Meet the woman who knows Bears Ears best

IntrepidXJ

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Great...

http://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/articles/meet-the-woman-who-knows-bears-ears-best-w508810

Morgan Sjogren, a writer and nationally ranked trail-runner, has quietly been exploring its 1.35 million acres. At this point, it’s possible that she might know the area better than anyone living or dead.

How much of the area would you estimate that you’ve seen?

I’ve been to every region of Bears Ears, and I’ve done the majority of classic routes. I’ve certainly seen more than most people get to see in their lifetimes, but it’s 1.35 million acres, and it’s really slow-moving terrain.

...Sjogren has logged over a thousand miles in research for her guidebook, The Best Bears Ears National Monument Hikes, will be released in February through Monument Books.
 
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WasatchWill

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Never thought I'd see a pic of a trail runner just coasting across the Citadel like that. I'm certainly a bit jealous of all the area she's been able to cover, but when you're running trails, can you really become as intimately acquainted with such areas as those who take more time to navigate through it? Pros and Cons. Be interesting to see what all she include in her upcoming book.
 

Wanderlust073

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Interesting comments on the article.
 

IntrepidXJ

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...but when you're running trails, can you really become as intimately acquainted with such areas as those who take more time to navigate through it?

Can she really become as acquainted with the area in less than a year than some people who have been hiking and exploring this area for decades?

Just seems like a money grab trying to capitalize on the newest National Monument to me...
 

WasatchWill

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Can she really become as acquainted with the area in less than a year than some people who have been hiking and exploring this area for decades?

Just seems like a money grab trying to capitalize on the newest National Monument to me...

Probably right. Sounds like she became intimately acquainted with a skunk though. :giggle:
 

Rockskipper

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Can she take you to that one spot where a very rare lavender cliffrose grows?
Can she show you which wash has the little packrat nest up in the sandstone above like a little rat hotel?
Does she know the most likely spot to see that old female mountain lion that's ranged there for over two decades?
Can she show you where the coyotes den up over by the big ponderosa?
Does she know where that old sheepherder stove is half buried in the sand, all rusted out?
Can she tell you which side of the rocks the moss is most likely to grow on, where the snow will melt last, or where one has the best view of oncoming dust storms? Does she know about that ancient granary way up in the cliffs overhead? Or where the old black-on-white cup lies, half buried in the sand? Or when the great-horned owl takes refuge in the big alcove by Cigarette Springs?

Hubris can mistake being familiar with a landscape for actually knowing the place.
 
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Scott Chandler

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Can she take you to that one spot where a very rare lavender cliffrose grows?
Can she show you which wash has the little packrat nest up in the sandstone above like a little rat hotel?
Does she know the most likely spot to see that old female mountain lion that's ranged there for over two decades?
Can she show you where the coyotes den up over by the big ponderosa?
Does she know where that old sheepherder stove is half buried in the sand, all rusted out?
Can she tell you which side of the rocks the moss is most likely to grow on, where the snow will melt last, or where one has the best view of oncoming dust storms? Does she know about that ancient granary way up in the cliffs overhead? Or where the old black-on-white cup lies, half buried in the sand? Or when the great-horned owl takes refuge in the big alcove by Cigarette Springs?

Hubris can mistake being familiar with a landscape for actually knowing the place.

x Infinity!!!
 
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I'll say this, although it is ridiculous that "trail and route milage"= full out knowledge (like rockskipper said in great detail) she does seem to atleast understand the basics of the designation. Like she's one of the few that flat out said "the land was already public, its just more protected" who is in some sort of "popularity"
 

wsp_scott

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In her defense, she did not write the stupid headline and reading this quote makes her seem reasonable. She probably has seen more than most people, but she has not seen as much as someone who has been exploring the area for the last 20-40 years and she seems to recognize this in the last sentence of the quote.

"I’ve certainly seen more than most people get to see in their lifetimes, but it’s 1.35 million acres, and it’s really slow-moving terrain. For example, a 17-mile route, if I’m taking my time and dealing with a number of obstacles, might take me 10 hours. When you think about that in terms of how quick you normally move through terrain, I’m not covering nearly as much as I normally would. I’ve seen a lot, but I also feel like I’ve seen nothing."
 

Jackson

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Can she really become as acquainted with the area in less than a year than some people who have been hiking and exploring this area for decades?

Just seems like a money grab trying to capitalize on the newest National Monument to me...
I thought the same thing. She hasn't even seen the full cycle of a year out there, and she's already writing a guidebook about it. I'm sure she knows the area better than I do, but it absolutely seems like a money grab. I enjoyed this line from the comments:
How dare you claim that this paid shill for Patagonia, who arrived in our area in February 2017, knows the Bears Ears better than the families and tribes that have been here since before recorded history. Running around with like a chicken with her head cut off and taking lots of pictures of herself does not rise to the level of expertise in any subject I know of except stupidity.
I could go on and on about how bothered I am by members of my generation who can't just get out and enjoy the outdoors without capitalizing on it for social media influence and monetary gain. This person seems to be going for both, based on this and on how many pictures of the area with herself as the focus that she puts on Instagram.
 

Rockskipper

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If any of you follow Jim Stiles and the Canyon Country Zephyr, he predicted rapid monetization of the monument and was against designation for Bears Ears.

