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05-15-2019, 08:13 AM   #61
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Gentlemen, I mentioned fire-free to stay in normhead "play with matches" parallelism I never meant literally "no fire in parks", and even wrote (national parks out of parallelism) two make that clear

Back to the topic, forget fire-free

05-15-2019, 08:29 AM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Madshutter Quote
Gentlemen, I mentioned fire-free to stay in normhead "play with matches" parallelism I never meant literally "no fire in parks", and even wrote (national parks out of parallelism) two make that clear

Back to the topic, forget fire-free
Around here, the main thing that seems to be needed is "stay on the trails and pick up your garbage." I'm not sure you need an organization for that.

As for education... you read the park's no trace rules on the back of your interior permit and sign that you've read them, in front of park staff. I'm not sure you need a world wide organization for that.

And since you always have your permit with you, you always have copy of the rules, in case you need a refresher course.

I'll scan a copy for you sometime.

Personally, I refuse to make a distinction between photographers and non-photographers. Photographers are just people who like to take photographs. I've seen environmentally aware photographers, and I've seen complete idiots with cameras, probably in about the same percentages as the general population. The difference with photographers, being, nature photographers will get in your face. If you're an ignorant photographer going to places that other photographers go, you won't be ignorant long.

Last edited by normhead; 05-15-2019 at 08:39 AM.
05-15-2019, 08:45 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Around here, the main thing that seems to be needed is "stay on the trails and pick up your garbage." I'm not sure you need an organization for that.

As for education... you read the park's no trace rules on the back of your interior permit and sign that you've read them, in front of park staff. I'm not sure you need a world wide organization for that.

And since you always have your permit with you, you always have copy of the rules, in case you need a refresher course.

I'll scan a copy for you sometime.

Personally, I refuse to make a distinction between photographers and non-photographers. Photographers are just people who like to take photographs. I've seen environmentally aware photographers, and I've seen complete idiots with cameras, probably in about the same percentages as the general population. The difference with photographers, being, nature photographers will get in your face. If you're an ignorant photographer going to places that other photographers go, you won't be ignorant long.
normhead, save your patronising attitude, no need, thank you very much. Not only I frequent USA NP quite regularly since 2010, but I teach Workshops in them too. So, I am not only well aware of brochures and the like, but I am also very well aware of all the requirements asked of us to be able to teach Workshops in a NP. I am not going to scan anything for you but you can find those requirements and rules on any NP website if you are interested.

Now, to push the discussion a bit forward, how about telling us what your ideas for a solution of the problem outlined in my article will be? Thank you.

Best regards,

Vieri
05-15-2019, 09:07 AM - 1 Like   #64
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Already have... manage people. In most areas that means parks.

Stop building roads. I've always argued that the MNR (minster of natural resources) should not be allowed to build resource roads into areas they don't have the manpower to patrol. Documentation shows any area that has a resource road built into it will be fished out, and the game will have been poached within two years.

Make the driving of off road vehicles on public land a criminal offence, and enforce it.

Any area good enough to be of interest photographically should be protected.

In high use areas, viewing platforms and maintained trails should be built.
The cost of using such areas should be covered by those who use it, including the cost of policy enforcement.

Also I've noted that high use areas that allow motorized traffic are much more likely to be damaged, People who come to an area on ATVs 4x4s dirt bikes, motorboats etc. are almost by definition oblivious to environmental concerns. They should be confined to private property.

As you can see, I've developed my own person legislative agenda. To my mind, too much emphasis is placed on environmental education, and not enough on removing the ability of the ignorant to get to sensitive areas. As with fire bans, there are commercial interests, ATV and 4x4 sales, the oil and gas industry, who promote bad environmental practices. That needs to be addressed.

In Ontario, the biggest issues are urban sprawl, the really poor job the MNR does at effectively rendering logging forest access roads impassable, and uncontrolled ATV, 4x4 and dirt bike use. Most of the people who go where I go are pretty good. Although we have witnessed some behaviour from an American church group that was so embarrassing even to them they wouldn't tell us where they were from in case we decided to report them. It's OK, we cleaned up their disgusting mess. It made me ponder adding banning American church groups to my list.

But I digress.

I'm in complete agreement with park staff explaining the rules for their own park given their unique understanding of their park's ecology, and parks everywhere they are needed. That's just the cost of business for letting people into these areas.

My approach is, education doesn't change idiots. How do we control the idiots? Presently we pay attention to part one, education, a lot more needs to be done to part two, changing the behaviour of those un-moved by education.

The leader of the American church group to whom I referred, he'd read and signed the rules. It didn't change his behaviour and he failed to educate his group. If a ranger had turned up they would have been charged. His response, refuse to identify himself. Personally I'd be happy to take action to have them barred from Canada, if I wouldn't have had to take 4 days out of my seven day trip to report them.

