Recent comments

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   5 days 21 hours ago

    I have a family, and I work in a NP, and view myself as a transient, even if i've been at the job for a little more than a few years. At any time something can shift and change, and which point i'll move on and adapt. All jobs are transient, and to think that a life time long term position should be granted to restaurant and hotel employees is not exactly a smart managerial decision.

    I get that the Grand Canyon has water issues, and that developing towns and cities to support the infrastructure is not exactly feasible. But on the same token, I would like national parks to remain more off the grid, than on them. That's why they are special places, and if anyone hikes more than 10 miles off into the canyon, they should know what they are getting into, and not need to rely on a xantera employee for expertise.

    Anytime I ever go into the desert, I carry my own water and food. It' just how I operate. It's nice that those amentities can be there, but it's not a necessity.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   5 days 21 hours ago

    No, lifelong jobs shouldn't be granted to anyone. I don't think anyone said that, I know I didn't. There is a middle ground between jobs for life and complete chaos. The lifelong jobs are one of the biggest problems within the NPS. But clearing a bunch of people out at random, or because their boss didn't get their own job done, is an even worse management decision. If people are doing their job well, you keep them. If they aren't, you get rid of them. They are going to have concession workers at the Grand Canyon eventually. This is just people playing chicken. If they have some massive turnover because NPS and Xanterra management didn't do their jobs and come to an agreement, why should the people displaced by it not be angry?

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   5 days 21 hours ago

    EC,I wasn't aware that we had to pay a toll for every federal or state highway we use.

    Gary, try reading:

    " It is payed for by gasoline taxes paid by those that drive on the highways and by car registration fees and taxes."

    Noone said anything about tolls (though they do contribute). Now if you have a way to buy gas without paying a tax, let us know.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   5 days 22 hours ago

    Gary-

    Do you think the parks should be run entirely by transient staff, who get out when they want a family, or when some manager decides they'd rather have different transients? How long should a good employee expect to be able to stay? 6 months? 2 years? 5? Does your place of work get rid of good employees, or encourage them to stay? You do know that there are skilled tasks that need to be done in parks, right? That some familiarity with the park on the part of its employees is a good thing? Do you want to be drinking water that is treated by a revolving door of people who may or may not understand the system? If you were lost, would you want the people looking for you to be fresh in from some other park 1000 miles away? Even basic service jobs are better done by a stable workforce. To be hostile to peoples' desire for some small amount of job security just because they work in a park is a little bit odd to me (I won't say off the hook crazy).

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   5 days 22 hours ago

    A short-term slowdown in the warming of Earth’s surface does not invalidate our understanding of long-term changes in global temperature arisingfrom human-induced changes in greenhouse gases.

    It doesn't invalidate his "understanding" it does invalidate his claim. Claim, global warming is caused by increasing CO2. Fact, CO2 increases dramatically over nearly two decades and temperatures remain flat. Rational conclusion? CO2 does not cause global warming. The models have been horribly wrong. To say it doesn't matter doesn't make it so.

  • Is Global Climate Change A Threat to National Parks? Another Response   5 days 22 hours ago

    An excellent summary about the evidence and causes of global climate change can be obtained online as a pdf issued by the US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society of the United Kingdom. I consider these organizations to be highly credible sources of scientific information.

    Climate Change Evidence & Causes

    http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf

    The document explains that there are well-understood physical mechanisms by which changes in the amounts of greenhouse gases cause climate changes. It discusses the evidence that the concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere have increased and are still increasing rapidly, that climate change is occurring, and that most of the recent change is almost certainly due to emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activities. Here are two brief excerpts addressing issues that have been raised repeatedly on this and other discussion threads by adament climate change deniers:

    Does the rate of warming vary from one decade to another? Yes. The observed warming rate has varied from year to year, decade to decade, and place to place, as is expected from our understanding of the climate system. These shorter term variations are mostly due to natural causes, and do not contradict our fundamental understanding that the long-term warming trend is primarily due to human-induced changes in the atmospheric levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

    Does the recent slowdown of warming mean that climate change is no longer happening? No. Since the very warm year 1998 that followed the strong 1997-98 El Niño, the increase in average surface temperature has slowed relative to the previous decadeof rapid temperature increases. Despite the slower rate of warming the 2000s were warmer than the 1990s. A short-term slowdown in the warming of Earth’s surface does not invalidate our understanding of long-term changes in global temperature arisingfrom human-induced changes in greenhouse gases.

