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Reader Participation Day: Would You Support A Reservation System For Visiting National Parks?

Jun 10th - 13:48pm | Lee Dalton

I love the campground reservation system through Recreation.gov.  It's very comforting to know that I'll have a place to lay my little head when I arrive.  And I don't have to pull into a park in the wee hours hoping I'll find an open campsite.  I've actually had to cancel reservations twice and even that has worked very well.  There's a $10 charge to cancel, but the balance of the reservation

Jun 10th - 13:46pm | SmokiesBackpacker

sure.  Anything to help the NPS and goold ole Canadian based Recreation.govBut only if there are fees to do so.  Perhaps the NPS should consider charging people to use the parks. 

Jun 10th - 11:08am | rmackie

In my own view of the issue, I have found that reservation systems work quite well. It can be offset with holding some back for first come first serve or no shows. Recent experience both at the Washington Monument and Mammoth Cave were very well done.

Jun 10th - 09:17am | ecbuck

Demand based pricing would be far easier and less expensive to implement and would spread usage to periods of lesser demand.

Jun 10th - 08:41am | Lee Dalton

Yes.It may be the only viable answer to a terribly difficult problem.

Jun 10th - 08:40am | ecbuck

There are so many open questions here it is hard to provide a definitive answer.   Will their be reservation fees?  What's the penalty for not showing up?  Will a reservation be required or just an option to get you to the front of the line?

Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response

Jun 10th - 13:44pm | beachdumb

NASA has known for 25 years that satellite data is more accurate than surface data, but it gives the wrong political answer so they continue to ignore it. Why would the US space agency trust satellites?

Jun 10th - 13:27pm | beachdumb

Have some people simply picked graphs that appeared to agree with their belief without fully understanding what the graphs actually portray?

Jun 10th - 12:56pm | ecbuck

those who live in the west need to face the fact that "human activity" is a major factor in the current water problems: demand for water exceeds supply in sections of the country that are arid in the best of times.

Jun 10th - 12:46pm | Jim Burnett

Two sources cited above say water woes in the west are due to a combination of inadequate supply due and increased demand."It's important to note that California's drought, while extreme, is not an uncommon occurrence for the state . . .multiyear droughts appear regularly in the state's climate record, and it's a safe bet that a similar event will happen again . . ."

Jun 10th - 08:38am | beachdumb

While I have a hard time trusting much out of the NOAA these days, I do agree with their common sense analysis of the normal cyclical drought in California. 

Jun 10th - 08:36am | Lee Dalton

Going back and exploring further in the woodfortrees website, I found that it may be possible to cherry pick almost anything you want to try to prove a preconceived agenda.  But a little digging found this information.  Quoting now:

Jun 10th - 08:32am | ecbuck

Gary, the issues in Arizona and California are much more related to consumption than to supply.See page two:  http://www.westernresourceadvocates.org/water/WaterReportDrewBeckwith111... as an example.

Jun 10th - 07:21am | NPT Editors

(Post from Volunteer moderator). A reminder that the guidelines for site courtesy still apply even if Kurt is away today. Thanks.

Jun 10th - 06:14am | Gary Wilson

Trail, it's far from a diversion.  Anyone that works in the system and is out in the field all the time can see changes almost daily.  If you think Arizona isn't faced with climate change factors, especially in relation to water, then you have your head buried deep in the sand.  Fact is that global warming is as serious of a threat to arizona as nuclear war.  It is also true the climate is alwa

Jun 10th - 06:03am | NPT Editors

(Reply from volunteer moderator) Kurt has been off-line for a few days, gathering some information for future stories, and hopefully getting a little break from the relentless job of keeping this site going 24/7. I anticipate he'll be back by tomorrow. 

