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Names Of Canyoneers Drowned At Zion National Park Released

Sep 18th - 10:38am | Doug Rich

A job well done by the rescuers from all the agencies.  A tragic incident for sure but at least the families have closure and all the parties have been recovered.

Fire Island National Seashore Officials Searching For How Best To Manage Breach

Sep 17th - 23:25pm | New old guy

Only a Fool would try to manage Mother Nature. !

Sep 17th - 06:53am | jan shannon

let it be mother nature is best at managing the earth and the needs for future generations. 

Body Of 7th Canyoneer Found At Zion National Park

Sep 17th - 22:55pm | Peyton Manning

can't expect the park to go after them just because a flash flood warning was issued 

Sep 17th - 19:16pm | Anonymous

Flash Flood Warning was issued at approx 2:00 PM, not at 9-10 AM.

Sep 17th - 15:48pm | BruinBelle

Permit was issued~7:30am, FlashFloodWarning issued~9-10am-FlashFlood occured~LateAfternoon/EarlyEvening; Knowing how deadly FlashFloods can be in the canyon, ParkAuthorities can certainly obtain an immediate helicopter warning in the afternoon hours?

Sep 17th - 14:45pm | Carol Barnes

Knowing how dangerous the slot canyons can be in AZ and UT .. I can't believe a tour compNy would take that chance. I know I never would, cuz death by drowning is my worst nightmare. When we were at Zion a few years ago, I climbed Angels Landing with no fear, but could only wade in the Virgin River till I was knee deep.

National Park management

Sep 17th - 22:06pm | Ray Bane

Thanks for the feedback, Mackie.  I definitely will try to get Binnewies book.  In re: to park GMPs and other plans being shelved, sadly I have to agree.  The Park Service is required to formulate plans - but it they are not required to implement them.

Sep 17th - 21:26pm | Nature Jane

There is a lot to chew on here, particularly in terms of reference over the decades. How do these definitions and guiding policies play out on the nps ground currently?

Sep 17th - 21:10pm | rmackie

Nice post Ray. My own limid experience with long term planning processes is that, after all the effort, they tend to get shelved. Yosemite's GMPs are a classic example. The politics behind these efforts are interesting, the best book I have read on the subject, at least for Yosemite, is "Your Yosemite" by Bob Binnewies. I think you would find it very interesting. 

Sep 17th - 18:26pm | Ray Bane

There are a host of guidelines that park managers can use when faced with the need to make a management decision.  Most have been referred to by other commenters.  However, of them all the park General Management Plan (GMP) should be at the top of the list.  Each park is required to produce a comprehensive GMP that is intended to be the prime management guideline.

Sep 15th - 22:28pm | rmackie

Thank you John, I agree. As David Brower once stated, National Parks are "nature centers, not profit centers". The NPS must come to terms both with daily automobile congestion in the major iconic parks and the neo-liberal management policies of its major concessionaires. In an excellent book recently published, "YOUR YOSEMITE", by Robert O.

Sep 15th - 15:30pm | John D Lemons

I had two mentors when I was a seasonal ranger stationed in Tuolumne Meadows. One was William R. Jones, who was then Assistant Park Naturalist, and the other was Dr. Carl Sharsmith who worked for the NPS for over 60 years. My talks with Bill Jones often would take place sitting on some rocks by the Tuolumne River, or perhaps perched on one of the peaks surrounding the meadows.

Update 3: Flash Floods Kill At Least Six In Zion National Park, One Missing

Sep 17th - 15:05pm | ray schwartz

This group was already in the canyon when a flash flood warning led park officials to announce they were closing their canyons. By that time, park officials say, there was no way to alert them to the violent floodwaters coming their way

Sep 16th - 16:55pm | Bryan

ugh, this so sad.  We just hiked near it two weeks ago.  A little rain came, which freightened everyone with good reason.  The water really has nothing to stop it and drains right in.  May they rip.

Sep 16th - 16:24pm | Megaera

The trouble with flash floods is the word "flash."  My heart goes out to the families of the people who died.

