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Elemental Nature At Acadia National Park

Nov 5th - 15:31pm | Erik

That is one great picture

The Best National Parks, Top To Bottom

Nov 5th - 12:35pm | Rick B.

I have to agree that any judging criteria which puts NOCA on the least favorite list is a criteria composed by someone who has spent zero time in the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount.

Nov 5th - 11:52am | Greg Jordan-Detamore

Interesting piece! This is very much an issue I've thought about a bunch. I see two main issues with the analysis, though.   First, 500 miles is a huge radius. That's easily over 8 hours of driving. You don't do that for a weekend trip.

Nov 5th - 09:30am | tahoma

Ranking quality is subjective, for sure, but what other factors might drive popularity beside convenience and the herd instinct?  For example, of the article's final 'Top Ten', the only park that does not contain at least 4000 vertical feet of topographic relief is Theodore Roosevelt.  Perhaps this list partly results from the noted American obsession with 'bigness'?

Nov 5th - 09:13am | George W

I understand that this article is just opinion like everything else but NOCA tied for least best NP is pretty LOL-able. 

Nov 5th - 08:35am | Rebecca Latson ...

This is a very interesting article, indeed. I like the fact that measurable data was used, rather than opinion (of which there are many).

Don't Hold Back: Tell The National Park Service What You Think

Nov 5th - 12:25pm | trailadvocate

 "But then, the Interior secretary didn't let some 2.8 million public comments, most in favor of keeping the status quo with national monuments, dissuade him from calling for some monuments to change either in size or allowable uses of them." The same tactic we've seen NPS use in implementing changes that the great majority of comments disagree with.

Nov 4th - 16:14pm | tomp2

What Kurt says! Whether you agree or disagree with my opinions.

Pruning the Parks: White Plains National Battlefield Site (1933-1956) Was a Stillborn National Park

Nov 4th - 21:06pm | BPO

After Princeton, Washington overwintered at Middlebrook, in Somerset County, NJ. In the first range of the Watchungs. Supposedly, the Betty Ross flag first flew there. As my brother in law put it in visiting the small park, "so George Washington pissed here."

UPDATED: Brace For A Big Jump In National Park Entrance Fees

Nov 4th - 15:27pm | richp

Actually Lee, the percentage of your taxes used for the parks is probably considerably less than 0.001. The federal budget includes not only personal income taxes but corporate income taxes, tarifs, fines, licenses and fees. Not to mention that we tend to annual deficits, averaging close to a trillion dolars/year over the past 10 years or so.

Nov 3rd - 14:55pm | SmokiesBackpacker

My outrage is consistent and well documented here, along with many others who have predicted this kind of fee overreach because so many kept their heads in the sand from drinking too much NPS kool aid.

Nov 3rd - 12:37pm | ecbuck

Although with all the loopholes that allow millionaires' effective tax rates to be lower than the rest of us, we might really be paying more than the most privileged among us.  But that's another story.) Yeah, that is why the top 20% pay 95% of all the federal income taxes - all those loopholes. 

Nov 2nd - 21:54pm | Lee Dalton

I've tried to point out many times that when people complain about "paying taxes to support our parks," the amount each of us actually pays is TINY. If the NPS budget is 1/10th of 1% of the Federal budget, you need to simply multiply the amount of federal income tax you paid last year by 0.001 to find out just what you paid to support the parks.

Nov 2nd - 21:00pm | [email protected],net

Thank you d-2.

Nov 2nd - 20:43pm | tomp2

Wild Places--  

Nov 2nd - 08:25am | wild places

So where was all the outrage last year when it seemed there were nonstop fee increases announced? Some are outraged the current administration is considering scaling back or eliminating some of the units added under the prior administration.

Oct 31st - 18:32pm | ecbuck

hold to your wallet and keep your back to the wall But God forbid you engage in a civil discussion with well stated arguments and facts your can substantiate. 

Oct 31st - 18:26pm | Rick B.


Oct 31st - 16:03pm | KBenzar

Question: Does anyone know if the funds collected from the gate (day, week, or annual pass for 1 park) go to the same budget pool as the all parks annual pass (ATB)? I know congresss controls the ATB cost and the DOI/NPS controls the others, so it makes me wonder if the funds are separated as well.

