Recent comments

  • Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    There are of course many more, just search for national park in the field for filming location ( There was Vertigo (1958) by Hitchcock, with the famous scene under the Golden Gate Bridge at Fort Point National Historic Site. There is The Fog (1980) with the Point Reyes light house playing an important role, with is of course part of Point Reyes National Seashore. There are all the movies filmed in Death Valley, among them of course Zabriskie Point (1970) and several episodes of Star Wars again. says that scenes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) were filmed at Zion NP and some part of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) at Arches, but I don't remember which ones that might be. How the West Was Won (1962) was filmed among other places at Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site (before the reconstruction that took place in the 1970s) and in Badlands NP.

  • Former National Park Service Directors Urge Interior Secretary To Keep Guns Out of Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Another brief history lesson. The Nazi Party was in existence prior to Adolf Hitler being elected Chairman. One tends to equate the Nazis with Hitler, but in actuality, he was nothing more than a catalyst, giving the people what they wanted, and in many cases, what they needed after suffering though their own trials and tribulations post-WWI. He was a strong personality, a nut-case promising all the right things to a country ripe for the picking. Don't blame the Nazi Party for Hitler's nuances and paranoid ranting. We've had our share of "strong personalities" elected to high office as well, who were also responsible for killing tens or hundreds of thousands for the sake of the "expansionistic" good of the nation.

    The internment camps I have no problem with at all. Not being able to tell your friends from your enemies in times of war leads to uncomfortable situations, but that's war my friend. The biggest problem today with conducting wars is the idealistic, romanticized notion that wars can be fought cleanly, with only the "bad guys" being killed, wounded, maimed, etc. The whole notion of war is to inflict tremendous, unbearable casualties on your enemies, such that they lose the will to continue. That's how wars are, and always have been, won. This BS about fighting "clean" wars is why Viet Nam and Iraq are the debacle that they were / are. The landscape has changed, and as long as your enemies are willing to use civilians as combatants, you have two choices. 1) Kill them too. 2) Have them kill you first. The sooner we understand that, the better off we'll all be, and the sooner we can come to grips with the "modern" methods of war. Wars aren't meant to be pretty. They're meant to be avoided at all costs, a last resort in conflict resolution. And they should remain as ugly as possible.

    And just where do I say that everyone should turn in their weapons? But by the same token, most pro-gun replies to the various threads on this topic admit to willingly breaking the law to carry their guns into areas where they already know guns are banned, just in case. And the most commonly quoted reason is so that they can protect me and my family in case we're attacked in the remotest backcountry, miles from civilization and professional assistance, and won't I be glad when the cavalry arrives. What the hell sense does that make? What are the odds in both being attacked, and having one of you handy when it occurs? As the saying goes, "We have met the enemy, and we are them".

    And by the way, it wasn't I who "equated tyranny with mob justice". Since a number of you like to produce quotes that allege to support your views, I wish that you would read a bit more of those who hold opposing viewpoints, from the same time period you like to throw in with your "moral high ground". I'll paraphrase the quote that applies to the above reference for you, and save you some time doing research that is obviously distasteful to you:

    "I fear that bestowing these same liberties upon a society that does not maintain its moral compass is nothing short of accelerating the processes of political tyranny and social discourse. If we, in our future, strive not to maintain a level of honesty and decency amongst all of our citizenry, but put forth the good of the individual above the common good, then all we have worked so hard to establish will be dashed into the furnace of hell, and history will comment most unkindly upon this experiment in freedom which we call the United States of America".

    From another one of the Founding Fathers.......a statesman, NOT a politician. An ambassador of good-will, intellectual, scientist, inventor, and keen observer of nature, both flora and fauna. From one who could see both sides of a situation, and draw meaningful conclusions prior to the inevitable. One who knew the true nature of man, and was disturbed by those tendencies. I'll leave his name to your intelligence.

    By the way Fred, the nation has been in chaos for decades. Our refusal to grant civil liberties to ALL, and not limiting them to males of the WASP persuasion was the initial driving force, NOT gun laws. Just another quick history lesson. And our insistence on maintaining our "historical place" as the world's melting pot is doing more currently to stir the pot than anything else. You cannot have both internal security in this 21st C world model and the freedoms that have been granted in certain amendments to the Constitution. The time is rapidly approaching to choose which is more important, life or liberty.

    And you're right ranger. NOT ONE of those original set of conditions outlined above applies to this society. Maybe you should reread and stick with the specific set of circumstances outlines instead of drawing broad-based conclusions. I make no reference to "due process", which in our judicial system is a joke, or "right of assembly", which is still regulated by politics and riot police, and is again, a joke (ask any pro-lifer or civil rights activist), nor do I make direct comments pertaining to what we all enjoy within the scope of today's electronic media, limited freedom of speech, which in spite of it's implications, still has editors and is subject to censorship depending on the political muses of those managing any given site, paper, journal, periodical, etc. Those are the realities of the world in which we live. For all of your "guaranteed rights", your leash is still quite short.

  • Yellowstone National Park Bison Agreement: How Big A Step Forward Is It?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I love the bison and want them protected but this is the most ridiculous waste of taxpayers money ever. $2.8 million to save only 25 bison !! Do these people expect the bison to stand inside Yellowstone and starve to death ? Is that nonsense how they have managed to survive all these years ? Rubish, they are wild animals who must migrate to find food during all seasons. They do not know political boundaries. We have killed enough innocent animals and wasted enough money.........they need an area outside of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton area where they can find food to survive the winter. And by the way, the bison are not the only wildlife that need this ! Solve the problem NOW !!!

  • Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    "Maverick" has some lovely scenes shot in Yosemite National Park; one in Leidig Meadows. And one scene from "The Caine Mutiny" was shot in the Ahwahnee Hotel, which was used as a hospital during World War II.

    And you forgot "Grand Canyon" in which Kevin Kline, Mary McDonnell and Danny Glover have a 'come together' moment at the movie's namesake.

  • Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    All good selections but my favorite is The Long, Long Trailer [1954] with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez. [Yosemite National Park was one of the filming locations.]

  • Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I'm surprised you haven't listed my personal favorite: "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), with Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Katharine Ross. Much footage was filmed in and near Zion National Park, UT. The famous Rendevous House was located in the present ghost town of Grafton, UT, on the south-side of the Virgin River from Rockville, UT a few miles outside of the park boundary.

    In the 1980 release of "The Electric Horseman," Robert Redford and Jane Fonda also were featured with wild horses grazing in the shadow of the Watchman in the south end of Zion Canyon.

    Owen Hoffman
    Oak Ridge, TN 37830

  • GYC Explains Value of Latest Agreement for Yellowstone National Park Bison   6 years 35 weeks ago

    the deal marks yet another illustration of the bankruptcy of the collaborative model for species advocacy in the west - as it relates to the livestock industry. When will GYC be willing to fight for what it alleges to believe in ? Instead, these groups demonstrate the desire to avoid controversy as an endeavor even more important to the group than the wildlife it purports to afford advocacy for.

    $2.8 million for those CUT cattle is extortion. It's wrong. Proclaiming the deal to be good for bison floating the idea on such lofty generality is weak. GYC's inability to muster the courage to identify and decry the livestock industry's political stranglehold of this entire process, and join with the others who see that this politicized myth-mongering must stop - not by placation - is a shortcoming that GYC needs to mull-over.

    I implore GYC, and urge members and leadership alike, to take the time to redress this wayward path the group has chosen to pursue. It's wrong.

  • Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Instead of movies that pretended to be in national parks (Thelma and Loiuse) there are more and better examples of actual national park locations. Some examples: Journey to the Center of the Earth (James Mason version) filmed in Carlsbad Caverns. Close Encounters filmed at Devils Tower. Splash, filmed at Statue of Liberty. Rocky II - Independence NHP. Planet of the Apes (original version) at Glen Canyon NRA. I would choose any of these over Thelma and Loiuse or The New World.

  • Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Good catch, Kraig. I always liked Mary better, anyway!

  • Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Wait! Laura Linney is in Dances With Wolves? Where? And how could you select her over the wonderful Mary McDonnel?

  • Lake Powell Expected to Rise 50 Feet This Summer   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Nicely said Mr. Anonymous. I'm not convinced that there is a "climate crisis". I also doubt that there is very little, probably nothing, that we could do about it anyway. Here's an interesting piece you might enjoy reading:

  • Traveler's Top 10 Picks For Movies Involving National Parks   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Star Wars Episode VI - The Return of the Jedi (1983): Remember the Ewoks? Living on the forest moon of Endor? Those small, bear like creatures hunt and live in one of the most spectacular forests ever seen on the big screen. Well, filming on the actual forest moon obviously was too expensive even for George Lucas, so he left Skywalker Ranch in Marine County and went north almost to the Oregon border. There in Redwood National and State Parks stands the forest of mighty trees, more then 300 feet high, more then 2000 years old, with an all but closed canopy so the light is filtered green. Factoid: Tall Tree Grove, where parts of the filming took place, is host to the then known highest tree on earth. And in late 2006 further exploration found a new record holder in the vicinity. The highest known tree is called Hyperion, after a Titan from Greek mythology, and was 115.55 m (379.1 feet) in September 2006. Its exact location is unpublished, but it is known that it stands on a slope over Redwood Creek, near Tall Tree Grove.

