May 23, 2007

Bureaucratic idiocy: the Park Service

Photo by Chas S. Clifton
This may be the month when I blog about stupid decisions by public lands management agencies.

Let's start with Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

M. and I camped there last month on our way to my nephew's graduation in western Colorado. The view was spectacular, the birds sang -- and before 8 a.m., the screaming started.

A local running club had arranged an early morning race on the park roads. Superintendent Connie Rudd or her staff had thoughtfully placed the finish line right next to the campground. So all the campers in tents and thin-walled trailers got to hear some aging cheerleader types yelling stuff like, "Yay, Joey! Way to go! Woo-hoo!"

You may think that that bird song is a better early morning aural experience. Not at Black Canyon.

If every carload of runners paid the entrance fee, however, then some management goal was closer to being met.

You readers probably have your own tales. Feel free to share them.


Anonymous said...

Well. One topic might be RMNP Elk policy. I thought you were going to blog on that a while back.

Nudge, nudge...

Anonymous said...

In case you were wondering, I favor allowing disabled and youth hunters to hunt there, in order to meet the Fair Chase standard given that Park Elk are habituated to humans.

But I also recognize that National Parks are semi-zoos, and enabling humans to get close to the animals is an important aspect of the park experience. Although everybody ridicules "windshield tourists," I think we have to accommodate the elderly and families traveling with small children. So any hunting should not be done in a way that drives Elk back into the timber.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I confess that I have not kept up with the latest twists and turns of the Rocky Mountain National Park elk culling controversy.

True, if the NPS spends tens of thousands of dollars on "sharpshooters" instead of letting qualified Colorado hunters pay for the privilege, then that qualifies as idiocy.

More idiocy coming soon.