Loving it…to Death!

MARCH 2016



We love the outdoors right? So here’s the problem. We’re screwing it up. There is a lot of evidence to prove this, and many articles have come out recently that reveal just how we are loving the outdoors to death.

Please read one or all of the following articles and then come back here and lets see if we can figure this out…

Outside Magazine – New Golden Rule

Rick & Joann’s Travels

Huff Post – Loving Paks

There are plenty more stories out there that sound a lot like these these…wild lands of all types, including parks, are more popular than ever and we appear to be destroying what we set out to maintain for future generations.

But here’s my question, What can we do about it?

Simple answer is to stay away. But that’s not going to work. We pay big money to maintain the wild lands and we want to use them. Another answer is to admit that the population of earth is simply too large and we need to stop making babies and get things back in check before we eat ourselves out of house and home, literally. I don’t know if that can work or not. I suspect it can’t in a free world where we all make individual decisions based on our own interests.

So if those two won’t work, are there other ideas. I really liked the idea that the parks should stop wasting money on marketing. That seems logical. Spend the marketing budget on education. But maybe education won’t work either.

So anybody out there have ideas about how to save the parks and other wild lands of this country…and still use them?

Recreation vs Conservation vs Preservation

This is the place for that discussion…





323 thoughts on “Loving it…to Death!

    • Did You Know? Found BY definition of Serendipity

      In the mid-1700s, English author Horace Walpole stumbled upon an interesting tidbit of information while researching a coat of arms. In a letter to his friend Horace Mann he wrote: “This discovery indeed is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word, which as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavor to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale, called ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’: as their highness’s traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of….” Walpole’s memory of the tale (which, as it turns out, was not quite accurate) gave serendipity the meaning it retains to this day.

      Meaning… “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”.

      Also the word has been voted one of the ten English words hardest to translate. End Def Link

      ….. I love learning! And What I Know””…. We must find the answer to my question First >>> How to make a man care that does not!

      For within that answer is the salvation for man kind… JB

      We May find the answer to your question and mine by accident to late.. Dal”.. I’m afraid…. Humans tend to want to much use to much and throwaway to much. There for our futures are going to consume us. We may all end up buried in garbage.

      I have always believed and have lived by take it with you when you leave,.. as if you have never been there. I Smoke Cig’s… I know its a bad habit I’m working on. My Point is I put the buts in my pockets and tend to bend over and pick up others buts and trash when I am visiting a area.

      I did this on the 3/20/2016 around where Randy parked his car. There was garbage everywhere. Here is the link to those pic’s up river.http://forrestfennsworld.com/lost-treasure-hunter-update

      I tried to email this link to you Dal but your email was not working for some reason.

      Any way as in the material mentioned above provided by your links. I know”… A good first step is to pitch in a few minutes of our time to pick up what others have left behind.

      We should be able to visit anywhere we wish to travel but the Land owners which should be us Americans are finding our land fenced and sold for the greater good of the BLM and other entities. That’s another Can of worms about Big business that could care less about anything more then money and Greed.

      They are destroying more then we are. Trying to lay the blame on who?

      They want to size all lands and make our god given right to explore a crime. I’m not saying they are all bad either. Just the one that are side stepping laws and our rights for lust for more.

      So my second answer would be to stop the greed. Love our lands and explore. If you leave just the footstep it will be washed away. If you must,.. retain the will to recover the land so it will be there for future generations. I have to run have a great day to all JB RC & Titan

      • Seize the lands is what I meant to write. Sorry I was in a hurry. I am back to say a few more things. I think a lot of these study’s are placed to keep people away from nature and away from finding out the truth. They are created to palm big Business. They don’t want people in the wilderness.

        They don’t want people to know how much timber is logged how much earth is mined how much water is used how much oil is drilled or how our public lands are sold. Continuing on to How many mustangs are taken off the lands or any animal they wish to exploit for that matter. How many secrete Uses of land in which they destroy habitat by dumping god knows what because they can.

        Maybe the people need to unite and take back control of our public lands. These lands have been payed for in blood. Every one of our blood lines from past to present. have ownership. Yet the entities believe it is theirs to do with as the choose.. That goes for a lot of stuff these days. Did I just say that? Oh well I better stop myself before I get in trouble.

        I am a good person that wishes to live in a beautiful environment. One that is positive in nature. I wish to explore everything and if I dig a hole I cover it back up.

        I’m in no way a perfect person. Never have been Never will be. Nature is left by those that care unmarked. That takes us back to the beginning of these post. I do love this country. I do believe it has some healing to do. I’m back out. You guys take care. JB, RC and Titan

  1. We have to solve this issue with teaching younger generations about the wonders of Nature. Teaching people to see and feel the connection is key IMO.

    • I agree. This is the reason we have this problem today.
      The principles on which this nation was founded are gradually going away. Even the basics of marriage and family are being perverted.

      So how can we expect “people” to respect nature?

      • If you look at a tree you will see many lessons of marriage and family. No “family” tree is the same and that is the way Nature likes to express itself. Each branch goes it’s on way and then from there smaller branches and then leaves and sometimes flowers. Animals, birds and bugs of all kinds live there and even when the tree dies into the ground it provides shelter.

        Ironic that we sign so much paper to protect ourselves from the world when we only needed the tree as shelter from the elements at one time and comfort for our bones when we were cold.

        People will respect Nature when they believe it is where they came from but not a second sooner.

  2. I believe the best solution would be make recycling more friendly to consumers… i.e. we get more out of it to do it. 5 cents for a bottle used to be a lot, now that doesn’t even buy a piece of candy anymore.

    I believe a program to use all paper, aluminum, glass etc. recycled at home and a percentage of the profits go to park/earth conservation. We as a people/species are very wasteful and dont even consider the impact it has on the earth. It’s just whatever makes a quick dollar. I mean how hard would it really be to separate glass, paper, and plastic to reduce our impact on landfills and toxic runoff. All we’d really need is maybe an extra can at the road side and maybe an extra truck to pick it up weekly for big cities or monthly for small communities.

    There is power in numbers because we’ve seen up cycling become a big business in some places…. spending tax dollars doesn’t make sense if we are throwing revenue into the trash… But me personally I don’t look at one can as a big deal…. but with a population of 300 million plus if everyone recycled just one can/bottle a day at 5 cents a bottle/can (hypothetical)….that’s 5.475 billion dollars a year…. that we throw in the garbage… And the numbers are probably much more staggering than that on what we use yearly just in the U.S.

    The solution resides in the people who are willing to change the now for the future. I’m always full of ideas but it seems they always fall on deaf ears…

  3. Here is my suggestion. Put a freeze on all hunting for 5 years and invest resources to increase the bear, cougar and wolf populations. Then, posts signs to all visitors there are more wild and dangerous animals in the parks and there will be no rescue services within the parks. Also, make all parks “leave no trace” and off limits to all motor vehicles. If you really want to see Yosemite, you’ll have to hike your Arse 30 miles in.

    • We can’t do that because subsistence hunters wouldn’t be able to survive.About 80% of my grandparents food is hunted.

      • People eat Brown bear, cougar and wolf? The only country I know of where they eat cat and dog isn’t the USA. Canada eliminated the Spring bear hunt a few years ago and the bear population in Ontario is exploding back to a healthy population. They also make it really difficult to travel anywhere with all their gravel/dirt roads. As far as a primary food staple? All hunting should be banned in the parks. BLM land I can understand, but not the parks.

        • Frank…are you from the US? You should know that hunting is not allowed in the National Parks. And yes, bears and cougars are hunted and killed and the meat must be consumed or it is a violation. Do some research before you post silly comments.

  4. The land use / preservation conundrum came into clear focus in Oregon recently at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Competing interests threaten not only the land itself, but also our perception of how we value open spaces as an amenity for the whole community. Without some outreach to explain what public lands do for all of us, there will be elements that want to restrict its use (or even ownership) to the few. By people making recreational use of the land, they help to keep it available for all – a question of use it or lose it. (I hope all that doesn’t sound too political.)

    So I see marketing as another form of education, unless it becomes simply a means of raising revenue and forcing too many people to funnel into limited spaces. We as searchers are increasing the pressure on the land, but also helping to reawaken interest in the amazing gift that awaits us all beyond the freeways and factories. So the Chase is, in itself, educational, IMO, even though it will doubtless have some negative impacts.

    Population is, I’m sure, going to be the big issue this century and next (if humans make it that far). But making areas like the Rockies off limits to the average citizen will impoverish us all, IMO. Just imagine how much we’ve all gotten out of our ability to roam almost at will over the last five years.

    I don’t think there is an answer, although I think one will be imposed on us through increasingly harsh natural events. Maybe the best we can expect is to introduce our children to the splendors of the outdoors, and let them learn its true value.

    • Nature will restore the balance. I believe we are now at the resource tipping point and our capability to produce food will reach a critical point of collapse. Already in Ohio we are killing Lake Erie with phosphorous overload due to farmers increasing their field yields to meet the demand of food for fuel with ethanol. We will soon see cities on the shoreline (Toledo, Cleveland,etc) unable to get safe drinking water from the lake. The phosphorous is creating toxic algae blooms which is killing fish and other wildlife. When I find Fenn’s treasure, I’m going off grid and will learn how to survive with basic tools and conservation.

      • Hi Frank! u make some good points. whats some of ur ideas on living off grid and such, care to explane? conversation is always good do u agree? thanks jas

        • If you are fortunate enough to live where the sun shines, invest I solar energy or wind turbines. Encourage people to grow gardens and harvest honey. Give back to nature by being reliant on it. Jack up gas prices near the parks to $6 a gallon a 50% goes to wildlife habitat preservation/conservation. Live more like the Amish. Use less, produce more of your own. Compost everything. Eliminate all plastics in the food industry. Plant more trees. Raise your own poultry or life stock to survive on.

  5. Hello Dal. It is difficult to find the correct solution(s) to save our parks. Checks and Balances are important. How and where to begin? I do not know.

  6. I have something I’d like to share. I was guilty of this in the past until watching a video about it one day. How many of you have ever spit a wad of gum out a car window or in the grass without a second thought? Gum is biodegradable right? That’s what I always thought until I seen a video that showed a wad of gum stuck in a himmingbirds wings. The bird was immobilized and helpless until a good Samaritan came along and freed it. After seeing that video I haven’t hocked my gum since. Another thing I do is cut up six pack plastic rings before throwing them away so wildlife won’t get trapped in them. Well, that’s what I wanted to share. I hope it helps.

  7. Subscribe………In my opinion, there is no simple answer. Personally from what I’ve witnessed, the young parents currently and their children (two generations maybe three) have been raised with a sense of entitlement. It doesn’t matter what the rules or laws are, if they want to do it, or have it, they do it, or take it. It’s partly my generations problem as we didn’t as a whole raise them like we were raised with respect. Respect for people, places, things, and rules. We became concerned that feelings would be hurt if every child didn’t receive a certificate or trophy for something whether they put much effort into the task or not. They didn’t learn to achieve or how to deal with defeat, which is a very valuable life lesson. Now, not only is society feeling the effects, so is nature. We have become a society of self gratification not self respect. I don’t know how we as a society can turn that way of thinking around. Education, maybe, stricter laws that are enforced with monetary penalties harsh enough to grab someones attention, maybe. Fund raisers to raise funding to support those things? Hopefully, somehow, through education etc. we can convey to younger generations how critical things are becoming. Teaching the lesson(s) that everything is connected and what effects things down to the smallest life form will eventually climb up the chain and effect humans? How to we successfully convey to them the laws posted to protect forests and wildlife, so they can flourish, are observed and not disregarded because they felt entitled to indulge in what pleases them? It’s a snowball that started at the top and is growing and quickly rolling down hill to where we are. Hopefully someone will come up with the answer. Again, this is just my opinion.


  8. What can we do? Move to a small island in the Pacific NW?

    Maybe the only thing we can do is make sure we aren’t part of the problem.

    You already put your finger on the real problem– population. You, me, Bill Gates, and the Duke of Edinburgh all agree about that. But this is a political topic, and it might distract from the Chase…

    Remember, one person’s idea about education might be another person’s evil propaganda.

    • Even in the Pacific north west its getting bad. I was born in jemez springs N.M. and lived half my life here in N.m. and the other half in Washington on whidbey island and even thought most of the island has people that live there year round its getting just as bad with the amount of people that go there to camp. Now days it doesn’t matter where you go the younger generation just doesn’t know how or hasn’t learned how to respect nature like most of the older generation has. But it doesn’t matter on age as much as it does knowing how to enjoy what we have and take care of it right for the future.

  9. I have just returned from my 3rd treasure hunt in 2 months to Northern New Mexico. My last trip I camped out a few nights. (Brrrr). What has struck me (almost like lightening) in my recent travels is the enormous amount of trash I find on the roadsides, along the stream banks and in the waters, and sadly even the campgrounds were trashed (especially the fire pits). Nearly everywhere I stopped to put “BOTG” I found trash. A lot of it.

    In mid February I visited a relatively remote waterfall and while I did not find the treasure, I did find a large amount of trash. I was shocked and dismayed; to find this particular waterfall took route finding skills and a bushwhack (not in the vicinity of a human trail). I was shocked because I assumed that anyone else who had gone to the trouble to locate these falls would respect the beauty of the place and not use it as a dumping grounds. Naturally, I filled my empty pack with the trash so the next visitor would not be as disappointed as I was to find this gem surrounded by empty water bottles, beer cans and candy bar wrappers.

    I say all this because as searchers/explorers/adventurers we have a responsibility and an obligation to leave no trace. I don’t know the answer to “loving it to death” but I do know we can pack out what we pack in and maybe pack out what others have left as well. We can treat our Mother with respect.

    P.S. I find it ironic that Outside magazine is now addressing the very problem they and other similar publications helped create.

    • And It is ironic that this Chase has contributed to this very problem of loving the outdoors to death. I at least hope all of us searchers will follow your example and haul out not only our own trash, but other people’s trash too.

    • Sandy, I was so happy to read your comment. While searching in NM recently, I picked up a lot of trash. Knowing that you’re also picking up trash is encouraging to me. If all of us, searchers, remove trash, we can make a difference.

      My only other solution is to visit the wilderness in the off-season, so I don’t add to the “crowds” during peak seasons. The wilderness offers beautiful surprises year-around!

