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Op-Ed | The Importance Of Railroads In The Evolution Of National Parks

Oct 15th - 09:03am | ecbuck

Ron - the Sherman Trust Act was sheved?  The only major change I am aware of to that act was the Clayton Act which exempted unions from Sherman provisions.  As to Glass Steagal, specifically what provision was dropped that hurt the poor and helped the rich?  As to Citizens United, that was not an act of deregulation but one of upholding the Constitution.

Oct 15th - 08:52am | ecbuck

Anon - other than the comments at the end of the subject article, I know nothing of PERC or its mission. 

Oct 14th - 23:06pm | rmackie

I agree argalite, deregulation beginning with shelving the Sherman Anti-trust Act (President Reagan), eliminating Glass/Steigel (under President Clinton), well,  just two glaring  examples. But perhaps the most corruptive of recent deregulation scams, this done by the Robert's Supreme Court, is the Citizens United v.

Oct 14th - 23:00pm | Lee Dalton

It's very ineresting that in most cases our most heavily developed parks are also among our oldest -- and those that had railroads involved in that development. Thank goodness some like Olympic, North Cascade, Great Basin and a few others escaped being ravaged by railroads.

Oct 14th - 22:35pm | Lee Dalton

Oh, Lordy!  Gotta run get my barn boots.  The bull pucky just got awfully deep in here.

Oct 14th - 21:03pm | Anonymous

ec--If you can explain PERC's mission of "free market environmentalism", I would appreciate it.  I have asked them and get responses that make little sense to me.  "Running a park like a business" has long been a mantra of neo-liberalism.  I am surprised that Dr. Runte, long a revered environmental historian, brings it up.

Oct 14th - 19:01pm | ecbuck

Yes Argalite, just join the troops that like to make unsubstantiated claims and then run when they have no way to defend them.  And as usual, Rick totally mischaracterizes my stance to create his strawman.  Did Wall Street have anything to do with the last recession.  Sure, because they were doing exactly what the government wanted and even demanded.    

Oct 14th - 18:57pm | Rick B.

Don't do it, Argalite. Just walk away and don't stick your finger into the finger trap. You're talking with a former Wall Street staffer who denies that deregulation of Wall Street had anything to do with Wall Street collapsing our economy. Just walk away.

Oct 14th - 18:19pm | ecbuck

Please identify a specific regulation that was eliminated and how that hurt the poor and helped the rich.  

Oct 14th - 15:58pm | argalite

Deregulation has not made this country the "best".  Deregulation hurts the poor and benefits the rich most often in American society.

Oct 14th - 14:59pm | ecbuck

I had trouble understanding the purpose or point of this piece until the very end.  God forbid we endorse "free market-based principles, individual property rights, and deregulation".  After all, those are the very factors that made our nation the best there has ever been.  

Winter Forecast Brings Mixed Bag For Park Travelers

Oct 14th - 18:21pm | ecbuck

 pretty good at explaining what happened; not so good at explaining what will happen.    Yet 97% of scientist know what the climate will be in 100 yrs.  LOL

Oct 14th - 16:42pm | Lee Dalton

Yeah, Rick, but a whole lot better than they used to be.  However, there still seems to be a lot of hoping in the profession that the rest of us have short memories.

Oct 14th - 15:41pm | Rick B.

While I'd enjoy the mild winter forecast here for North Cascades, where I live, I'm still making preparations for otherwise. In my experience weathermen are like economists - pretty good at explaining what happened; not so good at explaining what will happen.

Oct 14th - 10:17am | Merster

We call it "Inaccuweather," which is self explanatory...