Sep 16th - 15:31pm | wild places

Sounds like it is up to 6 dead now with one still missing..... what a tragedy. This is from the Salt Lake Tribune (hope it is ok to post info from another site).

Sep 16th - 13:54pm | wild places

Very sad. I've never witnessed a flash flood in a canyon but hope if I ever do it's from the top. As someone who doesn't live in canyon country it is hard to grasp that a 1/2 inch of rain can be so deadly.

How To Make The National Park Service Centennial A Happy Birthday

Sep 17th - 11:37am | Rebecca Latson ...

I'm all for Lee Dalton's suggestion of respecting the parks and those who staff it.  I wonder how many people actually stop and think about that.  I try to pick up after others, but I admit to forgetting about thanking those people who clean up after *me* as well as others, and who are there to provide assistance and information.

Sep 16th - 02:17am | Ray Bane

Well said!  

Sep 15th - 19:55pm | Ray Bane

The reference to ORV use in Big Cypress Nat. Preserve is, unfortunately, all-too-common in other national parks, particularly those in Alaska.  Virtually every national park unit in Alaska experiences impacts from ORVs, including designated wilderness lands.  The modern four wheeler and other ORV variations became widely used in rural Alaska during the late 1970s and early 80s.

Sep 15th - 18:51pm | wild places

This is what would make 2016 bettter for me. That the NPS finally understands that more is not always better. As in more revenue, more visitors, more employees, more buildings, more conveniences and more parking lots do nothing to enhance the parks.

Sep 14th - 21:15pm | Rick B.

Agreed, Lee. I was inclined to add a suggestion as to "make it a happy birthday by guaranteeing adequate funding", but then I realized the Step Zero before making that Step One. Step Zero is simple - everyone here knows in their heart if their Congresscritter is a true friend of the parks. If s/he is not, please vote someone else in?

Sep 14th - 21:10pm | Lee Dalton

How about just RESPECTING our parks.  Take your litter home or dispose of it properly.  Spend some time picking up litter left by a few lazy slobs or simply careless people.    Leave your campsite a little better than it was before you arrived.  Pick up trash along the trail.  (Left back pants pocket makes a good temporary litter bag)

Sep 14th - 17:50pm | ecbuck

Christmas ornaments can be interpreted as supporting religious groups and do not belong as sales items in parks. Don't worry Kathy, I don't think Kurt intends for the NPS to make you buy one.  

Sep 14th - 15:15pm | Kathy Dimont

Big Cypress enabling legislation promised to continue traditional uses. The preserve was set aside more to protect the Everglades than as a free standing national park area. That it was given to the NPS rather than to an agency less bent on preservation was probably an error.

Sep 14th - 09:55am | Rick Smith

Some great suggestions here, Kurt.  I particularly like the ones about Big Cypress, Biscayne, and improving the work environment of the NPS.  This last one is long overdue. 

Sep 13th - 14:59pm | Acadia on my mind

One early birthday wish we'd add for Acadia National Park, which is also celebrating its Centennial in 2016: Get designated as an International Dark Sky Park, as Canyonlands and other national parks already have been.

Life Buoyed By The National Parks

Sep 16th - 20:15pm | Anonymous

Deepest sympathies for the loss of your friend.

Creature Feature: The Common Raven is an Uncommonly Intelligent Bird

Sep 16th - 18:51pm | Annie Haines

Gary, thankyou so much for your account - are my eyes watering a tad? You are indeed blessed *) . I've recently started a tentative interaction with an adult pair whose nest is in a tree not far from my CBD-edge apartment balcony (Melbourne, Aust.).

Photography In The National Parks: A Cloudy Day In The Park Can Be A Photographer’s Dream…With The Right Filters

Sep 16th - 16:04pm | Smeisy

Thanks !  Good stuff

Why Your Call To Paradise Went Unanswered...

Sep 16th - 09:10am | Don J

Might have to resort to soup cans and string.

Photography In The National Parks: Your Armchair Guide To Arches National Park – Part 1

Sep 16th - 06:03am | Rebecca Latson ...

Thanks for the nice words, everybody!  I'm so glad that these guides may prove helpful to you.  Amarillobymorning, you made me laugh with your comment.

Sep 15th - 22:02pm | Lee Dalton

My last three attempts to get to Arches have met with defeat and forced cancellations.  I sure hope it works better next spring.  In the meantime, many thanks for some tantalizing glimpses of what I've been missing.

Sep 15th - 21:34pm | Rick B.

What nice work.

Sep 15th - 21:08pm | Amarillobymorning

So much better than the ones that show wonderful photo sites and then mention in passing that you have to rapell down a cliff or crawl through a cave to get there! Not all of us can outclimb a mountain goat! Please keep these coming.

Sep 15th - 19:08pm | Judy Miracle

thank you for this!  Delicate Arch proved too much for me so I am especially enjoying your pictures and photo advice.  Next visit will be even more exciting!

Remembering Flight 93 Through A New Visitor Center

Sep 15th - 22:20pm | Carolyn Martin

May their souls Rest In Peace

Hiker's Death At Grand Canyon Possibly Tied To Lightning Strike

Sep 15th - 18:32pm | wo;d places

Some of my most terrifying esperiences have been being caught in exposed terrain during a sudden and unexpected lightening storm. My sympathies to the family and friends.

Sep 14th - 20:09pm | Lee Dalton

Does anyone know how many deaths have occurred so far this year at Grand Canyon?

What pressing problems face the NPS that the public is not aware of?

Sep 15th - 17:26pm | Nature Jane

Thanks, Kurt, I'll find it. Are there any other on the ground resource issues or initiatives that seem either particularly thorny or promising?

Sep 14th - 08:09am | Kurt Repanshek

Good question, Nature Jane, very good question. Some years ago Interior, under Dirk Kempthorne I believe, put out a list of infrastructure woes that was quite alarming. It'd be great to see a new list and see how many of the old concerns were resolved.

Treasure Your National Park Visits With A Photo Album From Shutterfly

Sep 15th - 09:32am | Lynn

Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast.  

Reader Survey Day: Should Appalachian Trail Be Rerouted Away From Katahdin?

Sep 15th - 05:24am | The Chief

I love how the modern response to issues seems to be the equivolent of sticking our tongues out saying "nah-nah-nah, you can't use it, you can't use it"  Grow up park director.

Rock Falls Close Curry Village Lodgings in Yosemite National Park

Sep 14th - 19:15pm | nathan

I was there, i was a 6th grader on a class trip. I saw my cabin get crushed seconds after i left it. ill never forget the sound it made. Nature is awesome

Xanterra Parks & Resorts Retains Concessions On Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim

Sep 14th - 16:31pm | NormH

Yes they do need to get compensated but if the NPS had been smart, and not driven by greed to get additional revenues outside of congress, I believe it might have been possible to negotiate a deal where the cost of any infrastructure investments would have offset the franchise fee it was obligated to pay.

Sep 14th - 08:54am | ecbuck

The concessionaire needs to be compensated for his investment, otherwise, there will be no investment. That compensation will either have to come from the NPS through lower concession fees or direct buydowns, or from the new concessionaire.  I think where the current process is flawed is in the LSI calculation.

Sep 14th - 00:04am | Norm H.

Yes it will be $100 mil lower but in 15 years Xanterra will likely build up many 10s of millions more in LSI.  Just $5 million per year in investment will put the LSI sell over $100 million next time around and $10 million/year would put the LSI over $200 million.

Hillsides And Hollows Of Color

Sep 14th - 05:42am | Shelia Belcher

Beautiful photos.

Exploring The Parks: Musings From The Needles District In Canyonlands National Park

Sep 13th - 18:22pm | Les Hovland

We were  there in 2005 and had a great time, Tracy and Gary are wonderful folks. It's a total shame the State has closed them down.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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