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Leaving a Mark

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.

Re: Leaving a Mark

Postby maiathebee » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:42 pm

rightstar76 wrote:All my life I have seen people in the backcounty do things that were detrimental to the environment. I do not make it a practice to tell people what they're doing is wrong because they don't listen and it's potentially dangerous if they're prone to violence.


I think there's a middle ground where you can use common sense to see when saying something might be helpful. Sometimes people are doing damaging things just because they don't know any better. Examples of this are washing dishes in creeks, camping on grass, etc. Being friendly and letting people know about why what they're doing is harming the wilderness can actually change their behavior. This of course doesn't really apply to people who are being selfish jerks consciously, but I still think it's worth saying something if it feels safe to do so.
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Re: Leaving a Mark

Postby rightstar76 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:16 am

Totally agree. It's up to each of us to decide what to do when we encounter people in the backcountry breaking the rules and harming the environment. There's a moral argument for it. Also, it can be a teachable moment. It depends on the situation.

For example, I came across a very drunk party camped by a lake shore and cutting trees to make a raft. I would have loved to tell them it was ecologically damaging and to move their camp away from the water and stop cutting trees. It would have been a potentially teachable moment and morally admirable. Foolish, absolutely.
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Re: Leaving a Mark

Postby balzaccom » Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:41 pm

We recently heard a ranger at a national park in the Southwest suggest that her listeners not confront those who are defiling or destroying our national resources. Instead, she said, take a selfie with the evildoers in the background, take lots of notes and documentation, and leave the enforcement to the rangers...
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Re: Leaving a Mark

Postby mrphil » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:05 am

There are a lot of great points here. What do we think of as history vs something that somebody just destroyed for no good reason? My own personal policy is to confront if I see wanton, irreparable destruction and leave them to their own if it's just a mild case of selfish stupidity...prevents escalation and things getting out of hand...going to jail. We all leave our mark on time and want to create a lasting legacy of our presence in some form or another. So were people like Basque shepherds, miners, Roman soldiers...cavemen, placemarkers of history, or just the vandals of the day? I wonder how we'll fit in?
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