Recent comments

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 18 hours ago

    A bit more on fracking:

    "In 2005, at the urging of Vice President Cheney, fracking fluids were exempted from the Clean Water Act after the companies that own the patents on the process raised concerns about disclosing proprietary formulas - if they had to meet the Act's standards they would have to reveal the chemical composition which competitors could then steal. Fair enough, but this also exempts these companies from having to meet the strict regulations that protect the nation's freshwater supply.

    This was a sweetheart political deal and it probably doesn't surprise you that the the Vice President's former employer Halliburton is one of the largest players in providing hydraulic fracturing services to gas companies."

    Personally, I don't want to be able to light my tap water.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   2 days 19 hours ago

    Meteorologist excuses:

    "...but then backed up by our best computer models just mere hours before the storm, did not and will not come to fruition. Which leaves us only with one question: What the hell happened?"

    "This kind of volatility is "part of the game," he said. "It's part of meteorology. Every so often, you have everything lined up just right and then one small factor goes off line and it messes up your whole forecast."

    "My forecast and (the) weather service forecast both got torched."

    Couldn't accurately forecast 24 hours in advance but they want us to believe they know what will be happening 30 years from now. The models have been horribly wrong.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 19 hours ago

    except of course near Cheney's home where no fracking is allowed.

    Could you document that?

    Anyone shilling for the oil companies in support of fracking has to be asked if they would want it in the lands under their own homes, and near their own aquifers.

    Since the EPA found once in 2004 that there is no impact on waters and their more recent study initiated in 2012 has not reached any contradictory conclusions I would be quite comfortable with fracking near my aquifers.

    BTW - Sent any of that oil company money back yet?

  • Exploring The Parks: Cross-Country Skiing At Tower In Yellowstone National Park   2 days 19 hours ago

    It'll probably take the NPS another 10 to 20 years to catch up with the times.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 20 hours ago

    Great research and discovery, Kurt!!! This is just wonderful!

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 20 hours ago

    And then there is fracking. Developed by Halliburton, Dick Cheney's company. It has been exempted from many laws, except of course near Cheney's home where no fracking is allowed.

    Anyone shilling for the oil companies in support of fracking has to be asked if they would want it in the lands under their own homes, and near their own aquifers. We don't want it in Alaska either.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 21 hours ago

    Gutz - 100 years is a blink of an eye in the scope of the earth's history.

    As to your phosphate companies - I don't know the particulars but I would be willing to bet that any failure is due to lack of effort to restore and not inability. I am 100% behind requiring the oil/gas drillers to restore.

    I would also note that phosphate mining is far more intrusive than oil and gas drilling.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 21 hours ago

    As far as restoration ecbuck,I think the land in the Arctic is quite sensitive to disturbance. I've heard that it can take 100 years for scars on the land to grow back over. Some of the sedges and lichens are supposed to be hundreds of years old. After seeing what the phosphate companies call restoration" projects down here in Florida I would be somewhat leary about the oil companies doing restoration up there?? Mosiac and the other phosphate companies have caused havoc with the Florida land they mined. It was their land and they have the right to mine it. But they should tell the truth about what really happens to the land. They spend millions down here on TV ads talking about how they "restored' the land but all you have to do is see what it looked like before and what it becomes after.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 21 hours ago

    Perhaps you weren't aware Rick, there is no "mountain topping" in oil/gas drilling. But hey, keep throwing out those strawmen. Much easier to attack than the truth.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 22 hours ago

    Well, a hopeful sign when Lee, I and ec all see a glimmer of common ground :-) I refer to Lee's question whether the oil under the Refuge could be "protected and held as an insurance policy against some future time when drilling for it might become critical." Ec says he'd have no objection if such a plan would actually be followed, and I could support that if the wilderness proposal fails, which seems almost certain at this time.

    Any hope of that approach getting wide support would almost certainly have to be an agreement short of wilderness designation, and the challenge comes in defining "critical need" for the oil. I suspect any such plan would also find little support among Alaska's politicians, who crave the revenue windfall for their state that comes from the oil, and they want it sooner, not later.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 22 hours ago

    Those irreparable changes? One only need enter 'mountain topping' into Google, 4,890,000 responses come back in half a second. Click on images and you find such as this picture, and many more. One of the things I like living in Alaska is how beautiful it is. Not even the craftiest - or slimiest - real estate huckster could convince someone to build a house after this resource extraction technique.