Oct 31st - 12:39pm | argalite

Argalite, apparently you don't know either since you did not answer the question.  How revealing it is that you think a question is inappropriate to a discussion. BTW, the answer is about 5%. Ecbuck, I just wanted you to write about something you knew, instead of guessing.  I never used the word innappropriate.

Oct 30th - 21:40pm | Lee Dalton

Oct 30th - 19:27pm | rimo

Question: Does anyone know if the funds collected from the gate (day, week, or annual pass for 1 park) go to the same budget pool as the all parks annual pass (ATB)? I know congresss controls the ATB cost and the DOI/NPS controls the others, so it makes me wonder if the funds are separated as well.

Oct 30th - 13:26pm | ecbuck

tomp2, I was unaware of that.  Never saw or was offered a one day option when I entered the park.  

Oct 30th - 13:25pm | ecbuck

Argalite, you didn't speculate you just said something that wasn't true and you haven't spoon fed a thing.  

Oct 30th - 12:29pm | tomp2

ec-- ROMO is one of the few rec fee parks that already offers a 1-day pass option to the standard "good for 7 days" passes.  But the discount isn't that much.  For instance, the current cost of a 7-day motorcycle pass is $25, but the 1-day motorcycle pass is $20.

Enjoying Winter And Pondering The Relevancy Of National Parks

Nov 3rd - 23:54pm | Rick B.

As with most things of value, too many take them for granted and assume they will always be available. When thinking of rocks and mountains and lakes and such, all too many think that they will always be available, when wanted and as needed. Unfortunately, there is too much potential for them to be ephemeral, in particular in this current 'extract the dollarable' feast that has been unleashed.

Nov 2nd - 11:35am | Fred Swanson

Excellent questions, Kurt. I suspect that most park rangers would really prefer that more visitors stay a while and learn somthing about their park. Half a century ago the biologist Olaus Murie wrote that "what many of us are worrying about is the understandable desire to make a national park be all things to all people. . .

Federal Judge Okays Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon National Park

Nov 3rd - 18:44pm | Rick B.

And now, more foolishness:

Angels Landing At Zion National Park To Close For, Ahem, Waste Removal

Nov 3rd - 16:06pm | Rudy Stefancik

It's a lot easier to get to Observation Point if you take the Mesa Trail. The change in elevation is only about 700 ft. The view is much better than that at Angel's Landing and getting there is not dangerous at all.

Traveler's View: Surge Pricing For National Parks Doesn't Pencil Out Or Make Sense

Nov 2nd - 07:50am | wild places

"After reading this I'm sorry I actually paid fir a lifetime pass for my husband..."  

Nov 1st - 08:39am | Debbie Odom

A raise in park prices should have been done a LONG time ago. To hear people belly-ache about $70.00 fee per week is a joke. Look at the car$ people drive, look at the huge truck$ and $UV's people drive. Some of these people would have a stroke if they had to get their hands dirty by changing a tire. Have you seen the lines that wrap around the block at Starbucks for a $7.00 latte?

Nov 1st - 08:26am | Ridgerunner

The increase in user fees will be followed by further cutbacks in the National Park Service budget that will help fund tax cuts for the wealthy. Cutbacks in service will increase calls to privatize the parks. Create chaos is the plan by the evil doers.

Oct 31st - 15:55pm | Rick B.

Agreed, Mike. This isn't the Disneyland of my childhood. I wouldn't consider going there now. I'm glad to see that my two senators signed the protest.

Oct 31st - 13:19pm | Mike Painter

Submitted by Cynthia on October 29, 2017 - 4:26pm. Yet no one kicks about spending $100 per person to get into Disneyland for just ONE day.... Well, you won't catch me going there at that price. I guess that's kicking ...

Oct 31st - 08:28am | ecbuck

Melinda - you can break out your pass again.  The project has been shut down.  At least the NPS funding has.  