Back in the 30s, if you wanted to go into the park you had to hire a guide. The guides were licensed and had the power of a Ontario Provincial Police officer while in the park. That was of course considered to be elitist. But IMHO we've gone to far the other way and need to find a balance, and that balance needs to start with restricting motorized access to all sensitive areas.

My suggestion at park policy meeting years ago, was a mandatory course for anyone entering the park interior in which they learn and demonstrate an ability to follow the sound environmental practices necessary for that area. If you want to teach people anything, ti should be that they need to understand the ecology and best practices in an area, before they are turned loose there. And it shouldn't be optional. That would let everyone know, you take these things seriously.


Last edited by normhead; 05-15-2019 at 09:50 AM.
05-15-2019, 09:46 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Already have... manage people. In most areas that means parks.

Stop building roads. I've always argued that the MNR (minster of natural resources) should not be allowed to build resource roads into areas they don't have the manpower to patrol. Documentation shows any area that has a resource road built into it will be fished out, and the game will have been poached within two years.

Make the driving of off road vehicles on public land a criminal offence, and enforce it.

Any area good enough to be of interest photographically should be protected.

In high use areas, viewing platforms and maintained trails should be built.
The cost of using such areas should be covered by those who use it, including the cost of policy enforcement.

Also I've noted that high use areas that allow motorized traffic are much more likely to be damaged, People who come to an area on ATVs 4x4s dirt bikes, motorboats etc. are almost by definition oblivious to environmental concerns. They should be confined to private property.

As you can see, I've developed my own person legislative agenda. To my mind, too much emphasis is placed on environmental education, and not enough on removing the ability of the ignorant to get to sensitive areas. As with fire bans, there are commercial interests, ATV and 4x4 sales, the oil and gas industry, who promote bad environmental practices. That needs to be addressed.

In Ontario, the biggest issues are urban sprawl, the really poor job the MNR does at effectively rendering logging forest access roads impassable, and uncontrolled ATV, 4x4 and dirt bike use. Most of the people who go where I go are pretty good. Although we have witnessed some behaviour from an American church group that was so embarrassing even to them they wouldn't tell us where they were from in case we decided to report them. It's OK, we cleaned up their disgusting mess. It made me ponder adding banning American church groups to my list.

But I digress.

I'm in complete agreement with park staff explaining the rules for their own park given their unique understanding of their park's ecology, and parks everywhere they are needed. That's just the cost of business for letting people into these areas.

My approach is, education doesn't change idiots. How do we control the idiots? Presently we pay attention to part one, education, a lot more needs to be done to part two, changing the behaviour of those un-moved by education.

The leader of the American church group to whom I referred, he'd read and signed the rules. It didn't change his behaviour and he failed to educate his group. If a ranger had turned up they would have been charged. His response, refuse to identify himself. Personally I'd be happy to take action to have them barred from Canada, if I wouldn't have had to take 4 days out of my seven day trip to report them.

Back in the 30s, if you wanted to go into the park you had to hire a guide. The guides were licensed and had the power of a Ontario Provincial Police officer while in the park. That was of course considered to be elitist. But IMHO we've gone to far the other way and need to find a balance, and that balance needs to start with restricting motorized access to all sensitive areas.
Starting from the end, I completely disagree with you when you say "My approach is, education doesn't change idiots.". Education is exactly what preserves us from idiots. Which you seem to acknowledge, when you say "those un-moved by education": there will always be some unmoved by education, and for those, fees, bans, jail, and so on is the necessary last resort. My questions:

1. Without education, how many of those groups would you have, instead of the one you saw?
2. Assuming that we are in agreement with your proposed solutions, what is your chance to have them implemented legislatively, acting on your own?

Looking forward to your answers. Best regards,

Vieri
05-15-2019, 12:50 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Where I camp. camp fires are big part of the experience.
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Humans may think forest fires are "bad"...
Particularly "bad" is when the camp fire becomes a forest fire and the campers become fuel. In my region (Pacific Northwest of the U.S.), a rule of no open fires is pretty much the norm for other than developed campgrounds with concrete fire rings. The reasoning goes something like this: 1) Available downed wood has become scarce in the more popular areas of the back country, 2) Silvered (dead) wood is part of the scenery and also a source of biomatter for soil creation, 3) Charred wood in yesterday's fire ring is unsightly, 4) The forests are often quite dry during snow-free times of year and other than prescribed burning is strongly contraindicated such that it is simpler to impose a season-wide ban on campfires rather than restricting on a week-by-week basis.


Steve

(...lives only a few miles from the Columbia River Gorge site of the Eagle Creek fire of 2017...)
05-15-2019, 01:04 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Madshutter Quote
Back to the topic, forget fire-free
Too late.

The matter is actually of importance in terms of how photo tour operators do business, at least in my region. Often enough, meals in the field and/or camping are part of the package and often enough the landscape is forest or grassland. A strict wild area ethic strongly suggests no wood fires outside of established picnic areas and campgrounds, even in jurisdictions with less strict controls than a national park. Similarly, a no-smoking policy outside of vehicles when away from developed campgrounds/picnic areas is also a good idea.

Simply put, a strong fire ethic is every bit as important as trampling or carbon footprint.

Edit: Much depends on context. In Norm's (@normhead) area, wood fires may be less of a risk.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 05-15-2019 at 01:18 PM.
05-15-2019, 01:12 PM - 1 Like   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Madshutter Quote
normhead, save your patronising attitude
I prefer to think of Norm's thoughts as the voice of experience. His customers travel by foot and canoe.

As for patronizing, perhaps that is a good counter to pedantic. The members of this forum do not deserve tutoring or a classroom experience unless advice is requested.


Steve

(...Boris Cleto is our friend...Done...)

05-15-2019, 01:45 PM - 1 Like   #69
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As I wrote above, there is a middle ground. Absolutes often aren’t the best choices. We all agree that a ‘campfire’ is an integral part of outdoor camping experience. Cooking over an open fire is a bit more problematic.

Open hot fires sterilize topsoil and do run away if not properly watched. Disposing of cold coals and unburnt wood is also problematic when done daily in one campsite for years. Consequently, make fires in an existing fire ring, burn wood left in the ring by prior campers and cook over more efficient and safer stoves. Use reusable fuel containers. I still have half a dozen aluminum white gas fuel bottles and I recycle the 1gal. fuel cans. Use less - but not necessarily zero - firewood. Efficiency is conservation.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The goal of fire free parks is certainly my biggest objection. That depends entirely on the park. And the production of one use fossil fuel containers that have to be manufactured disposed of is certainly problematic. Where I camp. camp fires are big part of the experience. The goal of using burning fossil fuels instead of wood, sustainable as opposed to unsustainable fuels is something for my environment, that simply isn't ever going to have my support.

Almost everyone in my town sells firewood to campers to augment their incomes. Both my favourite eco organizations have campaigns that discourage logging in Algonquin Park. It's 7000 sq. km park, and the local economies depend on the well managed wood supply. As well the network of logging roads provide access for emergency crews and medical evacuations. So, I'm extremely sensitive to folks who want to make rules for where I live that don't let me make rules for where they live.
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
The "fire-free" concept also raises the controversial issue of fire suppression in forest management.

Humans may think forest fires are "bad" and burned areas are "ugly," but fire plays an essential and multifaceted role in many ecosystems. Some of the problems the US is facing with very large-scale forest fires stems from a naive and regrettable decades-long policy fo fire suppression.

In some cases, preventing "human impact" creates a more serious problem.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The record on the big pines shows the for thousands of years, the natives in this area burned portions of the park to provide feed for deer. Fire suppression has been a complete disaster. Every dry summer somewhere in Ontario has a major forest fires, which are getting to be bigger and bigger all the time. The forest behind my house is so full of dry deadfall, an out of control fire would almost certain damage my house.

The historical record shows a long history of the forest regenerating itself through fire. Then a bunch of folks come along and decide fire isn't a natural thing. From my perspective it's completely bizarre. Many native plants only occur as first growth after big fire. It would seem to be the goal of "conservationists" to eradicate these plants.

There was a controlled burn at the old airfield in Algonquin a few years ago. Now every summer there are 20 bears there feasting on the first growth blueberries. So this is not theoretical. There is less for wildlife to eat because of fire management. It affects the whole ecosystem. It's a travesty to call these managed forests a natural environment, just because of the reduction in the number of wildlife present.

Paul (the native we bought our house from) tells me, after the last clear cut behind my house you could drive to Hardtack lake, 7km from my house and see 150 deer along the way. Now, we see one or two every three for four years.

Instead of being able to augment their income hunting, now we have forest managed for loggers. For the locals, it is taking money out of their wallets so we can have a PC correctly managed forest, which doesn't even work out all that well for the loggers. Urban ideals of what wilderness should be have been implemented at the expense fo the locals, and completely without compensation of any sort.

Folks like myself are always caught in the middle. We want the southerners to control the hoards of urban tourists that come this way in the summer, but we don't need them making the kinds of policy decisions they've imposed on the environment.

And we certainly don't need outsiders telling us we can't pull dry brush that is sooner or later going to be tinder for a huge fire out of the bush to make campfires on sites that have been thoroughly prepared by park staff, including digging 7 feet under them and removing any tree roots, and back filling with sand.

Urbanites think their back yard gardens are natural and the way all nature should be as far as I can tell.
05-15-2019, 02:45 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
...

