Recent comments

  • Olympic National Park Working On Long-Range Mountain Goat Management Plan   6 days 2 hours ago

    Here's a recent long article proposing the Olympic's non-native goats be captured and relocated to other parts of Washington state where native goat populations have dropped as much as 90% in the past fifty years, probably due to habitat fragmentation and inbreeding:

    http://seattletimes.com/html/pacificnw/2023975247_0720goatssurvivalcover...

    I worked at OLYM during the 80's goat capture program. It was ended mostly because of serious safety concerns for helo pilots and biotechs involved.

    Also, some might be interested in this (~8 min) USFS video "Hiking Safely With Goats", filmed just outside Olympic NP on the popular Mt. Ellinor trail:

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/olympic/home/?cid=stelprdb5412239

  • Olympic National Park Working On Long-Range Mountain Goat Management Plan   6 days 2 hours ago

    That's very interesting, Gary. How are wolverines and mountain goats co-dependent? My understanding is that wolverines could use some help.

  • Olympic National Park Working On Long-Range Mountain Goat Management Plan   6 days 2 hours ago

    I agree, they should tranqualize, capture, then transfer them to areas of the country where Goat populations have become isolated, but are native. Idaho has many isolated goat populations that could use a genetic boost, and that is native to their range. I also think that if you boost goat numbers, you in turn boost wolverine numbers because they have a co-dependance.

  • Olympic National Park Working On Long-Range Mountain Goat Management Plan   6 days 3 hours ago

    I hope they are relocated. Given that they were introduced by "us" as a novelty, and then we changed our minds about them, killing the mountain goats perpetuates a (re)framing of wildlife as disposable items. (My philosophical/Heideggerian rant for the day.) Thanks for the article.

  • Traveler's View: Anti-Government Politicians Bear Watching This Election Year   6 days 3 hours ago

    Kurt,

    First, these politicians aren't "anti-government". Someone who is "anti-government" is an anarchist and politicians certainly aren't anarchists, they would lose their job.

    That said, I would agree that citing a number like 50% is inappropriate. Any selected number would be entirely arbitrary. I'm guessing he threw out that number to get the process started.

    You rightfully identify some places of spectacular beauty that probably should stay under national ownership - though I wasn't aware that Yellowstone was ever considered a wasteland. While some of these areas exist, there are vast portions of states such as Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado...... that don't meet that crieteria. They serve no national purpose and are of no national interest. These are the lands that your "anti-government" folk are targeting.

    As you are well aware, my bias is towards a more limited Federal government. I believe that lands that don't serve a national interest should be given back to the states. Thus, I believe it is the land itself that should generate that determination not 0%, not 100% nor some arbitary number in between.

  • Heading To Logan Pass At Glacier National Park? Bring Some Water!   6 days 3 hours ago

    Has the snow completely melted off Mt Clemente and Oberlin? I remember climbing up to the saddle between the two and then doing a class 3 route up Oberline, and there were quite a few small and beautiful running streams of fresh water coming off that mountain. Marmots feeding off small alpine wildflowers lived all around those small streams, and it was one of the most beautiful spots I think I ever saw....anywhere.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 3 hours ago

    Ron,

    This isn't a question of whether the development is being done. It is a question of what technology is going to be used. Some have suggested that geothermal would be a cleaner, less obtrusive technology. That may or may not be true. But what is the harm in considering it? Why not look at the alternatives and evaluate them. Such absolutism can only be driven by dogma, not by interest in the facts.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 12 hours ago

    Having worked in and around National parks for going on 50 plus years (that certainly does not make me an expert however), I do think it is important to hold the line on new development in the designated National Parks, and perhaps most of the other NPS areas as well. I think Gary is right about this. The overriding political issue facing every management team I was/am involved with is trying to starve off new development proposals, commercial use permits, etc. It is even more difficult when those interested in a concession contract, energy opportunities, etc. have political clout, as most vary large corporations or well connected citizens do. Once we cave into the proposal, there is no end to the infrastructure upgradeds, housing for employees, well, you name it. The Park Supts. are really at the mercy of corporate interest. I have personally seen fine NPS managers relieved of their positions for fighting off some of these types of developments. I also agree with Alfred Runte's comment attached to the well done "Traveler" article on fees in the Smokies. I also was disappointed that the NPS Director did not couple the importance of the enormous ecological values of the National Parks along with the recreational and economic realities.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 15 hours ago

    is what I called a wild arsed guess.

    You can call it what you want. You are good at calling things/people names. But the fact is I am not calling for construction based on my "wild arsed guess". I am saying Haynes' call for consideration is reasonable. Whether it makes sense or not is still to be determined - except in your mind without any of the relavant facts.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 15 hours ago

    Now we all know something about how Mr. Obama must feel when he tries to work in a reasonable fashion with the Clowns of Congress.

    See y'all in a week. Heading for Zion where it's nice and cool. Maybe it will melt some of the blubber I accumulated last winter. Big airshow in St. George, too, with the Blue Angels.

    Keep smiling everyone.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 15 hours ago

    Thank you Alfred, i think you are right on here.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   6 days 16 hours ago

    There is about a 28% increase in visitation this year, over last

    Gary, I think that is the number he is looking for. Do you have a link for that?

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   6 days 16 hours ago

    Did you take a picture of it? And seriously, did you not learn how to use google? Come on Johnny, you're telling me you don't do any real research before you make your claims?

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/jan/20/fixing-smokies-slide-area-chall...

    http://earthsky.org/earth/u-s-southeast-experiencing-extreme-rainfall-in...

    http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2014/07/20/smokies-visitat...

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   6 days 17 hours ago

    The usual lack of data that so characterizes our NPS is displayed beautifully here. Along with the slandering of those that question them and uncivil manners. I saw two dogs on Leconte two months ago. I thought the fee was supposed to stop that. More undocumented mythology from the NPS and its employees but no one was paying me to hike up there so perhaps my view is a little different.

  • Heading To Logan Pass At Glacier National Park? Bring Some Water!   6 days 17 hours ago

    Gary in the perfect world you would be right. However due to limited parking at Logan Pass everyone is encouraged to ride the shuttles or take a red bus tour. And there is no Glacier Run off at Logan Pass. You would need to stop in the valley to access the run off creeks to filter yourw water. Plus there are no stops for filtering on shuttles or tours.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   6 days 17 hours ago

    Reading comprehension skills is not one of your strong suits. Should I write S-L-O-W-E-R or something? Yes, last year the decrease in visitation was noted and witnessed, but a lot of it was because of three events - a road sliding off the side of a mountain shutting the main park down for 5 months, a wet and cold summer, and a government shutdown during the busiest part of the year.

    Backcountry usage is up this year, actually way up compared to last year. Visitation is astronomically higher. Sorry to burst that bubble of yours. If you are having trouble with a simple website, than that is your problem. I didnt go to school around here, so maybe the schools need better funding if people can't click through 3 easy pages. If that's tough, then analyzing data on park statistics is going to be a tougher task. Its simple to find. Good luck!! All park visitation statistics are out on the web and current to the last month.

    And I am usually out in the backcountry many times a month. Was just out last week. And, I am very much a proponent of backcountry camping. That's how I spend most of my vacations, and I spend many weeks a year out in the Smokies backcountry on filming excursions. I have to backpack anywhere from 50 to 60 lbs worth of gear, so dayhiking is a tough task to carry what I have to do. It's easier to backcountry camp with that much gear.

    And I did state I don't have an opinion on a gate fee. I think it has it's pluses and minuses. I also didn't have much of an opinion on the backcountry fee either, but I have seen rangers many times on the trail, and have seen what they've done. So, it's being put to the right use. I will say, I have seen a LOT less dogs traveling up LeConte and the AT this year. Two years ago, I saw them almost every day. Now, its rare to encounter them, or stragglers using up shelters that didn't reserve them.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 17 hours ago

    Sweetcheeks, your comment "I also believe there could be geothermal energy installations that can be implemented without negative impacts on the geothermal features of Yellowstone," is what I called a wild arsed guess.

    You must really consider yourself a noble piccadore here, lancing in and about the various semantic constructions, like when you support the Tea Party talking points but quickly deny that you are a card carrying member.

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   6 days 17 hours ago

    Backcountry use is down %25 percent and those are the parks own numbers. Where in the world do you get the idea that it is up? Please show me a link. I would like to hear how you think that a decrease in backcountry use is good. And regarding the backcountry reservation website, when is the last time you backcountry camped in the Smokies, Gary? Seriously. There are numerous complaints, documented, with regard to that BS software. It takes three separate screens and your bank account? You can give them your bank acct info but I refuse to do that because it is foolish. You don't agree that the Smokies needs an entry fee but you think backcountry campers need one. The irony of your positions is glaring. But that is what happens when non backcountry campers weigh in on the backcountry fee. Dayhikers don't mind if we backpackers pay a fee and park service employees don't mind it either. You fall in both categories. Next thing I expect to hear is how you think horses are good for the trails.

  • Yosemite National Park Concession Prospectus Includes Significant Lodging Changes   6 days 17 hours ago

    I'm staying in Yosemite next month for $20 a night. I expect every penny will be well worth it.

  • Yosemite National Park Concession Prospectus Includes Significant Lodging Changes   6 days 17 hours ago

    I'm sorry, why do tens of millions of dollars go to a private corporation every single year as they are granted a monopoly on the basic services inside our flagship national park?

    "Thus, a family staying in Yosemite Lodge will be paying over $70 a night in fees and taxes."

    Right.... That's $70 to "us" and $170 to the Delaware North Corporation.

    So, ask yourself: Why is it so expensive to stay in the park?

  • Traveler's View: Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Backcountry Fee Debate Points To Larger Problem   6 days 17 hours ago

    John, just for fun, you have some errors again that should be pointed out. First, you can use a checking account on the backcountry reservation system. All you need is your account and routing information. Secondly, I use a smarthone and am one of 1.75 billion people to have and use one, so i'm far from a rarity, and more like the norm in this country. I can access the site, and register quite easily with my phone, then my permit information is emailed to me, and I then just get the permit on my phone and keep it there while im in the backcountry. I usally turn my phone off so I don't waste battery, but its on there incase i'm in camp and get asked to pull out a permit. I then turn on the phone, pull up the permit, and the end. Secondly, i'm only aware of a small handful of trails in the National Park system that require a fee. Most do not for day hiking. Whitney, Half Dome, and the Tall Trees in Redwoods NP are a few that come to mind. Can't think of many more other than those. Most parks do require a fee to enter the park. The Smokies does not. A majority of parks have a backcountry permit fee. Not all, but most. The system is not cumbersome, unless you are so technically unsavy that you can't even power on a computer let alone get on the web. If they can't handle that simple website, then they have much bigger issues going on. Secondly, they can call in, and the number is on the backcountry camping page on the website. It's open 8 to 5 daily, and that number is (865) 436-1297. The person above sounded like she didn't even call the office but the main park line.. Once again, a simple search on the web gives you the number.

    I'd also think that the 25% visitation you love to promote as ABSOLUTE facts that the backcountry system is failing is a misnomer, and here's why. First, last year was a weird year for the Smokies. Let's not forget in January the main highway slid off the side of the road and took 5 months to repair. That closed the main road through the park. Imagine Going-to-the-sun Road going off the side of the mountain. Think Glacier would be affected for some time. Well that happened in the Smokies. That screwed up the wildflower pilgrimage, and many other things. Pretty much set back spring tourism in the park. Then June, July and August turned out to be one of the coolest, and wettest summers on record. Over 110+ inches of rain fell in the backcountry last year. Many main holiday periods were dealt with lots of rain. I remember it well, because I was out in it A LOT. It was a lot of bad days of weather. So, that had an affect. Then let's not forget the tea party shutdown of our parks in October. Boy, you think the height of October when fall was at it's prime doesn't affect visitation? Think again. October is the busiest month, and half of it was shut down, and many had to cancel their plans. Im sure you remember that well, while you were promoting from the sidelines to bring anarchy to the park. Some of us had to watch it all unfold. Wasn't pretty, wasn't kind, and it left me with an utter distaste for the tea party, and people calling for the anarchy. So, let's be fair.

    Finally, let's also look at current statistics. There is about a 28% increase in visitation this year, over last. It's actually rather insane how much busier the park has been. Also backcountry use is up too. You can get the stats on the internet. They are out there. Personally, I don't have a true feeling either way on a gate fee for the Smokies. At times I think it would be useful, other times I think what makes this one National Park different would be lost. One thing I do like is that it is open and people can dayhike basically for free without paying any fee. I don't think that's a bad thing. Like you, I'm also not a fan of Pigeon Forge. I have yet to understand that town or what exactly it is. It's an odd place... like a bizarre southern offshoot of Las Vegas for christians and bumpkins. Seems to be mostly a regional thing, because i've never seen a similar town built anywhere around any other national park. I always considered West Yellowstone weird...well that was until I first saw Pigeon Forge. West Yellowstone is tame in comparison. I guess that makes you and I agree on at least something.

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 18 hours ago

    This would be boring if all of us agreed on everything. Where would the fun be in an echo chamber?

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 18 hours ago

    A quick note from the management: Please be careful in tossing the "troll" appellation around, for it can be attached so more than a few commenters if you accept this definition from Wikipedia:

    In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4]

    If you look through past threads, quite a few people have posted inflammatory comments and off-topic messages.

    We're not looking for a homogenous readership, but want to encourage different points of view...delivered in a constructive manner and, preferably, on topic. In his defense, EC does bring different points of view that deepen discussions and merit consideration. As do many others.

    Now, back to our regular programming...

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 19 hours ago

    Hence, the trolls are definitely not an endangered species, even on this National Park webisphere. Ohhh so that begs to question if a "block" feature should be used instead of a "ignore user" button? And would that ruin the pristine nature of debate in the webisphere? If a troll fires a troll line and no one is around to hear it troll does it make a sound?

  • GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining   6 days 19 hours ago

    twisting and turning and flipping and flopping

    Sorry Lee, I haven't engaged in any of the above. The only twisting here was the twisting of Haynes' position and you still won't admit he was falsely accused.

    And if trying to engage in a rational discussion is "baiting" then guilty as charged.