Busiest resort town airports of the Intermountain West

Bozeman-Yellowstone Intl’l Airport – Source: fullterrain.com

Below is a list of the busiest resort town airports of the Intermountain West. Larger cities with more diversified economies are not included in this list. Resort towns for this region include cities at or near major national parks, recreation areas, wilderness areas, ski resorts, lakes, mountain retreats, art communities, casinos, white-water rafting courses, hiking/camping, and similar places/activities.

Minimum 60,000 enplanements (boardings) in 2015 – the city name, state, airport code, and 2015 enplanements are provided. Please note that enplanements typically are approximately 1/2 of the total number of passengers who pass through an airport. Here’s also a weblink to a map of the airport locations.

  1. Bozeman, MT (BZN) = 512,029
  2. Grand Canyon, AZ (GCN) = 419,538
  3. Medford, OR (MFR) = 370,181
  4. Missoula, MT (MSO) = 350,162
  5. Jackson Hole, WY (JAC) = 313,148
  6. Redmond/Bend, OR (RDM) = 280,821
  7. Rapid City, SD (RAP) = 264,170
  8. Kalispell, MT (GPI) = 237,497
  9. Aspen, CO (ASE) = 233,497
  10. Grand Junction, CO (GJT) = 214,401
  11. Peach Springs, AZ (1G4) = 189,921
  12. Durango, CO (DRO) = 186,790
  13. Eagle/Vail, CO (EGE) = 156,927
  14. Idaho Falls, ID (IDA) = 147,923
  15. Page, AZ (PGA) = 144,203
  16. Bullhead City, AZ (IFP) = 108,883
  17. Montrose, CO (MTJ) = 102,748
  18. Helena, MT (HCN) = 99,454
  19. Steamboat/Hayden, CO (HDN) = 93,896
  20. Santa Fe, NM (SAF) = 75,446
  21. St. George, UT (SGU) = 69,676
  22. Hailey/Sun Valley, ID (SUN) = 67,953
  23. Flagstaff, AZ (FLG) = 67,403
  24. Lewiston, ID (LWS) = 66,579
  25. Wenatchee, WA (EAT) = 62,319

SOURCE: http://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/media/preliminary-cy15-commercial-service-enplanements.pdf

Bozeman – Source: fullterrain.com

Posted in aerospace, air travel, airport planning, airports, aviation, Cities, commerce, geography, tourism, Trade, transportation, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service!

Source: exploreall50.com

Source: exploreall50.com

The National Park Service is easily my favorite federal agency and the one that deserves so much more funding than Congress has been willing to give in recent years. If I were able to be transported back to the threshold of my professional career, a role with the National Park Service would likely be my first choice.

Since I collect hiking medallions from each National Park I visit, the image above seemed quite appropriate.  Happy 100th Birthday to the best America has to offer Рthe National Park Service. Peace!

p.s. Thank you President Obama for designating Katahdin Woods and Waters in the lovely State of Maine as the newest National Monument!

Posted in civics, environment, fun, geography, Geology, government, hiking, historic preservation, history, land use, nature, peace, recreation, sustainability, topography, tourism, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The “not-so good” war

Often, as Americans we are told that World War II was “the good war.” But, is that really the case or is it just an example of the victors writing history to serve their needs?

Source: washingtonnote.com

Source: washingtonnote.com

No one is disputing that Hitler and his Axis allies were the epitome of evil. The question is – when your country or fellow allies employ similar, albeit less evil tactics as a means of achieving victory, aren’t we committing ourselves to eternal damnation as well? There ain’t no such thing as a small sin, folks.

Map of japanese-American Internment Camps - Source en.wikipedia.org

Map of japanese-American Internment Camps – Source en.wikipedia.org

There is no doubt that Hitler’s treatment of the Jews and other ethnic/religious groups was despicable. But, how different was our treatment of Japanese-Americans? Is completely destroying someone’s life any different ethically or morally than taking someone’s life?

Civilian Public Service Camp #42 - Wellston, MI - Soucre: civilianpublicservice.org

Civilian Public Service Camp #42 – Wellston, MI – Source: civilianpublicservice.org

How about rounding up 12,000+ conscientious objectors in the United States and putting them in unpaid indentured servitude at often remote camp locations or asking them to volunteer as guinea pigs in medical experiments? How different is that from what our opponents did to refugees and residents of occupied countries?

What about the draft/military service opponents who were routinely tossed in prison multiple times solely because they refuse to kill…or be killed? Exactly, where is the moral high road in that action? Employing the atomic bomb, particularly on civilian targets, hardly qualifies as angelic either.

Source: bookedupac.com

Source: bookedupac.com

All these questions (and many more) came to mind as I have been reading a number of compelling books that look at World War II from a non-traditional perspective – from that of Peace Advocates, Pacifists, and Conscientious Objectors. Frankly, after reading these thought-provoking books, particularly the landmark text on World War II civil disobedience by Lowell Naeve entitled, A Field of Broken Stones, I am convinced that many of our nation’s military actions for the past century are and have been terribly misguided at best and something much more evil at worst. Other books I have read recently regarding these issues include:

The courage it took to stand up and say NO to war during this period in our history is hard to match or imagine. The level of criticism, anger, disdain, and outright hatred these brave folks endured was immeasurable for many thought and still believe if there ever was such a thing as a good war, World War II was it. As a peace advocate myself, I often wonder if my inner strength could withstand the pressures of such a time and place.

I challenge all Americans to read such books and conduct research into the contrarian viewpoints of those who oppose war versus gobbling up the militarist and patriotic rhetoric we are so often subjected to in the media. I think you will find yourself questioning a lot more of the babble we are fed on a daily basis and rethinking what it exactly means to be citizen of this nation and of this planet. I love my country, but I do not think that should mean closing my eyes to its sins of the past and of the present. Thankfully, there have been immensely brave citizens from the past who have blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow…should we only choose to open our eyes, hearts, and minds. Peace!

Posted in Advocacy, art, book reviews, books, civics, civility, Communications, culture, diversity, entertainment, geography, government, historic preservation, history, human rights, humanity, literature, military, peace, politics, racism, social equity, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Awesome Acadia turns 100

A view from atop Cadillac Mountain

I have had the distinct privilege of visiting 72+ of our national parks, historic sites, battlefields, lakeshores, memorials, seashores, trails, and similar units of the National Park Service. Similarly, I have had the pleasure of visiting a variety national parks and historic sites in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. That being said, I do not think there is a single location I have visited in all these travels that matches the spectacular beauty and scenic variety of Acadia National Park in Maine.


Our seaside picnic partner at Thunder Hole

This year, 2016, is the 100th birthday of Acadia National Park and for the entire National Park System. Having visited Acadia for the first time last week, it was the perfect national park to see during this centennial celebration. One can find mountains, rocky shorelines, beaches, islands, trails, woodlands, historic sites, fields, lakes, ponds, and a plethora of other interesting landscapes in Acadia – so much so that it truly encompasses all of he best aspects that our National Park System has to offer.


Eagle Lake

Please consider visiting Acadia or any other unit of the National Park Service during their centennial year and also consider providing added financial support to these lovely and important gems.

Beauty of Bubble Pond

Lastly, there are occasional calls by some in political circles/Congress to privatize and/or eliminate the National Park System . I cannot think of a stupider idea. If you hear or see these, please speak up on behalf of our national treasures. Thank you!
The Rockefeller bridges and carriage trails

The Rockefeller bridges and carriage trails

Bar Harbor from atop Cadillac Mountain

Bar Harbor  and Frenchman Bay from atop Cadillac Mountain

Posted in Advocacy, bridges, civics, culture, environment, fun, geography, Geology, government, hiking, historic preservation, history, land use, nature, peace, placemaking, planning, recreation, spatial design, sustainability, topography, tourism, trails, Travel, walking, Wildlife | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cool map of Can-Am megaregions

Found this very cool map of American and Canadian mega-regions on wikipedia.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Posted in Canada, cities, demographics, economic development, fun, geography, history, land use, Maps, North America, planning, spatial design, sprawl, States, Statistics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Whatever happened to pride of place or ownership?

Source: uglyhousephotos.com

When you drive around the country one could almost begin to wonder if accumulated junk was today’s equivalent of striking gold. Similarly, one would think that missing siding or incomplete buildings were a fashion statement. As I see these eyesores, I keep wondering whatever happened to pride of place or ownership?  Having just driven across large parts of Ontario and Quebec, our friends in Canada definitely do NOT have this problem anywhere near the scale as seen here in the United States. 

So, since  when does a pile of pallets in the yard constitute neighborliness? Exactly how many inoperable cars in your yard does it take to become a parking lot or junk yard? I have yet to see a home in Good Housekeeping or other similar home design magazines that tout exposed insulation as the newest hot architectural trend. Additionally, I have yet to see an episode of HGTV that promotes yard clutter and accumulated debris as a way of increasing curbside appeal.

Frankly, while there may be a few rational reasons out there, I think many property owners have simply become plain lazy, while others use private property rights as an excuse to be bad neighbors. When these poor decisions start impacting their neighbor’s property values or start blighting the overall community, that’s a problem that needs to be addressed. 

Aside from imposing stricter zoning ordinances and other codes to address such issues, one has to wonder if there are more subtle actions that can be taken to reduce blight. A couple of ideas to chew on (additional suggestions are welcome):

  • Require a performance guarantee with building permits. If the work is not completed in a timely manner, then the funds are used by the community to finish the project.
  • Enforce codes already on the books in a diligent manner.
  • When approving subdivisions or condos, require that the covenants/bylaws include design and architectural review provisions, as well as provision to assure the home/condo owners association remains intact and does not disband.
  • Explore options with local nonprofits for providing home care and maintenance projects. 
  • Offer free junk amnesty programs once a year that allows accumulated junk to be brought to a central collection or disposal site – no questions asked. 
  • Work with area trash/garbage collectors to develop programs that encourage removing trash, junk, or debris from sites. 
  • Offer yard waste pick-up throughout much of the year to it does not accumulate in yards.  
  • Promote pride of place in newsletters, on websites, and at public meetings/forums. 
  • Consider working with a local newspaper to publish “eyesores” and “eye candy” photo as a method of shaming property owners into action and praising those who keep their property well maintained. Here is a weblink to Lansing City Pulse which has been doing this weekly for years.
Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Zoning options for a peaceful community

Source: fanpop.com

In the third post of this series about creating a peaceful community, the following are suggested improvements to a zoning ordinance. In using the term “peaceful,” I am not referring to “quiet,” but instead to “harmonious.” Additions or suggestions are most welcome.   

  • Toss the strict Euclidean-styled zoning ordinances aside, as they can perpetuate past exclusionary tactics. 
  • Consider re-writing the ordinance to be more readable and user friendly so that most anyone can understand the document as well as staff. Too often we get hung up on “planner-speak” or “legalese” and lose sight of for whom the regulations are intended. Clearly articulating the code would also reduce confusion, ambiguity, differing interpretations, and the need for formal interpretations by the Zoning Board of Appeals. 
  • Add more charts, graphics, and drawings to help explain technical details in the code. 
  • Mixed use districts and form-based codes offer more opportunities for innovative and inclusive land uses and design. 
  • Be sure that your zoning district names accurately reflect the intent, purpose, and uses of the zoning district. Misleading and/or inaccurate titles can cause unnecessary confusion and discord. 
  • Seek feedback from the public at regular intervals regarding how the code can be improved through an ogoing series of community or neighborhood forums. 
  • Don’t assume that one size (or standard) fits all. 
  • Allow accessory dwelling units (granny flats, etc.) and tiny houses – these enhance the options for creating affordable housing and designed/situated properly can curb sprawl.  
  • Density is NOT a dirty word – it is a useful planning tool for assuring a healthy commercial and residential core and goes a long way towards reducing sprawl. 
  • Provide adequate areas and options for workforce housing options – this is critical to assuring all demographics are properly served.
  • Economic, social, or demographic status must never influence a zoning decision.
  • Good ideas never die – successful past development designs should be re-employed, such as bungalow courts, grid street patterns, garden apartments, converted carriage houses, live-work housing, and duplexes.      
  • Include bicycle racks and bus stop shelters as development requirements to assure a multi-modal transportation network serving all residents. 
  • One can never have enough parks, common areas, and open space – protect these for the long-term by zoning them accordingly so they cannot be bought and sold like commodities. Everyone deserves easy access to such areas. 
  • Whenever possible and practical, acquire and zone shorelines and stream corridors as public – these will become your interconnecting ribbons of green. 
  • Don’t price application fees so high that only the privileged have opportunities to come before boards and commissions with formal requests. 
  • Maintain office hours that are  citizen and employee friendly. Banker’s hours are for bankers. 
  • Be sure your planning commission and zoning board of appeals fully reflect the demographics of your community and are NOT just another “good ‘ol boys club.”
  • Always, ALWAYS interpret and enforce your code fairly, consistently, and equitably.
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment