Recent comments

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   6 days 1 sec 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   6 days 40 min 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   6 days 41 min 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   6 days 44 min 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?   6 days 1 hour 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   6 days 1 hour 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   6 days 2 hours 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.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Avoid Those Bison (And Other Wildlife) Jams   6 days 3 hours ago

    I spent a few days in Yellowstone, and I used to take the Bison jams as a minor annoyance, but that was when I could easily get to the park. I was just out there on Sunday in Hayden Valley, and boy was that fun watching not only bison enganging in the rut, but also the tourists. A ranger was at one of the jams, but he wasn't using a PA or an airhorn. Just keeping people from getting gored or stomped by a bull defending his territory. I didn't mind sitting in a bison jam, or even being a part of that experience this time around. Just seeing real bison again was a treat in itself. And the bison and even elk population looks very healthy this year. I have never seen so many bison in the park.

  • Parks Can Provide Great Viewing Platforms For Night Sky Events Like A Super Moon   6 days 3 hours ago

    And yet another fine shot of last Monday's Supermoon - this one from Yellowstone - is found at this link:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/yellowstonenps/14896831645/

  • Reader Participation Day: How Much Should The National Park Service Rely On Volunteers?   6 days 3 hours ago

    No, the NPS should not come to the point where it has to rely on volunteers to keep operating.

    Volunteers can, and do, provide some wonderful service to the parks and visitors but they should never replace professional employees. (I don't think that is permitted by law -- but that doesn't mean it's not happening.)

    Training and supervision of volunteers can become a serious drain on park personnel and budgets if it's allowed to get out of hand. Any use of volunteers should be examined with an eye toward costs and benefits.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Structure User Fees For The National Parks?   6 days 4 hours ago

    Some have stated that the fees now are a bargain. Really? My oldest daughter is 18 years old, an adult. She makes $8.25/hr. How could she afford to pay entrance fees + tiered fees for activities? Are the National Parks only for citizens and people whom can afford to get in?

    How affordable should we expect the parks to be? I am not sure what your situation was when you were 18 but I remember mine and that of my friends. We couldn’t afford the gas or a car reliable enough to take a trip to visit the parks much less the lodging or camping gear needed to stay. We felt lucky if we could pay for food clothes and shelter at that age. I don’t have the latest figures but am guessing the portion of your daughter’s taxes that go to the parks is pretty miniscule.

    I do agree we don’t need luxury in the woods (although that was an early part of our parks if I recall correctly) and that we should work to keep them as affordable as possible but what is affordable would be a whole other topic (and a very spirited debate I am sure).

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   6 days 4 hours ago

    " The NPS gives more sway to consessionaires than stakeholders. That is the problem. The NPS forgot who their real stakeholders are. Dollar signs. Follow the dollar signs."

    This from someone who habitually complains about the most miniscule of fees, like $2 for a roundtrip shuttle ride to see the fireflies. Sorry, but if your grand conspiracy theory is that the NPC is concerned with nothing but maximizing the profit potential of the National Parks, they sure are doing a terrible job at it.

  • Survey Shows Visitors Would Support Higher Entrance Fees To See Yellowstone National Park Bears   6 days 5 hours ago

    Then you simply climb the wrong mountains. Other than using gas to get the trailhead, and maybe buying some food for the trip, you can easily climb in the west, and mostly for free.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   6 days 17 hours ago

    Ethelred,

    No one believes that their input has any sway with the NPS. Public comments are a prime example. There are several examples of times when the NPS has wholescale ignored public input at multiple NPS units. And that isn't just locals or folks who moved into NPS units and make a living off of them by guiding or providing concessions in that unit. The NPS gives more sway to consessionaires than stakeholders. That is the problem. The NPS forgot who their real stakeholders are. Dollar signs. Follow the dollar signs.

  • Exploring The Parks: General Washington's Headquarters At Morristown   6 days 20 hours ago

    Thanks, Kurt, for the interpretation of Morristown NHP, the first national historical park in the National Park System. Its original congressional sponsor was the father of the current Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (a family with generals and US Senators going back to the Revolution, and one of the Senators actually was the VP running mate for Henry Clay when they ran against Polk. Had they won, American would be a very different place. But, back to the founder of the park, he also expanded wildlife refuges, something his son has also done. The park in its way helps commemorate the great intensity of Revolutionary War activity in New Jersey (i heard at a park service workshop for their revolutionary war heritage area that surrounds the park that half of the engagements of that War happened in NJ)

    In addition to the significance of the cold that no one reading your article will forget, a notable thing the park reveals is the most significant thing about George Washington's military success. Although many like to talk about his dreary record in the battles he fought, his great skill was proccupying the English while preserving his Army and remaining enticingly just out of the clutches of the King's Army. He used the SAME just-out-of-reach strategy at Valley Forge and at West Point, but New Jersey was the ultimate. Washingon used the geography and landscape of New Jersey brilliantly. Morristown sits on the ridge, the fall line, exactly where the ancient techtonic plates of Africa and North America once broke in two, and as a result, in the flatlands below and all around, those great swamp lands that many years later became those National Wildlife Refuges. On the other side to the East, New York Harbor and the King's Army and Navy. Americans regularly bushwacked any small party of English or their Hessian allies who tried to probe into New Jersey, and sending in any larger force would deplete English resources while the Americans could always dance away before the English arrived. Washington kept this up until the French signed on and trapped the English Army at Yorktown. Washington was not just hunkered down, it was a fairly aggressive strategy that one. If he could preserve his Army long enough he figured eventually the English would have to quit and he would win. Years later the Confederate Army in the Civil War tried something similar -- it did not work because the North had Lincoln. But the English had George III.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   6 days 20 hours ago

    Thank you, Ethelred, for your reasoned comments.

