Eighty-Six Members Of Congress Can’t Read

I DON’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP — I COULDN’T

I’m constantly hearing and bombardier-air-quality-test.jpgreading about how the “SCIENCE” tells us that snowcoaches are better for Yellowstone National Park than are snowmobiles. First off, “SCIENCE” tells us nothing about good and bad, or better and worse. Secondly, summer pollution in Yellowstone is higher than winter pollution. Thirdly, dirty old Bombardier snowcoaches produce more pollution than clean new 4-stroke snowmobiles

If “SCIENCE” tells us anything, it is the following: 1] people don’t care about the stink of summer, 2] people would rather pollute in winter with nostalgic obsolescence than have clean transportation, 3] 86 members of congress haven’t looked at the data.

You do know, don’t you, that we have decided that it’s pollution from vehicular emissions that are harmful to the park. It’s not the type of machine that counts, it how dirty or clean it is!

An Associated Press Article tells us that New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt is leading another congressional charge to rid Yellowstone of snowmobiles. I suggest that he and his 85 other ill-informed colleagues read the:

FINAL
AIR QUALITY MODELING REPORT
SNOWMOBILE AND SNOWCOACH EMISSIONS
WINTER USE PLAN
Environmental Impact Statement
YELLOWSTONE and GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARKS and the
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, JR., MEMORIAL PARKWAY

In case he can’t read, I’ve reproduced two summary tables for him to review. There is nothing about good or bad, better or worse in the tables, but there is something about how the snowcoaches pollute and how the snowmobiles pollute. I just hope that he can count.

SNOWMOBILE TABLE

snmbl.jpg

 

SNOWCOACH TABLE

snch.jpg

The bottom right cell in each table is the telling comment, if any, from “SCIENCE.”

If Mr. Holt wants a simple version he, (or one of his junior staff,) can go to the NPS Nature & Science site and see how the current growing fleet of diesel buses are about to increase pollution. Below is an interesting table from that report if he can’t find the appropriate button on his mouse.

snch-00.jpg

I realize that appealing to members of congress will get me nowhere. However I can appeal to the people who really care about Yellowstone National Park — PLEASE ELECT CONGRESSIONAL RPRESENTATIVES THAT CAN AND WILL READ.

nono.jpgworse-than-snowmobile.jpgThere are better ways to visit Yellowstone in winter than in obsolete, noisy, gas guzzling, polluting, Bombardier snowcoaches. There are better ways to visit Yellowstone in winter than in a fleet of diesel buses that are converted for over-the-snow travel. There are better ways to treat our national parks in both summer and winter. Just think about it.

Do It All Yellowstone

ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE

Well, I’m still tired and work is consuming most of my energy, but I find it interesting that wd-kil.jpgthe NPS has not figured out that Yellowstone can’t be all things to all people. The concept of compromise reigns supreme in the minds of politicians, bloggers, cheerleaders, and NPS planners.

Take invasive species in Yellowstone for an example. The National Park Service spends tens of thousands of dollars trying to eradicate botanical species, (but not in Mammoth where they save them to feed the pet elk,) and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to remove Lake Trout. Yet they encourage and even protect invasive and non-indigenous trout to placate the fly fishing industry in parts of the park that were fish-free. This is “compromise,” and it is successful only in encouraging the spread of additional invasive species, (like the mud snails and whirling disease,) on the one hand, and increasing resident invaders, (Lake Trout,) on the other.

bis-360-x-270.jpgThe NPS just released the Summer bison population estimate. The herd is within 200 individuals of the historic high of 4,900. Unlike Wind Cave National Park, Yellowstone continues to “compromise” its bison management plan to make sure that neither ranchers, tourists, bison advocates, nor news hounds are too badly offended. Keep it up and soon the park will be so deep in poo that someone will be offended – they will eventually eat themselves out of forage.

And, of course, we have finally heard from the New York Times on the “compromise” winter use plan. Again, by reducing snowmobiles, the park increases pollution by increasing diesel buses. The planners of Yellowstone seem not to have heard of the concept of constraint. Given the demand for winter visitation in Yellowstone, transportation must accommodate it. Certainly we shouldn’t limit visitation.

Given a totality: reduction of one part must necessarily result in the increase of another part. Given the totality of the ever increasing numbers of fishermen, there is a reduction in the opportunities for a solitary yus.JPGfishing experience. Given the totality of available bison habitat, the increase of bison results in the reduction of available forage. Given the totality of numbers of winter visitors, the reduction of clean snowmobiles results in the increase of dirty diesel buses, and the retention of obsolete and dirty Bombardier snowcoaches.

