Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Englewood Colorado
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
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Re: Another Reminder to Leave No Trace! TACOMABEAST Vandalism
I agree with the philosophy hidden somewhere behind the idea of 'leave no trace'...but its a bit of a misnomer since 'leave no trace' only applies to things beyond the motorized/non-motorized trail. It's impossible to leave no trace on an actual trail (for example, the amount of damage that horses can create to a trail in a wilderness area is well beyond this little stunt by TacomaBeast). The biggest problem is that due to high popularity, a lot of people are expanding trails and going well beyond the original trails especially here in Colorado above treeline.
In fact, I'll just point out to all you folks that decide they want to get that pic on Imogene Pass on the rock ledge for your forum avatar (ahem)....that isn't part of the trail and you are contributing in your own small way to wearing out the rock face. Everyone thinks it is now part of the trail, because it has been used for so much picture taking there is a well worn path. I can tell you back in the 80s/90s (e.g. pre internet era before the San Juans gained so much popularity), it wasnt part of Imogene Pass trail. Neither was the now well worn trail at the top that goes down the ridge.
I can cite example after example where the top of most 4WD passes in Colorado had just a narrow trail...now they are 3-4 lanes wide with parking areas....due simply to overuse and people stopping and parking off the road and thereby expanding what people think is the trail (Taylor Pass, Webster Pass, Tincup Pass, Engineer Pass...the list goes on). Honestly, I have no idea how to stop it other than limiting access and requiring permits...which is ridiculous for public lands.
Anyhow, ill step off my soapbox and reinforce that I strongly agree with the idea of more education about preservation especially given the huge influx of newbies. I prefer to call it "Stay the Trail" as do many of the OHV groups. The 'leave no trace' phrase is something the enviros use to lock up every bit of natural land into Wilderness Areas or Wilderness Study Areas to make them inaccessible to 95% of the people.