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Awful

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Awful

Postby ericZ » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:17 pm

i went for a little drive today (and some fishing) and wound up crossing the dam at wishon reservoir, continuing on to the "Rancheria" trailhead (i believe). right where the paved road turns to dirt and the creek is just beyond, i found a large campsite, seemingly so well used it made the forest smell bad. garbage, food, food wrappers, what seemed like huge clumps of used toilet paper behind nearly every other tree. there was an extremely well worn "trail" to the creek at the backside of the campsite and i spied at least three 12 pack beer cartons along the creek's edge (bud light if it matters). no sign of anyone currently using the site but my first thought was "squatters." i often pick up the occasional plastic bottle and such along creeks while fishing but today, well seriously, it would take a crew to clean this mess up. i was going to toss a fly into the creek but it smelled so bad and the sight sickened me i quickly left.

does the forest service have people available to do this type of work or is it up to volunteers? i think i'll call the local sierra district office tomorrow and see what they have to say.

eric
fresno, ca.



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Re: Awful

Postby SSSdave » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:11 am

There are increasing trash and litter problems in southern Sierra westside national forest roadside and day use areas. For example in Sequoia National Forest along SR190 east of Porterville, some areas have been closed because the limited forest service personnel cannot cope with all the trash left behind by visitors. Even though some areas have trash bins and dumpsters, one often finds all manner of trash tossed right below say picnic tables. The amount of disgusting stuff like soiled diapers is dismaying.

Obviously many doing the tossing know what they are doing because most is tossed in places the tossers think are not easily seen by the public like over the side of steep banks. The same thing occurs in urban areas at highway on off ramps where fast food businesses are. One always finds far more litter along on off ramps versus along the urban streets where businesses and public eyes are because litterers know the ramps are usually not visible to others.

There has been an enormous increase in population for southern San Joaquin Valley county areas and much are immigrants who have different cultural and ethic values. However I would put most of the blame for this situation on government authorties for not pressuring the general public to be more considerate of our natural environments like they were when I grew up decades ago. Part of that is due to the lame politically correct atmosphere that now dominates the state's politics. Decades ago there was a regular campaign on billboards, media, and tv of "Don't Be A Litterbug". Kids learned to be considerate and grew up to be adults with such ethics. Today kids see their parents toss trash out car windows and down beside river areas like everyone does it. No wonder this is all getting worse. The absence of such public reminders and pressures causes cultural ethics gradually evolve to the lowest common denominator.
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Re: Awful

Postby Captain Slappy » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:07 pm

SSSdave wrote:There has been an enormous increase in population for southern San Joaquin Valley county areas and much are immigrants who have different cultural and ethic values.

No offense, but that's a really unfair (and untrue) generalization to make. You'd probably find a much better correlation between littering and something like education or income level, but playing the old blame-the-immigrant card just isn't correct in this instance. On another board, someone commented that high abuse by horse campers in the area was part of the problem here.
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Re: Awful

Postby SSSdave » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:33 pm

I personally know long time forest service workers who work in those areas and see what is happening that can verify my statement though obviously cannot make such a statement in public without fearing for their jobs.

There are numbers of enthusiast, cultural, and ethnic groups in our society and within each, one can find some that are considerate of our outdoor environments and others that are as inconsiderate as the worst. It is true that percentage numbers within each of those groups that fall into various parts of the environmentally considerate bell curve tend to vary between different groups for a range of reasons. For instance many would point to some equestrian users as inconsiderate who drag along large amounts of gear into the backcountry and then dump much of it there instead of bringing it back. Or the many inconsiderate beer drinking reservoir fishermen who chronically drink and toss their cans and worm containers wherever and bring those same habits with them into the high country. However within each of those groups one will find others that are just as fine stewards of our lands as the best environmentalist so one cannot criticize such groups monolithicly but rather in relative terms.

One could predict even without data that poorly educated low income classes of any ethnic type would fair poorly versus higher income middle class groups within the same ethnic community. The demographic reality is that the vast majority of those newly arrived people in the south San Joaquin county areas ARE from a common ethnic group, happen to be immigrants, that they DO have different cultural values than the majority of we California natives, and they ARE increasingly visiting our Sierra areas. If they were say poor uneducated WASP immigrants like the Oakies decades ago one might find the same situation. So it isn't necessarily something inherently racially based we cannot change. Government needs to do something to change poor behavior and such needs to be presented without singling out any specific groups by presenting such to all groups universally in our state.
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Re: Awful

Postby ericZ » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:11 pm

let's not turn this into an issue about race. it is not the point of my original post.

to expand a bit, does anyone know of or have any knowledge about possible work crews in the forest and how they operate or cleanup projects such as the one i outlined? i emailed the public affairs officer for the sierra district USFS last night and here is her reply:

"I contacted the High Sierra Ranger District Recreation Officer and was told we do not have dedicated crews to clean up these situations. It is unfortunate that this ocurred. Should you ever come across a situation like this and the people are still there, please call one of our offices and inform them of the incident so that one of our Law Enforcement Agents can address it.

I will have this forwarded to our volunteer trail crews in the hopes that someone will be interested in cleaning up the site."

eric
fresno, ca.
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Re: Awful

Postby DAVELA » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:00 am

I once watched a pig drinking by the creek and then leave his cans right there.I walked up to him as he was leaving and asked him to pick up his trash.He said no that somebody else would do it.He was your typical flag waving redneck with nra stickers on his jeep.Loser.Anyway i picked up his trash cans and took them to the local sheriff office and reported his ass and plate number but they told me there was nothing they would do.

I once went up the angeles crest hiway looking for camping spots.Bad idea.Lotsa of city folk up there with their car stereos,screaming kids and trash.

Maybe they should require adventure pass to all these trashed out areas.You d be amazed at how a 5$ fee works like deet.
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Re: Awful

Postby rlown » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:17 pm

DAVELA wrote:He was your typical flag waving redneck with nra stickers on his jeep.Loser.


Um, what he did was bad, but I doubt he was waving a flag at the time, and I happen to have an NRA sticker on my bear can, and yet, I still clean up after myself.

There is just a contingent that heads out and disregards basic principles because they don't really care, and you won't change them. Note as well that most of the FS toilets (where present) are locked after they think the season is over, and there is no trash receptacles to put stuff in, or even service for some of those places. That adds to the problem.
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