Recent comments

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 3 days ago

    My 1/50 of a dollar:

    1. Arches

    2. Great Basin

    3. Crater Lake

    4. Mt. Rainier

    5. Glacier

    6. Yellowstone

    7. Yosemite

    8. Grand Canyon

    9. Carlsbad Caverns

    10. Isle Royale

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 3 days ago

    So why not encourage more and more people to install panels on their roofs. I just noticed a new condo or apartment complex this afternoon that has panels on the roofs of all their carports.

    Instead, we have Koch funded ALEC pushing state legislatures to pass laws that will penalize people who do so. A few states have already passed their prefabricated "suggestions" into law.

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Why does everyone persist in calling wind and solar installations "farms?" They are not farms; they are industrial slums.

    Agreed - but here in Breck even calling them solar farms is not PC. They are solar "gardens".

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Have to limit it to national parks, or I'd never be able to get it down to 10. Hard enough even that way. In alphabetical order:

    Acadia

    Death Valley

    Denali

    Glacier

    Grand Canyon

    Great Smoky Mountains

    Hawaii Volcanoes

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Yellowstone

    Zion

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 3 days ago

    It's hard to see so many lists without North Cascades on them, and as well I'm one of the lucky ones who has been to NPSA [American Samoa] and it is a beautiful visit.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 3 days ago

    I've been to around 2/3rds of the different National Parks, but haven't been to any in Alaska, so i'm sure some of those would be here. I think i'd also have Dry Tortugas on this list, when I finally get around to seeing the coral reefs there with my own two eyes. But, here's my list.

    Glacier - by far and away the best place i've ever been to. The scenery is suburb, it contians all of it's native wildlife before the Euroman encroachment epoch, is not overdeveloped to death, and scrambling up those peaks is AN experience. It doesn't matter which peak, any of them - and you will see the park in it's grandeur by looking over it. I've been to it many times, and I never once have been bored with any of my experiences there.

    Olympic - I was struck by this place, because it's got spectacular mountains, spectacular rainforests with large old growth trees, and a wild coastline that is very wild and primitive. I lucked out one year by catching this place during the peak of the wildflower bloom on hurricane ridge, and it stood out to me as one of the most beautiful scenes on Earth. So much to explore, you could spend a long time doing it.

    Capitol Reef - By far the best park in the southwest in my opinion. Especially the remoter backcountry - such as cathedral valley, and the remote slot canyons found in the southern part (crowds? What crowds?) It's truly a gem of geological wonders. Get off the main road, and you'll have large stretches of this place, where it's just you, the yote's and the lizards. This place is not for the "i need a paved road" crowd.

    Yellowstone/Grand Tetons/Beartooth Wilderness/Absoraka Wilderness/Jeb Smith Wilderness - It's the eptiome of the Rocky Mountain experience, especially the backcountry when you leave the roads behind. I can't just include Yellowstone here, because I also found many similar experiences within the Greater Yellowstone, and don't exactly need to be within the park boundary to find grand experiences. But the Greater Yellowstone is an experience. I truly miss having this place being just a few hours drive down the road.

    Sequoia - While the trees are impressive, it was the mountainous maze within the backcountry that captivated me. In terms of mountainous National Parks, only Glacier would I rank higher.

    Channel Islands - i've only been to Santa Cruz, and only spent 3 long days, and 4 nights on it, but during the time I spent here, I wanted to see a lot more of this place. Very interesting place. Just go during early spring or after the rains when everything is blooming and fresh. The sea life surrounding these islands is also spectacular. I'm sure scuba diving here would be mindbogglingly awesome. We saw Whales, numerous seals, and thousands of dolphins, tons of starfish along the rocky shoreline not far from the kelp beds. I plan on going back here, and going to some of the other islands.

    Canyonlands - Utah's second best National Park. The White Rim trail is just a gem. Everyone should attempt a portion of it once in their life. Heck, the other parts of the park are amazing too.

