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Op-Ed| The National Park System: Why It Should Continue To Grow

Aug 10th - 15:10pm | Alfred Runte

When Marjory Stoneman Douglas dared to dream Everglades National Park, the population of Florida was 1 million. Now what is it? 20 million. When John Muir dared to dream Yosemite National Park, the population of the state was 1 million. Now what is it? 38 million. This is to explain why the national parks are generally high country--or dry country. And why there are so few parks in the East.

Aug 10th - 14:55pm | Harryb3570

We all want to be dreamers but sometimes it is necessary to face reality. I believe the NPS should continue to grow but in a SLOW and thoughtful manner. We do not need a park of the week or a park to mark every minor event in American History. The NPS is too large and cannot be managed with the funds and staff we now have. Asking Congress for more money will not work.

Aug 10th - 14:54pm | Anonymous

There is much to do. Consider the case of the Marin Headlands and Golden Gate NRA. Google "Thomas Frouge" and "Marincello" sometime. Those people who were committed to right a wrong well underway, instead of "simply dreaming", saved something worth saving. There are initiatives worthy of macroeffort, and ones worth our microefforts. It is not an "either / or" proposition, Dr. Runte.

Aug 10th - 13:14pm | Rick Smith

We are dreamers, Dr. Runte. I doubt we would have saved what we have now if dreamers such as Marjorie

Aug 10th - 11:30am | Alfred Runte

Everything said here is true, and unfortunately impossible to reverse. We are today a country of 325 million people, quickly headed for 125 million more. Do you think any national park park system can withstand that? Do you think better attention to "diversity" will make a difference?

Aug 10th - 08:41am | ecbuck

"The international standard for conservation of terrestrial and inland waters is 17 percent. A recent estimate puts the current U.S. total at 7 percent. The maritime and coastal area standard of 10 percent is even further from being achieved. "

UPDATED: Grizzly Possibly Tied To Attack On Yellowstone National Park Hiker Captured

Aug 10th - 14:08pm | nancy

Please do NOT euthanize! and I surely hope you have the cubs...this is so tragic in so many ways.....

Night Skies And History At Dinosaur National Monument

Aug 10th - 08:01am | Kurt Repanshek

Owen, it is great to see so many night sky programs popping up around the park system. We've borrowed on that theme for the cover of our fall guide to the parks, which comes out this coming weekend. I think you'll love it.

Aug 9th - 18:21pm | Owen Hoffman

I am thrilled to see the night sky featured at so many of our national park areas, encouraging park visitors to stay out after dark and look up.

Grizzly Bear Attacked, Ate, Hiker Who Died In Yellowstone National Park

Aug 9th - 21:15pm | Suzy

Very sorry to hear this. We were hiking in Glacier Park, Mt and encountered a grizzly. Very scary moment. I am not a bear expert but I believe the reason they would have to put the bear down is because it may seek humans as its food source.

Aug 9th - 12:26pm | m13cli@yahoo.com

http://www.salon.com/2015/08/02/the_real_grizzly_man_no_one_knows_brown_...

Aug 9th - 10:07am | Anonymous

You have not a clue what happened... Please stop until you know the facts

Aug 9th - 01:21am | Ray Bane

A truly sad incident. The victim's family and friends are obviously in shock and grief. It sounds like this was simply a combination of circumstances that ended badly. A sow with offspring is dynamite with a short fuse.

Aug 8th - 23:55pm | Dick

Too bad he wasn't packing heat. This incident is a stern reminder that hikers need to be suitably armed when traversing grizzly country.

Aug 8th - 23:00pm | Elizabeth Creely

Please don't kill the bear.

Aug 8th - 20:47pm | Anyone

I hope none of your family members are killed by a bear, you might have a different opinion then.

Aug 8th - 20:36pm | Judith Hausmann

I love Yellowstone, but this is bear country, their home!, i love to hike, and in doing so i must respect nature. Prayers to all the family & friends, but this was a chance we all take when out in the country that wild animals call HOME.

Aug 8th - 20:10pm | Anonymous

The problem with bears is they will continue to return to where they found previously, so further hikers beware. You are future delicacies for the bears palate.