  • GYC Explains Value of Latest Agreement for Yellowstone National Park Bison   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I cannot agree that there is any value to the latest agreement and argued as much in a recent essay on my blog (see link for Jim's Eclectic World) below.

    Let's look at Amy's response more closely:

    She writes

    This agreement signifies the first time since federal and state agencies have been managing bison together that an investment will be made in the welfare of bison rather than simply hazing them back into the park or shipping them to slaughter when they attempt to leave the park. The Park Service has secured $1.5 million, the State of Montana has committed $300,000, and Greater Yellowstone Coalition and other conservation organizations have pledged to raise the remaining $1 million by this fall to have everything in place for next winter.

    In the welfare of bison? How so? There are 25 buffalo that will be allowed in under the first year of the agreement; they aren't allowed in permanently. They continue to be tested, they will be fitted (the cows) with vaginal transmitters. It's not "simple hazing"; it's in some ways worse. When the buffalo return or are forced to return back to Yellowstone in the spring, there's no telling what will happen with those 25 buffalo the next year. Another 100 might be allowed in to face the same torture. So, how has any buffalo's life been improved? As I suggest in my essay, this doesn't in any way move forward the situation of the buffalo; all it means is that the government agencies are changing the parameters of their testing / hazing / slaughter / torture program. In fact, where those 25 aren't really even protected over the long term, it's perhaps too generous to say that out of 1,601 killed buffalo when this plan was announced, 1,576 would still be dead. Those 25 don't live better, lives, at the number of 25, they are separated from their family units in their herds, and they face a very uncertain future. For what, $800 per animal unit month for the life of a lease that's otherwise unnecessary?

    Funding for this deal will support a positive step towards much-needed habitat for bison and reducing the senseless hazing, capturing, and slaughter that has devoured tax dollars in years past.

    In what way? As Glenn Hockett of the Gallatin Wildlife Association has pointed out; there already are public access lands that bypass the Royal Teton Ranch. Of course, this isn't actually new habitat for wild buffalo. It's not a step towards it, either, since these animals aren't really allowed to stay on the land. To give minimal grazing habitat to a small number of buffalo for the winter season under these conditions is not better than the current hazing program. But, it gives the impression that it is, actually sending the fight for habitat for these animals backwards - given the pretense that the government actually is making progress and making it seem as though we are closer to a solution for the buffalo. In fact, only the terms of the boundaries have changed, and the Church Universal & Triumphant has gotten rich. It also makes it seem as though certain environmental groups are making progress on wildlife issues so that they can continue collecting funds and stay in business. But, the buffalo? Not a single buffalo - not even the 25 - benefit from this deal.

    While this agreement is a huge step forward

    This is exactly the sort of reasoning that I argue against in my recent essay.

    The Royal Teton Ranch agreement should be viewed as a beginning of, not an end to, positive change for Yellowstone bison.

    Don't be fooled. This is not a positive change for the Yellowstone bison; not even a mere beginning. Buffalo gain nothing by this deal, and if we believe that they have gained, they will actually lose because I'm afraid we will lose sight of the continuing clear injustice that the buffalo face. Over half of Yellowstone's herds have been killed or have died this winter; no progress has been made on their behalf, and it's unfortunate that these environmental organizations are promoting a deal as beneficial that's completely unnecessary and - worse than that - will give people a false sense of progress. Now, unfortunately, we have to fight this new deal as part of promoting respect for Yellowstone's buffalo populations.

    ***as an aside, I am speaking here as an individual and not speaking here on behalf of the buffalo advocacy grassroots group I belong to in Bozeman or with Buffalo Field Campaign. Buffalo Field Campaign, however, has spoken vociferously out against the plan (as have members of the Gallatin Wildlife Association).***

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

  • Are Blue Ridge Parkway's Historic Guardrails At Risk?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    The look and feel of the parkway will be at risk once the modifications are made. Replacing and adding new railing will change the look, especially for those that frequent the parkway. It seems pretty straight forward to me.

  • Lake Powell Expected to Rise 50 Feet This Summer   6 years 35 weeks ago

    What a bunch of baloney! Science has not spoken! There is not a scientific consensus on "Global Warming." Many legitimate scientists disagree with the idea that Global Warming is caused by man or that Global Warming is even occurring. So what happens if we have this same kind of winter for about 3 years in a row? Will the alarmists start shouting that man is causing a new ice age? To save face their mantra will change and become "Global Climate change." What a bunch of bunk! Man has no idea what is going on or how to control it. One volcano has the capacity to spew more material into the air than most people can imagine.

