Recent comments

  • Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory   2 weeks 14 hours ago

    Why is wilderness useless? Solely because you can't drive on it?

  • Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory   2 weeks 14 hours ago

    " . . . trying to close every single square inch of outdoors to the chosen few recreationists"

    So if you read that as written, it means that the outdoors will be closed only to the chosen few but will be wide open to the rest of us. Interesting concept.

    If the chosen few are those on ATVs and other potentially destructive mechanical devices when they are unregulated, I hope so.

    Thank you, Zeb, for supporting common sense in resource management.

  • Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory   2 weeks 16 hours ago

    This debate primarily boils down to how much of the park will be open to ORV use. The park website notes that much of the interior of the park is swamp, and "nearly impossible to reach by foot; " travel options are mainly airboats, swamp buggies, canoes and kayaks.

    The park contains about 729,000 acres, so a reasonable question is how much should be open to airboats and swamp buggies, and how much might be protected as wilderness for other values and uses.

    Whether you use the initial assessment that 109,000 acres were "wilderness eligible" or the latest recommendation that would list 47,000 acres as potential "future wilderness," the amount of the preserve being discussed for wilderness designation ranges from 15% down to 6%.

  • Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory   2 weeks 16 hours ago

    You can still canoe it, even if it's wilderness.

  • Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I'm not the one who's trying to close every single square inch of outdoors to the chosen few recreationists.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Oh, Denali!   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Rick Smith, the Gates of the Arctic is on my bucket list and I have every intention of making that item come true on my list. Alaska is an amazing place with some incredible parks, scenery and wildlife.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Oh, Denali!   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Rick B. you are so welcome, and thank you for your kind words. I fell in love with Alaska when I first visited it in 2013 and have every intention of re-visiting your amazing state next year and hopefully many more years to come.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Oh, Denali!   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Thank you for your kind words, d-2. I plan on visiting Denali again in 2-15 during that last week of Aug - first week of Sept. I am hoping that the colors will have changed and I will see that which you describe.

  • A Step Back In Time: Charit Creek Lodge Offers Glimpse Into Tennessee's Pioneer Past   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Sounds like a delightful place and experience. Just out of curiosity, how much does it cost to stay there?

  • Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Sorry, but calling fans of wilderness 'fanatics' does kinda paint the walls of your own box.

  • Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Good, hopefully the 109,000 that was suggested is actually considered, and during the 2016 cenennial that everyone says must show a clear and concise vision, they can say "Now that most of this is wilderness, we hope in the next 100 years, after this land has recovered enough that it will merge with the Everglades creating the largest protected natural wetlands ecosystems on the planet.

  • Big Cypress National Preserve To Conduct Wilderness Inventory   2 weeks 1 day ago

    There we go. More useless wilderness to appease the PEER fanatics.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Oh, Denali!   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I hope that one day, Rebecca will take her cameras to the Gates of the Arctic and capture the magic of the Brooks Range. I suspect it is the most beautiful place that I have ever hiked and boated through.

    Rick

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Logos Lack Creativity, Fail To Celebrate "America's Best Idea"   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Phew, d-2, there is a strong, almost nauseating foul smell of politics wafting from my computer.

    It matters not who is President, nor who might be the NPS director, the ugliness of power politics prevails and pervades almost everything not only in the NPS, but everywhere else in government.

    Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to share all this with us. This is the kind of thing Americans need to see instead of the lipsticked pigs that are paraded before us by our "leaders" of every party and every special interest.

    Trouble is that Monday Night Football or the latest celebrity reality TV show is much more interesting.

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Logos Lack Creativity, Fail To Celebrate "America's Best Idea"   2 weeks 1 day ago

    OOPS: correction: Nixon installed Ron Walker, his WH advance man, after George Hartzog was fired. Not Gary Everhardt. Walker was widely ridiculed within the NPS, partly because the Media's take on Walker was, because he handled travel for the White House, Haldemann guessed that was what parks were all about, so why not install their loyal advance man as Director? Leading to persistent, and ultimately self-defeating, calls for a legislative fix to require NPS Directors to be park or preservation professionals. Kennedy, Mainella and Bomar all qualified using that standard, so go figure.