Aug 8th - 18:31pm | Shines46

I don't believe in punishing this bear. Man is invading its turf!!! If she had a cub she was just protecting it...

Aug 8th - 17:08pm | Random Walker

"If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies' territory, we must accept that the grizzlies, from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers." ~ Edward Abbey

Fatal Fall from Angels Landing in Zion National Park

Aug 9th - 03:32am | Hammer

Observation Point is a great hike in and of itself. It is actually higher than Angels Landing. It has heights, but they are on one side at a time. The pathway is about four feet wide which is much more manageable than Angels Landing.

Katmai National Park Moves To Ban Bicycles From Valley Of 10,000 Smokes

Aug 9th - 01:11am | Ray Bane

Back in the mid 80s Katmai was faced with this same. A group of mountain bikers asked for permission to ride the road to the Valley of 10K Smokes and then descend onto the ash field. I said no. Anyone riding a bike on the road could set off a chase by a bear. The crust on the ash fields in the Valley of !0K Smokes are vulnerable to shredding by bike tires.

Aug 8th - 22:29pm | Libation

That is BS: bikes erode the landscape much more quickly and dramatically than foot traffic. I've seen this on trails previously closed to biking that were then opened up to mountain biking. Within a couple of years these trails, once narrow and covered with plants at the edges, had become converted to wide, bare troughs. Ugly!

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

Aug 8th - 16:20pm | Alfred Runte

One of these days, I imagine we will call this the thread that wouldn't die. Nor should it, because this is the discussion the nation needs to have. Just this morning in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, we find the columnist Holman Jenkins talking about Tesla, which he alleges to be "a compliance company. Don't take our word for it. Mr.

Aug 8th - 14:36pm | ecbuck

I wouldn't if it were fact. Problem for you is, it isn't fact.

Aug 8th - 12:42pm | Anonymous

Oh, Eric. Don't let the fact of a strong consensus stand in the way of your denial.

Aug 8th - 11:54am | ecbuck

"to show the strong consensus that exists" There is not "strong consensus" it is pure fabrication by the "true believers" just like the numbers they make up to justify their stance.

Aug 8th - 10:36am | Owen Hoffman

Alfred, a brief search of the internet will reveal lots of discussion on the link between human-caused global climate change and overpopulation. See as an example: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/population-growth-climate-change/

Aug 8th - 08:01am | ecbuck

"That was not true 55 years ago when I first moved into this area." That's interesting since LA smog peaked in the 40s and 50s and has been abating ever since. Wonder where it is coming from.

Aug 7th - 23:36pm | rmackie

Alfred, I agree, but I think it is stretch not to include fossil fuels as a contributor. Here in the Sierra Foothills after every weather front moves through, you can get on a local Peak, 5000 feet or above, and during the progress of the first clear day, see the smog line starting on I-5, moving to Highway 99 and into the foothills.

Aug 7th - 11:04am | Alfred Runte

Personally, I continue to wait for the latest scientific information that human-caused overpopulation--leading to the destruction of coastal wetlands, rainforests, deserts, farmlands, etc., etc.--is itself the root cause of global warming. But again, I'm not holding my breath on that one, because that is not PC. Rather, we have to turn the United States of America into another industrial slum.

Aug 6th - 19:39pm | ecbuck

Latests? This is the same garbage that has been debunked for years.

Aug 6th - 14:29pm | Owen Hoffman

http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/ The latest from NASA and 18 other scientific organizations about the reality of human-caused climate change.

Be Bear Aware If You're Heading To Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Or Yosemite National Parks

Aug 8th - 12:11pm | Rick

How about:" here bear bear.. nice boy!' (smile)

Bison 5, Humans 0 At Yellowstone National Park

Aug 8th - 09:37am | Rick Smith

In the early 60's when I was a seasonal ranger in YELL, I was driving on road patrol and came upon a massive bear jam. While getting out of the patrol car to see if I could get traffic moving again, I saw something that horrified me. A couple was spreading jam on their young daughter's face so that they could get a photo of it.

Aug 8th - 08:31am | Read and Follow...

