Recent comments

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    believe it or not, 75% were related to alcohol or drugs. In my case I would say it was closer to 80%.

    And what percentage of those that consumed alcohol didn't result in an incident? What percentage of those that drink don't rape? What percentage don't drive under the influence? You are painting an entire legal industry and nearly ubiquitous practice with an evil brush due to the despicable behavoir of a few. Once again its an attitude of punish/shun everyone rather than just the perpetrators.

    Do I want beer banners hanging in my parks? No but I don't want any other corporate logos either. However, I am not so pollyannish as to turn down monies the park sorely needs just because the product is alcohol.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Thank you Dr. Runte. Right on. Interesting enough, people are taking notice, received a call from the local newspaper on this issue, other friends have as well. Alfred, I would like to see your post in letter form. Thinking back on my own 37 year tenure as a Park Ranger, I was discussing this with a friend who did a workup one time on all the LE incidents s/he responded to and what was the root cause of the issue, believe it or not, 75% were related to alcohol or drugs. In my case I would say it was closer to 80%.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Smokies Backpacker - my very sincere wish is that no female relative or friend of yours experiences the very real tragedy of rape, which is such a different reality from your use of the word to describe policies you disagree with that there is really no comparison. Don't let your passion for your issues belittle by comparison what women experience in these crimes.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Not too disagree with Dr. Runte's fine post, but be aware that delays of several weeks or even months are common before letters reach Congress-critters in DC. This is a hangover from the anthrax attacks years ago. This article suggests that if you must, write to the official's office in your state:

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=1143878

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I enjoy venting as much as the next person, but the deeper issue still remains: This is our culture. This is what we have become. If you don't want your Park Service "selling out," how might you better--and far more effectively --get your message across?

    By now, everyone should be writing his or her representatives in the U.S. Congress. To be effective, every letter should begin with the proper heading: "The Honorable Patty Murray." Then keep it short. "Dear Senator Murray: Have you watched what is going on at the National Park Service, in conjunction with the National Park Foundation and Budweiser? Are you aware that our appointed officials are promoting alcohol consumption--using our parks? As my elected official, I take exception to that, and expect you to take exception, too. I would even support abolishing the National Park Foundation if that is the best the foundation can do. Thank you for attention to this matter. Sincerely, Your Constituent."

    Make it a letter--and send it snail mail. E-mail is answered by clerks. Letters get read--and passed along. There is nothing more powerful than paper.

    Here is another secret. Every letter INDIVIDUALLY written is considered the equivalent of 2,000 opinions. A letter-writing campaign is a waste, but yes, a letter from you--speaking from the heart--will be viewed by your senator and/or representative as the equivalent of 2,000 voters.

    That is what the Foundation and the Park Service hope you will not get around to do. They hope you will just vent on these pages, and the problem will blow away. In the past, you have spoken out against the Koch Brothers--and their alleged control of Congress--but YOU are the one in real control. You just don't know it, because they don't want you to do anything. That is what they are spending their money on, as will others be betting that their umpteen millions will be able to "buy" your vote next year.

    Prove them wrong and write your letter. And don't worry about the "reply" you get. It will be noncommittal. "Dear Mr. Smith, Thank you for writing. The senator always loves hearing from you!" No, she doesn't. She really dreads it, because now you the voter have taken a stand. I want my national parks this way, not "their" way. And I want them protecting the best of America from now on.

    Meanwhile, I just love what Dan Wenk says about the "thoughtful process executed jointly by NPF and NPS." Here again, we see an adjective, in this case "thoughful," intended to mask a decision that was anything but. People with nothing to hide never have to resort to adjectives. That Mr. Wenk is using a ton of them tells us everything we need to know. Now, write your letter and don't forget the stamp.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    If rape is too offensive then you may want to cover your ears. Because that is precisely what Jarvis is doing with public lands. Whoring them out to the highest bidder. Morals are great, unless they apply to the beloved NPS. Hypocrites.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    "the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” You find that a ridiculous accusation? Seriously? It so blatantly encourages rape and drunk driving. Those are not serious issues to you? What are? Denying climate change? Giving kids assault weapons? Tax breaks for polluters? You are truly unbelievable and breathtakingly clueless.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    "The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”

    Removing "no" from too many individual's vocabulary is, of course, at the root of many problems today, and that includes doing something stupid during a park trip due to the influence of alcohol. It's always sad to read about a serious incident or death in a park, when the commentary includes the words, "alcohol was believed to be a factor..."

