Recent comments

  • Concessions Contract Will Cost Grand Canyon National Park $100 Million, But Benefit Park In Long Run   5 weeks 2 days ago

    At Glacier, the possessory interest (accumulated investment) was $25 million. Xanterra had to pay $22 million for Glacier Park Inc.'s accumulated possessory interest while the NPS paid $3 million.

    http://www.concessions.nps.gov/docs/news/IMR/GLAC002-14_Business_Opportu...

  • Concessions Contract Will Cost Grand Canyon National Park $100 Million, But Benefit Park In Long Run   5 weeks 2 days ago

    For a park facing a $150+ million project to replace the water service to the South Rim this is assinine. The cross canyon water line is failing frequently with increasing severity and the park has to find a replacement within the next few years. By comparison $150 million exceeds the capital budget of the entire NPS. It is widely recognized that the Canyon is going to have to cover most if not all of the cost of this critical infrastructure itself. Realize no water = South Rim CLOSED, making the hotel operations irrelevant.

    Glacier recently awarded its major contract to a new firm through the competitive process with no paydown of the accumulated investment.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 2 days ago

    Please, let's stick to the topic and not cast bricks...

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 2 days ago

    I'm not a political elite, mr. ambulance chaser. And SFWhine is not really anything but an impotent gnat in the grand scheme of things. Mere parochial buffoons...

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 2 days ago

    Southern Forest Watch definitely steps on some "political elite toes," including Gary's.

  • Secretary Jewell To Visit Acadia National Park To Highlight Science And Youth   5 weeks 2 days ago

    Ummm secretary Jewell has climbed Mt Rainier multiple times, and has peak bagged and explored for decades. I think walking a mile on a beach would be like...well a day at the beach. I guess to most in the southeast, walking 500 yards on a beach would be the hardest day of their life, hence why obesity is so obscenely high in this region, but secretary Jewell is not obese, or inactive.

    Finally, i'm glad they are trying to showcase science in our parks. A lot of people in this country miss that these areas are ecologically important bioregions. So the more exposure on this subject, the better.

  • Secretary Jewell To Visit Acadia National Park To Highlight Science And Youth   5 weeks 2 days ago

    I wonder when Secretary Jewell and Director Jarvis will ever visit the nations first National Seashore and Recreational are at Cape Hatteras? Both of them seem to have lots of time to visit everywhere else around Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area in North Carolina.

    Maybe the closed ramps and beaches are restricting their visit like it does for the rest of the American public.

    Maybe the overzealous legal actions of the National Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife and other groups through the Southern Environmental Law Center ($ELC) have made the first National Seashore a 'hot spot' neither seem to care about.

    Maybe observing the effect of continual litigation by $ELC at Cape Hatteras is too unsavory compared to the 'feel good' visits to other areas.

    Will the Secretary Jewell and Director Jarvis ever come to Cape Hatteras and view the beach access problems firsthand? Unlikely........there are too many photo opportunities elsewhere where private groups are willing to pay for the changes they want at National Parks and get from the DOI and NPS.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 2 days ago

    Well, if you like anarchists and posers, then that group is for you.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    I am hearing more and more about this Southern Forest Watch on this site from folks like Gary they are obviously making some impact judging by comments like these. Good to see outside groups at least trying to keep an eye on their government we could use more groups like that. The NPS definitely could use some better oversight IMO.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Great viewpoint Kurt. Totally agree with NPT on this.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Gary, you made your point well, I am in agreement with your position. California state parks a most recent example. In any case thank you.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Some just don't have high standards, or just have low standards that think they should apply to all places. The psuedo-non-profit ambulance chasers, that use a blind-owl as their logo, called Southern Forest Whine does the same thing here in the Smokies. They want the Smokies watered down to their acceptable level where they can basically get to do whatever they want in the backcountry without any RULES or rangers out there to protect the valuable resources from the likes of them. Anarchists tend to be like that. Even with all the National Forest Land around them, they focus strictly on the much higher standards in a National Park and try to erode those standards and take it to a lesser tier, like what you find in a USFS, state park, or gah..local city park. I think they'd be happier if it was more a local county park that no one paid attention to, but that's not going to happen in a place as protected and as internationally recognized as the Smokies. Too many people want to see it protected and because it is protected like it is, that's why people want to immerse themselves in it.

    So, expect nothing but this sort of thing from these parochial deadbeat types, and trust me just about every park has that small contingencey of "local screamers". All we can do, is place a comment when they ask. I did place a comment and I stated, i'd like to see this entire seashore turned into a wilderness similar to what you find in Olympic National Park. They have the opportunity to do that at Cape Lookout, so there is still hope, regardless of what the beachdumps, or pseudo organizations like that want.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Gary,

    I know what you mean. State parks just don't do it for me. There is a totaly different mindset there. I feel like I'm in a KOA in the ones I've been in. I'm sure there are some excellent state parks somewhere.

    The problem with CHNS was that the NPS was very late in dealing with ORV issues. The retirees that moved here to drive and fish and the visitors that came with ORVs on regular visits had ample time to organize themselves and decided that it was their park and should be run by their standards and interest. National Park management goals, the Organic Act and the Park's EL conflict with their recreational interest. They established themselves through several special interest local organizations and formed important political ties. They came close to getting exactly what they wanted.

