Backcountry regulations are getting ridiculous! | High Sierra Topix  

Backcountry regulations are getting ridiculous!

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Postby Charles2 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:41 pm

Caddis wrote:
I do mind when I am lectured every time I get a permit by a desk jocky who has never been on the trail, or when I feel like a law breaker because I don't carry out my used toilet paper.



Yeah, me too. Usually when I am getting "the lecture" I just stand there and grind my molars but sometimes I add an eye roll that I learned from my granddaughter
Last edited by Charles2 on Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Postby Charles2 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:58 pm

Mountaineer wrote
What is the best way to "socially" control people?

Hint: The answer is in your statement.


Coercion is the more traditional and best-tested approach. You know: warrantless wiretaps, permits, licenses, warrantless searches, national identification cards, required internal passports, no-knock home searches, that kind of thing. Countries in the middle East are generally good at this sort of social control regardless of their chosen or de-facto economic system, a lot of countries in South America and Africa are too. China also understands the concept and uses it really well. We in the USA are not there yet but we've caught up a lot in the past 7 years.
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really that bad?

Postby arlopop61 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:42 pm

As much as I am fond of the freedom afforded me when I'm in the woods, it seems that many of the regs that are being complained about aren't really that offputting. If a fire burns through MK (where I happened to spend last weekend, up White Chief) because some bozo can't properly put out (or start, for that matter) a fire, it burns your land, my land; land that belongs to all of us.

Should that same bozo be allowed to chop down a tree so he might have a bench or a better view in his chosen campsite? How bout a dam for a personal swimming hole? Most of us don't mind regs to prevent that sort of thing.

When I was in White Chief this weekend there was a huge and recent firepit with evidence of scorching on nearby brush. Obviously someone disregarded the regs and made a mess (though I doubt it could have led to a conflagration, based on where it was). That was one yahoo (or several) for whom the regs meant nothing but at least there are some of their ilk who might be discouraged from doing so for fear of punishment.

I would like to see more public input on regs but in general somebody will always feel as if a rule is targeting them unfairly.

As for fees? Hey, there is nothing more capitalist than making those who use something pay for its maintenance. Think toll roads. As it is the parks are subsidized by people who never see them. Why shouldn't those of us who enjoy them most (and potentially harm them) pay more for their upkeep and protection?

And I was going to complain about people who don't pack out their TP but I didn't want to offend anyone on this thread ;)
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Postby mountaineer » Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:52 pm

Charles2 wrote:Mountaineer wrote
What is the best way to "socially" control people?

Hint: The answer is in your statement.


Coercion is the more traditional and best-tested approach. You know: warrantless wiretaps, permits, licenses, warrantless searches, national identification cards, required internal passports, no-knock home searches, that kind of thing. Countries in the middle East are generally good at this sort of social control regardless of their chosen or de-facto economic system, a lot of countries in South America and Africa are too. China also understands the concept and uses it really well. We in the USA are not there yet but we've caught up a lot in the past 7 years.


Money. Control the money and you control the people.
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Postby mountaineer » Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:54 pm

arloop...why should those of us that are responsible suffer because of those that aren't? You just told us how someone disregarded the regulations in MK. MY POINT EXACTLY!!! The only people that excessive regulations affect are responsible ones. Irresponsible people don't give a crap.
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Postby arlopop61 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:36 pm

mountaineer,
what constitutes excessive regulation? Prohibition of mining? Prohibition of logging? Tossing trash? A campfire?

We all agree (I assume) that some regulation should be required and we all agree that some idiot is going to break those regs. But at least, if caught, those yahoos can get their due (one hopes).

I think that more input from the users (i.e. you and me) is needed for the formulation of regs but I also think that since I don't fight fires (professionally) those that do may be better informed as regards potential threats in specific areas. I will, most of the time, defer to their better judgement, just as I defered to my doc this morning when he told me to lay off the hiking for a few weeks after trashing my knee this weekend. But if I ignore his advice the only person I hurt is myself. If I ignore a "no campfire" reg I may be endangering, not just property that belongs to others, but the very well-being of others.

Just my 2 cents.
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Postby mountaineer » Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:03 pm

If I ignore a "no campfire" reg I may be endangering, not just property that belongs to others, but the very well-being of others.


In some cases, but in the case and accompanying photo I mentioned above, there is NO danger. Using that logic, cars should be banned because if you drive one you might be a danger to others. I just don't see how banning ALL fires in the MK basin is justified. By the way, when was the last time someone breaking a backcountry regulation such as the one mentioned above in White Chief? If it happens, it is very rarely.
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Fires

Postby frediver » Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:25 pm

Could it be that if campfire's were allowed then the down fuel would not have a chance to accumulate to a dangerous level making control burns necessary ? What is the dollar cost of a control burn that stays controlled?
Allow limited campfires to save money ! Regulate them with the fuel supply. If downed fuel is available allow the fire then restrict fires as the fuel is consumed. Regardless it will all burn at some point in time. The choice is lots of small fires or just a single big one, take your pick?
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Postby arlopop61 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:22 pm

I think you might have a good point, frediver, but in order to utilize all that fuel you would not just have to allow campfires, you would have to make them mandatory. Another regulation?

Even the most responsible of us have accidents. Hell, I did this weekend with my knee, and I consider myself pretty alert and on the ball having been doing this for nearly 35 years. The no fire reg doesn't prevent the morons from lighting fires, they are going to anyway. Instead, the reg says to the responsible ones, " hey, even if you have your act together we can't afford to have an accident here."

I think they need to have more input from the public on these things, mountaineer. I agree that at the altitude I was at there was not much likelyhood that an accident would have caused a problem. But that is precisely because the fuel available was minimal. How long before some great bristlecones end up in the firepit for lack of deadwood?

As I was hiking up that trail, and those that have know it's short but pretty steep, I was wondering how many people who are too lazy to earn it would love to take an ATV up that canyon. But I was glad that they couldn't. And if an accident took out all that incense cedar in a big burn I wouldn't be happy either. But the regs in place make it unlikely, though not impossible, that either could occur.

There might be a better way to regulate these things or even to determine the range of the regs but the regs themselves generally make certain that the next time I go up I won't be disappointed.
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Postby arlopop61 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:33 pm

Oh, and mountaineer, I think your analogy about banning cars and campfires is a good one, but not for the same reasons. We all accept speed limits. That, for example, a school zone, regardless of how responsible the driver is, is no place for doing 90. I didn't get to choose the speed limit in that zone. But I agree that it's a good idea that we regulate the speed there. And even though there are idiots who ignore the speed limits and sometimes don't get caught doesn't mean I think the limits are a joke.

Think of MK as the school zone. The limit is no campfires, but I can still "drive", just more slowly, by using my stove. An accident still might happen, but the "speed at which I am driving" makes it is less likely.
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Postby Foamfinger » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:41 pm

mountaineer wrote:
Charles2 wrote:Rightstar, I am not aware of any NPS operation in the western US where cattle grazing is permitted. USFS and BLM, yes, but Park Service, I don't think so. I stand willing to be corrected.


No cattle grazing is allowed in the NPS.


Merely a point of clarification - Grand Teton National Park has a long standing policy of grazing both cattle and horses.
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Fires

Postby frediver » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:50 pm

I don't by that reasoning.
A responsible person is still Responsible !

Wind is blowing= No fire.
Don't have a good fire base= No fire.
Don't have a water supply handy= No fire.
Make sure your fire is dead out and wet, simple !
Have your fire contained in a portable wood stove if needed, simple !
Don't scare the landscape, hide the remains, easy ! Or don't, good reasons to do either.
The type of person who will break their beer bottles in a fire ring and leave them are the same type persons who will have a fire regulations or not !
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