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New Year's Day Reflections: What We'd Like To See In 2018 Across The National Park System

Jan 1st - 15:43pm | y_p_w

Here's a Congressional Research Service paper: And a paper from the Virginia Law Review:

Jan 1st - 15:38pm | y_p_w

Jan 1st - 15:09pm | Kurt Repanshek

EC, you have to read the legislation very strictly, no? Since it is silent on modifications to national monuments, it has not extended that authority. 

Jan 1st - 14:27pm | ecbuck

y_p_w - Actually the Antiquities Act does not say "only"  It is silent on modifications that reduce the size.  Perhaps because what one has the power to grant generally they can also take away.  That is why it is so dangerous to say our "rights" come from the government.

Jan 1st - 14:01pm | Rebecca Latson ...

Thanks for the info, Lee.  That's wonderful news!  Congratulations, Kurt!

Jan 1st - 13:28pm | Lee Dalton

I just saw something GREAT!  Kurt has just received the Coalition to Protect Our National Parks' George Hartzog Award.  The note on the email I received this morning says: 

Jan 1st - 13:25pm | Mark Allan Rawdon

1. Instead of the Confederates (Alt-NPS) of resistance of everything, I support the efforts to get the NPS portfolio to a manageable size.  After decades in property management, I can say there is nothing worse than a leader who over brews the portfolio jeopardizing the whole.  My New Year's Resolution would be to support the NPS, not politicize it like the last Adminstration.

Jan 1st - 12:35pm | y_p_w

ecbuck: Well if Congress gave him the authority, he has the authority as has been excercised by prior Presidents.  Can't have it both ways.

Jan 1st - 11:21am | ecbuck

Well if Congress gave him the authority, he has the authority as has been excercised by prior Presidents.  Can't have it both ways.

Jan 1st - 11:13am | justinh

Nice list.

Jan 1st - 10:43am | Kurt Repanshek

EC, Congress specifically gave presidents the authority to use The Antiquities Act, so it would seem your constitutional concern is moot.As for paying for this, well, it's all about priorities. Last time I heard, the NPS budget represented about 1/13th or 1/15th of the federal budget. Do you really think it would be so difficult to inch it closer to 1 percent or even half-a-percent?

Jan 1st - 10:26am | ecbuck

Some pretty expensive idea there Kurt, where would you cut spending to pay for it? Also, curious about paragraph 2 of item 1.  If the President can't rise about the authority of Congress re property, wouldn't that make the Antiquities Act unconstitutional?

A View From The Overlook: Nudity And The National Parks

Jan 1st - 09:48am | Ric l Carter

Get outside of the parks! I'm in NW Montana, and there are literally millions of acres you can wander nude, with little chance of ever running into others. There are many lakes you can camp at nude, as many are in very remote areas.  

Looking Back At The Top Stories From 2017 Across The National Park System

Dec 31st - 15:47pm | Kurt Repanshek

Alt-National Park Service was founded on January 26. on January 25, 2017:

Dec 31st - 14:23pm | Mark Allan Rawdon

i have to disagree with some of these assertions, particularly that the Alt-NPS was caused by Trump tweets...

Dec 31st - 08:48am | Lee Dalton

Perhaps we are at least a little fortunate that trumpf spends so much time golfing.  So far, he's spent a full 25% of his days since inauguration on the links.  Can you imagine the damage he'd be able to do if he was a full-time destroyer?

Anatomy Of An Oil Train Derailment: Collision And Explosions

Dec 30th - 21:55pm | austin

that entire left side tank burst look at your photos again

National Park Service Will Offer Buyouts To ‘A Number Of Employees’

Dec 30th - 21:34pm | ecbuck

Tomp 1)  Because CVN 1-10 might be elsewhere deployed .  Unfortunately, NK isn't the only trouble spot we need to be worried about.

Dec 30th - 19:14pm | tomp2


Dec 27th - 20:55pm | glad2bretired

I won't be impressed to see a little less money deducted from my paycheck, knowing that the super-rich get most of the tax bill benefits, and our National Debt will most likely be going up.  Trump's cuts to the National Park Service's already inadequate budget are awful.

The Best National Parks, Top To Bottom

Dec 30th - 20:01pm | Anonymous

I greatly appreciate this. One other metric I've wondered about is capacity. As a visitor to both channel islands and isle royals, there is only a limited amount spots on the boats that go there. Yet the campgrounds are almost always full in peak season And ita hard to get a spot on the boats    

National Park Service Releases $500,000 In Grants To Support Diversity In The National Register Of Historic Places

Dec 30th - 19:12pm | glad2bretired

I would prefer if Trump would keep his campaign promise to eliminate this maintenance backlog, rather than working to radically slash the NPS budget.

Dec 30th - 18:29pm | ecbuck

Thanks for the clarification Tomp2 though I stand with my comment, I would prefer it go to the maintenance backlog.  But, apparently that isn't an option.  

Dec 30th - 18:14pm | tomp2

Congress, and previous Congresses manated these by law. The broader Historic Preservation Fund HPF starts circa page 261 in the pdf document's count.

Dec 30th - 18:06pm | ecbuck

Anon - Is that a generic statement or specific to these grants?  

Dec 30th - 16:35pm | Anonymous

"So where do these grant monies come from and who puts on the restrictions?" Congress.  Or non-governmental donors.

Dec 30th - 11:15am | ecbuck

So where do these grant monies come from and who puts on the restrictions?  Not trying to put blame on the NPS just saying I would prefer the money go to the maintainance backlog.  Whereever it comes from.    