    • Thank you. We should all take the time to clean up. Even if it belongs to others. After all, it’s not the trash that we come to see. We walk by and so will others and others will also see it’s OK to throw their trash down anywhere they want to. Let’s all commit to cleaning up where we are searching. All garbage.

  10. Hi Dal;
    We do take our World for granted. We were always taught leave it better then you found it, that doesn’t happen much anymore. People go out and dump their trash all over the ground and drive off. Here in Texas we’re having problem’s with Zebra Mussels, they say the environment will be impacted by them. They have the boats inspected and washed before entering the waters to try an prevent any more problems. It’s not working its getting progressing worse. Their saying the floods aren’t helping. In some areas the ground water use to go down about 1 FT per ten years, now for unknown reasons, it appears to be disappearing 1 FT a year. Hopefully we’ll figure it out and be able to do something. I often wondered as they pull oil out, what fills the void? We are overworking the land there’s so many people needing food that the fields are able to rest as they should every three years. I don’t like the idea they take sewage water around here, treat it and eventually release it back into our Lakes. Our water source for drinking here comes from Belton and Stillhouse Lake and their re entering the treated sewage back into those lakes and we’re drinking it. The Bible says the water becomes bitter, and we just have ruto wait until that happens. Some say the Bible is feeling us what to expect.What if it’s a guide to follow, to understanding and also letting us know what could happen if we don’t change. He helps those who help themselves. God knows all, maybe he tries to change us for the better. The water will go bitter putting sewage into it, so why do it. Don’t do it! History repeats itself because we’re not learning from our mistake’s. We’ll have to ponder on the above question’s? There’s an answer, we just have to find it, all make sure we follow it. Love your site Dal! Tell your family, Venn and all hi for me. Happy Easter.

  11. Dal,

    You opened up a can of worms with this one.

    We must go through tests and evaluations in order to get a driver’s license. Forrest and others on this site could tell you what it takes to get a pilot’s license. Dont we have to get a permit to hunt or fish? Why shouldnt we require those who use our most prized national treasures to go through training that teaches them how to treat these lands and test them on this knowledge?

    • How would this work for the people who live and work in these areas and the children whom we need to encourage to explore the wilderness? I understand where you’re coming from, but given the unwillingness to require similar training and tests before owning/using lethal weapons, I find it difficult to imagine agreement on testing hikers.

      • You live and work in a park area, have kids living near a park, get tested! I agree with Litterateone, if everyone is tested, licensed and registered to enter the parks, they will care for it better because they WANT to be there. No license? You don’t get in, and if you sneak in, it’s a hefty fine and jail time for trespassing.
        Or, we could just Trump-it…build a wall around all the parks, walk on the wall to view, but don’t enter. Or, to get really stupid… $100 entry fee per visit. Some will say, “Wait! If it’s $100, how will the disadvantaged get to see the parks?” If they are disadvantaged, they can barely afford gas to drive to/from work let alone drive to a park! It’s all a money game, like the search. How many unemployed people are packing their kids in their trucks and searching for the treasure, as F said he’d imagine the typical searcher! Wrong, it takes bucks to search!
        This ecological quandary will never be solved because population increases and human needs will come first, leaving mother nature out in the cold. We here, can do what we can, and I do, but it’s a sad decline that is inevitable. And the way our gov’t sits on their thumbs, it won’t be solved before it’s too late!

    • Hello indianajones. I remember the commercial. Several years ago, the area in which I live, implemented $1000+ fines for littering. It’s made a difference.

    • Funny, a few days ago I saw the program “American Pickers” and Mike Wolfe bought Iron Eyes Cody’s teepee! that commercial had a big impact on reminding people in the 70’s not to litter – they need another campaign like that to help teach the current generations about littering and recycling. I was so disappointed when I found out Iron Eyes was an Italian and not a Native American!

    • I remembered it and I can tell you living by Chicago it’s gotten worse. I stop by a McDonalds in Chicago and I actually seen a guy come out eat his food in the parking spot and throw the garbage out his window. A garbage can is on your way out but I guess that’s to hard. Oh yea, there was a police officer inside by me who just shook his head and said some people just don’t care.
      Gotta love the city…YUKKK

    • That’s the exact commercial I was thinking about! I wish they would reair it.

  12. the entire world is being destroyed by the human race,our rain forest are being cut down,forest gives us oxygen.we give the forest carbon dioxide to breath.but when we start cutting down our forest and polluting our land and rivers,there are toxins all over the land and air and in our food.man has been blind to the world..we have only one earth,but we have wars,why can’t we just leave each other along .you can teach rules all you want to ,educate,but people are going to do what ever they want anyway,if it feels good do it.its a lost world we live in..then you have pine beetles which are destroying our forest at an alarming rate.the earth itself is groaning and giving away.things are going to continue to get worse all over the world.there is no respect for anything or anyone anymore.we are all dying,thats life,and the earth is dying also.the answer is ,there is no answer,

  13. I sat here a few moments ago and wrote a novel… but then decided to just simply give the short version. In short; We the People don’t care.

    Sure there are some… but look at our track record thus far. [ others posters have highlighted some ] When I was in grade school [ 60’s] the populous was 2 billion, in my life time, it’s now closer to 8 billion. The industrial revolution was the start of what we call technology today, and in that time we have been more selfish and want more and more… there are more cars than people in the USA . We buy new gadgets almost monthly from TV, computers, smartphone, electronic toys all to keep up with the Jone’s etc. Those items, and others, are mined for our over indulgence. There is talks going on right now about strip mining parts of the Great Smoky Mountains for coal. At one time TX and other states, was nothing more than oil rig after oil rig. Many animals have gone extinct from human activity… and the list goes on… rain forest, global warming, disappearing Glaciers… Then there’s the other problem… where are we to put 8 billion people in the next 50- 75 years to rest for eternity?

    What does all this have to do with our parks?

    imo. You can’t fix the problem[s], until we care enough not to be selfish, stupid and to think ahead. Was that not one of the reasons we started national parks to begin with?

    • IMO, it starts with leadership and education at all levels. My children would never think of throwing trash out the window to the point that their cars look like dumpsters! Not lol.
      If the government, teachers, parents , spent more time being leaders to the next generation we can change views on a whole hosts of issues including but not limited to how we treat the environment and how it affects us all.

      • I don’t want to get too far of the topic… but have a look at gov. teachers, education, parents etc. 330mil in the USA and our best choices for the next leader of the free world is Who??. The U.S is ranked 25 in education world wide, [last i check ] beaten out by some third world countries. Parents today find out a child is on the way and most ask… what daycare is little John going to go to? In DC. there is a program that is waiting to be passed that will pay parolees out on probation if they don’t commit a crime while on probation… we give money/aid to those unwed to raise help with their children, and then more when another child is born… what is the incentive for a man and woman to marry [even live together] and take care of their own.

        We have religious organizations that are fighting to change the healthcare of its employee because of religious beliefs… I’m talking Hospitals, business etc.

        The point is not the system that is broken [ and it is as well ] … it’s our attitudes. While some talk about garbage in our National Parks… we can’t stop that happening in our own back yards, literally. What makes us think a fine or a new sign that tells us.. only you can prevent forest fires or give a hoot don’t pollute is going to work. I’m not going to pretend I know or have answers to fix the problem[s]…
        But what I have seen is, stupidity and ignorance of not caring as a whole. More rules and regulation, policies and laws will not change our social attitudes. I wish I knew the answers to that…

        It’s been said, we live in the best of time through out human history… but at what cost?

        • I agree with everything you said, however each of us can only focus on affecting those within our circle, however big or small. I believe that my children will go forth with the attitude I instilled in them and they will in turn instill those attitudes on others. If we all had a fatalistic attitude we wouldn’t get very far.
          I’m hopeful as my family comes together for Easter dinner were we are reminded about the importance of family.
          Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter.

  14. I don’t accept the premise of this question at all. In fact it gets under my skin in a bad way. So I will get straight to the point. People are the solution, not the problem. The more of us distributed out into the country the better. We will manage the land.
    Any suggestions for sustainability that removes people from the land is anathema.

    • Michael, you say “we will manage the land,” but our track record is pretty poor. As mentioned above, overworking, strip-mining, poisoned lakes and rivers, leaking nuclear storage, fracking that creates earth tremors, smog, islands of plastic bags in the oceans, species extinction, etc. etc. If we’re going to be the solution, I suspect we need to radically change our viewpoint.

      A couple of hundred years ago, people generally respected the land because they depended on it. Now, it’s just a commodity for some to exploit in order to become indecently wealthy, and our direct connection with its life-giving properties has been all but severed.

      Whoever pointed out our selfishness above, hit the nail right on the head, IMO.

      • Right now 75%-90% of the public land is CLOSED to the public. What lands are available to us usually charges us a fee to be there and other costs to do things there, like fish, hunt, collect wood.
        What is happening to the portion of land that is not open to the public is that it has been liscensed to corporations that are “overworking, strip-mining, poisoned lakes and rivers, leaking nuclear storage, fracking that creates earth tremors, smog, islands of plastic bags in the oceans, species extinction, etc. etc” and the BLM, EPA are taking more land from private owners and repurposing it to industrial projects.
        The result is that the public is restricted to be congested in smaller areas, while industry spoils the land.This is what they call “sustainability”.
        My solution is to expose this RACKET, throw the curruption out of the BLM and EPA, and give the land back to the people.

        I don’t come to this forum for politics, so I will stick to other threads now.

        • I’m with you Michael, and I would vote to close this hornet’s nest thread before it gets more garbage in I then any forest out there. The forests might just be better and stronger now then at any point in anyone’s life that is posting here. Maybe 200 years ago it was better, is that what people want to go back to? If anybody needs a few spots to go for a walk where they won’t see any evidence man has ever walked this earth I can give you 100 places. Is Yellowstone crowded on the main loop road in the summer? oh yeah. But spring or summer it’s not bad, and just take a walk off into the woods off a trail and again you probably won’t see many other folks at all. Maybe just an old guy from New Mexico with a heavy looking backpack!

        • I agree with you Michael, we are the problem as well as the solution. We have been sleeping quietly while the damage is done. Time the sheeple wake up and take back our beautiful blue Jewel. I also refrain from talking politics on the blog as this has not been the place. Now however, we have become a small force and perhaps should discuss some our Worldly problems and solutions??? It’s dals call… either way I’ll play by the rules!
          Mark H. Carry n a few extra trash bags… 🙂

  15. Many young people I know walk much lighter on the earth and have another paradigm they are already living with regards to Nature. You don’t need everyone to make change you just need a critical mass of aware people.

  16. It’s like in the city. 15 years ago when riverfront condos were all the rage, new construction…riverfront condos built, the backroads were gone. but there was more real estate between those original condos and the rivers… so more condos were built between them, and there went the views.

    People want to see what people can see.

    People worked hard to allow us these privileges of visiting our parks, green spaces- county, state or national. Nature is available, and it should be. but Recreation vs Conservation vs Preservation. Ugh. good question. And the question is relevant to so many other things. balance? the root of this problem is older than all of us, and the complexities overwhelming (to me).

  17. Dal, good idea posting this…I read all three articles. It made me think about the Fennboree and how there will likely be more people trying to camp than spaces available. I thought we could put multiple tents on one site…after reading this, I don’t think so. If folks don’t already have a reserved campsite, they need to arrive to the first come, first serve campground in Hyde Park early Friday morning…otherwise they will likely be staying in a hotel in Santa Fe, which isn’t a bad alternative, just way more expensive..

    • Hello Cynthia. Does the campground(s) have rules/limitations? Two vehicles, 8 people per campsite, tent(s) on tent pads only? Rocky Mountain National Park has these rules/regulations. In the article, I believe it commented how people were going beyond the campsite limitations and breaking the rules.

  18. The problem is much too complex to have a simple answer. We have been building this problem for decades , it won’t be solved quickly. It will take a combination of both old time common sense and yes new technology to solve it.

    The old? Teach children about growing food, trees , ecology . If we stopped using as many chemicals and learned how to live in harmony with nature we could start repairing some of the damage we have done. Start by planting more trees. Trees make oxygen and they also can change the climate .I have been preaching that to my family for years. Building the soil with what we have around us is an old idea. It doesn’t take a whole lot to grow a tree, plant a seed or from a root cutting . The more trees in an area the more wildlife and even more rain. The more trees the better the soil , allow the falling leaves to rot and build soil. That’s why mountain soil in a forest is so black and beautiful…

    Ok I have babbled too much. LOL Don’t ask an old hippy how to fix things !

    • Hey Deb sounds good but in reality the government requires 2 saplings planted per tree that is to be cut down.

  19. Educating our youth is the final answer. We must create generations who know the past and respect our future. Human beings are a product of this earth, a fact no one can deny. However, people seem to believe we can control nature, rather than understanding how we must live in harmony, for both nature and our own sake. Here in Wisconsin, small agricultural producers are just getting back to basics, which they call ‘organic’. Permaculture and sustainability are catch phrases, but they both refer to the natural setting human beings have been created in. “Back to basics”, eh?

    BTW and IMHO, this discussion does relate to TTOTC.

    – Wisconsin Mike

  20. Dal, since you asked anybody, I’ll give my two cents.

    You cannot get millions of people to obey the rules and regulation of our National Parks and Forest. Many people do not even obey our most important laws. People will be people, and only Mother Nature can or will fix this problem. I am not a pessimist, I am a realist, and at some point in the future we will have consumed everything, and by doing that we even consume ourselves. It’s in our nature that we must consume or die… But, in the meantime we can help to prolong this degradation of our national parks, and mitigate these problems by educating the visitors and provide for very heavy fines for those who break the rules. Even then, some people will ignore the rules to convenience themselves.

    In the end, it’s about over population of this planet and unless it is somehow controlled there is little hope for the future of mankind, but let’s not forget Mother Nature… she will take care of herself at the expense of all else. If push comes to shove, she can provide for any of our population problems in her own way. The future is not for us, it’s for our offspring and theirs and so forth. So for the time being enjoy our parks and wildlands and be thoughtful of others, and as Forrest has suggested, we are all here for the pleasure of others. It goes back to the saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    Back to the chase, “Where do warm waters halt?” Go to “Spring Decisions” to find out the “what if.” IMO.