Jun 10th - 00:52am | trailadvocate

Yep, GW ( Global Warming not George W. ) is so much more of a threat to the Parks than Iran, ISIS, China, a Nuclear Middle East, Baltimore, war on cops etc.  Just another little diversion.  Almost as good as the Kardashians but with a little intellectual air:).  Sorry, things have gotten so much like a Rod Serling episode.  Where is Kurt BTW? 

Jun 9th - 23:42pm | rmackie

Beach, thank you for posting the website for RSS. I did access the RSS site and did some other minor research on this company. I agree it is a reputable concern headed by Dr. James Wertz, an MIT graduate. The company is a contractor to NASA and to the Commerce department.

Jun 9th - 23:02pm | Rick B.

Colorful, but so were most of the light shows I saw in the 60's. Of course, I've had 47 years to sober up since then.

Jun 9th - 22:29pm | beachdumb

NASA/NOAA surface temperature data is massively diverging from more accurate satellite data. I challenge any you to refute this.

Jun 9th - 22:28pm | Gary Wilson

And then we wonder why Americans are becoming a society of dumbed down idiots void of math and science, and seemingly stuck on stupid.  Yep, the earth is cooling.  BWAHAHAHAHA.. Here's a link for you beach...  I take it you were part of the study.

Jun 9th - 22:26pm | Lee Dalton

Semi intelligent seems to be the key word here.  However, thanks for providing some entertainment.

Jun 9th - 22:17pm | beachdumb

The "data" is from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) is a world leader in processing and analyzing microwave data collected by satellite microwave sensors. Their mission is to provide research-quality geophysical data to the global scientific community. http://www.remss.com

Jun 9th - 21:25pm | Lee Dalton

Here is a link to the source of beach's "data."Yup.  Looks real reliable, doesn't it?I especially enjoyed this line from the bottom of the page: "I welcome constructive suggestions of new algorithms or datasets I could add, and in particular help from experts if I've got any of the maths badly wrong (which is quite possible)."

Jun 9th - 20:57pm | beachdumb

NOAA’s latest temperature adjustments, using the identical technique on satellite data. 

Jun 9th - 20:52pm | beachdumb

Reality, there is no hiatus, temperatures are dropping and Earth is entering a cooling period. 

Jun 9th - 20:46pm | Rick B.

Appreciate the link Owen. 

Jun 9th - 20:33pm | rmackie

Thanks Owen.

Jun 9th - 20:00pm | ecbuck

details about its future projectionsHistorically the projections have been nothing but wrong and you call it a treasure trove?

Jun 9th - 19:11pm | Owen Hoffman

http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2293/NASA has just released its data and details about its future projections based onmultiple competing climate models. This is a major resource and treasure trove of scientific information. 

Impetus For Current Move To Raise Fees Across National Park System Dates Back More Than A Decade

Jun 9th - 20:32pm | RodF

SmokiesBackpacker wrote "NPS employees like fees, the public doesn't. Since the NPS are kings and queens who rule in their fiefdoms without oversight, taxpayers get fees and unlimited fee increases."

Jun 9th - 11:34am | Lee Dalton

Jun 9th - 11:32am | Lee Dalton

Here's a thought for all the folks hollering that they pay taxes to support the parks so they shouldn't be expected to pay any additional fees.The national parks receive something like  0.001 percent of the national budget.What did you pay in income tax last years?Take that number and multiply it by 0.001.What do you get?

Jun 9th - 00:05am | SmokiesBackpacker

So in summary, Maegera,NPS employees like fees, the public doesn't.  Since the NPS are kings and queens who rule in their fiefdoms without oversight, taxpayers get fees and unlimited fee increases.  Just like Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir intended.  Public lands are for concessionaires and those that pay them well.  It is capitalism on the backs of taxpayers.

