Recent comments

  • Paddling The Border Route In The Boundary Waters   1 week 2 days ago

    Great story about a wild slice of the North Woods!

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    When we were at Delicate arch last year it wasn't very crowded--in fact when we hiked to the arch we were the only ones there for about an hour( I hear that's very unusual) Despite that we had trouble finding a place to park-- the few spots where taken by people on the way back. As I recall it did look like a sensitive landscape with a small beautiful creek and grass growing along the shoulder of the road. Then you have the cabin and pictographs. I wonder where they plan to expand the parking-- I don't recall much room to really expand. Maybe some kind of shuttle from a remote but close lot would be better?

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    In other words, EC, if a robber were to enter your house, you would only shoot him if he came into the bedroom. Merely the notion that naming it your house would of course have nothing to do with it. It's that kind of absolutism that drives "many" robbers nuts.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    Since you seemed to have missed the point, it isn't that "all the park is sensitive" thats the problem, its your opinion that "all the park is sensitive" that is the problem. The notion that by merely naming a piece of property a National Park every inch is magically transformed into sancrosant land is that kind of absolutism that turns many people away from the environmental movement.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    Dr. Runte seems to have it right (and he's certainly right about Abbey). Why is a slightly longer bus trek a problem? Yes, it would cost more. That's a problem you either choose to solve or choose not to solve. I took a 14-hour bus trip in Denali, and it was one of the best days I ever had in a national park.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    Thanks Kurt, I wasn't aware of this program.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    And because I'm not sure where else to put this, here are a couple of proposed bills in Congress from this morning's Legislative Activities Report that look like they could be some serious problems for public lands. Whether we agree or disagree isn't important. What is really important is that we are aware of them and make an effort to keep track of what's happening and to learn more about things like this so we may either support or oppose them by contacting our Congress critters to voice our opinions. Talking about them with friends is a good idea, too. We need to try to make more people aware of what's being done to the lands we all own as Americans.

    • S. 414 (Feinstein, D-CA), to provide for conservation, enhanced recreation opportunities, and development of renewable energy in the California Desert Conservation Area, and for other purposes.
    • H.R. 900 (Labrador, R-ID-1), to amend title 54, United States Code, to provide for congressional and State approval of national monuments and restrictions on the use of national monuments.
  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    Indeed, therein DOES lie the problem. Thank you for acknowledging that. Now, what is the best way to administer these lands with sensitivity in place? Right there is the root of a whole lot of controversy. It's much too easy to simply take shots at the people who find themselves charged with responsibility for making decisions and quite another to try to understand why they may be forced by circumstances beyond their immediate control to try to make the best decisons they can at the time.

  • Photography In The National Parks: Capturing The Essence Of The Wild Animal   1 week 2 days ago

    Oh my! Some great photos and a good story to start the day. Thanks again, Deby.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    Its just grass outside the park but it's sensitive grass inside the park, I see.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    EVERY part of a natural national park is sensitive.

    And therein lies the problem.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   1 week 2 days ago

    [[ thanks,Jim. My question sprang from prior posts, not from the original topic. It's still a good question, for another day.]]

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   1 week 2 days ago

    Appears to be pickup size tracks with positive traction like a 4x4 would have. Doesn't appear to be in-4wd based on the pics. It's a shame, no question. That area has an unfortunate history of vandalism like I suspect there are in other parks, especially in the off season.

    Long ago, I had some of the best times of my life staying at that campground. We would mostly sleep there during the day and surf fish Cape Point, just behind the campground, from dusk till dawn.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   1 week 2 days ago

    Back to the subject of this piece, this "call for papers" could be one of the most meaningful projects the Traveler has facilitated. I hope readers who have both a serious interest in the future of the parks and some writing ability will choose to participate.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 2 days ago

    One important factor in this equation is distance. It's a lot farther than in Zion. Something like 40 miles roundtrip instead of 14. Covering that distance while carrying all the passengers needing transport would require a whole lot more vehicles than are required in Zion where each shuttle can make a round trip in about an hour. I'm guessing here, but figure it would require perhaps four times as much time to make the trip in Arches. Thus, it would be reasonable that it would require four times as many vehicles, drivers, mechanics and other support. And, four times the $$$s.

    Also, the park entrance is in a canyon bounded on one side by highway and the other side by cliffs. There is no place within the park's entrance area for adequate parking. A big parking lot will be needed somewhere outside the park and probably several miles away in either direction. (Maybe the area along the Colorado River where a few million dollars were recently spent to remove a few million tons of uranium mine waste would make a good spot. It's big enough. And if you park there long enough, your car might glow in the dark. That would be novel.)

    Allowing people to drive private vehicles into the park would defeat the purpose. But for those who want to go to the campground -- which is at the far end of the 20 mile road -- could be handled in the same manner as vehicles belonging to guests at Zion Lodge. A red tag on the dashboard allows entrance to the lodge parking lot and no more. Once at the lodge, the car is parked and they ride the shuttle.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm 110% in favor of developing a shuttle at Arches. It can be done and should be done. But it ain't a-gonna be easy.