    Perhaps AB needs to modify their "drink responsibly" pitch to "advertise responsibly."

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Speaking as a former nurse who has had to care for rape victims, I don't find calling an alcohol campaign that promises to ignore no to be 'encouraging a culture of rape' to be a 'rediculous' [sic] 'aqusation' [sic].

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    "A risqué Bud Light campaign that critics said encouraged a culture of rape "

    It is hard for me to get past rediculous aqusations like this and while it may serve the purpose of getting a headline, it distracts from the real issues and for me greatly diminishes any arguments used after that.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    As long as we keep electing representatives that would rather spend money on wars than parks, the park service is going to have to continue to accept grants wherever they can get them.

    I serously doubt that anyone is going to skip going to a National Park over this. There may be a bunch of yelling and screeming and appoligies from AB but in the end it probably won't affect the park much and certainly won't affect it as much as turning down the money would.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    Thank you for your reporting Traveler and thank you Lee, I could not agree more. I attended a function where the issue of the Bud advertising slogan on this National Park F a oundation campaign was raised, very negative reaction to it. "PEER" laid it out very well.

  • Traveler Experiences Technical Meltdown   3 weeks 1 day ago
    Welcome back.
  • High Cost Of Replacing Grand Canyon Water Line -- $100-$150 Million -- Means It's Done Piecemeal   3 weeks 1 day ago

    And if the big proposed mega-development at Tusayan is allowed to proceed, this pipeline will become even more vital to the park.

  • Provocative Bud Light Campaign Doesn't Concern National Park Service, National Park Foundation   3 weeks 1 day ago

    I'm afraid we are already sliding rapidly down that infamous slippery slope of lubricated money. When dollars take priority over other values, we all lose.

    Removing "NO" from the vocabulary for the night doesn't only include rape. There's drunk driving among just a few thousand other possible bits of alcohol enhanced stupidity.

    But of course, none of this will influence the National Park Foundation where one of their directors is a bigwig in the AB beverage business.

    That's why I believe the National Parks Conservation Association is the best choice of major NPS partners and why all of my financial support goes to them. How about others among us contacting NPF with some loud objections? If they receive enough backlash, they might reconsider. (But based on past experiences, I doubt it.)

  • Traveler Experiences Technical Meltdown   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Ahh the wonderful and sometimes frustrating world of webdev.

  • Traveler Experiences Technical Meltdown   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Kurt, I think we'll all survive. Might be hard, but we can probably make it.

    Thanks for all you and your crew do.

  • Traveler Experiences Technical Meltdown   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Thank you Traveler, thanks for all the good work.

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Budweiser has been losing market share to Keystone Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon because so many of the young Park beer drinkers drink those brands. So it makes good sense for Budweiser to try to recover some market share and sponsor the NP. The NPS may be encouraging drinking because the drunks are too hungover to hike much or do anything but sleep it off and leave less human footprints. The NPS is for anything to lower those awful human footprints.

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Thank you, Rob. I'll look up Professor Scott's article. Meanwhile, some excellent points above. I think we're all starting to get to the heart of the matter--commercializing the national parks is a slippery slope. In 1931, Coca Cola did a major series of ads on the national parks, one of which I frequently show in my lectures. It depicts a family of bears in front of Old Faithful Inn, swigging a bottle of Coke, and reads: "ANOTHER OLD FAITHFUL, THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES, WITH ICE COLD COCA COLA. Of the hundreds of thousands who every season pour through the Yellowstone National Park, everybody stops to see Old Faithful Geyser. . . Of course Coca Cola is there." In the illustration, which is a painting, Old Faithful Geyser is in fact erupting, only "everybody" is eyeing the bears.

    It is not a new adveretising strategy, nor is it a new problem. In the parks, we bring our culture with us. Just as Nike wants its symbol on Tiger Woods's shoulder, companies want us to "associate" them with the "best" of America.

    It is then up to the Park Service to draw the proper lines. In that regard, this is undoubtedly one of the most important articles The Traveler has ever published. After all, who else is reporting these issues? Years ago, when Joe Camel ads were appearing outside of American high schools, THE NEW YORK TIMES called it "free speech." I wrote a letter to the editor (which they published) calling it coercion, in that young people were being "targeted" by those ads. When we are being coerced--as in forced to look--I say that no product belongs in the parks. Lady Bird Johnson was right. We should leave ALL of our advertising "at home."

