Recent comments

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

    Park and wildlife managment is generally very good in Alaska. So what are the NPS thinking?? Hunting and bear viewing don't mix. And only one of them is truly sustainable. Despite being unsporting hunting an habituated Bear, where is the hunting/gun etiquette?? Shooting towards people?? Now it is on the internet sadly the NPS judgement is open to the world.

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

    I am a longtime Alaskan, subsistence hunter, and avid naturalist. I have made multi-day visits to areas of Katmai National Park very close to where these bears are being shot. In fact, it's likely that I--like thousands of other park visitors--have watched these same animals. It is true that the bears are almost completely fearless, and visitors often have to move out of the bears' way rather than vice versa. I find this hunt absoultely appalling and unconscionable. All of us who love and support our National Parks should send this link to every friend who may join us in protesting the Katmai bear hunt. This practice defiles the reputation of America's national park and profoundly violates every principle of ethical hunting. It has to be stopped.

  • Centennial Projects: Fighting Mosquitoes in Grand Teton National Park   6 years 46 weeks ago

    More bats and dragonflies... that oughta do it.

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

    i'm a hunter (bow: deer, elk) and while i don't support hunting bears, watching those fat slob losers hunt a habituated park bear in that entirely disrespectful manner makes me sick. might as well go on safari at a zoo. nice job, nps!

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

    Kurt & Jeremy: This is pure slob hunting at it's worse. It's pathetic and sad commentary that the NPS allowed such a cruel and open act of senseless killing of a poor animal without a CHASE. Almost like a sitting duck pond for these slob hunters to pick off a defenseless animal. But, to take the skin and head of the bear for trophy, and let the rest rot in a open field is beyond ethical practices of sane hunter. This demands a full public participation and forum to bring attention to the nature in how these bear slaughters are conducted.

  • Death Valley Looking to Electronic Rangers to Raise Money, Lure Younger Generations   6 years 46 weeks ago

    People shouldn't be watching a video screen while they're driving around a battlefield site or anywhere else for that matter.
    Here's another recent attempt by NPS to "electronify" and replace real people. I like this better than the $15 gizmos for several reasons -- it can be done in any number of languages very inexpensively, there's not a lot of investment in new technology, it's invisible to the park, and there's no inherent profit motive in serving the park visitors. They may have trouble with such a plan in remote places with no cell service though.

    <><><><><><><><><><>

    National Park Service Introduces New Lincoln Memorial Educational Guide

    Washington D.C. – Beginning Wednesday, August 29, 2007 the National Park Service (NPS) with support from Eastern National, a cooperating association of the NPS, will begin offering free interpretive Ranger talks via telephone. These new Lincoln Memorial talks are organized around many themes including, “The Gettysburg Address”, “Debunking the Myths of the Lincoln Memorial”, and the “Life and Times of Lincoln the Man”. Ranger talks can be heard by dialing (202) 747-3420. The National Mall & Memorial Parks, a unit of the NPS which operates the Lincoln Memorial, presents Ranger programs at the Memorial daily from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. With the introduction of free telephone educational talks, the public will be able to learn more about President Abraham Lincoln and his memorial 24 hours a day from any location. “We are excited to make the legacy of President Lincoln even more accessible to the public,” stated Rosanna Weltzin, Site Manager for National Mall Operations for the National Mall & Memorial Parks.

    The recorded messages use Guide By Cell developed technology to offer visitors a range of talks varying in length from two minutes to just under six minutes depending upon topic. The NPS plans to evaluate the success of this program and will be considering adding free telephone educational programs for more National Mall visitor sites, such as the World War II Memorial, in the future. Information about the free programs and the telephone number will be posted at the Lincoln Memorial and is listed on the NPS Lincoln Memorial website, www.nps.gov/linc.

  • NPS Officially Comes Out Against North Shore Road at Great Smoky Mountains National Park   6 years 46 weeks ago

    I applaud and fully support the NPS decision, but one thing concerns me:

    I have not yet read the entire document (two of the three sections I've accessed have not downloaded successfully), but my impression is that the FEIS still maintains that the road would not be an "impairment" of either the Appalachian Trail or the Great Smoky Park. I protested this claim in the DEIS, comparing it to the NewSpeak invented by George Orwell in "1984". And there's the same claim in the FEIS, with the same lack of justification.

