Saturday, October 25, 2014

Leave No Trace for the Survivalist-Warning, Rant!

Leave No Trace is an important concept no matter where you travel. This link will take you to the Grand Canyon's website where erroneous modes of foot travel can disrupt centuries of growth and lead to erosion.

As a survivalist, Leave No Trace takes on new meaning. Being able to traverse land without leaving a sign of passage can mean life or death if being pursued by enemies.

By respecting the land, we leave plants and animals in their wildest states, allowing harvest as needed and building materials for the future.

Just recently, while working as an outdoor educator in Maine's Hundred Mile Wilderness, a small group of Appalachian Trail hikers decided they needed campfires.
Believe it or not, several fires were build right below pine trees, so close the exposed root systems actually formed the fire ring. The perpetrators walk away from their fires, not even taking time to douse them. I know. I put one out, excavating a 6 foot diameter hole, beneath a tree, checking it days later, verifying it was indeed out.

I know. Unbelievable. I would have bet my teeth no one was that stupid, but then I'd have lost and would be gumming my sweet roll to death instead of chomping away as I write this.

Amazingly, few know that duff can go several feet deep in such pine forests, and even if half of Maine seems to be a bog, these pine forests can erupt in flames weeks after the embers finally burst from their nest of fuel. The resulting wildfire can do untold damage to pristine forests and drive wildlife from their homes.
Campfires in Maine are illegal unless at a designated site. Don't argue. That's the law.

According to reliable resources, three hikers have been charged with setting such a fire near Rainbow Lake. I hope they throw the book at them and hard, setting an example for all who follow. Its time to stand up to the masses of unskilled navigating the woods.
And I don't even want to hear that's how your grandaddy did it back in his day.

1 comment:

  1. Pet peeve - short cutting down slope on a switchback trail. Why don't you just go ahead and dig the erosion cut your heels prepared by doing that?