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Op-Ed | The Qualities Needed In The Next National Park Service Director

Jan 3rd - 15:02pm | Alfred Runte

Rick, J. Horace McFarland was giving this speech exactly 100 years ago today at the Fourth National Parks Conference, convened by Stephen T. Mather in Washington, D.C.,

Jan 3rd - 14:40pm | Michele Curran

Interesting article, but I am concerned that the solutions offered for the problems within the NPS are derived from the past.  If we want to join the 21st Century we need to look forward to true innovators; people not afraid to move into the future.

Jan 3rd - 13:24pm | drew hanson

Conrad Wirth placed obstacles in the way of the Ice Age National Park being designated and Jon Jarvis prevented the Ice Age National Scenic Trail from becoming a unit of NPS. How about the next NPS Director is someone interested in filling gaps in the System or who does not suffer from Mountain Majesty Bias?

Jan 3rd - 12:29pm | Rick B.

A good read.  

Jan 3rd - 10:56am | Alfred Runte

Harry, this is superb. I hope Ryan Zinke is reading The Traveler, and further passes this along to the President-Elect. Certainly nothing I have seen in the media comes close to your reasoned analysis. Why do great leaders look outside bureaucracy? Even Horace Albright underscored that point.

Stories From 2016 That Merit A Second Look

Jan 3rd - 11:38am | Alfred Runte

27 degrees in Seattle this morning. My cats won't even go out. Meanwhile, all of the television stations are reporting 110 percent of snowpack in the mountains. The ski areas plan remaining open past April, we are told. We are also told to expect three more months of cold and snow.

Jan 3rd - 10:31am | Lee Dalton

I'm not sure where would be best to post this, but this seems as good a place as any.  Here is a link to a very interesting article regarding Global Warming.  Be sure to watch the NASA video of the Arctic ice cap:

Study: Roughly One-Third Of Yosemite National Park Lost For Resource Extraction

Jan 3rd - 11:25am | Rick B.

"Nothing dollarable is safe, however guarded." Should have a correalary - "but better guarded than not".   I've heard apologists hedge that "resource extraction does not necessarily ruin the land", but it nearly always does, and it will be a fear for the next four years.  

Pruning the Parks: Mar-a-Lago National Historic Site (1972-1980) Was a Gift the National Park Service Couldn’t Afford to Keep

Jan 3rd - 11:19am | Rick B.

What an incredible monument to excess.

Jan 2nd - 22:38pm | Paula

Must have been interesting to have been married to EF Hutton! That house must have many secrets inside those walls. 

UPDATED: Price Of Senior Pass Going To $80; Buy It Now For $10

Jan 3rd - 11:14am | S. Adams

Yes there is a pass for persons with disabilities.  See link: 

Jan 1st - 20:57pm | steve dunham

Maybe you should read the public statements and listen to the public speeches of Republican Governors such as Scott Walker . What difference does it make is we sell off park lands or allow industry to exploit it , either way the public loses.

Jan 1st - 20:57pm | steve dunham

Maybe you should read the public statements and listen to the public speeches of Republican Governors such as Scott Walker . What difference does it make is we sell off park lands or allow industry to exploit it , either way the public loses.

Jan 1st - 19:15pm | Elizabeth

Yes, there is an "Access pass" for disabilities. You have to take documentation to the park service to get it. As of last year it was free. Go on line "America the Beautiful" it will take to to the necessary link. Where to purchase and how. If none in your area, an application can be downloaded and requested  through the mail. Cost of $10.00 to process. 

OIG: National Park Service's Northeast Regional Director Committed Travel Fraud

Jan 3rd - 08:53am | Kurt Repanshek

We're going to shut this thread down for having lost its relevance to the parks.

Jan 3rd - 08:49am | ecbuck

Ron, I would be interested in specifically what "rhetoric" you found objectionable.  I suspect it is more likely others' claims and interpretations rather than his actual words that bother you.  And, somehow I doubt this billionaire was motivated by "the money in politics".  He already has said he would like to forego the Presidential salary - $400,000 a year.

Jan 2nd - 22:11pm | rmackie

Good question EC, but yes, in my opinion, when people are angry and frustrated, myself included, they sometimes strike out, placing the blame on others, a persons gender, ethic background, religious affiliation, economic status, well the list gets complicated.

