Excellent series

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 11:47:36 08/27/16

In Reply to: Where's the UN-DO button, John? posted by Granite Head

Granite Head,

Thanks for sharing. I'm a big fan of colorful springs and runoff channels, and believe geysers get an inordinate amount of attention.

I got photos back in the 1980s of Excelsior Geyser with as many as 5-10 hats visible at one time. I have to wonder if the Old Faithful rangers have extended length grabbing tools to help them retrieve hats these days. I know we had several on the terraces at Mammoth when I worked there. We had a reach of at least 20 feet, maybe longer.

The ongoing surge in park visitation is concerning. At the same time, I've read stories about how the average age of visitors to national parks and monuments is up above 60 years of age; and the NPS is worried about not having a large visitor constituency eventually, once the older generation dies off. It's a real conundrum. Do you start expanding parking lots (or worse, build multi-level parking garages, and really trash the viewscape), migrate to mass transit, or start limiting visitation? I don't like any of those options, but I know something is going to have to give eventually. One possibility I was pondering recently, would be to expand the summer season by a few weeks on both ends of the season. Given the impact of global warming, and how spring keeps arriving earlier, we could probably open the roads and the facilities a few weeks earlier. Keeping them open in the fall could be accomplished without actually extending the time that the interior roads are open, since facilities start closing shortly after Labor Day, and by early October most are shut down. I know that there are some logistical obstacles, but in conversations I have had with various park and concession administrators over the years, I get the impression that visitor demand is the single biggest factor in limiting the summer season. I know that acquiring and keeping seasonal employees is another issue, but I think that could be addressed creatively. A longer season might actually make it easier to attract hard core seasonal folks who choose the lifestyle and work at southern parks in the winter. Anyway, just a thought.

Thanks again for the investment of your time.


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