    Great Smoky Mountains - Well, i've spent more time in this park than any other. So, i'm biased, but the amount of life in the temperate rainforests is quite stunning. While everyone seeks out black bears, etc in Cades Cove. I'm not a huge fan of those areas, because of the crowds. instead I find the insects, amphibians, and flora of this place truly remarkable and more fascinating. The AT through the park is stunning. The heath balds are also grand, especially when the heath shrubs, like Rhododendron, Azaelas, and Mountain Laurel go into bloom in late may - mid june. That's probably my favorite time of year, and its quite stunning, and exemplifies why this place is set aside as a biological gem. Sure, the mountains are bigger in the west, but the flora and wildlife is in greater abundance here.

    Congaree - the other park from the Eastern half that is a gem and not on many peoples radar. Massive trees, and a lot of wildlife and bizarre species of birds, and insects that you just don't find in the dry interior west. It's a turtle mecca too. You need lots of slow moving water and muggy hot humid temps for these sort of creatures to thrive, and Congaree has loads of it . Regardless, it's not a massive park, but it's definitely a unique place that protects a habitat that is getting increasingly more and more rare under the tune of the anthropocene epoch. I plan on exploring more of this place over the years.

    Great Basin - It's walking in those morraine fields with the ancient bristlecones that makes this place stand out. You can find more interesting mountains elsewhere, but this place is very interesting. It also has a remote feeling to it, compared to many other parks, plus who would guess there's a glacier in the higher reaches of Nevada.

    Bryce, Petrified Forest, Crater Lake and Mt Rainier could also be switched into or out of the bottom 5, if I spent more time in those. ------

    Parks i'm meaning to get to: Gates of the Arctic, Dry Tortugas, Acadia, Lake Clark, Haleakala.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 4 days ago

    For me at the moment it is:

    Glacier

    Grand Teton

    Olympic

    Yosemite

    Yellowstone

    Bryce Canyon

    Zion

    Acadia

    Crater Lake

    Arches

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    rmackie,

    If you come across a link to the article, would you post it? It does sound interesting.

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Alfred Runte, I do see your point. I was reading an interesting article by James Hustave Speth, founder of NRDC, advisor to both Presidents Carter and Clinton, administrator of the UN Development Program, dean of the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and now a professor at Vermont Law School. A very thought provoking article and touches on both your and Dr. Botkins posts. Quite a discussion on his experience at the UN and the overwhelming poverty and environmental degradation he observed traveling to many different nations. In any case an interesting read.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 4 days ago

    My List has two parts five I have been to and five on my bucket list;

    Yellowstone/Grand Teton

    Zion

    Glacier

    Great Smokies

    Rocky Mtn.

    Bucket List;

    Yosemite

    Acadia

    Big Bend

    Biscayne

    Katmai

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I am with trailadvocate on this, I to like them all.

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Why does everyone persist in calling wind and solar installations "farms?" They are not farms; they are industrial slums. There. You see what I just did? Stopped playing The Emperor's New Clothes. Industrializing the remainder of America's open space in the name of "green energy" is not going to solve a thing. Rooftop solar? Maybe. But even there, nothing on this earth comes for "free." You want water power? You lose the canyons. You lose fish runs and white water. You want green energy? You lose gobs of landscape--and wildlife habitat. Oh, yeah, we get to keep the national parks. But every vista from every mountain top is about to come with thousands of blinking red lights--and glare. Fly out of Las Vegas and look south to the Ivanpah thermal solar "farm." The glare can be seen for 100 miles.

    You're dreaming, good people. And enabling. "When we invent this, we will have paradise." Well, please "invent" it first. Right now, all that is happening is the destruction of paradise. Take a ride west and see for yourselves.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Yosemite

    Zion

    Glaicer

    Yellowstone

    Grand Tetons

    Sequoia / Kings Canyon

    Death Valley

    Olympic

    Arches

    Denali

    Honorable Mention: Bryce, Acadia, Canyonlands

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I've given up on "Best & Better."

    What, one of the 7 Natural Wonders in the world doesn't rate:)?

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Lee, no hand-slapping here, though I do note a peculiar geologic layout to your choices;-)

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Yes, Rick, I'm afraid I do. And they have locked too many ordinary Americans out of the possibility of success. Happily, it looks as though legislation that would enable Rocky Mountain Power to charge a premium to people who install alternate electric generation will fail in the current session of our loonislature. Hopefully.

