Recent comments

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   6 days 23 hours ago

    How exactly is the deal with Alder Fels different from the deal with AB? Why wasn't a waiver needed for that? Is this a problem because the product is beer rather than wine?

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   1 week 13 min ago

    I could not agree with you more Jim. I do not think we need to encourage the use of beer in our parks to attract a new generation of park visitors. Visitors come to our parks to enjoy the scenery and history. Let the drinkers go to Panama City Beach in Florida. I just wonder how this really bad idea got through the Director's staff. Isn't there anyone on his staff who can give him good advice?

    I would like to amend my original comment on this matter. When the Director wakes up to reality and resigns I hope that he takes everyone on his staff that signed on for this idea to go with him into retirement.

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   1 week 45 min ago

    Ugh! What's next on this slippery slope? Perhaps a 'partnership' with Harley-Davidson, 'The Official Motorcycle of the NPS Centennial':

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKFmc0oZXFI

    Here's my favorite example of a tasteful beer ad using a National Park as backdrop:

    http://hodala.cx/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/facebook+ainier.jpg

    I agree with Jim that expanding the Spring Break mentality into the parks with "epic" concerts will NOT make them (or Budweiser) more relevant:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-budweiser-became-the-king-of-beers-an...

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   1 week 49 min ago

    "We want to encourage a new generation of beer drinkers to get out there and see what America is made of," said Budweiser Vice President Brian Perkins in a press release. "And where better than in America's national parks?"

    Here's just one reason that is America's worst idea:

    Areas of Florida popular with the Spring Break crowd are regretting luring a "new generation of beer drinkers" to their area. Here's just one example: "The tourism council in Bay County, Florida voted Tuesday to spend more money on spring break security after a month of violence in Panama City Beach -- mostly fueled by alcohol."

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   1 week 2 hours ago

    Terrible idea.

    Rick

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 3 hours ago

    but that is just assuming.

    No Rick, it is not assuming. As my link demonstrated, corporations have been quite generous.

    http://www.nationalparks.org/about-us/our-partners

    And that is but one example.

  • Forest Service Opens Scoping Period For Development On South Rim Of Grand Canyon   1 week 3 hours ago

    What's more important?

    The Grand Canyon?

    Or a few million dollars in the pockets of a couple of politically powerful developers?

    We need to know exactly which elected state and Federal lawmakers are helping to push this effort forward. Unfortunately, they are very good at remaining hidden.

    As an aside, I watched part of an excellent PBS show last night about the role Dick Cavett's TV show played in bringing the Vietnam war to an end. It struck me that there are no longer any TV offerings that remotely resemble that one. Why? Could it be because a small number of powerful people have managed to purchase control of almost all our news and entertainment outlets and have diluted real news reporting to focus attention away from any investigative journalism or open and thoughtful discussion of pressing issues? Is that why so much of "news" now consists of reports of the latest gossip about celebrities. Is it because they know that if they can entertain the masses instead of informing them, they can more easily control any public opposition to whatever they are trying to push?

    Can you imagine the effect of having a major network program devoted to careful examination of not only this issue, but also air quality, climate change, preservation of our parks and a host of other sensitive issues the owners of our entertainment networks are invested in?

    If more Americans were somehow made aware of what is happening on the South Rim, I'll bet the outcry would be overwhelming.

    Now, how can we do that?

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   1 week 3 hours ago

    Although I think this is terrible, I'd hesitate to place all the blame entirely upon Jon Jarvis. Long experience has shown that there are almost always other powerful political pressures lurking in the shadows.

    One paragraph in the article above is particularly telling : "The document also noted that current NPS policy does "allow the acceptance of donations from producers of alcohol producers, and the NPF [National Park Foundation] has on its board the president and chief executive officer of Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P., the nation's largest distributor of AB products."

    Were there other pressures applied as well? Any from Congressional sources at behest of campaign contributors? Any from higher up in DOI? The foul smell of money is overwhelming here.

    Perhaps we need Paul Harvey to tell us the Rest of the Story.

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   1 week 4 hours ago

    This is a new low in the history of the National Park Service. Shame on you Director Jarvis. You have done enough damage to an agency we all love. Resign now and be gone before you do any more damage.

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 11 hours ago

    I don't think Kurt is denigrating one group - corporate - when he looks at the records and finds the friends groups with clear tracks and the corporate without. It's as simple as "what do you see?" - "I see X". One can assume that some folks get their income that they donate from corporations, and one can assume that some corporations donate around a corner, but that is just assuming.

    One could equally assume that corporations have gotten so good at hiding the convoluted ways that they make political donations and hide profits, and that they therefore follow the same tricks in making more benevolent donations.

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 12 hours ago

    Nice comment trailadvocate, I being one of them. Alfred, I agree that friends groups and philanthropic efforts in general have done much for the parks and other human efforts. However, I do not think corporate sponsors, friends groups, etc. should replace the basic responsibility of our elected officials in funding our public lands, our commons. Having been associated with corporate and large donor efforts, there is a downside also, as I know you are aware. As to the railroads, I share your enthusiasm to a point, they certainly helped build the country (with generous subsides in land and construction costs from dear old Uncle Sam), and aided the National Park system in its early years. In many of their other efforts, they were monopolies of the first order whose business practices contributed greatly to the first Republican Party (post President Lincoln) effort to create progressives reforms. I maybe wrong about all this, but our corporate business entities including our financial institutions are a little out of control in my view.