    Gary Everhardt came in under Ford and A/S Nat Reed, but I swear i remember a guy walkin in after just leaving Reed's office, telling me Reed just told him Everhardt was "the best superintendent" an Reed thought he could work better with Gary than George. Reed had big dreams as did Hartzog. Anyway, Nixon was largely anti-environment, but he had Russell Train at CEQ in the White House, and the Asst Sec Reed and his two deputies were all Train people and strong environmentalists. Hickel, builder of the infamous 'Hickel Highway' in Alaska was no environmentalist, but Nixon really regretted hiring him because he would not do what he was told, and was headstrong in the extreme. When Hickel opposed the shooting of students at Kent State opposing Viet Nam war, Hickel was fired. The point is: the strong environmental Republicans at Interior did not share Nixon's philosophy; instead they reflected the long standing tradition in the Republican party that helped develop and foster environmental agencies and laws.

    Nixon unlike the DOI Republicans at the time, was a cynic on environment, and saw it AT BEST as a device to get American youth distracted away from anti-Vietnam protests which he saw as treason, and focused instead on domestic reforms, that Nixon might not have liked much but saw as a way of bending and diverting youth inward toward comparative moderation.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Oh, Denali!   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Rebecca - speaking as an Alaskan resident, thank you ever so much for your wonderfully beautiful documenting of our state.

  • Relocation Of Enchanted Valley Chalet In Olympic National Park To Impact Campers, Hikers, Stock Users   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Relocation to a temporary site is done, and here is the Flickr page of photos.

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Logos Lack Creativity, Fail To Celebrate "America's Best Idea"   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Very, very interesting, D-2. Thank you.

    So just as today when everything is Obama's fault, back then it was easy to blame everything on Nixon.

    Nothing much ever changes, does it?

    And thank you for posting those links. i was not aware those sites existed.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Oh, Denali!   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Stunning, beautiful photos.

    Makes me really miss Denali, especially this time of the year, the brief September Fall of about 2 weeks, when the tundra turns the beautiful colors as vivid as Vermont at the height of the season, and all the aspen turn gold, set off by the dark spruce.

    Thank you Rebecca Latson. What a fine artist you are.

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Logos Lack Creativity, Fail To Celebrate "America's Best Idea"   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Hi Lee Dalton. You motivated me to go into the NPS-CR-Admin Histories files online to see what is there. The site seems to be going thru reconstruction, but eventually i was able to find this (READ BELOW) historical overview from the NPS admin history of the NPS. At the end i will place links, but remember you may have to look at the Cultural Resources programs CACHED copies, if NPS is going thru a transition on posting this stuff:

    "In 1966, following MISSION 66, Director George B. Hartzog, Jr., came forth with a new agenda titled PARKSCAPE U.S.A. Hartzog assured employees that the symbol accompanying the program, three interlocking angles surrounding three dots, would supplement rather than supplant the arrowhead. In 1968, however, when Secretary Udall adopted the new Interior seal (designed by the same New York firm of Chermayeff and Geismar Associates), Hartzog seized the opportunity to replace the arrowhead with the Parkscape symbol. With the buffalo gone from the Interior seal, he rationalized, the arrowhead with its buffalo was no longer relevant. Field reaction to this move was nevertheless unenthusiastic, for the representational arrowhead was far better liked than the abstract Parkscape symbol.

    On March 3, 1969, Acting Director Edward Hummel sent a memorandum to all regional directors ordering the removal of the arrowhead shoulder patch. "In keeping with the Director's desire to act positively on field suggestions, it has been decided that effective June 1, 1969, Service emblem shoulder and cap patches will not be worn on any National Park Service garments," he wrote. Before this unpopular directive could be implemented, Secretary Hickel reinstated the buffalo seal. Hartzog thereupon reinstated the arrowhead as the official NPS emblem and continued its use as a patch in a memorandum dated May 15, 1969. Perhaps as a gesture to the few supporters of the Parkscape symbol, he simultaneously ordered its retention as the official NPS tie tack. The arrowhead has continued to be worn on the uniform and to enjoy strong acceptance among Service employees. . . ."

