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Thread: Tourism pledges

  1. #16
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Such as??
    That's a fair and reasonable question. In fact, my suggestion is in the very next sentence. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian
    On that note, can someone please start circulating an appropriate photo with the meme, "Every time you leave your used TP on the side of the trail, God kills a kitten"? TIA!
    Since I never used to see TP on the trail, my hypothesis is that said TP comes from the new generation of hikers. I think that's the FB crowd, young and old. One way to impact the FB crowd is to circulate memes that appear glib, but actually impact people's behavior. Pooping in the woods is not something people talk about much. (Unless you're a parent with young children. Then you talk about it ALL the time. Alas, I digress.) Anyway, if the next time someone in your group stops for an 'extended bio break' you remark, "Remember, every time you leave your used TP on the side of the trail, God kills a kitten!" then it's a funny ice breaker rather than an awkward scolding, the person is unlikely to leave their used TP on the side of the trail, and they've got a funny meme to pass on to the next person.

    Maybe it won't work. I don't know. But laws around littering are already on the books and people know about them, especially in NH, as there are numerous signs right along the highway. I don't think having people sign a pledge is going to do much to change their behavior. It's just an annoying intrusion for those of us who already follow the letter of the law, and often do better than that.

    In other countries, I can imagine a different problem: not all people in positions of authority are as reasonable as we might hope. Leave No Trace is ambiguous (did I leave a trace by peeing on the side of the trail? Should I have done it on a rock and not some grass? What about eating some berries?), and signing your name to a document that says you won't do a thing that is not perfectly defined is, in my opinion, bad practice.

    My personal philosophy is that, in general, keeping the intruding hand of government and regulations at bay is best if similar or better outcomes can be achieved another way. Reasonable people could disagree with that philosophy; I don't have a problem with that. I don't live in NH now, but there's definitely a Live Free or Die exon in my DNA somewhere. In fact, living in Taxachusetts has me at times longing ever more for the land of my birth.
    Sure. Why not.

  2. #17
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=B the Hiker;451353]I think the idea behind the pledge is that, for many people, they have never encountered back country ethics before. By giving someone a chance to read a few key ones, and then ask them actively to sign, it serves as a teachable moment. I know from Facebook photos that many people don't know not to feed the birds, for example. I'll send them a USFS link about the subject, and usually they respond positively.

    When I was leading trips out of Boston AMC, I would begin every hike with a quick few words about walking up the center of the trail and not widening it, and not dropping so much as a crumb on the ground. It took all of a minute.

    Not to be a killjoy, but there is no evidence that feeding birds (I'm assuming where talking Grey Jays here) is harmful to them. Now, you can claim its not LNT, but the birds continue to thrive after years and years of being fed. I still do it, not every time I see one, but if they drop by and I'm eating, Ill give them a snack.

  3. #18
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I think the idea behind the pledge is that, for many people, they have never encountered back country ethics before. By giving someone a chance to read a few key ones, and then ask them actively to sign, it serves as a teachable moment. I know from Facebook photos that many people don't know not to feed the birds, for example. I'll send them a USFS link about the subject, and usually they respond positively.

    When I was leading trips out of Boston AMC, I would begin every hike with a quick few words about walking up the center of the trail and not widening it, and not dropping so much as a crumb on the ground. It took all of a minute.

    Brian
    I am going to agree with the above comments of not compartmentalizing everything into a legal document. I think as annoying as they can be The AMC is doing a pretty good job of educating people already. Yes there is a contingent that could learn more but having to sign on the bottom line before entering the woods on National Forest Land is ridiculous. People come to the Whites to recreate and have fun. Having someone confront you as you are about to enter the woods with a clipboard and a pen would be intrusive if not counterproductive. The informational stations that were set up by the Forest Service this Fall at busy Trailheads and run by Volunteers was a nice low key way to spread information.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  4. #19
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=sierra;451368]
    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    Not to be a killjoy, but there is no evidence that feeding birds (I'm assuming where talking Grey Jays here) is harmful to them. Now, you can claim its not LNT, but the birds continue to thrive after years and years of being fed. I still do it, not every time I see one, but if they drop by and I'm eating, Ill give them a snack.
    I've read several articles about why it is bad to feed the birds but it was more what you fed them than the fact that you were feeding them. There have been several published articles about long term issues feeding ducks and geese white bread. It does something that eventually prevents them from being able to fly, an obvious problem. What the particulars were, how long it took, etc I don't recall and do not care enough to look up. I feed Gray Jays too but I try to be sensible about what I give them. But there is evidence that it can be problematic at least for some species.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  5. #20
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=sierra;451368]
    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I think the idea behind the pledge is that, for many people, they have never encountered back country ethics before. By giving someone a chance to read a few key ones, and then ask them actively to sign, it serves as a teachable moment. I know from Facebook photos that many people don't know not to feed the birds, for example. I'll send them a USFS link about the subject, and usually they respond positively.

    When I was leading trips out of Boston AMC, I would begin every hike with a quick few words about walking up the center of the trail and not widening it, and not dropping so much as a crumb on the ground. It took all of a minute.

    Not to be a killjoy, but there is no evidence that feeding birds (I'm assuming where talking Grey Jays here) is harmful to them. Now, you can claim its not LNT, but the birds continue to thrive after years and years of being fed. I still do it, not every time I see one, but if they drop by and I'm eating, Ill give them a snack.
    If you stop at the top I will land in your hand. You may think that you're having a natural encounter but to me and my friends you're a traveling lunch counter. Feed me bro.
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  6. #21
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I have to say that after descending Tuckerman Ravine/Lion Head Trail SAT that this whole problem goes beyond education. It's cultural. People just do not care and they do not want to be inconvenienced. Most know what they should be doing but just do not want to be bothered. Not carrying lights, not having traction, trampling the alpine vegetation to avoid issues they should be prepared for, etc. I talked to plenty of people on the way down who were wildly unprepared for what could have been and they knew it.

    I know it's a minority view point here but I personally think you need to save these people from themselves and do the decision making for them or we will never move the needle on these issues. We need accountability, not just education. For every person we reach through education there are 10 saying "Mind your own business. I know the hazards and I'll do what I want."
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  7. #22
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I have to say that after descending Tuckerman Ravine/Lion Head Trail SAT that this whole problem goes beyond education. It's cultural. People just do not care and they do not want to be inconvenienced. Most know what they should be doing but just do not want to be bothered. Not carrying lights, not having traction, trampling the alpine vegetation to avoid issues they should be prepared for, etc. I talked to plenty of people on the way down who were wildly unprepared for what could have been and they knew it.

    I know it's a minority view point here but I personally think you need to save these people from themselves and do the decision making for them or we will never move the needle on these issues. We need accountability, not just education. For every person we reach through education there are 10 saying "Mind your own business. I know the hazards and I'll do what I want."
    Can you elaborate on how we can save people from themselves and do the decision making for them?

  8. #23
    Senior Member BISCUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    I prefer to avoid to the greatest extent possible mixing the outdoors with lawyers, paperwork, and signatures. There are better ways. On that note, can someone please start circulating an appropriate photo with the meme, "Every time you leave your used TP on the side of the trail, God kills a kitten"? TIA!
    I agree, isn't this why the escape to mother nature is so beneficial to the mind and spirit? Why hide what is essentially an educational program and demand signatures. While intentions may be grounded in doing the appropriate thing there will soon enough come a legislature that will want to add it to the law books, despite it being redundant.

  9. #24
    Senior Member BISCUT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    I have to say that after descending Tuckerman Ravine/Lion Head Trail SAT that this whole problem goes beyond education. It's cultural. People just do not care and they do not want to be inconvenienced. Most know what they should be doing but just do not want to be bothered. Not carrying lights, not having traction, trampling the alpine vegetation to avoid issues they should be prepared for, etc. I talked to plenty of people on the way down who were wildly unprepared for what could have been and they knew it.

    I know it's a minority view point here but I personally think you need to save these people from themselves and do the decision making for them or we will never move the needle on these issues. We need accountability, not just education. For every person we reach through education there are 10 saying "Mind your own business. I know the hazards and I'll do what I want."
    There have been many governments (USSR, Venezuela, etc...)who have done just that for their people and we all know how that has worked out. Adding crutches like making decisions for people in the mountains is the antithesis of the independence and growth completing a summit hike or failing one provides. Just me and my opinion.

  10. #25
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    Can you elaborate on how we can save people from themselves and do the decision making for them?
    As an example, when the trail head stewards are educating hikers don't just suggest they bring a headlamp. Make sure they have one, it has batteries and works, etc and either fine them if they don't or have one available for mandatory sale so they don't head out on the trail without one. Obviously you can't do this for every facet of people's lives (and I'm not suggesting we do) but this constantly recurring pattern of the same errors in rescue after rescue really is nonsense. I mean how many people need to be walked out of the woods by SAR without a headlamp before we start treating them like adults and punishing them or preventing the occurrence? Far better uses for their time and resources than reliving the same mistake over and over.

    And if we're not trying to move the needle at all then just get rid of all these programs, signage, etc and just use the money to beef up the SAR budget for the inevitable rescues that result from the uninformed and unconcerned public. We're just complaining about the problem while offering no solutions in a resource consuming spiral of nonsense.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  11. #26
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BISCUT View Post
    There have been many governments (USSR, Venezuela, etc...)who have done just that for their people and we all know how that has worked out. Adding crutches like making decisions for people in the mountains is the antithesis of the independence and growth completing a summit hike or failing one provides. Just me and my opinion.
    Yah that might be an extreme extrapolation of what I'm saying. I don't see how forcing someone to have a vital piece of needed equipment in their gear is giving them a crutch. I'm NOT saying we tell them where to go and what to do and how to do it. I'm saying if you don't have the mental capacity to realize you need a headlamp when its dark why not just force that person to have one and make them safer than they were when you started.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 11-03-2019 at 07:40 PM. Reason: grammar
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  12. #27
    Senior Member KV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    I prefer to avoid to the greatest extent possible mixing the outdoors with lawyers, paperwork, and signatures. There are better ways. On that note, can someone please start circulating an appropriate photo with the meme, "Every time you leave your used TP on the side of the trail, God kills a kitten"? TIA!


    Here you go
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Life is a trip. Pack Accordingly.

  13. #28
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KV View Post
    Here you go
    Problem solved !!
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

  14. #29
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Yah that might be an extreme extrapolation of what I'm saying. I don't see how forcing someone to have a vital piece of needed equipment in their gear is giving them a crutch. I'm NOT saying we tell them where to go and what to do and how to do it. I'm saying if you don't have the mental capacity to realize you need a headlamp when its dark why not just force that person to have one and make them safer than they were when you started.
    "Force" is some pretty strong language IMO. "Suggest" might go over better. We already have plenty of rules and educational mechanisms in place without needing "COP Like" enforcement at trailheads.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  15. #30
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    "Force" is some pretty strong language IMO. "Suggest" might go over better. We already have plenty of rules and educational mechanisms in place without needing "COP Like" enforcement at trailheads.
    Agreed. Probably the wrong word choice. Maybe "staple a headlamp to their face" would be more appropriate... (KIDDING!). But to your point on plenty of enforcement and education already in place - why aren't we getting anywhere with all this stuff? That was the only point I've been attempting to make, apparently horribly. What we're doing now is not working. So do we do something more aggressive or do we just say screw it and ignore the issues?
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 6/46

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