Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Public Access to Public Lands... An Emotional Subject...

... for the most part... outside of my always present passion for Freedom... I resist the encroachment of religion and politics here... Those are a couple of issues for which there is no solution... and to which people hold too fanatically to the "Party Line."

This is one time... I step outside that self imposed, limitation.

First, let me say I will not tolerate, Flaming, insulting, or otherwise degrading any of my readers... by any other... of my readers. I possess the ability to lock out any who violate those rules of behavior. If you can not come here, and communicate with decency and respect... you will be prohibited from coming here at all. I've done it before... I'm willing to do it again. Enough said.

Now... Something I find ridiculous is the notion that I must stand by, and defend someone... blindly... simply because they are "One of Us."... to use a significant exaggeration, to make my point, that would be like the German people defending the right of Adolf Eichmann to do what he did.

If an RVer expects me to defend their right to access, or an ATVer, or a Mountain Biker, or a Motorcyclist, of a Fisherman, Hunter, Hiker or whatever other sub group you care to mention... they are REQUIRED to behave with proper care and respect.

There are dedicated, patient and well funded groups who do worship the earth, and who do seek to reduce if not eliminate our access to as much of it as possible. To allow, without criticism, the careless, and wanton mutilation of public lands by unthinking, uncaring, dis-respectful RVers, Hikers, Hunters, and yes... ATV'ers... is to hand a large stick to our "enemies" to Beat us with.

That is not a foolishness you'll see me commit. If you do something stupid and rude... Expect... to hear, at least my "Voice"... castigating you for it.

When actions such as I have witnessed over the last couple of days are taken... they do severe and direct injury to everyone who loves the mountains and hungers to be in them. These actions are ammunition for those who wish it... to restrict our access to the mountains we love... and for that reason... when people such as my recent "neighbors"... do what they do... They MUST experience Consequences for their poor behavior.

I am NOT a greenie, an environmentalist or any other such group, which I consider to be just another variety of Political Racism.

I do NOT worship the Earth... and do NOT put it's "Rights" before the Rights of Man. I do however, behave as a Carpenter does, toward his tools. As a Carpenter shows respect for the tools of his trade, the tools that feed him, I show respect for the Land. I show respect for the creation that provides my physical subsistence as well as food for my Soul.

That said... I currently reside in what was a beautiful Meadow... and will be here for a few more days...

*The Area of the "Camp"... a couple days, before the "Incident"...
We camped in a campground just up the road for several days, waiting for the ground to dry and harden enough to permit us access to this meadow. When we pulled in, I stopped just off the road, in the access drive... to Walk the Meadow, on foot... to determine if I could enter without damage to the Meadow.

I found, only the center of the Meadow was firm enough to allow that, and I pulled my rig into position without damage... barely leaving any sign at all...

*MY Dispersed Camped - in the SAME meadow - Without Damage*
Now... my neighbors... RVing ATV'ers... couldn't be bothered with such precautions or care. I watched them pull off the road and churn into the "Upper" meadow... without stopping... When they decided it was too wet up there... they churned back past my camp... to the lower meadow... cutting fresh ruts most of the way...

They set their trailers and went home to wait on the Memorial Day weekend... when they returned with far too many rigs, far too many people... and far to much IMPACT on too tight and too fragile a piece of ground.

Their children ran circles around the camp, for an hour at a time... grinding the grass into mud. I watched them drive their ATV's up onto the slopes behind the camp... luckily, rocky enough to endure a little more abuse than the Meadow.

They sunk their trucks, their trailers, and their jeeps, deep into the mud...

*When people see this... How would YOU expect them to React?*

*These pics are taken from the position of the two trees above*
 I took these pictures from the position of the First photo... of the undamaged Meadow...You can see my camp in the background... and the photo of - My Camp, occupied Without Damage - above.

Is some of this damage repairable? Of course... given time and effort... but... why should it need to be repaired? So that callous, unthinking, dis-respectful RVers/ATVers can shove their way through life, abusing the land, the people who came before... and left it in the condition these bozos found it? and... abuse the people who come AFTER... and have to endure this disgrace? .... So that these useless eaters can continue their disgusting ways... Without Consequence?

And who's going to do the "Remedial" work? The Forest Service? With what funds?

The simple truth is... Scenes such as this... replayed all across the country ARE THE TOOLS used by those who wish to lock us out... Scenes such as this... replayed across the country ARE THE WEAPONS that are being used to Eliminate our Access.

For me to say nothing... for me to "Be Polite" and respect the "Access Rights" of simple minded people such as those who inflicted this disrespect... on the Lands that belong to Us All...Would be dishonorable and Cowardly in the extreme.

If You want to defend your Public Lands Access... You Must Be... INTOLERANT ... of willful abuse such as this.