    Much more pertinent information is contained in the main report. I highly recommend it for further reading. http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-full.pdf

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   5 days 22 hours ago

    Sorry, but you shouldn't expect to always have a house and home in a National Park landscape. I see it like renting. You live there, but once your lease runs out, you don't exactly have the upper hand. You don't own the house in which you reside. I'm not exactly a fan of the system that is setup in the Grand Canyon either, the more I see what is happening there. Call me a "nature nazi" but I dont think villages should be built in a national park to support hotels, restaurants and gas stations to increase tourism. I guess, i'm used to the "old school west" where you bring your own water and food.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   5 days 22 hours ago

    Well, Gary, that is better than "off the hook crazy." Yes, nobody should expect to stay in employee housing if they stop working. But in the meantime, people work for decades, raise their kids in employee housing, live their lives in these little park towns. As long as they are doing their job well, they have every right to be angry if they lose their job, and the housing that comes with it, to somebody else's mistakes. Remote western parks have some of the last company towns in this country. The power that gives management over workers' lives is unnavoidable, and people need to understand that when they go into that line of work. But it is still reasonable to expect management to do their jobs well, and to be angry when they don't.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   5 days 23 hours ago

    EC,I wasn't aware that we had to pay a toll for every federal or state highway we use. Am I supposed to be paying a toll that i'm currently neglecting?

    Personally, I think anyone that thinks they are entitled to live within a national park is missing the point of the organic act. You shouldn't expect to ever have a permanent residence there, and that goes for even superintendents.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   6 days 13 min ago

    That's a fine, level handed way of entering the discourse.

    Ah, once again, Rick goes on the personal attack rather than address the issues presented.

  • National Park Service Slips Slightly In "Best Places To Work" Survey   6 days 15 min ago

    Cliven Bundy and his friends just won the war.

    Cliven Bundy and his true friends never would have voted to approve this deal.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   6 days 35 min ago

    "nature Nazis of the NPS"

    Welcome to the discussion. That's a fine, level handed way of entering the discourse.

  • Congress Sends Defense Authorization Bill, With National Park Legislation, To President   6 days 2 hours ago

    Could it be, slc, that this was rammed through so quickly that there was no time for anyone to become even remotely familiar with what it contained?

    Who was the Congressman who was asked if he had read the entire bill, replied, "Read it? All of it? Are you kidding?"

  • National Park Service Slips Slightly In "Best Places To Work" Survey   6 days 2 hours ago

    slc -- more and more sleaze is pouring out of this monstrosity as people are finally able to dig deeper into it.

    We're going to pay a HUGE price for it that will certainly offset any plus factors it may have contained for parks.

    Cliven Bundy and his friends just won the war.

  • Congress Sends Defense Authorization Bill, With National Park Legislation, To President   6 days 3 hours ago

    Also not mentioned in the above article was Sec. 3023 that allows BLM to perpetually extend grazing permits on public lands (and on NPS lands where BLM/USFS manages the grazing for NPS, e.g., GLCA), until NEPA review is completed. It also directs that a categorical exclusion is sufficient NEPA compliance to extend an existing permit. Say goodbye to any need for NPS data gathering/science on its grazed lands managed by these two other agencies.

    Looks like NPS took a real beating in the 2015 DAA on some rather signficant resource issues. The riders have discredited NPS science/management decisions at CAHA and at park units attempting to reign in livestock grazing managed by outside entities like the BLM and USFS. Maybe I missed it, where was/is the outcry from current NPS/Secretary Office leadership or key outside watchdog groups like CNPSR, GCT, NPCA etc.?

  • National Park Service Slips Slightly In "Best Places To Work" Survey   6 days 4 hours ago

    On the leadership front, are we hearing anything from NPS about the complete gutting of retraints on livestock grazing on public lands (including NPS lands where BLM manages the activity for NPS)? Neatly tucked away in the 2015 Defense Authorization Act is Sec. 3023 that relieves BLM (and potentially USFS) of NEPA review of expiring grazing permits. This rider will, in essence, take away the current requirement for BLM to complete an objective environmental analysis of the effect of ongoing (and many times destructive) grazing practices on public lands and on NPS resources/lands where the activity is allowed. For a park unit like Glen Canyon NRA this is a major defeat since it has been attempting to negotiate a grazing management plan/EIS with the Utah BLM for years. Section 3023 is making a joke of NPS science, data gathering, and impairment determinations made there at Glen Canyon.

    In my opinion, it is the NPS silence on such a significant issue as this (one that the Secretary actually has control) and the overboard, vocal, and very public opposition/support of PC/insignficant matters (or ones that NPS has no control over) that causes the rank and file loose confidence in NPS leadership.

    Norm H.

  • National Park Service Slips Slightly In "Best Places To Work" Survey   6 days 5 hours ago

    Hopefully the results for individual park units will be made available to the public, and management held accountable for them.

  • Experience Military Grounds As The Colonials Did   6 days 6 hours ago

    We still have the same kind of class structure gnawing at us today

    Yet we have the richest poor people in the world.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/America-has-the-world-s-richest-poor-...

    That circumstance arose due the wisdom of our founding fathers and our embracement of the capitalist system. No doubt those virtues have been eroding since the emergence of the progressive mind set in the early 1900's and have eroded even more rapidly over the last several decades. It is no wonder that as government has become more intrusive and people more dependent, income inequality has broaded and class mobility has been reduced. If we keep on our current course our poor will be as the poor of the rest of the world.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   6 days 6 hours ago

    As a 25 year resident of the grand canyon village I have seen many changes to the park.This latest fiasco is but another of many.The dis-mantling of the village has long been a goal here by the nature Nazis of the NPS. Now with their ax man in place, having freshly broken up those pesky concessionaires at Mount Ranier, let the games begin.The new visitor center is in place. It is a fine transportation hub with a movie and 2 story outhouses with no money spared to become complete. A true "vision to the future". I have a vision of removing the village and hotels and restaurants in order to replicate this fine facility with a movie of the canyon and 2 story outhouses and fine transportation to keep the visitor safely behind glass. There will be no loss of experiencing this park to the visitor who has an rv or a tent, as the snow plows will keep your nature experience in tact. Bring 3 shovels you must. One for the snow, one for the campfire and a great big one for the crap being spewed out by the NPS.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   6 days 7 hours ago

    Just to add something that most would probably think not possible, we're headed, I believe, in that direction right now, incrementally. Certainly a break from the thread here but in the big picture.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/a-greek-island--yours-for...

  • Experience Military Grounds As The Colonials Did   6 days 7 hours ago

    One thing that has always struck me about the stories of Washington's winter encampments is the stark contrast between lives enjoyed by officers and, often, their wives and families and that endured by the common soldier.

    I understand that was an accepted practice of the rigid class structure of the time, but it somehow does not enhance my opinion of the practice or those who practiced it.

    And, it reminds me that not much has really changed. We still have the same kind of class structure gnawing at us today -- one that seems to be growing more and more pronounced as the disparities between Americans of power and those who work to support them become ever wider.

    Just look at the long time concession employees at Grand Canyon and what may happen to them.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   6 days 8 hours ago

    EC, your opinion tends to conclude that our highway system fixes itself and doesn't require repairs and subsidies.

    Gary - our highway system is not subsidized. It is payed for by gasoline taxes paid by those that drive on the highways and by car registration fees and taxes. There is some cross state subsidization as states like Colorado pay more into the system then they get back and other pay less. Ergo here in Colorado, more than 100% of our state and federal highways are paid by the users and there are no subsidies by non-users. Once again you pontificate upon a subject that you apparently have little knowledge of other than the false talking points the anti-oil crowd dispenses.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   6 days 9 hours ago

    Alfred-

    But don't make this a victim issue. The only victim here is the park--what it was supposed to be and then never became once the developers got control of it.

    Really? You are playing into the stereotype of environmentalists and wilderness advocates as fundamentalists who are indifferent to humans. The South Rim is certainly badly overdeveloped, but that isn't what is at issue here. There are a bunch of people about to lose their jobs and housing, they'll have to pull their kids out of school and leave town. If they were in this situation due to a proposal to remove some of the development, that would be one thing, a hard situation but needed in the long run. But that isn't the case. They are in this situation simply because a bunch of highly paid bureaucrats and managers appear to be failing at their jobs. Come the new year, the failures will still be employed no matter what, and the working people will be packing up to leave. We should all be able to spare some empathy for them, and disgust for the people who are screwing up. It is possible to care about both the park and the people who work there.

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   6 days 10 hours ago

    EC, your opinion tends to conclude that our highway system fixes itself and doesn't require repairs and subsidies. I think it would be very smart to have a rail system between certain corridors in this country. One such corridor that goes from Phoenix to Vegas would be smart. LA to Vegas has been in the works for a while now, and it probably will occur in a decade or so. Anyone that has ever driven between LA and LV during a friday night or sunday afternoon would understand the need to create a high speed rail link.And from this map, people just don't migrate to the US. Once again, self-awareness is a special thing. Get some'. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/07/how-not-to-desi...

  • National Park Service, In Court Filing, Claims Xanterra Trying To Block Competition In Grand Canyon Concessions Business   6 days 22 hours ago

    Alfred - You make some good points, and I fully agree it's a shame for people to try to "see" the Grand Canyon in a day ... or less. However, if they're to have the chance to be there overnight, and experience those sunset and sunrise moments, and others in between, the reality is they have to have a place to sleep that's a lot closer than Flagstaff, etc. - and most of them won't be camping these days. Yes, the amount and location of development on the S. Rim isn't ideal, and if we were starting from scratch it could be done much better. However, tossing it all out isn't the answer - and the current system of concessioner contracts is certainly not working either. It's a complex problem.