stillsteamin wrote: ↑Sun Mar 07, 2021 9:30 am
yard4sale wrote: ↑Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:09 pm
That said I'm glad people are taking to the outdoors again. These are the people you need to get votes to pass legislation to protect our wild lands. If you can't find places away from these new outdoor enthusiasts then you suck at camping.
I wish I could share your positive outlook on this. Unfortunately they aren't making any more wild land, but they are making tons more people every day. You can protect it all you want but it doesn't do any good if it's loved to death. What good is a wilderness alpine lake with fifteen camps around it and shit behind every bush? Plus, based on the trash, ignorance of rules, and general selfish behavior I see on a regular basis, I'm convinced that most of the people gumming up the works don't actually give a shit about the place. They aren't from there, they flew in, or drove up, it doesn't really mean anything to them. It's worth a selfie and then they go home. Sure, maybe they'll sign some worthless online petition but they aren't actually doing anything to give back. Or worst case, they are using it and actively trying to destroy it at the same time, like most of the ATV nuts out here who would vote to revoke the wilderness act tomorrow if it meant they could take their brap brap and tear up the alpine. #stopthewildolympicslandgrab, right?
Bottom line, there's too many fucking people. Population in this country has doubled since my grandparents used to tent camp across the west with their station wagon. Wait till it doubles again... we'll look back on what we have now like it was the good ol days.
Heero[CntRmbrPwd] wrote:Ya, I’m part of the problem as much as everyone else - not in the sense of trashing it, but in loving it to death.
I don’t know the situation in other Natural Parks, but in Jellystone the first come sites were often ‘better’ than forest service campgrounds and even dispersed sites. There is some modicum of decorum, even if sites are tightly spaced - the camp hosts always layed out the rules, the places were clean, etc.
Meanwhile, you’ll find all kinds of asshattery in the nat. Forest - trash everywhere, unburied shit and TP piles everywhere, OHVs going up and down the road at all hours, generators running, etc. Some places are better than others.
Backcountry camping is better. Can still be busy, relatively.
I’ll miss my weekend or two of summer Lebron Valley camping. Le sigh.
You two just described the reason(s) my job has been as busy in the past 12 months as it has in the 20 years I've been doing it — 2020 was insane. Covid definitively lead to massively elevated visitation levels on public land across the country, as well as the resulting cumulative impacts.
We did a longitudinal study early on during covid from March through May 2020 looking at how covid was influencing recreation patterns. While some of the findings were intuitive, some were downright astounding — even over a short 9-week period. Nearly 40% of our sample (N
=2651) indicated that the changes to their recreation patterns due to covid were likely to remain into the future.
In other words, many of the people who came to the outdoors because of covid are there to stay moving forward. Couple that shift with the simple fact that we're always making more people, not more land, and you can see the writing on the wall.
There is a solution though...but it requires people to act. And influencing that action is the tricky part.
However, there is somewhat of a silver lining. As noted above, more people in the outdoors can be a good thing if those people become champions of/for public lands. But that conversion from a casual user (or even an avid enthusiast) to someone willing to put their shoulder to the wheel and become part of the solution is far from guaranteed.
We'll be conducing research again on covid and recreation patterns next month with another national sample so we can explore trends year-over-year. It will be very interesting to see if the trends have held or if they've continued to evolve.
I have been dealing with visitor use management on public lands from municipal to state to federal every day for a living for the past 25 years (NGO) and I'm not even sure what's next...