Oct 30th - 11:58am | Anonymous

In Yellowstone at least, my concern is that surge pricing will displace visition to the "shoulder" seasons, which would be a unmitigated disaster. The park is not staffed for it, nor are the traditional staffing models able to account for it, and the infrastructure was never designed for it.

Op-Ed | The National Park Service For Too Long Has Been Without A Permanent Director

Nov 2nd - 00:32am | tomp2

Thanks, CJ: I wasn't aware of that gem hidden down there in section 814 with rules for park employee housing, changes in congressional reporting requirements, and allowing Zion National Park to construct some support offices outside of the authorized park boundaries. If and when someone gets nominated, their hearings could be interesting, as that bit of law is pretty sure to come up.

Oct 31st - 23:21pm | Donald Scott

Good essay, Harry.   I agree that what the Service needs is another Mather - independently wealthy with money he himself earned ethically, and a lover of the outdoors.  But there are other issues, too - the Service, like most government agencies, has to decide whether its job is "diversity" (which is what the NPS Centennial video indicates) or "preservation."  This is not to

Musings From Mesa Verde National Park By Candlelight

Nov 1st - 21:05pm | Lee Dalton

Joni, you need to check directly with Mesa Verde.  They cancelled lighting the ruins last winter because of serious danger of rockfall from above Spruce Tree House.  Here is a link to the park's website:  

Nov 1st - 19:38pm | Joni Bateman

Hello, I am interested in attending one of the ruins this winter when they are life at night. Could you give me information about this. Thank you                 Joni Bateman [email protected]

Senators Push Back Against Interior Secretary's Call For Higher Park Entrance Fees

Nov 1st - 20:40pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Bob, you are correct. The NPS wants tour groups guided by concessionaires and lodge owners to run these taxpayer funded resources.  What I predict will happen is that the NPS will modify the fee, perhaps by cutting it 20 percent of the original increase proposal, and come out looking like heroes, instead of the crooks they are for charging taxpayers in the first place.

Oct 31st - 17:36pm | tomp2

Bob & everyone else-- Please make your comments part of the official record:

Oct 31st - 15:13pm | Bob Keenan

I feel  the increases will go though  as the parks will be then reserved  for the rich  as the middle  class will also be priced out of the market . Today it is all about  exploiting this great natural resource greed is the mantra going forward .  

Oct 31st - 13:26pm | tomp2

The contrast between repealing the rules that attempted to obtain oil and gas royalties from federal lands at the fair market rate, not at the artificially low paper price one division of a corporation sells it to another, versus substantially increasing entrance fees at National Parks does highlight the priorities of DOI.   

Oct 31st - 13:15pm | Mike Painter

Good for the senators. We need to have Congress speaking out whenever these proposals appear.

The Glacier Skywalk Is Open At Jasper National Park In Alberta

Oct 31st - 17:57pm | y_p_w

Kind of an old article, but I think some of the comments kind of miss the point that the Canadian government treats its national parks differently than how NPS goes about business.  I mean - there's a town with luxury accomodations and a permanent population within the boundaries of Banff National Park.

Oct 31st - 05:25am | Rosa Llama

Absolutamente absurdo y escandalosamnete caro. Como es posible en un PARQUE NACIONAL? (Absolutely absurd and scandalously expensive. How is it possible in a NATIONAL PARK?)

Afoot Through History In The Waterpocket Fold

Oct 31st - 16:07pm | Larry

Capitol Reef N.P. is a true gem amongst all the western national parks. It doesn't have the same renown that the other nearby Utah parks enjoy even if the scenery is on par with those glitzy gems. It also doesn't share the same visitation pressures one encounters at Zion or Arches, either. I've enjoyed several visits to it over the year but I never knew that the Gifford House served pies.

Keane Wonder Mine To Reopen At Death Valley National Park

Oct 31st - 12:09pm | Richard Jack

the keane mine is a fantastic visit, it really brings in the spirit of what life must have been like in death valley long ago.  Glad to see it being preserved.  

Higher Visitor Fees Proposed At Everglades National Park

Oct 30th - 20:46pm | Bill Brown

do the life time senior passes count for the daily boaters fee in the park?

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide