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House Subcommittees Dissecting National Park Service, Searching For Solutions

Jul 22nd - 07:36am | SmokiesBackpacker

The NPS may be reporting higher visitation but the oversight committee should be looking into that. With the notorious numbers fudging so rampant in Jarvis cabal, it is time that the visitation numbers be audited by an outside agency. Jarvis has been caught padding numbers here in the Smokies with visitation so other numbers elsewhere should be treated with great suspicion.

Musings From John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Jul 22nd - 03:12am | Rudy Stefancik

You will be pleased to learn that the Oregon legislature just passed a law that allows rural counties such as Wheeler County in the Fossil beds area are now allowed to have 24 hour self service stations to allow gas purchases with a credit card when no attendant is on duty.

Update: Wildfire Shuts Down Half Of Glacier National Park's Going-To-The-Sun Road, Forces Evacuations

Jul 22nd - 00:02am | Becki

What a shame. . .

Public Meetings Set To Consider Changes To Cape Hatteras National Seashore's ORV Plan

Jul 21st - 23:27pm | Anonymous

Anonymous, you are missing the point completely. What's really important in America these days is the fear that profits of local businesses cannot thrive when resources that feed them are protected. Some of those liberal environmental wackos might argue that if the resources are no longer protected, there may some day be no reason for anyone to visit them.

Jul 21st - 16:55pm | Jean Allgood

We were there this spring for several weeks. Wildlife--seabirds, plovers, sea turtle, etc.-- cannot thrive when their nesting habitat is being reduced and destroyed.

Land And Water Conservation Fund Has Far-Reaching Impacts On Public Lands

Jul 21st - 20:54pm | Tom Crawford

The LWCF has been a great program that supports many projects that have contributed greatly to the financial stability of small towns all over our great United States of America.

Jul 20th - 14:06pm | Scott from Colorado

LWCF is monumental. Over the past 50 years it has protected critical lands that preserve wildlife and natural resources. These include places where I hike and camp, including destination trips to Utah and Arizona that bring tourist dollars to small towns.

Clearing Trails The Old-Fashioned Way At Lassen Volcanic National Park

Jul 21st - 17:29pm | ecbuck

"Also to Lassen's management for not taking the easy way out." God forbid we get 2-3x as much accomplished using the right tools. Banning chainsaws for trail work makes as much sense as banning bicycles.

Jul 21st - 10:15am | tahoma

Hats off to the volunteers who performed all that hard work and sharpened all those saw teeth!  Also to Lassen’s management for not taking the easy way out.  The use of chainsaws for such work is more the rule than the exception in many western parks.

Yellowstone National Park Website Tracks Campground Filling Times In Real Time

Jul 21st - 13:26pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Last week in the Great Smoky Mtns NP, the widely despised and highly contested online reservation system for backcountry camping was down for 24 hours. Calls to the backcountry office were met with the following statement, of whom I was one of the callers.

Jul 20th - 20:18pm | Anonymous

I was there two weeks ago and found the service spotty but it wasn't hard to find a place where it worked.

Jul 20th - 17:08pm | CJDillon

This is a great service. Unfortunately for park visitors, there is little to know internet availability in Yellowstone, so visitors would not have access to this website once they arrive at the park.

Jul 19th - 22:20pm | LaRae Taylor

Several campers told me that Mammoth would put out the filled sign by about 10:00 am whether they were or not! A lot of days they weren't full.

Lost in the Desert: Proposed Mojave Trails National Monument Remains In Limbo

Jul 21st - 11:22am | Harry Butowsky

Wonderful article from Dr. Runte. I just wonder where all the money went for road, highway and other infrastructure repair across the country?

Ranger-Led Hike To Sunfish Pond At Delaware Water Gap NRA This Sunday

Jul 21st - 08:40am | ecbuck

Bring bear spray. One of the highest density bear areas on the east coast.

Op-Ed| Correcting The Record On The Biscayne Marine Reserve

Jul 20th - 15:22pm | Anonymous

"that isn't a bad thing." Its that kind of thinking in the absolute that is the problem.

Jul 20th - 14:16pm | Anonymous

One sided? Predetermined? If the one side presented and the predetermined outcome is preserving the flora, fauna, and environment, that isn't a bad thing.

