Friday, August 27, 2010


NYTimes Op-Ed piece by Ted Stroll: Aw, Wilderness!

This intro discussion touches on the Forest Services refusal to do things like post signs, allow mountain biking, or anything "mechanical" within nationally designated "Wilderness Areas". Described within the National Wilderness Act (1964) as, areas "“where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Within those areas, the act forbids cars, roads, structures and anything else that could impair the “outstanding opportunities for solitude.”" However the NFS's stringent enactment of the act have made much of the mass amount of area set aside inaccessible and quite dangerous to many Americans. Apparently even experienced hikers have been lost with nearly fatal consequences in these areas due to a lack of anything, anywhere to aid in location.

While I am all for the lower end of the technological spectrum in the wilderness, as well as the preserving of natural land as it stands, it seems a bit counter intuitive to leave these as places that people who truly want to experience them, can not have reasonable access to. On a recent camping trip with a friend we were allowed to camp in a "family camp ground", which, albeit high on a mountain and quite isolated, did not deliver the true idea in my mind of camping. A plot with a metal tub for a fire and a parking spot, next to a running spicket and pay phone. Our only other option was to park the car and make a trek to a camping ground (probably in a similar vein) 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 miles out on trail. And again while I am up for that hike/bike (allowed on service roads), it would have been exciting to park the car anywhere we liked and gone off in search of a nice spot. And though the full details are not known to me, another friend recently was woken up by park rangers and given a citation for sleeping in an un-designated area after getting a bit lost late at night after watching the Persiad meteor shower.

This piece has a nice ring to it, and a nice little patch of information. I can't say I disagree. It's wonderful that we are setting aside places in this truly beautiful land to be untouched permanently by human hands. Sure we can't really know who would respect the lands, and who would leave their beer cans behind. But it seems silly to have such great natural resource abound, but generally unavailable.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Apologies to anyone deeply interested in my shutter adventures.
I ran away from the west for a few weeks and have been spending time re-re-adjusting back into S.F. More photo's to come soon. Gotta get some processing on.