  21. Recently I heard a program describing the over crowding in our national parks. A former ranger talked about the old days when you walked a trail and didn’t run into anyone or very few. Now she stated you sometimes have to walk in single file during the peak times of summer. I believe she was specifically referring to Zion national park but, her comment could refer to many of our parks. She had a suggestion that in order to save our parks we do need to limit the amount of people entering. This could be on a daily limit that once a certain number of people entered the park that it would be closed to the rest. Another suggestion was to have tickets sold to be used only on that day. We purchase tickets in advance for other things we enjoy like concerts/sporting events/ect. why not a National Park. I think this would be a solution that would work for saving the ecosystem and it would be much nicer not to have to be one of the heard trying to get a view of a canyon/waterfall/mountains

  22. I don’t want to pretend I have any solutions to these difficult issues, so I’m just going to comment so that I can follow along.

  23. Geez Louise! This topic could rate right up there with trying to solve Forrest’s poem…except this one is not just “somewhere in the Rockies north of Santa Fe”. Wide spread misuse, and ultimately, chronic mismanagement has put most of the so-called preserved portions of OUR lands in serious jeopardy. The “throw away” society that we are creating is consuming resources at a rate that cannot possibly sustain life as we know it indefinitely. Our parks and recreation areas are just the tip of the iceberg. State Tourism has turned into big business everywhere. Budgets now account for television commercials to draw in folks. Here in the Northeast I regularly see TV ads promoting National Parks all across the US. Each touting them to be the best ever, almost to an obscene extreme. What was once an adventure into nature has become little more than a circus side show run by under staffed, misguided agencies, that answer to their so called Educated Department heads appointed by politicians that for the most part couldn’t find their way to Burger King without their smart phone.
    It’s gonna take a whole lot more than education to fix this mess folks…

  24. Hi dal. every question has an answer IMO just as every answer has a question ? if one was to be driving down the rd. and needs gas what do u do?
    I have a lot of respect for native Indians . they replaced what they took and they only took what they could replace.
    does that make any sense?

    • yes,because they respected the great sprit in the sky,he gave them the earth and all the things therein,they saw that it was a gift.but along time ago man began to destroy everything.today every single thing is taken for granted,they can’t see what is right in front of them,and how quick things can be gone,lost forever.

  25. Voxpops,

    You could test out based on experience or those people already experienced in wilderness savvy could train thosewho are not.

    • Hello LitterateOne. I remember these commercials. You brought me down Memory Lane. Gosh, I nearly forgot them. I think kids (and adults) could benefit from them again. Starting at home with the basics, parents being parents and teaching their kids right from wrong and simply caring about people and the surroundings would go a long way.

    • Hello LitterateOne. You have me thinking this morning about commercials. I know people watch a lot of TV, why not make commercials that would show damages people are creating with their poor decisions in the National Parks/National Forests, etc.? Instead of cartoons, actually show the trash that is left behind and where, etc. It just might hit home and make people stop and think. Now would be a very good time to air them with many people getting ready to head out into the great outdoors.

  26. Here’s a radical idea…

    Disband the national parks and turn management over to the BLM.

    What’s happened is that the national parks have become like giant Disneyland destinations. Take away the “must see” factor, and they become indistinct from the remaining public lands. A lot of people will stop coming, as they are currently drawn by the glamorized, hyper-real image that has been built up over decades.

    • Hello voxpox. You have some good thoughts. BLM is still run by people and it still remains that people must change their habits/way of thinking about things. Strange how I just commented about commercials and I can also see how commercialism can cause havoc, too. Gosh, is there really a good answer to this?

    • Geez, I can’t disagree with you more. What’s the point . If people don’t see how beautiful nature is they will never respect it. IMO, the more people that visit our national parks the more we can educate them about the need for preserving them. If you keep them away, they won’t care.

      • I know what you’re saying, eaglesabound, but if you’ve been to YNP recently, it’s mayhem! And most people drive to see Old Faithful and one or two other attractions, but never really venture beyond the designated destinations.

        If you take away some of the organization, the land will still be there, it will still be accessible (perhaps more so), but it won’t be just a drive-by TV substitute.

        I’m not saying this is the right thing to do, but I think that we need to think outside the box – and to think the previously unthinkable.

    • Hello voxpops. My apologies for spelling your blog name incorrectly again. I became involved with the discussions that I didn’t pay attention and forgot to check my spelling.

  27. Visit NPS web site to see the who what when where and why. Take note of the break down (overview) of fiscal budgets current year and previous. This year $3 billion, up almost a half billion from last. With lower energy costs a substantial increase of visitors is expected this year. YNP had over 4 million visitors 2015, an increase of more than 16% from the previous. This year is the Centennial for the NPS so the additional programs planned will increase visitation even more. NPS is advising that ALL visitors should pack their “patience” when preparing to head out…the entry lines will be out of control during peak times.

  28. I am running out of battery life – I scanned the comments – hope I did not miss one and repeat something. My first objection is that the three articles mention the “preserve the parks for everyone’s enjoyment”. Wow is that a misconception. And the Huffpost one states, “plan own trip and do things in my way.” another misconception. I am deep in the study of National Parks and their future. There is a serious political debate about selling the national parks to private individuals or transferring them to the states. These parks have historical beginnings that were intended for all individuals for the purposes of: Hunting game, Fishing, Horseback, Camping, and Hiking. Note they were never intended for individuals to do whatever they wanted. Also, as far as who is supporting these activities – it is the hunters, fishermen, campers who are paying for licenses and camp privileges and not everyone by taxes. Please do not give into media sensationalism at this time of argument as to whether or not federal land should be transferred to the states or to private individuals. Treasure hunting and altering the natural wonders in search of a bronze box is not among the ‘allowed’ activities of federal parks, or private properties that allow access to hunters and fishermen to the natural resources under the Farm Bill 2014 or any other agreements between the federal government and private land owners. Media advertising by NM to encourage a Randy stunt costs money. Advertising to learn and use the land as allowed is important. Some federal parks need to obey their own rules and close down to ‘campers’ as in the Rick Morgan situation – they close here in FL and the parks do not get destructive problems. It is not a Nation-wide problem when the ranchers and hosts obey the set rules. Now-a-days a reservation is required and there are no long lines and hunting for spots. I guess my message is given the political argument about land transfer to states caution is a must in reading the articles. IMO thanks. I have been a hunter since the early 1980s and education and classes/certification of safety and licensing were beneficial to me and the game I sought. I am a believer in these ‘allowed’ activities and not pleased with digging up property, risk-taking in secret, destroying environmental drainage sources all in the name of fame and fortune (for any reason) of being the one to get a bronze box. Those interested in the argument may search the NM Wildlife Federation site or a national site for congressional information.

  29. Dal, please allow me to quote you. “We love the outdoors right? So here’s the problem. We’re screwing it up. There is a lot of evidence to prove this, and many articles have come out recently that reveal just how we are loving the outdoors to death.”

    Loving it to death??? Ha dal, please tell me exactly where because I’d like to attend the funeral. You are so bad, and I hope no one ever catches you peeing behind a tree in the Gallatin National Forest.

    There are about 640,000,000 acres of public land in the United State. Will you point out to me exactly which ones have been screwed up? Please be specific.

    C’mon now dal, admit it, someone is putting maryjuana in your Pablum? What real evidence do you have that we are significantly “screwing it up?” I don’t want to click on your links and read what the politically correct coat-and-tie extremists have to say.

    Again, “…wild lands of all types, including parks, are more popular than ever and we appear to be destroying what we set out to maintain for future generations.”

    “Destroying?” please, somebody me a hanky. Our great mountains, forests, and deserts are not to be worshipped. I leave tracks in the mud when I fish along the rivers, and I bend buffalo grass and break pine twigs when I walk in my great outdoors. I am sorry for that, but life is not a spectator sport. I want to use my public property, and if you don’t mind I prefer to do it without a game warden, yahoo environmentalist, or forest ranger watching from behind a tree. It is bad enough that they lock the gates and put signs everywhere reminding me of all the things I’m not allowed to do on my property.

    No one is more considerate of our wild areas than I am, and from what I’ve been able to determine, they are still as pristine as they were when I was a six. So I don’t worry about my grand kids not being able to enjoy their outdoors. Whew, now I feel better.

      • Run for cover, Word War III just started. I think I’ll go hug a palm tree and say my proper goodbyes.

    • I was planning to ignore this thread as my thoughts were so contrary to the premise of it. Thanks Forrest for expressing my sentiment so precisely! 🙂

    • “Considerate” ~ is the word that is key here.
      That attitude toward “our lands” is a big part of that… We don’t need more rules and regulations… just simple common sense… that is what is being destroyed here.

          • Actually, IMO, it’s sad to see two men we all greatly admire be at odds with each other. I hope they will let bygones be bygones and bring peace to our blog once again.

          • Thank you pdenver. I’m sure you’re right. I just wish it would be sooner then later.
            It would be nice to get back to the chase!
            Which is the real reason we are all here.

          • Hello eaglesbound. We’ve been made aware of a very good topic. Do what’s right and it’ll make a difference, no matter how great or small. I agree with you. I think it might be time to change the subject.

        • It’s never fun to watch two friends fight. It reminds me of that stupid TV show Jerry Springer. I understand what Mr. Fenn is saying. He was born and raised to have common sense to respect the environment and wildlife. There’s always going to be jerks out there who don’t care about nature or anyone but themselves. I think raising awareness about the environment is a good idea in schools though. I never thought twice about hocking a wad of gum out a car window until watching the video with the hummingbird.

          • in Colorado we do have school awareness about our environment,its called outdoor lab.these kids learn a lot.my kids liked it so much,when they were in high school they each became a volenter to go back to outdoor lab to help the 6th graders.

          • Hello Virginia Diane. My oldest children had Outdoor Education when they were in the 5th grade. Money was raised and each attended. They were gone for 4 days, 3 nights with their peers. As they entered high school, they volunteered to help the staff with the incoming group of students. Unfortunately, the school stopped the program when my youngest children reached the 5th grade. The family has experienced and enjoyed the great outdoors for many years. I wish other children could do the same. Wouldn’t it be nice to have Park Rangers come into the classrooms and volunteer their time and teach the kids, just as they teach families when they attend Park Ranger meetings at the campgrounds?

    • Thanks for the counterpoint, forrestfenn.

      I do, however, think that we do need to revisit the anti-littering public awareness campaign of the (60’s?)…. litterateone mentioned “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute”. I recall the crying indian of the “Keep America Beautiful” PSA.

      Those seemed effective, and in recent years I have noticed a marked increase in litter.


    • AMEN! Fenn……..We are taxed, then taxed again and again to pay for “our” land. But should we actually want to see what we paid for we are charged a “fee” and need a Philadelphia lawyer on retainer for when we break the regulations.

      The EPA has plenty of resources to declare a mud puddle on private property a “wetland” and have 50 bureaucrats test that mud puddle, that is gone after a week but that doesn’t stop them. But the EPA can’t seem to find the time to test drinking water in thousands of communities run by the government.

      The EPA can pollute a river system and it gets sweep it under the rug. None of the bureaucrats at the EPA are held responsible, because they can’t be fired from their guaranteed jobs with fat pensions. They have absolute power with zero accountability. We no longer have public servants; we have overlords to rule over us. The most dangerous thing ever created by mankind is all powerful government; which our founding fathers knew all too well.

      In Dal’s defense I’ve seen entitled, disrespectful, idiots that should be shot on sight. These lemmings should not be let out of their feedlot.

      As others have said, Mother Nature will destroy us just like she has 99 percent of all the species that have ever lived on this rock……..

      Human kind’s only chance of survival is to leave.

      • “Human kind’s only chance of survival is to leave.”

        could not agree more with that sentiment, Goofy. We should be funding research for Warp Drives like its our number one priority.

        Why would there be billions upon billions of planets in the known universe if a organic creature could not visit them all?

        Also, you may want a lawyer from NY, Philadelphia lawyers will land you in jail. (2 of my siblings are lawyers, should of become doctors).

      • “Human kind’s only chance of survival is to leave.” I’ve long thought that that’s our only hope!

        But it’s interesting, historically. A bunch of well-disciplined people, surprisingly tough despite their previously mediterranean lifestyle, invade and colonize a small, damp, and cold island, seriously piss-off the local inhabitants, and impose their cultured ways and their “modern” technology,

        Several hundred years later, a bunch of tough (and perhaps not-so-well-disciplined) people, leave that same damp island for greater freedom on a large continent, invade, colonize and seriously piss-off the local inhabitants as they impose their culture and technology.

        Now, a few hundred years later… there’s nowhere left to go but up – literally.

        Once we invade and colonize Mars – or the planets around Alpha Centauri, will we just bring the same mindset?

      • “Human kind’s only chance of survival is to leave.”

        lol… you don’t think there’ll be a tax on that, do ya?

    • Dal,

      I told you, you opened up a can of worms, or should i say ARC-LIGHT. Hang on to that log and enjoy the show. Somewhere a Least Chipmunk is going to ground.

      • Hmm Yellowstone was barren of wolves up until 1995 due to hunting and look what the elk did to the eco-system. You remove humans from the eco-system and what then happens?

    • You know what I hate? Even if someone pays off their home loan it still belongs to the Government and they can still take it away if you can’t pay the property tax every year. Not to mention the fines if you don’t keep your property up to code the way the city wants.

      • You for got eminent domain… or what i like to call.. the Just because law.
        Death and taxes… the only way to beat the system here is to die in debt.. lol

    • Geeze Forrest-
      I’m so glad you were feeling better after writing that eloquent yet mistaken argument because it’s about as much satisfaction as you or anyone can derive after taking such an indefensible stance promoting the right to eviscerate the beauty of our national lands.

      I agree that if everyone had your outdoor ethic there might be more pristine wild lands left to enjoy. But the fact is that more and more folks just don’t seem to get it.

      I can’t believe you wrote:
      “..from what I have been able to determine, they are still as pristine as they were when I was six”

      Really Forrest? What are you seven?

      You need to get out more. Last year, according to the National Park Service there was a record breaking 305 million people who visited the National Parks in this very country. That’s more people than went to every single Disney Park, NBA, MLB, NFL and NASCAR race combined. Zion National Park had 300 person waiting lines just to get on the shuttle bus that goes from the park to the visitor center. In fact, that’s more than twice as many people as there were in the whole USA when you were six.

