Recent comments

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

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

    Ms. Blaszak, I cannot agree with your holistic assessment on the environmental impact studies on the bear population in Alaska. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something fundamentally missing in these studies. Maybe some of you conversation biologist up in Alaska can see if these studies are skewed intentionally. If there is a slight moratorium on bear killing in Alaska, watch the POACHING go up. It goes hand-in-hand!. Some these hunters are surely waiting in the wings and salivating anxiously to skin a bears head off. Trust me, their thirst is heavy with money for such a kill. Also, what I'm deeply concerned about is, how the Gov. of Alaska selects these so called board members of the Alaskan Fish & Game Dept. and the Alaskan Board of Game: are they political cronies, or pro gut-pile-hunters...or a good cross section of biologist, conservationist, business folks and native Indians of Alaska. Let's examine their professional backgrounds and see if they are truly interested in saving Alaska's great natural heritage. Hopefully, not at the end of a rifle aimed two feet away from live game!

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

    I totally agree with BIN and Texas 2-Step. Lets go back to the video and think about what is going on when the guide says "look at the bears, they just don't even care that we're walking right up to them" BLAM!!! Ther're times when it's not even possible to walk up too an animal in a petting zoo? "SAVE THE BEARS SAVE THE WORLD" Once again I need to mention, the crying and complaining from the hunters about the big carnivors killing the other game they hunt, moose, elk, deer etc. when in fact this is completely false as if you ask the Native Americans in Alaska and elsewhere in our country they unanimously agree the hunters are the ones decimating their game population. Hunters don't blame the bears for killing your other game so as to help persuade politicians to use game management as the excuse to allow you to walk up unabated to these bears and slaughter them point blank!!

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

    Isn't Katmai big enough that hunting could be restricted to the less-visited part, where the wildlife would not be so accustomed to humans.

    Though I would not kill a wild animal myself other than in self-defense, I know many hunters who do so cleanly, respectfully and ethically. For them, the bear shoot on the video would be no more acceptable than leading a moose out on a leash to shoot.

    I also recognize the need for bear, deer, elk, etc. in certain areas to be "thinned" and I think death by gunshot is preferable to starvation. It sure would be for me.

    What seems to have so many people upset -- rightfully so -- is the perversion of the term "hunt." Hunting, whether with a gun or a camera (my "weapon of choice") would seem to imply stalking, matching wits against a wild animal that has stealth and cunning and survival instincts. Taking a risk, even, that this wild animal could hurt you. Not walking up to a bear like it's your kid's pet pony and BLAM!

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

    Having spent a few days at the Brooks Lodge this summer, I am astonded by the inhuman, barbaric ruling allowing bear hunting in Katmai NP.
    Are we so reactionary that we have to allow grown men to use bears as target practice for a trophy on their wall.
    If these macho individuals would go out with their only weapon being a knife, and take on a bear on even terms, it would still be a crime.
    Let the bears be bears, living the way they have lived for many years.
    The Katmai NP Rangers made it a point to repect the rights of bears on our visit. Why do we change the rules in order to satisfy the blood lust of these "BOYS" and their big guns!
    PROTECT THE BROWN BEARS! SOME DAY WE MAY NOT HAVE THEM. COLD COMFORT.

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

    I appreciate Ms. Blaszak taking the time to respond to the outcry of opposition on the issue of bear hunting in Katmai. I believe she mentioned bear viewers have only increased in numbers over a few years, which sounds abit like they don't matter as much but bear hunters have been legally hunting bears for decades as if that gives the bear hunters automatic tenure!! The issue she failed to address is the absolutely horrific unethical slaughter of the bear hunt in this part of the park and at this particular time of the year. I read a lot of semingly clever political jargan about how it's just plain an Alaskan government sanctioned legal hunt, sustainable numbers, food suply however I did not read one single thing about the ethical or moral fiber of this particular bear hunt. Watch the video again and listen to the guide say, wow this is such a beautiful shot... hell, a two year old would have been able to hit that bear. There are less issues being raised about banning bear hunting in Alaska completely than the main issue which is putting a hault to the unethical slaughter of the bears on Katmai National Preserve. Please Ms. Blaszak, lets call a spade a spade, is this recreational hunting or just plane culling the bears? I think the phrase game management is bullshit when it comes to these particular animals. I think you know the answer to this question!! There are hundreds and hundreds of wildlife viewers and photographers that spend a lot of money in Alaska to do just that. There will always be bear hunters even after you shut this region off to hunting and whats more these bear hunters are always going to hunt whatever they can, but if you keep allowing Alaska's image to be paralleled to the "killing Fields" your going to chase away all the others. The hunters will always come as long as you give them something to hunt, but for GOD's sake give them something they have to hunt!! It's called hunting not POINT BLANK SLAUGHTER KILLING. Iv'e talked to just as many hunters that feel what you are allowing to happen on Katmai amounts to nothing more than an atrocity. Most are not asking you to ban bear hunting in Alaska, just in this part of the park. You mentioned that in the last fall hunt 35 bears were taken... lets do some math here. that's 35 hunters/people or one persons money paid for that bear for eternaity. I know wildlife viewing companies that take 5-11 people out to the bears seven days per week for 3 to 4 months and there are several. This can go on for the life of the bear, one hunter killed bear can only be done once for a lifetime. Sometimes rules and laws have to be changed for the sake of humanity. You can keep letting the hunters fly over there step off their plans and choppers and blast away at the bears point blank, but you will definitely have a fight on your hands thats only going to grow bigger and bigger until this slaughter is stopped. Now that this is being made public around the world, there is only one way it's going to go away.

