Semper Fi, Redux

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

I hope this works. I’m sweltering in the hopper-laden meadows of Slough Creek. This post should appear at noon on July 4, 2007. I’ll find out when I get back. Have a safe and joyous celebration of our independence.

…..skyblu

skyblu tribute

I Lucked Out

THIS PROMISES TO BE HOT

At the backcountry office at Old Faithful I was seeking a place to camp for the week. As I was waiting for the newly minted worker to gather up my forms a phone rang and the gist of the conversation was that a choice campsite on Slough Creek was available – including reservations with the outfitter. I quickly made the arrangements and am going fishing starting today, right now, out the door; 4th of July and all.

The Webliography on snowmobile wars is in very rough draft form. It may take two or more weeks after I get back; so be it.

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The wildfire north of town is laying down and looks to be about controlled.

It Was Grant – Dufus!

GOOD REVIEW RUINED BY MISTAKEtroosevelt2-hunting-buddies.jpg

Why does GADLING think that Teddy did it? In a very positive review of the ‘new’ National Parks Traveler, (which is well worth a visit,) Erik Olsen says:

We should all thank Teddy Roosevelt for having the foresight all those years ago to set off Yellowstone as a place that would be protected from development and where all Americans (and others) would be welcome3 to enjoy.

usgrant.gifWell, girlfriend, you can thank Teddy for going to Yellowstone after it was created by congress and signed into law by Ulysses S. Grant, if you want to.

Teddy went to the park to shoot game, catch and eat fish, enjoy the company of his elite buddies, and coincidentally got roped into laying the cornerstone of an entry arch that he probably knew nothing about.

I don’t intend to add to the myths about Teddy. But I would like to say that it’s important to keep your history straight when talking about the “crown jewels of our national heritage.”

After all, Mr. Olsen worked for the Department of the Interior, and should know his history. Especially about the establishment of our National Parks. I guess it’s excusable; certainly “Teddy did it all” – in legend if not fact.

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

griles.jpgSpeaking of the Department of the Interior: former Deputy Interior Secretary Steven Griles had his plea sentence doubled to 10 months by the judge when he continued his arrogant ways in court. You can read about the interaction in the courtroom HERE. I’m pleased to see that my advice was heeded.

Now we’ll see if he serves the time or gets to play footsie with his buddies in the recreation industry. I’m not usually interested in these kinds of political shenanigans, but in this case it’s somehow interesting.

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

iphoney.jpgI’m not going to get an iPhone. As cute as it is, and as useful as it may be, it’s just not worth $6,000 for a two year contract. Maybe you can afford the price tag, but that $6,000 will buy a lot of good Cabernet, a trip to Goleta, some new flies, and a new benchrest rifle – with some left over!

Wired has posted a spreadsheet about the costs associated with the new gadget. You can read all about it HERE and at the Apple site, HERE.

Tag You’re It

THINKING BLOGGERS

Here are my picks for the Thinking Blogger Award:

  1. Jim Macdonald: Compiles the Yellowstone Newspaper, blogs about Yellowstone in The Magic of Yellowstone, discusses philosophical underpinnings of anti-authoritarianism and how it relates to park administration, and maintains a discussion forum – among other wonders of the blogsphere.
  2. Small Dead Animals: insights from Canada, pertinent to all of us.
  3. verbena-19: another bucketful of insight from Canada, social justice, environment, civil liberties, environmental awareness – great stuff – [old site, new site.]
  4. Wild Wilderness Blog: well researched perspectives about the threats to our public lands and the ever present push to make a buck.
  5. CUSS: irreverent, tawdry, base, uncouth, true, real, and what all of us are really thinking – but not saying!

Well, that’s it. There are certainly others worthy of the tag, but these are the guys that I read and these are the ones that make me think. Visit them and let me know. Comments are always open.
The rules are: Congratulations, you won a

Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

I’d Never Thunk It

TWO LOVELY PRESENTS IN THE SAME DAY

.. The early morning email brought me a present from the Wildlife Alive blog. The official tag for the thinking blogger award is in the comments of my last post. thinkingbloggerskyblu.jpgI’m more than flattered because this blog is primarily for me and the staff. It is a group of truncated and segmented threads of my musings – hardly a “think piece.” Thanks to Wildlife Alive for even reading the posts.

