Interesting article about wilderness

steve

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That article is way too biased for me. I hardly agree with anything he says. He uses gross over-generalizations and name-calling to play to readers' emotions to "prove" his point. Way too much "us vs them" hatred going on here.

Here's what the bill states:
"Opens the rivers and streams of Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming to hand-propelled vessels. "

Here's how Peacock re-writes it to be more emotionally charged to mislead his readers:
"The first (H. R. 3942) would open wilderness areas in Yellowstone National Park to high-tech boating."
Since when is canoeing, kayaking, or packrafting "high tech?" Kayaks and canoes are thousands of years old. They're human-powered and create zero pollution and an extremely minimal impact on the land. He makes it sound like we'll be water skiing in yellowstone. I suppose they're made with space-age materials, but so are our tires, tents, hiking shoes, cameras, etc.

"Curiously, Outside magazine has recently become the self-appointed cheerleader for trashing wild areas of national parks"
In essence, he says that since Outside mag supports mountain bikers, paddlers, and rock climbers in the park, they become a cheerleader for "trashing" our land. This implies that mountain bikers, paddlers, and rock climbers "trash" the land. I know plenty of those people who don't trash the land at all. He lumps all non-hikers into one neat little group of "adventure athletes" that trash the land and apparently all have the same motives and are somehow less deserving of the outdoors because they use "high tech" gear that is "adventurous".

Why do so many pro-wilderness writers have to resort to demonizing their opponents as if they have the moral high ground on every issue? I don't want to associate with this type of mentality. It's not a black and white issue.

"why the paddling industry has chosen such unsavory bedfellows as their champions puzzles many..."

The sponsors of both these bills are well-known conservative enemies of wilderness and the wild animals who range freely in these habitats.

"Today’s recreational paddlers want to launch one of their flotillas of pack rafts and inner tubes."
Flotilla? Really? What about the "flotillas" of RVs that create bumper to bumper traffic and pollution on that road? If you're looking for wilderness, don't look for it in a NP. To me, Yellowstone feels about as close to wilderness as Disneyland. Designating an area a national park, in my opinion, invites more tourists and non-environmentally minded people than if we'd left it alone.

I think paving roads or building cabins, stores, gas stations, restaurants, etc. through the middle of Yellowstone was far more destructive than any number of paddlers could ever be. To me, packrafting is just as low-impact as backpacking and hiking, maybe even less so. It's frustrating to see people demonize one form of recreation and sanctify their own.

I think we'd go a lot farther to promote environmentalism by teaching good low-impact techniques and respect rather than villainizing the groups you don't like. Rather than creating a war between people who recreate differently from us, we should be working together to promote stewardship and respect for nature.

Is it important to weigh the consequences of legislation on our environment? Absolutely. however, this article was way too biased and emotionally charged for me to take it seriously. I'm not even sure where I stand on the hand-propelled watercraft debate, but to me, this article didn't provide any compelling reasons why they shouldn't be allowed. Rather, it just propagated a lot of hatred, name-calling, and over-generalization towards a magazine and people who enjoy non-hiking recreation.
 
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slc_dan

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Great article Laura. Peacock has written several great books, and his writhing brings about an important idea of wilderness. Even if it is less convenient for us.

What national parks have become is bad enough. I'm fine with the few restrictions that they keep.
 

Bob

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Sorry, I think both sides play the 'word' game. Personally I don't want to see more 'boats' around Yellowstone. Leave as is. Everybody cannot have what they want to do everyplace. You need areas for each activity...some will be excluded.

I you think Yellowstone is like Disneyland, you have not seen the real Yellowstone yet....
 

steve

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Agreed, both sides play the word game. It bugs me no matter which side is doing it.
 

Laura

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Good discussion, that's why I posted the editorial. I'll read the one you posted as well Steve.
 

steve

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it's not a very good article, but it was one I remembered reading a few weeks back. It provides a little bit of a look into what the packrafting community wants.
 

andyjaggy

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I agree that our wilderness areas face an ever increasing threat, but I don't think the real threat is recreational paddlers. I wouldn't want to see a convoy train of paddlers going down the river, but I wouldn't mind seeing a boat float down the river every 15 minutes or so. No more than I mind passing another hiker on the trail every hour. I would definitely draw the line at motorized boats, ATV's and snowmobiles however, as the noise they create would really detract from the experience.

Frankly I am more concerned about the nut jobs in congress who want to disband the wilderness act and national park service altogether. Or our own politicians trying to seize control of all federal lands in Utah. I'll leave it at that since I don't want to get to political.
 

SirDonB

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Agreed, both sides play the word game. It bugs me no matter which side is doing it.