Read and Follow the Warnings

National Park Service Officials Disavow Scathing Report On Effigy Mounds Desecration

Aug 7th - 19:47pm | Anonymous

Patty Trap has been an unmitigated disaster during her tenure at the Midwest Regional Office. She was acting Regional Director for a year. During that time there were between 12 and 15 superintendent positions vacant. She only filled a couple of these, while allowing the parks to languish under temporary leadership.

Aug 7th - 10:28am | SmokiesBackpacker

I'm gratified to see that other people are taking note of the crooked leadership of Jon Jarvis. What he has done to the NPS is change the culture from one of trusted public servants to that of money grubbing, retribution oriented, boot licking lackeys and anyone who dares question him is discredited by an army of nameless NPS sycophants.

Aug 6th - 10:55am | Ghost of Steven...

Although the initial violations took place many years ago, many of the violations occurred under the current director. More importantly, the point of the article is how contemporary NPS managers (this week) "disavowed" its own "Serious Mismanagement Report." They only acknowledged it when it was leaked by concerned NPS employees to watchdog groups.

Aug 6th - 07:04am | Anonymous

Director in place when this happened is gone, regional director, deputy regional director in place when this happened is gone, superintendent in place when this happened is gone. Which pike?

Aug 5th - 22:47pm | Anonymous

This started a decade before Jarvis was even in office. The past 5+ years have been dealing with the aftermath. Get your timelines straight.

Camping In The Parks: Big Creek Campground At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Aug 7th - 15:58pm | TallyL

How hard is it to get a site? Have people had trouble with it filling up early?

Falcon Nesting Done, Trails In Acadia National Park Open To Hikers

Aug 7th - 13:30pm | Acadia on my mind

The comeback of peregrine falcons in Acadia National Park is quite an environmental success story. This year there were 7 peregrine falcon chicks that fledged.

Touring Cliff Palace At Mesa Verde National Park

Aug 6th - 17:03pm | Christiane Thaxton

When my husband and I visited many years ago we had to use a fallen tree to get to the cliff side.It looks like a lot was rebuilt or added and I do not think that that would be a good thing.It should have stayed as it was discovered.It is a very magic place and now I think it has lost some of the magic because of the alterations.

Aug 6th - 13:14pm | Tom Lorig

What is with the hat that the ranger is wearing? Is it something that has been recently approved to go with the uniform? I was under the impression that for tours such as this one, only the flat hats were approved?

Aug 6th - 13:10pm | Dennis P. Lima

We just visited Mesa Verde and did the Cliff Palace tour this past Independence Day weekend. Our 6 year old son enjoyed it very much. Highly recommended.

NPS Joins International Slave Wrecks Project

Aug 6th - 13:51pm | wild places

Perhaps I was too hasty in saying this doesn't belong in the NPS. After re-reading I am not sure exactly what role or to what extent the NPS is involved. What troubled me initially is it sounded like they were in the shipwreck search, recovery, restoration and training business all the way from St. Croix to South Africa and everywhere in-between.

Mishaps And Missteps In Yellowstone National Park Claim One, Injure Others

Aug 6th - 08:14am | Shepsl Topaz

It strikes me that there just may be far too few park rangers to monitor the hordes of people who visit. That's a function of federal funding, and unfortunately the view by many legislators is that if it's not making gobs of money for some company, it's funding that can be skimped on. Penny wise and pound foolish.

Rocky Mountain National Park's Decision Not To Use Wolves To Reduce Elk Upheld By Appellate Court

Aug 6th - 01:00am | Sue Hamber

I just visited Rocky Mt. Nat'l Park for the first time and came away disappointed. For all its majesty, something was missing: wolves. In their place, there are fences all over the park to keep elk out of riparian areas. I felt like I was on a ranch instead of a great national park that embraced the natural order of things.

Musings From Fort Vancouver National Historic Site: A Hodgepodge Of History

Aug 5th - 23:14pm | Julia

I find it interesting that so many of your articles question whether or not national parks - including Hagerman Fossil Beds and Minidoka, in addition to Fort Vancouver - should be administered by the National Park Service.

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