    It's also a little more than ironic that Rocky Mountain Power has for years had what they call "The Blue Sky Program" that encourages customers like me to contribute extra dollars on our power payments to help pay for their efforts to build wind farms and solar sites.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Will I get my hand slapped if I am of the philosophy that the word "park" is only an unimportant and artificial label and that many less "important" places deserve to be on a top ten list?

    So, knowing I am at risk of punishment, here is my list:

    Yellowstone

    Zion

    Hovenweep

    Natural Bridges

    Golden Spike

    Pipe Spring

    Great Basin

    Death Valley

    Apostle Islands

    Devils Tower

    Okay, you can slap me now.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Build A "Top 10" National Parks List?   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Tough list to make, but today these would be my ten favorites. (Might look different tomorrow):

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Olympic

    Congaree

    Acadia

    Virgin Islands

    Rocky Mountain

    Death Valley

    Isle Royale

    American Samoa

    Redwood

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Why Lee? You know the answer - because they are bought and paid for.

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    our Congress and state legislatures -- the entities that hold the keys to our success or failure

    Hold the keys to our success? If anything, they possess the locks.

    Why would the state of Utah try to charge people who install solar or wind power on their homes a premium fee?

    And how exactly do they do that. In every case I have seen, governments are subsidizing these uneconomic investments. What "premium fee" are you referencing. Or is this just another of your imaginary strawmen?

  • Community Lists Requirements It Wants Approved Before Supporting Maine North Woods National Park   2 weeks 4 days ago

    The last requirement seems a bit tricky, but this looks like a very good gesture by Millinocket.

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Great post again Lee, unfortunately with the culmination of the Roberts Supreme Court and specifically its Citizens United decision (there are many others they have made to turn the clock back), we are headed to a corporate oligarchy. Our democratic system is up for sale, this is the most reactionary court since the 1920s. I agree with you.

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I failed to mention this morning that America is in great danger of losing out to countries like China, Taiwan, India and others where their governments are investing in assistance to businesses that are on the leading edge of research and development in new and improved solar generation.

    But in America, our Congress and state legislatures -- the entities that hold the keys to our success or failure -- are doing all they can to drag their feet. Why?

    Why would the state of Utah try to charge people who install solar or wind power on their homes a premium fee? Two reasons that are really just one in the end. Rocky Mountain Power and our lawmakers have pretty well bought in to a plot spawned by ALEC (which is funded by the likes of Koch Industries) that tries to convince people that power customers without home generation capabilities are being subsidized by other who don't. The bottom line, however, is the Koch push to protect their coal and oil assets.

    Why would the U.S. Congress oppose this? Could it be that their primary goal has been, still is, and will be to simply stymie anything that might be supported by the current administration or the opposing party?

    What is the price of all that? How many business opportunities are being ignored and how many American jobs will be lost?

    Is common sense dead in America? Trampled by greed?

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    GOOGLE:

    https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/apple-build-850m-solar-energy-20475355...

    Apple (AAPL) will partner with First Solar (FSLR) to build an $850 million solar energy farm in California, CEO Tim Cook said on Tuesday.

    First Solar shares spiked on the news and closed the day about 5 percent higher, while Apple ended about 2 percent higher. Apple's value rose to $710.70 billion as it became the first U.S. company to close with a market cap above $700 billion. The tech giant had touched the $700 billion level before but never managed to settle there.

    Cook touched on the solar project and a wide range of company developments-including Apple Pay, the Apple Watch and the company's partnership with IBM (IBM)-at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference.

  • NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I got rooftop solar (living in CA with a southern roof exposure, no brainer). The bulk (over 90%) of rooftop solar installations do not have a battery back up. The utility is your backup battery when the sun goes down. Currently, CA allows new installations to be net metered (e.g. your production offsets your production $ for $), althought that's not the case in all states.

    The future of solar installations is cheap battery storage. So far, nobody has figured it out, but plenty of people are working on it.