.. There are several blogs that I feel deserve the tag, and I’ll post them in the next day or so. I just love the idea of a “peer review” of blogs.

.. Then to my surprise, while checking my Word Press links and statistics, I find that this string of words and phrases is #82 and moving on up. movin-on-up.jpgI need to plug the guys at Word Press for their constant attention to the platform and their unyielding search for excellence. I would especially like to thank Matt and Mark for stumbling through my convoluted code and fixing problems that I have encountered created – bless you both.

.. This is a good time to let you know about things in the works. There is unified bibliography about the winter access problems in Yellowstone. This will include not just the pertinent air and sound quality studies, but will provide resources about the visitor experience, Yellowstone planning, increased fees, wildlife concerns, and the long range climate outlook. Diverse as it sounds, it is all of a single fabric.

.. There is also an exposition of factors in park management that mitigate against concern for the parks and for the public’s desires. This includes a bibliography about the decisions most recently made in the “Big-Draw” parks like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Denali, etc.

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.

The Little Fishies Of Yellowstone

I CAUGHT THEM ALL

The weekend was a shameless retreat from the new project and the occasionally dreary task of reading resumes. My normal “shooting session” was abandoned, the computer was mostly turned off, (is that bad for them?) and all food was commercial, overpriced, palatable, but quick and convenient.

The weather was just too nice and the park is beautiful, but drying out very fast. I visited the Firehole and the Madison. There were some hatches of caddis flies and I managed to catch a bunch of fish with my caddis fly imitations. Both the fish and the flies were small. The biggest fish I caught on Saturday was a 12″ whitefish. It even jumped as I was pulling it in. Steve says that they don’t jump – oh well.

little-brownie.jpgLate on Saturday there was a hatch of small mayflies near the picnic area on the Firehole. I used my little trico flies and caught about a dozen fish – all about 8″ – 10″ and very lively. Steve took a picture of my brown trout. It’s a shame that these fish are not native, they sure are wild though.

Sunday morning I called mom and we talked about Dad and how he always wanted to fish in Yellowstone. I told her about the fish and she said that I should have a good time and enjoy the weather. She may come up again in the Fall and we can go on one of our “Pack Trips.” I pack and she trips, (see last year’s trip to Joffee Lake – 12.)

Sunday was very bright and warm. I drove all the way to the pullout for the Kepler Cascades and walked along the trail to Lone Star Geyser. It’s shady and pleasant. There are not many fishermen, but there are a lot of tourists. There was a stupid couple with a black lab that kept running and barking and jumping in the upper Firehole. There was one fisherman that really chewed them out because they were ignoring the leash law of Yellowstone. Where’s a cop when you need one?

bridge.jpgThe upper Firehole is very cold here and the fish are small, but there sure are a lot of them. I just ignored the screaming kids and the loud bikers and fished. It’s easy to get to the river and there is a bridge so you don’t have to wade if you don’t want to. There are a lot of flies in the air and they look like good fish food. There were some caddis and some mayflies. I used all five of the patterns that I brought and they all worked. I’d like to say that the ’52 Buick was the best but it was just the same as the bead head fly nymph.

The foot and bicycle traffic along the trail are easily as heavy as when I was fishing at lake Cachuma back in Santa Barbara. It feels just like fishing in a city park; the fish are more cooperative in Yellowstone though. The tourists stopped during the little hail storm about one O’clock, but the came back soon after – just like the flies.

It was about five O’clock when I left and drove down to the pull out at seven mile bridge. The only bison that I saw was near the National Park Meadows. I stopped because there were a lot of flies smashing into my window, and there was no one fishing there. I caught one little rainbow and then the mosquitoes started to bite.

I got home about nine O’clock and hit the shower. I was tired but did not feel like I’d exercised much. So, it’s early and I can run some before breakfast.

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