Since the planners in Yellowstone refuse to set limits on fishing, bison, and pollutants; all will increase as they play a numbers game. It’s not the number of snowmobiles that count – it’s the pollution that’s important. Bless the capitalists that are now propagating fleets of diesel buses to invade Yellowstone in winter, (just like Yosemite in Summer.)

fis-375-x-244.jpgBless the feather merchants that continue to encourage fishing for non-native species and the spread of mud snails and whirling disease. Bless the bison advocates that encourage the herd to proliferate and eat so much ground cover that the rivers are muddied.

Soon there will be confrontations between the fishing industry and the bison advocates. Soon there will be confrontations between diesel buses and bison. Soon there will be a park that is all things to all people and then – finally, there may be planning that is sensible and acknowledges the concept of constraint. Well probably not in my lifetime.

=======================

As a pertinent aside, check out the note about Lions For Lambs on You Tube.

Toledo Would Rather Rant Than Read

I GUESS THE WHINE IS STRONGER THAN REASON

There are still whiners fighting the “snowmobile wars” of 15 years ago. They certainly seem to be living an uninformed fantasy in Toledo.

dumb.jpgA recent editorial at the ToledoBlade.com website could easily have been written 10 years ago. The same old, and absolutely false – today, phraseology is used. The language is charged with words and phrases that exude ignorance of the current situation. It’s a shame they don’t turn their Pulitzer-Winning brains to the facts of this matter.

I just can’t believe that the good folks of Toledo believe this kind of whining. They can’t all be illiterate. What does the author mean by: “The vehicles erode the air quality in the park, adversely affecting the health of visitors, employees, and wildlife.” – as I’ve noted before, (just search ‘snowmobiling‘ or read the data,) the current fleet of 4-cycle snowmobiles is as clean as the vans, and cleaner than the diesel buses and the Bombardier fleet. Poor Toledo, being fed such pap!

And the author bemoans: ” . . . keep tourist dollars flowing and 720 snowmobiles per day whizzing through Yellowstone.” The only whizzing through Yellowstone is being done by the Park Service’s own 2-cycle snowmobiles – some chasing the speeding Bombardiers. The guided snowmobile groups follow the same speed limits as all vehicles, and do it better than the enclosed vehicles. Or maybe “whizzing” means something else in Toledo.

What does the author mean by: “The noise levels, also unacceptably high, shatter the quiet splendor of the park in winter.” Golly Gee, sister; the buses, coaches and bombardiers are all louder than the current generation of sleds. Poor Toledo, they’ll believe anything. [The report says: “Although on average snowmobiles were audible for more time than snowcoaches, snowcoaches in general had higher sound levels, especially at higher speeds. The reduced sound and audibility in the report is largely explained by fewer snowmobiles in the park, the guided group requirements and the change from two to four-stroke engine technology.”]

What does the author mean by: “Loud snowmobiles that emit harmful exhaust gases into the air should be banned in national parks.” Well, dufus – they have been banned: best read a little bit before your vomit up such tripe.

Does the author really believe: “And another study on the environmental impact of the noise and air pollution associated with snowmobile traffic will undoubtedly yield the same conclusions of prior studies on the subject.” The studies, (obscenely expensive and occasionally redundant, have shown differences as technology and regulations have changed.) Maybe nothing changes in Toledo.

I wonder what the author means by: “But when it comes to conservation, and one of the country’s most magnificent natural wonders, Americans cannot allow Yellowstone to be surrendered to lobbyists and commercial interests.” Does this mean that it should be surrendered to psudo-journalists ranting against a situation that no longer exists? Should we surrender the park to uninformed editorial writers? Where have these folks been for the last ten years – Toledo?

The sad truth is that the grotesque amount of money spent by the NPS, and the public results that are available, have not been read or studied by the whiners or the cheerleaders. This sort of dunderheaded resistance to facts and figures will continue to plague not just Yellowstone but the whole sphere of visitation in the national parks. And, girlfriend, ignorant diatribes like this will not help a thing.

Finally, the author says: ” . . . the administration is prepared to ignore public and scientific opinion and act unilaterally to implement its snowmobile policies.” Poor thing, willing to ignore scientific opinion in favor of their own uniformed view.

Now then, don’t get me wrong, snowmobiles have a long way to go before they are the perfect winter transportation for Yellowstone. The snowmobile industry needs to fully embrace the concept of clean and pleasant transportation. So too does the NPS. The real issue is winter access for all. The current solution fails on numerous counts: cost, intimacy, pollution, and others come to mind. Nothing is perfect in the NPS. But, girlfriend, tilting at windmills is not going to improve matters.

The current proposed policy substitutes expensive access in polluting enclosed vehicles for unlimited access in any vehicle. It’s a step. Is it in the right direction?

But, like they say; ‘If it plays in Peoria Toledo . . .’ — well, we will see.

Washington Closing Ranks

GIVE THE GUY A BREAK – BULLSHIT!!laughing.jpg

There is a series of posts over at Scott Silver’s site (1, 2, 3,) that everyone interested in Yellowstone should read and digest. They address the upcoming sentencing of disgraced Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles, (above left, with ex NPS Director Fran Mainella, and Derrick Crandall, President of American Recreation Coalition – right.)

The power politics and good buddy network is swinging into action to keep this criminal out of jail and on our streets; working to further the causes that he espoused while in office. It’s not surprising, but it is shameful!

The cast of characters is led by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC,) and includes such sterling personalities as: Congresswoman Barbara Cubin, Former Interior Secretaries Gale Norton and Donald Hodel, and long-time motorized recreation lobbyist Bill Horn.

This is a classic situation of “scratch mine and I’ll scratch yours.” As Scott points out:

Very soon J. Steven Griles may, once again, be working in support of ARC’s core mission — that, of course, being to commercialize, privatize and motorize recreational opportunities upon all of America’s public lands.

I personally think that they should throw the book at him.

Bless Their Hearts

REAL CLIMATE COMES THROUGH

I just love those guys at REAL CLIMATE. They keep me informed and keep me thinking. Now they have produced a primer for the conscientious folks of this world that want to:

“. . . get up to speed on the issue of climate change . . .”

They promise to: “. . . amend this as we discover or are pointed to new resources. Different people have different needs and so we will group resources according to the level people start at.” And, they’ve added a major heading at the top of their page entitled “START HERE” for the ongoing updates. Bless their hearts!

I’ve book-marked the page and plan to visit frequently. If you find yourself in a battle of wits with the 1/2 armed, this page will provide you with sources of insight and information. This is very similar to, and includes a reference to, the compilation by Coby Beck in the Grist Series How To Talk To A Climate Skeptic.”

I’m very thankful for people like these that do such hard and detailed work. Bless their hearts!! Keep both of these pages handy and you won’t be unarmed or uninformed.

=============

Also from Real Climate comes news about the G8 climate declaration.

They say that: “As usual we refrain from a political analysis, but as scientists we note that it is rewarding to see that the results of climate science are fully acknowledged by the heads of state.”

As an inveterate whiner I say check out the cartoon below.

Talk About Stupid

AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE

why-laugh.jpgI wonder how many people are going to get sucked into the pie-in-the-sky promises that are being spewed by Secretary Kempthorne and Director Bomar. You can read about the great things promised at National Parks Traveler (Here and Here and Here.) The rhetoric is splendid.

If there is anything that is apparent from the great and glorious promises being made, it is that these guys know nothing about that which they are talking. If they believe that the parks are going to be known as “America’s best classrooms” then they better start concentrating on the ecology and not the critters. Fat Chance Sister.

If they intend to restore native habitats they are going to have to remove all the fish above Firehole Falls and all but the grayling above Gibbon Falls, FATTER CHANCE! You can bet that their rhetoric is as hollow as the interior of a balloon. Neither Corporate America, nor the American Public, nor the NPS want to restore native habitats. What they all want is a picture postcard to retreat into: SCIENCE BE DAMNED!

I’ll bet a nickel that they will never address the problems caused by introduced trout in the Firehole River, the Gibbon River, and Slough Creek; including the destruction of native fauna that these fish cause. I’ll bet another nickel that they will find a project funded by “sportsmen & other interested parties” to enhance the fishing for introduced fish in many National Parks – especially Yellowstone. I’ll bet a third nickel that Dirk Kempthorne and Mary Bomar will avoid any effort to follow scientific inquiry. I’ll even bet a fourth nickel that a pile of supposedly concerned individuals and organizations will be seduced by the money. While I’m at it, I’ll make it an even quarter that there is no money or project that deals with global warming and the inevitable changes in the next century – ‘Centennial Initiative’ – BAH HUMBUG!

Go ahead Ms. Bomar, count the birds and thermophiles. Go ahead and remove the boardwalks that inhibit thermal feature discharge. Go ahead and follow science that says that the Firehole River would be better off without the introduced and invasive trout that sustain the multi million dollar tourist fishing industry. Go ahead and cull the bison herd to save the range. Go ahead and remove the dam that is preventing the calcification of Suzanne’s house. Go Ahead and re-align the road [again] so that the discharge from Beryl Spring is natural. Go ahead and restrict the geyser gazers from tromping around in restricted thermal areas. Go ahead and follow science to the detriment of visitation and tourist dollars – I dare you!

worse-than-snowmobile.jpgGo ahead and talk about snowmobiles and ignore the enormous and gaseous clouds of summertime diesel tour buses. Go ahead and ignore pollution in favor of winter whiners and increased visitation. Go ahead and celebrate the birthday of the NPS, maybe another 100 years and you’ll get it right.

Girlfriend, I promise that we are about to see the dashing of principles against the overwhelming flood of private money.

At least one thing is true: private money will line up to get a piece of this pie. Well, another thing is also true, park administrations across the land will eagerly line up, flat hat in hand, to get the money to increase visitation – no matter what they have to do. And, it’ll be worse by far than turning the parks over to DISNEY.

Here’s Some AQ Poop

WANT TO SEE WHAT YOU’RE BREATHING?

nps-aq.jpgThe National Park Service Web Cameras Site currently lists just the cameras that provide AQ data. We hope it gets to all cameras and hope that eventually they all have AQ monitors. CHECK IT OUT.

There is also a monitoring station site, (I mentioned this before,) and the data is near real-time. CHECK IT OUT. By the way there is an ozone health advisory for Yellowstone National Park today!

big-yell-hg.jpgThe NPS is finally making their AQ programs public and have updated their “Explore Air” page with some nice images and some good information.

Sadly, the NPS page “Greening Of The National Parks” has been abandoned since June of 2004.

Finally, the USGS mercury monitoring guys have been working hard for Yellowstone. CHECK IT OUT.

Want to see the current status of in-park emissions inventories conducted to date? Click here.

Want to see the Executive Order for strengthening federal environmental, energy, and transportation management? Click here.

The Sacred Cows Of Yellowstone

THOU SHALT NOT SPEAK EVIL OF THESE

sacredcow.gifI have a bit of pity & some sympathy for the poor journalists in this part of the country. I just plain pity the journalists in the rest of the country.

When it comes to reporting about Yellowstone National Park they have a long list of topics that they cannot report about. They have, after all, advertising and public sentiment to deal with. The scribes, either through fear or ignorance refuse to address the problems caused by the Sacred Cows of Yellowstone.

Reporting about Yellowstone is also fraught with pitfalls propagated by the NPS. The NPS has fostered a picture of perfection to be projected about the park – after all, it’s their job as chief cheerleader. But a few honest remarks about the problems in Yellowstone would go a long way toward correcting them. Horror of horrors – tell the truth.

yellowstone-hack.gifCurrently it’s the Sacred Bison that these sages of the press are skating around. They have not addressed the bison policy, overpopulation, or the destruction that the bison do to the Yellowstone prairies or the environment in general.

Worry not about the poor little babies. Worry about Yellowstone National Park. Reduce the herd to a size that is in keeping with honest preservation of the environment and the ecology of Yellowstone.

However, you can bet that many local reporters will continue to use unprofessional inflammatory language when protecting this sacred cow – it generates readership and advertising. After all, Shakespeare played to the crowd, [For some sane and non-inflammatory reporting read Glenn Hockett.]

The SACRED ELK is another scourge of the Yellowstone incubation mentality. They are raised on invasive grasses in Mammoth. They are so habituated that they lounge on the lawns and the old parade grounds. The park administration does not ticket visitors, (see Sacred Rules and Sacred Rangers below,) nor do they consider the plight of these critters that are rapidly losing their wild nature. (See 2004 video of elk charging and goring visitor.)

Another is the SACRED DIESEL TOUR BUS; a conveyance that does nothing to enhance the visitor experience that the NPS is always talking about. It slows traffic, crowds roads, blocks vistas, and spews carcinogens and other pollution into the atmosphere of the park. It is far worse for Yellowstone and its visitors than a few snowmobiles. This sacred cow should never be attacked because it generates enormous amounts of revenue and concurrently herds humans into manageable groups.

Too, the SACRED MOTOR HOME; with four wealthy humans taking up the space that 40 less affluent humans use in the tour bus. These $200,000 – or much more behemoths, are usually pulling a $50,000 Hummer [or some such.] This travesty of the roadway has double immunity because it is also the preferred mode of transportation for the seasonal help that Xanterra & Delaware North hire. These monsters are also allowed preferred parking in the park campgrounds, denying visitors space. Mention it not!

Then, the SACRED EMPLOYEE PUB, is verboten. This is akin to the military providing slot machines to the troops and fostering gambling addictions. Could this be happening with alcohol in Yellowstone? Heaven forbid. Don’t let the public know about this.

And mention not the SACRED GEYSER GAZERS that are allowed special access to off-trail areas and thermal features. Sign up and you too can leave your footprints and ball caps in the mud.

off-trail.jpgDon’t dare to explore the activities of the SACRED SKIERS. These bota-totin’, off-trail-shoutin’, skinny-dipping denizens that supposedly are much nicer to the park than the average winter visitor are the darlings of journalists and bloggers alike. Gimme a break. illegal.jpgThe SACRED BICYCLISTS are also saints and never go off trail or stress the fauna by getting too close. Both of these groups of saints are protected by the Sacred Rules and Sacred Rangers, (see below.) Fear the wrath of ‘greenies’ if you tell the truth about either of these two cows.

By no means investigate the SACRED RULES that allow visitors to move closer to bison and elk than to bears; despite the fact that more visitors [in their stupidity] are harmed by bison and elk than bears. And certainly don’t mention the SACRED RANGERS that refuse, (by order,) to issue tickets for these infractions against the bison and the elk. This is law enforcement tempered by the almighty tourist dollar.

nono.jpgThe SACRED BOMBARDIER is a genuine offense to reason, environmental sanity, fiscal responsibility, and public safety. Don’t honestly report on these cows of the winter landscape – you’ll incur the wrath of moneyed visitor interests and motorized recreationists across the country.

The most egregious sin of the Yellowstone Hacks is their failure to recognize the travesty of the SACRED FLY FISHERMAN. These ‘sportsmen’ are backed by both park personnel and the giant fly fishing industry. The park has rules to enable the destruction of streams in order to placate this cow. The ‘incubator mentality’ is best viewed in the realm of fishing and the stocking history of the NPS. It’s time to fix this!

Without the SACRED FLY FISHERMAN, and his commercial lobby, the New Zealand Mud Snail would not be in Yellowstone. Without the SACRED FLY FISHERMAN the previously pristine Firehole River would be allowed to produce its native mayflies, stone flies, midges, and caddis flies in a natural fashion; without the depredation of non-native species. But these creatures have no cheerleaders, (nor does Yellowstone’s ecology.) So, the fly fisherman is allowed to keep his invasive trout, introduced from afar. Enhance the visitor experience at the expense of the native species.

brad-baby.jpgThe Yellowstone fishing regulations encourage; nay, facilitate destruction of park resources by mandating “torture and release” of invasive species. This is blatant disregard for the intent of preservation of the park resources. But, without the SACRED FLY FISHERMAN many dollars would be lost by the preservation and restoration of a once beautiful stream. Hacks don’t dare address this – they fish. And so does Brad Pitt – bring on the rationalizations for avoiding this topic.

There are many others of course. But there is far too little jaundice in the eyes of the regional hacks. They too have bought into the Picture-Perfect-Yellowstone myth. Conventional wisdom always wins – no matter how wrong – just look at the political and environmental mess our parks are in.

Other Sacred Cows that are running rampant in Yellowstone include: the SACRED TOUR GUIDE, the SACRED PARKING VIOLATOR, the SACRED SEASONAL RANGER, the SACRED WOMAN SUPERINTENDENT, the SACRED BUILDING CLUTTER, the SACRED SLUMS OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, the SACRED BUILDING BOOM AND THE ATTENDANT WASTE DISPOSAL PROBLEMS INCLUDING SEWAGE, and many, many, more.

Just what has happened to investigative journalism in our National Parks? Or do the American Public not want to know? This is worse than Fantasy Land.

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