Dec 30th - 09:10am | Anonymous

Would rather see the monies applied to the existing maintenance backlog at existing NPS units.   Grant money usually comes with restrictions on where and how it may be used.  The NPS probably had no real choices in the matter. 

Dec 29th - 21:28pm | glad2bretired

I believe these grant funds have restrictions put on their use.  Glad the NPS is putting this money to use in preserving some of our history.

Dec 29th - 21:13pm | ecbuck

Would rather see the monies applied to the existing maintenance backlog at existing NPS units.  

Dec 29th - 11:03am | George H

Cool projects - someone at NPS must have snuck these through while Zinke was zipping around in his government helicopter and not paying attention.

Fire Island National Seashore Wants To Let Breach In Wilderness Manage Itself

Dec 30th - 11:10am | Peter Nank

Let's not be tempted to stabilize it for navigation.

National Park History: Big Bend National Park

Dec 30th - 10:47am | Katherine Hess

Boquillas has been opened again for at least 3 years.  You must have a passport in order to cross and there are only certain days that the US side is open for processing.  It's worth the crossing.  You start in  a row boat ant then ride a donkey to get a good meal in the tiny town.    

Op-Ed | Trump’s ‘Swamp Creature’ Chasing Americans Off Public Lands

Dec 30th - 00:14am | tomp2

... and, speaking of facts, I see I was agreeing more with richp's first comment than with EC about the article.   I suspect that most of us find the same problems with the article, but I'm guilty of not paying sufficient attention while posting (while writing a paper while on annual leave). 

Dec 29th - 23:52pm | tomp2

I'm late to this party, but while reading this editorial I immediately thought "BS" on the "no President has ever shrunk the size of monuments", and "national monuments allow local residents and tourists alike to participate in recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, cattle-grazing, and hiking."  [The latter also evoked a "huh?".  Fishing & hiking are allowed in every Na

Dec 29th - 10:52am | Alfred Runte

Remember, Anonymous. Journalism is an equal opportunity offender. Kurt has never rejected one of my articles because it happened to disagree with the "party line" on climate change--or anything else, for that matter. If I could support my views, he published it. And he was right to publish Mr. Maxwell's piece, because yes, we need strong opinions as the basis for thought and judgment.

Dec 29th - 01:23am | Rick B.

And during a destructive administeration we need as much bright daylight shone on their activities as possible.

Dec 28th - 21:52pm | ecbuck

Anon, this is garbage but not a reason to refuse support for NPT.  We need all views in public display to be scrutinized. 

Dec 28th - 20:42pm | Anonymous

This is piece is a perfect example of why I can't support NPT. I do enjoy some of your content, it's this garbage and the climate scare crap that stops me. 

Dec 28th - 14:52pm | Jim Linville

You are correct.  There is seldom bipartisn support for fiscal responisibilty.  Frequently this site has discussed the backlog of maintenance at the NPs as a result of the lack of funds.  Yet you advocate maintaining more property than can be adequately managed.  I have asked at this site before and I will ask again.

Dec 28th - 13:00pm | ecbuck

When an author succumbs to name calling to try to make his point you know it is because he is coming up short on a substanative argument.   And shrinkage is not his only factual shortfall.  He cites "universally outlawed ivory trade", yet the ivory in question came from local government sanctioned hunts determined to be beneficial to the herd.  I suppose next he will be decr

Dec 28th - 11:03am | Alfred Runte

Indeed, there have been major shrinkages in the past--the first by Woodrow Wilson in 1915, who, at the request of the U.S. Forest Service reduced the then Mount Olympus National Monument by HALF.  In short, he reduced the monument by 300,000 acres--all of it rich in timber. The glaciated half he left untouched.

Dec 28th - 10:37am | richp

No president has ever shrunk the sizes of monuments... Really? Can we get a fact check here? I've read of numerous instances where a monument has been reduced. Navaho NM, Bandelier NM, Craters of the Moon NM, Great Sand Dunes and others come to mind. I believe I've even seen an article right here on NPT saying it has happened in the past.

Reader Survey Day: What Would You Like To Read About In 2018?

Dec 29th - 20:03pm | Lee Dalton

I'd certainly be interested, tomp.  We need to hear much more from people who are familiar with the inside stories of our parks today.

Dec 29th - 19:07pm | tomp2

If folks are interested, I could contribute a couple of articles on things such as setting a "visitor carrying capacity" for parks, and maybe Al could contribute articles on history of parks?

Dec 28th - 09:27am | J Resch

I would like to hear of any plans to re-open the Doughton Park facilities; the lodge, camping, supplies store, coffee shop, etc.  This is one of the most beautiful and interesting places on the Parkway. 

Climate Change Documents Removed From National Park Websites

Dec 27th - 17:36pm | Julie McNamee

I have worked in the Climate Friendly Parks program for the past 15 years.  We're a small, voluntary program, but with access to good expertise, we have been able to provide parks with great information for becoming leaner, cleaner, and greener.  Like all federal agencies in any administration we are required to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (see the year?&

Please Don't Take National Parks Traveler For Granted

Dec 27th - 13:07pm | ecbuck

George, you are right.  I posted on the wrong thread.  Now I see the confusion.  Was responding to a comment directed at me by Kurt.  Should have gone under "National Park Service Will Offer Buyouts...." thread.  My apologies.   

Dec 27th - 12:50pm | George H

Ah, Ec complaining about liberals in a piece about NPT asking for support for it's non-profit mission. Makes as much sense as he usually does. 

Dec 27th - 12:27pm | ecbuck

What are you confused about.  Its pretty clear.  Tax revenues rise and growth tends to accelerate after tax rate cuts.    

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide