Recent comments

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 5 hours ago

    Beach, at most there has been a 10% decline in vistation since it's peak in 2002. You might attribute that to beach closures, but that's taking into a big consideration that all those 2 million people cared about the closures, or were bringing ORVs to the park, which is highly doubtful.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 6 hours ago

    Gary, these new beach closures started happening in 2003. Beach closures resulted in lower visitation which resulted in lower tourism business. These business's are located inside the park, not adjacent. Pretending these new NPS policies didn't have an impact is lunacy. So your math is different than mine because 2.6m is greater than 2.3m using my math, oh by the way 300,000 is less than 100,000.

    How is the Obama economy helping any park? I'd love to hear this...

  • Parks And Local Economies—Observations From Glacier National Park   4 days 6 hours ago

    Making a living in rural tourism based towns is tough slogging, NPs or otherwise, based on what I learned from hanging out with people from around lake Tahoe. Obviously, without the tourists, there'd be virtually no economy.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 6 hours ago

    I'm finding your stats a bit of a stretch over a 10 year cycle. Seems that it's held mostly steady and only fluctuated by 100,000 or so every year since 2004. And seriously, when all else fails, blame it on Obama. Classic. Since 2004, visitation has barely fluctuated beyond 5% at CHNS, with 2012 being the best year in that decade (oooh during Obama's tenure....oooh ohhhh). So, there was a 35% drop in business?

    Cape Hatteras Visitation by Year

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 7 hours ago

    All of these are ancient arguments from a century ago, originally advanced by the railroads and preservationists seeking an ecomomic rationale to save the parks. Remember Hetch Hetchy? Below are three of my favorite quotes, leading Chapter 5 of National Parks: The American Experience. I still like McFarland's best, and Kurt is the closest in sentiment to it now. Who cares what the parks "make?" Hell, if all of us were dead we couldn't spend a dime on anything. The quotes, then, and forgive me for what my publisher calls "shameless promotion."

    See Europe if You Will, but See America First.

    Soo Railroad Brochure, ca. 1910

    War with Switzerland!

    Mark Daniels, 1915

    The influence of [the national parks] is far beyond what is usually esteemed or usually considered. It has a relation to efficiency— the working efficiency of the people, to their health, and particularly to their patriotism—which would make the parks worth while, if there were not a cent of revenue in it, and if every visitor to the parks meant that the Government would have to pay a tax of $1 simply to get him there.

    J. Horace McFarland, 1916

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 7 hours ago

    Gary, nearly a 800,000 drop in visitation is considered barely? Must be that new progressive math... Also, the beach closures include no-walking, not just ORV access. You can't even walk to the most popular beach for the past 5 months.

    Kurt, I too don't believe all of that number is related to beach regs, just most of it, the dismal Obama economy had some impact as well.

  • Making Sense Out Of National Park Visitation Statistics   4 days 7 hours ago

    Jim Burnett does a good job of summarizing the difficulties of estimating NPS visitation. I agree that short-term flucuations in these numbers should not be used to justify budget reductions (or increases, for that matter) for specific units. However, I believe those sorts of logistical difficulties and fiscal pressures he describes introduce an overall bias towards overcounting. IMO, these "soft" and inflated visitation numbers are also a major factor in overestimating the economic impacts of NPS units.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 8 hours ago

    I'd be the first to agree that NPS numbers are soft...incredibly so.

    But to attribute a 35 percent decline in business to the beach regs seems high. It'd be interesting to see just how many days Highway 12 was closed, either due to hurricanes, or problems with the Bonner Bridge, each year since 2002.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 8 hours ago

    So visitation is barely down, but those visitors are spending 35% less because they can't drive a beach in some areas. Fascinating!

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 8 hours ago

    Again sorry, I meant a 35% decrease economicly since the new rule, not visitation. Though visitation has of course suffered, as they go hand-in-hand, 2.9m in 2002 and what is it now barely 2m.

    I believe the NPS purposely doesn't make accurate counts of visitation because of internal politics. At CHNSRA they use car counters, which includes every trash truck, service deliveries and residents working off island. It's simply impossible to rely on these numbers. Based on my experience and discussions with business's, the visitation is down and a direct result of the NPS actions. Spin it your way as you wish...

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 8 hours ago

    Beach, NPS shows 2003 visitation at 2.6 million, though 2002 was 2.9 million. Still, using your 35 percent figure, it doesn't work with 2002 figures compared to last year's 2.2 million. (35 percent of 2.9 million is a bit over 1 million)

    Nevertheless, how do you differentiate drops in visitation caused by NPS regs and that caused by hurricanes and Highway 12 washouts?

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 8 hours ago

    Sorry, I meant economic impact since the new rule. After 2003, estimated 2.8 million, the visitation dropped signigicantly corresponding with the NPS changes in management and beach closures. Visitation numbers have not recovered and probably never will unless the NPS changes. Business's once depended on the relationship with the NPS now loathe the NPS.

    I know your about to pull some stats from SELC propaganda how the "OBX" economy is improving, but those numbers are skewed by non-island numbers and changes in taxes, so don't bother...

  • Exploring The Parks: Oregon National Historic Trail In Wyoming   4 days 9 hours ago

    Yeah, James Reed of the Donner Party famously used a wagon that was too big and too heavy. At least he was lucky enought to live to regret it.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 9 hours ago

    NPS stats indicate visitation is only off 4 percent year-to-date through June. Where did you get the 35 percent figure, Beach?

