Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, August 29, 2016
Visitor misbehavior abounds as U.S. parks agency turns 100
Tourist John Gleason crept through the grass, four small children close behind, inching toward a bull elk with antlers like small trees at the edge of a meadow in Yellowstone National Park.
“They’re going to give me a heart attack,” said Gleason’s mother-in-law, Barbara Henry, as the group came within about a dozen yards of the massive animal.
The elk’s ears then pricked up, and it eyed the children and Washington state man before leaping up a hillside. Other tourists — likewise ignoring rules to keep 25 yards from wildlife — picked up the pursuit, snapping pictures as they pressed forward and forced the animal into headlong retreat.
Record visitor numbers at the nation’s first national park have transformed its annual summer rush into a sometimes dangerous frenzy, with selfie-taking tourists routinely breaking park rules and getting too close to Yellowstone’s storied elk herds, grizzly bears, wolves and bison. Law enforcement records obtained by The Associated Press suggest such problems are on the rise at the park, offering a stark illustration of the pressures facing some of America’s most treasured lands as the National Park Service marks its 100th anniversary.
From Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains to the Grand Canyon of Arizona, major parks are grappling with illegal camping, vandalism, theft of resources, wildlife harassment and other visitor misbehavior, according to the records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
In July alone, law enforcement rangers handled more than 11,000 incidents at the 10 most visited national parks...more