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Traveler's View: Would You Rather Have Wi-Fi Or Water During Your National Park Vacation?

Apr 11th - 14:56pm | Geogypsy

How about WIFI for the benefit of the employees in National Parks?  We all seem to do business that way.

Apr 11th - 13:34pm | Hiking buddy

profit?  How exactly?  Water and soda is sold by concessionaires, not the park.

Apr 11th - 13:25pm | argalite

That is just sick, needing wi-fi to enjoy the outdoors

Apr 11th - 07:43am | dahkota

I can do without the internet for a few days. I can't do without water. But, I typically carry plenty of my own in refillable gallon jugs... I don't think I have been in a national park that didn't have a water fountain. Yes, a little awkward to fill my bottle, but works in a pinch.

Apr 11th - 07:27am | John Veninger

"since the water-filling goal, which has transformed into an aspiration" Bottled water and soda is a profit center for the Park Service. Why would they want to give this up for the good of the visitors and the enviroment......

National Park Service Far From Achieving Hydration Station Goals

Apr 11th - 13:20pm | argalite

I would like to see that study on banning plastic and the impact on the environment.  There is one right, I mean, you aren't just saying things without backup?

Apr 10th - 21:34pm | ecbuck

You can't explain in your own words.  Tell us. How is paying $57 billion in taxes with $16 billion of net a subsidy.    Tell us in your own words how Walmart is being subsidized by the feds.   You just drink the Kool Aid and have not concept of the facts.  By the way, did you read the articles you linked?  The Guardian article had nothing about Fed subsidies.

Apr 10th - 21:30pm | Lee Dalton


Apr 10th - 19:38pm | ecbuck

Once again Lee, you create a strawman.  Not what I proposed and not workable.  However, putting a deposit on water bottles inside the park would address more effectively the stated problem (litter) than eliminating sales inside the park.  

Apr 10th - 19:11pm | Lee Dalton

Great idea!  Fee collection rangers at park entrances require visitors to gather all their disposable containers so they can be counted.  Then add the NPS deposit to the park entrance fees and allow them to enter the park.  On the way out, the visitors present all the empties to the rangers, who count them and return the deposits.

Apr 10th - 16:18pm | ecbuck

The NPS doesn't need a national deposit law.  They can implement that themselves. 

Apr 10th - 15:34pm | Lee Dalton

Meanwhile, Congress and most state legislatures, reacting to political pressures and dependence upon financial donations from the plastics industry refuse to pass legislation to mandate bottle and can deposits.  In many places even residential recycling is not available or is available only if the family pays extra for it.  Slow but steady progress is being made, but if our lawmakers

Apr 10th - 12:10pm | ecbuck

Ron, plastic water bottles are a miniscule portion of any sold waste land fill.  And while trash is definately an issue in the parks, although most is other than plastic bottles, a simple bottle deposit would address the  issue, either by encouraging people to turn their bottles back in or providing funds to pay for trash pickup.

Apr 10th - 11:48am | rmackie

Thank you Traveler for the informative post on the effort of eliminating sale of plastic water bottles in the National Parks. Still being employed on an emergency basis in a large western park, plastic waste, particularly water bottles, but everything you can think of, is a huge problem.

Apr 10th - 10:26am | Amarillobymorning

While I don't think it a "quixotic adventure," I agree with ecbuck that it should not be a high priority on the spending list now. Use the money to repair infrastructure, increase staff pay and hire more staff. We've filled our bottles from drinking fountains forever. What's the problem?

Apr 10th - 08:34am | ecbuck

It would be nice if the NPS put their time, effort and money into meaningful efforts to address the maintenance backlog rather than this quixotic adventure.

Group Identifies 20 "Anti-Public Lands" Politicians

Apr 11th - 12:56pm | ecbuck

While the paper's title calls the politicians the "Anti-Park Caucus," most of the legislation cited by the group involves U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands, not those managed by the National Park Service.)

Apr 11th - 11:11am | Bill G.

While I'm not supporting LaMalfa, he has introduced H.R. 4387: Tule Lake National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2016. The bill would break off the Tule Lake Unit from the WWII Valor in the Pacific NM and make the Tule Lake NHS it's own site. Senator Boxer has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate.

Op-Ed |National Park Service Undermines America's Best Idea

Apr 11th - 12:46pm | Ray Bane

I fear that it is death by suicide.  The threat is more within than without.

Video Makes Case That Maine's North Woods Is ‘Worth Saving’

Apr 11th - 11:07am | Marsha Donahue

Great piece, Scot.  Such a worthy effort, preserving this piece of the Maine Woods and hoping to share it with the rest of the world.  The economic benefits to the region that could result from an establishment of a national monument, and eventually a park, would be significant and bring people back to the area.  Rural and northern Maine are continually passed over for economic d

Apr 9th - 09:24am | Roger Ek

The 57 private property owners inside Roxanne's imaginary park boundary do not want their property seized by government the way it was done to the private landowners inside the Cuyahoga National Park boundary in Ohio. They lie. They always lie. They lied to the citizens of Bar Harbor. They lied to the citizens owning property within what is now the White Mountains National Forest.

$1,000 Reward Offered For Return Of Historic Ahwahnee Hotel Sign

Apr 11th - 07:21am | hatrasfevr

I would bet a $100 that the sign resides with Delaware North since they own the rights to the name "The Ahwahnee".

Car, And Body, Discovered Below Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim

Apr 11th - 01:47am | Theresa Karlowitsch

this report is regarding my brother, Emile K. Prevost Jr.  Could you please report on toxicology, that should be done by now.  How and when will the car be brought up/out of canyon.  An update please.  Thank you.  

A View From The Overlook: Nudity And The National Parks

Apr 10th - 21:38pm | rmackie

Traveler ,fun to see PJ on post again. Thanks.

Apr 10th - 21:04pm | Doug Gilbert

For the national forest service in the forest NOT the parks, if there is no specific order against nudity, then it is allowed.  Here in Arizona this covers a LOT of area and swimming holes.

Musings From Yellowstone National Park's Buffalo Ranch

Apr 10th - 08:18am | Lee Dalton

National Geographic's May issue is devoted entirely to Yellowstone.  One article will explore the age old conflicts between the NPS mandate to "conserve while enjoying."  Here's a link to an online version:

Lifetime "Senior" and "Access" Park Passes Now Available By Mail

Apr 10th - 04:37am | Fred Fox

The Senior Lifetime Pass is $10.  If you order through the mail it's $20.  The extra $10 is for processing. Use this link: The Senior Pass is halfway down the page.

Apr 9th - 12:34pm | Jacob. S. Kaplan

I live in. Waterbury,Connectcut Interested in obtaining a. Senior pass From what. I've read there are two versions One for $10 another for $80 . the main difference and is there a local office  Where   I can get it.

Apr 9th - 12:31pm | John Shields

My card broke in haft can I get a new one. Card number 132142887..

Apr 9th - 09:06am | Kurt Repanshek

It does seem that they're having issues, Nancy. I'd check back in a few hours and see if they've fixed it.

Apr 9th - 08:59am | Nancy

The link for the application is not working. Anyone else having this problem?

Olympic National Park Proposes Highway Upgrades Near Lake Crescent

Apr 9th - 12:09pm | bedem

I like the night will help things go interuptions of work...// however, it is going to be a struggle for daily travel for folks who work and live on different ends... better safer road is good though and will be good all the way around.  I sincerely hope this work will be done speedily and not in the high season, that is an economic necessity.  

Apr 8th - 20:23pm | Rick B.

yeah, agreed, but the penisula could sure use some improved roads,

Apr 8th - 19:18pm | Megaera

'S gonna be a bear during construction.  Sometimes I wish road construction could be done elsewhere, then just plopped into place.

Cattle Grazing At Point Reyes National Seashore Challenged In Lawsuit

Apr 9th - 12:08pm | C. Austen

End cow welfare now! Enough subsidizing of cattlemen to the detriment of wildlife and recreation. Let those cow people feed their own livestock, just like I have to. If I can turn my horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, llamas, pigs out, then why are cattle so special. They cost taxpayers millions if not billions every year. 

DOI, NPS Employees Use Government Credit Cards For Personal Use

Apr 9th - 11:56am | Retired Ethical...

Valid points, Green Thumb.  Effective disciplinary action should be more of an effective deterrent than criminal prosecution for the low dollar stuff.  And if the small stuff is ignored, it lowers morale among honest employees and leads down a slippery slope to larger crimes.  I would be interested in what, if any disciplinary action the maintenance employee and hi

Apr 9th - 00:56am | Green thumb

This kind of thing happens the most in organizations where bad apples figure out they can get away with it.  In other words, a culture lacking in accountability and an absence of internal controls.  I'm especially disturbed by the employee misusing a charge card for the benefit of his supervisor.  

Apr 8th - 09:02am | Retired Ethical...

What else can you expect with the kind of example set by a former Chief Criminal Investigator for the NPS, who was prosecuted for massive theft of government funds (thank the OIG, not the NPS).  She got off lightly with a fine, partial restitution, and a ticket for full retirement.  No jail.  Sources:  San Francisco Examiner and Paul Berkowitz's book "The Case

Apr 8th - 07:27am | hatrasfevr

FACT: Jarvis, head of the NPS, arrogantly ignores the ethics board, boasts about doing so and recieves no disciplinary action from DOI. The really bad part for the American taxpayer is that likely thousands of dollars were spent to unveil $1,500.

Apr 7th - 20:40pm | Rick B.

I'd more agree with Eric, above, that X% of _any_ given group is a screw-up, more than Smokies Backpacker's unfortunate one-note samba that it is all Bad Guy Jarvis and His Mustachioed Posse. Haven't your neighbors and family mentioned the uncomfortable aroma of that sort of obsession?  

Apr 7th - 20:04pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Why should we be surprised?  Jarvis, head of the NPS, arrogantly skirts the ethics board and boasts about doing so.  Shouldn't his underlings behave with equal disregard of the law?  What is the law and ethics to the NPS and DOI people?  Nothing more than a trivial inconvenience.

Apr 7th - 18:32pm | ecbuck

Unfortunately this goes on in every time of organization or carrer group government, private company charitible, non-profit, realtors, doctors, lawyers, wall streeters......  Some people are just bad.  Part of the human ethos that will likely never change.

Apr 7th - 18:07pm | Matt M

While the matter was referred to the Queens, New York, district attorney, they declined to prosecute and the matter was then referred to the National Park Service. As a fed who doesn't try to defraud the American people stuff like this really burns my biscuits. 

Discovery Channel Version Of NPS Mystery Also Offers A Challenge For Sharp-Eyed Viewers

Apr 7th - 22:58pm | priscilla speich

I'm intrigued by Randy's story. Many people go missing in national parks and some are found dead, almost always with strange details, things that don't add up. Missing 411 by David Paulides reveals many of these cases. We don't really know the cause of Ranger Randy's death. Authorities ASSUME he drowned. Bigfoot sightings are also common in these parks where people go missing..

Administration's Approval Of Soda Mountain Solar Project Draws Heavy Criticism

Apr 7th - 13:45pm | ecbuck

And what is motivating the solar movement?  Horribly inaccurate climate change models:

Apr 7th - 11:25am | Alfred Runte

Lee, my using my rooftop is not that simple. I priced it out a year ago, and even with the subsidy it would cost $25,000. City Council just raised property taxes 15 percent. Sure, they put it to the voters, but then, renters also get to vote. Now the renters are screaming. Why are rents up 15 percent?

Apr 7th - 09:43am | ecbuck

And how much of our low gas and oil and coal prices result from subsidies of various kinds for producers of those fuels?

Apr 7th - 09:33am | Lee Dalton

So the only thing that's really important is money?  Got it. Yet once upon a time we were a nation that was able to team up and put men on the moon.  Where there's a will there's a way.  Do we lack the will to try something that will benefit all of us but will require each of us to make some small sacrifices?

Apr 7th - 09:32am | ecbuck

Why can't we?

Apr 7th - 08:41am | ecbuck

The low wages paid by businesses, including some of the largest and most profitable companies in the U.S. - like McDonald's and Wal-Mart - are costing taxpayers nearly $153 billion a year.

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