  • Freak Rockfall Kills Colorado Couple At Glen Canyon NRA   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Don't worry the Colorado River has a long range dam destruction plan which won't need to be signed off on by the regional office or WASO.

  • Freak Rockfall Kills Colorado Couple At Glen Canyon NRA   6 years 46 weeks ago


    Maybe 'we' should return Glen Canyon back to it's original state, find the man's body and clean up everything else
    that might be down there....

  • Freak Rockfall Kills Colorado Couple At Glen Canyon NRA   6 years 46 weeks ago

    god called them home. may they rest in peace together,forever. in jesus name

  • Judge Orders Cross Removed from Mojave National Preserve   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Foolishness seems to be a quality greatly possessed by many who claim to understand.

    To what end do we quarrel about these nonsensical things.

    I'll be praying for you all.

  • Will Greatness Mark the National Park Service's Next Century?   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Ah, so many issues, so little time......

    Anon-

    For three and a half years I served as general manager for a $105MM family of 7-8 units. Annual budget reveiw and approval was one of my main respnsibilities, and I wasn't above rewriting them based on the annual planning stratagies discussed in our corporate planning meetings. I would allocate additional funds for certain areas while eliminating from others based on the focus that we at corporate dictated that each unit pursue for the upcomming fiscal year. Through what some might label as micro-managing, I would then closely track the expenditures of each entity to ensure that our focus was being implemented and properly administrated by the unit managers. I have since embarked on a career in the sciences, and have been placed in charge of establishing a research laboratory. In both cases, total responsibility for all things related to how and why monies are allocated fall directly onto my shoulders. Maybe due to this forced accountability, and the level of ethical pride that was instilled in me years ago, I cannot sanction, condone, or understand the concept of "misused" funds. To say otherwise would, like yourself, be untrue to my principles. You're correct in stating that I don't know you......nor do I know any of the regular contributors to this site. I trust that you are all intelligent, decent, respectable folk, since I have no evidence to the contrary. I just might, as you suggest, enjoy you as a person. And you would be most welcome to join me on my next trans-canyon trek across the Colorado, along the Appalachian Trail, into the Narrows, across some Civil War battlefield site or elsewhere. But after some period of days, you're likely to hear more comments that would confirm my position as your "troll", as I don't suffer fools lightly in any aspect of life, and sooner or later, I'm sure I'd commit another faux pax regarding some issue you hold dear. But no personal affront was then or is now intended, I assure you.

    Frank-

    I apologize for taking much longer to reply than did yourself, and thank you to both you and Beamis for the biographical data. My intent was to determine the extent of the level of interaction that you both allude to in various posts, and what level of management you have been influenced by and interacted with during your tenure. It is most unfortunate that mediocraty is the rule rather than the exception, but as I mentioned to Beamis, the few good people in federal offices seem to have little staying power due the tolerance and in some cases fostering nature of building and maintaining a staff with the sole intention of surrounding one's self with people of lesser talents, abilities and ambitions solely to make yourself appear "larger than life", thus solidifying your future within the department. Unfortunately, our current governing bodies are ripe with these types of management at more levels in more departments that you would care to believe. Rangers hired at less than GS-5? No wonder they can't find enough good people. It's hard to get by on $24K annually, even single and living at home! The adage regarding government work is as old as the hills, and as true. But when you don't empower people such that they have no role in determining their future, what can you expect? I'm not attempting to rationalize, just overstating the obvious I guess.

    I'm familiar with Rauch's work. I gather not too many people are due to their inability to understand I can take the stance that I do regarding our politcal system, being a proud member of NEITHER side, both losers in my opinion. Those of us who project independence are too often labeled "libertarian", another term invented by the media.
    When I stress the term INDEPENDENT, I'm usually confronted with "independent Dem or independent Rep?". Jeez, get a clue folks, independent means INDEPENDENT! As in, not dependent on EITHER side. Next they'll be calling me a Separatist, God forbid.