Count On Crowds At Zion National Park This Weekend

Oct 14th - 16:39pm | Lee Dalton

Actually, Owen, I'm pretty darn sure that virtually every business and resident of Springdale would fully support freeing up the town by adding satellite parking lots.  They are absolutely upset about the current situation.  I doubt, too, that they'd lose any business if shuttle buses run from south of Rockville, through Springale, and into the park.  Frequrent shuttle stops in t

Oct 14th - 15:34pm | Owen Hoffman

Lee, I'm glad I've had the chance to work in and experience Zion in 1969.  I think there are many possible solutions, but few that won't be resisted tooth and nail by Gateway communities and the regional forces of industrial tourism.  

Oct 14th - 09:44am | Lee Dalton

"The park is anticipating conditions similar to the 2015 Labor Day weekend, when parking lots inside the park were full by 9:30 am. Once parking fills, visitors may experience traffic congestion in Springdale, and up to 45-minute waits for entrance to the park and shuttle bus boarding inside the park."

Musings While Drifting Down The Colorado River Through Canyonlands National Park

Oct 13th - 14:33pm | Anonymous

Catarct Canyon is a great river trip.  The rapids, "Satan's Gut" made the list of The Big Drops, Ten Legendary Rapids of the American West by boatman and professor, Rod Nash.  Running it early in the spring is a real challenge.

Oct 13th - 10:34am | Mike Hardinger

Nice article Kurt!  Mike.

Oct 10th - 22:03pm | Lee Dalton

This might not be the place for this, but it's probably as good as any to post it.

Three Mountain Lions Found Dead In Santa Monica Mountains In Recent Weeks

Oct 13th - 11:06am | ecbuck

Owen - manifest destiny and expansion have been with this world since man evolved.  There is hardly a country that exists today that wasn't established through conquest - frequently at the expense of the natives. Even the Native Americans were guilty of that. (I would guess there are many Native Americans that are thinking like Mark Twain at the moment).  

Oct 13th - 10:47am | Owen Hoffman

I cannot help but think that EC's comment that "Yes, we are more important...."  is reflective of the attitude that ultimately justified  US manifest destiny and western expansion, which directly contributed to the demise of Native Americans and altered the ecological landscape of the continent.  

Oct 13th - 09:14am | Lee Dalton

Thanks, ec, for a perfect illustration of exactly what I mean.

Oct 13th - 08:49am | ecbuck

Lee - The old and very tired strawman that tries to declare that we will all have to return to cave dwelling How ironic, you uses the word "strawman" in your strawman attack.  Noone said anything about cave dwelling.

Oct 13th - 08:39am | justinh

Agreed, Anon.  I'm so tired of seeing stories like this one.

Oct 12th - 23:44pm | Lee Dalton

Excellent reply, Ron. If each of us does a little, many of us will do a lot. The old and very tired strawman that tries to declare that we will all have to return to cave dwelling is one of the most unimaginative of a number of dodges used by those whose sense of entitlement supercedes their sense of responsibility.

Oct 12th - 23:16pm | rmackie

EC, a fair question. I am not sure how much I could sacrifice, but I think we can do much. For starters, we can make a greater effort to re-cycle, quit using plastic bags, bottled water, cut down on our driving where possible, slow down on roads, etc.  Small things but can add much.

Oct 12th - 20:07pm | ecbuck

Ron, are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle, or even life, for the mountain lion?  How about for the snail darter?  Easy to preach, easier to yell, but much harder to live the sermon.

Oct 12th - 19:54pm | rmackie

Thank you Lisa and Barbara, I am in agreement. As habitat for wildlife  becomes increasingly fractured and human expansion continues to increase with all the associated activities, poisons, high speed roads, etc., it is a real concern. For example here in California over the last 100 years plus, we have reduced our freshwater wetlands by 90%. I do think Dr.

Oct 12th - 17:47pm | ecbuck

Barbara - no need to yell.  And yes, we are more important.  

Oct 12th - 14:08pm | barbara ann thornley


Oct 12th - 11:14am | Lisa Owens Viani

Please stop using rat poison and let the natural predators that are so good at controlling rodents do their job. This is an active, ongoing environmental catastrophe--we are killing hawks, owls, bobcats, mountain lions, foxes, and others--from something as senseless and "convenient" as rat poison when there are other non-toxic methods of rodent control.

