Recent comments

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Marcia Blaszak's statement is no more than the pat agency response. They state that there are plenty of bears in Katmai Preserve. The whole of Katmai Preserve is not what is the problem. It is a small portion of the Preserve namely GMU 9C sub unit 703. This is the area of most use by all user groups. The State of Alaska bear Harvest reports show,over eight hunting seasons the average age of the bears being slaughtered here has dropped from sixteen years old to 2.8 years. This data has been presented to The Alaska Board of Game at every meeting about this area since 2000.The last two hunt age reports have not been available from the State of Alaska.( How Convenient. ) In 1999 the B.O.G. moved the bear hunting season forward from Oct.12 to Oct.1 and opened it up to any bear any age exceept a female with cubs. Does this mean that they can kill the cubs but not the female? After every hunt there are orphaned cubs. Word has it that the B.O.G. is dicussing allowing the killing of females with cubs and the cubs. Also being talked about by the B.O.G. is killing bears from airplanes.
    The Board of Game is appointed by the governor of Alaska and confirmed by the Alaska Legislation. Once appionted thier term is for 3 years and cannot be removed exceept by the Legislation. The current board is made up of all hunters most of which are members of the A.O.C. ( Alaska Outdoor Council ) Hunters. In the past there have been several non hunters on the board but were removed because they did not want to kill everything. At the 2005 Board of Game meeting in Anchorage there were seven or eight Native vellage elders testify. And the first words out of thier mouths were " We have too many hunters in our area and they have killed all of our moose and caribou."
    The Katmai National Park and Preserve is national property and belongs to ALL Americans not just Alaskans. Write your Congressman and push them to include GMU 9C 703 into the Katmai National Park. Tell All of your friends to do the same and keep it up until Congress rewites the park boundaries.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 46 weeks ago

    How many of you people commenting have even hunted brown bears? How many of you live in Alaska? Most brown bears this time of year do ignore you as they are more concerned with finding food. It doesnt matter if you are in Katmai reserve or the yukon river or king salmon, if you are hunting a fall bear theres a good chance he wont notice you if you walk up to him. For you people that call the hunters ruthless and savages - why dont you come walk within a couple feet of a mature brown bear and see if you dont wet yourself? How about you Bob? You say a 2 year old could make that shot? I could walk you up to 100yards away and I would probably have to pull the trigger for you. The Department of Fish and Game and the Parks Service has reasons for this hunt. It should not be questioned. They understand the wildlife issues, you dont. You should also realize that the film crews were harassing and interfering with a legal hunt, including a news station. If I was one of the guys being harassed there would multiple lawsuits going by now.

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 46 weeks ago

    All of you antihunters need to chill...we have the right to continue these tours, the park blongs to all of us.
    Our clients derive great enjoyment from this hunt.

  • Glacier National Park Is Not As Pristine As It Appears   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Oh my Lord, you people can find negativity in anything!
    Ya'll are gonna die young from all this angst!!

  • NPS' Washington Headquarters Supports Snowmobiles in Yellowstone   6 years 46 weeks ago

    YEEEEEEAAAAA baaaaaby!!
    Here is my sled this winter!:
    http://www.ski-doo.com/en-US/Snowmobiles/MXZ/The.Basics/
    What ya'll think?

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 46 weeks ago

    I wonder if she's referring to the public process of voicing opinions sure to be ignored or the public process of game management? Sorry, I couldn't resist.......

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 46 weeks ago

    We appreciate your concern for the park and its resources and welcome your continued participation in the public process.

    Ms. Blaszak's final statement is telling. It reflects the National Park Service's continued economic mentality toward life. "Concern for the park and its resources. . ." By labeling such a magnificent creature as the brown bear as a "resource", the NPS diminishes a life form, considered sacred by some, to property or wealth or money owned by the superior human race, to be "managed" by an unfeeling, uncaring, self-serving bureaucracy.

    Public process? More Newspeak. There is no public process here! The public has been completely shut out of the process, and the bureaucratic monster refuses to listen or to change course even in the face of such an overwhelming public outcry.

    Shame on Ms. Blaszak and the National Park Service for not listening to the People and for murdering bears. Shame on you!

  • Alaska Regional Director Responds To Outrage Over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt   6 years 46 weeks ago

    As a resident of New York City that does not have the benifit of wildlife (unless you consider the rats) I saw the video on You Tube and my jaw just dropped. Are you kidding me? We have a term here 'shooting fish in a barrel' which means the prey have no chance. That "hunt" remined me of that saying. When did Alaskans give up the idea of the need for sport when it comes to hunting? The reply here indicates that this is not a requirement and I am looking forward to telling my friends on the Today Show and the New York Times show about this video. TV Networks love stories like this since they, like me, are based in a place with zero nature and stories about places that abuse it are highly sought.

  • 4-Year-old Dies in Fall off South Rim of Grand Canyon   6 years 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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 46 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.