Recent comments

  • "Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July   2 weeks 5 days ago

    misinformation being drummed up....are you finally speaking about the GSMNP administration that has either retired or now moved on to other parks...after they pushed this backpacking fee through?

  • "Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Beach, it's evident, you could care less about ecology in our National Parks. Some of us do WANT to see piping plovers and sea turtles, and flora exist in a wild state on National Park lands. Maybe what needs to happen on Hatteras, is that some group needs to document via video to show the effects and actions of ATVs on beach habitat. I bet you wouldn't like the results even when the evidence is documented and in front of you.

  • "Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July   2 weeks 5 days ago

    He is so used to attacking those with opposing views, he doesn't even realize he is doing it. Fine example of the extreme left...

  • "Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Thanks guys. There was a lot of work put into both films. It's part of a series that will be either 6 to 8 films, and document many aspects about the park.

    Smoky0325, first, please use your real name instead of hiding behind a pseudonym. I'm actually a pretty easy going guy, and i'm not afraid of an opinion, or what people think about me. While there is a group of 4 to 5 people that might not like me, i've had my share of supporters over the years and have had quite a lot of great conversations about the park. And staying neutral, and kowtowing to certain small groups that drum up a lot of misinformation, and mindless attacks on forums that I like to read isn't exactly going to inspire me to just tow the line to appease them. I was raised to defend myself, and it's part of who I am. Many other artists, and ecologically minded conservationists have had opinions through the years too on issues relating to National Parks.

  • "Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Gary, you obviously make a positive impact on the national park system. Unfortunately, your personal attacks on those people that disagree with you takes away from the positives. You might be better suited to stay neutral in the future when trying to sell a product to those that love the GSMNP as much as you do.

  • "Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Maybe we should appreciate what Gary is doing for all of us and others who may not have the chance to see the Smokies in person.

  • "Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Gary Wilson, thank you for your efforts and Traveler for posting this article.

  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Could Use A Few Good Trees   2 weeks 5 days ago

    I am with you Barbara, however, roseman 2000 has a point, if there is an oak that is in some ones yard that is is dead or dying, and they want to contribute it to the iron works, well..., however to cut down a rare healthy 400 year old tree to maintain the historic integrity of the iron works is not a good idea, at least in my view. Thank you Barbara.

  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Could Use A Few Good Trees   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Our neighborhood still has many majestic white oaks. I have a 30" diameter that sustained considerable damage when it was hit by a car five years ago. I have continued to nurse it to health but would rather donate it before it dies and falls on my house. On the other hand, my neighbor cut his very healthy 40" diameter tree down last fall for more sun for his garden.

  • "Seasons In The Smokies" To Premier In Mid-July   2 weeks 5 days ago

    I really hope that you appreciate what Kurt is doing for you here, Gary Wilson. Perhaps it may make you consider contributing to this site.

  • Search-And-Rescue Missions Cost National Park Service Nearly $4 Million In 2013   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Ahh probably not, because they probably have alternate routes, or they book during the day it becomes available. I know that I can't book in advance and have to wait until it becomes available, and i'm subject to the fee, and closures, and rules just like everyone else. Just because they book some trips a few months in advance through their business doesn't mean anything. October the AT isn't that booked either, because cold snaps and weather under 32 degrees start to occur, and that keeps people away. I went up to Spence Field/Rocky Top last year in the middle of october during the first major cold snap, and I had the shelter to myself that night. From the permitting system, 3 days this month, tricorner knob is booked out, with a few days down to 1 slot left. Are you sure it's so inaccessible? That's what you said. The NPS has locked everyone out, that only 28 days of the 31 are available for people to book a slot in many of the shelters. Pecks Corner has five days booked out this month, which was more than the 2 booked out at Ice Water and Mt Collins. I bet Lamar Alexander is up to no good again!! 5 days of out of 31 are already off limits at Pecks! That's tyranny I tell you...Pure shenanigans!

    https://smokiespermits.nps.gov

  • Search-And-Rescue Missions Cost National Park Service Nearly $4 Million In 2013   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Gary. So you don't have a problem with a guide service being able to book a shelter months in advance when you and I can only book it a month in advance? Go to A Walk in the Woods website and see that they have October backpacking trips booked full. Does that not concern you? You say you care about the Smokies but have no concerns about a guide service manipulating the shelters?