The word game is the whole reason I dont go to the polls and vote for anyone running for a political seat, they are all corrupted in one way or another. Didn't read either article, but based off the discussion so far, I don't think I need to waste my time doing so. I can tell you this, I would agree that in the case of Yellowstone, anything motorized should not be allowed due to noise or pollution. Keep in mind, I have never been there yet and it is a place I would like to visit one day, if it is still there when I get the chance.

I would be opposed to any disbanding of the National Park Service or other related government departments as they serve a somewhat vital roll in keeping wilderness areas available to the public, so we can get away from the city. I personally do not mind visiting tourist destinations, but when it comes to the wilderness, I would carefully choose an area that is less popular or unknown to 99.9% of the people. In doing so, I can guarantee myself an enjoyable time in the "wilderness" without running into too many humans.
 

Bob

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A boat floating down a wilderness river every 15 minutes or so would definitely ruin it for me. Wilderness is a absence of people and the experience needs to be as close to that as possible. Which is harder and harder to get. One reason that places like Grand Canyon limit the number of people in a very large area. Sure its harder to go, but when you do the experience is relished more.
 

Laura

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The word game is the whole reason I dont go to the polls and vote for anyone running for a political seat, they are all corrupted in one way or another. Didn't read either article, but based off the discussion so far, I don't think I need to waste my time doing so. I can tell you this, I would agree that in the case of Yellowstone, anything motorized should not be allowed due to noise or pollution. Keep in mind, I have never been there yet and it is a place I would like to visit one day, if it is still there when I get the chance.

I would be opposed to any disbanding of the National Park Service or other related government departments as they serve a somewhat vital roll in keeping wilderness areas available to the public, so we can get away from the city. I personally do not mind visiting tourist destinations, but when it comes to the wilderness, I would carefully choose an area that is less popular or unknown to 99.9% of the people. In doing so, I can guarantee myself an enjoyable time in the "wilderness" without running into too many humans.

You'd probably like the Doug Peacock editorial.
 

andyjaggy

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Seeing someone backpacking up the trail from my kayak every 15 minutes would definitely ruin the experience for me. Wilderness is a absence of people and the experience needs to be as close to that as possible.
 

gnwatts

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I thought it was a great editorial (as Laura noted, even though it was not labeled as such) and I enjoyed it. If you know anything about him this piece should not surprise you in any way. I agree with andyjaggy about the real threats, caused by local and national politicians. And the threat to our wilderness is only going to get worse. Much worse.
 

andyjaggy

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I don't boat, so I really don't have anything personally invested either way on this one. However my neighbor is a hard core kayaker, the kind that goes over large waterfalls, and he would love it if these areas weren't off limits to him. I don't see why my hiking is any better than his kayaking. Both are low impact, silent, and both types of people share a love and respect for nature. So long as they limit the amount of people doing it just like they limit the amount of people that can backpack in these areas, I don't see the problem. Then again I am not the type that usually minds running into people on my excursions.

I actually think that the BLM, USFS, and NPS do a very good job at catering to a lot of differing interests and demands from the public. There are a lot of different types of people that like to enjoy the outdoors in a lot of different ways, and for the most part I think there are ample opportunities for all of us to do the things that we enjoy in a large variety of places. Does that mean we should keep some areas free from paddling? I really don't know.
 

Bob

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You ask the age old question.......... 'Does that mean we should keep some areas free from paddling' but substitute horse's, ATV's, Mtn bikes, jeeps, drones. Anything mechanical ?, maybe anything powered allowed or not allowed? How about ADA? It's even no people allowed (as in wildlife study area's) .... It's a tough act to balance all the demands. Backpacking and hiking are not the low impact land uses that they once were. The impact grows with the population wanting to 'get out'. Has to be trade offs. No easy answer, 1000 opinions for 1000 people asked that question ...... :) ......... no easy answer.

Another for instance: There is a really neat foot trail along about 100 miles of the MiddleFork (Frank Church).. The MiddleFork is a floater/kayakers holy grail area. I have not hiked it because of the distraction from all the boats. But yes, the boats are limited, but they are still plentiful. I concede that area to them....... as there are others.
 

fiber

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For what ever reason, boaters tend to camp and otherwise concentrate their activities on or near water. While land based activities such as backpacking, tend to roam over larger "land" based areas. There are always limited camping along rivers, while as a backpacker I can simply move on down the trail to the next campsite. Backpackers can avoid camping near lakes, and other large water sources. The best way to increase the number of people camping in a riparian area is to allow boaters. Yes, the article was not very good, but what do you expect from "the daily beast"?
 

gnwatts

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For what ever reason, boaters tend to camp and otherwise concentrate their activities on or near water. ......... Yes, the article was not very good, but what do you expect from "the daily beast"?

The reason boaters camp near the water is because they are near the water, I think?
I expect from the Daily Beast some thought provoking interesting articles, I don't always agree with them, but I am glad it is there. Generally speaking, I try to avoid generalities. :)
 
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