Recent comments

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 7 hours ago

    Frankly, that $5 simply keeps pace with inflation over the last 8 years. It's still a steal, and a drop in the bucket of what people spend to go to these parks. Frankly, they should make it $50, and it would still be affordable.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 10 hours ago

    I have some reservations about the proposed fee increases for the National Parks. In my own view, fee increases are the result of a failure by Congress to provide adequate funding for core operational and maintenance needs in these parks and other public lands. Like many of our fee proposals, they are regressive in nature, those least able to afford them are affected the most. I see it daily in my fire related assignments in an iconic National Park. It is also my experience that fee demo programs work primarily for those highly visited areas, the other areas are not doing so well.

    Generally speaking, I am not opposed to reasonable fees for entrance and camping, but I do not support charging a fee to hike a trail on public land. I have accepted the concept of a fee for reservations, that is an additional service, but do so because in some areas demand exceeds capacity and a quota is necessary. The Half Dome Trail in Yosemite is a good example.

    Parks and public land are one of our nations greatest legacies, at least in my view. We should take it seriously enough to demand they be taken care of by our elected officials. Pontificating statement on my part, but that is how I view the issue.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 11 hours ago

    ec -Thanks for your comment. This thread was in danger of sliding quickly downhill and off subject due to more tiring sniping between two regulars from the Smokies.

    Meanwhile, back on subject, what does at least one media source from the vicinity of Yellowstone think about the proposed increase? Here's one example in an editorial from a newspaper in Cody, Wyoming:

    "A $5 per car increase is justified and, in Yellowstone Park at least, the traffic is there to justify the hike and produce a significant financial impact...."Yellowstone is a place people from around the world want to visit, and no one ever fails to get their money’s worth."

    The editorial notes that fee revenue is "a key component to maintaining the park’s infrastructure, staff and programs."

    Local business interests stand to be hurt if a fee hike drives down visits to the park. At least this local paper doesn't think that will be the case.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 11 hours ago

    Truth can hurt. And EC, no one outside of the locals in the Smokies care about the backcountry fees or even fees. So to apply the same logic to the few towns around Yellowstone and Grand Tetons shows a complete misunderstanding of the regional demographics, especially around the Tetons where a majority of the population is upper class. The target market in that resort is much different too. A day of skiing in the ski resort at Jackson Hole for a family of 4 will run you well over a few hundred dollars, and the ski resort sits on USFS land. Or you can go over to driggs, and ski a bit cheaper, but you're still paying FEES. 30.00 for a 3 day pass at Yellowstone is 10.00 a day. If you buy a 7 day pass, you're looking at 8.53 a day.. There's lots of "free" backpacking and hiking to be had in the northern rockies. Once again, fees are not on peoples radar. People have paid National Park fees and USFS Ski Resort fees for pretty much ever in that region. It's not on their radar, and I guarantee that.. 5.00 increase won't be seen anywhere near as extreme as a 20.00 increase on a ski pass.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 12 hours ago

    Truth can hurt.

    And so can biggoted slander.

    Once again, fees are not on peoples radar.

    I don't have a problem with the current or proposed fees in general - that certainly doesn't mean they aren't on people's radar as demonstrated by the volume of comments that have been submitted to the NPS and other forums.

  • Sequoyah: Inventor Of The Cherokee Writing System   2 weeks 12 hours ago

    Dittos Lee, interesting article.

  • Sequoyah: Inventor Of The Cherokee Writing System   2 weeks 13 hours ago

    Fascinating, M13. Thank you.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 13 hours ago

    Pigeon Forge or any of the communities around the Smokies where some of us jokingly refer to it as "redneck vegas for christians on a buffet binge"

    Wow what an offensive comment to the locals of that area Mr Wilson.

    Yellowstone allows free non-reservation backcountry visitation its only if you wish to reserve a site that you have to pay.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 14 hours ago

    Gary, I would guess the vast majority of visitors to GSMNP don't come from Pigeon Forge, not do the vast majority of Yellowstone visitors come from Jackson Hole and Paridise Valley. Therefore your bigotted comment is irrelevant.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 15 hours ago

    LOL!! No one around Yellowstone really complains about the fees. It's not even on people's radar.. The culture is entirely different then what you find around the Smokies, and so is the type of visitor. Jackson Hole is filled with billionaires, and Paradise Valley is mostly millionaires. It's not even on the same level as a place like Pigeon Forge or any of the communities around the Smokies where some of us jokingly refer to it as "redneck vegas for christians on a buffet binge". And Yellowstone has always had a 25.00 reservation fee to enter the backcountry. Sounds like with this plan, 25.00 can cover the entire year, which is a steal if you ask me. The backcountry reservation fee has been there for a long time.... If you don't like it, then just go to the wilderness areas, which surrounds yellowstone in every freaking direction and has just as much to offer and all you have to do is fill out a permit at a trailhead.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Zeb, others decide on a daily basis how you should enjoy whatever. Part of the new tolerance.:). What I know for a fact is that people are getting disconnected from very meaningful and strengthening experiences that I've witnessed by technology addiction. Real verses virtual. Alarming, really, and seeing the evidence of change to detachment in previously remote and special places can not be good. Exactly similar to some industrial park built on a pristine landscape.

    BTW:

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/05/children-cyberbullying-se...

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 1 day ago

    These proposed changes would result in additional annual revenue of approximately $3 million for Yellowstone,

    Possibly, but unlikely.

  • UPDATE: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks Proposing Sweeping Changes In Fees   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Dear Yellowstoners,

    We feel your pain. They slapped a backcountry fee on us in the Smokies so I suggest you follow our continuing legal fight on www.southernforestwatch.org Be aware that they will misrepresent the civic engagement sham, under report public comments and emphasize "resource degradation". It is part of their bs NPS playbook to justify unnecessary fees that will go straight to hiring more staff that will NOT be in the backcountry. Be advised, they have this scam down to an art. But what you really need to know is that this new reservation system will benefit the guide services and concessionaires whom they will use to promote the fee. We just discovered that the concessionaires can log into the system which mere mortals are locked out of. Then the guides etc can book up campsites well in advance to keep backpacking riff raff out of "their park". Don't let them get away with it.

  • Sequoyah: Inventor Of The Cherokee Writing System   2 weeks 1 day ago

    The story of naming the Sierra Sequoias is fascinating; they were first classified as Taxodium giganteum during the beginning debate:

    Visit: http://www.conifers.org/cu/Sequoiadendron.php

    http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/science/hartesveldt/chap...

    Endlicher described many new plant genera, perhaps most notably the genus Sequoia. Although Endlicher never offered an explanation for the name, later writers speculated that he must have been inspired by the achievements of the American Indian linguist Sequoyah. John Davis credited Endlicher with naming the new species of redwood Sequoyah gigantea in 1847, to honor Sequoyah's invention of the Cherokee syllabart.[3] Recent scholarship has convincingly rebutted this hypothesis; Endlicher appears to have been thinking of the Latin for "sequence."[4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephan_Endlicher

    Sequoiadendron giganteum

    (Lindley) J.Buchholz 1939

    Common names

    Giant sequoia, bigtree, Sierra-redwood (Watson 1993).

    Taxonomic notes

    The sole species in Sequoiadendron J.Buchholz 1939. Syn: Wellingtonia gigantea Lindley 1853; Sequoia gigantea (Lindley) Decaisne 1854, not Endlicher 1847. The latter homonym reflects the species' former inclusion in Sequoia, a conservative placement that still has merit (Watson 1993).

    Although the giant sequoia was probably discovered in 1833 by the Walker party as they struggled through the Sierra north of the Yosemite valley, the species did not attract popular attention until its rediscovery in 1852, at what is now called the Calaveras North Grove (seethis link for details). In the same year, specimens were received by Albert Kellogg of the California Academy of Sciences, who in May 1855 finally published it as Taxodium giganteum Kellogg and Behr. This was the fifth validly published name, however. The first name had been assigned on the basis of material collected (in the Calaveras grove) in summer 1853 by William Lobb, who was directed to the tree by Kellogg. Lobb dashed back to England, arriving 15 December 1853, and within two weeks the species was published by botanist John Lindley as Wellingtonia gigantea, named in honor of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. In fact this name was already in use, Wellingtonia having been described in 1840 for a plant in the Sabiaceae, but this was not realized at the time. Lindley's publication triggered a storm of protest from American botanists who were outraged that the world's largest tree had been named for an English war hero by a botanist who had never seen the tree. The Americans promptly published a spate of different names, none of which are legitimate under current rules of botanical nomenclature. The French then intervened in the person of of Joseph Decaisne, who in 1854 published the species as Sequoia gigantea, a plausible assignment that ultimately won acceptance by British botanists. ThereafterWellingtonia slowly disappeared from the literature. Unfortunately, Sequoia gigantea was also not a legitimate name, having been previously used by Endlicher to describe a horticultural variety of the coast redwood, and this problem was not satisfactorily resolved until the American John T. Buchholz described Sequoiadendron in 1939. Buchholz' decision to establish a new genus apart from Sequoia was widely criticized by the old guard of California botanists, but his arguments--based on substantial differences in the development of Sequoia and Sequoiadendron seed cones--have subsequently won general acceptance (Hartesveldt et al. 1975). For more on Buchholz and his work with Sequoiadendron see Schmid (2012).