    But can I make a correction? Everyone has a say in how the park is managed. You don't have to live locally to give your input on a management plan. They are all posted on the web, deep within the bowels of the website that is mentioned in the article.

    So please give your input.

    Danny www.hikertohiker.com

  • 20th Annual Telethon To Support Great Smoky Mountains National Park Coming Thursday   6 days 20 hours ago

    The telephon is one way that Friends of the Smokies raises money.

    But you don't have to be "local" and watch the telephon to donate and help the park. After all, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a national park.

    Danny www.hikertohiker.com

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   6 days 21 hours ago

    I think the idea has merrit but with that said it brings questions about cost to impliment. Will you have to build some access points and portage points around waterfalls and dangerous parts of a river? Will you have to install signage of approaching pull out points and dangerous portions of river. Sometimes time of year or rainfall upstream can change the speed and difficulty of a river. Will this cause lawsuits against the NPS when someone is hurt if packrafting is permitted? Will there be limits to numbers on a river? I am sure with a three year study they could answer some of those questions. My reaction would be open rivers a few at a time for packrafting and as Lee said proceed with caution.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   6 days 21 hours ago

    "The more the federal government regulates land that they call "theirs" the better the argument for local control of public lands."

    These parks are owned by the federal government. That means they are owned by ALL Americans, not just the small population that lives nearby to them. That population is obviously affected by what goes on in the parks, which is why they get a say in how they're managed. But the parks are not theirs. They are owned by and for the use of all Americans, and people travel from all over the country to make use of our parks there. Local control of these parks makes absolutely no sense.

    "Local control means that these bureaucrats are answerable to someone, unlike the NPS who answers to no one but themselves with no oversight. Please create an NPS oversight committee NOW."

    Local control might make the bureaucrats more answerable to someone, but it'd make them more answerable to the wrong someone. At any rate, there is oversight of the National Park Service in both the House and the Senate even if there is not a committee specifically named the National Park Service Oversight Committee. If you feel your congressional representatives are not doing a good enough job in providing their appropriate oversight, feel free to give them a call.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   1 week 23 min ago

    Wise words from Roger Siglin.

    Again, my mantra, Whatever we do, use extreme caution.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   1 week 32 min ago

    I've never driven an ORV, and have enjoyed beaches for over 60 years now. I have a feeling that there are enough other people who could make a similar statement sufficient to populate the beaches many thousand times over.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   1 week 2 hours ago

    No beachdumb I don't know that at all.They only thing that significantly slows busness down is access on and off the island. I don't like calling people liars but do think you are so caught up in the ORV hysteria that you have tunnel vision. If the road and OI bridge stay sound everything indicates the economy for Hatteras Island in 2014 is going to be excellent.

    The majority of the americian people don't want their national seashores beaches turned into parking lots. I have peronally witnessed that transformation take place here because of past management. If you don't understand what I mean by that you are not being truthful.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   1 week 2 hours ago

    I have floated and kayaked many rivers and have used packrafts. On any river trip females with baby ducks will often be seen swimming rapidly away or attempting to hide on the rivers edge. Other times it will be adults during their flightless stagedoing the same thing. Beaver will often be heard slapping the water with their tails and submerging. Ducks and geese resting on the banks will slip into the water and fly or swim rapidly away. Larger animals such as bison and elk will move away from the banks. Animals flee the presence of fishermen but they are relatively slow moving and do not force individual animals to move very far.

    Packrafting may start out on a relatively small scale but with time and publicity will become a steady stream on many rivers. Once well established other boaters will question why they can't join the fun and inevitibly commercial operators will want permits.

    There are many examples in National Parks where river runners have driven away much of the wildlife and destroyed the beauty of an otherwise spectacular view. Once established the NPS will be politically unable to resist the demands by commercial and individual users. Like the mountain bikers, the river runners will never be satisfied with anything less than access whenever and wherever they want it, legally or illegally.

    The proposed legislation would give the NPS 3 years to study the issue, but research on the impacts on wildlife will take much more time and will involve looking at rivers already open to boaters and trying to figure out what impacts that has had on wildlife.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Structure User Fees For The National Parks?   1 week 3 hours ago

    But Cooke City is also the entrance (or exit, depending on which way you are traveling) to Beartooth Highway. That alone accounts for probably a majority of its summer traffic. It also is a good part of the town's winter traffic, because there is a lot of snowmobile use of the Beartooth.

  • The Best Of Glacier National Park   1 week 4 hours ago

    "If it isn't God's backyard, then he certainly lives nearby." Attributed to Robin Williams, on Glacier National Park, where part of What Dreams May Come was filmed.