Jan 2nd - 21:42pm | rmackie

Alfred, thanks for the thought provoking post. I do think you make a good point on the "rule of law" issue, and if it is a poor law, the right to change it is also good .Alfred, as this is a park blog, but must admit it is difficult to address these issues without discussing the politics behind them, I hope our trails cross someday, would like to discuss this with you further.

Jan 2nd - 19:55pm | ecbuck

 as I once again walk away from you. Run, not walk. So typical. Can't stand up to back up your claims and accusations. Tell us, do you really believe that 49% of voters voted for "fear, intolerance and bullying"?

Jan 2nd - 19:47pm | Rick B.

Eric - why did I enter into a mudpile that you're treading water in. Twist this word and that word, and suck all the life out of the conversation. Please feel free to claim the last word as I once again walk away from you.

Jan 2nd - 19:11pm | ecbuck

So Rick, it was only 49% of the voting public that are into "fear, intolerance and bullying".   Nice to know you think so highly of your fellow citizens.  The popular vote differential is infinitesimal when compared to the total vote.  If it was popular vote insteal of electoral, Trump would have campaigned differently and the popular vote would have been quite different.

Jan 2nd - 18:59pm | Atascadero

Actually, "the majority of Americans" (320 million) did not vote at all. Of those who actually voted (130 million), we may agree that the majority voted for Hillary Clinton. And now, the $64 dollar question. How many of those voted legally? The Democrats (and some Republicans) would have us believe the Russians "hacked" the system, but the system was already hacked.

Jan 2nd - 18:06pm | Rick B.

Despite talking points from the revisionists, the majority of Americans did not vote for Trump. Indeed, the majority of voting Americans voted against him.    

Jan 2nd - 17:07pm | ecbuck

Ron, you claim Trump is a demagogue and preaches "fear,intolerance, bullying"  By definition, a demagogue is " a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument".  Do you think that "fear, intolerance and bullying appeals to the popular desires"?

Jan 2nd - 15:11pm | Alfred Runte

Ron, what did the other side "preach?" Here in Seattle, and much of Washington State, Democrats preach that no Republican deserves to hold public office. And so we get the government we deserve, now a government better at inbreeding than upholding the rule of law.

Jan 2nd - 12:37pm | Name with held ...

 I'm sure if i did something of this nature.. I would not only lose my job, I'd be punished to the fullest extent of the law. You have disgraced not only yourself but the people of the United states of america...We call them TAXPAYERS!

Jan 1st - 21:28pm | rmackie

Interesting post Alfred, as we all see things a little differently and as the thread has morphed into the politics, please excuse, but I have been listening to the President Elect for over a year now, my own view is he won as a first rate demagogue, he preached fear,intolerance, bullying, let alone crying wolf.  I do think you have a point, history will be the judge, and Mr.

Jan 1st - 19:59pm | PARK SERVICE EM...

Very Sad.... Please resign sir, if you have not already.    Thankyou , name withheld for fear of reprisal

Jan 1st - 17:39pm | Rick B.

Or here.

Jan 1st - 17:07pm | Atascadero

Talk about losing altitude. Just in case Rick B. can't make it to the second paragraph, I paste it and the third paragraph here. A link to the entire story is below.

Jan 1st - 14:34pm | Rick B.

Al, I read the affadavits of the then early teen girls who he dallied with, along with his billionaire pedophile buddy, Epstein, who is a Level 3 registered sex offender -- the most dangerous kind, "a threat to public safety" -- after being convicted of misconduct with another underage girl. I believed them.

Jan 1st - 13:27pm | Alfred Runte

Rick, you know the story about the boy who kept crying wolf. When a wolf in fact appeared, no one in the village gave the boy a second thought.

National Park Service Director Jarvis Announces Retirement

Jan 2nd - 20:00pm | Lee Dalton

Maybe we need to resurrerect George Hartzog.

Jan 2nd - 17:32pm | Kevin G. Abney

I worked for the NPS from 1984 through 2006 under several Directors.  In my opinion it is time for someone outside the NPS to come in and shake up the agency a bit.  The history of Directors has gone back and forth with people from inside the agency and others being appointed from outside.  I think this helps keep a balance and benefits the National Park Service in the long run.