  • NPCA: Health of Everglades National Park Requires a Longer Bridge Along the Tamiami Trail   6 years 35 weeks ago

    The opening of this blog post reads as if the Tamiani Trail was built "through Big Cypress National Preserve." Of course, Big Cypress Naitonal Preserve was not established until 1974 - some 44 years after the construction of the Tamiani Trail.

  • Are Blue Ridge Parkway's Historic Guardrails At Risk?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Guardrails at risk? A parkway remaining unmarred? Hmm.

  • Proposed Settlement Filed in Cape Hatteras National Seashore ORV Case   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Respectfully, to suggest that "(t)he settlement, in effect, does what the National Park Service hasn't done -- provide some guidelines for off-road driving along the seashore" is to believe the distortion of the facts by the plaintiffs.

    No guidelines? In August of this past year, over 60% of the beach was off limits to ORVs due to the combination of resource, seasonal and safety closures. To suggest that Cape Hatteras had no guidelines is an insult to Superintendent Mike Murray & his staff. The NPS, and especially under the leadership of Murray, have actively and in recent years aggressively managed Cape Hatteras to protect the birds and turtles while trying to allow, where possible, access to seashore for recreation by the publics. His open and transparent management style was embraced by most of the ORV groups and users.

    While there were 15 nesting pairs in 1989, last year was the highest number of nests and chicks since 1999. And as has been the case for many years, weather events and predation not ORVs were the cause of the loss of eggs & chicks. Blocking access to ORV’s will do nothing to change this.

    The terns and skimmers relocated to spoil islands in Hatteras and Ocracoke inlets where they reported had an excellent fledging season and somehow this counts against the Seashore numbers. .

    No, the suit was filed because NPS failed to implement a permanent, approved plan years ago – simply a technicality. Despite a USF&W-approved interim plan put in place by Murray that seemed to appropriately balance protection and access, this was the loophole the plaintiffs needed. That and a willing Federal judge who seems bent on micromanaging a National Park.

  • Groups Sue Park Service Over ORV Use in Big Cypress National Preserve   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Preserve Superintendent Karen Gustin has just been transferred to my park: The Olympic National Park in Washington state. Please help me understand the kind of changes this person might implement. I feel like we need to get ahead of her on the information front. We don't want ORVs or even bicycles in our Olympic NP Mountains or anywhere near its beaches.

  • Are Blue Ridge Parkway's Historic Guardrails At Risk?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Title of this article is a bit misleading, as the issue has already been settled. I expect better from NPT.

  • Should Canyon de Chelly Be Given to the Navajo Nation?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    None of the land is owned by the National Park Service. The land is still owned by the Navajo Nation, while the monument is administered by the National Park Service. It's a very interesting arrangement for everyone involved!

  • Should Canyon de Chelly Be Given to the Navajo Nation?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I find the word choice in the article's title interesting and revealing, especially the choice of "given". Given implies original ownership. I think "returned" would be a better word choice, especially in light of the history of America's original inhabitants their treatment by the federal government.

    Sovereign nations, such as the Dine (what the Navajo call themselves), successfully manage magnificent landscapes such as Monument Valley. To state that "The Great Father" can better manage their sacred lands smacks of 19th century paternalism, racism, and greed, and I wonder if those who make such comments understand the history of how the federal government abused the Navajo (such as how school children were forced to learn English and were chained and beaten in school basements when they refused).

  • Yellowstone National Park Bison Agreement: How Big A Step Forward Is It?   6 years 35 weeks ago

    I know I seem to be the only one commenting here, but I wanted to point you to an essay I just wrote, which is in part a criticism of the CUT deal and the rationale cited here by those mainstream environmental groups who support it. It's also in part an answer to critics who wonder why people like me work on this issue when there are so many other "more serious issues." Both answers I see in the same root philosophical inconsistency.

    In any event, for those with time to read through my passionate verbosity, check it out:

    Why buffalo and why not the CUT deal? Against utilitarianism

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

  • Strange Bedfellows: The National Park Service and the American Recreation Coalition   6 years 35 weeks ago

    Laverty would be a nightmare for the NPS and he should be opposed at all cost.

  • Creature Feature: Hellbenders   6 years 36 weeks ago

    Chance, I am so happy to see the start of this new article. As a youngster I was always looking for any and all animals. I am really going to enjoy reading these articles and reliving some of my youth! To explore and find animals was always my favorite thing to do. Just ask your mother!

    Love ya lots....