Backcountry regulations are getting ridiculous! | High Sierra Topix  

Backcountry regulations are getting ridiculous!

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Postby mountaineer » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:40 pm

Rightstar, that is not a regulation...that is just good old wilderness etiquette. The regulations I am griping about are the ones banning fires just for the sake of banning fires. And I am tired of idiots doing things in the wilderness that give birth to restrictive regulations that put a damper on the wilderness experience for me.

I'm sick and tired of all the regulations that keep cropping up, but I know there's a reason why they exist and I follow them.


So you will just blindly follow any law that is passed just because you figure there is a good reason for it if it is the law? I won't say which ones I follow and which ones I don't but suffice it to say that I don't blindly follow every regulation just because it's there.
Last edited by mountaineer on Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Postby arlopop61 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:08 pm

Mountaineer,

It's your old buddy, back for more. You said,

"I won't say which ones I follow and which ones I don't but suffice it to say that I don't blindly follow every regulation just because it's there."

I get the feeling here mountaineer, old pal, that you see yourself as just a little above the rest of us. I mean if you were performing some kind of civil disobedience against the overarching big government control that you're railing against it would be one thing. But that doesn't seem to be the case here because you, "won't say which ones I follow and which ones I don't", and the hallmark of civil disobedience is not the breaking of the laws per se but the breaking of those laws quite publicly to draw attention to their injustice. You apparently just break them as it suits you and based on what you have said you do so discretely, one assumes to avoid getting busted. Or is it simply a case of, "All those other guys do it, why can't I?"

I wonder if there are crack dealers who feel that the narcotics laws prevent them from just doing business with clients and as a result argue that they don't apply to them.

I'm not saying I am in favor of the regs, just that I might be a bit more in your corner if the regs you so vehemently opposed were met by you with a tad more courage in your actions and a little less flame against those who may disagree with you.
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Postby Grzldvt » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:47 am

Well, this is an exercise in futility... because it is clear to me you missed the point of my post, so never mind.
As far as Yosemite goes, you are wrong, I have hiked every trail in the park, multiple times, and have places I go where I don't see anyone, and no one knows I exist. I always have a permit with me. Those hiding places are still pristine.
You are talking to someone who has spent several summer vacations volunteering in the backcountry collecting garbage and cleaning up the mess from people who think they are above the rules.

I am fortunate enough to be able to donate thousands of $$$ to the Yosemite Assoc, so they can clean up trails and make sure other people enjoy the park as much as I have.

As far as the ash from a fire, if it is spread out when cold it is beneficial, but when massed together in a fire ring, is a huge impact. When it rains that concentrated ash mud gets in the streams and destroys the quality of the watershed.
Spend some time on a clean up crew in the back country, like I have, you will understand, the mess campfires can make, and how many people are slobs and destroy pristine country.
Regulations are not blindly put in place, there is a reason that abuse and stupidity is regulated. Again, volunteer/work in a park for a summer, you will get it, well some of you will.
As far as the TP drill, there are two camps, so to speak, but the recommended method is to bury it and carry the TP out.

My last comment and challenge to all of you is; instead of fighting the stupid regulations spend some time educating others, so we don't have to have them.
Last post on the subject... enjoy...
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Postby mountaineer » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:28 am

arlopop61 wrote:I get the feeling here mountaineer, old pal, that you see yourself as just a little above the rest of us. I mean if you were performing some kind of civil disobedience against the overarching big government control that you're railing against it would be one thing.


On the contrary, those that like to point out how much THEY care about the wilderness and how much THEY practice "low-impact", etc...those are the people that seem to put themselves above the rest of us. Everybody protests excessive government regulations in different ways, I am sorry you don't approve how I go about it.

But that doesn't seem to be the case here because you, "won't say which ones I follow and which ones I don't", and the hallmark of civil disobedience is not the breaking of the laws per se but the breaking of those laws quite publicly to draw attention to their injustice. You apparently just break them as it suits you and based on what you have said you do so discretely, one assumes to avoid getting busted. Or is it simply a case of, "All those other guys do it, why can't I?"


