First... I think I may have led "Errant ATV'ers" to take TOO much of the focus... Those folks had ATV's for sure... but... in all honesty, the greatest amount of the damage was done by their trucks, RV trailers, jeeps, and the trailers they hauled their ATV's into a TOO WET meadow on... This is an issue of General Dispersed Camping use... NOT... ATV'ers or any other group, alone.
Second, none of the photos I posted were of ANY roadway. Outside of the "Entrance" from the graded forest road, all the photos were of the interior of the meadow. The Meadow is an area of "Traditional Dispersed Camping use."
A few days ago "1 more mile" posted a url of an off road outfit in his comment... it's an outfit working to educate off road users... and worthy of support... education is the only way... Since every effort I know of to ever legislate morality has failed.
I was asked if I'd be as offended if the damage had been done by a rancher, farmer of logger?
My answer is...YES... I would be...and have BEEN... MORE... offended. Stupidity is stupidity, whether it is within my own community or not.
I've spent the best part of my life, making my living from the land. To be told that I'm a divisive malcontent because I demand respect for the land that has fed my self and my family... is disheartening. If someones life was at stake then the meadow be sacrificed... but... to simply tear it apart, because it is "Legal" is immoral.
Law is not right or wrong. It never has been. Law is just Force. What I'm talking about here is Morality. Is it right and proper to destroy, simply because it is "Legal"? or should a person live and exist... in pursuit of a higher standard?
Something to consider; Let's say this land is posted "Open"... you can go where you want to. Up on the Interstate, the speed limit, by law, is 75 mph. However, there is a caveat on that... "Traveling at a speed reasonable for conditions." ie. You adjust your speed/driving... to the current conditions. If it is raining and snowing, you slow down!... and at times.... you just stay off the highway. That is what I tried to get across here... and I'm not sure I succeeded. The conditions, where those folks went... Open or Not... did not permit Honorable, or Moral entrance by their vehicles.
I on the other hand... tooting my own horn here... carefully entered the area, without doing damage, when conditions were good. We plan on leaving in the next several days... but... I can not do that, until the ground firms back up enough to move without inflicting the damage those others did... it's the Cost of coming here... if You're unprepared to pay that cost, and take that time... I submit... morality dictates you go elsewhere. Posted Open... or Not...
If you devastate the land, flying the flag of; "It's posted open, I can go where I want, when I want... and if YOU complain about what I do, then YOU are a Divisive Malcontent." Then the last remaining "Open" lands will indeed be closed... To All of Us... and there will be, not one thing, we can do about it.
... and lastly... NIMBY? Nope... Not in my back yard... Not in ANYONES back yard. Why do you think the "Open" lands have been so greatly reduced? ... Because of actions, exactly like this... and the "Messenger" being told "Their assault on liberties" is the problem... not the moronic behavior of the very small minority.
Sad to say... I think there are those with whom I'll just have to say; "We'll have to agree, to disagree."
... and... if I'm pushed into having to decide between two distasteful options; 1. Tolerate the mutilation of the land I live on, "Because it is their Right"
2. Have my vehicles restricted to Forest service Campgrounds and specified roads and trails, because a very few refuse to behave within reason or common sense, and asking them to do so, is to "assault their liberties"... and there is no other way to control or modify their, lack, of control... I have little option... and it's a high, if distasteful price I am prepared to pay... and I'll go into the mountains... on Foot.
... and now, as Forest would say; "That's all I have to say about that."
So...to rebuild the spirit, and refresh the soul... we took a nice walk yesterday afternoon. Maybe close to four miles.
|*Doing Business in the High Country*
... so... I'm going to go, today, and contemplate my "divisive and Malcontent" nature... in the solitude of Elk Meadow... a couple miles above us...
... and with a melancholy shake of his head... the cowboy took a deep breath... and walked away...
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