    As for the sensitivity of the area at the Delicate Arch trailhead -- heck yes, it's sensitive. Unless it has been moved since I was there last time, it's in one of very few riparian areas along a small creek fed by a feeble spring. It's also right beside the historic Wolf Ranch homestead shown in the photo accompanying the article. Besides, as someone pointed out above, EVERY part of a natural national park is sensitive.

    Then there are all the political angles involved. I believe I am correct in saying that the Zion shuttles enjoyed full support from Senator Bob Bennett. Bennett was a moderate who was dumped in a party convention when the Tea Party went after him. He was replaced by Mike Lee who is about as far out as one can get. Expecting any support from Lee is like wishing for the Good Fairy to pay a visit.

    While it's very easy to blame park administration and WASO and DOI, it's almost certainly not that simple.

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   1 week 2 days ago

    Looks more like 4x4 truck tracks to me, what a mess.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   1 week 2 days ago

    I'm really curious.

    When Director Jarvis was first nominated, all I heard from rank and file NPS employees was a great satisfaction that someone up from the ranks of the NPS was being chosen to lead, rather than a career politician from elsewhere. What I'm curious about is if all those voices have changed their minds or if they are now just drown out by the Red Queen "off with her head" crowd.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 3 days ago

    No, we have to ask whether the park is "senstive."

    And why is that not a reasonable question? Sounds to me that you have your "solution" and are looking for a problem when it might not exist.

  • Call For Papers: National Parks, The Next Century   1 week 3 days ago

    SmokiesBackpacker said it all. It is time for Jarvis to go and new leadership to take over the National Park Service and remember what the parks are for and why they were founded.

    On another note, why is it that we do not have an accurate and complete history of the role of concessions in the history of the National Park Service. This important topic has never been covered. Perhaps we can take some of the money now being raised and spent on 2016 and write this history. I think this would be a wonderful present to give to National Park Service Management, Congress and the American people.

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   1 week 3 days ago

    Minimizing the damage at first sounded to me like someone was preparing to confess and starting to mount his defense argument.

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   1 week 3 days ago

    I don't care for the local ORV orgs politics concerning CHNS but I can assure readers they find that kind of activity just as disgusting as me. Most likely this is youngsters and involves alcohol.

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 3 days ago

    Noting the comments above, you can understand what Winston Churchill meant. Round and round we go when the solution is right there in front of us. Then do it now. No, we have to ask whether the park is "senstive." Then we have to protest the cost. Then we have to protest the distances involved. Then we have to protest the time it would take. And so, once again we reach for the six gun. Boom! Lay the asphalt and be done with it.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the boys in the bunkhouse are talking about all of the wind farms we will need to halt climate change. They seem to have no trouble funding those. Who were those masked men that stole all of the Park Service's funding? The Koch brothers? No, the president of the United States.

    He does the budget. Why is the Park Service at the bottom of the heap, while General Electric gets all it wants?

    Don't tell me this is a funding issue. It's never a funding issue. It is rather about who has the power and dares exercise it for good or ill. As Jeffrey Immelt of GE put it to a colleague of mine just last year, "I am at the table in the White House, and you aren't."

    Well, let's get to the table. It's time. Ask Hillary Clinton what she has mind for the national parks Ask Jeb Bush. The Koch brothers will be hoping to buy both of them. GE will spend lavishly on their campaigns. How about we remind every candidate next year what a democracy is? If we have the time to waff waff with one another here, will we take the time to exercise that privilege?

    Kurt, we need major articles on the parks philosophy of every candidate. Then we need them to go viral, as did the trademarks issue, thanks to you. No more Mr. Nice Guy. Just a few votes can swing a state. How about we make those swing votes count for parks?

  • Keep Track Of Events Surrounding Acadia National Park's Centennial Celebration At This Website   1 week 3 days ago

    The Acadia Centennial Web site not only lets you link to the evolving calendar of events, it also invites individuals, businesses and non-profits to become part of history, by applying to be an Acadia Centennial Partner.

    Historians, artists, garden societies and museums are among those already announcing their intentions during this once in a century opportunity. Read about how you, too, can become a Centennial Partner, in our blog post:

    www.acadiaonmymind.com/2015/02/partners-celebrate-acadia-national-park-c...

  • Joy Riders At Cape Hatteras National Park Tear Up Cape Point Campground Grounds   1 week 3 days ago

    I am disappointed by the amount of support these vandals are getting in some of these comments.

    Where do you see anyone giving them support?

  • Construction Starts In March To Expand Delicate Arch Parking Lot At Arches National Park   1 week 3 days ago

    I wasn't thinking new money, but rather money already budgeted for transportation programs, such as the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program.