      The National Park Service says that last year’s attendance was up 25% from 2005. Yellowstone was up 45% since 2005 and Rocky Mountain was up 49% since 2005. The parks are bursting at the seams with users and the damage is serious.

      About 15 years ago air pollution was so bad in Zion that they banned cars. Hence the shuttle busses. But things have only gotten marginally better. The crowds at Zion are so large that they are considering turning away folks at the gates and instigating a reservation system. If you want to visit Zion in 2017 you might have to make reservations in 2016.

      But that’s just the tip. If you want to allow people in you have to provide access. That means maintenance and that costs money. Over at Joshua Tree National Monument they have a $6million annual budget and a $60million maintenance backlog. They can’t keep up with the repairs partially caused by the adoring crowds. They haven’t been able to keep up for years and that’s in a place that has lost more than 25% of the trees it tries to protect from air pollution and warming temps in southern California.


      But these are just at a few selected National Parks…what about wilderness areas where folks are allowed to roam free, car-less and guide-less and often clue-less.
      Here are some stories from the kinds of messes that folks are leaving in our once wildest and most sacred places. Caution Forrest…these might make you get out your hanky again:

      First..a story about what illegal immigration is doing to the wilderness areas of southern Arizona


      Next some eyewitness accounts on the growing problem of large groups camping in wilderness areas:


      This story is typical of what many people find when they head out into the wilderness. Remember when they used to tell you to “Take only pictures, leave only footprints”. Now they ask you to take in an empty pack and take out as much trash as you can carry.


      Truth is, just as Temple, Texas was a sleepy town of about 12,000 folks when you were six it’s now home to nearly 70,000 card carrying Texans. When those people want to get away from the heat and the pressure of their urban landscape they run to the open lands, along with 305 million other Americans. When you were six, and Tyrannosaurus Rex was the only endangered species around, there were a mere 128 million folks and many of them were caught up in the great depression and couldn’t go down to the corner drugstore for a brown cow let alone head out to a national park for a week of hiking and wildlife viewing. The economy was in ruins and today, it’s the nation’s wild lands that are in ruins.

      Get out that hanky Forrest.

      • Dal I hunt along the border in Arizona. Just like everything the media hypes the problem. We do have a problem with border crossers but the pollution is limited to the camps and paths they take most of the area is beautiful and pristine. I would rather have the parks full than empty. That means people are getting out and enjoying nature.

      • Whoa dal, throttle back for a sec.
        You use the word eviscerate knowing that my dictionary is not smart enough to define its meaning. That tells me you are grappling for straws. Sure, there is some trash being left by some who use our backwoods, but you shouldn’t stack those guys in the same pile with the rest of us. Even so, we have about 639,000,000 acres that are not littered with cigarette butts and plastic forks. Next time you go into the wilds why don’t you leave Esmeralda at home and walk so you can get a better view of the great American vastland that has not been “destroyed,” to use your word. f

          • A lot of what’s being said here is bordering on polical. I’m surprised no one is getting nuked!

        • Forrest-
          This appears to be a hot topic.
          How about a contest. Let’s see who can produce the best argument in 200 words or less…
          Either your side…aka there is plenty of good unmarred, open, public land left and there is no reason to be hand wringing over this issue. Or my side…that our public land is in jeopardy and suffering from overuse and lack of care and now is the time for action. There will be two winners…one from each side. I dunno what the prizes are yet and I dunno how we’ll judge yet…
          But if this sounds like a good idea to searchers we’ll open up a contest page and see what happens..
          What do folks here think about a new contest as stated above?? Yea or Nay…

          • Gee Dal, I was kinda enjoying watching the contest between you and Forrest… Are you giving up soo soon? 🙂 Does that mean Forrest won? LOL JK…

          • how about a duel Dal? just you and Fenn with your trusty dueling pens …we could lash your left legs together with a piece of rawhide and you two can hash it out like the olden days…as your peers we could each cheer for our respective sides. Of course, a fair counting of the likes and dis likes would declare the weiner/winner.

          • Dal, unless you or Forrest can tell us which came first the chicken or the egg, and back it up with empirical knowledge, or a priori knowledge then it would be a tie. There is no real right answer to this , it can be seen both ways. It’s like playing a game of Tick Tack Toe, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose until you figure it out and then it’s always a tie. Good luck in your challenge to Forrest, you’re going to need it. I think he is leading at this point.


          • I actually know the answer to the chicken & egg thing. It was the egg. Didn’t even need to consult the magic 8 ball 🙂

          • I seen a painting of trees and such.
            The beauty made me feel like I didn’t just come home from working so much.
            It felt so good , I thought I understood .
            That that place was in touch .
            A fairy tale I had made.
            As I could not see every grass blade .
            When I went there in person .
            Much to my surprise and concern .
            A wallowing mud hole of stench and worms .
            So i went back home to find who to blame .
            Rifling thru law books of wide girth .
            Quickly discovered the blame was the Earth.
            It had put the worms the water and clouds and dirt.
            Was it man that put the idea in my head .
            With a pretty picture of a place in reality was a dread .
            So I called my congressman and said what do we do ?
            And he told me straight up , stay outta there you .
            I have a plan of men and might .
            That will drain that ugly sight .
            Drill and blast and fill full of chemicals .
            That place will still look the same with just worms with tentacles .
            So I stayed out and waited a lot for that future day to gaze at the spot .
            My congressman was right and the sight was spectacular .
            Ten new species of worms that sucked blood like Dracula .
            My congressman was right if I stayed away that my feelings could change on that final day.
            Now a new congressman came to be and said a lock , a gate without a key .
            Will be put at that exciting place.
            For nothing else can survive in the chemical trace.

            But all the citizens of the land .
            Were happy than ever as they were part of the plan .
            Living life of splendor at the Federalists Hand .
            The moral of the story is your feelings can change depending on your viewing range .

        • Hi There Forrest. Nice to see you commenting. I Love Rock Hounding. But that is a whole nother subject. LOL….The Government wants to take it away. Much has already been lost, and closed.

          Lou Lee, Have a great Easter…..everyone.

    • LOL that about sums up what I wanted to say about this matter, I just knew better as I didn’t have the “rank” to 😉

    • f, Pablum? Wow. That’s pretty strong. I’d rather be parsing through La Buse hints.

    • Woo whee, Forrest!
      You shoulda mentioned that moose have noses that can smell people who pee behind trees. 🙂

      And for everyone else, I don’t think Dal and Forrest are “fighting.” Friends quibble sometimes. Dal was well meaning in his post, and I think Forrest knows that.

      It’s okay to have differing opinions. It’s okay to debate. That’s what makes us human.

      And yeah, I agree with points both Dal and Forrest made. If I want to carve a note in an Aspen on public land for a future generation to see and wonder about, I’m going to do it.

      And I did. And Jamie carves an excellent seahorse, too.

    • Glad to see others here who think this has been blown way out of proportion.

      Environmentalists are outstanding at funding “studies” for use in legal battles to try and force people into the concrete jungle. You can create statistics (and associated media) to prove anything you want on both sides of an argument.

      There has been damage–through ignorance and greed. People need to be held accountable. Learn from past mistakes but don’t overreact.

      You can’t force respect and you can’t fix stupid. Those same people who leave trash in the wilderness will leave it in the street or your local parking lot. You will not fix that with training videos and higher usage fees. It will only be fixed when we speak up and hold each other accountable. Unfortunately, the odds of that are slim.

    • Before I dig any hole I probe the ground with a steel rod, if an object stops it and sounds hollow I see if it covers a 10 x 10 area before I dig. I don’t feel the need to go any deeper than any recent natural process could cover or about 10 inches. I only dug one hole under a tree mostly using my hand so I would not damage its roots. The main roof went horizontal away from me and nothing was under it. The hole was filled back in and tree is just fine. i puck up more trash than I leave. I got power insulators, old rusted 5 gallon gas can and a bucket of rocks. Seems some have suggested disturbing certain historical places or trying to get searchers to break a law just to round them up and charge them. Dudley Doright on steroids. A ranger in California told me you can dig with your hands to find gold and be legal.


    • The earth is ours to explore and enjoy her beauty. I love traipsing through national parks and forest service lands.

      Enjoyment of anything long-term requires stewardship & respect. Those are values which are TAUGHT – hopefully well enough at home to develop a natural desire to preserve, clean up, etc.

      Personally, I see the larger problem centered around pollution from industrial manufacturing, refining etc. Dumping into waterways is often biologically irreparable, permanently altering fish, flora, and health of all who use the water.

      I applaud wealthy conservation minded individuals like Forrest Fenn, Ted Turner, Bill Gates Tom Brokaw who quietly give generously… partnering with Trout Unlimited, Blue Waters, and so many others to replant riparian habitats, rebuild natural trout populations, fund nature biologists. It would be enjoyable to hear from
      Forrest about projects he has personally been involved with.

    • The biggest problem with “public lands” is the consolidation of power by the Federal Government that in turn transfers that power (AKA rights ) to corporations to pillage at will at the taxpayers expense . Crazy things occur such as Federal Government paying for infrastructure for loggers which is unheard of in the private sector . They are only getting Dal riled up for another go around of Land Confiscation for Special Interests . Cause the Powers That Be could care less about anything other than more Power and More Support from their Special Interest Pillagers . It is all about Stewardship and the Feds are Poor Stewards of Anything and Everything . I had a coworker that would exclaim “If I was Supreme Ruler things would not be this way” . I guess too many people just want to be the Supreme Ruler ! So any fixing that needs to be done is of our government and the land will heal itself . With the BLM amongst other Fed Bureaucracies creating Military Style Police Forces to Wage War against the Citizens . We really don’t need to fuel them with “in the name of ___________” anything . I agree with Forrest and Martin Lawrence, “what da problem is” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqRn-iFsO_k

    • Forrest I agree with what your saying. I think Dal just used a poor choice of words on some of what he wrote but the articles he used are the right ones rather but me being a big hunter fisherman and all around out door men I can also see what he was trying to point out. I don’t know if you remember meeting me at blue corn the night that we all met up after that first day we search for randy I’m the guy that had the father that was in the Air force in WW II and grew up in jemez springs. Knowing how our own state along with other places have changed over the years it is getting worse every year. There has been more places that the forest service has been closing down until around late April or May to help the wild live grow more like places where elk hang in the late winter to have there young. When the elk don’t have people in those areas they don’t have the stress as much and have a good heavest season where when there’s more stress they lose more of there young. I think another point he was trying to make is for us to teach our children the right way to respect nature like I know you and I do by keeping everything clean of garbage and also not to bring all the big boom box’s and play the loud as if there out there to party instead of enjoying the peaceful part of life and adventure of exploring what out there and what the Indians called home. I know for me being out there is the best stress relief over any thing no matter how bad things are in my life go out there makes things better for awhile. The thing we as treasure hunters can do to improve nature is when where out there take just a few minutes and pick up some of the garbage along the roads or trails and also take time to show others that may be with us (meaning our children) how we show respect nature. I can say the way it came out with what Dal said some of it kind of sounds like the problems that have happened out there is because of the treasure hunt witch we all know is not the problem what so ever. Like the saying here is “Toss No Moss”

    • I realize I am really late to the game, but wanted to add my two cents.

      In the public areas of parks, visitors certainly do leave their mark and impact the environment around them, many times in noticeably negative ways. However, just in Yellowstone, almost 3.200 square miles of the park’s 3,400 square miles is designated as roadless wilderness area, meaning there is little human interaction with it.

      There is more to a park than meets the eye. Just as with Forrest’s poem, you have to look deeper.

  30. Just for one example: The EPA has failed the citizens of Flint, Michigan terribly…. and apparently turned their heads for a number of years.

    Follow the money –
    Follow the money.

    • Not just the EPA. There’s enough blame to be passed around multiple agencies and elected officials. No one seemed to care enough about how the ordinary citizen would be affected.

  31. Yippy-Ki-Yi-Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa …..Open them gates and let em buck. Glad to hear that these wild places that have been set aside belong to Mr. John Q. Public.

    There once was a young lad bout sixteen that had an after school job sorting lumber at a mill. His father was a banker in the little town that they lived in close
    to the mill. After receiving his first check he was shocked to see that they had taken a portion out of his hard earned money. He went to his father and wanted to know why such a thing was done and why it was allowed to happen.

    His father took him in his office and sat the lad down and tried to explain to him why such things happened. “Son, you see, they take that money so they can have National Parks, National Memorials, National Heritage Sites, National Seashores…so they can build roads in and out”. “They invest in those things so you can go there anytime you like”.

    Years later after working his entire life at that mill, the young man was no longer a young lad, he was now an old man. At his retirement he was given a gold watch with his name engraved on it. They asked him to give a little speech on what he was going to do now.

    He cleared his throat and said…..”I am going to go see MY National Parks, MY National Memorials, MY National Heritage Sites, My National Seashores, and My roads that I build in and out”

    On his gold watch was engraved JOHN Q. PUBLIC..

  32. If you can look at it this way:
    Fenn had discovered he had some cancer, and he needed to find the cancer, and remove it to stay alive. He found it, removed it, and lived on.

    The Earth will one day notice that she is getting unhealthy and find the reasons why. She will then discover she may have cancer, and it is interfering with her orbit to live. She will find the cancer and get rid of it, before it spreads enough that she can no longer stop it. It is a lose lose situation for the cancer, because eventually the cancer is going to kill itself. But if the the Earth removes the cancer, then she will live on, and never look back. The cancer may or may not return.
    The Earth is alive just like us, and she will find ways to survive and stay alive, just like us…

    Our free will is the ability to make a decision, I can just assume that the decisions made as a whole will determine our future as a whole. It is magical to me.

    My opinion of course..

    • Hammertime, I don’t think that analogy works. Humans can make the Earth uninhabitable FOR HUMANS (and other critters). The Earth will be just fine once the “cancer” runs it’s course.

      • Well, if the humans completely destroy the atmosphere, and the sun sends all the radiation in to deplete all living things, or whatever else the possible outcomes from having no atmosphere, then the earth could end up looking like mars, or or the moon. Just a bunch of sand and rocks. Not a whole lot going on there..

