More on Mr. T (bflying in parks)

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at
Tue Sep 2 13:56:50 EDT 1997

	Mark Walker stated, with reference to the newspaper article on
'Mr. T.':

>Based on this kind of hype, what collector will not attempt to hide
>his net? 

I may have missed something--but the fact remains that, whether or not
the law makes sense (not all that much, in most cases) it has been illegal
to collect insects (and plants, and rocks, etc.) in National Parks with-
out a permit for decades. I discovered this back in the 1950's when a
very polite ranger informed me that I should not be attempting to collect
butterflies on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which I was trying to do in
happy ignorance. Ever since then I have obtained permits--and thus have
only had to hide my net from tourists--not from Park rangers.

	So yes--the newspaper article was full of hype, as most such
articles are these days. But Mr. T. a) should not have been collecting
in National Parks, and b) if he was that knowledgeable a collector
should have known better. If he really did try to hide his net, he
obviously did know better. Just because the newspaper is wrong does
not make Mr. T. right...

	If you think the situation regarding collecting in National Parks
is absurd, you should try collecting around Nome, Alaska. The local Native
Corporation charges scientists a $100 permit application fee _and_ a
$100/month land use fee. When I asked their land manager what they did
about tourists who flew in, rented a car, collected briefly along the
road system, and flew back out again--she said they didn't worry about
them, they were just after scientists! I asked why, and was told that
they wanted to keep track of scientists so they would receive copies of
any papers published that related to their land. She was not very clear
as to how charging a scientist $200 was going to insure their getting a
copy of any papers. Now if theu would waive the fees in return for
copies of papers, that might make more sense...

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at

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