    Nixon was innaugurated in January 1969 and according to this official history above one of the first things they did was eliminate Udall's logo, and apparently pressured (or as my colleague maintained, the eruption among park rangers pressured) George Hartzog to back off. My memory of the people sent by the Nixon white house to pressure the NPS is that, surprisingly, the main one was not a communications person, but an Assistant Director of Strategic Planning, who was trying to plan the next hundred years but was done in, the story goes, by Hartzog's hatchett man, Len Norwood. Hartzog remained until Assist Sec. Nat Reed made it his business to push Hartzog out and bring in the man he said was "the best superintendent in the NPS" Director Everhardt. Harzog says he forced them to fire him to maximize his pension, while the Washington Post says Nixon and Haldemann demanded all Presidential appointees submit their resignation at the beginning of the second Nixon term. Maybe all three stories are true.

    Here are those links in NPS histor website reconstruction:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/workman1/vol1e.htm

    http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/workman1/vol1e.htm

  • Photography In The National Parks: Oh, Denali!   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Lee, your name is now at the top of the list ;-)

  • Photography In The National Parks: Oh, Denali!   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Rebecca, do you need someone to carry your camera bag as you travel around? If you do, will you please add me to your list of volunteers?

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Logos Lack Creativity, Fail To Celebrate "America's Best Idea"   2 weeks 1 day ago

    d-2, respectfully, I think your information may be incorrect.

    Nixon took office in January 1969. One of the first things he did was announce a huge effort to "modernize" the government. Part of that was the redesign and replacement of the logos of virtually every Federal agency. (And the "modernization" of the White House guards' uniforms.) The new badges, signs and all the other "modern" insignia appeared in late 1970.

    I really, really do not believe that either Stewart Udall or George Hartzog had anything to do with that mess. Udall was replaced as Secretary as soon as Nixon took office. Hartzog was retained for awhile for political reasons that I don't really recall and don't have time to research right now. Again, as my memory remembers, Hartzog was forced to order removal of the Arrowheads from uniforms and buildings and signs.

    Nixon's "modernization" efforts met with such backlash almost everywhere that they quitely died out not too much later. I don't think we wore those badges more than a few months. It was so apparent that "modernization" wasn't going to last that most of the old arrowhead signs that had been removed from VCs and other places were simply stored until they could be brought back to replace the Praying Hands and Triangles and Balls.

    Do any other fossilized rangers remember this period in our history?

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Logos Lack Creativity, Fail To Celebrate "America's Best Idea"   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Deep Creek? That's a second growth trail that is one of the most ho-hum trails in the park, except for the first mile and a half from the top of NFG. Of course you aren't going to see an average tourist on that one. Be realistic. LeConte, the Chimneys, the AT are filled with young fit people on a daily basis. When I lived in the west, young fit people on the trails! In moab? Young fit people in both parks along with tourists of all shapes and ages. In Yosemite? Young fit people on the rocks. In Glacier? Young fit people climbing the mountains. Come on. These social media sites that the parks run have a reach of over a million some people with each post, and the growth continues to expand. Once again, the people that rant on these pages, don't seem very engaged to what is going on or have a realistic view. Even the NPT facebook page has a lot more engagement than the comment section on this site.

  • Traveler's View: National Park Service Logos Lack Creativity, Fail To Celebrate "America's Best Idea"   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Just finished Deep Creek trail from Newfound Gap down to Bryson City. Passed 5 backcountry sites and didn't see a single other person hiking or backpacking in the Smokies over the weekend in 17 miles of trail. So I don't see this surfeit of 20 somethings or anysomethings. And that is most every weekend I am backpacking.