    YTD 2014: 933932

    YTD 2013: 973,078

    https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/SSRSReports/Park%20Specific%20Reports/Monthly%20Public%20Use?Park=CAHA

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 9 hours ago

    At CHNSRA the NPS has recently changed policies have negatively impacted economic prosperity of the villages contained within the park. A 35+% decline has been mostly attributed to excessive beach closures. The recent changes include the most popular beach destinations are closed to ALL access during the prime tourism season resulting in dozens of businesses closing, layoffs, and more. The economic engine at CHNSRA has been broken and so has the promises of the NPS.

  • Essential Summer Guide '14: Mix Military History And Beach Time At Gulf Islands National Seashore   4 days 11 hours ago

    I suggest that you stay as close to the park that you can afford. The traffic in the summer is "challenging" but the park is beautiful.

    Danny Bernstein www.hikertohiker.com

  • Exploring The Parks: Oregon National Historic Trail In Wyoming   4 days 19 hours ago

    The Oregon National Historic Trail is not co-managed by the NPS and the BLM. The NPS is the administering agency charged with implementing the trail Comprehensive Management and Use plan in partnership with other agencies, landowners, states, and other partners. Management responsibility of any place on the trail resides with the owner of a site or segment of the trail. Thus BLM has complete management responsibility for all of the trail on BLM land. Two trails, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro NHT, and the Old Spanish NHT have actually been assigned to both the NPS and BLM as co-adminstrators. This has been somewhat successful for the Camino Real, but has been a disaster for the Old Spanish Trail as BLM cannot coordinate decision making and budget among the five separate states. While the NPS assigns the trail to a Superintendent with trailwide responsibility, the BLM assigns a lead person who is a low level employee who has no real decision making ability for the trail. Each BLM state director is independent of each other and the trail lead, who is currently in the Utah office. As a result, the Comprehenive Management and Use plan for the trail has not been finalized and sits without approval by the BLM.

  • Making Sense Out Of National Park Visitation Statistics   4 days 20 hours ago

    ec,

    GW Memorial Parkway is the admistrator for several small park units like Great Falls Park, Ft Hunt Park, Gravelly Point, Fort Marcy, Marine Corp Memorial etc. Looks like the traffic counters for recreation visits are on entrance/access roads from the GW Pkwy to those areas.

  • World War II Ordnance Found, Detonated At Cape Cod National Seashore   4 days 21 hours ago

    The State Police are lucky the thing did not blow up in their faces while they were handling the weapon!

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 22 hours ago

    Take back the tax breaks given to the oil companies and insurance companies and such,

    LOL Ignorance is bliss.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 23 hours ago

    I believe that it is a judge of a nation how much it invests in things that are worthwhile for themselves, with no tangible [dollarable] return.

    Well said, Rick. Better than my post above.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   4 days 23 hours ago

    I'm with Kurt. I'm an idealist. There are things that I believe in because they are the right thing to do. The National Parks are one of those things. I believe that it is a judge of a nation how much it invests in things that are worthwhile for themselves, with no tangible [dollarable] return.

    How to pay for them? Oh, there is a long list of ways. After taking care of every veteran, divert some of the money wasted on wars over the past couple of decades and spend it on the parks. Take back the tax breaks given to the oil companies and insurance companies and such, and spend it on the arts. Take back the tax free status of churches and spent the millions gained on feeding the poor and healing the sick and infirm. The parks, like kittens and butterflies, are their own excuse.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   5 days 30 min ago

    The parks do spend a lot of time showcasing the importance of ecology, protection of endangered plants and animals, and the value in preserved nature. I take it many here don't follow the various National Park pages on their social media pages, because that's 99% of their posts.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   5 days 30 min ago

    Eric, you even admit that you like to travel to National Parks. Nature is what people are seeking, and the National Parks are some of the best areas for nature in our country. There are also many that don't have great acess to natural areas near their homes. One of the reasons the Smokies region is so popular is that there is around 2 million acres of protected forest in the region from the Cohutta Wilderness up to Southern Virginia. It's one of the few spots, outside of the Everglades, and some may argue the Adirondacks where you can find anything considerable in size that is protected. After Orlando, DC, and NY, this area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Eastern US, and viewing pure nature is part of that draw. If these mountains were not protected like that, not many would travel here, as much. Southern West Virginia doesn't have much National Forest, nor a tourist industry, but the terrain is somewhat similar. It's a definite contrast between the two areas.

  • National Park Service Promotes Parks As Economic Engines   5 days 1 hour ago

    Justin, your post sums it up well. These places are INTERNATIONAL destinations. Without the designation of a National Park, they will not be on the map of most international tourists. Countries that have preserved large scale national parks like South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Peru, etc ARE in that ecotourism driven game because they have preserved nature that attract a certain breed of visitor. Some people in our country recongnize this. We are international community, and not just exactly a county, or a state anymore. It's an international community, and places like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Great Smokies, Kruger, Banff, Torres del Paine, Serengeti, Manu, Yellowstone can be held in the same breath.

    Time is short on this planet, so some of us don't plan on wasting those dollars chasing theme parks riding roller coasters. To me it's chasing National Parks, and experiencing some of the best that the Earth has to offer. That's what drives my tourist dollars. In fact next week, i'm off for a 2 week adventure doing just that in the Northern Rockies again. . . Not a theme park involved.