    This article I found is from that known left wing radical rag, National Geographic.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   2 days 22 hours ago

    It appears that once permafrost is thawed, the level of the ground is lowered, and there are resulting changes

    And Permafrost never reoccurs? The impact of permafrost isn't recreated. Those grounds weren't always in permafrost. And already the permafrost is 1 foot or more below the surface. What is impacting the surface three feet below and are the "changes" detrimental?

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   2 days 23 hours ago

    Excellent Kurt, just excellent.

    Harry Butowsky

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 33 min ago

    Would have to think Xanterra has the better case since their preincarnation actually built most if not all the iconic buildings that hold so many cherish at South Rim. Admit much has changed in character with the Denver oriented Xanterra. I believe the only one at corporate and above that has any real altruistic appreciation for the Canyon and has hiked with his family to Phantom Ranch for a stay and hiked out is Phillip Anschutz, the owner of Xanterra Corp. With him I have some hope. Just wish he would/could put forth more of his character in all that's going on at the Park. Everyone would benefit in many ways, I've always believed.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   3 days 49 min ago

    Those concerns about irreversible changes are described in the report (link provided in earlier comment.) It appears that once permafrost is thawed, the level of the ground is lowered, and there are resulting changes in soils, vegetation, hydrology, topography, etc. that "restoration" can't fix. One other non-technical source here.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   3 days 1 hour ago

    Let's hope they'll actually be enforced.

    Agreed.

    some impacts may very well be irreversible.

    I would be interested in what those are. Its hard to imagine that between mans' efforts in the short term and nature's over time, the landscape couldn't be returned to its original state.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   3 days 1 hour ago

    Thanks for the update on better requirements for restoration of abandoned oil and gas sites in Alaska. Let's hope they'll actually be enforced.

    However, if you really believe "There is nothing special about the North Slope geography, topography, biology.... that makes that issue special" then you've missed a key point in this issue. I'm sure not an expert, but I've been to NW Alaska, near the Arctic Circle, and have several friends who've spent deades there. The issues there for every aspect of life, including oil and gas development, are vastly different from those "down here." The 2003 report is still very relevant today, especially the sections that point out that, even if restoration efforts are required and enforced, some impacts may very well be irreversible.

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 1 hour ago

    Yes Kurt, nice find. Don't know that it would stand though. If DNC can document ownership, seems like it would be an unconstitutional "takings".

  • U.S. Code Might Allow National Park Service To Ignore Trademarks Of Lodge Names   3 days 1 hour ago

    Good work, Kurt. You should send the National Park Service a bill for your services. A host of even older laws and precedents comes to the same conclusion, but as Mr. Jensen says, ah, well, there must be money in there somewhere! I still wouldn't give him a dime, or Xanterra, for that matter. These people are way out of line. Those names belong to us.

    Now, I wonder who is eating crow at the Park Service this morning? How do we say it in America? I believe it's called freedom of the press.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   3 days 3 hours ago

    Could it actually be protected and kept as an insurance policy against some future time when drilling for it might become so critical that the wilderness SHOULD be set aside and oil rigs and all their necessary infrastructure be carved into the landscape?

    Lee - I would have no objection to such a plan if it would actually be followed. But the likelihood of Wilderness getting unlocked after it was established if virtually zero. Look how hard people have fought to block development when it wasn't Wilderness and we did need the oil.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   3 days 3 hours ago

    Thank you, Jim. That was excellent.

    There is one question here that seems to be ignored. Do we really NEED this oil now?

    Didn't we just learn that under the current administration, the United States has become Number One in oil and gas production in the world?

    Is this oil needed or could it be kept in reserve under a wilderness? Could it actually be protected and kept as an insurance policy against some future time when drilling for it might become so critical that the wilderness SHOULD be set aside and oil rigs and all their necessary infrastructure be carved into the landscape?

    Hopefully, before that kind of thing comes to pass, we will have developed workable and economical alternates to fossil fuels. But if we don't and access to that oil becomes a matter of national survival, then it will be there waiting to be used.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   3 days 3 hours ago

    "Because the obligation to restore abandoned sites is unclear, and restoration is likely to be expensive

    Like most the other objections in that report, this is not an uncorrectable problem. Yes, abandoned sites should be restored. That is the law certainly in CO and I would guess in most other states. It should be the law in Alaska. There is nothing special about the North Slope geography, topography, biology.... that makes that issue special.