    • Earth has gone through many changes and disasters [ human definition ]. Ice-ball Earth, Bombardment of comets and such, survived mass extinctions, even may have caused one or two. and will again. You used the analogy of fenn fighting cancer… But what you’re missing is quality of life. Fenn in his own words… ruined the story, by getting better. Earth will do the same, it will just take a bit longer on our time scale. The only thing we’re doing is killing ourselves. Yet I would like to enjoy it while I’m still around. So to say; “Earth will one day notice that she is getting unhealthy and find the reasons why. She will then discover she may have cancer…”
      Wouldn’t be a better thought if we used our intelligence and work with her, than against her… I mean, it’s our home, right? I’m no treehugger, I simply enjoy climbing them and relaxing in there shade, I like to watch the animals as the make their homes in them… I also understand we need raw materials to make things we need. The point is to work with what we have… and maybe not p…off Mother Earth. Now Mosquitoes… I for one would be happier with a few less of those guys, but that’s just me.

  33. Thanks Dal, for bringing up this very important issue! I especially liked the Outdoor article about the Golden Rule. Like you and many others, I’ve been concerned about our collective carbon footprint, and that’s why I’ve been focusing on educating children through my Vippi Mouse media, about the real treasures in the universe – like our earth.

  34. Simple for us that care—pick up and leave with more trash than you brought. That is all we can do. A nice advertising campaign could help with pushing people to not pollute and help clean up. When I was a boyscout leader we cleaned up hiking areas around my city as projects.

  35. Make people getting food stamps clean up trash in their area or take them to a park to WORK for those entitlements!!
    There is no reason a busload of people cannot go to Yosemite, or Yellowstone to enjoy the outdoors and clean up at the same time.
    I think many of the people on entitlements would be happy to do that.

    • Hello Kelly. I’ve read your comments. Yikes! Should we punish people for losing their jobs and waiting to be hired on by another company by having them clean up trash, because they need food assistance? My husband was laid off work a few years ago, for which he was employed for 20 years. We, unfortunately, had to rely on help to feed the family while he filled out job applications, daily, and hoped he would get a phone call real soon.

      • Kelly I am sure you don’t mean to take kids and handicapped people out into nature to clean up after people who have money simply because they needed help with food. That smacks of more entitlement if you ask me.

        • During the Great Depression, we had Works programs where you had to work to receive benefits. I see nothing wrong with that.

  36. Good morning and afternoon to all. Whew, what a can of worms! Yes, there are millions of acres still pristine in our beautiful country. There are also areas that are starting to show wear and tear too.
    I went to college in NW Oklahoma back in the stone age ;), and I had a professor that had a farm/ranch that had been in the family a few generations. On this farm/ranch was some virgin prairie. Virgin prairie means it had never been tilled, and was in the same condition as when the bison roamed the plains freely. The class took a field trip out to this virgin prairie. It was in it’s natural state. He decided to lease it to another rancher with one condition, when the rancher came in to check his cattle he was never to drive his truck in the same path each time. This professor said if he had allowed that to happen, the weight and frequency of being driven on would have compacted and change the soil makeup which in turn would have changed what plants would grow in those conditions. An example of this is the Santa Fe Trail, which is still visible in certain areas to this day. The consistency with which the wagons carrying settlers westward, traveling over the same wagon ruts, changed the soil condition. The native plants (prairie grasses) couldn’t survive in that type of soil, so over time a different type of plant(s) moved in. Those plants look different in shape, size, and color, and stand out differently from the prairie grasses, therefor making the “trail” stand out and visible. So when the rancher drove his truck into the area, there was a temporary change, but something that the prairie could rebound from quickly. Am I for restricting our use of our wonderful outdoors? No, but we should make an effort not to abuse the use. Allow mother nature to sustain, and maintain the balance.


  37. I agree with you 100% Dal.

    Shame on you Forrest, your ideology is undone by reality. Have you seen the steaming land fills? The circling garbage dump in the ocean? The trapped and dead marine life in it? The shrinking range of forest and ever-expanding carpet of rooftops? Your solitary footprints in the mud are not the problem, you are more fortunate than the average bear to have access to places of solitude and beauty and clean fertile fishing waters.

    Where the multitudes have gone, they have destroyed what nature cannot restore. Scores of beautiful and fragile environments have been protected only by the efforts of us tree huggers, conservationists, and environmentalists. Only a few paintings on walls still hint at my favorite beach with it’s wispy beach grass and sand pipers…now its a scene of loud ATV’s, beer cans, & discarded baby diapers. Those are tiny wounds compared to the industrial ones. Yes, there is a lot of fly-over space… but that is not testimony to it’s future endurance or its current health. The buffalo you mention in TTOTC were almost extinct until some environmentalists saved the breed. Forrest, I can’t believe you said such dumb stuff.

    I would support a tax on all luxury materials that are non-biodegradeable, like styrofoam cups and coolers, etc. And raising it on recyclables like plastic water bottles. grocery bags, and soda cans. I would support free birthcontrol… and maybe in some places, mandatory use before the age of 21. But most especially, I want strong representation for environmental management in D.C.

    Years ago I visited Bermuda… where only 1 (one!) car per household (per household, not person!) was allowed. Everybody, maid to bank president, went to work via a good public jitney service. The mix of riders kept it civil, social and economically sound. Always seemed like a good idea to me for densely populated areas. Also had lots of bikes, more parks, & fewer parking lots. Wise governance built that.

    As you go to sleep tonight, imagine two shiny RV buses running their generators, electric lanterns lighting the dark, electronic music, the scent of bug spray and fire starter in the air … and you’re in a sleeping bag between them. Sweet dreams of the places in pictures on your walls.

  38. OS2, you make some interesting and valid points, but they raise a bigger question. Given our tendency toward selfish, entitled behavior, and our desire for freedom (if such a thing can truly exist in an interdependent society), how do we balance freedom and responsibility in an overcrowded world without doing major harm to our environment?

  39. I don’t know, but one subliminal change could be to stop glorifying ‘Freedom’ as though it was right given to us by God. It is so often clothes naked ruthless & selfish motives. We are a group, we’ve got to work things out together., rationally, respectfully.

    • Oh my! Freedom not a right given by God? I guess it is only given my man then, and by your tone shouldn’t be given at all. I am surprised that God didn’t put the desire for freedom into your heart as he has every other person I have ever met. That inalienable desire for liberty will not be erased by man. The problem some have tried to blame is the size of the population. If one was honest and not filled with those inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, they would have no problem ending their own life immediately for the greater good of mankind. This of course is absurd because just like the wolves or the dolphins he also gave us a desire to multiply and fill our container. I submit no one on these boards has even lived in a better time for the environment in the USA. Maybe 150-200 years ago things appeared a little cleaner and fresher, is that what you want to go back to, churning your own butter and dying at 40 of some disease? So Yellowstone is crowded, there are 1000 other places you could go and hardly see another soul, or tarry scant evidence man has ever set foot there. I submit what we need is better access to some of those places. They have locked all the roads that allow the average person the chance to see something besides Yellowstone, Yosemite, or Glacier. Maybe you can park and walk in a few miles but some of these other area’s go back 100’s of miles. My father was able to drive into these areas 40 years ago. As he got older where could I take him still but Yellowstone and Glacier. Open up some of those areas locked away and only accessible to the wealthy with horses or the extreme fit who can carry 50 pounds for 20 miles and sleep on the wet ground for a week and allow the people to spread out some. Forest service campgrounds seemed designed for people who like to live in the city, how about campgrounds with 50 yards between the spots, or better yet, individual spots spread out every 1/2 mile or so.
      I find it hard to fathom, that on a page dedicated to a treasure left by a man, who wanted people to get out and see the public lands we have, so many people seem to want to restrict more than we already have those very lands. I can’t tell you how many new awesome places I have found and many more I want to go. I don’t even think THE treasure is there but there is certainly a treasure there, and I can’t wait to see it. These are 10-80 miles of dirt road type places I can pretty much drive to with my family young and old. I would love to see the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness but it just isn’t going to happen for me. It’s nice that it is there for the young with lots of time, I guess I missed it working full time and raising a family my whole life. It will always be there for future generations but what I don’t want to see is all the other areas slowly locked up confining the average person more and more to little cages.

    • Looks like our Founding Fathers thought so: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Sounds like God-given Freedom to me…………

  40. Maybe everyone is just worried one of these crazy nature visitors folk will stumble upon fenns treasure? Don’t worry I will have it in early June. Too snowy till then. Lol

  41. I have a question for fenn. Steinbeck, Twain, Poe, Hemingway, la’mour or Vonnegut . Which would be best to help solve the puzzle. No need to answer

  42. I wrote this and had decided not to post it as too controversial but then I saw a few other controversial opinions getting some static so I decided to post it anyway.

    Privatize the land. Very few have any respect for what they see as free.
    It can and will only be saved when there is a profit to be made in doing so. We are raised with the mistaken impression that we have some sort of right to have free access to the “pristine” lands that mother nature provides us but if that were the case there would be no cities, no farms, and no civilization to escape from. Preservation of the land costs money, no getting around it. And since we all pay taxes that that go toward that preservation, to some extent we have paid for the privilege to access it but you have no more “right” to have it clean and pristine than any other taxpayer has to trash it. It is merely a preference. And it is unethical to demand that those who would trash it be kept out of it when they are paying just as much for it as anybody else.

    The government is a poor steward of public property. They do not understand making and protecting an investment. Money that is designated for maintenance is easily diverted to the priority of the day and difficult to get directed back to its original purpose. Corners must be cut, costs must be curtailed and inevitably restrictions must be mandated that benefit certain groups over others. These are benefits that generally go to the highest bidder but occasionally go to whoever happens to be making the most noise at the moment.

    This is where people will get angry. Only the profit motive can save the land. It must be privatized. Either sold outright or maybe leased out for a specific purpose would be a better option but taxes must be eliminated from the equation. The entire cost of upkeep must be borne by the users of the land. Since you cannot claim your taxes pay for it then a fee to use it is no longer unreasonable. And that fee must be high enough to cover the maintenance but not so high as to drive people (customers) away. And it would involve a use contract including penalties for misuse.

    Poor decisions in land management resulting in poor land conditions would be replaced by decisions in land management having a direct impact on profit margin, creating a huge incentive to properly manage the land.

    Unethical practices resulting in poor decisions, poor land conditions, large sums of wasted (or stolen) money, mere job relocation and in extreme cases, termination, would be replaced by unethical practices resulting in punishments up to, and including jail time.

    Unaccountable bureaucrats would be replaced by employees who are responsible for ensuring happy customers.

    This “right” to free access to an indefinable “public” property where you can trash it at your leisure is replaced by the obligation to take care of something that you have paid and contracted to have access to and anybody who is there that didn’t pay and sign a contract is a trespassing criminal and subject to removal and punishment, up to and including jail time.

    The biggest hurdle is getting past the idea that we should have access to something we love for free and/or that everyone else must help pay to protect something that WE love. If we love it so much then it is WE who must foot the bill to protect it. And if that ill is too high to pay then so be it.

    • Really, Kevin? Privatize the land – the Rockies? If you’re a searcher, I’d have thought that was anathema! Anyway, the only people to benefit would be the super-rich and the gigantic corporations. What you’re proposing is a return to the feudal system where serfs worked for the lord of the manor who owned just about everything – and woe betide you if you stepped out of line!

      • You mean those gigantic corporations that make things like iphones, and computers, and microwaves, and GPS, and tires that last 60 or 70,000 miles, and?… On and on and on…

        Those gigantic corporations that can only get your money by offering you the best possible product at a price that beats the competition?

        Or do you prefer to leave it in the hands of our angelic government that uses questionable tactics to get us into wars with no intention of winning? That spends money like a drunken sailor and borrows against our children’s future to pay for it? That writes oppressive regulations then sells exceptions to those regulations to the highest bidder? That employs millions of people at exorbitant rates who produce nothing of value and charges us whatever it wants because we have no choice but to pay or go to jail?

    • Point, counter point…Basically Kevin, you are describing a system that is already designed in that fashion. The big-business/land management company is the NPS. Read their budget overviews and see for yourself. Every year the NPS lobbies for more money to operate and promises that it is a good investment(sounds like corporate speak to me). Heck, right now, they claim that for every dollar invested there is a $10 return. Makes no sense to me though. Why would they need more money if there is a %1000 profit every year?
      Hey!!! Why do I feel like there are worms all over me!?
      I’m a small business owner and I say dern sure that nuthin’ is free! I even need insurance for my insurance….

      • “Insurance for my insurance”, I hear ya.

        Being a small business owner you have to work with real numbers. You can’t just write a report with imaginary numbers and get away with it. You are accountable, to both your customers and your vendors. No matter what you say in your report, at the end of the day you either have money left or you don’t. And you can’t just demand that your customers pay more, you have to be competitive. You are accountable.

        The NPS is not. They have no customers. No they don’t. They have no competition by which to judge if their pricing is appropriate or their product is of sufficient quality. We are not their customers and too often we have that mistaken impression that we are their bosses. While many of them posses great integrity and are there because they love what they do, what there numbers don’t show is that for every dollar that makes it to them to invest, I’d wager that over a $100 was put in from our end and $99 was skimmed, pilfered, stolen or otherwise redirected before it got there. That’s why they need more money. Unaccountable.

  43. Most of the littering, pollution, noise, erosion damage by vehicles, crime, etc. that I’ve seen in our great outdoors has been as a result of teenagers and early 20’s people. Maybe the solution is to require that any public lands visitors under the age of, say, 22 years of age, must be accompanied by a responsible parent or adult of an appropriate age. And all beer parties on public lands should be banned. Have you ever seen the messes these guys leave?

  44. I don’t think there is any movement out there to transfer control of national parks to state or private control. I do think there is a movement and good reason for that movement to transfer other federal lands back to the states they are in. I personally think it would be a fairer system to have an equal percentage of each of the 50 States be federally owned. If 29% is good and fair to the people of Montana, seems fair for New York or any eastern state.

  45. WOW…..the numbers are staggering of those wanting to “escape the rat race”…..only to now be multiplied by those racing to Gallatin National Park….not to watch Dal behind a tree (might be good photo copy for the blog)….but maybe this is a “HINT”. More Green Space in and around major cities should improve not only air quality but would help to satisfy the instinct to not only see a tree, but to hug one also.

  46. Forrest said:

    ” I want to use my public property, and if you don’t mind I prefer to do it without a game warden, yahoo environmentalist, or forest ranger watching from behind a tree. It is bad enough that they lock the gates and put signs everywhere reminding me of all the things I’m not allowed to do on my property.”

    Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs…blocking up the scenery, breaking my mind…do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

    Right on the money old timer! Exactly my thoughts. And I think I saw Neitzel purposely peeing on some poison ivy…

  47. Am I the only one stressed out by these interactions between Forrest and Dal? Hopefully this is just a friendly disagreement?

    • Hello threerocks. I truly believe everything is going to be okay. I think we could all use a deep breath of fresh air to calm the nerves.

      • It’s like watching your parents fight. How do you pick sides?
        I’m not in favor of continuing this discussion via a contest. Count me out.

        • I always rooted for both sides, can’t totally lose that way…just kidding. I just went fishing down at the lake. I think that’s where I’m gonna head right now.

        • Eagles I totally agree. When considered in the context that we basically ran the indigenous people off the lands to create these national parks, there is a certain irony in it all. There’s incredible mountain cultures that have all but disappeared in the making of many of these areas. If we can be kind and respectful to ourselves, others, and our surroundings while enjoying the beauty and complexity the world has to offer that’s about all most of us can individually do.

        • I totally agree, Eaglesabound. It IS like watching your parents fight. I’ll have to wait until they’re done fighting…and are happy again…before I ask if I can have a sleepover. 🙂

          As someone else mentioned, it’s like Batman vs. Superman. I hear that in the movie Batman actually wins! LOL! That’s hilarious. Whoever is writing THAT script has a wild imagination. That’s for sure!

          But who would care to go see the movie if the underdog…Batman…lost? Probably nobody.

  48. I don’t understand how so many people who cannot find a chest think they can figure out the worlds problems. That fact of the matter is the solution is as simple as finding the location of the chest. All federal lands need to be open for all persons to go any place at any time they want with the following restrictions. No whistles, bear spray, guns, sticks, knives or no throwing of rocks allowed. This will solve a few issues. It will enable rabbits, deer and other animals to live to see another day. The bears and lions will get bigger and multiply in numbers which will scare off most of the tourist as well as reduce the population of the world. Another added benefit is that we all including Dal can rest easy at night knowing there will be more than enough pancakes waiting for us in the morning.

  49. Ohhh, the humanity…but think about the children! stop it already brown nosers and let this very important argument take its course. Pick a side, speak your mind or shushhh….

    It doesn’t matter much in my opinion, I have researched the evidence scientist brought forward on climate change and global warming and it is alarming. Btw, I used to be a skeptic until I decided to listen to the experts and not the politicians or religious morons.

    At the rate we march the end is drawing nigh’ (100 to 200 years). So I suggest for Mr. Fenn to increase the rate of hints coming our way so we can find this bronze box littering the mountains before we extinct ourselves. There will not be a “next millennia”.

    • Please explain Greenland Icecore GSP2 and how man is impacting that data. Then, please explain the data here, http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/ice_core_co2.html. By the evidence provided by our own collection analysis, today’s current trends and data seem to fit a global pattern. It appears we are in a natural warming period. If man is to blame, the only solution is to murder 6 billion people. Since my date of birth in 1971, the global population has increased over 5 billion. Regardless of your stance, the only solution is to begin decrease the earths population.

  50. Visit at night that way no one will notice the disturbance. What I’ve always thought funny is the amount of trash left behind after an environmental rally. Or the guy who leaves a can behind just to remind the next guy not to litter. Lastly that the hypocrite is the only guy who always has the right answer. And if you want my solution to the problem, look behind before your leave. If you enjoyed the adventure thank the guy before you and leave it that way for the next guy.

  51. I agree with both of you which I guess means I also disagree with both of you.

    Forrest take a drive up by Pilar and go walk through the rocks up there. I carried out a bag of trash and thought it was so disappointing to see people leave that stuff there.

    On the other side Dal…only arrest me if I’m leaving the place look like crap…otherwise let me do what I want. Hate when people tell me I can’t move a 500lb boulder with the use of come alongs wrapped around a few pine just to see what’s under it(no need to move the one at Teepee Creek off 191)

    • oh and by the way Forrest…next time you’re in the Chicago area….come swim the Chicago River with me and don’t hesitate to take a nice big gulp of that fresh water lol…I think your biggest problem with your viewpoint is you’ve been stuck in the woods one too many times and Dal’s viewpoint he’s not gone in far enough.

  52. “The difficult part of an argument is not to defend one’s opinion, but instead to know it.”


  53. My take is that within 30 years we will be dealing with a problem. While I still think our country is the best this planet has to offer, I know we’ve been doing a poor job in planning for the long-term care for our environmental assets. The problem is that we pursue a growth-at-any-cost economic model, and don’t adequately plan for the long-term livability of even our own human habit – cities and towns – let alone wildlife habitats.

    For example, I live in what was once the outskirts of the Greater Los Angeles Area, surrounded by beautiful rolling hills. Over the last 36 years I’ve seen every scrap of land, from here to LA proper, developed for residential or commercial use. The LA Area is now one huge city – with no real natural relief in between.

    I shouldn’t have to drive 50 miles to see nature. Why didn’t the state and local governments leave room for wildlife corridors? Why build every city right on top of the next city? Why build up to the edge of rivers and streams? The answer – economic and population growth at any cost.

    So, I agree that our national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are still pristine by almost any standard. However, if we continue the current economic and population growth model, mixed with poor urban and suburban planning, I believe we are going to see significant problems in my lifetime.

  54. I’ve been watching the back and forth on this thread. At first I wondered if Forrest had put Dal up to posting it. Then when Forrest stirred the pot I wasn’t sure. The problem with all the back and forth is that it makes it difficult to see what’s really going on(the true message). I don’t know if this was the best way to do it but I’m pretty sure Forrest is entitled to blur the lines some when he’s trying to get his message across to us. Pass the popcorn.

  55. I could not do in a lifetime, the damage that one oil and gas company does in one day to my public lands.

    I could not do in a lifetime the damage that large mining operations do in a day to my public lands.

    To even consider individual destruction in contrast to business and government destruction of public lands seems ridiculous. if you want to protect your public lands start looking into getting them BACK to the people!! Go for a drive in the San Juan Basin and tell me individuals are the real issue!

    • OH! But if we were recompensed
      for that damage
      from profit by extraction,
      they would have to charge more,
      and we couldn’t afford
      the doodads we don’t need.

      I like your comment.

    • Sally, while I agree that big government and big business probably do more damage to the environment, we still need individuals to do their part. Many programs have been developed to help clean up the planet. In my area we have organizations that pick up trash along our roadways and we have another group that cleans up along our rivers. It’s unfortunate that we have to do these things – why don’t people pick up after themselves!!!!!! Our oceans are full of trash. The Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas, weights 7 million tons and is up to 9 feet deep, most of it plastic, according to http://garbagepatch.net/greatpacificoceangarbagepatchfacts/
      There are many other issues besides trash but we all need to do our part, government, businesses and individuals. The problem is getting everyone to do it. I know I will do it on my own but I wish there was another national campaign to encourage people to not only not litter, but to pick up other people’s litter.

      • Here is a question?

        Americans throw away 2.5 MILLION plastic bottles every what?

        1. Week
        2. Day
        3. Month
        4. Year
        5. Other?

        Also, here is another great organization that is doing a lot of good to eliminate the 5 Gyres (garbage patches…) in our oceans…


        Answer is other…. every HOUR 🙁

    • I agree, and if the American people do not pull there heads out, it will all be moot. The powers that be, will and are, selling us down the river. The Lorax comes to mind, and they keep biggering and biggering. And when it fails guess who bails them out. Then the huge bureaucracy turns around and says sorry, parks closed. Like during the gov shutdown. What a crooked cheating thief our nation has become. We will all be sold off to China before to long. And our leaders will do it with a grin on their face because they know what’s best for us.

      • All of those evil companies are simply responding to the demands of a growing global population. There is a direct relationship between energy production and global population. Reduce either one and you reduce the other, plain and simple.

  56. So…. Is forrest ultimately saying that the steam rising around Dal is no less majestic than the Buffaloes themselves in Yellowstone on a frosty morning?

    I see no problem with a bit of admiration of such warm waters amongst friends.

  57. Here’s the deal, if the government hadn’t built roads and pathways into these pristine areas we wouldn’t have any problems. Get rid of the BLM and we’ll have no problems. Think about it, soccer moms are driving minivans around Yellowstone–all the governments fault. The outdoors should remain pristine and untouched for the mountain men–true adventurers.

  58. We have different problems out East. A couple of years ago, I visited the National Mall to take in the Smithsonian. I camped a few days at Greenbelt Park and rode Metros so that I could see all of the museums in one trip. Lots of walking. I remember when I visited as a kid it was almost as busy, but now what I’ve noticed is that DC residents use it as a personal gym. I can’t blame them, I probably would too. The only problem is that if you’re walking around to take in the sights, or standing idle, you’re probably going to get run over by a jogger or cyclist. If there’s a middle ground to Dal’s and Forrest’s position it’s probably somewhere in that statement. The National Mall is great. Joggers, not so much. (137 words)

    • What’s even worse are the walkers and joggers in Arlington National Cemetery.

  59. Tons of great comments!!! privatize a park.. that is just nuts..then they sell it for subdivisions…RESPECT… that is the main issue..most people lack it… tour buses in Yosemite… I’m for letting the bears and mt lions eat the tourists. I’ve been visiting Yosemite since birth, things change, its not trashy even with the millions that visit. Most people stay in the “public ” areas. its easy to hide , get solitude and peace. I never liked camping, the camp grounds were always too crowded. One year with out people and nature starts reclaiming itself. I don’t live in or near a city, I live in a forest, we try to move through life leaving nothing behind except the occasional foot print.

  60. Solutions are arrived at by bringing problems to the forefront through healthy, heated debates.

  61. stop making babies,oh my dal,children are a gift from god. and people are dying all the time all over the world,we don’t live forever,thats life.I can see where trash of all kinds are all over the place somewhere and even dumped in our oceans.I do know what you are talking about on this part,I agree we do have some beautiful mountains,beaches,etc.but when it starts to get trashed and polluted,I agree with you on that,so I do see your point and mr. forrest point.,so from beginning until end ,there is good and bad.

  62. Lord! I took off this afternoon to do a little filming and when I come back tonight things are a mess. Forrest and I are not fighting…not in the slightest. It was just a friendly debate…

    There is no animosity between us what-so-ever. We can have differing opinions and get along swimmingly. Such was the case in this thread today.

    I can see this topic touches a lot of sensitive nerves so I’m not going to pursue the contest idea and I regret bringing it up…

    But really…you didn’t see the humor in Forrest’s first comment..??
    I though it was quite clever and funny and very Forrest!!!

    I think we should all pay more attention to Forrest’s sense of humor..
    Maybe reread some of the responses in “Forrest Gets Mail”..

    • Things sure are amiss around here.
      Funny how we can be part of the solution & part of the problem at the same time.
      We should have the right to speak our minds in a timely manner, but it’s a privilege for you to read it & understand it.
      I see allot of humor here by all.

    • dal, I see it. I was able to see a couple things in f’s comment… Actually more than a couple of things and it certainly does make me smile 🙂 Of course, I see things in everything these days, whether it’s real or just my imagination, who knows? It’s just another question to be answered.
      I guess I’ll go read “Forrest Gets Mail” now. Thanks.

    • Thanks 23-

      I have discovered a unique (to me) way to grow videos using Vimeo. Vimeo allows you to “replace” videos…So if I want to change something I can make the change on my editor and simply replace the old video with the new one. I don’t think this is possible on YouTube. But I find it to be invaluable to someone who is never done with things…like me…

      What this means is that I can post the Spring video initially and then when I go out and collect more footage I can add that on my editor and then “replace” the video on Vimeo.

      When I do that the URL stays the same…only the video changes…so I can grow and update the video as spring progresses…and people don’t have to “search” all over the place to find my latest version… makes it more fun for me…

      The tulips are out but not fully yet…I was out yesterday getting shots of the daffodil fields in Skagit and looking for herds of swans that I could get reasonably close too. I didn’t get close to any swans but I did find a battalion of snow geese that let me get within about thirty feet. So I will update that video on Sunday with some new footage and sounds.

      I plan to take the the drone out next week over the tulip fields. Unfortunately, the tulip fields shrink every year. Not enough money in it for the farmers I suspect. Many have switched to berries. I suppose in the greater scheme of things, growing food is more important than growing pretty flowers but I miss seeing the fertile landscape filled with the cheery colors of spring tulips for miles and miles in every direction.

      I suppose I’ll miss it less in the summer when the berries are all juicy-plump and I can eat my way from farm stand to farm stand to LaConner 🙂

      • Dal, I’m looking forward to your updated video. Please let us know when it’s ready to view. 🙂

      • Jeesh Dal,

        Could you knock off the cheery Pacific Northwest chatter?

        Listen everyone, and listen good. Here’s PNW: so many volcanoes you can’t never see one, except for the months and months that you can’t see anything above 500 ft; earthquakes, including the BIG one that makes San Andreas blush; the largest collection of floating nuclear reactors in the world by a long shot; KILLER whales; bridges that are featured in “worlds worst engineering failures”; and liberals, oh god the liberals.

        Now please excuse me while I go purchase a fully taxed joint. To support education.

        • Hey 23 Cascadian Farms is a great place to stop for ice cream… I love the buildings they look like little hobbits built them…:)

      • Dal Shhhhh!!! Joseph is right it’s scary up here don’t come we have bears, bobcats, coyotes and its always raining…

        I actually was out in Laconner a few weeks ago to see the daffodils (they were YELLOW by the way…) and we got to see a flock of Snow Geese off the Best Road before Christiansons Nusery. I posted the link below of a video I took so anyone who has never seen a large flock of geese can see how many there are. The Swans are even cooler 🙂 Sorry about the video being sideways I changed it in my editor but when I upload it to Photo Bucket it goes sideways again on me 🙂 I am also defennately not a professional photographer as you can see 🙂


    • Dal I think the whole think on what is being talked about hear is teach people or learn how to respect nature before its lost. Us a treasure hunters can improve things out there by spending a few minutes to pick up the crap others left behind along with teaching our children how to respect nature the right way while out there.

  63. “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Dalai Lama

  64. Let me just say as a very watchful person who comments very little on anything on the blogs. What I see is that there are many park NP visitors who congregate in very small areas of notoriety such as Yellowstone at Old Faithful and other main attractions in these NPs. When you go out away from these concentrated populated areas there are few if any people. What is so amazing to me is that I have discovered so many places in the wilderness that are almost unvisited by anyone and are as beautiful and pristine as ever and people do not know about them. What is really hard for me to take is that supposedly many of these areas are off limits to the American people. Even in Yellowstone there are such remote areas that one is simply not allowed to go. I just angers me that I am an American that cannot go to places that are part of our country that belong to me. I see that most of the National Parks and the crowded areas are just a very small percentage of the total “Public” lands that we have little or no access to. There are so many incredible places to see and explore off the beaten paths and Forrest has introduced me to so many places with his chase that I never would have seen if it would not have been him. I now have a much deeper appreciation for these remote areas and will continue to explore and enjoy the discovery with or without the chase. Thanks Forrest for increasing my awareness and helping me to discover the wild places that really still do exist.


  65. IMHO, best thing to do when you get out there is to leave the place a little cleaner than you found it. Pick up a bag or a plastic bottle or both that someone might have forgotten to pick up after themselves…..one can only do so much. Our Earth isn’t getting any bigger, and our self-cleaning-world can’t keep up with us messy humans anymore.

  66. Hmmm,

    I find some interesting possible subtle talk in Forrests words:

    “Destroying?” please, somebody me a hanky. Our great mountains, forests, and deserts are not to be worshipped. I leave tracks in the mud when I fish along the rivers, and I bend buffalo grass and break pine twigs when I walk in my great outdoors. I am sorry for that, but life is not a spectator sport. I want to use my public property, and if you don’t mind I prefer to do it without a game warden, yahoo environmentalist, or forest ranger watching from behind a tree. It is bad enough that they lock the gates and put signs everywhere reminding me of all the things I’m not allowed to do on my property.

    Hmm sounds a bit familiar to me, re-read the preface to TFTW.

    Remember what Forrest said about his distrust of government in TTOTC.

    “So hear me all and listen good”

    In my opinion there is always something in Forrests words even if they are said in “jest”.

    I also find this line out of place:

    Our great mountains, forests, and deserts are not to be worshipped.

    Strange when Forrest himself says that his Church is in the mountains and along the river bottoms.

    Just some food for thought.

    • Good thoughts. Depending one what worship and church means to one, to another. Fenn has also stated [paraphrasing ] he is not so much a religious person but he is a very spiritual person.

      Now if worship means to hold as untouchable, to be held as deity, considered sacred, that is one thing. or to be enjoyed, held in high regards, respected is another.
      Church for most means a place of worship to idolize, place above all. To others it what we feel at those ‘places’, personal enjoyment… with very little religious overtone.

      I could say my buddy worships his lifted 4×4, washes, waxes, admires it, talks about it as if it was his best friend… but he also uses it hauling lumber, drives through swamps, rock crawl with it.

      In the preface it is mentioned… and along the river bottoms where dreams and fantasies alike go to play… so is it religious in nature to the use of church and worship, or held in high regards and respect, a place to play [ enjoy ].

  67. Thanks Dal for bringing a good topic to your blog. Awareness seems to be the word that stands out to me. The all- consuming, fast pace of society seems to step right over the basic truths that may bite us all in the butt in time. Finding solutions to the ills that plague our earth will only happen by making everyone aware that it is real.
    Reading through the comments brings to light just how difficult it is to get a diverse group of folks to even agree that maybe some healthy changes need to happen. Coming up with solutions that don’t infringe on the varied interests and view points would be a monumental task.
    Anyways, thanks for keeping it real. I will tread just a little more softly and do more to have less negative impact next time I am out and about…

  68. edenver,

    My you are a chatty one. I sense a bit of subterfuge in this thread between Dal and Forrest.

    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
    And things are not what they seem.

    Rule #1 is?

    • Hello LitterateOne. Yes, I’ve been told I’m a bit chatty. I have been paying close attention to this thread. What do you believe Rule #1 is?

    • LitterateOne, I had figured what your saying too*. I’ll just stick with my # 1 rule. Bur

  69. Our planet is being destroyed more by our insistence to keep making pennies and phone books than by a few indiscriminate people refusing to put their soda can in the trash on public land.

    I did a blog on it a few days ago titled “5 Things the Would Make Aliens Say WTF and then Kill Us All.”


    • LOL. I think you’re spot on with #3 on your list:

      “#3 The History Channel –
      God forbid aliens land on Earth, check in to the nearest Hilton, and turn on the TV. Flipping through the channels, they might be initially delighted to find a channel called ‘History.’ I can imagine their horror while they gape slack jawed at an episode of ‘Swamp People.’ I can also imagine them laughing their a$$es off through an episode of ‘Ancient Aliens.’ And I can imagine them finally deciding we’re really too stupid to live as bumbling rednecks stumble through an episode of ‘Bigfoot Captured.'”

  70. My personal opinion (not that anyone asked) is that if we have lost any of the “wild” in our “wilderness”, it is our and our government’s own fault. While there are plenty of signs and brochures telling tax-paying patrons what they cannot do, there is very little direction, and too much discretion, given to the people in charge of “managing” these public lands. Most of us are familiar with the phrase “build it and they will come” from the movie Field of Dreams. Well, the roads, cabins, hotels, bus stops, hot showers, marinas, restaurants, and septic systems have been built. Guess what folks…we came. While I don’t necessarily think there is a “side” to take here, I do think people in general should be reminded that courtesy and respect are commodities that can work wonders when applied to all kinds of situations.

  71. You guys don’t know how lucky you are being able to roam over so much of the Rockies!

    I come from an overcrowded and overstressed island, but where there are thousands of trails and stretches of open land where you’re allowed to wander – as long as you are respectful of stock and other private assets. When I came to the US – a place so many times bigger – I felt claustrophobic. Nearly all land seemed to be in private control, and trespassers might be shot. But I hadn’t yet discovered the amazing amount of land in the West that is publicly owned and where you can stretch and breathe.

    To give up your public lands would be a folly so great that it beggars belief some people even contemplate it. Not everything needs to be owned and commodified. You owe it to your children and grandchildren to preserve these areas for all to enjoy. Once they’re gone, they’re gone – forever.

    Yes, government is inefficient and, in places, corrupt – but you have power over them… if you exercise that power wisely. But private corporations are only after one thing, and you have zero control. Look what happened when banks and Wall Street got over-greedy and out of control. These are the people who would snatch your lands from you at the drop of a hat, if you let them!

    For goodness sake, wake up America and help your government work for YOU. Don’t fall into the trap of killing the patient along with the cancer. If there’s something that’s not working right, offer helpful suggestions rather than negative bluster. If government’s not doing the right thing, it’s because we’ve allowed vested interests (backed by oodles of money) to subvert our politicians. Act while you still have some say over things. NPS and BLM have to be better for us than Koch and Halliburton!

    Okay, rant over. 🙂

    • The movement isn’t to take away public lands, but to take them from federal control and put them under state control. It’s hard to grasp the concept when you are from a small island where you have a say in what goes on near you, or if you were from the North East of the US where they do have local control over most the land. The 50 states are just that, states. Webster says the standard definition is, “a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory; especially : one that is sovereign.” Now they go on to say later it also means, “one of the constituent units of a nation having a federal government.” So we are certainly bound together as a Republic, but we are also individual states. The federal government gets it’s power from the individual states joining together, which they did, and then set the rules for exactly what power the federal government has over the states, the Constitution. You see those 13 states with almost 0% of the land federally owned but still plenty of state owned public land. Somewhere the along the line the federal government and the people that lived in those states where the federal government held no land joined together to enforce their will on the states of the west, and control 20-30-50-even 70% of the land. In a way that is like the Hunger Games. Those districts are enslaved to the Capitol in order to support their extravagance. How about just a fair percentage of every state. If 23% is good and fair for Montana then how about 23% for New York?

      • Bryan, if transfer to state control will also guarantee that the lands remain public in perpetuity, then fine! But you have to craft that kind of change very carefully. There will be organizations waiting in the wings and trying to subvert the process to benefit themselves. Absolute vigilance would be required.

        But wouldn’t reform of the institutions that currently administer those lands be more effective? Reduce some of the bureaucracy and red tape, and you might also reduce some of the costs. Also, National Parks and Forests are cross-border; the geography doesn’t conform conveniently to state boundaries.

        • Again, not talking National parks, the national forest boundaries that cross state lines would just be split up to the states they are in. The federal government has long demonstrated it’s inability to effectively and efficiently tend to matters of the people. The people who live closest and are most effected have to most interest in doing government well. How do you think our schools would look if 100% of everything done there came from Washington DC and zero came from states, coynties, and local school boards? That is how the national forests are managed.

          • Bryan, it’s certainly possible that transfer of control to individual states might work, but it would probably be very patchy. Like traffic laws varying from state to state, the regulations governing public lands would be very different between, say, Texas and Oregon.

            But what’s more worrying is that cash-strapped states would be under huge temptation to use the “public” land as a cash cow, selling off parcels here and there, charging admission to the “pretty” parts (as has recently happened here in Oregon State Parks), and restricting use to favored bodies where it’s politically expedient to do so.

            The BLM may certainly need reform, but it’s not subject to those pressures. How would you ensure that things really do improve for the general public under state control?

          • Cash strapped states? Who is more cash strapped then the federal government? Oh right, they can just print money. The federal government already charges for the pretty parts or restricts access to favored people. So was it wrong to give the Indians chunks of land with the ability to self govern them? How you ensure that things are better for the general public would be that those politicians in charge would be those closest to the general population most affected by their decisions. I know my state representative to the state house, he knows me by first name. I know a couple of my county commissioners, my great, great, grandfather was one himself when he moved here in 1890. Point is, these people our our neighbours. Our last US senator who is now ambassador to China hadn’t had a residence in the state for 20+ years, he lived in a DC suburb and when he’s done being an ambassador I bet 100% he doesn’t come back to Montana. The President of the US hasn’t hardly set foot in this state for more than a few minutes the last 20 years. IF our own senators hardly care about us, the other 98 certainly won’t be looking at Montana’s interest when managing “their” lands here. So basically we see more and more the rural states and areas being slaves to the population centers. If they need energy, we have to produce it. If they need food, we have to grow it, if they need water, we have to not use it here and send it to them. Then every couple years they get a urge to get back to nature and come here expecting a private pristine playground.

          • You make a very good point about the closer ties that people have within states, but unfortunately not everyone has your best interests at heart. One of your fellow Montana residents – someone who holds the constitution dear – has written a lengthy, but fascinating article on the Malheur occupation and how those seeking state control of public lands are frequently being manipulated by outside interests:


            Here, I quote a small part of it. I would urge everyone with an interest in the subject to read the whole article.

            “Should these adherents to the land transfer movement succeed and have the public lands given or sold to the states, some version of the State of Deseret will almost certainly flourish. Such a place already exists, of course: the Deseret Ranches, owned by the Church of Latter Day Saints, 235,000 acres in Utah and 678,000 acres in Florida (2 percent of Florida’s landmass). The LDS corporation would certainly be prepared to make some very large purchases of what is now public land, but it is highly unlikely that any of the Bundy family, or any of Finicum’s many children, would be grazing their cows there. Smaller operators cannot own lands that do not put enough pounds on cows to pay property taxes. It is unlikely that any of the current crop of smallholder ranchers anywhere in the West will be able to bid for productive land against the Church; or against families like the Wilks of Texas, who have so far bought over 300,000 acres of austere grazing land south of the Missouri Breaks in Montana; or the Koch family, whose ranch holdings comprise about 460,000 acres (including almost a quarter million acres in Montana); or Ted Turner, who has some 2 million acres across the US; or Stan Kroenke, who two years ago purchased the 165,000-acre Broken O Ranch in Montana and has just bought the 510,000 acre W.T. Waggoner Ranch in Texas.

            Buyers, in a world packed and competitive beyond the imaginations of those who set aside these unclaimed and abandoned lands as forest reserves and public grazing lands in the early 1900s, are now everywhere, planet-wide. As Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory, when he was president of the American Lands Council, famously said of privatizing federal lands, “It’s like having your hands on the lever of a modern-day Louisiana Purchase.”

            When that lever is pulled, and it will be, unless a majority of Americans know enough about what is at stake to oppose it, we will live through the transformation of our country. Federal water rights that underpin entire agricultural economies, and that are critical to some of the last family farms and ranches in America, will be in play. Few Americans, even those in the cities of the east who know nothing about these lands, will be untouched in some way by the transformation. Once the precedent for divesting federal lands is well-set, the eastern public lands, most of them far more valuable than those in the West, will go on the international auction block. The unique American experiment in balancing the public freedom and good with private interests will be forever shattered, while a new kind of inequality soars, not just inequality of economics and economic opportunity, but of life experience, the chance to experience liberty itself. The understanding that we all share something valuable in common – the vast American landscape, yawning to all horizons and breathtakingly beautiful – will be further broken. These linked notions of liberty and unity and the commons have been obstacles to would-be American oligarchs and plutocrats from the very founding of our nation, which is why they have been systematically attacked since the Gilded Age of the 1890s.

    • Vox,
      I don’t see ranting here… I actually see what is thought to be land of the free. Unfortunately, when we talk about NP it’s no so free. Yes we need rules in places, such as our roadways. If we let anyone and everyone do as they pleased… it be more a grid lock that is already is. We pay taxes on our public lands and still pay to enter, we pay to stay there, we our told we can’t go in many areas, if we can, most of the time we need to pay for permits or a guided tour to do so. We call them public lands but we are told what we can enjoy and not allowed to enjoy.

      While we talk about garbage, and slugs who don’t care about what they do [ the need for rules and regulations]… on the flip-side, the rules and regulations [ in a lot of areas ] won’t allow me to drop a fishing line in the water.. pitch a tent.. without paying again to do so. Yes, there is a need for up keep, employees, etc. But at some point we should ask, how much will it cost me to enjoy our land?

    • Thanks Vox, Appreciate your contributions here. I’m not one of those that hates my government, I know it walks a tight rope between tyranny and anarchy, and its us that must keep it in good working order.

      What I don’t understand is why others think state control or privatization is less corrupt than federal control. Its just more easily hidden in state & corporate venues. Yes, corruption is also in the federal venue, but it can be exposed and corrected more easily than corruption in board rooms or governors mansions. Its much easier to control a local news outlet than a national one.

