Letting off some steam | High Sierra Topix  

Letting off some steam

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Re: Letting off some steam

Postby SSSdave » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:31 pm

As I related on this and other boards many times, the problem is a lack of enforcement and education. There are simply way too many people that are by nature lazy pigs. One just ought reflect on one's own relatives, friends, acquaintences over the years who are so. Many kids today grow up today in families with little behavioral guidance. They go to schools without much in the way of rules and policy where group behaviors evolve to the lowest common denominator. If teachers and authorities attempt to limit behaviors, all manner of parents and media whine.

There are many backcountry visitors that despite all the processes in place would do poorly if given a simply backcountry policies test. Even though one person in a group may have indeed received a permit, few bother to inform others under them even if they are obviously beginners. Well not until Jack sees little Billy washing their dinner pots directly in the lake edge. And how many of those novices that actually received and signed off on a permit do more than sign it and chuck it into their pack? I've been in communication with the Inyo Backcountry manager to in fact change that process so EVERY person in groups gets a copy of permits, then has to personally sign off checkboxes, and needs to carry it on their person. And that way also if a backcountry ranger comes upon a group camping 10 feet from a lake edge they cannot claim the group leader has the permit and they are off climbing up some peak today. Also importantly authorities would be able to readily get at real names that would put a scare into those who think they can do anything they damn well want to do regardless of policies.

In the era I grew up in here in California there were extensive campaigns for years on "Don't be a Litter Bug". It was sometime in the late 70s all that changed and a trashing punk generation ethic with young people increasingly dominated. And about then too authorities began claiming police were TOO BUSY to bother with all manner of minor infractions including public littering. If the government hired people with video cameras in cities to nail people in vehicles tossing fast food containers and bags out their windows at any freeway entrance ramp where there are the usual list of fast food places nearby, the state would be rolling in money from fines. But without deterance way too many will degenerate into their piggy, careless, inconsiderate natures.

David



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Re: Letting off some steam

Postby WarrenFork » Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:18 pm

SSSdave wrote: If the government hired people with video cameras in cities to nail people in vehicles tossing fast food containers and bags out their windows at any freeway entrance ramp where there are the usual list of fast food places nearby, the state would be rolling in money from fines. But without deterance way too many will degenerate into their piggy, careless, inconsiderate natures.


Wow.

I guess East Germany would have qualified as utopia for some people after all.
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Re: Letting off some steam

Postby Tom_H » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:34 pm

I hear ya. It's an ugly reminder that it is not truly pristine wilderness we are visiting. It's nice when it at least looks that way.
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Re: Letting off some steam

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:52 pm

When you come across trashy campsites and garbage on the trail it is very discouraging. But if you step back and see it in perspective, it may not be as prevalent as you think. It is easy to remember the trash; harder to remember the pristine clean places. On a whole I have found that most of the Sierra is not trashed. But then I purposely avoid heavily used areas.

I would not in indiscriminately criticize the younger generation. My kids (now in their early 40's) and the grandkids (5-8) are probably more environmentally aware than I am or was at their age. I know a lot of good stewards of the land from 5 to 90 years old. And there are a few bad apples in all generations and ages.

In the "good old days" backpackers would build huge fires, cut down live wood, dig huge trenches around their tents, wash dishes in the streams, and many other impactful behaviors. "Leave no trace" ethics came into being in the 70's. And with the advent of lightweight backpack stoves, fewer fires have been built. I really think that we are making progress. But there is a small element of young folks nowadays who just are not being taught good wilderness ethics. So we still have work to do in educating backpackers.
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