Recent comments

  • The Consequences of the Legal Bear Hunt in Katmai   6 years 48 weeks ago

    I think rather than anti-hunter, it's a pro-bear statement. Jim is speaking specifically about hunting bears in a Park Service managed area that was protected in-part to protect bears and bear habitat. As is pointed out in the article, the state of Alaska estimates that the harvest should be between 14 and 18 a year, but that the state has no problem giving out permits for 34, then 35 the next season. When the state doesn't follow their own guidelines, and when the land manager (Park Service) doesn't have the ability to protect a national resource (the bears), as a national park advocate, wouldn't you agree that this is a problem?

  • The Consequences of the Legal Bear Hunt in Katmai   6 years 48 weeks ago

    All this diatribe is, is an anti-hunter statement. If the state must issue a permit for a bear, that in itself is a limit to how many bears will be harvested. Of course the tree-hugging writer cannot fathom this and states there is "no limit" on the amount of bears that one can harvest. I could conclude from the writer's statement that as long as I had a permit, I could harvest as many bears as I could-- kind of like maybe going squirrel hunting on the back forty........Pure rubbish!!!!

  • Celebrating the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park   6 years 48 weeks ago

    The peace park idea continues to grow and one of its great advocates is Nelson Mandela. Peace parks in Africa are being created not just for conservation purposes but to foster reconciliation between peoples long at odds. The most exciting prospect for the future is in Korea, where conservationists worldwide, and the (South) Korean National Park Service, are eying the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) as a transboundary conservation area if/when reconciliation occurs with North Korea. Thus far, the North Koreans aren't interested in talking about it. But with most of the DMZ off limits to humans since 1953 (land mines are a factor, of course) the rare and endangered species are flourishing and the future for conservation looks bright. Good places to learn more are http://www.dmzforum.org and http://www.peaceparks.org.

  • Fire Continues to Keep Yellowstone's East Entrance Closed   6 years 48 weeks ago

    Mudslide cleared; East Entrance opened again.

    See 8/19/07 Mudslide outside Yellowstone cleared; East Entrance open again (press release by National Park Service)

    Because of all the rain, firefighters are being re-assigned outside of Yellowstone. It's wet enough that the fire isn't expected to expand, if it does, for about another week.

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

  • Katmai NP : Another Gem in Alaska's Crown   6 years 48 weeks ago

    I currently work at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park, and wanted to correct a few minor errors in this post. The name "Brooks Camp" refers to both the park service and concession facilities, so the two choices for lodging are both in Brooks Camp. You actually have 3 choices-stay in the campground operated by the Park Service, which is surrounded by an electric fence, camp in the backcountry 1.5 miles away from Brooks Camp, or stay in Brooks Lodge, operated by the park concessionaire.

    The bear-viewing platforms are built, maintained and staffed by the National Park Service. The 23-mile dirt road to the Valley of 10,000 Smokes crosses 3 streams rather than 2-two tributaries of Margo Creek and Margo Creek itself. These river crossings are possible because salmon are unable to swim upstream past Margo Falls.

  • Clara Barton's House Goes High-Tech   6 years 48 weeks ago

    Still nothing like seeing it in person with all the creaking floors and steps, but my daughter will surely love it. Also if you visit the real site on Tuesdays, they often have a 4-person play called Clara Barton: The Courage Within which brings Clara's life... err uhh... to life. I organized a visit with a bunch of homeschool families last year and it was very well done consider four people played 9-10 roles and they had about 5 or 6 props for the whole thing. It's performed at Glen Echo Park next door to CLBA. You won't be able to drop in on a performance because they only hold it when they have a minimum number of people, usually a school group. I have a little story about it (and her) in my blog if any parents out there are interested (http://homeschoolrangers.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/clara-barton-the-young-schoolteacher/)

    Thanks for the link Jeremy...

    -- Jon Merryman

  • Fire Continues to Keep Yellowstone's East Entrance Closed   6 years 48 weeks ago

    No sooner do you think that it's safe to travel through the East Entrance, and it closes yet again! This time, it's not the fire but a mudslide outside of the park. This is the second time this summer a mudslide has closed the East Entrance. There's no word yet when it will re-open; the forecast also calls for windier conditions, which might mean that the Columbine fire, which is 0% contained and has now burned 18,500 acres, may advance again.

    The most recent press release on the closure is here.

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

  • The Traveler's Code of Conduct   6 years 48 weeks ago

    I really enjoyed the traveler when it was more of a web magazine than a blog, because it lent credibility to the issues Kurt explored and exposed that NPS employees knew about but couldn't do anything about. While folks were always free to respond to Kurt's postings, it was about the legitimacy of the information and a trusted source at that...it was different than all of the other sites out there. While I don't like the idea of censorship, I also don't like the idea of false ideas being perpetrated on the traveler site because some like to pick fights, call others names, and dominate every discussion. Those posts which contribute truly false information, defame others and deliberately provoke should be reviewed and possibly deleted before being posted to keep up the reputation of the site. Should the traveler be used by others to launch their own personal sites? Is that really the purpose?

  • Fire Continues to Keep Yellowstone's East Entrance Closed   6 years 48 weeks ago

    As of 9 AM MDT, the NPS has yet again re-opened the East Entrance.

    See http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/0774.htm.

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

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 48 weeks ago

    that's funny. the national guard will cause more environmental damage going after the growers than the growers themselves cause.

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 48 weeks ago

    Well you can petition your representatives to repeal the Posse Comitatus Act which has been in effect since the days of Reconstruction....or.....(much easier) get them to just enforce the laws on the books now using more ICE and DEA with the help of the NPS.