  • Forest Service Opens Scoping Period For Development On South Rim Of Grand Canyon   3 weeks 4 days ago

    I'm going to post this comment in an attempt to draw attention to what I think is an extreme threat to an American treasure. Arguing about beer logos seems to be diverting us from what could be an even more critical issue.

    What can be done to stop this?

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Thank you Alfred, but it is not just the NPS, it is a mindset well established in our nations political leadership and their faith in the economic theories of Hydak, Freidman, Greenspan, others, in my own perhaps uniformed opinion. Off subject, but related to one of your earlier posts, the latest issue of the Nation magazine has a very thought provoking article, "The New Thought Police" by Joan W. Scott, professor emerita at CUNY. It makes the point you have made about "why campus administrators are invoking civility to silence critical speech" (political correctness), I thought of some of your earlier comments while reading the article.

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   3 weeks 4 days ago

    The beer industry's ads have done a masterful job convincing plenty of Americans that a beer in the hand is a necessary adjunct to fully enjoy a sporting event or a day at the beach. Wouldn't they love the chance to create that same nexus in the minds of a "new generation of beer drinkers" as it relates to watching a sunset at the Grand Canyon or viewing the water rushing over Yosemite Falls?

    I'd offer an opinion that the number of Americans who see the Statue of Liberty (either pictured on a bottle of beer or as the backdrop for a mega concert) and make a mental connection to the NPS is smaller than some believe (or hope), so my concern with ads like the one pictured is mainly one of principle - that this program is merely a first step in the industry's desire to eliminate all NPS limits on direct connections with their products.

    We might joke about a day when a company can buy the rights to a slogan like "The official beer of the Blue Ridge Parkway"...but maybe that's not so far-fetched after all.

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   3 weeks 4 days ago

    If you truly want to support the parks, then you should be content to do so without expections in return.

    That doesn't work for corporations. Its not their money to just give away. Investors have given the corporatons money with the purposes of making money to return to the shareholders. If a "charitable" contribution provides a return then it is worthwhile in the same way advertising is. If the corporation doesn't expect a return, it shouldn't make the expenditure. Instead, it should return the monies to the shareholders and let them make the decision to give.

    Sure, you can buy full page ads in USA Today to congratulate yourself for giving $2.5 million to the parks, but your logo does not belong in the parks themselves,

    I could agree with you on that.

  • National Park Service Waived Policy To Allow Budweiser's Centennial Partnership   3 weeks 4 days ago

    I think that drawing fine distinctions about what products are appropriate or inappropriate for sponsorship is a rabbit hole worth avoiding. Alcohol and tobacco are prohibited, but (theoretically) pharmaceuticals and fast food chains are OK? We'd need a phone book sized document to spell out what's "appropriate" and what isn't. Many people (including the Director, apparently) would feel that beer isn't all that bad as a sponsor. Others obviously disagree.

    Better to address the issue of sponsorships in general. Anyone can give money to the National Park Service; the question is, at what level of contribution can you expect a quid pro quo? Does $2.5 million place your logo next to the arrowhead? Does $25 get you a tote bag? This is why we have partners like the National Park Foundation. They can do the important business of raising money and "sponsorships," while keeping the corporate logos and perks out of the parks themselves. If you truly want to support the parks, then you should be content to do so without expections in return. Sure, you can buy full page ads in USA Today to congratulate yourself for giving $2.5 million to the parks, but your logo does not belong in the parks themselves, nor should the NPS Arrowhead appear alongside your logo as tacit endorsement, whether you're a beer company or selling solar panels.

    As for the concerts in the parks, my question is this: did Statue of Liberty and Golden Gate decide that concerts were a good use of resources, then go looking for sponsors? Or were the concerts Anhauser Busch's idea? I'd have no problem with the former, so long as the sponsors understood they would be receiving nothing but a "thank you" in return; but I worry that the latter may actually be the case, and that the parks' agendas are being driven by the sponsor: as in, "we'll give you $2.5 million if you hold a public concert co-branded with our logo."

    We should be soliciting funds for the core work of the National Park Service, including backlog maintenance and public outreach; and it shouldn't matter if those donations come in denominations of $5 or $5 million, so long as the $5 million donation buys no more access, branding, or endorsement than I receive for my $5.

    Or maybe $5 would buy me a selfie with a ranger, raising a beer can and singing the National Anthem?