You are here

All Recent Comments

David Rockefeller, Benefactor Of Acadia National Park, Passes At 101

Mar 22nd - 08:33am | justinh

I'm impressed by Rockefeller's sensibility when overseeing the construction of the carriage roads of Acadia NP: winding a road around a tree to preserve it rather than uproot it, using native stones to construct bridges, etc.  Wonderful legacy.

UPDATED: Price Of Senior Pass Going To $80; Buy It Now For $10

Mar 22nd - 08:29am | Ranger1

Not quite true-Must be US citizen or permanent resident alien

Mar 21st - 23:15pm | Fred

You need to call ahead if you want to buy a Senior Pass in person. Not every National Park Service site sells them. My local national park, Minute Man National Park in Massachusetts, doesn't sell them now.

Drive Under Way In Colorado To Gain License Plate Honoring Rocky Mountain National Park

Mar 22nd - 08:21am | ecbuck

Shouldn't be hard to get approved.  CO has dozens of specialty plates although most require annual donations of $50-100.  NP plate holders will be getting off cheap.  

Mar 21st - 21:40pm | LR

Love the idea! Just a few  thoughts, wouldn't  columbines be a more appropriate flower? And what about the other Colorado parks? Could they all be on one plate ?  Anyway, love the idea.   Thanks  

National Parks Continue To See Gains From Growing Popularity Of Camping

Mar 21st - 20:23pm | ecbuck

But Rick, these folks know best how you should be camping.  You know, tolerance, as long as you do it my way.  

Mar 21st - 19:48pm | Rick Werth

Seems unfortunate and not at all helpful to anything that the National Parks stands for and that are owned by all of us that Mr. Scott defines his camping as the only real camping. We camped for many years in tents, tent trailers and now travel in a motorhome volunteering with state parks and federal agencies.

Mar 21st - 16:04pm | Scott Johnson

Donald and Rick - The report includes data about all types of campers. According to results, 60 percent primarily camped in tents, with 22 percent in RVs and 17 percent in cabins.

Mar 21st - 14:39pm | Rick B.

I have to agree with Mr Scott, above. I read a headline about 'camping' and then saw an RV and wondered about the image choice.

Mar 21st - 12:46pm | Donald Scott

Are we talking campers?  Or, as the photo indicates, RV turtles who carry their shells with them?   I don't equate RVs with camping.  If more turtles are infesting NPS campgrounds, social capital declines, small violations of the dog law increase, and there's less room for family tent campers who can't afford those massive turtle shells.  Fortunately, many NPS campgroun

Millions Found Their Park In 2016, And Now Park Staff Are Struggling To Manage Them

Mar 21st - 19:02pm | ecbuck

 If I am saying you are right twice, you ought to head to Vegas.  You're not that far away. In a couple of weeks.  But more for the people watching and food than the gambling.

Mar 21st - 18:39pm | Mike S

As an Arizona resident, I avoid the western national parks & find freedom from crowds in National Forests & National Monuments.

Mar 18th - 11:03am | Steve Nelson

Ottoman, where did you go and at what times of year? Ec, you were right about the hiring freeze being lifted for the seasonals and should have stuck to that.  You were also right that we don't know the final budget for the NPS (on another thread).  If I am saying you are right twice, you ought to head to Vegas.  You're not that far away.

Mar 16th - 21:19pm | ecbuck

 American's are born in America, "True Americans" are born in America believe in the Constitutionand the principles of the founding fathers.  A single payer system would be a disaster just as the VA has proven to be.  

Painting The National Parks With Wildflowers

Mar 21st - 18:24pm | Buffalo Patty

Let the wildflower season begin!!!

Inspector General: National Park Service Lacks Sound Oversight Of Funds Donated to Cooperating Associations

Mar 21st - 18:04pm | Gene S.

I would think that those associations would be classified as 501(3) Charitable Organizations and subject to IRS oversight. If not, it should be a requirement. Their filings would be public record through their Form 990. Anyone who would be on their trustee board would be personally responsible for any improprieties.

Mar 20th - 20:01pm | wild places

Wow, unbelievable that an organization the size of NPS doesn't have better controls. Perhaps that maintenance backlog isn't nearly as large as they think.

Fire Burning In Big Cypress National Preserve Covers More Than 3,000 Acres

Mar 21st - 16:28pm | Margaret S.

Yes, block the oil rigs.

Mar 20th - 21:28pm | Rick B.

Prompting some closures? Like perhaps the oil rigs?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Considering Solar Power For Cades Cove

Mar 21st - 10:40am | Gil Hough

Depending on how the deal is structured it  could cost nothing or even save money.  If for instance the park is simply agreeing to buy the power off the solar array if a company builds it to their requirement at the same rate they are already paying the local utility.  Then it cost nothing.  This is very common on larger scale system financing. 

Park Service Struggling To Find Concessionaire For Mammoth Cave National Park

Mar 20th - 13:22pm | Dave & Linda Lester

We celebrated our 32nd anniversary this past weekend only to find the hotel was torn down. We honeymooned there in 1985. Still had a good day, took a tour and had lunch. Very sad to see it go.

Scofflaws Piloting Drones In The National Park System

Mar 20th - 12:02pm | Rick B.

Luke...   You say; "Just becuase this is a new industry and you don't personally enjoy it, dosen't mean you should tell people they can't do it. This is the land of the free, where your suppose to have the right to do what you want. You think walking on these trails in national parks don't disturb wildlife?"

Mar 20th - 10:56am | argalite

jmk84 has a chip on his/her shoulder.  Why can't all these people just follow the law?  I don't mtn bike in the Wilderness of Point Reyes because of the law, though it makes no sense to me, and they should follow the law as well. 