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

    SOMETIMES, UNFORTUNATELY ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN....... WITH THE WAY THE STATE OF THE WORLD IS GOING AND THE NEGATIVE NEWS CONSTANTLY BEING REPORTED THROUGH THE MEDIA IT'S NO WONDER THE FIRST REACTION IS ALWAYS TO PUT BLAME SOMEWHERE. LETS ALL TAKE A MOMENT AND SAY A PRAYER NOT ONLY FOR THE LITTLE GIRL THAT LOST HER LIFE BUT ALSO FOR THE GRIEVING FAMILY.............AND LETS ALL BE THANKFUL FOR OUR BLESSINGS THAT WE GOT THROUGH ANOTHER DAY WITHOUT A MISHAP.............WE NEVER KNOW WHAT LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR US TOMORROW! WE ALL NEED MORE PRAYER IN OUR EVERY DAY LIVES..................BLESS YOU ALL!

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Thank goodnes someone is finally paying attention to this problem. . the film reminds me of hunting cows in a farmers field.

  • PEER: Centennial Challenge Might Exacerbate Park Service's Backlog Woes   6 years 46 weeks ago

    exacerbate - "to increase the severity, violence, or bitterness of; aggravate"

  • PEER: Centennial Challenge Might Exacerbate Park Service's Backlog Woes   6 years 46 weeks ago

    What does exacerbate mean?

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

    my heart goes out to the poor parents.the guilt for the rest of there lives. i pray for them to god in jesus name.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 46 weeks ago

    I have spent several years out with the brown bears on Katmai and can attest that being able to walk right up to your animal and shoot it point blank is not fair chase hunting. These bears are soo habituated to humans in this part of the preserve and are so close that the hunters can't even use their scopes. If you look closely at the videos you can clearly see that even that fat doctor slob who shot the bear with the bow was almost too close. At this point in the year, these bears are completely oblivious of the man walking up to it with a gun. They've just spent the entire summer feeding with the fisherman and milling around the hundreds and hundreds of wildlife viewers. This is some of the most rediculous behavior I have ever whitnessed in my life. This slaughter of our bears on Katmai must be stopped or I can bet, that when October 2008 hunting season rolls around there will be hundreds and hundreds of people out on Katmai video taping the bears and hunters. I'm still waiting for bonehead Jim Hamilton to file charges so all his clients personal information can be made public. I bet that fat doctor who shot the bear with the bow is going to love when the his world takes a look at what he did. I have watched the bear numbers on Katmai drop conciderably over the past 5 years. This year on several trips out to Katmai, I did not see one big adault male. They've all been killed off and now the hunters are killing off the young bears. The documentation and proof is in and it's time for the Alaskan powers to step up to the plate and stop the slaughter before the loose the bear and the millions of dollars it brings in to their economy. The bear hunters do not bring money into the Alaskan economy, their all wealthy little bitty men and that's how the became wealthy in the first place, by not spending their money. step up Alaska before it's too late!!!

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 46 weeks ago

    After many wonderful trips into Katmai with the priviledge of viewing these creatures, I am unable to comprehend this murder......My experience was that they were trusting of us and allowed us into their world...
    How is the slaughter any different than shooting a cow grazing in a field???? Is that hunting ??? How is it different than shooting a trusting dog that comes running up to you for pets ??? Is that hunting????
    As a longtime Alaskan, I agree that we must use our outrage for political activism........thank you for those who have posted sites to connect us to the right people...

  • PEER: Centennial Challenge Might Exacerbate Park Service's Backlog Woes   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Given PEER's record as an extremist interest group seeking to satiate its parasitic hunger by distorting issues to boost membership, I don't consider PEER an impartial source and am surprised to see NPT reporting on PEER's reporting.

    "Waste water treatment plants are not sexy sells..." First, we need to question the paradigm of using water to dispose of human waste. It's unnecessary and wasteful, both of natural resources and money. For more, see Royte's "Garbage Land". Secondly, I'm reminded of the ultra-cheesy NPS commandment to "take only photos; leave only footprints." Pack it in; pack it out. In otherwords, don't leave your s*it in parks.

    Time for a major paradigm shift toward preservation and restoration and away from excessive and expensive development and maintaining the industrial beast that has perverted our national treasures. Such a shift might deflate whiners and snivelers who insist on maintaining Rome's unsustainable infrastructure.

    Preserving wilderness is cheap. Preserving the "civilization" of wilderness is costly.

  • Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?   6 years 46 weeks ago

    I agree with the above comments. This is not a fair hunt, and should be stopped.

  • Yellowstone Snowmobiles: Has Apathy Arrived?   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Mookie: the point is that reducing the max. from 720 to 540 is NOT a reduction when the average is only 250. A reduction would be to make the max 240, or 200. Random: how right you are. Now they are talking about a hotel, employee housing and a wrecker station at Tower Junction! What happened to "left unimpaired for future generations"? If it really were, all such developtments would be outside the border of the park.
    The Park Service repeats the same ol' thing every time, "Well, the public comments were never intended to be a vote!" Why have them then?
    Kurt, I think people just get burned out. They comment, they write to Congresspeople, they write to the Park Service, they write to Interior......and it does no good.
    It's time to comment in the voting booth.

  • World War II Sites in the National Park System   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Thanks for the input everyone. I realize that I forgot an important NPS unit related to the war: Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama. I've updated my list above to include that site.

    And, like the site Kath mentions, there are a bunch of other non-NPS managed sites out there related to the WWII. A couple others that I thought of today in that category, the USS Alabama museum in Mobile, Alabama, and the USS Missouri which I believe is available for self-guided tours in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

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

    They don't have to "climb over or under" anything to fall off the edge. Most of the edge does not have a fence. I would not have let go of my child's hand for one second.