Clarification of wilderness boundaries sought

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MojaveGeek
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Post by MojaveGeek » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:39 pm

Gee, big parts of the desert that are too had to get to because you gotta carry you own water, sounds perfect to me! And, OT because it is Canyonlands, I sure wish Salt Creek was just closed to vehicles, period. I hiked it from the top and stopped at the jumps because who wants to hike for two days to run into some beer drinkers idling their 4WD vehicles in the stream bed?

Oh, yes, the White Rim, I was glad when I day hiked a chunk that I did not run into vehicles while along the Rim road. Solitude drives me.

There's two sides to this coin. While I am happy to catch a ride on a rough 4WD road to a remote trailhead, but I'm also darn glad there's a barrier at the end of that road so I can walk the rest in peace.

Why is our culture so adverse to travelling under it's own two-legged power?

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Morrie
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Post by Morrie » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:05 am

Why is our culture so adverse to travelling under it's own two-legged power?
I was talking about places a normal person can't get to because they would take several days of backpacking and you could never carry enough water, unless maybe you were an expert in desert survival and knew how to squeeze it out of rocks. Plus, not all of us who love the desert have the two-legged power to get 10 miles out from a road. You might feel differently years from now when you're no longer capable of those things, but haven't lost your desire to explore. I'm not talking about building new roads so that every place in the desert is handicap-accessible -- I like knowing there is wilderness out there nearly impossible to get to, that I'll never be able to see in person -- but let's at least be allowed to use the roads that there are.

If you want to hike, there are plenty of places to go that never had roads. You can still hike the White Rim away from the road and almost never have to see a vehicle. Narrow canyons are different, I admit, but we are talking about canyons that have had roads in them since mining days, not building roads in canyons that never had them.

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Guy
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Post by Guy » Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:56 am

I love to hike. I hike more than I off-road. But it is discouraging when I am hiking up miles of alluvial fan along a now closed (and perfectly usable) road. And for no reason that I can see. At least close the road at the canyon mouth or so.
Also makes me suspicious that roads are closed so rangers have less to patrol. But who knows.
None of that addresses the issue of not having roads and structures in wilderness in the first place. According to the wilderness law.

Trying to stop vandalism is something strongly support. The last thing I want to see is a bunch of idiots in a special area throwing beer cans out the window and generally trashing the place. But on the other hand, it would be nice to be relatively close to some spots as opposed to a very long and seemingly needless hike.

I remember Surprise Canyon pre-1984. It's not that it isn't a great hike now. It is! And I enjoyed it and would do it again. But it did, in fact used to be a road until a flash flood destroyed everything in the canyon. Inyo County chose not to rebuild it as no one was living up there and there was no active mining. The riparian area is no more special than the one in Pleasant (or many of the other canyons in the western Panamints,) yet it still has a road. And if you want to see the future of Surprise Canyon, hike a few miles up Happy. Bring your machete. ;)

--Guy

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Post by Original Bigfoot » Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:36 pm

MojaveGeek wrote:Gee, big parts of the desert that are too had to get to because you gotta carry you own water, sounds perfect to me! And, OT because it is Canyonlands, I sure wish Salt Creek was just closed to vehicles, period. I hiked it from the top and stopped at the jumps because who wants to hike for two days to run into some beer drinkers idling their 4WD vehicles in the stream bed?

Oh, yes, the White Rim, I was glad when I day hiked a chunk that I did not run into vehicles while along the Rim road. Solitude drives me.

There's two sides to this coin. While I am happy to catch a ride on a rough 4WD road to a remote trailhead, but I'm also darn glad there's a barrier at the end of that road so I can walk the rest in peace.

Why is our culture so adverse to travelling under it's own two-legged power?
Time, jobs, life, distance to travel, etc. etc. etc.

We are no longer a culture of nomads who get to take off on long sojourns away from home, work, the family, like we once did. We maybe get weekends, sometimes a 3 day weekend, and maybe a week of vacation from work here or there. How far can you walk in a week, round trip?

I have no problem with wilderness on either side of existing roads, when the lands involved are truly WILDERNESS. When there are roads, mining camps, mines, mining claims, ghost towns, vehicles, lone buildings, dams, and all sorts of other man-made things trapped out there in supposed "wilderness", the land is by definition no longer wilderness, and should not be made so. Roads only make up a small fraction of surface area. There's plenty of wilderness already on either side of the road, and where the road ends. Anyone is welcome to hike right on in away from the road, at anytime.

We don't need the government to tell us it's "wilderness" before we take our hike, we can enjoy quiet, solitude, etc. right now.

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Morrie
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Post by Morrie » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:10 am

I consider myself a strong environmentalist and wilderness advocate, and even belong to some environmental organizations. But I finally quit one organization because they were just too militant -- or maybe adversarial is a better term. To them all roads were evil. Their attitude was that if you allow a primitive road in an area surrounded by wilderness, the wilderness will be certainly destroyed by beer-guzzling thrill-seeking ORVers overrunning the landscape. At least, that's the way they came across to me. This extremism guaranteed that they would alienate most potential supporters: local people who lived near the "wilderness" and of course the 4WD clubs whom they constantly battled.

I don't belong to any off-road clubs, but from what I can tell, at least publicly, they are generally environmentalists, too. They respect the remote areas they use and want to keep them protected from development. Their official position is to stay on established roads, not make new ones. But many of them are taking a militant stand against wilderness because of the way it has been applied, and as a result they have their own extremist rhetoric that inflames relationships with potential supporters.

The level of hostility between the two groups is amazing, because at the most basic level I believe they want the same thing. There seems to be no middle ground, and as a result we either protect land to unreasonable degrees, or leave it wide open for destruction and commercial development.

If only these two groups could get together and have a rational conversation, we could easily have more wilderness and more roads at the same time. I suppose oil and gas, the mining and logging companies wouldn't be so pleased, but that's another debate.

LarryW
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Post by LarryW » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:06 pm

Also makes me suspicious that roads are closed so rangers have less to patrol.
Thankyou Guy.... Nice way of puting it too. LOL... Hope all is well in Vegas for you.

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Post by ahamacav » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:18 am

Morrie wrote:...
... that's another debate.
I think a big problem is, is that there is such a huge group of mindless, souless, ignorant individuals that don't give a crap either way that their existance tends to gravitate those that do care to further extremes making discussion impossible.

-
Visit my web site, everyday, ... all day long - http://digital-desert.com/

greatbasinguide
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Post by greatbasinguide » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:13 pm

Great portions of "our public lands" are currently innaccessible to the majority of Americans because of the dangers and logistics involved with the lack of water in the Death Valley area, and the fact that one cannot haul enough of it to keep one alive in areas innaccsessible to motor vehicles.
I disagree with this statement. There is a surprising amount of water even in Death Valley, (just ask me, I nearly drowned up an isolated canyon!) It is incumbent upon each of us to maintain a level of fitness that allows us to disappear into the desert, and yes, perhaps not to come out, but that is the nature of the game (if you know you will live through it, it isn't really an adventure).

There is enough land for motorized access, and enough land for vehicle access.

Here is my basic problem with motorized access, Budlite, the blue cans found within tossing distance of nearly every jeep trail in the West.

And,,,,,,,,,,, I don't drive a Prius:)

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