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Op-Ed|How Eco Is Ecotourism?

Jul 28th - 10:49am | Alfred Runte

And when Johannes, aka Al Gore, flies home, he writes a book about global warming. The penultimate paragraph here says it all. It is the many destructive, "profound" changes to the natural landscape that have caused the problem in the first place.

Jul 26th - 10:26am | tahoma

This article does a good job of illuminating impacts of tourism at the host location, but whether your chosen destination is 'eco' or otherwise, just the indulgence of travelling to it, especially by air, might have the largest worldwide "consequences":

Photography In The National Parks: How It All Started For Me

Jul 28th - 07:47am | Anonymous

I enjoyed this article, appreciated the insight, photos and inspiration tips.

Building A National Park From Scratch

Jul 28th - 01:34am | tomp2

The questions somewhat imply a natural resources / scenery park, not a historic / cultural park, so that's how I'll answer.

Jul 27th - 15:32pm | Bill

Sweet, if you don't like it then stay out. More room for me!

Jul 26th - 20:56pm | SmokiesBackpacker

If you were given 500,000 acres from which to design a national park, how would you do it, where would you start? It's already happened, Kurt. It is called the Great Smoky Mtns National Park and the land was given to the NPS by generous residents of North Carolina and Tennessee. And now we have to pay the NPS to use it.

Jul 26th - 12:02pm | NormalReactionS...

Great questions. The new park has to be accessible to be enjoyed. So, I start with infrastructure. I am mostly a developer with the primary goal of protecting. I'd try to do spoke and hub. Leaving sections more wild and some more developed. Try to give something for everyone.

National Park Service Says Ranger Ranks On Decline

Jul 27th - 20:34pm | Anonymous

The respectful and intelligent people have left or are leaving. I've noticed this change at two local parks. They are tired of environmental agenda dictating them and the leftist politicization. What do you expect?

Jul 27th - 19:35pm | Alfred Runte

What happened to all of that beer money?

Treasure Your National Park Visits With A Photo Album From Shutterfly

Jul 27th - 20:28pm | Micharel Maine

I really enjoyed the park at St. Augustine and the help I received from the Park Ranger. Thanks

Yellowstone National Park Concession Worker Missing In Yellowstone River

Jul 27th - 13:09pm | JohnKC

These aren't "kids". They know better but choose to either disregard warnings or safeguards for their personal safety. All accidents are preventable.

Jul 26th - 01:17am | david kornelussen

with the abundant search by air ground showing no results it's possible that the water temp, exhaustion of the struggling, and light frame of the person missing, that his body might be being held in an undercurrent or whirlpool behind a boulder/tree in a heavy current area.

Jul 25th - 21:31pm | Noel Holmstedt

This happened last year!! Kid died tubing in the exact same place! It seems as if every year a young worker dies in Yellowstone from either going into areas they aren't supposed to be or doing things they aren't supposed to do(usually a combination of both). Evidently the dangers of this place are not being properly impressed upon these young, and often foreign, seasonal workers.

House Subcommittees Dissecting National Park Service, Searching For Solutions

Jul 27th - 11:08am | rmackie

Anonymous, an excellent postin , you have it right on my own view of the issue.

Jul 27th - 08:54am | dm

Megaera and tomp2 have funneled down to the core points. The childish name calling of the other comments is pitiable.

Jul 23rd - 16:08pm | Rick Smith

Anon--Of course, concessioners are private businesses. The "government leeches" don't operate them; capitalists do. And most of them make money, and in some cases, lots of money, although not enough, I'm afraid, to take care of the national debt.

Jul 23rd - 09:39am | Ron Treat

Has anyone thought of selling these to private enterprises and taking it out of the governments hands. This alone could take care of our national debt. And get rid of all of the leaches on the government payroll. Kill two birds with one stone. Our government has proven they cannot run any kind of business. If this was run like it should be it would be profitable for everyone.