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 14 hours ago

    ...and the folks that are the mostly silent majority that enjoy and benefit from these wild places in more ways than some can imagine. The character strengthening of citizenry is a great benefit for everyone.

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 21 hours ago

    EC, No, I get your point, nor did I interpret it as "denigration" of the friends groups in any way. I just miss the old days when corporate philanthropy was more "visible," but I am sure that what you say is true. The friends groups themselves receive many contributions from corporations--and their executives and staff as individuals. Which is to remind us to send in our checks, and while we're at it, write a whopping check for Kurt! The parks have never had a better "friend."

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 1 day ago

    Alfred - I wasn't trying to denegrate the efforts of the friends groups in any way. They are quite valuable. I was just offended by Kurt's unjustified swipe at corporations who have been equally valuable contributors, directly or indirectly, to the parks.

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 1 day ago

    The point about the friends groups is their persistence; they work constantly on behalf of the parks. The Centennial? They know it to be important. But there is no reason for them to wait. If it needs doing, they will try to do it now.

    Since the railroad era, corporate philanthropy has turned "sporadic." I really miss the railroads this time around. But perhaps they will step up to the plate, and/or another John D. Rockefeller, Jr. will appear. They had class as well as money. It was a different time, and they also did it "silently." So EC also has a point. Do we know who the "silent" partners are today? Is Bill Gates giving and we don't know about it? Has Warren Buffett been having lunch in Omaha with Jon Jarvis? Is there a "big surprise" in the offing? If not, we owe an even greater debt to the friends groups for keeping the national park idea alive and well.

  • Op-Ed|NPS Ecological Mismanagement: By Design?   1 week 1 day ago

    "The Center for Biological Diversity is a pressure group, known for its underhanded tactics." And now, Sarah Rolph is a writer known for her ad hominem attacks. If she's trying to persuade readers to her way of thinking, this is a poor tractic.

  • Cost Of Enjoying Shenandoah National Park Going Up May 1   1 week 1 day ago

    I think the fee should go up to an even $100 per day. This will cut down on all of the congestion and wear and tear on the roads. Less people and cars and less impact on the park infrastructure.

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 1 day ago

    Kurt, the "not so much" dig at corporations was unnecessary. I am sure that if you looked into the donor base for your Park Partners, you would find ample examples of corporate support and more appropriately, individual donors that gained their wealth through corporate activities. And of course they donate outside these groups as well. For example:

    http://www.nationalparks.org/about-us/our-partners

  • President Obama Visiting Everglades National Park On Earth Day To Draw Attention To Climate Change   1 week 1 day ago

    In today's NPS Morning Report, we read about a Congressional hearing that will probably be chaired by Rob Bishop of Utah's First Congressional District:

    "On April 29th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold an oversight hearing on “Zero Accountability: The Consequences of Politically Driven Science.” The hearing will take place at 2:00 pm in Room 1334. The Department has not been asked to testify."

    How about another hearing to balance the equation? Zero Accountability: The Consequences of Corporate Profit Driven Science?

    This is the kind of pandering politcal posturing that drives many of us nuts as some of our lawmakers try to play to their bases and make sure their campaign contributors know they are still fighting for whatever special interest they represent.

  • Park Partners Invest Heavily In National Parks, Corporate America Not So Much   1 week 1 day ago

    Kudos to these organizations and their help with these projects. A look at the attached list shows that in many cases, the partner groups are covering far more than half the cost of the work.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   1 week 1 day ago

    Traveler's water bottles are made in the USA of recycled aluminum, not imported from China or some other off-shore manufacturer. And part of that $20 goes to help keep the ship afloat;-)

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   1 week 1 day ago

    Excuse me - Must not have got enough sleep last night. :)

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   1 week 1 day ago

    not $80.00 as some of you have asserted

    Just figured if you were buying a water bottle, you would want to buy Kurt's.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   1 week 1 day ago

    To paraphrase Virgil Earp in Tombstone; 'No one is saying you can't buy bottled water. You just can't buy bottled water in the National Parks.'

    I'm pretty sure the gateway communities are making bank in bottled water sales.

    It's far more cost effective to bring a reuseable bottle with you, or repurpose one of the used water bottles rolling around your vehicle. Otherwise you can buy a cheap reuseable water bottle from a park bookstore. Which you can get for about $3.99 a bottle, and no charge to fill it at a park water station. For those of you keeping track that's $15.96 total for a family of four (not $80.00 as some of you have asserted!). I hear Xanterra (@Grand Canyon) is making more cash selling cheap water bottles than they brought in from bottled water.

  • Bottled Water Industry Urges National Park Service To Permit Bottled-Water Sales In Parks   1 week 1 day ago

    Frank - they are banning the sale, not the possession so it isn't as Orwellian as you fear. However, it does show how meaningless the ban is.