Recent comments

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   1 week 3 days ago

    And we're talking about the low-lying fruit here, the ones who obviously are flunking their social IQ test. The problem is making an agency-wide, or even a park-wide, rule that can equally be fairly applied. I'm certain that there are within the same park people who simply step in a hole and snap their ankle, or take their hat off and have their bald pate attacked by birds, or whatever, and are simply unlucky. The question is where to draw the line on the grey areas between the two extremes.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   1 week 3 days ago

    It ought to be illegal, darnit. And the punishment should be the cost of the search and rescue team's time and equipment to rescue the person.

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   1 week 3 days ago

    If an ecologist were to request $20,000 for a serious study of genetic resistance to Asian blister rust infecting the subalpine whitebark and other five needle pines, chances are there would be little respect shown for that study by the NPS supervisors biased toward law enforcement, search & rescue.

    However, if a search and rescue operation required $20,000, approval would occur immediately even if the search ultimately failed as in the case of the 8-year old boy allegedly lost at Crater Lake NP near Cleedwood Cove (October 2006).

    It seems NPS's refusal to charge visitors for rescues hinges on a "command-control" acceptance to purge other accounts for priority rescues even when other worthy critical natural resource projects are expected to share the final total rescue costs.

    There are many incidents when visitors are clearly at fault, and yet the "general taxpayer" is expected to fund recklessness !

  • Ignoring Warning Signs Leads To Four Accidents In Four Days At Same Location In Yosemite National Park   1 week 3 days ago

    Seems like the NPS should start charging folks who get hurt when they've obviously ignored warning signs.

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 3 days ago

    Does anyone have a clue what was paid for this product ? Also ...we're wondering

    why a contest for creative proposals was not promoted as a solution to DISCOVER

    and SELECT a more imaginative LOGO ? Many PUBLICS would EMBRACE ?

  • National Park Service Will Again Try To Reuse Historic Buildings At Fort Hancock In Gateway National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    The Coast Guard may have threatened progress in the Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark with a recently "discovered" Hurricane Sandy Proposed Recapitalization Project to Rebuild USCG Station Sandy Hook. That plan includes substantial adverse effects in demolishing two contributing structures, and the construction of a new building which will overwhelm the Chem Lab/Schoolhouse, one of only two first order buildings in the District. Comments in response to the Draft Environmental assessment are due by August 30, but the local historic preservation community is just waking up to the threat. Although technical notice was given, none were aware, nor particpated to date in the Section 106 proceeding.

  • Monday Is Entrance-Fee Free Day Across The National Park System   1 week 3 days ago

    If you can't make it to Acadia or any other national park for the official fee-free days, check out our blog post for other discounts or ways to get in free:

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 4 days ago

    If the announcement was supposed to be a "secret", the NPS had the "loose lips." There was an article about it in the Aug. 21 Morning Report. Anyone with access to "" or "" would have been able to view the logo itself.


  • Trails I’ve Hiked: Castle Crest Wildflower Trail At Crater Lake National Park   1 week 4 days ago
    Castle Crest Wildflower Trail

    Crater Lake National Park

    Klamath County, OR

    Castle Crest Wildflower Trail is a 0.40-mile interpretive trail that loops around a meadow below Castle Crest Ridge. The site is located 0.25 miles east of Park Headquarters at Munson Valley. Originally built in 1929, the trail was created to provide visitor access to and interpretation of one of the most abundant wildflower displays in the park. The Castle Crest Wildflower Trail was not only connected to the early development of Crater Lake’s education program, it was also a local manifestation of a greater NPS educational movement.The period of significance of Castle Crest Wildflower Trail is 1929-1938, beginning with the date the trail was constructed, ending at the date the last major documented changes were made to its alignment. This landscape is associated with the events of early National Park Service educational program development of the 1920s and 1930s. It is an example of popular techniques used to interpret a park’s natural resources during this period, incorporating both a self-guided nature trail and a wildflower garden. The Castle Crest Wildflower Trail is significant as the first trail and wildflower garden planned, constructed, and used specifically for interpretational purposes as part of Crater Lake National Park’s educational program. The early development of this program was highly influenced by Dr. John C. Merriam, who was appointed in 1928 by the Secretary of the Interior to a committee to study educational possibilities of the national parks. From 1928 to 1945, Merriam developed the educational program at Crater Lake, using the park as experimental grounds. Merriam intended Crater Lake’s educational program to become an example for all parks to follow. Merriam established the interpretational foundations of the education program by determining the park’s interpretive theme: the processes of volcanism and its influence in the creation of the Crater Lake landscape. During this time, eleven nature trails were built specifically for interpretation purposes. These trails were differentiated from bridle trails and fire access trails in the park master plans. The Castle Crest Wildflower Trail was the first of these interpretative trails. Castle Crest Wildflower Trail, originally called the “Castle Crest Garden,” is also one example of the wild flower displays that were created in several national parks in the 1920s and 1930s. Wildflowers were typically displayed at the parks using two main techniques: 1) a cut flower display, labeled and maintained at the park’s museum, naturalist’s office, or lodge, or 2) a labeled wildflower garden. These wildflower gardens were usually created by either transplanting native flowers to a designed garden site or into an existing meadow to increase the density and variety of blooming plants. Alternatively, some wildflower gardens made use of existing meadows by simply adding paths. In all cases, the flora was labeled to facilitate plant identification by visitors. Crater Lake’s Castle Crest Wildflower Trail was one of the first wildflower gardens created in the national park service.The wildflower meadow or “garden," is bowl shaped – enclosed on the north and east by Castle Crest Ridge towering 2,000’ above, and on the south and west by low moraines. Five springs create moist conditions within the meadow that support a prolific wildflower community. The trail continues to follow its historic alignment and provide visitors an interpretive opportunity of the wildflower displays.

    Cultural Landscape Recommendations: Park Headquarters at Munson Valley, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

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    Natural features of the Castle Crest Wildflower Trail. No scale.

    "In order that visitors unable, through lack of time or physical strength, to visit all parts of the park may see and enjoy as many varieties as possible of the exquisite wild flowers that abound in out-of-the-way places, wildflower gardens have been constructed in several of the national parks."(1) Visitor accessibility was the incentive behind construction of the Castle Crest Wildflower Garden east of the Administrative plaza in 1929. Chief naturalist Ansel Hall (1923-1930), of the NPS Research and Education Branch, may have directed the layout of the .4 mile loop trail and organized the presentation of interpretive information. The trail contained at least 29 interpretive stops through an area of forest, swamp, wet-meadow, and grassy slope featuring native wildflower display and an occasional glimpse of wildlife through the spring and summer seasons. Boy Scouts constructed the trail and attached aluminum identification labels to plant materials adjacent to the trail.(2) At an approximate construction cost of $160.00, the unpaved trail featured five log bridges and four rustic benches.

    Park naturalist at the footpath access to the Castle Crest Wildflower Garden from the Administrative plaza, c.1930. (CRLA Park files)

    Establishment of the Castle Crest Wildflower Garden in 1929 may have been part of an NPS interpretive program to provide accessible and educational nature trails. Other gardens developed at this time include a garden at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley and an area adjacent to the Museum and Administration building at Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park. Both garden designs used transplanted materials from other areas in the parks to exhibit a "profuse" array of native flowers and to attract wildlife. In contrast, park records indicate that plant materials of the Castle Crest garden were not imported but are indigenous to the site. Trail construction and interpretive devices constitute the only design elements of the site.

    Research to-date suggests that the historical significance of the Castle Crest Trail is a designed landscape associated with NPS interpretive programs of the mid-1920s to mid-1930s, and the work of naturalist and forester Ansel F. Hall. Hall's NPS career (c.1920-1938) included terms as senior naturalist and chief forester, and chief of the Field Division. His vision for environmental education in national parks combined a deep feeling for youth and nature. Hall's "plans" were ready for implementation when the New Deal public works programs were formed. He brought private funds and public involvement to the parks as he developed the first museum association at Yosemite and organized Eagle Scout trips in park areas. Although further research is required to properly assess the historic contexts and significance of the Castle Crest Wildflower garden, the site possesses many of the design features and qualities from the original design. Additional field investigation is required to assess the site boundaries and the extent of historic materials present at the site.

    Suggested research topics include: Boy Scouts of America; history of interpretation in the National Park Service; and the history of accessible design, general and NPS.

  • Mystery Photo: Where In The National Park System Is This?   1 week 4 days ago

    Another thought, since Oregon's Crater Lake's landscape and flora are similar

    to Lassen Volcanic National Park, this photo may be taken near a trail or

    road at Califnornia's Lassen V.N.P. ? Conifer leaves/needles, lichens suggest

    true fir and pine, both common in the Cascadian montane zone. Lassen is ca.

    the southern boundary of the Cascades Mtns.

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 4 days ago

    The logos five months ago were not "centennial logos." They were new logos to increase people's association between NPS and NPF. All logos were created by Grey Advertising, contracted by NPF to do the entire marketing campaign that will have a phased rollout.

    I'm fascinated that the "big secret announcement on Wednesday was scooped by the traveler! This wasn't supposed to be public until Monday, Founders Day. You clearly have a inside mole, Kurt!

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 5 days ago

    Must agree Roger, really strikes by its lack of any inspiration. . It is the kind of sign you might see advertising for new employees, etc.

  • Park History: The Railroads And The National Parks   1 week 5 days ago

    How appropriate that a lecture series should be named in honor of Fern and J.L. Crawford.

    Those two both became part of the culture of Zion. It was a great privilege to have had an opportunity to get to know both of them.

  • Mystery Photo: Where In The National Park System Is This?   1 week 5 days ago

    Guessing Yosemite, is the dome in background....

  • Park History: The Railroads And The National Parks   1 week 5 days ago

    Wish I could be there!

  • Congressman Proposes Overhaul To Fee Programs On National Parks, Other Public Lands   1 week 5 days ago

    I think there should be more fee-free days to give people a chance to see what a national park can offer a family for a day of fun. It seems like a lot for a family that may be traveling in from out of state to pay for a car load of people and not know what to expect

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 5 days ago

    Here's a humorous pseudo-scientific analysis of bureaucracies from 'The Journal of Irreproducible Results':

    "The element, called Administrontium by its discoverers at California M and M University, is the heaviest element yet discovered by scientists. Created in their massive confusion reactor, the element has no protons or electrons and an atomic number of zero. However, it has one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice-neutrons and 111 assistant vice-neutrons giving it an atomic mass of 312. The higher level particles are held together by a continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons, while lower level particles are held together by peons. The absence of electrons precludes covalent or ionic bonding, but Administrontium has a different form of bonding, referred to by some California M and M workers as a sort of "old boy network" or male bonding..."

    "Squirmi explained that since Administrontium has no electrons it is chemically inert and has a normal half-life of approximately three years. However, Administrontium does not actually decay in three years, but undergoes a reorganization during which the assistant neutrons, vice-neutrons, and assistant vice-neutrons exchange places. He added that the atomic number may actually increase after each reorganization although scientists have never been able to find the additional neutrons but their presence can be inferred by an increase in mass and inertia..."

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 5 days ago

    Well, it's nothing to write home about, but it's better than a blind old owl.

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 5 days ago

    What is that green thing in the middle of the logo? How many people will be able to guess the right answer? It is hard not to despair.

  • Mystery Photo: Where In The National Park System Is This?   1 week 5 days ago

    My new guess is the sign says Mt. Triumph in North Cascades.

  • Mystery Photo: Where In The National Park System Is This?   1 week 5 days ago

    Looks like a scene familiar to those passionate about Crater Lake's Trails

    showing conifers colored with yellow-green lichen framed by volcanic stone work

    an Italian stone mason would be proud to exhibit !

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 5 days ago

    An AppropriateTime to Give Credit to Dr. Lawrence Peter for predicitng our Gross Disappointment in the 2016 NPS Centennial Logo promoted by high-ranking NPS Officials devoid of creative imaginations !... sigh...Amen !

    The Peter Principle is the principle that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence".

    It was formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book The Peter Principle, a humorous treatise which also introduced the "salutary science of hierarchiology", "inadvertently founded" by Peter. It holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their "level of incompetence"), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions. This principle can be modelled and has theoretical validity for simulations.[1] Peter's Corollary states that "in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out their duties" and adds that "work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence". Managing upward is the concept of a subordinate finding ways to subtly "manage" superiors in order to limit the damage that they end up doing.

    Contents Overview

    The Peter Principle is a special case of a ubiquitous observation: anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails. This is "The Generalized Peter Principle". It was observed by Dr. William R. Corcoran in his work on corrective action programs at nuclear power plants. He observed it applied to hardware, e.g., vacuum cleaners as aspirators, and administrative devices such as the "Safety Evaluations" used for managing change. There is much temptation to use what has worked before, even when it may exceed its effective scope. Dr. Peter observed this about humans.

    In an organizational structure, the Peter Principle's practical application allows assessment of the potential of an employee for a promotion based on performance in the current job; i.e., members of a hierarchical organization eventually are promoted to their highest level of competence, after which further promotion raises them to incompetence. That level is the employee's "level of incompetence" where the employee has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching their career's ceiling in an organization.

    The employee's incompetence is not necessarily exposed as a result of the higher-ranking position being more difficult — simply, that job is different from the job in which the employee previously excelled, and thus requires different work skills, which the employee may not possess. For example, a factory worker's excellence in their job can earn them promotion to manager, at which point the skills that earned them their promotion no longer apply to their job.

  • Mystery Photo: Where In The National Park System Is This?   1 week 5 days ago

    I have no idea but I will take a stab and say Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain NP.

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 5 days ago

    ditto that, tahoma. An ugly, empty arrowhead does seem reflective of the agency bureaucrats these days. Wonder how much they spent in taxpayer money to come up with such a loser.

  • National Park Service Releases Centennial Logo   1 week 5 days ago

    An empty arrowhead does seem a rather apt logo for our NPS management that ranks in the bottom sixth of federal employee satisfaction surveys and a bureaucracy that absorbs half the annual appropriation before it ever reaches the actual parks.