If you are driving through town at midnight and you are the only car on the road and you come up to a red light. It isn't cycling through the way it should and so you sit there, and sit there, and sit there, waiting for it to turn green...even though there are absolutely no other vehicles anywhere in sight...are you going to keep sitting there waiting for it to turn green or are you going to look both ways as if it is a stop sign, make sure it is safe, and then proceed? Not ALL laws are right ALL the time.

I wonder if there are crack dealers who feel that the narcotics laws prevent them from just doing business with clients and as a result argue that they don't apply to them.


LOL!, There probably is. I'll bet it wouldn't hold up in court though.

I'm not saying I am in favor of the regs, just that I might be a bit more in your corner if the regs you so vehemently opposed were met by you with a tad more courage in your actions and a little less flame against those who may disagree with you.


Courage? I am not out to lead public protests. I am out to enjoy the wilderness unencumbered by regulations. You are exagerating the intent here. By the way, where have I flamed anybody?
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Postby mountaineer » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:54 am

Grzldvt wrote:Well, this is an exercise in futility... because it is clear to me you missed the point of my post, so never mind.


Okay, instead of just giving up, how about explaining your point? How about answering the points I made in my post to you instead of just blowing them off? It would go a long ways toward your credibility if you would respond instead of just getting all huffy and ignoring them.

As far as Yosemite goes, you are wrong, I have hiked every trail in the park, multiple times, and have places I go where I don't see anyone, and no one knows I exist. I always have a permit with me. Those hiding places are still pristine.


Good, I am glad to hear those places still exist in Yosemite.

You are talking to someone who has spent several summer vacations volunteering in the backcountry collecting garbage and cleaning up the mess from people who think they are above the rules.


So, does that make you better than me? Do you think that everybody who has problems with rules are slovenly pigs who just throw their garbage around? That is what you are insinuating. I don't abide by ALL the rules and you would never know I had been there if you came the next day.

I am fortunate enough to be able to donate thousands of $$$ to the Yosemite Assoc, so they can clean up trails and make sure other people enjoy the park as much as I have.


Good for you. Another issue that makes you care MORE than I do?

As far as the ash from a fire, if it is spread out when cold it is beneficial, but when massed together in a fire ring, is a huge impact. When it rains that concentrated ash mud gets in the streams and destroys the quality of the watershed.


If there is an existing fire ring, and it is not in a waterway, it is not going to get into the streams and ruin the quality of the watershed. I challenge you to show me where this has happened except in some very isolated instances.

Spend some time on a clean up crew in the back country, like I have, you will understand, the mess campfires can make, and how many people are slobs and destroy pristine country.


Yes, I agree, people that don't use common sense with fires can make a mess out of things. Some people are indeed slobs. However, more regulations are not going to change that. there are already Wilderness Ethics in place about using existing fire rings and not building them against rocks, etc...etc. Banning fires altogether is NOT going to stop that and is only going to put a damper on the wilderness experience for those that enjoy fires. I don't have to volunteer on a clean-up crew...I have been going into the Sierra Nevada wilderness since 1969.

Regulations are not blindly put in place, there is a reason that abuse and stupidity is regulated. Again, volunteer/work in a park for a summer, you will get it, well some of you will.


I differ with you on that...regulations are OFTEN blindly put into place with no logic to back them up. Do you really believe that people who are abusive and stupid are going to change if regulations are put in place to control abuse and stupidity? When has that method of regulation ever worked before? Once again, I say that responsible people will be low-impact and careful with the wilderness and abusive and stupid people will not, regardless of the regulations.

My last comment and challenge to all of you is; instead of fighting the stupid regulations spend some time educating others, so we don't have to have them.
Last post on the subject... enjoy...


And educating people is to tell us about how generous you are and all the volunteer work you've done and ignore all my points? If you were doing more than paying lip-service to "educating" people you would answer some of my points and not abandon the thread that a lot of people are reading.
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Postby mountaineer » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:15 pm

And another thing...based on what a couple of posters in this thread think, people are stupid and can't help themselves. Given that, what is to stop the government from stopping access altogether to large parts of the wilderness? You think it can't happen? Just wait...
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Postby frediver » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:45 pm

This thread seems to be heading off on a tangent.