Jul 22nd - 22:09pm | Rick Smith

backpacker--Yep, I'm just another high-level manager who is hated by the people who work with me and disliked by park visitors. What planet are you from?

Jul 22nd - 21:47pm | Rick B.

Sorry Backpacker. If you were capable of composing a post without the hate filled vitriol you could have much better reception for your issues. Anyone who disagrees with you is automatically a mustache wearing high level executive co-conspirator of that most evil and devious Jarvis person.

Jul 22nd - 21:24pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Rick Smith. Spoken like a true NPS bureaucrat. When you public servants start serving the public instead of yourselves, then the public will have little need to look into the bureau. Rank and file NPS employees widely resent you cognoscenti and your erudite "We know better than you peons" attitudes. All scrutiny on you guys is well deserved.

Concessionaires Push Point That National Park Service Lacks Business Savvy

Jul 27th - 08:59am | ecbuck

"What's the net benefit?" A legitimate question.

Jul 27th - 07:07am | Alex Worthington

Increasing the operating hours that parks are open will certainly increase revenues for concessioners, and the franchise fees to the parks. But what about increased operating costs and maintenance due to the longer hours. What's the net benefit?

Jul 26th - 08:28am | ecbuck

"Limiting visitation or services, for any variety of reasons, across the park system, is essential for preserving these places." Could you explain how lengthening the hours to visit Alcatraz or the Statue of Liberty (the two examples cited in the article) is essential for preserving them?

Jul 25th - 19:56pm | Kurt Repanshek

Ron, I'm going to have to start charging you an advertising fee....

Jul 25th - 18:53pm | ecbuck

Speaking of Yosemite, my son and daughter are hiking Half Dome tomorrow. I can assure you, they will enjoy the concessions at the end of the day.

Jul 25th - 18:44pm | Julie Doyle

The National Park Service is in the 'business' of protecting the natural, historic, and cultural aspects of all our national treasures in its charge. Limiting visitation or services, for any variety of reasons, across the park system, is essential for preserving these places.

Jul 25th - 18:32pm | rmackie

Kurt, or who has the inside political tract. I am beginning to be a bit of a broken record, but the book "YOUR YOSEMITE" written by a former superintendent of that Park who also has a very impressive resume both in non-profits, etc. will help EC greatly as it deals with many of the points he is making.

Jul 25th - 17:29pm | ecbuck

"especially when that phrase is followed by "could increase franchise fees to the NPS by 50 percent within three years."

Jul 25th - 17:25pm | SmokiesBackpacker

I'm reminded of the time that the cigarette company officals stood and lied before congress to say that tobacco wasn't deadly.

Jul 25th - 16:41pm | Anonymous

Sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about. Three flush facilities are open in the winter as are eight vault toilets and many, many frost free hydrants. Maybe you should work to get your "facts" straight about SNP

Jul 25th - 13:23pm | Kurt Repanshek

EC, I'm curious to learn more about "dynamic pricing," but my guess is that it calls for higher prices, especially when that phrase is followed by "could increase franchise fees to the NPS by 50 percent within three years."50 percent is a fairly large jump in three years, don't you think?

Jul 25th - 10:27am | ecbuck

Kurt - couldn't "dynamic" also mean reducing prices? If their costs vary shouldn't they be able to vary their prices accordingly? But lets get to the root of it. Megaera expects the concessionaires to sell at a loss so the non "rich" can get their entitlement.

Jul 25th - 10:24am | Harry Butowsky

I find it distressing that considering the importance of the role of Concessions in the history of the NPS that we do not have a comprehensive administrative history on the subject. Concessions have played an important and vital role in the history of our national parks and an administrative history of the subject is long overdue. Harry Butowsky

Jul 25th - 10:05am | Kurt Repanshek

Perhaps not arbitrarily, but:...allowing dynamic pricing of services...

Jul 25th - 09:31am | ecbuck

So Chrys, where does it say they will arbitrarily raise prices?