  • Search-And-Rescue Missions Cost National Park Service Nearly $4 Million In 2013   2 weeks 6 days ago

    I don't consider very much of the Smokies remote backcountry. I guess, you could say Ravens Fork, and some of the drainage's on the western side of the park could be considered "remote", but that's stretching it. I didn't live in an urban landscape like Knoxville, all my life, so yeah you got me there. I'm guilty for wanting to see and explore more than just the same area all my life. I was living in Central Idaho, in the remote part of the lower 48, where the backcountry is quite remote by eastern standards, and trail-less in many areas. Winter was almost 8 to 9 months, and during January, encountering -10 to -20 degree nights was common place.. Most of the Smokies can be navigated back to civilization or back to a road in a day. That to me is not remote backcountry, so yeah, I don't see LeConte as remote backcountry either. It is however a very beautiful mountain, and contains the most biodiversity on it's flanks than probably any other mountain in the lower 48. And i've hiked many of the multiple trails on it quite a bit, during all seasons, since i'm working on a film about that biodiversity, and recreation. Hmmmm when I encounter people, I don't think many feel they are in remote territory either. Yes, there are a lot of people that hike it that wear nike shoes and cotton in winter, i've seen it myself, but still, they are only a 4 hour jaunt from a car.

    I also am under the assumption the shelters exist to centralize campers and users of the AT, so that the area isn't a free-for-all.

    The rest of your comments are just the typical nonsense, I've come to expect from you, because that's what you do. I just went on smokiespermits.gov, and sure enough, if I wanted to I could currently select a 5 day route through the AT and get a permit. But hey, whatever you say is almost always easy to debunk by 2 clicks of the internets.

  • Search-And-Rescue Missions Cost National Park Service Nearly $4 Million In 2013   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Actually the lodge has a great deal with the amt of people who go up there. Since I have hiked that trail a couple hundred more times than you, Gary because I am an E. TN native I have spent considerably more time and have more experience with those purported "backcountry" rescues. If you are calling someone who hikes to the lodge in cotton shorts with a daypack so they can stay in the heated lodge a backcountry camper then we have no basis upon which to continue this discourse. There are many other peaks in the Smokies that receive no where near the visitors that Leconte Lodge does for one simple reason, there is a lodge for them there. That exists no where else in the Smokies. The lure of a "civilized" presence with bathrooms and showers and heated cabins and lunches for purchase has drawn many an inexperienced person to the top that couldn't make it down. And then we get to foot the bill. Backcountry campers are the only ones paying to use the backcountry and you guys in the NPS used this as a justification for fees therein. But this article outlines it perfectly. Dayhikers cost the NPS the most, same on Leconte and the Smokies

    Similar arguments can be made for the shelters, aka idiot magnets that draw inexperienced folks from all over. Part of the trouble is that the NPS has hijacked the high ground in the park along the AT so guide services like a Walk in the Woods can take their paying clients. A real interesting piece of research would be to see how A Walk in the Woods is able to book up shelter space months in advance for their paying Clients. That will be brought to light when the Southern Forest Watch lawsuit advances. All this cronyism, and Leconte Lodge and their no bid continual concession contract is a fine example, will be in play thanks to the chummy goings on in out most visited National Park. The Smokies is getting aired out thanks to a corrupt former Superintendent. Then common, non political elite can enjoy it as was intended by the TN/NC forbears who sacrificed to see it so. Not some carpetbaggers who's prime goal is to profit from public lands.

  • Search-And-Rescue Missions Cost National Park Service Nearly $4 Million In 2013   2 weeks 6 days ago

    The woman hurt on Leconte was probably flown out by UT Med's helicopter. Wouldn't UT Med bill the woman for her medical evacuation? I know that if you are medically evacuated from Yellowstone by the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center helicopter, you are responsible for the bill.

    http://www.highonleconte.com/daily-posts/practicing-to-keep-you-safe

  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Could Use A Few Good Trees   2 weeks 6 days ago

    White oak trees aren't exactly rare, but old growth ones of this size are. They can grow up to 450 years (or more), so obviously time, and especially the great logging era in the1800s got rid of most of them at that size. It takes at least 50 years before they become mature enough to produce acorns, but usually the ones that produce an abundant crop of acorns are the very old ones that are a few hundred years old. They are also the most important food crop for wildlife in fall. If it's a good mast year, you'll find a lot of wildife hovering around white oak trees when they produce acrons.. So yeah, this seems pretty crazy to me as well. I imagine back in the 1600s, finding sizable white oak trees was common place. But in 2014, good luck finding many over a hundred years old.

  • Exploring The Parks: Musings From Aztec Ruins National Monument   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Maybe this park should get a name change. What is the process for that?

  • Search-And-Rescue Missions Cost National Park Service Nearly $4 Million In 2013   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Actually, it wasn't a dayhiker... and LeConte lodge does pay back into the park. I was up on Trillium Gap trail a few weeks back, and other than a few sections of stepping over llama droppings, I didn't see any sort of ravaged trail destruction from the 7 to 9 lllamas that go up there per week to bring down bedding. Sounds like just more sour grapes. Considering LeConte has some of the best views in the park, I can understand why people seek dayhiking to the top of that mountain. No different than Longs Peak, Half Dome, or many other peaks in our national parks of similiar stature. The lodge has nothing to do with wanting to see the views from Cliff Tops or Myrtle Point.

  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Could Use A Few Good Trees   2 weeks 6 days ago

    So let's cut down some apparently hard to find (i.e., rare) big old white oaks for an IRONWORKS reconstruction!! No, this is crazy, the historians need to be happy with a substitute wood or synthetic. Sorry, this is just crazy.

  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Could Use A Few Good Trees   2 weeks 6 days ago

    It sounds good, unless you're one of those 5 poor old white oak trees selected to turned into a spinning water wheel for a faked history re-enactment. Would you rather be a dead spinning water wheel, or an increasingly rare stately giant of the forest that produces a lot of acorns and feeds a plethora of the forests creatures during fall while filtering the air? :O

    I know how i'd rather see the stately white oak trees. Let the giant spin wheels be recycled plastic crafted out of ocean trash harvested from the great pacific garbage patch!

  • Search-And-Rescue Missions Cost National Park Service Nearly $4 Million In 2013   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Yep, Leconte dayhikers require the rescues. And Leconte Lodge should have to pay something since that lodge draws so many folks up there. Since they earn more than 1.5 million per year and are the only private lodging concession within the National Park and a disproportionate number of dayhiking rescues occur up there I'd say they have some responsibility in the matter. Not to mention the damage incurred on Trillium Gap trail as a result of the weekly Llama trains that supply the place. The paltry amount they pay in fees to the NPS in no way covers all the NPS has to do to keep that concession rolling in the dough.

  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Could Use A Few Good Trees   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Your snark aside, Gary, it sounds like a doable challenge. When I visited Saugus a few years ago I was struck by the authenticity of the site, and noticed nothing faked out of plastic there. I'm fairly certain that the "they" that cut down trees 100 years ago are most likely not the same "they" that are working this problem now.

  • Essential Summer Guide '14: Mix History And Wilderness At Cumberland Island National Seashore   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Experts believe these record numbers will not continue due to this being a cyclical event, because these Loggerhead turtles can take up to 35 years to reach sexual maturity. Its interesting that every NPS unit handles turtle protection efforts differently. Some units relocate nests and some don't. Many nests along Hurricane Arthur's path won't survive without relocation.

  • Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site Could Use A Few Good Trees   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Maybe if they didn't cut down all the old growth white oak trees 100 years ago there would still be some around. Sounds like they should just use plastic, and overlay it with some wood vaneer. I dont think many are going to care if it's "authentic". What's next, they'll need a table made out of authentic old growth chestnut tree with a rocking chair made out of elm trees?

  • Essential Summer Guide '14: Mix History And Wilderness At Cumberland Island National Seashore   3 weeks 6 hours ago

    Yes, I've never seen sea turtles and would love to have the opportunity. It sounds like efforts to protect them are being successful. Good news.