      • Thank you OS2. I see this as a very dangerous moment in America’s history: there is so much hatred, division, and intolerance of others’ views.

        This year is especially troublesome, as so many seem to be prepared to follow a “pied piper” right over the cliff…

        What’s great about this discussion is that, while we may hold opposing views, we are nonetheless held together by a shared interest and almost familial bond. To be able to discuss these important issues without rancor or name-calling might just be a lesson to those who seek to lead us.

  72. Achoo!
    I think I’m catching a cold.
    Please hand me a hanky.
    Never mind, I won’t get it for a few hours & neither will you.
    God bless America!

  73. While everyone continues to debate this I’m going to go and read the poem once more…

    • After reading the poem once more and thinking about this debate it has helped me come up with a what if. What if when Forrest says “there’ll be no paddle up your creek” he is reference public land by saying “your creek”?

      He has said that public land is owned by the public and we are the public.

  74. One thing I think Forrest is trying to point out is that the animals that freely roam our public lands pee and poop behind trees, on mountains, and anywhere they want. The beavers, elk, deer, and bears leave their marks on trees. Buffalos trample the grass. Boars dig up the ground. Raccoons and all kinds of animals leave their tracks in the mud beside streams.

    The animals are not locked out. And if they can read, they ignore the signs telling them to KEEP OUT.

    If they could read, no doubt the government would leave signs for them, too.


    So, aren’t we all also mammals? Are we less entitled to enjoy our public land than the animals who live there?

    • You’re right, Mindy, but out of the entire animal kingdom, we seem to be the only creature that is conniving, devious, deceitful and disrespectful when it comes to sharing what we should all be able to enjoy.

    • This mammal likes to see other mammals from a safe distance unless it’s on my plate.
      Those mammals don’t want to see this mammal at all unless they see us as sustenance.
      I guess it goes both ways.
      How about a grizzly bison burger?
      Please pass the grey poopon.

  75. Fenn comes across as sort of an H D Thoreau, but then I read that the same town along Route 66 isn’t named after Henry.
    After the Harpers Fairy incident Thoreau was one of that few that stood up for and praised John Browns actions. Seems that f and Henry David both enjoy cabin living.

  76. Forrest to Dal “You are so bad, and I hope no one ever catches you peeing behind a tree in the Gallatin National Forest.”

    Mindy to everyone “One thing I think Forrest is trying to point out is that the animals that freely roam our public lands pee and poop behind trees, on mountains, and anywhere they want.”

    Dal you beast! Laughing my butt off. Oh wait is that a nuke coming in? Sorry, sorry, back to behaving like a lady =)

    • Is Forrest telling us he hopes we don’t go to Gallatin National Forest because we will not find the treasure chest there, rather just Dal peeing behind a tree? I like this explanation, it’s simple and I’m simple minded.

      • Ramona,
        You will find many treasures there.
        Much nicer than YNP except the hot water coming from the ground.
        Who knows, maybe the treasure is nooked away in the Gallatin River.
        If all goes well, I will see this beautiful land once again & you all should as well if you haven’t.

          • Thank you Ramona,
            I hope the luck comes in handy when & if we encounter the inhabitants & nature.
            As far as luck goes in finding the treasure, I hope that is not one of the ingredients.
            If by chance we should find ourselves in a confrontation with the inevitable, there is no other place on earth that I know of where I could reside.
            I can see & feel why it’s a special place.
            Positive karma in your endeavors.

  77. The land will eventually take what is rightfully hers.
    Respect the land and the land will in return,return the favor. Karma is real and will eventually get those who disrespect .
    Unfortunately,Stupid will remain,as stupid does.

  78. It is always interesting to me to listen to people converse about subjects that they care a lot about although I am frequently amazed at how little folks seem to listen to each other. The exchanges on this thread are a good example. It seems as though people hear what is being said then quickly jump to a judgmental response without taking time to fully understand the other person including how the person feels about what is being communicated. Without understanding there is little hope to solving any of our challenges. I sit here baffled, wondering if people are even talking about the same thing. It is like watching a game of darts where everyone is focused on a different bulls eye.

    • Good point, Raven. For me, I think it’s partly because it’s such a non-immediate form of communication, and since it’s a pain to type long and detailed responses, you just try to get your main point across. It’s so much easier to talk in a discussion format.

      I think it would be great to hold a “live” meeting where we could discuss all these interesting ideas fully. What we might find is that if we tried to agree on what outcome we’d like, it might be easier to discuss the way to achieve that. Otherwise, you tend to start from a rather rigid position, formed by the prejudices of your particular “side”. I suspect that most people would like to achieve very similar goals, despite their opposing political viewpoints.

    • Hello Raven,
      I had to smile as I read your comment. It seems to either highlight your point or bring out a bit of humorous irony – depending on interpretation…

      Just one of the “little folks.”

  79. I read part of one of the articles Dal posted to me it sounds like it’s full of bias.

  80. There are many things that all of us should pay attention to . Sure lots of the parks that are popular have damage because they have been overrated and mismanaged to supply some over paid yuppie to enforce the rules while millions from the suburban areas go there to visit because of the advertising and promotion that they put forth to make lots of money. Now they say it’s to populated well no kidding . Most people that go to those places are afraid of there own shadow and are comfortable with the population of people around because it makes them feel secure and safe . Also they assume that because they pay money to go there that there is someone being paid to clean up the trash..Wrong and a misconception . At the same time many things have taken place to conserve our public lands. Here in Montana they have closed many gates and roads to keep people from driving all over the place and made people either walk or ride a horse or bike. Lot’s of people are lazy and will never take this avenue or go for a very long distance . Therefor places that used to be hunted out and trashed out have returned closer to a natural state. The wild life has increased in population and the forest has brought forth new growth in many areas because erosion is no longer taking place from inconsiderate individuals . Also many private property owners have made choices to allow the public to hunt and fish on their property with fish and wild life and state officials. Allowing the environment to recuperate with wise sense management. Therefor there are lots more places that are pristine and beautiful for generations upcoming to see and enjoy. We all need to keep in mind to keep our forests clean and undamaged from abuse of our so called privileges .

    • You seem to be saying that the National Parks are victims of their own success. I think I’d agree with that. And due to the fact that we seem to place security way above freedom these days, over-regulation and over-zealous management is not likely to change any time soon. Adding to this problem is that if you charge an entrance fee, you’re implying a contract exists – and if something goes wrong, you could be on the receiving end of a multi-million dollar lawsuit. So it’s no wonder that there are signs everywhere: do this; don’t do that.

      I think you’re also right about the level of environmental awareness of the average citizen being close to zero. Littering and despoiling is not wilful, but mindless, usually; and when it occurs in such vast numbers, it can become a real problem.

      Dal mentioned advertising/marketing as one of the culprits, and I wondered about giving all public lands the same status and level of management, so as not to deliberately set out to draw millions into specific areas. Of course, the same result could be achieved once fuel becomes scarce and we creep back toward the $5+ gallon!

    • Comment on the above so called privilege . It should not be considered a privilege but a right to and for the use of We the people. Not controlled by a restrictive body of government that dictates what we can and cannot do based on an over inflated greedy money making frame of mind that our government has created from profiting from doing so.

  81. Thanks Dal for the post and articles. Perhaps it has already been suggested, but how a conservation creed/agreement for the Chase? Kind of like a sustainability plan used in many larger businesses today. Nothing complicated, just a handful of eco-friendly principles for those getting ready to strike the trail and pointers to best practices outdoors. A couple that come to mind are stay on established walkways in N Parks, don’t cut trail switchbacks, and pack out your old flashlight batteries, sandwich wrappers, banana peels, poop, TP, etc. 🙂 There are many great publications/resources out there to reference as well, which gets at the education awareness mentioned by several in this thread. Just a thought that I would gladly provide more on if there’s interest.

    • I think this whole thread has been a great reminder of how we should be responsible for not only our own litter, but also for picking up other trash we find on our trips. I still feel guilty about a plastic disc that fell off one of my ski-poles a while back and which I didn’t spot until later.

  82. I grew up in Wyoming, and my family had a camping rule “Leave the place the same or better as you found it”

  83. Happiness is doing what you love to do, when you want to do it, without being told what you can & cannot do. Of coarse moral & ethical values are key depending on your values.

    PC is killing your imagination, not mine.
    Besides, I don’t plan on staying here much longer considering the odds are against us. 0% for our shelf life.

    I think I will spiral out tonight with Lateralus – Tool.

    There’s no such thing as a perfect circle.
    You come into this world the same way you go out.
    Naked but oblivious.
    You don’t see me at all.

    This is my twisted opinion. Tonight anwayz.

  84. 36.44n;-105.29w. The nine clues are the 9 numbers of long/Lat. that is why mr. Fenn used a semicolon in the wrong place. I worked it all out starting at Aqua fria airport in Santa Fe and ended at The airport In Angel Fire, NM. The progression of the clues takes you south down the highway from the airport and loops up to Angel Fire airport, a perfect omega symbol. Those coordinates place the treasure on Blm land right on a hill that overlooks the Vietnam Memorial, the airport and the blaze from sunset at Aqua fria. I have all clues solved. I want someone to recover the treasure and end the chase before another person is killed searching for it. I want nothing except a pledge from the person who finds it to give some of it to Randy’s family and some to the Vietnam Memorial. Look up my email address at the Florida Bar Assoc. website for my email under karl youngs, so you don’t think this is a trick or virus. I studied this for years and I am done with it with the loss of Randy. I could be wrong, as everyone else has been, but it all fits. Sincerely, karl youngs

    • Kackster-
      Your area has probably seen more searchers than Keebler’s has elves. That’s a very popular place to look in NM. Although many have not been there because of any coordinates but rather because the clues in the poem have taken them there. I hope you get a chance to look yourself.

      • Each number of the coordinates is the solution to each of the nine clues. Mr. Fenn said the person who solves the clues could walk right to it. That can only be done by having coordinates. Latitude and longitude are the only constants that don’t change over time. Mr. Fenn also said a person with a knowledge of geography could solve it. The offer is open to anyone.

  85. Wow, what a thread! The balance of preserve and enjoy has always led to hot debates. I used to head NANPA’s comittee on dealing with photographer rights on public lands. I also used to ranger as well as volunteer at a zoo. I have seen/heard passionate pleas on both ends. Obviously protection is needed which is why we have national parks and the like. Just like zoos, there are evils and benefits to their existence. How much do we protect and how much does that protection detract from the enjoyment? In Denali Nat park there are some huge limitations on where you can go and what you can do. There were petitions to limit access even further leading many to ask the question…”who are we preserving it for if no one but the park rangers can enjoy it?”

    Balance is always key. Education a must. If we all understood the impact of “enjoyment” we would mitigate our own impact with a respect for why we seek out these stunning places in the first place. It is harder these days to find places of true solitude without hearing other people or planes or cars and i mourn that a little. Sometimes there is a necessity for empty spaces.

    Both sides have such validity…where do we find the balance. Ultimately i believe education is a large part of the solution. Things that children would have naturally learned in life (like an appreciation/enjoyment of nature) arent learned by default anymore. I believe it would be prudent to begin classes of such things in school. Recess just doesnt cut it. Obviously the problem is more complicated and the potential solutions are many. One of the best solutions is discussion. What a great thread. 🙂

    • Bee,
      “I used to head NANPA’s comittee on dealing with photographer rights on public lands”

      You bring up a good point.
      What are our rights when we decide to take pictures on our lands?
      Could this act of picture poaching land me in jail?
      I could not find this info on http://www.nanpa.org/

      • It has been a while since i was involved but last i checked, it remains vaque and complicated. Initially the rules were there to protect the lands from exploitation. (like with large movie making projects) But the rules began to focus on anyone with a tripod. So the basics are…you are suppose to call/check with each individual place you visit. And the problem with that is…the rules change depending on who you talk to. It really is a nightmare of bureaucracy and petty funcionaries with clipboards. Mostly though if you are not one to sell what you photograph/film then you have nothing to worry about. And if you are one to market what you document…i say shoot first and ask questions later. 🙂 And always be pleasent…very very pleasent. (it goes so much further with petty functionaries.)

  86. I’m just really hoping they will allow fully loaded semi-automatic rifles on the floor of the coming Republican convention. Then we can send all the armed delegates out to protect our public lands from hooligans like Dal!

  87. This has been a great subject for all to ponder. For now, I can only do my part as I venture forth, and hope that others do the same…
    My real special spots I can just right click my mouse and save photographically any spot . Too bad it isn’t that simple overall…just right click it all into infinity.

  88. You know…just thinking out loud here folks…what if we only let American’s into the Parks, Monuments, etc? At least to the ones that have gates and charge admission. Maybe the next POTUS will make this happen by E.O.

    Executive Order #4.242
    If you can’t vote in the US, you can’t use the national parks. If you can vote, and choose not to vote, you still can’t use the national parks.

    • Your kidding right? You gotta be kidding… What’s next, only Christians faith allowed… No long hair creepy people or you’ll be shot on sight? Only folks who own American made vehicles allowed within?

      I wonder how much our American taxes would go up for maintaining these NP’s when all the millions of tourist who spend millions of dollars are told … stay away… your not American enough!!

      Tell me your kidding!!

    • As tempted as I am to see what comments are posted were I to say I’m serious….I won’t go there. Yes seeker, I’m kidding.

      I do think the retired and active military should get in free. Maybe they do and I’m just not aware, never checked. Someone feel free to educate me on that, I’m curious.

  89. The comments on this thread were fun to read.Some were a little scary lol.Forrest went right for the knockout punch with the vehicle thing.Lol you can’t drive your car to an anti oil rally and be taken seriously.I live the way he looks at things.I think I would’ve won this contest though. 😀

  90. I don’t think putting a Govt. Fence around lands and locking them up with no access is the answer… but that’s what crazy environmentalists and the Govt. is moving towards. Just not having any use at all…. I think that is wrong. There needs to be a balance of enjoying the outdoors and keeping habitats restored. It’s tough to teach people to pick up their trash, and if they have to be threatened with Fines, its really sad. Ethics are tough to teach, a person is either ethical or not! Keep all the lands open, have law enforcement rangers roam the lands, don’t over-enforce but don’t under enforce either… common sense rules!

    • Education and Enforcement. Offenders would be less likely to repeat with a more harsh and hands-on type penalty system. A sort of *community service* approach perhaps.

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