    My plan centered around the "Public Land in Public Hands" mantra actually came to me some 6-7 years ago, and unfortunately I've yet to find the time to start the organization process. But you're quite correct, the current state of affairs isn't worthy of much besides the scrap pile, as it hasn't worked, and it's progression has been one of regression of late. The federal government obviously isn't concerned with the current state of affairs, only with the opportunity to generate further profits from the "public" lands without the monies going to public cuncerns. Ah, the continued raping of a nation, what WILL they think of next? As I mentioned previously, there are indeed methods of legally taking back what is ours, as a people of this nation, and turning they system around to work for us as members of this society. Unfortuantely, it will take quite some time and there will be legal battles, probably up to the Supreme Court level. Fortunately, the Constitution has some mentions that can be used to build a case around, making this a bit less tedious a fight as one might believe. After winning that approval, the dominos fall fairly easily into place, in terms of consolidation of current resources. Management, administration, and new funding sources are the major hurdles that will require much for intense planning and execution in order to realign the current system into a fully functioning entity. More exacting details to come, I promise.............

  • Opposition Mounting to Higher Entrance Fee At Olympic National Park   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Can't anyone see what will happen here?

    The fees go up and the government cuts back on the meager funding they dole out to the parks which in my travels, are way under funded just to maintain them!
    every park employee, ranger or administrator that I had the pleasure to talk to tells me the sad stories of woe, bleak outlook due to the government cutbacks.

    private run parks such as stone mtn. park in Georgia, seem to do well. (possible partial solution?)

    the local communities around these beautiful places benefit well and probably could stand a non-resident tax such as the one we have here in Florida on hotel rooms and such to help with this too.

    but in my simple view America is a privileged place to live and those that want to see it should see it the same way we do and do not discriminate on fees which should be free or as low cost as possible! (how much does Smokey Mountain National park charge?)

    Also if enough people are informed and the public steps up and demands that our elected officials stop spending the taxes it does collect for this on other things, maybe more will be done.

  • Opposition Mounting to Higher Entrance Fee At Olympic National Park   6 years 46 weeks ago

    I was not attacking anyone. I was sarcastically questioning the lazy logic that we should make "Foreigners" pay more because they have enough money to get over here so hence they won't mind being gouged to the tune of $50 a pop to enter every national park.

    I didn't call this anonymous person an idiot or a jerk. I simply skewered what I considered to be a simplistic and possibly xenophobic attitude towards our foreign guests and then pointed out a flaw in his reasoning towards private business.

    What should I have said, "Good stuff. Thanks for the enlightening input." This website is about debate and dialog concerning the best way to preserve and defend national treasures. Light sarcasm has its place when half-baked ideas are slung out in a haphazard and unfocused manner. This person was free to respond to my sentiments and may yet.

    Also in response to your point about "Foreigners" not paying taxes so they should pay more, how do you propose to determine who is and who is not a foreigner at the entrance gate and how much more should they be forced to fork over? Would you be happy to pay more to get into Windsor Castle or to the top of the Eiffel Tower for the same reason?

  • Opposition Mounting to Higher Entrance Fee At Olympic National Park   6 years 46 weeks ago

    I'm not sure how much foreigners pay in federal taxes, but they do pay many different taxes. If they fly around the country, they pay the federal tax on airline tickets. If they rent a car, they pay taxes on that. If they buy gas for their rental car, they pay federal taxes on that. If they use interstate turnpikes, they pay a user fee (tax) on that. If they buy goods or services, they pay sales tax on that. They probably paid a processing fee (tax) for their visas. When they enter a national park, they pay a user fee (tax). Then they dump millions into the US economy which generates jobs which generates income tax which is used to fund national parks. While we may not know how much of the taxes payed they pay directly support our parks, the contribution of foriegn visitors shouldn't be underestimated.

    When I lived in Bulgaria, there were different prices for foreigners than for Bulgarians. It seemed very unfair. I'm glad to live in a country with a constitution that provides equal protection for everyone in its borders, not just those with citizenship.

    Just because some people are more able to afford entrance fees, it should not follow that entrace fees should be raised for specific groups or for all people.

  • Fall Into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Kills California Woman   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Im not sure this was foul play, because I drove by this accident less than 5 minutes after it happened while another person was on the phone with the national parks. The male compainion was visibly in a panic and very very upset. I have a police scanner and listen to the whole incident both on Friday evening and Saturday morning. There were rocky mountain big horn sheep that people were taking pictures of and maybe she tryed to get a better look or camera shot and lost her footing?? None less it was very sad and my heart goes out to the family and friends of Charlotte Harrison.

  • Opposition Mounting to Higher Entrance Fee At Olympic National Park   6 years 46 weeks ago

    "And yeah, let's stick it to those "Foreigners" How much do you suppose they pay in taxes to support our parks? Beamis, in a previous post on a different topic you asked someone to respond to your arguments without attacking you but it seems that what you like to do best.