Jul 20th - 10:40am | trailadvocate

Exactly correct, Ec!

Jul 19th - 22:06pm | tomp2

From my perspective, it appears that Carl Liederman is writing about fish (snook, tarpon, bonefish), and MPAs to maximize sustainable catch, while at least from the NOAA SE Fisheries center perspective, the MPA is more designed to protect the corals that can be damaged by fishing.

Jul 19th - 21:05pm | ecbuck

" if the results of the process recommend actions with which you do not agree. "

Jul 19th - 21:04pm | rmackie

Thank you Kurt for the sources and thank you Rick, this needs to be protected.

Jul 19th - 19:03pm | Rick Smith

Ron--Well-written, but completely one sided. Even when I worked in the Everglades in the 80's, the marine resources of Biscayne were in decline. It is easy to say that the outcomes of planning processes are ":pre-determined" if the results of the process recommend actions with which you do not agree. That's what is going on here.

Jul 19th - 13:16pm | Kurt Repanshek

We certainly appreciate the perspective that Mr. Liederman brings to the issue, but there are some lingering questions...* Does the state of Florida and Mr. Liederman agree with the Park Service that the area in question is struggling from a fisheries/coral reef health point of view?

Jul 19th - 10:51am | rmackie

A well written opinion piece in my view. I am just not informed enough on the issue to comment except to say I think the protection is probably a good idea. I do agree that predetermined outcomes in planning efforts are counterproductive. I have witnessed this before and it leads to a lack of creditability on the agency's part.

Jul 19th - 08:02am | ecbuck

This theme of predetermined outcome is becoming all to common. And unfortunately, it is not limited to our parks.

Florida Congressional Offices Want To Block Biscayne National Park's Fisheries Plan

Jul 19th - 12:23pm | Gil Muratori

Not doing something now would be a major problem to the future of fishing in south Florida. Too many anglers seeking fewer and fewer fish. There is a limit and the general public does not want to admit it. Everyone wants their share with no thought to the future. Marine Reserves are in place all over the planet and have in most cases worked very well producing more and bigger fish.

North Carolina Legislature Retains Specialty Plates For Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Appalachian Trail

Jul 18th - 22:34pm | Tad McArdle

I'm glad the nature design came back -- white rectangle is OK for visibility of lettering, but to lose the beautiful bear and mountain theme would have been pointless and stupid.

Op-Ed| SOS--Saving Our (National Park) System

Jul 18th - 18:07pm | rmackie

I disagree Harry, but do concede it is a complex issue. Investments in our parks, cultural and historical heritage have been a good thing for so many obvious reasons. From my own limited perspective, I think the problem is more related to our financial and corporate business models, largely based now on short term (quarterly) profit margins.

Jul 18th - 10:18am | Harry Butowsky

I totally agree with the last comment about giving non-park related responsibilities to the National Park Service. This has created confusion and increased non-park related costs that are causing the entire system to fail. Congress needs to establish a national commission that will look at everything we do to determine what programs should be dropped.

Jul 18th - 02:46am | Old NPS Retiree

To my mind the key question and concern is whether or not the NPS should be concerned with parks of truly national significance or should continue to be assigned other responsibilities. For example the inclusion of the former Bureau of Recreation responsibilities into NPS is an example of primary mission dilution that

20th Annual Gettysburg Music Muster Coming Up In August

Jul 18th - 10:25am | Harry Butowsky

Is there a YouTube video out there that I can find to listen to this event?

Cape Hatteras National Seashore To Adjust Wildlife Boundaries

Jul 17th - 19:12pm | Rick B.

Then stop posting anonymously, get rid of the prejudiced adjectives like 'dishonest' and such, and go ahead and get it changed legal and aboveboard. If the facts are actually on your side.

Jul 17th - 17:52pm | Anonymous

2015 = 1 fledged plover chick. 7 years of closures to pedestrians and ORVs have proven that these unreasonable closures don't work. I blame the NPS for allowing the outside dishonest environmental groups to dictate/intimidate them into using the most restrictive species management on the East coast. There is enough evidence to vastly reduce these closures even more.

National Park Service Preparing EIS On Future Of Wolves At Isle Royale National Park

Jul 17th - 13:51pm | droF

I've backpacked Isle Royale many times over the last 37 years & have always been interested in the wolf/moose relationship. The fact that wolves inhabited the island made the visits very special to my family. To simply let their population disappear is wrong IMO. I normally wouldn't recommend intervening in the natural process, but I definitely feel an exception needs to be made here.

Jul 17th - 10:13am | Linda Dooling

Yes, introduce wolves from Michigan's U.P. Man has already unintentionally introduced Parvovirus once which effected the wolf population. Culling or removing the Moose would only be a temporary fix. Not having the checks and balances will result in the destruction of vegetation. I have been to Isle Royal twice and it was an unforgettable experience.

Jul 16th - 21:56pm | rmackie

Thank you Kurt, very helpful. A complex issue, the biologists points are extremely interesting.

Jul 16th - 18:59pm | Kurt Repanshek

Ahhh, Traveler has written much on the plight of these wolves:http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2013/03/isle-royale-national-parks-...

Jul 16th - 18:49pm | rmackie

wild places, you make an interesting point, I do not know enough about the situation to make an informed comment. It will be interesting to see what the wildlife biologists come up with. What is natural is complex, climate changes, animal and plant species do migrate.

Jul 16th - 16:24pm | wild places

If I'm not mistaken the main cause of their demise is inbreeding. Unless there is a compelling reason to intervene to continue this long running study I say let nature take it's course. Another pack may well establish itself sometime in the future or it may not but why treat the island like a zoo? I don't think wolves need help in Canada, northern WI or MI any longer.

Jul 16th - 14:06pm | Rick B.

A bunch of good commentary, although when one person in the middle of talking about moose, wolves, and islands interjects to take a cheap shot at liberals it was a clanger.

Jul 16th - 12:24pm | rmackie

Agree Hoxie.

Jul 16th - 12:22pm | anonymous 3

I have been to the Island.Did not see any wolves in my 4 day stay but some Moose.At the time the park guessed there was about 1000 moose to 4-5 wolves.This was a couple of years ago.They eat the rabbits that are there as well.The only other animal is the Fox.Right now the best thing to do is reintroduce at least 2 new packs,7-9 animals,Alpha male and female,couple of pups and some aunts and unc

Jul 16th - 11:16am | Brian D. Hoxie

As most people know, The wolves/moose ecosystem of Isle Royale is the only one known in the world. Some people have said, "let nature take its' course" and man should not intervene. But the truth of the matter is, we already have. Tapeworms/dogs would be a prime example. As sad as it sounds, if the wolves of the island are to disappear, then the moose will have to go the same route.

Jul 15th - 22:03pm | Anonymous

While it would be sad to see the wolves vanish from the island I am all for letting nature take it's own course.

A Firefighter's Death Leads to Internal Analysis Of Protocols By National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service

Jul 17th - 01:08am | Jason Bowman

As a former USFS Helitack and NPS supervisory firefighter I call BS on this entire "investigation". Why was there not one senior firefighter there to say stop! does this tree really need felling? or will it impact that other tree? The insanity of lack of proper treatment after the injury is culpable!

Aramark Awarded Yosemite National Park Concession Contract

Jul 15th - 21:08pm | Chad Johnson

Going with Aramark is a huge mistake. They're one of the worst companies in the world. Someone dropped the ball big time.

Move In Congress To Overturn National Park Service's Ban On Disposable Water Bottles

Jul 15th - 15:04pm | Anonymous

"but judging by the piles of plastic trash on every meadow, beach, and trail around" Not around here, must be a problem in your area.

Jul 15th - 13:46pm | Anonymous

Bottled water was created in the 90s. Consumer GPS, light weight gear and Gortex came then or later. Should they be banned?

Jul 15th - 12:45pm | BanBottledWater

Bottled water was created in the 90s. Did everyone in National Parks die of thirst before that?

Hunter Who Killed Gray Wolf That Roamed From Yellowstone To Grand Canyon Won't Be Charged

Jul 15th - 13:39pm | Claire

So, can anyone explain to me why someone would want to kill a Coyote in the first place? It seems they have a right to live as well as any other species, especially after having made a miraculous comeback after being almost entirely decimated by ignorant bounty hunters. Let them live.

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