some of the worst people on earth have visited the racetrack

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netllama
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some of the worst people on earth have visited the racetrack

Post by netllama » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:00 pm

Some jerk drove their vehicle all over the race track:

https://twitter.com/kurt765/status/7751 ... 08/photo/1

Wingman
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Post by Wingman » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:36 pm

I'm sorry to say that the Racetrack is deteriorating really quickly. The last two or three years have been very hard on the place. There are Jeep tracks looping around through the moving rocks, along with the footprints of all the people who walked around out there when it was wet. There are moving rocks with initials and graffiti. There are more and more tracks with no rocks at the end -- people seem to be stealing the rocks!?! Just a couple of weeks ago one of the Law Enforcement guys caught an idiot spinning donuts with his vehicle over by the Grandstand -- apparently for his YouTube channel or something. That's in addition to another really ugly set of tracks by the Grandstand from last winter -- which may be the ones in the link. There are now patches of Russian Thistle (Tumbleweed) and other invasives growing out in the Racetrack in old tire tracks. Once Tumbleweed takes hold you can never get rid of it.

Racetrack Valley is still a wonderful and magical place. But it's changing fast, and it's getting harder to find the magic without just getting pissed off along the way. Anger kind of ruins the magic.

It's really sad...

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Post by pluton » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:59 pm

The only civilized remedy would be increased law enforcement. That would require more $$$, which will not be forthcoming from the current political cast of characters. True decline of civility...and [our]civilization.

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Post by Wingman » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:44 am

So you don't think 8 or 9 Law Enforcement people are enough to manage 150 miles of pavement, 900 miles of dirt roads, emergency medical needs for a million visitors a year, search and rescue for all the lost and injured hikers, fire duties, and all the attendant government paperwork?

The Park is trying to figure out how they're going to deal with another 10-15% cut in budget over the next couple of years.

The US military are all excited about our fancy new fighter plane, the F-35. They're getting a couple hundred of them. They cost around $250 million apiece, and they do not work very well.

They manage Death Valley, which is the size of a New England state, on something like eight million dollars a year, with budget cuts coming down the line

Go figure...

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Vandalism

Post by TrailHound » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:48 am

Well said, Wingman. Thank you.

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Post by Wingman » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:52 am

I really try to stay off my soapbox, but I spend six months every year in Death Valley. I see these people struggling every day -- everybody's doing one and a half jobs and a lot of them are just fried. I see the vandalism in the cabins, and the vehicle tracks on the salt flats, and the deteriorating roads and highways. Once this place is gone we'll never get it back.

What is America thinking??

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netllama
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Post by netllama » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:53 am

Wingman wrote:What is America thinking??
The current election cycle pretty much proves that its not.

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Post by Sparky of SoCal » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:51 pm

I have participated in bounties in livestock areas where they pay a bounty for a left ear of a 'yote to control them from killing livestock. Maybe they could tweak it some and pay a bounty for bringing in some guys left nut when found doing those abuses shown in pictures. I don't have a plan for female perps yet.

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Post by Wingman » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:37 pm

Thanks for my evening giggle, Sparky. Actually I kind of like the idea.

In my experience most of these jerkoffs are testosterone driven youngish males, so you might not have to put too much effort into the female side.

I think one big issue is the Farrabee Jeep rentals. I hate to say this because those are good people, and I have friends who have had a great time in Death Valley that they could not have had without renting a Jeep. But I think there's a proportion of young rich city kids who do s**t just because of what they see in the Jeep and truck ads on TV. "Let's see what this thing will do!!".

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Post by Sparky of SoCal » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:51 pm

If those rentals had a traceable gps device permanently installed they could download the tracks when returned to verify something illegal. It is an idea anyway

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Wingman, thanks for your perspective - some more ideas

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:00 pm

Not realizing how the human impact on Death Valley has been accelerating of late, I am feeling rather depressed.

A year ago or so I walked the entire perimeter of The Racetrack. There was a visible mountain bike track within view most the circumnavigation. I expect it will take several years and some powerful storms to erase. I assume vehicle tracks and muddy footprints may take decades.

On the other hand I was surprised at the absence of litter around the playa. I think i picked up a few pieces. One reason i love DV is the lack of litter when I am out hiking about. There are the snagged helium party balloons that seem to mark nearly every out and about stroll.

I'd love the NPS to have a $50 million budget for the park, but most funding type could care less about the desert. The new national monuments in the Mojave are encouraging.

When first visiting the park away from the usual tourist main stops I was amazed at how well the old buildings, cabins and mines were holding up and that people would show care by leaving the relics in place. Those old Lucky Strike cardboard box flats tacked the inside walls of The Lost Burro cabin are amazing.

It's a joy to hike to Telescope and back w/o seeing one piece of litter.

I had not thought how Farrabees Jeep Rental may be inadvertently adding to the demise of the park. Without my three separate rentals from them I would have missed out some real fine experiences on the back roads. I actually do not enjoy four wheelings jarring bumps at all but suffer them to have access to the remote. Without those old roads in the outback I'd never have seen Stozzi Ranch, Phiney Canyon, Hunter Mountain, Lost Burro, Cottonwood Canyon, The Racetrack, Lippincott, Striped Butte, Echo Canyon and that's just a tiny start. I really appreciate the four wheeler type who help re-establish the roads and trails after the frequent washouts.

A degraded and worn out Death Valley is better than no Death Valley but I'll still do my darndest to keep my favorite National Park in top shape. After retirement I hope to spend time in the park volunteering in its upkeep.

It's a mixed blessing having the park crossed by several state highways. The NPS would not be able to maintain the pavement as well and then the park would not be subjected to so much casual tourism.

I believe the European tourist are generally respectful and conservators of the park. Not so sure about the Asians. I had to inform an Asian family during the last superbloom that proudly picking their large bouquets of flowers along Badwater Road was not allowed.
Life begins in Death Valley

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Post by ETAV8R » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:10 am

Too bad we don't have gallows ready and waiting for tools who decide to behave this way. Fortunately when I've been to the Racetrack it was pristine. I don't get it. There are so many places in the desert to do stupid crap that aren't in a national park.

I don't think any new monuments in the Mojave are anything to get excited about. When state funding ran out the Mitchell Caverns visitor center was vandalized. Our government cannot protect a place that is specifically set aside to remain fairly untouched. I remember hearing about Warm Springs camp being restored in order to be used by the NPS. I'm sure that bill isn't going to be cheap.

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Post by D.A. Wright » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:08 pm

Not calling the photo a fake, but I hope it is. It gets me riled up to think of someone driving on the playa.

Just doesn't look right. Dark tracks on a dry surface. We're the tires wet? How? Tracks appear flat, as if "painted" on the photo. And the tracks disappear in the near distance for good after a misaligned second skip. Skinny tires, by the way. I'm no expert on photos, but it just doesn't quite seem to add up as an untouched photo.
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Post by netllama » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:10 pm

D.A. Wright wrote:Not calling the photo a fake, but I hope it is. It gets me riled up to think of someone driving on the playa.

Its not a fake. The guy who posted it is a very well respected professional photographer, who has absolutely nothing to gain from deceiving people.

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Post by Wingman » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:54 pm

I took this last December near the Grandstand. If you stand at the Grandstand parking lot, these were on a line somewhat to the right of the Grandstand, and maybe 300 to 400 yards out onto the playa. They had entered the playa about a half mile or so south of the parking area and drove all over the place out there -- when the playa was wet.

More tracks have been laid down since.

Neal


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