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Thread: Joshua Trees cut down to make illegal roads in Joshua Tree National Park

  1. #1
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Joshua Trees cut down to make illegal roads in Joshua Tree National Park

    During the shutdown, someone has gone into Joshua Tree and cut down Joshua trees to make two new illegal roads. "The cut-down trees, however, are irreplaceable, as they take some 60 years to mature and live for more than 500 years."
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/visitors-...ibXAicBL2XJCvo

    This reminded me of the shutdown of the WMNF some time back, when a member of this list announced he was going to hike up the Ammo Trail the next day. Another member asked to give a report on VFTT(!).

    This all speaks both to the value of park service members, and also to people like ourselves (the two VFTT members mentioned above notwithstanding). There are bad people, and there are stupid people, and both go into the wilderness, and it is up to the rest of us and the park service members to ensure that those folks do no harm to the places we collectively hold in trust, not only for each other, but for future generations.

    It is a tough and certainly not-obvious balance between giving access to our shared spaces and also protecting them.

    Brian

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    Sorry IMHO I do not in anyway equate going for a hike on an established hiking trail accessible from a public road during a federal shutdown to cutting locks and cutting trees to make an off road trail. I also have no issue with someone reporting the hike and point out that numerous folks have done so recently during this latest shutdown.

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Reasonable people can disagree. If law enforcement asks one to stay out of an area, and one goes in, that is of course, trespassing. Encouraging someone to break the law can be deemed solicitation.

    Plus, of course, I never equated trespass with breaking locks and cutting down trees. Both are illegal, though, and both are disrespectful. If you deny this last sentence, again, we'll just have to disagree.

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Sooooooo, is there an official notice as to whether the WMNF is open or closed? I'm assuming that it is open. Seems to only "close" when extreme are hazards imminent. Nothing to do with Washington DC.

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Officially, I dialed the number in Campton ((603) 536-6100) and got the same recording as above. There is nothing on the Closures and Alerts page.

    Tim
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    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    We the people own Federal lands, the Federal Government in effect acting as our trustee. The fact that some of our trustee's employees may not be working, per se, is irrelevant to our going on those lands. The OP's equation of cutting Joshua Trees with a hike on the Ammonoosuc Trail baffled me. I thought he might be joking, but I gather not. Hikers created these trails and were here long before the Federal employees. Cf. Forest and Crag or any number of other historical sources.

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    It seems like the grasping of straws to try to blame that event with the shut down. Park Service law enforcement, as well as Forest Service law enforcement, is not furloughed.

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    "Joshua Tree National Park is about the size of Delaware, but only eight law-enforcement rangers were tasked with protecting the 1,238 square mile (3,207 square kilometers) wonderland during the shutdown." [https://www.yahoo.com/news/visitors-...y9udyJRx64X7o]

    So, Jeremy, you're saying the addition of park staff at the gates and facilities, and driving around makes no difference? Really?


    Brian

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amicus View Post
    We the people own Federal lands, the Federal Government in effect acting as our trustee. The fact that some of our trustee's employees may not be working, per se, is irrelevant to our going on those lands. The OP's equation of cutting Joshua Trees with a hike on the Ammonoosuc Trail baffled me. I thought he might be joking, but I gather not. Hikers created these trails and were here long before the Federal employees. Cf. Forest and Crag or any number of other historical sources.
    1. I did not equate the two.
    2. The hike was one day after the park service explicitly closed the entire WMNF and the person boasting on VFTT that he was going anyways knew of that fact.
    3. I'm dead serious. When the park service asks hikers to stay out of a park due to a hurricane and people go anyways, it's their bad, and we should take it upon ourselves to convince them to stay out.
    4. Who built a trail is irrelevant. If it is now public land, and the ranger explicitly tells you to stay off of it, stay off of it.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21 View Post
    It seems like the grasping of straws to try to blame that event with the shut down. Park Service law enforcement, as well as Forest Service law enforcement, is not furloughed.
    I don't believe so.

    NPs, especially out west, are overwhelmed right now with the partial shut down. I have heard from friends that Joshua Tree, Yosemite, etc, that this is especially true. Just because LEOs are not furloughed, doesn't mean they are not stretched by this and can cover their normal operations. Park staff play a vital role in information, education and accountability.

    Many parks, IMHO, are going to close in the next few weeks if it continues. Argue all you want about "our lands" and such. Others do not share our stewardship or simply lack the education or experience. Either way, the damaged caused is real.

    Regardless, IMHO the shutdown ends before "tourist" season impacts the west.

    jay
    I can't think of an inspirational, funny or quirky little saying.

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    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    1. I did not equate the two.
    Well, you juxtaposed them. What the hell's the difference? You also threw me off. I read these things casually and mistakenly thought you were referring to a contemporary hike, not something during the extraordinary Sandy shutdown. You're ranting about a hurricane when there is none. No ranger has explicitly or implicitly told anyone to stay off any WMNF Trail now, as far as I know, so what was your point?

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