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Trailguide, I can appreciate your morning perspective, and I can see how a few idiots will have zero manners if they have a cell signal. But ultimately, it sure sounds like your problem that others decide to engross themselves in their cell phone rather than the landscape. In other words, you want people to enjoy the parks the way you enjoy them. That does not seem very American to me.

    Personnally, I don't really care how others decide to enjoy their surroundings, and I don't like others deciding for me (so long as said enjoyment does not impact others, etc.).

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Yellowstone is a big place. Don't like the guy next to you - move.

    BTW - Did you come up with any of those "vague Constitution" citations yet? I suppose we will have to wait for those along with the list of people that want to elminated all public lands and the half dozen other unsubstantiated claims you have made.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    As I see it, the biggest and worstest problem with cell phones is the fact that so many people seem to think they must shout loud enough for the person on the other end of the call to hear them even without the phone.

    I have to admit that the last time I was waiting for Old Faithful and had a guy next to me who was shouting loud enough for his friend in New York to hear him (with frequent use of a short word that starts with the sixth letter of the alphabet) I found myself seriously considering having an "accident" with my bear spray.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Well, trailadvocate, at least this morning you sound a bit more coherent. Last night your posts sounded a bit like too much of trailguide lubrication consumed. It really sounded like you were sitting around the high school locker room clanging them together to tell everyone else how much more outdoorsier you were. Anything that gets Eric, Zeb, and I in agreement is fairly beyond the pale.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I agree on thumbs down to naming rights.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Actually, that is one of the problem with cell phones coverage in that it can give people that extra sense of "security" that if they get into trouble, they can use their phones so they go into places that are above their capabilities or were'nt properly prepared. There have been many cases where people that are way out of their league are getting into trouble, but because their cell phone had a single bar they were able to call out and get a rescue. Granted, there are still some places in the lower 48 where those rules still don't apply, and let's hope it stays that way. Frank Church and the Great Bear come to mind.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Well, Zeb, to define my reasoning a bit more I will admit my guiding years became such an unexpected joy being a part of so many transformations and positive results from the adventures. Don't think I ever felt so rewarded, for the most part, getting out of the way of people really making positive changes to attitudes and growth, especially with youth who are being set up for a lifetime based on these experiences. Technology in the doses that are being injected today, stand in the way. I can go for days without even seeing a human foot print but am disappointed when I do run into folks into their technology and not present enough to share the wildness. Okay, I'm done.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    You should be old enough to know better than insulting those with whom you disagree.

    EC got it. Nobody wants to see the landscape scarred with a bunch of wires strung up to cell towers in the backcountry. Otherwise, who cares? If you want to get away from it all, just hike in the backcountry where it's empty, leave your cell phone, and hope you don't fall.

  • To Wire, Or Not To Wire, The National Parks, That Is The Question   2 weeks 1 day ago

    I'd still be happy if cell phones were never invented, primarily due to users being oblivious to what I think is just common curtesy when using them. That said, I'm pretty sure they are here to stay (a guy can always dream though) and ready to give up the fight. I have the impression that there is pretty widespread coverage in the parks already so don't see that it will make much difference. One concern is the added feeling of safety that could pose a problem. I'll just call for help when I get lost, hungry, tired etc. instead of making sure one's prepared. I suspect that may be one of the unintended results. Like others have mentioned, keep the towers as discrete as possible.

  • Legal View: Utah Has No Basis To Order Federal Government To Turn Public Lands Over To The State   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Tree - while I believe it would be appropriate to turn over some lands, I hope that is one of the lower items on the agenda. There are far more critical and fundamental issues that need to be addressed first.

  • Draft Report On Recognizing National Park Philanthropy Calls For Logo Placements, Naming Opportunities   2 weeks 1 day ago

    What happened to "edit". That should be front "country" locations in my last post.