Mar 19th - 21:20pm | trailadvocate

Drones appear also at Grand Canyon National park.  Hey, they can fly them if they launch outside the park just like the commercial air tours that are highly restrictive the routes they can fly.  I mentioned the rules to one drone pilot (politely) and he got kind of snarky.  I went on with my group I was guiding to a very special spot.

Mar 19th - 14:15pm | ecbuck

Anon - you can carry in a National Park but you cannot shoot at will and certainly not at bottles.  

Mar 19th - 12:36pm | Luke

jmk84 hit the nail on the head. Ilove the outdoors, I love the national parks. I understand they can disturb the wildlife. I have talked to state park rangers about this. They have given me live time information about places where I would disturb wildlife that needs protection and places that are less likely to impact scecies that need protecting.

Traveler's View: Let's Not Derail Our National Parks Movement

Mar 19th - 18:31pm | justinh

Nice Op-Ed.  (As usual.)

Mar 19th - 13:45pm | Rick B.

Really not a flattering comparison.

Senior Pass Price Won't Jump To $80 Until October 1

Mar 18th - 21:00pm | K Bishop

the pass you have is good for your lifetime. Just don't loose it or you will probably have to pay the $80 to replace

Mar 17th - 16:23pm | tomp2

Lisa-- If you don't already have one, you can buy a lifetime pass.  Period.  Same as before, just $80 instead of $10 starting Oct 1 2017. Or, if you can't afford or don't want to spend the $80 price of the lifetime pass, you can buy an annual senior pass for $20, then buy another annual pass the next year after your first one expires.  

Mar 17th - 15:13pm | Laura B.

No, it is a lifetime pass. 

President's Budget Proposal Viewed As Overly Harsh For National Parks

Mar 18th - 17:42pm | ecbuck

The gas tax monies aren't limited to the interstates.  The states get those monies for state and even county roads as well.  In Colorado almost the entire DOT budget comes from federal gas taxes, state gase taxes or fees and taxes on car registration.  In fact, the gas tax is probably the closest we have of a program funded directly by the users.

Mar 18th - 17:13pm | Michael Kellett


Mar 18th - 17:11pm | Michael Kellett

Hi ec,

Mar 18th - 15:32pm | ecbuck

Saying that all parks should be funded from fees is like saying that all freeways should be toll roads. Actually, they indirectly are.  The freeways are primarily paid for by gas taxes.  So the ones that use them, other than the all electric cars, are paying for them.

Mar 18th - 15:12pm | Michael Kellett

Doesn't it seem fair that shortfalls for funding parks and park programs should come from those who benefit?  Taxpaters, including many who never step foot into a park in a particular year, are funding parks with tax dollars. All Americans benefit from national parks. It goes way beyond just recreation.

Mar 18th - 11:52am | Rick B.

Dear Pffftttttfffftttt:  

Mar 18th - 11:13am | Steve Nelson

You are right, ec, that we don't know the exact amount of the NPS budget right now, but it doesn't look too good.  Even thought it sounds like Congress will reject the big chops everywhere, the presidential budget often acts as a baseline.  And with attendance increasing (see another thread) the NPS needs more money to handle the visitors.

Mar 17th - 17:28pm | ecbuck

Looks good to me, Lee.  

Mar 17th - 14:31pm | Lee Dalton

Esteemed Comrade, here is a link to the actual Drumpfian budget: Here are a few gems of specificity clipped from it:

Mar 17th - 12:05pm | RickyAZ

psst:  Air traffic control is privatized in Canada and the UK. Don't fly over that airspace!!!

Mar 17th - 10:54am | wild places

Rick Gallagher, I agree with your view of user fees except as a regular reader of the traveler it would appear to me that the NPS has in many cases already Far surpassed the $5 you mention in the last year and like business everywhere found new ways to charge people. Things like a fee to watch the sunrise for instance and fees to walk on a frozen lake.

Mar 17th - 08:59am | ecbuck

Lee - read the Constitution, it is the role of Congress, specificially the House, to come up with the specifics and actual numbers.  But then, maybe it is Rick that is making up the budget since he claims to know the numbers.   And contrary to your claim, I would say Trumps proposals contain quite a bit of specifics.

Mar 17th - 00:19am | Mary Zoen

Nope years of sequestration and grid lock from our lovely Congress.  Republicans own this. 

Mar 16th - 22:41pm | Lee Dalton

I just took a look at the Drumpf "budget" proposal.  It contains little more than his campaign talking points and very little in the way of specifics or actual numbers. He's tossing the bouncing ball to Congress.  Whatever happens will be their fault and not his.  Nice way to dodge, Donald.

Mar 16th - 21:26pm | ecbuck

And of course Rick has yet to provide us with the NPS budget for 2018, yet without hesitations he proclaims "This budget is a disaster for our National Parks"  He has no idea what the budget is but makes the unequovical claim that it is a disaster for the parks.  Typical baseless accusation.

Looking For A National Park To Explore? Check Out These Candidates

Mar 17th - 23:27pm | anon

What a great collection of parks and stories. Thanks for this, Trav.

Yellowstone Officials Proposing To Add Temporary Parking Lot To Handle Crowds

Mar 17th - 20:40pm | [email protected]

The better alternative is to limit personal vehicles and provide shuttle access  vs  allowing NPS superintendents to "Build more Monuments to their EGOS" while the Taxpayer Publics cannot even sustain increased funding to maintain existing road and bridge improvements.

Mar 17th - 14:08pm | Lee Dalton

No, no, no, no and ABSOULUTELY NO! Let me add language that Der Drumpf might understand:  NYET!

Public Comment Period Extended On Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan For North Cascades

Mar 16th - 22:10pm | justinh

We seem to have been "play[ing] God" with grizzlies for quite a while:

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

Recent Forum Comments