Thursday, October 25, 2007

What Does Yellowstone Want ??

And Some Other Stuff
.. Once upon a time the National Park Service loved cell phone towers and held secret meetings to plan how to put them in Yellowstone National Park. The Sierra Club noted in January of 2005 that the NPS was seeking revenue streams of all kinds and that cell phones and their towers could provide it.
.. The minutes of the secret meeting were "outed" by PEER on April 8, 2004, and finally made it to "My Space" on May 3, 2006, and much discussion ensued in the press and the blogs. The NPS was happy to join the discussion because it ignored the revenue issue. It seemed that the issue was settled and it faded from the radar.
.. Now there is a proposed tower, on private property, that the NPS is objecting to on grounds that it's visibility is detrimental to the Yellowstone Experience - of course they are not daring to mention that it will generate no revenue for the park.
.. An article by Brodie Farquhar in the October 24, 2007 issue of the Casper Star Tribune details the supposed concerns of the NPS. Suzanne Lewis is advocating political action by park employees to change the siting of the tower. She wrote them a memo with instructions about how to oppose the non-revenue-producing tower.
.. Of course in her letter to Alltel, on October 16, Lewis used the same objections to the proposed tower that critics used after the park illegally placed their tower at Old Faithful. Just plain whimsy on the part of a park with neither real concern or consistency. Bushgreenwatch posted a note about the concern back in April of 2004. It seems that the intrusion into the Old Faithful viewshed by a cell phone tower is just fine if it's done for monetary gain by the NPS, but it's not a good thing for the Roosevelt Arch viewshed if the NPS doesn't make money.
.. Back in May of 2006, Rita Beamish, again in the Casper Star Tribune noted that the National Park Service wanted an industry-wide plan for the lowest impact. Of course this meant on park properties with revenue for the parks.
.. It is also noteworthy that the NPS has allowed towers and facilities on Bunsen Peak for their own use for many years.
.. For those interested in the way the NPS does business these days, the following links should be interesting:
--- Letter from Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of PEER, to Earl Devaney, Inspector General, seeking an explanation of the secret meeting to site towers and provide revenues to the NPS (PDF).
--- List of those attending the illegal meeting of March 31, 2005. Includes email addresses and minutes of meeting. [Compare to 'notes' below.] (PDF.)
--- Notes by unidentified NPS employee from that secret meeting on 30/31/05 (PDF).
--- Cell phone coverage map from the 1999 Environmental Assessment for predicted coverage (PDF).
--- Simple view from National Parks Conservation Association.

Some Other Stuff
.. Visitation figures for September are up compared to a year ago.
.. Fried Trout A La Maytag, from a new Yellowstone cookbook.
.. A Late Afternoon, Mid-October Snowstorm On The Madison River.
.. Streaming Web Cam Gets Narration - OHMYGAWD IT'S BAD.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Of Smart Moose & Black Sheep

Sex Crimes In Morning Report
Buffalo Fan Obstructs justice

.. It seems that moose mamas are moving closer to roads in Yellowstone as calving time approaches. This provides the moose with protection from grizzly bears because the bears generally stay farther away from the roads than the moose.
.. Researchers have shown that the moose get closer to the roads over the years, while the bears stay substantially the same distance from the roads.
.. Of course the sub-text that is not talked about is that humans are depriving grizzly bears of a living just by being in Yellowstone National Park. Soon they'll be calving on your front door.
.. The Chinese view the situation this way. The folks in Denver see it this way.
.. The NPS MORNING REPORT for yesterday details the history of a sex crime case against a concession employ at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.
.. The case originated on June 18, 2007 and ended on September 27, 2007 when the federal district judge in Cheyenne, Wyoming ordered the suspect to be detained pending trial or plea agreement.
.. The alleged crimes involved computer pictures of young children in sexually explicit poses and activities. Read it in The Morning Report.
.. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the results of a trial of Dan Brister, 37, the Buffalo Field Campaign's project director.
.. Brister was convicted of a misdemeanor for obstructing a peace officer, fined $585, and sentenced to six months probation after the jury found him guilty.