Treasure Your National Park Visits With A Photo Album From Shutterfly

Oct 13th - 10:07am | shozo sato

I have visited Bleuridge music center at last week. I tasted truly Blueridge music. Exciting! Now, I came home in Japan. Thank you for your everything.

Musings From Kalaloch In Olympic National Park

Oct 12th - 20:10pm | Kurt Repanshek

Good to see you back in the mix, y_p_w, it's been too long.

Oct 12th - 19:40pm | y_p_w

Ah - Kalaloch.  Stayed there one night.  The site was spacious but in the forested area.  Most of the sites with views of the Pacific were RV-only.  Saw one heck of a sunset on the beach with a backdrop of driftwood logs.

Oct 12th - 12:07pm | NP_Day_Hiker

Thank you Lee for bringing back some great memories.  I've only been to Olympic once, but my time there was amazing.  The best part were the sunsets at Kalaloch.  The only National Park Campground that rivals Kalaloch for me is Jenny Lake.

Plan To Open Everglades National Park To Python Hunt Condemned By PEER

Oct 12th - 18:39pm | Flapjacker 1 2 3

The downside?

Congresswoman Poised To Force Issue On Packrafting In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

Oct 12th - 08:42am | Jeff Ottmers

What confuses me is the idea that packrafting down a river is a problem in yellowstone, which has huge, wide cut TRAILS throughout the entire park.  The whole of the park has these corridors that allow thousand to walk right into wilderness.  How are they not a much bigger impact?

Grizzly Bear Shot and Killed By Hikers In Denali National Park and Preserve

Oct 11th - 14:38pm | Steve Kalin

And yet mr. Proneke had a rifle with which  he defended himself if  nesecary and shot food. 

House Committee Supports Bill To Open Up Paddling In Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

Oct 11th - 13:16pm | DJohnson

You asked, "...then why aren't paddling sports an issue in other parks - or for that matter, existing lakes and rivers within YNP and GTNP where paddling sports are currently allowed?"

Oct 10th - 19:56pm | Kurt Repanshek

The language in Rep. Lummis' amendment to her bill specifically uses "shall," and not "may." As such, it directs the Park Service to open up the river/stream segments she specifies in her amendment (if Congress as a whole passes her bill and the president does not veto it.)  As EC notes, it removes NPS discretion in the matter.

Oct 10th - 18:16pm | ecbuck

Robert, I think the "at a minimum" language of her amendement ( would take away the NPS discretion in those designated waters. 

Oct 10th - 13:00pm | Robert S.

NPT - I think you're misrepresenting the facts on this issue. First of all, the use of the word "force" is not correct. "Allow" would be the more proper term.

Rediscovering National Parks In The Spirit Of John Muir

Oct 11th - 12:41pm | Lee Dalton

Dr. Runte has nailed it again. Yes, tell us about Breckenridge or Park City or Dizzyland or sports stadia or condo developments and gated communities and we can then point to all sorts of taxpayer paid infrastructure that supports developers as they convince local governments to adopt yet another example of Modern American Socialism.

Oct 11th - 11:50am | Alfred Runte

I would have to do the research, EC, but I would bet that Disneyland's argument goes something like this: Given all of the jobs we generate, our property taxes should be low. Here in Seattle, that argument has put millions into the pockets of every developer while sticking the tax burden on the middle class.

Oct 10th - 22:00pm | ecbuck

I know of very, very few hunks of private land that generate ANY tax revenues other than paying property tax.

Oct 10th - 21:20pm | Lee Dalton

Excellent comment, Dr. Runte.

Park finances

Oct 10th - 18:55pm | ecbuck

Thanks tahoma.  

Oct 10th - 18:33pm | tahoma

"Discretionary spending refers to the portion of the budget that is decided by Congress through the annual appropriations process each year."

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