    Beachdumb would probably be happier if CHNS were a state park without the pesky constraints of a national park.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Much Should The National Park Service Rely On Volunteers?   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Megaera, I agree. Sadly this is not the case with many volunteer positions. As the economic austerity agenda continues, paid positions are being supplemented by Interns and VIPS, in some cases replacing them. Not good in my own view.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   5 weeks 3 days ago

    It's amazing how many people are on the Henry's fork where rafting outfits have a lot of rafts running at any given time, and then you trek down into the madison, or yellowstone river in the park, and you start to see a lot of bird life all around the place. Around the Henry's fork, it's mostly just tons of bobbing floaters with little wildlife because they've left the area. This sort of thing can be easily documented, just by showing Yellowstone River inside the park, vs what it's like outside the park. Vast difference. I also disagree with this "traveler viewpoint", as ecology isn't taken into account in this article.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Much Should The National Park Service Rely On Volunteers?   5 weeks 3 days ago

    The library system I used to work for had a good policy, I think. Volunteers should be encouraged and given interesting work -- but they should *never* take on any work that has traditionally been done by paid staff.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    I've seen very few well managed state parks in my time. The whole idea that states can manage the parks better than the NPS is a bunch of hogwash, mostly put out there by tea party types that never spend time in either state or national parks. This is all just a big scheme to decentralize the federal government, and put this land back into local control so that they can wear down the standards placed on these areas.

    There is also a lot of that parochial attitude in the Smokies region. Many think that the park should only be ran by a bunch of good ol' boys with the accent. Southern Forest Watch, and a few other petty organizations think if you ain't local, you ain't meant for "their park". Regardless, National Parks follow a set guideline of standards, whereas state parks are a hodgepodge of management, and almost always you will find few state parks that are ran better than a National Park. In fact, state parks are usually vastly undefunded, and in many cases teeter on being cut out all together during times of recession. The entire "states will do better at managing these lands" is all a big fantasy mindset that doesn't fit with reality. The national standards, and criteria used to create and maintain National Parks are very important. If anything, states should attempt to mimic the national level, or exceed it, but you rarely if ever see that occur.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    "Don't State's control and successfully manage parks and recreation areas already?"

    Yes, they control and successfully (some better than others) manage state parks and recreation areas. And that's great. But Hatteras National Seashore and Lookout National Seashore are not state parks or state recreation areas. They are national. They are on land owned by all Americans, supported by facilities built by all Americans, and staffed by personnel employed by all Americans. So I reiterate that it would make no sense for them to be controlled by local residents who are only concerned about parochial interests, particularly when that means they will be managed to the detriment of all the other people who are inheritors of these parks despite not living right next to them.

    "You can't deny that more and more States are considering this action"

    They can consider whatever they want, but states don't trump federal authority and they don't get to usurp federal land.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Rarely do i find myself in disagreement with the "Travler" features. However on this issue I must agree with Roger Siglin and MRHEM1956. I have experienced opening the door to this type of recreational activity, as delightful as it maybe, the long term results were not good. A very slippery slope, we need to say no, the wlldlife issues are paramount in my view.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Well stated Roger. You have captured the essence of the problem and the delayed impact. Its only a matter of time -- before all the self-entitled, no need to heed the rules thrill seekers will overun and ruin the tranquility for all of us. I am vehemently opposed to any measure allowing packrafting, river rafting, etc on National Park waterways. The grounds are too fragile -- too overun with millions of tourists already. Totally agree with you Roger. Well done.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    beachdumb is right, of course, about the evil NPS folks really being NSA agents deployed by black helicopters and funded by the Trilateralists. Once you accept that, everything else makes sense.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   5 weeks 3 days ago

    I and many others are vehemently opposed to any such proposal. Any waterway that now allows such incursions by watercraft are evidenced by increased trash along the shores, erosion of trails/short cuts/illegal landings along the shores, drunks and those who can't clean up their trash...plus loud/rude people spoiling the serenity of the places the rest of us want to preserve (as is) for all future generations and the wildlife. Wildlife were there first -- learn to respect their space and preserve it. Water sports can go to any number of lakes, rivers, etc OUTSIDE National Parks...

  • Reader Participation Day: How Much Should The National Park Service Rely On Volunteers?   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Volunteerismt works well. For proof, see the value Acadia NP derives from Friends of Acadia and its supportive corps of volunteers.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    Beachdumb,

    I live here (Hatteras Island, Buxton). I go to the grocery stores, pass the NPS beach parking access and go to the beach everyday. The parking lots are full everywhere and I see as many or more people on the beach as I ever had. Going out to lunch at my favorite resturaunt in Buxton in a minute, I'll be lucky to find a seat.

    National Parks were not established for the whim of the current local generation to change management to suit their immediate desires. Most state parks are designated recreational parks, not so with National Parks.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   5 weeks 3 days ago

    everything indicates the economy for Hatteras Island in 2014 is going to be excellent

    Buxton, can you cite the source of this claim?

    These parks are owned by the federal government. That means they are owned by ALL Americans

    Ethelred, I used to think that was true, until NPS showed us differently. I also agree, unfortunately, we now need an NPS oversight committee.

    Local control of these parks makes absolutely no sense.

    Ethelred, why? Don't State's control and successfully manage parks and recreation areas already? You can't deny that more and more States are considering this action, the NPS's reluctance do what is right for the people have forced this issue. The NPS better get prepared for this or change.