Jun 8th - 21:30pm | Lee Dalton

Actually, we all might be very surprised at how many of our tax dollars do wind up going to amusement parks and other private operations.  How many local governments provide tax breaks or special deals of some kind to those money makers because the money doesn't stop at the gate.  People who attend the parks spend money in town.  Just as people who visit national parks spend money in nearby tow

Jun 8th - 19:33pm | Megaera

This entire article just makes me angry.  Are the national parks just for the elite?  For a lot of us, those fee hikes *can* make the difference between going to the parks or not, yet my tax dollars are supposedly going to fund something I probably won't be able to afford to visit because the fees are too high.  I don't see any of my tax dollars going to Disneyland.  That's the difference.  It'

Jun 8th - 14:11pm | wild places

Thanks Kurt for shedding some light on the process. What is missing from the explanation is what the consultant’s original task was some 15 years ago? What was the goal in reviewing fees? To maximize revenue, keep the parks as affordable as possible or to compete with Disney theme parks? 

Jun 8th - 14:09pm | ecbuck

There wasn't much information included in the story about that study, so it's not clear to me what was lacking in that one.I would say not including an analysis of what higher fees would do to behavior was a major shortfall of the first study.  In fact, one must wonder what it was they did study if that was excluded. 

Jun 8th - 13:50pm | J.Thomas

ec - Not a problem, but I'm not sure what you meant when you said "The study should have been done right the first time." There wasn't much information included in the story about that study, so it's not clear to me what was lacking in that one.

Your Yosemite, A Threatened Public Treasure

Jun 9th - 12:42pm | rmackie

Kurt, thank you for the post on the Bob Binnewies book, just excellent. I think Bob wanted to focus on the people of the park, I am ordering his book today. He was an outstanding Park Superintendent, very good hearted, highly intelligent, dedicated to both the visitor and the park resource.  It was was a pleasure to work for him.

Jun 8th - 19:29pm | Megaera

The real problem with Yosemite is that it's within a day trip of far too many people, and within an overnight of far too many more.  I don't see there's much to be done about the fact that the nine-mile valley is being "loved" to death, unfortunately.

Maine's Second Congressional District Favors National Park For North Woods

Jun 9th - 12:41pm | chimani

@MegaeraSimilar to Baxter State Park which sits right next to the proposed new national park, it would have an endowment created to help maintain the park so as to not impact the otherall budget of the park service. 

Higher Fees Coming To Muir Woods National Monument

Jun 8th - 20:17pm | ecbuck

Never undisclosed.Which makes your denial of an affiliation even more perplexing.I'm not going anywhere and certainly not at your direction.

Jun 8th - 18:52pm | Rick B.

My publicly available bio on NPT for the past five years: "Rick B. is a 60+ year old retired nurse, thoroughly enjoying the freedom of retirement. His wife is a museum curator for the NPS. ..." Never undisclosed. Moving on, as directed.

Jun 8th - 17:03pm | NPT Editors

 [From the Traveler's volunteer moderator] Okay, folks, enough. The topic of this story is Muir Woods. If you want to discuss it in a civil manner, that's fine. Otherwise, move along. 

Jun 8th - 16:59pm | ecbuck

Unless your only instinct is to immediately argue against something just because I said it, find another thing to complain about.

Jun 8th - 16:00pm | Rick B.

I figure your command of other facts is similar to your . .. guessing attack about my employment. I'm a retired nurse, collecting Social Security and a small corporate pension. I have never worked for the NPS in my life.I did not attack that the ballot box was stuffed - I wondered about the possibility. It happens on campaigns of all sorts on every side of issues.

Jun 8th - 15:05pm | SmokiesBackpacker

You park service employees are incredible, Rick and Lee.

Jun 8th - 14:08pm | Rick B.

Eric...My comment was about the method of mass opinion-making, not the side it is deployed upon. I think any of that stuff creates a false picture. Unless your only instinct is to immediately argue against something just because I said it, find another thing to complain about.

Jun 8th - 13:18pm | ecbuck

And one always has to wonder how many 'written comments' are mass generated identical postcards and organized cut-and-paste letter campaigns, versus individual citizens on their own generated comments.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide