Recent comments

  • Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 5 days ago

    Because you are unable to answer any questions logically. Just like the NPS discrepancy with regard to implementation of backcountry fees across the system. Like your justifications, their rationale is all over the place with regard to these fees. When the NPS is bothered by questions from the public they are appointed to serve, they dismiss the questions or change the rationale.

  • Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    Two points, backpacker. One, I don't have to personally answer any questions to you or your satisfaction. Two, I told Kurt I'd stop wrestling in the mud with a few of you guys, and so have yourself a pleasant evening without my assistance.

  • Joshua Tree National Park Taking Comments On Proposed Trail   1 week 6 days ago

    Drove through Joshua last week. Can't say I was overly impressed. Looks like the drive from Vegas to Baker. I didn't do any hiking (dog restrictions) but I would say any interesting trails that could be added could only be a help.

  • Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    This thread is about NPS backcountry fees being rammed down peoples throats and the Smokies is a fine example of the genesis of that very thing. If they can offer an annual pass at Yellowstone, then they can offer an annual pass at other parks like the Smokies, BS fork and other NPS units. Why don't you answer that question instead of continually supporting the crooked upper echelon NPS bureaucrats who told us they couldn't allow an annual fee for backpacking and other such lies characteristic of the agency managers, Rick?

  • Northern Tier Senators Want A Little National Park Service Love   1 week 6 days ago

    Good question. And, here's some interesting language regarding at least one of these trails from the legislation these senators are seeking to "slightly amend": "No land or interest in land outside the exterior boundaries of any federally administered area may be acquired by the Federal Government for the trail except with the consent of the owner of the land or interest in land."

    Making a trail "part of the National Park System" involves a lot more than just tweaking the wording in an existing bill.

  • Northern Tier Senators Want A Little National Park Service Love   1 week 6 days ago

    Are these senators voting for more than enough money to fully fund our existing NPS units first? Enough more to provide funds for these trails?

  • Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    This thread has nothing to do with the Smokies.

  • Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    It would be more reasonable than the edict imposed in the Smokies.

  • Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    This seems to be a very reasonable fee structure, including the annual fee ceiling. I don't think it is prohibitive to anyone seeking to hike backcountry.

  • Polling Shows Most Westerners Approve Of Federal Land-Management Agencies, Oppose Giving Lands Over To The States   1 week 6 days ago

    I can see it now. Slowy states will sell off pieces of the National Parks until there is nothing left but private land. There will be no more family trips to places like Yellow Stone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon. All of those beautiful buffalo will be killed off by the new land owners. From someone who has visited those places, I'd like for them to be left as is so future generations can enjoy them as much as I have.

  • Fees For Backcountry Travelers Kicking In At Yellowstone National Park   1 week 6 days ago

    It's interesting how Yellowstone can offer an annual fee for folks capped at 25 bucks when we were told by Dale Ditmanson, chief moustache in the Smokies, that he wasn't able to make any concessions or changes in the backcountry fees and there would be no annual passes and he would not honor other national park passes.

    Seems as if each Supt has the latitude to make any concessions they want, contrary to what we were led to believe.

  • Rangers File Charges In Graffiti Vandalism At Gateway National Recreation Area   2 weeks 9 hours ago

    Hmm, wonder who they voted for last cycle?

  • Historic House At Valley Forge To Serve As Party Venue For Next Decade   2 weeks 16 hours ago

    Years ago, in 1971, to be exact, I was privileged to attend the 13th Annual Seminar for Historical Administrators held in Williamsburg, Virginia. Co-sponors of the six-week conference included Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Fellows stayed in the dorms of the College of William and Mary. I was in between my M.A. and Ph.D., as were most of my distinguished peers. It was an eye-opener in every respect, and yes, probably half of the conference dealt in some way with the issue here: How can we save historical properties unless we can make them pay?

    Every time we got "idealistic"--the public should want to pay--one of the faculty would rein us in. Well, here is what happened to such and such property using that argument. Now, are you sure you don't want to rethink that? Right next door, there was always Colonial Williamsburg to show us how history COULD pay. But yes. The streets had to be paved; mud and horse manure were out. Both may have been more "authentic," but the public would not pay for them. There was only so far "back" the public wished to go.

    Every time I read a story like this, I remind myself of my culture. We have saved far more by being smart about these things than those calling for "authenticity" wish to admit. We can just imagine those upcoming "events"--the weddings, bar mitzvahs, corporate conferences, etc., that seek out venues such as this.

    This is to bring us back to Harry Butowsky's op-ed the other day. Calling on us to reevaluate the system, this is what he means. If Congress expands the system without funding those new units, this is how the Park Service will wind up paying for them. Of course, I do hope we can avoid the weddings on Little Round Top, although I hear that the view and the parking are great.

  • Rangers File Charges In Graffiti Vandalism At Gateway National Recreation Area   2 weeks 1 day ago

    What's the news on that obnoxious "artist" girl who painted stuff on some of the western parks?

    If it was up to me, I'd offer to trade these cretins to ISIS for a couple of their prisoners.

  • Rangers File Charges In Graffiti Vandalism At Gateway National Recreation Area   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Hope the punishment is swift and severe. Zero tolerance and substantial deterence.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    There are some that pave the way to there retirement with "preferred alternatives" at the executive level. To think that temptation and altruism never cross paths and alter outcomes are a bit naive.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Scott - another consideration about this corporate thing is that there are various ways to invest which weigh social conscience as a major factor. If I chose to invest my money in various stocks, then I want it to go to the corporations which participate socially in a way I feel is socially responsible. These tend to benefit both ways - they return on ivestment finacially and they massage our conscience. That's how someone with opinions similar to mine, for example, would avoid investing in Monsanto and lean towards investing in Costco.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I keep wondering whatever happened to the idea that we are all shareholders in America. The slogan used to be for "God and Country." I don't recall corporations being any part of that, but perhaps someone can set me straight.

    Seriously, does anyone think this "new" America is going to survive? "Show me da money!" A funny line, but not how America used to think. Certainly, I don't recall that "Saving Private Ryan" begins with everyone making stock picks.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I do not agree that claiming religious rights has anything to do with increasing shareholder value

    To not be forced into paying for benefits - of any kind - could improve profitability which would increase shareholder value. But then, I am not aware of any public corporation that has tried to excercise a religious rights argument.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    EC - Fair points; I will concede that election funding could arguably be in the interest of shareholders. I do not agree that claiming religious rights has anything to do with increasing shareholder value. You are 100% correct about effective regulation. Thanks for making that distinction.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    They should not be allowed to be treated as a person; i.e. candidate election spending; refusing to comply with federal mandate for religious reasons (birth control). I'll accept EC's point, but you can't play both sides of the fence.

    I don't see that as two sides of a fence. Election funding and balking at unconstitutional mandates are both in the interest of their shareholders.

    This mentality necessitates more regulation.

    Regulation yes - effective regulation not "more" for the sake of more.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I forgot one very important piece. Back in the early 80s AB was trying to buy the second largest spring in Missouri - Greer Spring. They were going to use it for bottled water. After a lot of outcry from conservationists (which old newspaper articles referred to as a bunch of unreasonable "environmentalists" who just wanted to stand in the way of business), a local philanthropist worked out a deal with AB, Mark Twain NF, and federal legislators to buy the land while Congress passed a bill to add Greer to Mark Twain NF land, specifically to the Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River. AB and the philanthropist then gifted the land to US/us. It is a gift that keeps on giving, and people have long forgotten that those commie-environmentalists helped preserve it as such, along with the goodwill of the philanthropist and AB. AB did not get promotional advantages from their gift. And to this day, you can visit the area, which I HIGHLY recommend, and no where is there an ad or poster or anything that says: "brought to you by AB".

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I think EC's comments about corporations are interesting. I don't agree nor disagree with his statement about their purpose being very simple - generate money for shareholders. Nothing more, nothing less. I do have a few thoughts about it though.

    1) if this is truly the case, then we need more consistency. They should not be allowed to be treated as a person; i.e. candidate election spending; refusing to comply with federal mandate for religious reasons (birth control). I'll accept EC's point, but you can't play both sides of the fence.

    2) I will again today reference the fact that I live in the St. Louis area. Any St Louisian has to accept that Anheuser Busch was a major part of our lives. You can't imagine how much August Busch did for the city; much of it for promotion, but also much of it just because he wanted to. This is evidenced by how much InBev has pulled out all the stuff that was not there for profit. I am not saying it's right, nor wrong, but it is a fact. And while the Wonka-type corporate imperialism of Busch may have had problems, it did represent a sort of capitalism that is long gone and it did have a lot of really awesome things going on that are sorely missed.

    3) EC's point also makes it clear that we should never expect a corporation to practice ANY kind of conservation, or pollution control, or good waste management unless they feel they will lose money by not doing so. This mentality necessitates more regulation. You can't have a soulless borg running around devouring everything without ways to rein it in. And capitalism will not control it - that is an idealistic pipe dream. Advertising, lawyers, and hiding info will easily beat "people will just stop buying their product/service because they are mad at them."

    So make the corporations stick to being non-persons with a single goal, as simply defined by EC. But also recognize how much stands to be lost by losing that personhood. With work, the right people, and some luck, the old AB could have been convinced to give much more than 2.5 mil.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 2 days ago

    If you go on the website of the Association of National Park Rangers or their facebook page you will see no mention of this deal with Budweiser and no posting of these articles from NPT. But if some park superintendent is retiring or if some GS- 13 is moving into a GS-15 job they want to make sure the membership is well aware of that. It really shows how much that organization is in the tank for the current NPS leadership.

  • Traveler's View: Really, Aren't The National Parks Worth More Than $2.5 Million?   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Again,if the parks are up for sale (and they obviously are) then they should have at least gone to the highest bidder but this appears to be a backroom deal which is almost as disturbing as those who think AB is somehow promoting rape (it takes a troubled mind to make that connection). If anything, be troubled by the possibility that they might team up with Jay Z for concerts in the parks (check some of his song lyrics and I think you will find a better reason for outrage). And as much as AB would be overjoyed if they had the ability to get every melanial to rush out and buy a keg of bud because they are teaming up with the NPS I doubt we have to worry about an influx of intoxicated millennials playing beer pong on halfdome.