Multi-hour Delays Coming To Roads Along Lake Crescent In Olympic National Park

Jan 2nd - 19:04pm | Megaera

I'm glad they're finally doing it, but wow, what a PITN it's going to be!

B-29 Superfortress That Lies at the Bottom of Lake Mead Continues to Draw Attention

Jan 2nd - 15:18pm | Douglas Grayfea...

I just watched the saddest video about the team that worked for over a year up in Greenland to fly a B-29 off the ice.  New engines, props, electrics, etc. Only to have it catch fire and burn to the ground as they watched, I almost cried, all that work and $$$ up in smoke.  Wow.    

Fee Increases Going Into Effect At Parks Across The Country

Jan 2nd - 14:05pm | RickyAZ

Don't mind the increases, still cheaper than movie tickets for 4, much better value. This should encourage purchase of annual passes.  Wouldn't mind seeing an additional fee charged (by weight perhaps) to the RV users which are obscenely large and shouldn't be part of a $10 lifetime pass. Yeah Fairness!   Happy New Year

Jan 2nd - 13:47pm | ecbuck

GA - I think you need to go back and read Wild's post again.  

Jan 2nd - 13:10pm | GA RV TRAVELER

Wild Places - Yours is a typical Left Wing Liberal comment there! If you would raise your head out of the sand and stop drinking the kool-aid long enough you would see that these increases have occurred under YOUR Obama reign of terror, just like everything else he tried to destroy in America, hte National Parks never dodged his wrath and evilness toward America and Americans!

Jan 2nd - 12:17pm | Ham

oh god, give it a rest. 

Jan 2nd - 10:09am | tahoma

Lee-The NPS management entitlement mentality is also on display when fees on the public are raised with almost no financial transparency.  Try asking your local park for last year's budget details, or even an organization chart, if you don't believe me.  The National Park Service is an outfit that thinks its mission is so holy that how it spends money is none of our business:

Jan 2nd - 08:47am | ecbuck

Yes Lee, Congress sets the budget, but the level of park fees isn't set by Congress .  Thery are set by the NPS, part of the executive branch - that is the one the President is in charge of.  As to entitilement mentality, please indicate where Wild Places said or even implied that he was demanding services with out wanting to pay for them.  In fact, he didn't.

Jan 2nd - 08:36am | Lee Dalton

Ah, the Great American Entitlement Mentality is on full display. Give me all the infrastructure and services I demand --- and don't you DARE ask me to pay for it!

Jan 2nd - 00:14am | wild places

I can only imagine the outrage that would be expressed here had these and the countless other obscene increases happened under the Bush or Trump administration. And I cant recall Obama doing much to fix the maintenance backlog for that matter. Yet the traveler seems perfectly fine to cry wolf before Trump has even taken office.

President Obama's Public Lands Legacy

Jan 2nd - 13:36pm | Lee Dalton

Ah, Tomp, there ya go, messing up somebody's fantasies with facts. 

Jan 2nd - 12:00pm | tomp2

Please look at what International Biosphere Reserves actually are and what the designation means.  The program is about sharing scientific and management information, there are no international law mandates about public access or land management.

Tamiami Trail Bridge Dedicated, Latest Structural Component To Help Restore Everglades Water Flows

Jan 2nd - 13:06pm | Mary Hope

What an uplifting and inspiring project. Are there any plans to do something similar along Alligator Alley?  

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Is Getting A New Visitor Center

Jan 2nd - 11:12am | jmc1999

Looking forward to the new VC, but it makes me wonder why they closed the larger Happy Days VC on SR303 years ago and then closed the Canal VC on the north end of the park a while back. They did redo the Canal location as more of an attraction about canal life, but it is not open with the same frequency as a VC. Not the best of planning IMO.

Bears Ears, Jigsaw Piece In Southeastern Utah's National Park Landscape, Declared National Monument

Jan 1st - 15:40pm | Rick B.

You mean like no more freebie grazing?

Jan 1st - 13:30pm | NormH

Bears Ears National Monument affords very little added protection to the lands included.  Other than the removal of any new fO&G leasing, the management  likely change very little.  As per the proclamation, the lands will conintue to be managed by the agenciies currently imqnqing them under current applicable federal law.

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