry a concealed weapon on our persons, there is always one in my vehicle and in my home.

    We have not hunted in many years, but consider it important in these times of carjackings and armed criminals to be able to carry a weapon or to have one at hand.

    At home we can lock our doors, but when camping in a remote campground, a canvas tent offers little protection, either from carnivores or from ruffians.

    For these reasons I am supporting the rule change to allow firearms.

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I live in virginia beach and down here like any other ocean state, when there is a shark attack the first thing we do is kill the shark. These dumb folks went up to bear country, the bears didnt come to them. So the inexperince of these campers and the death of these bears just don't to me seem to weight the same. How did the one bear get a taste of human food? I can tell you some lazy ass camper didnt properly get rid of there trash. The bear didnt go grocery shopping. As far as the other party is concerned, they went to big bear country, that bear in the wild has the right of way. Like down here at the beach when we go swimming out in the ocean, we are in fishville, or fish city so it's a chance we take. so If you don't want bear trouble then stay out of the bears neck of the woods.

  • Man Bitten at Saguaro National Park by Gila Monster   6 years 29 weeks ago

    NPS Morning Report June 9 states man was homeless so he may not be 100% mentally fit.

  • Violent Deaths in the National Parks   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I think your all missing the point, while I agree that parks are relativity safe and one probably has more to worry about from some drug or alcohol induced person than being eaten by Smokey the bear both are possibilities. Lawfully armed citizens in the home and on the streets prevent, stop or help aprehend thousands of criminals a year. On average over three thousand a year. You are not aware of them because the media in general does not want you to be and you don't bother investigating it for yourself, probably because it's facts you don't want to know. As the government institutions are to be by the people and for the people the same government institutions should not limit or infringe the constitutional rights as outlined in the second amendment to bear arms. In keeping with the framers intent National Parks or Wildlife Refuges should allow citizens to protect themselves to the extent necessary to protect and perserve life if needed. It is not possible to prevent the loss of or protect life from harm in certain circumstances without the aid of a lawfully carried firearm. If you want to take the your chances and be a victim that's your right to end up in bear scat or with your head banged in while your money is fueling someones drug habit but for those of us who believe in the constitution and understand how to use a firearm I'll take the chances that carrying one while an inconvience may be the difference in you or me living to see another day, and seeing the kids or grandkids growing up. Not many decades ago kids as young as 8 years old took guns to school to hopefully acquire something to eat on the way home, if kids understand guns and know their purpose there is no danger. There were no kids killing each other just because they had the ability, the problem is our society and it's moral decay not guns. Guns are not the problem people are, when they don't have a gun they use a knife, or a rock, or a bat or a hammer or whatever, less than 50% of murderers use a firearm, if guns did not exist the murder rate would not change much, just the method, guns are a tool and like any other can serve for evil as well as good. You have no chance if you meet a grizzly who is intent on eating you (probably only a 50% chance if you have a gun) and probably about the same chance if a a couple of drug fueled guys with a knife want to kill you and you have no weapon. There are over 30k murders a year in the US, its foolishness to be concerned with lawfull citizens carrying firearms, worry about the criminals intent on doing harm who will have a gun anywhere, anyplace, anytime they want, it only makes them bolder to know their victims are not allowed to have one, they don't care about the law or your life. In 2006 FBI statistics there were; 17K+ murders, 92K+ rapes, 447K+ robberies, 860K+ assults, 2.18M+ burglaries in the Unided States. Washington DC is the fourth most dangerous large city in the US 14th overall, 80% of the murders are comitted in metropolitian areas. All of that is irrelevant, bottom line, it's our constitutional right, we live in America, you can chose not to carry and take your chances just don't chose for me. Our nation was founded on the principles of liberty we are the most free and properus nation on earth better to ask why that's a problem and why some want to change that.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I just read a page-full of the "new" comments. They're pretty much like the previous 60 days of comments. Almost all of them SUPPORT the proposed rule change allowing concealed-carry. I read one that OPPOSED the change: they were sure that their vacation would be ruined if they knew people were carrying on the trail with them. Now, just how naive is THAT?

    "We're scared of that law-abiding citizen, AND his CONCEALED (invisible) gun. Oh MY!"

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    The only way a person (private citizen) should be allowed to carry a firearm (in a national park) is if there is an absolute means of ensuring only those with good intentions, common sense and proper training have firearms. Can't be done-therefore-no firearms. Most wouldn't be much value against the larger predatory animals and small caliber weapons for personal defense are just a bad idea. Firearms are a wonderful privilege but too many have them that shouldnt. Just an opinion.

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 29 weeks ago

    What a shame. People have their decent side but they also have their monster side. It makes you wonder are we really going to get away with all the damage we have caused to our natural world. Imagine the people that get away with this senseless crap just go about their business. That bear was a female probably searching for food for her cubs. Well cubs your mom wont be coming home with dinner ever again. Regardless of policy you had no right to be God and take that Bears life. That Bear was home being a bear and she was hungry. Thats not a good enough reason to die, regardless of your policy. We have ours coming She bear spirit. Sorry this had to happen to you.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    You need to do the same thing the Supreme Court did when they ruled on the Second Amendment - read the LAW. The government (us) has nothing to fear from its law-abiding armed citizens. Criminals and bears do. So you think the Rangers are going to rush in and save you from the criminals who now know that everyone in the National Parks is un-armed. Grow up.

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I agree for the most part with Glenn. People take the time to educate themselves when they visit a foreign country about the culture, language, etc…but they do not take the time to learn about the wild life that will be affected by their visit to a National Park or remote area. Some advanced planning would eliminate some of the problems with the wild creatures we come across but it will not stop every negative experience. The rangers need to keep everyone safe including the stupid ones…and I am positive it breaks their hearts to have to kill any animal for just acting like the animal they are. They must have an intense love of nature and animals or they would have chosen a different path in life. I have visited Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Tetons many times and have seen many bears in their natural landscape. I would never put them in harms way but feeding or getting overly comfortable with them as many have tried to do but if one were being aggressive for no reason that I could determine, I know I would appreciate knowing the rangers are there for protection. Even then, they can’t be in all places at once and in a remote area, you are taking the risk yourself by being in those area alone.

  • Should Yellowstone National Park's Elk Herds Be Culled to Fight Brucellosis?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Thanks for the correction, Robert. And, as always, great work. I know you have had a very positive and thoughtful influence on my own activism.

    Jim Macdonald
    The Magic of Yellowstone
    Yellowstone Newspaper
    Jim's Eclectic World

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I wish it was as simple as the Not-Verifieds above would have it. But think about it? We should remove humans from Alaska? From Wyoming? There have been human beings in these areas for at least twenty thousand years (and probably much longer).

    The question becomes how do we choose to live in bear country. Unfortunately, unless a good healthy respect for other beasts is engrained in us, these kinds of unnecessary deaths are going to occur. We are a nature-stupid people for the most part and need to be re-educated in how to live with wildness.

    I think the only REAL solution to this is to come down HARD on violators. This takes a political resolve the NPS doesn't have right now (can you blame them? they're just trying to keep the restrooms from overflowing). Without serious consequences to bad behavior in wildlands, there is no real education of the public.

  • Man Bitten at Saguaro National Park by Gila Monster   6 years 29 weeks ago

    But this is one more reason why we NEED our National Parks.

    Americans are growing further and further distanced from the natural world, other creatures and the land. Our Disney-ized, New Age-y image of animals as kindly brothers does not reflect the reality that animals, like people, deserve respect and distance and, when provoked, will act, not like Bambi or Balloo, but like the wild beasts they are.

    The National Parks are places where over-civilized, over-malled and over-asphalted people can reconnect in a REAL way (in this case in a painfully real way) with nature as it is. If we lose the parks, we lose these places of contact and our culture will deserve all the bear maulings, hanta viruses and gila monster bites it gets.

  • Man Bitten at Saguaro National Park by Gila Monster   6 years 29 weeks ago

    So was this idiot charged with anything? It seems that trying to steal a gila monster from a national park (even though Saguaro isn't much of one) is a federal offense. Oh, I better go. There's a brown bear knocking on my front door. I think it wants to be friends.

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I agree- Take the humans out of the bears homes.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    As for the comment on concealed carry in national parks, increasing the potential for poaching is bunk. CHL holders are law abiding citizens, a poacher is a criminal who has no regard for law.
    The statement about coming across someone in the back country with a firearm making people nervous, if they are a law abiding citizen their firearm should be "concealed" and no one will ever know.

    "Opportunistic" crimes are committed by "criminals" who could care less about the laws, not law abiding CHL holders. Why would this be any different in a national park than it is on the streets of Miami? CHL carriers walk those streets every day. Besides, who is out in the back country to protect my family & I from a murderer, rapist etc, when we are out backpacking/camping? Who collects his firearm at the trailhead? It is more likely that a CHL holder will prevent a crime being committed rather than commit one. In my opinion is it is better to have and not need than to need and not have. Why can I carry concealed in city and state parks? What makes the national parks so much different other than the different wildlife, and size?

    The comment about the 9mm pistol being no match for a grizzly can be debunked also. If you are familiar with your firearm and have trained and know where and what you have to hit you can stop most North American animals. This is an individual responsibility of each and every CHL holder, hunter & sportsman, in my opinion. Sometimes the noise from a gunshot is enough to stop an attack whether or not you hit the animal, when yelling, waving arms and bear spray do not work. Reference the story on black bears recently killed in Denali and Grand Teton.
    www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2008/07/bears-denali-grand-teton-national-parks-killed-rangers
    I agree most incidents with wildlife, whether in national parks or not, is usually due to ignorance or stupidity and can be prevented. But there are instances where no matter what you do it will not make a difference or stop an animal from attacking. People forget that when in the national parks we are in the home of the wildlife (their backyard) not at the zoo, petting zoo or on our hometown streets.
    Ask Timothy Treadwell if he needed a firearm to feel safe in Denali. Where is he today? Would he be alive today if he had a firearm? We can only speculate, but I feel he would have had better odds of surviving if he did have a firearm. Anything can happen at anytime to anyone, anywhere.

    I am very committed supporter of the 2nd amendment, matter of fact I am a firearms instructor. So your statement of "exercise restraint" to me means to use a firearm when serious bodily injury or possible death are imminent, whether it is a human or animal threat. This is the rule of thumb that is used in CHL training in my home state.

    It is more than a "political victory", it is a right guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment, not a "privilege".

    "An armed man is a citizen
    An unarmed man is a subject"

  • Black Bears in Denali, Grand Teton National Parks Killed   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I totally agree with that. Take the humans out of the bears habitat!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I have a concealed carry permit that I obtained specifically for camping and hiking. My major reason was protection against human predators. I carry the weapon “concealed” and there is no reason that any other hiker need ever know that I have it. I believe that people who have successfully gone through the process (including an FBI background check) to obtain a concealed carry permit should be able to conceal carry in national parks under the guidelines outlined in the laws of the state. I agree that hunters will abuse the privilege if all manner of weapon is allowed by all citizens.

  • Do You Care About Energy Exploration Near Our National Parks?   6 years 29 weeks ago

    Thank you Kath for the strongest comment on the board. Exploration/drilling is not the complete answer; but it sure makes sense to take advantage of it in a regulated way. I'm a life long Democrat but Harry Reid is convincing me to never vote straight ticket again. Sure we need to focus on alternative energy but we also need to stop sending our wealth to the Middle East.

  • Comment Period Reopens on Whether National Park Visitors Can Arm Themselves   6 years 29 weeks ago

    I am a Marine, lisenced concealed weapons permit holder, and a senior citizen. I fully defend our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I am a sportsman also and truly fear only one thing. The person who illegaly carries a wepon, and will continue to do so regardless of the law, with the intent to do physical or mental harm to his fellow beings. I see no reason why a leagly licensed citizen of the United States of america should not be able to carry Arms, concealed or in plain view, anywhere in this Country.