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Old 04-12-2015, 08:01 PM   #15
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Not only NP but Starved Rock state park in Il had same problems now much off limits. this was caused by inconsiderate idiots, graffiti, damaging every thing. This park has historical value from Indian tribes fighting & prob. I used to go there when teenager. we respected things. Went there 3 yrs. ago do not recoginise any thing now also, I agree with n2916s post as it what I was ref. about Starved Rock in Il.
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:11 PM   #16
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It is too bad you were so disappointed. It is nevertheless necessary to understand that cave systems are not as robust as they may appear to be.

The Mammoth NP caves formed and continue to form through solution of limestone by surface and subsurface water. Carbon dioxide in the water makes it acidic enough to dissolve the limestone. Support for rock in the ceilings may disappear and the same can happen to the floor rocks. Well prepared paths and no access to other areas are safety measures, quite in addition to protecting delicate rock structures (which may not appear so very delicate!).

Tim
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Old 04-12-2015, 08:15 PM   #17
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...It seems as though the management of the NPS is actively discouraging people from camping in RV's at National Parks and monuments...

Actually, it is our politicians who have budgeted less dollars each year trying to balance expenditures. 5% per year cuts mean fewer days open to the public, less staff, program cuts, delayed seasonal openings, restricting access areas, doing less maintenance, and even some rv/camp areas being closed.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:19 AM   #18
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...congress just voted to sell off national parks and allow private concessions on them... Not quite yet.


Actually, the U.S. Senate passed a budget amendment sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska & the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, supporting the idea of selling, transferring, or trading federal lands to the states - private concessions were not addressed. So far the measure is purely symbolic. It doesn't cover any specific parcels nor give Congress any kind of new authority to dispose of federal holdings. Specific proposals still have to make it past the House, Senate and the White House to go through.

I stayed at Salt Springs in the Ocala National Forest last year, and it appears that all of their camp grounds there are ran by concession corps.

Well it's a shame to hear congress is making an ideological decision to give away our national parks and lands. I'm sure this will end with less access, greater cost, and poorly maintained parks.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:28 AM   #19
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I stayed at Salt Springs in the Ocala National Forest last year, and it appears that all of their camp grounds there are ran by concession corps.

Well it's a shame to hear congress is making an ideological decision to give away our national parks and lands. I'm sure this will end with less access, greater cost, and poorly maintained parks.
And that my friend is a direct result of outsourcing management of our national treasures to the lowest bidder. There are some things government does better. IMHO.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:16 AM   #20
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Years ago in a much distant former life I was a Military Training Instructor - TI. While going through the training process to become a TI we were told by the instructors that everything we do with the recruits was geared toward a 5th grade level as that is what Americans can understand. I don't think National Park attendees are much different. We visited a number of parks last year and saw some amazingly stupid acts by people who obviously have very successful lives in the real world - got out of very expensive vehicles, not rented. So, rules are made for the masses, not individuals, unfortunate.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:17 AM   #21
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...It seems as though the management of the NPS is actively discouraging people from camping in RV's at National Parks and monuments...

Actually, it is our politicians who have budgeted less dollars each year trying to balance expenditures. 5% per year cuts mean fewer days open to the public, less staff, program cuts, delayed seasonal openings, restricting access areas, doing less maintenance, and even some rv/camp areas being closed.
I for one am getting fed up with the anti-government people out there. Our park system is fading but the causes are easy to see. First we are loving them to death. More and more people want to see them and the infrastructure isn't holding up. The anti-taxers are the first to complain that things are running down and in poor condition. Then the American Freedom lovers show up and think that they can go where they want and do as they please hence the slow destruction of our heritage sites. Those two morons destroying the rock formation is a good example.

Secondly, the move to cut taxes and privatize everything is proving to be a bad decision in many instances. The park system is a very good example. So, save a buck but don't complain that things aren't the same as they used to be. Look at what has happened to Yosemite with overcrowding and underfunding. Throw in a gun happy population and it is little wonder that the rangers there are now police officers first and rangers second.

Boondockdad, to avoid any more stress in your life, I suggest that you start boondocking and stay away from places that might raise your blood pressure. It isn't a healthy thing you know and all the state and national parks have rules. Rules about trash, noise, pets, parking, visitors and such. Yeah, downright Un-American if you ask me.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:24 AM   #22
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I KNOW most of us here are respectful of mother nature

But in some circles ( hikers for one ) ANY RVers ( even jeeps ) are considered evil. I have seen many obstacles either manmade, or natural obstacles that are intentionally left, to keep RVers away from pristine areas. People want to experience the wilderness without having to look at, smell, or hear a giant RV pulling up to take a picture, and drive off.

If given the opportunity there are those who would pull their RV up to the brim of the Grand Canyon, fire up a generator, blast music, and throw beer cans. "Let's build a vacation home here!!" I know none of us are like that.

It's a wonderful feeling, to walk a few miles, and feel like you are the only person, on another planet that is the same as it was 100,000 years ago
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:26 AM   #23
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Well said aftermath. Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2015, 08:40 AM   #24
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Speaking of concessions running NP or other treasures, a corp. wants to build a mega million complex on rim of grand canyon.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:41 AM   #25
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I am more saddened than angry by the National Park situation. I fully realize that the Parks are over-visited, and accordingly, over-controlled. Yes, there are budget shortfalls that exacerbate the problem. I would like to see the Parks get more funding, but I don't think that more money would solve all of the issues.

As our population grows, more and more people are going to want to visit the National Parks. I don't blame them for wanting to see the greatest Parks in the World. Our visits to the Parks in recent years have been enjoyable but crowded. This is what has prompted us to stay away in the busy season. We have found that the National Forests offer all of the scenery and wildlife without the crowds. The forests are relatively empty. We take advantage of the dispersed camping with the truck camper. The small Forest campgrounds offer primitive campsites that can accommodate the Airstream for $12 or $6 for seniors. As long as the forests are devoid of souvenir shops and flush toilets, many of the casual visitors will stay away.

Even with the crowded conditions, we have found the vast majority of the Park visitors to be respectful and cooperative. I am not too crazy about all of the out-sourcing of Park services to the private sector. All they really care about is turning a buck, and it shows. The Parks are one instance where government employees do a much better job.

Just my impressions of the situation with the Parks. The Parks are still worth the trip.

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Old 04-13-2015, 09:43 AM   #26
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From yesterdays newspaper...



"ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – Officials at Rocky Mountain National Park are considering closing certain areas of the park on the busiest days if those areas get overcrowded, saying too many people and vehicles are putting a burden on trails, roads and wildlife.

The park had a record 3.4 million visitors last year, and officials have begun talking about ways to protect park resources.

Too many people in the park can affect the trails, roads and wildlife, but they also can hinder the natural experience park users are seeking with crowds and noise, said Rick Fedorchak, chief of interpretation and education."


As more and more people start visiting NP's, we're faced with more people expecting a "Disney World Experience". That means more control to keep some from touching everything or leaving their initials carved into ancient petroglyphs.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:44 AM   #27
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NP Rangers are people I respect for their dedication to the outdoors, and to protecting our national heritage. They are underpaid for the work they do, and the time they put in - talk to one about what it takes to become a Ranger, and what the rewards are, and you'll find they make a financial sacrifice to choose to do their jobs. Could we have a much better Parks system? Sure. Would it be funded appropriately? No. A shoestring budget results in in threadbare services.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:55 AM   #28
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Yes. Sad indeed. It seems we really do get the government we deserve. On the topic of outsourcing management of our parks. This is one of my observations. Consider two young people. One chooses a career in the NPS and puts in the time, effort, and money to get the education and training for their career and because they believe in the mission of the NPS. The other a minimum wage employee poorly supervised whose primary concerns often seem to be when is the next smoke break and the design for their next tattoo. Sure an oversimplification but something I have observed.
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