Recent comments

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    beachdumb,

    Which aspects of those particular studies are flawed? Is it their methodology? Their analyses of the data? Their conclusions?

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    I'm sure beachdumbs experience in the Northern Rockies is vast. So he's seen the evidence that glaciers are expanding in the region, and that areas that used to be "permanent snow fields" are becoming more permanent from year to year, instead of dissappearing. Yeah right. So, let's spend an entire 20 hours debating some southeastern tea partier about the rights of wolverines to exist in the northern rockies by protecting their most critical habitat.

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    Now, back to wolverines?

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    Direct from the black helicopters, no doubt, here are the credentials of your link:

    http://www.aaskolnick.com/global_deniers/website.htm

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    http://www.principia-scientific.org/breaking-new-climate-data-rigging-sc...

    All of those studies are now flawed, prediction models are wrong and not based on real climate data. It's a huge blow to the scientific community, they are losing credibility. Walsh is probably smart enough to realize this and not willing to go along with the cherade.

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    These guys based thier research on flawed and manipulated climate data. The malfeasance of NCAR, NASA and IPCC is staggering.

    You have to be intentionally ignorant to not question why the alarmist predictions are all based on manipulated data. But I guess many are just naive and gulliable.

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    Justin...

    You can't argue with the intentional ignorance of the climate change deniers.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Digitally Capturing The Bears In Lake Clark National Park And Preserve   1 week 1 day ago

    Hi. Thanks for the article. Have started some bear photography in Glacier NP. Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG? Both? Does RAW processing help with reducing grain, especially at such high ISOs?

    Thanks.

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    beachdumb,

    The lawsuit cites McKelvey et al. (2011); Aubrey et al. (2009), (2007); Copeland et al. (2010); and Inman et al. (2013). In your review of the literature, which articles dispute this research?

  • Groups Sue Over U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service's Refusal To Provide Wolverine With Endangered Species Act Protection   1 week 1 day ago

    "Best available science" has become a joke. Climate Change alarmists are losing ground and that is a good thing. Ms Walsh deserves an award for not falling to faux Climate Change agenda. We need more agency people willing to stand up against this politically fabricated hoax.

  • Friends Group Sends Nearly $200,000 To South Florida Parks For Programs   1 week 1 day ago

    Moved to proper thread

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 1 day ago
    Moved from wrong thread Submitted by ecbuck on October 14, 2014 - 8:49am.

    I would prefer allowing States to own and manage these parks instead of privatizing.

    Lets be careful with our nomenclature. I don't think anyone here is calling for "privatizing", at least not of the major park units such as those you discussed. Outsourcing is not privatizing. Ownership and ultimately control of the major units could still be held by the Federal or State governments but the operations would be run by private entities.

    Minor units could be turned over to "non-profits". Not sure that would be call "privatizing" but it would take these units out of the control of the NPS and out of the NPS budgets. There are dozens if not hundreds of similar properties run very successfully by these non-profits today without significant contributions from the US taxpayer. Freeing the current expenditures on these units could go a long way in helping the major Parks.

    I also found an interesting point made on the PERC site. Some $700 million is set aside each year for the acquistion of additional federal lands. If that money were redireted to maintaining the existing lands, the NPS maintanance deficit could be substantially reduced or even eliminated in little more than a decade. Once again, what sense does it make to add to your maintenance burden when you can't even keep up with your existing one?

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    Dr Runte hit the nail on the head, and that was what I was trying to state with my original comment. The elephant is in the room... A lot of the backlog is for roads, or some other form of infrastructure to accomodate automobile traffic. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being able to take my car to a trailhead in places like Glacier, Yellowstone, Yosemite, etc, but there are times where I think they have overdone it in the NP's with too much road buildling. Many times I think it would be better if more parks were like North Cascades (where the boundaries are roadless wilderness), and less like Yosemite, or Yellowstone where they cater first to automobiles, and second to the wilderness experience. Then again, Yosemite/Yellowstone attracts millions, while North Cascades just attracts a hundred thousand or so. Imagine how different the "awe" and wow factor would be if Yosemite Valley was a wilderness with trails instead of roads leading into its confines, and it took 2 to 3 day excursion to make it into there! To me the effort of making it into some immaculate places is greater when done on foot then it is by having a car propel you there. Unfortunately, the NPCA has a mission where one of their 4 objectives is to create and enhance the roads in the parks. Of course, they never factor all the dead wildlife that is killed on park roads by those same automobiles, and thier impacts. Some of us do though.

    Another good example is the water pipeline that needs enhanced in Petrified Forest because the old one is failing. Once again, millions are needed to upgrade the pipeline so that water can travel many miles back to a visitor center. If i'm in the desert, especially in remote parts of the desert, I sort of expect to have my car stuffed with water and wouldn't need or expect free flowing flush toilets where 5 gallons of precious liquid is used to flush urine. Sinks should be seen as a commodity in places like that. But then again, i'm not a normal person by any means. One would hope the pipeline isn't a deal breaker that would destroy and privitize the extremely beautiful Petrifed Forest, if visitors were all the sudden forced to bring their own water to the show. Already one senator entertained such a thought.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    With fuel oil at $4 a gallon, you bet I have good insulation, and yes, I know that most of us try our best to reduce our footprint on the planet. As for air conditioning, we don't have that in Seattle. My wife and I just run a fan. But I sure had it when I taught in Texas! As we agree, we get so used to all of these things we forget how tied to "progress" all of us are. I don't begrudge anyone the fruits of their labors; I just want all of us to use common sense. So much of what we call our "needs" these days were truly luxuries in the past. Every time I start feeling sorry for myself, I remind myself that I have ten times more than my father and mother ever had. Bridging that disconnect between our true needs--and our false ones--remains the greatest challenge we face today.

  • Grand Canyon National Park's Concessions Issue Impacting National Parks Nationwide   1 week 2 days ago

    cburt

    So you want the government to breach their contract? What are they going to sue Xanterra for, living by the contract terms?

    It may have been a poorly thought out deal by the NPS/Government but it is the deal they made and the deal they should live by.

  • Grand Canyon National Park's Concessions Issue Impacting National Parks Nationwide   1 week 2 days ago

    They should never have been promised repayment for improvements they made to leased property in order to make more money. Anyone who has leased property knows the lessor isn't going pay one for making improvements to help one's business. Moreover, there should be law to keep the park service from indebting the parks, which belong to the public.

    Xanterra has made a bunch of money off public parks. I say let them suck wind. Their prices are too high and the services they provide the public are not the best. I don't care if all the concessions close - as long as the resources are protected.

    Give back the other parks their money and let Xanterra sue Grand Canyon (as they are). And then maybe the public will sue them back and find out how much they made at Grand Canyon after investing their money. The United States of America can sue them. Or a citizens' group can.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    Let's not forget the F350 diesel truck used to pull the horses to the trails... I usually ride from my house to the trails.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    Absolutely true, Dr. Runte.

    However, if each of us does all we can to minimize our impacts by walking or biking when possible, by reducing home fuel use through good insulation, by turning the thermostat down just two degrees in winter and up two in summer, using solar power any way we can, buying fuel-efficient vehicles and literally hundreds of other available options, what can happen?

    Yes, we are all part of the problem. But if we are willing to try just a little, we can all be part of the solution.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    You see what I mean, Rick, in your statement: "There is a world of difference between a Jeep or a Chrysler and an organization formed with the precise purpose of working against things I believe in." Indeed there is. My grandfather once said the automobile would destroy America. And if the machinations of the automobile lobby in Washington, D.C., are not intended to do just that, what are? The biggest battles environmentalists have lost have been funded by the auto industry. That "maintenance backlog" the Park Service so boldly announces is almost entirely roads and parking lots. In Yellowstone, that backlog is an estimated $560 million.

    Just who are we kidding here? Ourselves. I have always wondered why my book, ALLIES OF THE EARTH: RAILROADS AND THE SOUL OF PRESERVATION, never caught on with the environmental community, for which it was written. Now I know. Environmentalists never see the problem as having anything to do with themselves. It's always the other guy's car, and the other guy's airplane flight, and the other guy's second home in the mountains, and the other guy's investments in corporate America. We are clean because our motives are clean.

    No, we're not. We are just as tied up into knots--and full of inconsistencies. We want to preach from a comfortable pulpit just as much as "the other guy." Edward Abbey hated cars in the national parks, but loved ramming his pickup truck through the desert just outside. All of my friends have done "low impact" hiking in Nepal, but how in God's name did they get there? "We have met the enemy, and he is us," said Pogo, that famous cartoon character from the 1960s. That still sticks with me today. We get nowhere by pointing fingers. We rather concede that all of us are guilty and need to mend our ways.

    End of sermon, and yes, my pulpit is very comfortable, thanks to central heating run with oil. I am about to get in my car and get a cup of coffee. I should walk but it is four blocks away. So again, we see what Pogo meant.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    The case of CHNSRA, managerial pitfalls, NGO political influence, and inflexibility has dramaticly increased cost of managing that park. Many feel they increased the size of thier beauracracy simply because they can, with little benefit to the park or it's resources.

    The same can said about Cape Lookout and Assateague, where they are reinventing the management plans solely because of NGO influence and management inflexibility that will raise the cost of managing these parks as well.

    I would prefer allowing States to own and manage these parks instead of privatizing.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    Thanks for the sources Michael. I was just doing the math after a quick check of the number of households and the NPS budget. It doesn't solve the problem either way of course but it does influence my opinion somewhat. It could also hurt the credibility of the source. I hope it’s my numbers that are off somehow and not the NPCA’s. It is odd to me that they site so many different sources for their figure.

    The number you sited didn't surprise me while mine did. $2.50 vs $25 is not insignificant. Then take into account how many households don't pay any federal taxes and the number would increase even more. Factor in those who don't care or visit the parks etc. and the numbers could get really interesting. If privatizing is an option certainly something any buyer would want to understand.

    I am not a fan of the argument that the parks add to local economies. While I don’t dispute that is true, it opens the debate of who then should be paying for the parks or how much. That is, should a special tax be levied on those businesses that benefit from everyone else’s tax dollars? I liken it to the professional sports teams that argue cities need to build them huge new stadiums because they are so good for the local economy.

    I also see a graphic from NPCA stating new parks aren't part of the problem. I think this is short sighted as any new park is certainly going to eventually add to the maintainence backlog sometime in the future.

    I do not know much about NPCA but am a huge fan of the parks.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    Rick,

    All you've done is pointing out that you don't like the goals and funding of the organization, but you've said nada about the idea. You got your thinking priorities backward. Ideas and principles should stand or fall on their own, not based on who supports them. We already see too much of this in current politics with both parties who only like ideas that they came up with.

    Now, that's not to say that we can like an idea while questioning the motives of the supporters. But, that's a separate debate.

    So, who's going to debate the original idea or answer my question about how the NPS spends its budget? :)

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    Alfred...

    Yup. I live in a town with a tourism-based economy. I know about dirty money, literally.

    There is a world of difference between a Jeep or a Chrysler and an organization formed with the precise purpose of working against things I believe in.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    But Rick. When I was on the board of NPCA, we never turned down a conservative's money, either. In fact, we had so many entangling alliances I couldn't recognize the place anymore. Just for the record, environmentalists have no problem with big corporations pursuing their agendas--most recently solar power, wind power, and the abatement of climate change. In fact, back to my days on the board of NPCA, our magazine was running ads for Jeep Cherokee, while Audubon Magazine sported an ad of a Chrysler SUV pounding up a wilderness streambed. I am all for criticizing "dirty money," but you know what? Much of ours is dirty, too. Great fortunes are built by stepping on toes. Ouch! You shouldn't do that, Mr. Rockefeller, but yes, we'll be glad to take your money for Jackson Hole, the Smokies, and Acadia.

    America is a messy place--full of contradictions and inconsistencies. The question remains before us: How do we fund these things called national parks? One of these days, we will have to stop pointing fingers and resolve the issue. I am all for starting the process now.

  • Is Outsourcing Parks A Key To Solving The National Park Service's Financial Woes?   1 week 2 days ago

    many incredibly wasteful non-defense projects absorbing taxpayer dollars.

    I agree - those monies would be better going to non wastefull defense projects. National defense, one of the enumerated powers, accounts for about 1/5 of the budget. The other 4/5ths are largely non-enumerated powers.

    is a goal that will never be reached.

    I hope you don't manage your household budget that way, i.e. "we are spending more than we can afford but we will never get our spending down so lets just spend more".

    Yes we need a balanced budget and it can be done if there is a will.