    In fact, it would appear from this report, that restoration is required so your 2003 report may in fact not "be relevant today".

    http://dog.dnr.alaska.gov/ContactUs/Documents/DRR_ReportArccadis_2014112...

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   3 days 3 hours ago

    Thank you, dahkota, J, Jim, Rick and others. It appears that there really are readers out there who are able to decide for themselves the credibility of postings here.

    I still believe that if everyone put trolls on IGNORE, they would soon dry up and blow away. Their endless seeking to have the last word by twisting and distorting and demanding "proof" while setting up endless strawmen of their own is likely entirely driven by inflated egos that demand constant recognition and attention.

    If those cravings are not rewarded by people who attempt to reason with them, the rewards sought by the troll's continued efforts will dry up and they will hopefully turn their attention to other sources of amusement and ego-stroking on other websites.

    No amount of Alaskan oil -- or much of anything else, for that matter -- will satisfy one who feels compelled to try to feel that he or she has somehow beaten others at an endless game.

    IGNORE works, but it takes some self-control sometimes because a lot of their nonsense really can be amusing.

  • Montana Man Found Dead On Yellowstone National Park Ski Trail   3 days 3 hours ago

    Dakohta - given the list of deaths in NPs (which approaches 100 annually vs 16 in drilling accidents), I guess there is a substantially larger downside to National Parks than drilling. Perhaps we should shut them down.

  • President Obama Proposing Wilderness, Wild And Scenic River Designations For Arctic National Wildlife Refuge   3 days 3 hours ago

    My apologies for the length of the following - but it summarizes a 304-page report that is very germane to the topic at hand. (Emphasis, where added below, is mine.)

    Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska's North Slope ( 2003 )

    Despite the date, this information is very relevant today. The first 11 pages has a good summary. It offers some sobering reminders that the North Slope is an entirely different place than the Lower 48 in terms of the environment and the long-term impacts of oil and gas activity.

    A few excepts: Little has been done to restore developed sites once they have been abandoned by companies (less than 1% of disturbed areas restored.) "Because the obligation to restore abandoned sites is unclear, and restoration is likely to be expensive ... it unlikely that most disturbed habitat on the North Slope will be restored unless current constraints change dramatically. Because natural recovery in the Arctic is slow, the effects caused by abandoned and unrestored structures are likely to persist for centuries. They could accumulate further as new structures are added in the region."

    "All visual effects due to the structures and associated activities will persist as long as the structures remain, even if industrial activity ceases. They will accumulate with expanded activity. "

    "Industrial activity on the North Slope has grown from a single operational oil field at Prudhoe Bay to an industrial complex of developed oil fields and their interconnecting roads, pipelines, and power lines that stretches from the Alpine field in the west to Badami in the east....This network has grown incrementally as new fields have been explored and brought into production."

    [My comment: Is the above the likely fate of the Refuge if development were allowed?]

    "For many reasons, nearly all the roads, pads, pipelines, and other infrastructure are still in place and are likely to remain so for some time. The environmental effects of such structures are manifest not [only] at the "footprint" itself (the area physically covered by the structure) but also at distances that vary depending on the environmental component affected."

    " Effects on hydrologic processes, vegetation, and animal populations occur at distances up to a few miles from the physical footprint of a structure. Effects on wildland values—especially the visual ones—extend much farther... All visual effects due to the structures and associated activities will persist as long as the structures remain, even if industrial activity ceases. They will accumulate with expanded activity. "

    "The tundra of the North Slops has been altered by extensive off-road travel. Networks of seismic-exploration cover extensive areas.." New technology has reduced but not totally eliminated damage to the tundra.

    "Roads have had effects as far-reaching and complex as any physical components of the North Slope oil fields. In addition to their direct effects on the tundra, indirect effects are caused by dust, roadside flooding, thermokarst, and roadside snow accumulations."

    "Changes in surface conditions, such as disruption of the insulating organic mat or impoundment of surface water, can cause the surface to settle and create thermokarst." Those changes have many impacts, and may well be irreversible.

    There's plenty more in the report, but the above is sobering enough.