He has a Facebook posting on this. I don't know how to link to the exact one, so you may have to scroll down. There's some pretty interesting comments there. And yes, she's a Patagonia rep.

https://www.facebook.com/FansoftheC...HycPTIij8pLRc856SRm0h40MMOIkLYueVgM6Q&fref=nf
 
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Jackson

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If any of you follow Jim Stiles and the Canyon Country Zephyr, he predicted rapid monetization of the monument and was against designation for Bears Ears.

He has a Facebook posting on this. I don't know how to link to the exact one, so you may have to scroll down. There's some pretty interesting comments there. And yes, she's a Patagonia rep.

https://www.facebook.com/FansoftheC...HycPTIij8pLRc856SRm0h40MMOIkLYueVgM6Q&fref=nf
Here's the direct link to the post. https://www.facebook.com/FansoftheCanyonCountryZephyr/posts/1668661639825190
 

Rockskipper

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I thought the same thing. She hasn't even seen the full cycle of a year out there, and she's already writing a guidebook about it. I'm sure she knows the area better than I do, but it absolutely seems like a money grab. I enjoyed this line from the comments:

I could go on and on about how bothered I am by members of my generation who can't just get out and enjoy the outdoors without capitalizing on it for social media influence and monetary gain. This person seems to be going for both, based on this and on how many pictures of herself she puts on Instagram.
I don't think it's just the Millennials, Jackson, but just basic human nature. It's just that social media has made it much easier.
 

Absarokanaut

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Thank you for conveying my ken better than I possibly could have Rockskipper.

While I'm not a big fan of people running through the beackcountry to each their own. Anything that can get more and more of the more than 300,000,000 of us that own Bears Ears to appreciate its value the less chance cronies of the resoure extraction industry will have to !@#$ it up.
 

gnwatts

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I have seen Michael Kelsey running up and down canyons on Cedar Mesa, with a camera to take fotos, as he is sprinting by. :)

Sjogren probably did not title the article. Writers always hype things up to sell their product.
I don't care if she is not as acquainted as some to the area. I don't think she said she knew more about the Bears Ears than anyone else. I don't care if she makes a profit. How does anyone know if she "knows the place." Maybe she knows it really well. Maybe not. I don't really care.

Well said @wsp_scott .

Am I going to buy her book? No. I personally think people should explore on their own, self discovery. However, her book will help elevate the discussion about this area. Which will certainly help given the asinine and dangerous land use policies emanating from Washington.
Write your own book about the area if you don't like hers. Or just don't buy it.
 
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Kishenehn

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We've devolved into a society that seems to think it's cool to figure out how to monetize pretty much everything, and in a lot of ways I think that's pretty sad.

There are huge consequences to that when it comes to the outdoors ... mostly from the developers and from extractive industry, of course, but the outdoor gear industry and the outdoor social media types need to accept that they're causing problems of their own: spreading often-shallow information, and encouraging levels and types of outdoor travel that can often be destructive to the land they're ostensibly trying to celebrate.
 

WasatchWill

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It just hit me...with that pic headlining the article, her book plus others to follow...will no doubt bring masses of more people down Cigarette Springs Road to hike the Citadel, Fallen Roof, among other sites down there in the new monument...there's also some secret spots down there that won't be so secret for much longer with the increasing crowds because there's certain to be more eyeballs spying on those wandering off to those secret spots and it's only a matter of time before the location of those treasured spots hits social media and draws in many more people, some of who I'm afraid won't respect the fragile sites with the sensitivity and dignity they've long enjoyed. And some of those people just won't be able to resist the urge to touch that which ought not to be touched, and I fear that some acts of clumsiness, however accidental it may be, will inevitably shatter and destroy some of the precious few intact artifacts left to be discovered and enjoyed down there. Even among the more well known sites that are lucky to have a variety of pot shards still left at them will likely see those shards disappear because it's all too easy for the few who don't care nothing about the rules and regulations to sneak a shard or two into their pocket as a "souvenir". While it may be true that increased visitation can increase awareness and support for preserving the pristine nature of the landscape, if unchecked, it will no doubt bring an increase of those who are careless, those who are more than willing to vandalize, litter, etc...
 

wsp_scott

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Given @WasatchWill's post, this might be a reasonable place to share a site that an internet acquaintance put together regarding social media and sharing too much information online. I think most people that post here are already maintaining "secrets". Posting "secrets" in a guidebook is one thing, but social media makes it too easy for lots of people to find special places and then one person can ruin it for everyone.

https://8thlnt.wordpress.com/
 

CairnByCairn

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I have been a guest lurker of backcountrypost for awhile now, but this topic obliged me to sign up and post as I think discourse on this is important. Through its tons of commentary, trip reports, and wonderful photos, Backcountry Post has been a great resource for me to find and discover all sorts of trips I might have never otherwise done. I have been very thankful for this information.

Which leads me to my next point: I think it's very ironic to hear these numerous complaints over people posting information on certain trips when many of the people complaining are also posting information to this site and/or have their own site they post to. Frankly, if you believe social media is the only instigator of bringing ignorant people over to beautiful areas that we cherish, I have news for you: the posts written by members of this very site consistently rank high in Google. Those posts are bringing traffic (good and bad) to these areas as well. So is it that you are allowed to post photos / information about these areas but no one else is? Please help me understand how you justify this.

This is a topic that has many interesting challenges associated with it. I don't have all the answers to the issues associated with overcrowding, but I do NOT believe security by obscurity is a viable or sustainable way to address this problem. I do think at least part of the answer lies in better promotion of LNT behavior and that those who post information about these areas have a responsibility to do this.
 
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