  • Will Greatness Mark the National Park Service's Next Century?   6 years 46 weeks ago

    I have always wondered why we don't have an option on our federal tax returns to donate $1 of our refund to the National Parks similar to the option to fund the presidential campaigns. I would think most folks would donate and it's a very efficient way to solicit donations to our national treasures. I would be much more inclined to donate to our parks than to more campaign ads on TV.

  • Fall Into Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Kills California Woman   6 years 46 weeks ago

    Foul play? In what way? Was something seen or heard unusual? How do you hear something like that?

  • Will Greatness Mark the National Park Service's Next Century?   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Anon,
    Thank you for your well wishes. "i'd like to see some further activity on your blog, it seems like a more appropriate place for the tenor of your comments as well as a more suitable location". I enjoy participating in discussion on NPT because it's the best NPS discussion site on the web. Dissent and criticism are necessary to democratic discussions, and this post, due largely to those few who challenge the status quo, has received more comments than any other currently on the front page. Without critics, the site would be silent of significant discussion and debate, and only sycophants would remain; what's the point in that? Until Jeremy or Kurt directly tell me to buzz off, I'll remain a gadfly who presents an opposing view.

    The test of democracy is freedom of criticism. --David Ben-Gurion

  • World War II Sites in the National Park System   6 years 47 weeks ago

    There must be a story for many, many parks in the system. Fort Jefferson (Dry Tortugas) was a seaplane base during the war and they cut down trees in the Everglades to make up for a shortage of wood for houses.

  • Will Greatness Mark the National Park Service's Next Century?   6 years 47 weeks ago

    There's much to address here, and this is the Haunted Hiker's busiest time of year. But I want to take the time to say a few things.

    One: Beamis was an brilliant interpreter and dedicated employee. I don't know Frank (at least I don't think I do) but I wish I did. But then I do have a weakness for crushed idealists. Especially the funny ones.

    Two: To dismiss someone's opinions, statements, or rationales because they are "disgruntled" is an ad hominem attack. In other words, lazy logic. I saw supervisors do this over and over again during my 12 years with the NPS. We are all guilty of it from time to time, just like we are all guilty of slouching. Regardless, the NPS is long over due for some well-spoken challenges to the conventional wisdom. Let's straighten our backs and be strong enough to contemplate the insights offered by so-called "disgruntleds"!!!

    Three: You can do more (or at least as much) for the parks and the visitors from the outside than you can from the inside.

    Gotta go. Spooky Trails y'all!

  • Opposition Mounting to Higher Entrance Fee At Olympic National Park   6 years 47 weeks ago

    "Why not raise the fee in all of the National Parks to $50 per car for a weekly pass."

    That'll sure cause visitation to skyrocket. And yeah, let's stick it to those "Foreigners"!

    While we're at it I'd like to remind the anonymous economic genius: Disneyland and Six Flags don't also receive direct funding from the federal taxpayer. They have to get all of their money the old fashioned way, through voluntary transactions with willing customers, one transaction at a time.

  • Will Greatness Mark the National Park Service's Next Century?   6 years 47 weeks ago

    lone hiker- i was the one who posted "misused" and i can tell you, aside from the entity that i run, i see misused and hear about misused funds everywhere. from public radio stations to large corporations, it happens... let's not split semantical hairs here, i meant what i wrote. to deny it is to deny reality.

    and as for having me on your payroll? you don't really know me, nor my perspective, so why make a flaming, trollish comment like that here? you don't even know me, so please, take a nicer tone. you'd probably like me, maybe even take a hike in a park with me! (unless you really are a "lone" hiker!) ;)

    frank- honestly, i'd like to see some further activity on your blog, it seems like a more appropriate place for the tenor of your comments as well as a more suitable location, perhaps, than one who focuses more on parks *overall* than simply reform. additionally, i'm glad you aren't working for the nps system and are now teaching... you're probably making a greater impact on society in general anyway and we need intelligent, competent, award winning teachers.

  • Opposition Mounting to Higher Entrance Fee At Olympic National Park   6 years 47 weeks ago

    Why not raise the fee in all of the National Parks to $50 per car for a weekly pass. People are more than willing to pay $50 to go to Disneyland, Six Flags, etc:. With all of the Foreigners you see in our National Parks, they must have money or they would not have gotten over here to see it. The National Parks are run down and need more money then they are getting from the government.