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 48 weeks ago

    Think about this! Right now we are paying farmers to not grow on land because we have an over abundance of alot of these crops and it drives the price for that crop so low that it is more profitable for the farmers to not grow on this land. they call it CPR ground and it is still costing the taxpayers to pay these farmers to not grow on it. We have a welfare system that is so fraudulent it is pathetic. These people need jobs, not a life of welfare which again, is payed by the people who pay taxes.Why not put this land and people back to work by legalizing pot! The farmers will be able to do what they do, FARM. It would create jobs for people to get off welfare and back to contributing to society. The government could control the quality and the quantity and make it available to responsible adults at government run stores. The tax money generated by the 20 million americans that smoke pot DAILY would support schools, local government and would allow states to build lots of new prisons and harbor the real criminals. With all that extra revenue,there would be no early release of hardened criminals because of overcrowding and no such thing as getting out early because of good behavior!!! They are in jail for crimes commited, how in the hell can there be "good behavior"? Also, Take a man with a family that goes to jail for selling pot. Not only do we put him in the system, but now, with the bread winner in jail, (tax payer burden) , without his income, it forces the rest of his immediate family into the system ( welfare, food stamps) to survive. (tax payer burden)!! With legalization of pot, I think the people who are involved in the distribution of harder drugs ( meth, cocaine, heroin,etc) will stand out like sore thumbs. Also if you take all the regular joes out of the pot selling buisness, the harder drugs will lose a great deal of thier distribution networks which will make them stand out for arrest and prosecution. With all those new jail from the tax money, all arrested will have plenty of room to do out thier entire sentence. Remember, pot is consumed the exact way it is put on this earth. There is no processing to get it. All other Drugs, including alcohol are the product of man!! I know its not the perfect solution, but we have to start somewhere and I promise you that you will not stop 20 million americans a day from smoking pot!! NO WAY.

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 49 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    Kath. wasn't the National Guard used to quell the L.A. riots in the 1960's and 1980's...and in Detroit. Sure they can be used in the National Parks. B.S. to the "Posse Comitatus Act"...I say, get the SOB's!

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 49 weeks ago

    Thank you, I wish we could get everyone to see the light. Now we just need to VOTE for like minded people!!!!!!!!

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 49 weeks ago

    I'm not saying they, the National Guard, shouldn't be used, what I'm saying is: I think there are laws preventing them from being used for police work inside the U. S. I think it's something called the Posse Comitatus Act.

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 49 weeks ago

    Snowbird06
    Kath, these pot farms are loaded with land mines! The National Guard prepares it's soldier to be keenly aware of these deadly devices, and has the knowledgeable and tactical personnel to defuse these booby traps of sorts. Remind you, these are highly trained combatant soldiers ready for Iraq...we could use them now. No more pussy footing around if pot is legal or not....the punks are destroying the woods. Damn it, get after the SOB's, either throw them out of the country or into the slammer...and let them rot like compost. Sick of this drug crap in the woods.

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 49 weeks ago

    Beamis, my guess is that you're a fan of DPA.

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 49 weeks ago

    That's just it -- I don't consider this routine police work. People from outside our country are here growing, harvesting and selling illegal drugs. If that's not a good use of the National Guard, I don't know what is. And if people don't consider this a national emergency, no wonder we're being so sluggish in our response to it. The FLETC training for park rangers does not adequately prepare them for this line of work.

    -- Jon

  • Missing Hiker in Yosemite Found Dead   6 years 49 weeks ago

    My heart goes out to Ms.Bonaventura's family. I would like to know the circumstances of her death; perhaps she was killed by pot farmers after she hiked into thier field.

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 49 weeks ago

    The National Guard is never used for routine police work. They were called out for national emergencies like Hurricane Katrina, the L. A. riots and they have been used as support for the Border Patrol.

    Pot growing in the National Parks and other public lands is a big problem. But there is no national consensus to legalize marijuana and since politics is the art of the possible, legalization simply isn't going to happen. So we have to look at what is possible. The pot growers are all illegal aliens. The latest Rasmussen poll said that 79% of Americans supported the new crackdown on illegals. Arrest and deport illegal aliens and the pot fields will vanish. Set up checkpoints near the parks that grow pot for valid driver's licenses. Illegals don't have valid driver's licenses in California. Impound their trucks and their equipment.

    One of these days some hapless hiker or group of hikers is going to be found shot dead near one of these marijuana fields. Those that want safe parks need to support efforts to crackdown on this crime wave.

  • Pot Farmers Tilling Ground in Yosemite   6 years 49 weeks ago

    A Chronic Problem....not with Marijuana seeds in Walmart...intresting thought. I say Yes. Sell them in Home Depot too.

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 49 weeks ago

    The quote in Kurt's piece says that tent and RV Camping 'in the National Parks' is down 44%. There weren't floods in all of them. The floods and the reduction in campsites was only in Yosemite Valley, not even in the rest of Yosemite. One of the largest campgrounds in the western U. S. is in Tuolumne Meadows in the Yosemite high country.

  • Missing Hiker in Yosemite Found Dead   6 years 49 weeks ago

    Sad, yes, but those of us who our vagabonds for natures beauty understand the risk. Especially for the lone hikers.
    My thought our with her family. Somehow I think they will understand and accept her tragic fate.

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 49 weeks ago

    I got it -- turn the golf course into more camping space. They can keep one hole as a driving range for historical purposes and the people clamoring for tent space will have somewhere to go.

    -- Jon Merryman

  • Are Car Campers An Endangered Species in National Parks?   6 years 49 weeks ago

    A no-registration-required of the same LA Times article (i think...) is http://travel.latimes.com/articles/la-trw-yosemitecampers13aug13