Jul 25th - 08:24am | Chrys

I think Megaera may be referring to what will undoubtedly be a raise in prices which limits accessibility to those who can afford higher prices

Jul 24th - 21:30pm | wild places

I'm not ready to jump on the concessionaires bandwagon as they are lobbying for their own interests which I am sure differ at times from that of the NPS. I am not sure increasing visitation should be a goal as at some point it detracts from the experience and I think there is plenty of evidence that many of the parks are already overcrowded.

Jul 24th - 20:17pm | Chuck

Hmm..makes me wonder. Is this issue associated with no tap water supply and no accessible rest rooms during the winter months at SNP?

Jul 24th - 18:28pm | ecbuck

(May be a duplicate) Megaera - did you post to the wrong article? I don't see anything here that suggests the concessionaires don't want to provide services to everyone. In fact, I read just the opposite. They want to provide more services but the NPS won't let them.

Jul 24th - 18:13pm | Anonymous

Megaera- perhaps you posted on the wrong article. Where does this article say that the concessionaires don't want to provide services to everyone? If anything this says just the opposite, i.e. that they want to provide more services but the NPS won't let them.

Jul 24th - 16:32pm | Megaera

If you don't like the concept of working to provide services to everyone, not just the rich, then you're in the wrong business, concessioners.

150 Miles Long and Still Counting - Jewel Cave National Monument Passes a Milestone

Jul 25th - 23:10pm | Dee R

I did the Spelunk tour in the early 90's. I see they have made the group smaller now, and still make you crawl the block on the one patio. Big tip. Crawl it on your stomach, that's the position you will be in when you go through the Brain Drain.

Rangers Rescue Pair Reported Trapped In Old Mine Near Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Jul 25th - 10:18am | Skip Prange

I remember when we spent time during the winter season fencing off the vertical mine shafts so that visitors and ORV's would not fall in them by accident. Never saw a rattler in any of them but I did see a lot of Barn Owls nesting and roosting in them.

Effort Under Way To Review National Park System Wilderness Possibilities

Jul 24th - 09:54am | Gary Wilson

The smokies has never been designated as wilderness by congress, so it is technically not protected as such. This means, that many things could still happen in it without the approval of congress. Technically roads could still be built, or overlooks created.. It's not even a wilderness study area.

Jul 24th - 09:50am | tahoma

Perhaps this will help, Smokies:“The Wilderness Act minimum requirement exception

Jul 24th - 08:08am | SmokiesBackpacker

Some of you experts can perhaps clarify this but is it not true that when an area becomes designated wilderness there are federal laws that supersede agency rules such as prohibiting the use of mechanized vehicles, chain saws etc. The Smokies, for instance, is supposed to be managed as wilderness, that is part of their verbage, not mine.

Musings From John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Jul 23rd - 19:31pm |

Recommended Book on John C. Merriam, Paleontologist Founder, JODA Cover Image Preserving the Living Past John C. Merriam's Legacy in the State and National Parks Steve Mark (Author) World READ AN EXCERPT Read the Introduction Hardcover, 219 pages ISBN: 9780520241671 March 2005

Jul 23rd - 09:25am | Anonymous

Thanks, Rudy. A couple of people told me that was being considered, but they had not heard if it had passed or not.

Reader Survey Day: How Far From The National Park Parking Lot Do You Venture?

Jul 23rd - 07:58am | NP_Day_Hiker

I've been to 20 U.S. National Parks and always try to get out on a few day hikes. I've done most of hiking in Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Zion, Arches, and Yosemite. In fact, I've written a book about my times hiking in the National Parks, if anyone's interested in checking it out, The Adventures of a Day Hiker: An Exploration of America's National Parks.

Photography In The National Parks: Your Armchair Guide to Glacier National Park – Part 1

Jul 23rd - 03:05am | Rebecca Latson ...

Randy, you are welcome!  Thank you so much for the kind words.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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