As for patronizing, perhaps that is a good counter to pedantic. The members of this forum do not deserve tutoring or a classroom experience unless advice is requested.

Steve

(...Boris Cleto is our friend...Done...)
Wow. Really. Wow.

Best regards,

Vieri
05-15-2019, 03:52 PM   #71
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All this of course harks back to the age old advice of "Take only pictures, leave only footprints".
If everyone kept that in mind, the environment would be pristine.
05-15-2019, 06:30 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Madshutter Quote
Starting from the end, I completely disagree with you when you say "My approach is, education doesn't change idiots.". Education is exactly what preserves us from idiots. Which you seem to acknowledge, when you say "those un-moved by education": there will always be some unmoved by education, and for those, fees, bans, jail, and so on is the necessary last resort. My questions:

1. Without education, how many of those groups would you have, instead of the one you saw?
2. Assuming that we are in agreement with your proposed solutions, what is your chance to have them implemented legislatively, acting on your own?

Looking forward to your answers. Best regards,

Vieri
1. I'm not advocating no education, I'm advocating mandatory education.

2.There are two groups I have worked with in the past, CPAWs and Earth Roots. Working alone is not an option. As for the chance of having them implemented, that's not going to happen. Some very rich people love their toys and hate responsibility. They control the environmental agenda here in Canada. We actually pay to keep some northern mills open at great expense because it's cheaper than putting 2000 people out of work and paying the social costs of shutting them down, especially in one employer towns where the mill is the only employer. We actually spend tax payers money to destroy our environment. Politicians do this kind of thing. You ask me what can be done? As far as I can tell not a thing.

A completely reformed political system based on one man one vote, and the end of political lobbying by corporations and personal donations. A system where if you actually go out and convince more than half the population something needs to be down, it gets done. It may not happen in my lifetime, but it's coming.
05-15-2019, 11:51 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
1. I'm not advocating no education, I'm advocating mandatory education.

2.There are two groups I have worked with in the past, CPAWs and Earth Roots. Working alone is not an option. As for the chance of having them implemented, that's not going to happen. Some very rich people love their toys and hate responsibility. They control the environmental agenda here in Canada. We actually pay to keep some northern mills open at great expense because it's cheaper than putting 2000 people out of work and paying the social costs of shutting them down, especially in one employer towns where the mill is the only employer. We actually spend tax payers money to destroy our environment. Politicians do this kind of thing. You ask me what can be done? As far as I can tell not a thing.

A completely reformed political system based on one man one vote, and the end of political lobbying by corporations and personal donations. A system where if you actually go out and convince more than half the population something needs to be down, it gets done. It may not happen in my lifetime, but it's coming.
So, basically, you are saying:

1. Education, and mandatory at that;
2. Support organisations, since working alone is not an option;

Which I completely agree with, and which is what I said all along in my article. Thank you for agreeing with me and for making my point, glad to know I am not alone.

Best regards,

Vieri
05-16-2019, 05:41 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by The Madshutter Quote
So, basically, you are saying:

1. Education, and mandatory at that;
2. Support organisations, since working alone is not an option;

Which I completely agree with, and which is what I said all along in my article. Thank you for agreeing with me and for making my point, glad to know I am not alone.

Best regards,

Vieri
The closest I came was a few years ago, when there was a Parks Superintendent in Algonquin who actually understood canoeing and back country values, and was in favour of canoeing course being run in the park, for beginning or inexperienced paddlers. You should have heard the outrage from much of the back country community. ""No one's gonna tell me, I Know what I'm doing." etx. etc. If you can't get the lobbying done when the Park Super is on your side, I'm not sure it can be done. Personally, I'd like to see anyone going into the back country complete a four hour intro course. They could carry the badge or whatever for the rest of their lives and it could count across multiple jurisdictions, but personally, as Chicago boy who came to wilderness tripping in my 20s, I'm fully aware of how much people from urban centres don't know that they should know. It surprises me that with the canoeing deaths that happen probably an average of once year, and all the near misses, where paddlers are rescued by passing motorboats owned by cottagers that there isn't some formal orientation. I completed my education in my 60s when I did the Ontario Recreational Canoe and Kayak, trip leader level three certification, which is the de facto standard of qualification for canoe guides. Because I did it in my 60's, I was keenly aware of all the things I didn't know that I should have over 35 years of tripping.

Back country requires skills, and people lacking those skills, as much as I admire their enthusiasm should be not just turned loose in the bush. Roads ATVs and 4x4s just make it easier for people who shouldn't be there to get there.

Last edited by normhead; 05-18-2019 at 05:03 AM.
05-16-2019, 07:02 AM   #75
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I was just hoping to bandwagon jump on stupid rock balancing in this post...
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