Recent comments

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I think the idea has merrit but with that said it brings questions about cost to impliment. Will you have to build some access points and portage points around waterfalls and dangerous parts of a river? Will you have to install signage of approaching pull out points and dangerous portions of river. Sometimes time of year or rainfall upstream can change the speed and difficulty of a river. Will this cause lawsuits against the NPS when someone is hurt if packrafting is permitted? Will there be limits to numbers on a river? I am sure with a three year study they could answer some of those questions. My reaction would be open rivers a few at a time for packrafting and as Lee said proceed with caution.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 1 day ago

    "The more the federal government regulates land that they call "theirs" the better the argument for local control of public lands."

    These parks are owned by the federal government. That means they are owned by ALL Americans, not just the small population that lives nearby to them. That population is obviously affected by what goes on in the parks, which is why they get a say in how they're managed. But the parks are not theirs. They are owned by and for the use of all Americans, and people travel from all over the country to make use of our parks there. Local control of these parks makes absolutely no sense.

    "Local control means that these bureaucrats are answerable to someone, unlike the NPS who answers to no one but themselves with no oversight. Please create an NPS oversight committee NOW."

    Local control might make the bureaucrats more answerable to someone, but it'd make them more answerable to the wrong someone. At any rate, there is oversight of the National Park Service in both the House and the Senate even if there is not a committee specifically named the National Park Service Oversight Committee. If you feel your congressional representatives are not doing a good enough job in providing their appropriate oversight, feel free to give them a call.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Wise words from Roger Siglin.

    Again, my mantra, Whatever we do, use extreme caution.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I've never driven an ORV, and have enjoyed beaches for over 60 years now. I have a feeling that there are enough other people who could make a similar statement sufficient to populate the beaches many thousand times over.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 1 day ago

    No beachdumb I don't know that at all.They only thing that significantly slows busness down is access on and off the island. I don't like calling people liars but do think you are so caught up in the ORV hysteria that you have tunnel vision. If the road and OI bridge stay sound everything indicates the economy for Hatteras Island in 2014 is going to be excellent.

    The majority of the americian people don't want their national seashores beaches turned into parking lots. I have peronally witnessed that transformation take place here because of past management. If you don't understand what I mean by that you are not being truthful.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I have floated and kayaked many rivers and have used packrafts. On any river trip females with baby ducks will often be seen swimming rapidly away or attempting to hide on the rivers edge. Other times it will be adults during their flightless stagedoing the same thing. Beaver will often be heard slapping the water with their tails and submerging. Ducks and geese resting on the banks will slip into the water and fly or swim rapidly away. Larger animals such as bison and elk will move away from the banks. Animals flee the presence of fishermen but they are relatively slow moving and do not force individual animals to move very far.

    Packrafting may start out on a relatively small scale but with time and publicity will become a steady stream on many rivers. Once well established other boaters will question why they can't join the fun and inevitibly commercial operators will want permits.

    There are many examples in National Parks where river runners have driven away much of the wildlife and destroyed the beauty of an otherwise spectacular view. Once established the NPS will be politically unable to resist the demands by commercial and individual users. Like the mountain bikers, the river runners will never be satisfied with anything less than access whenever and wherever they want it, legally or illegally.

    The proposed legislation would give the NPS 3 years to study the issue, but research on the impacts on wildlife will take much more time and will involve looking at rivers already open to boaters and trying to figure out what impacts that has had on wildlife.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Structure User Fees For The National Parks?   2 weeks 1 day ago

    But Cooke City is also the entrance (or exit, depending on which way you are traveling) to Beartooth Highway. That alone accounts for probably a majority of its summer traffic. It also is a good part of the town's winter traffic, because there is a lot of snowmobile use of the Beartooth.

  • The Best Of Glacier National Park   2 weeks 1 day ago

    "If it isn't God's backyard, then he certainly lives nearby." Attributed to Robin Williams, on Glacier National Park, where part of What Dreams May Come was filmed.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 1 day ago

    In any case you ought to see all the people down here right now. The ORV regs haven't slowed them down one bit.