Let me say that on my last trip I followed the rules.
Because of the regulations in place I was forced to leave my new down draft wood burning stove at home. I ended up using a much heavier liquid fuel stove that required a petroleum fuel . My stove wood burner would have used twigs as fuel and left nothing but a very small amount of "clean" ash residue. It would also not have left any scar on the land or a requirement for a pumping station and refinery for continued operation.
My wood burner was prohibited by the open fire regulations.
We could really take this discussion to extremes just for fun!
Concerning small open fires, they can be built and the remains hidden if you have knowledge of proper fire making skills.
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Postby arlopop61 » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:45 pm

Well Mountaineer, last things first...

You asked,
"By the way, where have I flamed anybody?"

Sooo... to Grzldvt you wrote,
"you are in la-la land"

The use of Bold and Caps in your most recent posts also lends a "shout to drown out any other argument" tone to the discussion.

In your midnight stoplight scenario most states, including california, not only permit but require the treatment of a non-functioning stoplight as a four way stop. Perhaps the better analogy is the hiker lost in the woods who, without proper equipment, is forced to survive a night in bitter cold by starting a fire in an area where fires are not permitted. Oh, wait, that would be excused as well. Hmmm... Can't think of another. How bout you take another shot?

And much like the crack dealer your, "I am out to enjoy the wilderness unencumbered by regulations", argument wouldn't hold up in court either. But you both feel as if your freedom is being curtailed by others, and in both of your respective views curtailed for no good reason.

But the kicker for me is that you claim the regulations fail because they aren't followed by everyone. You wrote:

"The only people that excessive regulations affect are responsible ones. Irresponsible people don't give a crap."

and then you said,

"I won't say which ones I follow and which ones I don't but suffice it to say that I don't blindly follow every regulation just because it's there."

&

"I don't abide by ALL the rules"

Based on those three quotes I can only assume you do not consider yourself responsible as you are obviously unaffected by any regs. And that is the reason that the regs exist and, sadly, the all-too-infrequent enforcement thereof.
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Postby arlopop61 » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:24 pm

Mountaineer,

I find I am getting personal and I apologize to you. I felt a little heated but that is no excuse. It is only that it seemed to me that you were getting personal with others when they had not directly attcked you.

You seem so very angry about this and I think I understand why though the extent of your anger is more substantial than I think the circumstances allow. This is not the "West of Old". The National Parks and Forests do not exist so that we might feel "unencombered by regulations" as you put it. They exist so that we might maintain some semblance of the wild world and its beauty.

The eco-writer (some would say eco-terrorist), Edward Abbey, was once interviewed while driving his truck on a barren dirt track in the desert. As the interview went on Mr. Abbey drank beer and when he finished each can he tossed the empty out the window and onto the landscape. The interviewer was shocked by this and finally asked how he could do such a thing. Mr. Abbey replied that it didn't hurt the desert. That the desert could swallow up that trash and no one would ever know the difference because no one ever came this way. The interviewer countered with, "Well, what if everyone did that?" Mr. Abbey stopped the truck and said waving his hand across the vista, "Do you see anyone else? If there were more people here and they did that I would expect them to stop, just as I would stop doing it. It's only when people show up that we have to clean up our acts."

People have shown up in the wilderness and for all of us to get along we have to abide by certain rules of behaviour; for the sake of our safety and for the sake of those who come after us. It just ain't the way it used to be because there are more of us, because the resources are limited, and, perhaps most importantly, it doesn't belong to just one person but instead to all of us.

We come together communally and make rules because that makes it easier to get along with everyone, reduces conflict, and conserves resources. Some rules will not be to everyone's liking but that's the nature of the society. But when some people take it upon themselves to determine which rules they will follow and which ones they won't, well, that begins the slippery slope towards anarchy. Anarchy may be better in the long run but I doubt it. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to see it in the Parks and I'm damned certain I don't want it on the freeway.

Individualism is great. It is the thing that drives human beings forward. But you are advocating indvidualism through the breaking of regulations you don't approve of and, more importantly, doing it on MY property. Now if you can convince me and a majority of the other owners of the parks (or our representatives) that a certain rule is pointless or illogical and thus get it thrown out, excellent. That is part of the process. Hell, I will march with you to change the fire regs. But don't take it upon yourself to determine a rule's illegitimacy and then ignore it because then you're abandoning your obligation to our social framework. That may be exactly what you want to do but if that is the case you will need to do it on your solely owned property, not that which is owned within the social framework you have abandoned.
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Postby Scott V. » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:23 pm

mountaineer wrote: Look at this picture of Eagle Lake and tell me why fires should be banned here. That forest has TONS of downed wood and there is basically a zero percent chance of a large fire starting there and spreading.


Nice picture. Never been to Eagle Lake; probably never will. This
thread interested me enough to look at Google Earth and see what the area is about.

The picture is deceiving. I wouldn't call that group of trees a "forest".
It's a small, isolated stand of trees in a large granitic bowl. You're
right: a large fire has a zero change of starting there because there are
not sufficient enough continuous fuels for a fire to go anywhere.

Although I'm not familiar with the resource management objectives the NPS has for this area, I would assume fires are banned not because of wildland fire dangers, but because the retention of downed woody debris is needed for nutrient recycling to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

There are alot of areas that campfires used to be allowed and no longer
are, specifically because of the impacts users caused in removing the
downed woody debris and the effect it is having on ecosystem health.
No one goes there anymore. It's too crowded. -----Yogi Berra
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Postby mountaineer » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:35 pm

frediver wrote:...I ended up using a much heavier liquid fuel stove that required a petroleum fuel...


Well, there you go...follow the rules and you are now responsible for global warming! :)
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Postby mountaineer » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:46 pm

arlopop61 wrote:Well Mountaineer, last things first...

You asked,
"By the way, where have I flamed anybody?"

Sooo... to Grzldvt you wrote,
"you are in la-la land"


First, I have to tell you I respect you sticking around and not doing a "drive-by" like the other poster.:)

Anyway, my "la-la" land comment was in response to the condescending post Grzvldt directed to me:
So I will take somewhat of an opposite view. I find this thread extremely disappointing. It seems there are many people here that are interested in maximizing their own personal experience without thinking about the impact to the present, the future and those coming in after us.


He fired first. Also, my bold type was only meant to make it easier to differentiate my response from the previous quote. CAPS were only used to accentuate certain points. I am not sure how you deduced that I was trying to drown out differing opinions.

In your midnight stoplight scenario most states, including california, not only permit but require the treatment of a non-functioning stoplight as a four way stop. Perhaps the better analogy is the hiker lost in the woods who, without proper equipment, is forced to survive a night in bitter cold by starting a fire in an area where fires are not permitted. Oh, wait, that would be excused as well. Hmmm... Can't think of another. How bout you take another shot?


Okay, but how long will you sit there before you determine it is not functioning? Better example: 55 speed limit where 75 is safe, do you ever go over 55?

And much like the crack dealer your, "I am out to enjoy the wilderness unencumbered by regulations", argument wouldn't hold up in court either. But you both feel as if your freedom is being curtailed by others, and in both of your respective views curtailed for no good reason.


Crack has never been legal. Building fires in the woods has not only been legal but has been part of our history and culture.

But the kicker for me is that you claim the regulations fail because they aren't followed by everyone. You wrote:

"The only people that excessive regulations affect are responsible ones. Irresponsible people don't give a crap."

and then you said,

"I won't say which ones I follow and which ones I don't but suffice it to say that I don't blindly follow every regulation just because it's there."

&

"I don't abide by ALL the rules"

Based on those three quotes I can only assume you do not consider yourself responsible as you are obviously unaffected by any regs. And that is the reason that the regs exist and, sadly, the all-too-infrequent enforcement thereof.


I meant "irresponsible" people don't give a crap what they do to the wilderness. I DO give a crap and as I have pointed out, I don't have to follow needless regulations and you STILL won't notice that I've been there. Irresponsible people leave a trail of evidence everywhere they go.
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