...and it doesn't end here... There were close to a dozen kids in that camp... being taught by their parents... that THIS... is the way you do it... perpetuating this despicable behavior... Long into the future...

... and then they left...

*4x4... don't get your tires dirty!*

Only.. the locusts hadn't yet torn enough up... They couldn't just stay in the already established "Road Way" ...

... No... they had to drive over in the, as yet undamaged sod on the side...

... widening the entrance to this dispersed camp area... by something like 1/3 in the process.

Where does that stop?... when the "Driveway" is 300 feet wide?

*all you have to do is...Drive on the Grass!*
*After all... It's My RIGHT! To Mutilate the land!*

The bottom line people, is... IF... you want to defend your Right To Access on Public Lands...

... You MUST... Require Respectful Behavior...

... Within the RVer, ATVer, Hiker, 4X4, Hunter, Shooter, Camper... Community on the WHOLE.

You Can Not, defend such as these... and expect to win the Battle for your continued Access to these lands.

Those who wish to exclude you will use scenes like these... That No One complained of... and Lock the gates... and the only knowledge you will have of the Glorious Mountains... will be in your memories and the Photographs of your Grandfathers.

So people. Decide where you stand. On the side of common decency, respect and reasonable care?

... or on the side of; "I'll tear the world to hell if I want... it's my Right!" ???

... always remember... as those we Honored yesterday; With Rights... Come responsibilities. You can not have Freedom and Liberty... without cost.

Is the Requirement of a minimum, sensible behavior; Respectful of the Land, and the OTHER people who use it... Too much to ask?

Disgusted with Some of my "Own" Community, in the Utah Mountains

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road


Ad said...

I agree with you that all of us who use this land of ours has an obligation to husband these resources and maintain access to them for future generations. I have been camping for my entire (64) life and would like to think that mt children and their children will also be able to camp for their lives. I was a tree faller in N CA and logging jobs we were on didn't suffer this much instant damage. These days any business that impacts the woods must heal the impact. Those campers could use a weekend with shovels and rakes. By the way where is my coffee table book?

Anonymous said...

Thats really just sucks... How do you suggest we school people like that? You can confront them, but I dare say it would fall on deaf ears. People that cause that much damage are ignorant to what they are doing. I live in the mountains, and I see it ALL the time! And more and more of the land I use to use has become "closed" because of this exact thing. I wish there were a way to snap people out of there own little existence and look at the big picture.


Brian said...

:)I've got so many "Want to's" on my list... No rest for the wicked!

I'm still working on a "workable" way for me to create such a "Book" :)

Anonymous said...

WoW!! What a mess... I have a large and fairly heavy 5th wheel, when i go to park anywhere besides pavement i always go for a test walk and if it rains well i'm there and things go a little soft then i wait to move. I find by giving a little you get a whole lot back! Enjoy the fire you two! BiLL

Anonymous said...

That type of behavior is caused by and evidence of a serious lack of character and self discipline.

As Paul Harvey used to say; without self discipline there can be no self governing.

It's sad that so many young men have been raised without being taught self discipline and respect for others.

IMO that is due to the politics of the last 40 years. And all it takes is for good men to do or say nothing and the downward slide to wherever will continue.

Brian, I hope y'all can drag yourselves out of there without getting stuck in the mess physically.


Jack said...

What a bunch off idiots. Unfortunately, confronting them does not help- in my experience, anyway.

The ATV education groups are doing a decent job in educating people against this kind of stuff. But there will always be some that abuse their privledges. Unfortunatley, we all pay the price.

Pete said...

Brian, I hope you got tag numbers and gave them to the local rangers.

1 More Mile! said...


Is this area "dedicated open" where open travel is approved or, is this an area where rules state that vehicle travel must be maintained on existing roads and trails?

If it is the former, then the managing agency has decided and dedicated the land for that very reason. And frankly if you found yourself in an "open vehicle access area" allowing cross country travel that you did not like you should have moved.

If it is the later, then I agree with Pete, did you get their tag numbers?

Kevin Read said...

Wow. Not sure what to say.

We have the same ideas about boondocking that you do. So it's easy to understand and agree with your point of view.

And I'm not standing up for the morons, but when we start restricting the ATV's and jeeps, then we'll probably end up restricting ourselves too. Even though these toys are noisy, most of the operators I've seen stick to trails.

But there is no excuse for the people who did what you saw. None at all.


Judy said...

I'm almost speechless! And people wonder why we keep losing more and more privileges!

Sorry, 1 More Mile, just because you can doesn't mean you should! Kind of like the Westboro crowd, they have First Amendment protection to picket funerals of fallen soldiers but it doesn't make it right.

Brian said...

I didn't engage in any "confrontation"... jumping such as these, in front of their wives and kids is just "poking the badger ... and doomed to failure.

To my knowledge this area restricts vehicles to dedicated roads and trails... and those areas of "traditional" dispersed camping (established locations)

But... I don't see the difference really. If "Open" use means the Freedom to mangle and mutilate... thousands of acres... and my only recourse is to close my eyes and walk away... If my complaint at such moronic behavior makes me the one in the wrong... Then the writing is on the wall... and the days of public access are numbered.

What is the answer? I Don't know... There's an old saying... I think it fits what I witnessed... You can't fix stupid."

Donna McNicol said...

It never fails to amaze me how some folks are lacking in common sense and courtesy.

http://2takinga5th.blogspot.com/2010/03/another-gorgeous-day-in-desert.html was where we ran into a similar situation (setting an example for their kids) and it was on PRIVATE property, open to the public as a courtesy. Someday we'll lose that privilege....

Anonymous said...

Amen Brian I agree with you 100 percent!!!!!

What in the name of God is wrong with people like that?

As Granny used to say Them peoples is "tetched" in the haid!!!!

Mark from Ohio

1 More Mile! said...


Roughly, 95% of the public lands in your area right now are increasingly roadless or totally closed to access of any kind. Another 4.75% is open to the superb moto of "stay the trail". The remaining one quarter percent, if at all is designated "open". These open areas are considered either "sacrificial" areas or areas that have been deemed to be resilient to the damage you perceive by the managing entities. All mentioned are covered by law.

If you found yourself in one of the open areas then it is your issue not theirs. Sure, you can rant about it all you want. At the end of the day, you are condemning allowed, public behavior on a tiny piece of public land. This makes you no better than the uninformed Sierra Club member in San Francisco that arrogantly believes your Diesel pickup and RV should be banned. It really is that simple as a comparison.

Now, if this area does not allow open travel, then the ATV'ers broke the law and, I condemn their actions as well as your inaction "turning a blind eye as you gestured" for not reporting them to the managing agency.

In some of your photos, I saw tire tracks in mud on what seemed to be existing roads. That is not even considered damage by the managing agencies as it is remediated with the passing of the seasons and via a blade paid for by the tax payers on a dedicated and approved travel route.

And most certainly, I have seen the same tracks in similar mud at the wheels of a rancher accessing his herd on a BLM or NFS range lease or a logger accessing his BLM or NFS managed timber harvest.

So, I ask, would you be just as appalled if a rancher or a loggers semi truck made those ruts?

As I have said, I have witnessed and experienced bias against the OHV community in all shapes and forms and the worst is from the "willingly uninformed and hypocritical" kind.

Brian, I like your Blog and your spirit. I have followed your writing for roughly 3 years now. You have a considerable amount of practical education and experience to admire. My request is that you be very informed and accurate the next time you threaten the liberties of another American with your popular writings. Fair is fair.

Sue and Doug said...

I have been reading your blog silently for a while now..until today!..you can't fix stupid!..geesh what is wrong with people???????//

Gaelyn said...

My heart breaks and my ire is raised at the stupidity of some people.

Anonymous said...

To me there is a large difference between a rancher/farmer etc. doing a job they have little to no choice in and someone out on a weekend wanting to have fun.

Their doing what was done and the noisy way they did it when Brian was already there tells me what type of character they are.

I don't believe in 'it's OK because if it's not prohibited'.


1 More Mile! said...

Again, not one soul contributing to this thread has determined if this is a designated open area or not yet, many of you condemn the actions of the ATV'ers.

To make matters worse, I believe that many of you condemn this activity even if the area is designated open and approved by the managing agency.

Does the slang word NIMBY come to mind?

If you practice this trait then you are Gold in the Pan of the anti-access sect and your ability to:

* Spend more than 14 days on public lands in your RV yearly is coming.
* Take an older RV to any public lands
* Use your motor vehicle for anything but commerce or commuting.

...is coming!

A closed, uninformed and inaccurate mind is the fodder for evil in a society based on personal liberties.

Anonymous said...

Most if not all of us that have commented are against the rutting behavior, and me especially when someone (Brian) was already parked there. Camping in his area would have been fine. Rutting the place all up and then running ATVs for hours and days in my opinion is not OK. I'm the kinda guy that does not appreciate someone parking right next to me in a Walmart parking lot when there is plenty of space to pull past me a few feet or other areas of the lot to park in. Plus I and others don't think it's OK simply because it is legal as you obviously do.

I am a fulltimer RVer. I have been over most of this country and boondock 8+ months a year now going on 5 years. So I don't see me as a NIMBY. Or as anti ATVer.

Based on treating others as I would like to be treated, those folks are dead wrong and even if they were not there when I showed up, I would not leave ruts for the next guy to contend with.