    This just shows how dishonest some are about this issue. You know that ORV regs have slowed down the shoulder seasons, primarily the entire spring. Summer tourism generally has not slowed but certainly a different crowd. You can fool those that don't know, you sound like Audubon when you spout half truths like that.

    Its not just ORV groups complaining, but you know that, and would not call those groups the majority either.

    You can be certain the "getting in line" at CALO will result in more regulation, more fees, less visitors and hardships on the communities that depended on visitors.

  • Reader Participation Day: How Would You Structure User Fees For The National Parks?   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Gila,

    Cooke City is a dump and it is 100 times the economics of Baker. And Baker is the only gateway to GB.

  • Survey Shows Visitors Would Support Higher Entrance Fees To See Yellowstone National Park Bears   2 weeks 1 day ago

    You want to pay to see bears? Go to the zoo.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Thank you Kurt Repanshek for writing on behalf of packrafting in YNP and GTNP. I just wanted to clarify some of the points you made from the perspective of the American Packrafting Association (APA).

    1. The River Paddling Protection Act (RPPA) is a reasonable measure, given the NPS dismissal of a paddling analysis in the Snake River Headwaters CRMP. The bill fairly gives the NPS three years to complete the analysis and maintains full Superintendent powers to protect Park resources. Nobody wants Congress telling the Park Service how to manage the Parks. RPPA is merely checks and balances.

    2. APA and other paddling groups approached the Wyoming delegation only after a concerted constituency-building effort with national and regional conservation groups fell mostly on deaf ears. This effort was done mostly by unpaid volunteers in the small timeframe of the CRMP comment period.

    3. APA released the river inventory after much discussion in our ranks and with our partners. Our goal was to move the issue away from rhetoric and abstract arguments, and bring it to real on-the-ground places. If you look thoughtfully at the inventory, there is no bias or intent to influence Park policy. There is only data, which was provided with the intent to assist the Parks in their planning work and to make the discussion more tangible. The inventory also was created to bring some solid numbers to navigable river mileage, as that work had not been done to our knowledge, and a variety of erroneous numbers were appearing in the press. Forrest McCarthy’s “Packrafting Guide to Yellowstone National Park” is not an APA publication.

    4. APA agrees that a “realistic approach to this issue” is in order. We hope that the NPS and conservation groups will soon come to the table with paddlers and our Congressional delegation to arrive at an administrative solution that works for everyone involved. Everyone agrees that Park resources must be protected. While Yellowstone indeed should require special attention, other National Parks such as Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Canyonlands, Glacier, Dinosaur, and many others have created or are creating workable packrafting management plans.

    5. APA couldn’t have said everything else much better than you did, other than that I would simply comment that packrafting history is quite rich, especially if you consider the concept that mankind has always carried portable watercraft back and forth between drainages.

    Thomas Turiano

    VP APA

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Beachdumb,

    Just because one group (ORV users) can scream louder does not make them a majority. I might not be in a majority on HI but it doesn't mean I am not in the majority nationally. In any case you ought to see all the people down here right now. The ORV regs haven't slowed them down one bit. Padre Island has a much different EL than CAHA and Texas law establishes beaches as roads or some such nonsense.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Backpacker--You have to remember which branch government gave those agencies the authority to determine fee structures.

    Rick

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 2 days ago

    The more the federal government regulates land that they call "theirs" the better the argument for local control of public lands. And I never thought I would be one to say that. Local control means that these bureaucrats are answerable to someone, unlike the NPS who answers to no one but themselves with no oversight. Please create an NPS oversight committee NOW. It is way overdue. How do we have any agency that can make sometimes arbitrary, unilateral and consequence free decisions? What other agencies can implement fees and taxes upon taxpayers without an act of congress or restrict which taxpayers can use these lands? No one but the NPS/Forest Service/BLM. Tell me there isn't something systemically wrong with that system?

  • Survey Shows Visitors Would Support Higher Entrance Fees To See Yellowstone National Park Bears   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I pay exhorbitant fees to climb mtns outside of the US. (and inside the US if you consider Denali) Mountains that locals are excluded from having to be charged. Foreign nationals are very accustomed to paying to do these types of things. I don't agree with fees for US citizens at all but this should be something that is to be considered since they are ramming fees down our throats for every little nickel and dime thing.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 2 days ago

    "More government control and regulation, just never stops."

    Right, government control likely will not stop on government-owned land, nor will the government likely stop regulating the use of land owned by the government in trust for all people.

    That is a good thing.

  • Survey Shows Visitors Would Support Higher Entrance Fees To See Yellowstone National Park Bears   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I am totally open to fees for non US citizens. US citizens already pay for the parks with our tax dollars so fees should be very minimal or not imposed if at all possible on citizens. As far as paying to see bears it wouldn't surprise me if the NPS found a way to accomodate that eventually.

  • Cape Lookout National Seashore ORV Plan Open For Comment Through Early September   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I fail to see anything remotely called a compromise at CHNSRA. Buxton, you are in minority with your position and you know it.

    How long will it be before Padre Island gets in line with rest of the NPS's over regulation? I'll bet sooner than later.

  • Congressman Proposes Overhaul To Fee Programs On National Parks, Other Public Lands   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I'm not sure where or how to post this, so I'll toss it in here. Kurt, maybe if you think it is worthy of note, you might find a way to feature this in an article by itself.

    This morning's Deseret News online contained an excellent news article with a link to an equally excellent video. The Center for American Progress is a non-partisan (really) organization that presented the idea of ZONING our public lands at the recent convention of the Ourtdoor Retailers Association in Salt Lake City. The Utah office of BLM is already at work mapping out the zones.

    Here are links to the article from Deseret news:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865608504/Video-showcases-Moab-land-p...

    And a link that will take you directly to the 8-minute video. The video and article should be required reading and viewing for all of us. Just east of Canyonlands Island in the Sky are a number of drill rigs and pipelines. Not particularly intrusive right now, but . . . . .

    Watch the video and then think a bit.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nanHctufy4

  • Congressman Proposes Overhaul To Fee Programs On National Parks, Other Public Lands   2 weeks 2 days ago

    The sneaky fingers of Rob Bishop are at work again. If you can't get your bill to stand on its own merits, sneak it through as a rider on a bill that will be hard to veto. This is from this morning's NPS Morning Report Legislative Activities section:

    On August 1st, the House passed by a vote of 223-189, H.R. 5230 (Rogers, R-KY-8), making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes. Title III of the bill would allow unrestricted activities by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Federal land located within 100 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico.

    Remember that Border Patrol and Arizona DPS personnel say that it's actually easier to catch illegals in protected lands like Organ Pipe and Cabeza Prieta game refuge wilderness than it is on private lands. That's because when a sensor system detects movement, they can be sure it's likely illegal. A couple of years ago several BP agents and a DPS officer who monitors sensor systems told me that the capture rate is well over 80% in areas like this. They estimate it's somewhere south of 20% on private lands.

    This is just a small part of Rob's war on common sense and environment.

  • Traveler's View: Packrafting Deserves Consideration In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Agreed. Good article, Kurt. Thank you.

    But at the same time, let's avoid the temptation to open every body of water lest packrafts become the next version of ATVs.

  • DNC Wins Concession Contract At Grand Canyon National Park South Rim   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Yep, you're right, Starwalker. We'll get it fixed. Thanks!

  • DNC Wins Concession Contract At Grand Canyon National Park South Rim   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I see what seems to be a small mistake. DNC does not currently run the services at Yavapai except for the Market. Xanterra does. I'm pretty sure Xanterra also runs "Trailer Village" as my wife and I were put up there when we worked at the Grand Canyon 4 years ago. I could be wrong about that, but I worked at the gift shop at Yavapai and I know it and the lodging were run by Xanterra.

  • Unmanned Drone Crashes Into Famous Hot Spring At Yellowstone National Park   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Their propellers can be lethal should they strike a person, pet, or wild animal. As to retrieval, maybe they'll have to commission a drone submarine that can surface, start its propellers, and fly off with the junk......