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."

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.