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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2005, 08:37 PM
johnlee johnlee is online now
John Lee
K6YJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 16,070
Thoughts on Easter Jeep Safari 2005

Undoubtedly, you have heard that this year's EJS was especially bad in terms of trail damage and garbage left by too many of this year's EJS participants. Bill Burke asked me to post his thoughts on this year's EJS:

Quote:
Bill Burke’s 4-WheelingAmerica LLC
Premier Training & Guided Back Country Trips
www.bb4wa.combb4wa@bb4wa.com

1 April 2005

After visiting EJS 2005 – my thoughts!!

I am displeased, disgusted, angry and afraid!! Why? I just returned from the Moab area after two weeks ‘wheeling around and spending time with new and old friends and my family. I spent some time on the hard as well as the easy routes and what I saw (witnessed actually is the term) incited me to come up with the adjectives I started this diatribe with and believe me I toned the adjectives down!

I have been guiding/training in and around Moab for about 18 years and have attended as many Easter Jeep Safari events. I have attended many national and international events and have been lucky to ‘wheel in some of the most pristine world class areas as well as some garbage dumps! What I saw this last week really sickened me and makes me wonder why I continue to be aligned with this sport and the people that purport to really care where and how they drive on designated 4-wheel drive routes in public access areas. I am not talking about the OHV parks or the Rock Crawling events on private lands, I am expressing this disdain about the “guests” that are invited to ‘wheel in my back yard where I work, live and play. They basically left the toilet full of effluence, no toilet paper, the sink full of dirty dishes and soiled my finest linen – that is how I see it. Here is how I actually saw it!

Displeased! Following “rock crawling” type built rigs along Pritchett Canyon, these overly built rigs couldn’t make the rock pile so they drove into the wash and the illegal by-pass made by other weak-kneed wannabees that can build a rig but not drive on a difficult obstacle. HEY! You made the choice and selected the VDL hard core route, deal with the obstacles. Take a strap or use the winch, but stay true to the route. If you can’t do the original route don’t drive up Pritchett! Better yet stay home on the porch ‘cause you may have a “big dog” rig but you are certainly not up to the “big dog” task!

Disgusted! Driving along the route called Metal Masher, my son and I observed where there used to be an obstacle that was (still is) quite challenging -- a large slick rock face steep and tall. It was obviously not enough for the “rock rig wannabees” since they had to move over foot by foot to assault the entire ledge for the next 25 yards sideways. The big moment of disgust was when I saw that the Juniper trees (maybe as old as 125 years) that happened to be in the way were crushed and broken in pure indolence and with complete disregard to the natural habitat of the revered old flora. Just wasted the two trees ‘cause they couldn’t hurt the tube frame and already dented body panels. Ammunition for the SUWA folks!

Angry! To put it mildly! I was with clients along the routes of Gold Bar Rim, Bull and Little canyons and we stopped repeatedly to pick up trash along the miles of routes we ran that day. We picked up 53 beer cans, 14 plastic drink bottles, cardboard beer cases, a cooler top, and 2 tee-shirts, among other items. We buried 4 piles of human effluence and exposed toilet paper and tried to smooth over 5 different impact areas where vehicles had driven over prime Crytobiotic forests leaving tire prints and destruction for really no reason at all other than to “rip it up!” This was only on one of the many days that followed. There is no excuse for that type of wanton destruction, especially since there is so much information in the public arena about the fragile Crytobiotic soil: DON’T BUST THE CRUST! It is everywhere, just like the plentiful information about HYDRATE OR DIE! Do these people drain the oil on their living room rugs? Do these people even care about ethics?

Afraid! Yes, I am afraid that these people have reinforced the already bad image the general public has about 4-wheelers. So now I have to hang my head down in shame when I visit the local business people in Moab because of the stigma attached to what a few (not as few as one would think) bad apples have done to the desert roads. It just gives groups like SUWA, Sierra Club, the BLM and USFS more ammunition for road closure and to establish more Wilderness Study areas. Because, if those that use it don’t care enough and continue to abuse it, the privilege to recreate on primitive roads in pristine back-country regions will be easier to close and certainly easier to legislate Fee areas and restrictive access. We might as well as start building private OHV parks like the East Coast regions have to do. Or do we restrict the buggy types to only OHV parks and enforce lift, bumper height and tire diameter laws. Or do we close “it” all and just stand against the fence and sigh away the hours?

So, yes, I am afraid! Because these uncaring individuals that actually make up a large group are threatening my livelihood, recreation and environment. We should all be afraid what these people represent. I am sure SUWA loves it.

All the insightful diatribes from the vociferous ‘wheelers about boycotting this establishment or that business amounts to NOTHING and falls on deaf ears when ones backyard is so scurrilously vandalized by what Edward Abbey once coined as “SLOBIVIUS AMERICANUS” are doing to our sport and our land.

Everyone that operates a motorized vehicle should be required to read “Desert Solitaire” by Abbey, in order to get a license. There needs to be a resurgence of a new ethic for the way ‘wheelers should treat this fragile land we are loving to death and closure.

If you build a “rock buggy” type rig so you can attack and conquer, then by all means use it to that end in the area or park made for that. But when ‘wheeling on established 4wd routes, stay on the road and enjoy the journey not the thrill of conquering big rocks off the route and smashing trees and rolling over Cryptobiotic soil. Back country travel and 4-wheeling is about the journey, not fighting nature with machine. If you are one of those that needs to fight nature then go SWIM WITH THE SHARKS! I am sure they will have fun with your body. And we that share an environmental ethic will not even remotely miss. Can you say: “Gene pool selection” and Darwin awards?

Displeased because these “slobivius americanus” exist and recreate with impunity.

Disgusted these people can actually hold a driver’s license and call themselves 4-wheelers.

Angry there are so many of these “bad apples” that the numbers are getting larger and those that care about ethics seem to be getting smaller.

Afraid that the actions of these uncaring, indolent, boorish imbeciles will drive the general public and land managing agencies to start really pushing for road closure, vehicle build restrictions and more government interference.

We should all be afraid. We should all care about environmental ethics and appropriate behavior when operating motorized vehicles on public access lands especially in fragile remote regions.

We need to WAKE UP and start working on the tarnished image that seems to be getting more tarnished as we drive along.

Bill Burke

Whether you like it or not, and whether you are aware of it or not, there are many people and organizations in this country and throughout the world who would like to see the end of all off-highway driving and riding. Careless and indifferent trail slobs ruin our hobby for all of us.

Edmund Burke wrote, "Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there is without."

If we as a group do not police ourselves, the end will undoubtedly come for us.

Tread Lightly!
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  #2  
Old April 5th, 2005, 07:20 AM
traveltoad traveltoad is offline
Aaron Shrier
KI6BCA
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: San Fernando Valley
Posts: 2,625
Tread Lightly, indeed.

What Bill describes above leaves me embarrassed. How do "we" roll in to town, proud of the truck we drive and excited for the trail ahead, knowing how the community sees us and what they expect of us.

Somehow, the general American population still seems to feel that our wilderness is a never ending, always renewing, resource. I've seen it when mountain biking, motorcycling and 4-wheeling. To me the most disappointing aspect of the wanton destruction is the self-centered arrogance that it represents.

Inconsiderate because I have to continually pick up trash along the trail.

Inconsiderate because the once untouched natural surroundings now have tire tracks and flattened flora.

Inconsiderate because there is (or will be) a "Trail Closed" sign when I get there.

It is no longer enough to Tread Lightly ourselves, we need to be missionaries, no... crusaders, of the "Tread Lightly" gospel.
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  #3  
Old April 5th, 2005, 03:02 PM
marc olivares marc olivares is offline
marc olivares
KE7MAF
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: salt lake city
Posts: 104
I too share many of the sentiments that Bill expresses about EJS. which is why i avoid it every year.

let's face it, that many people in "any" given area will cause tremendous damage, period... won't be long before it all goes away...

and not to be even more preachy, but alot of it starts at home.
if your brought up to respect your surroundings, you tend to appreciate it just a bit more. my little boy is almost four and everytime we go to moab or hiking in general, he's constantly stuffing his little pockets w/ trash, and for every piece of trash he collects, he gets a little treat. yeah a little pavlovian, but he's learning.... and that's a start in the right direction.

unfortunately, most adults don't realize that the backcountry is our treat too and it we don't maintain it it will be taken away....
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  #4  
Old April 6th, 2005, 08:57 PM
Larry
 
Posts: n/a
Lets face it, this is a classic example of people flocking by the the masses to one area. If thousands of people show up to one spot, is it fair to assume that 3/4 of the people have no clue of respecting the environment. Maybe am being harsh. When a event such as EJS takes place NOW, it may have lost it's primary intention. It is now one giant party! In a fragile environment.

Although Marc makes a good point. One must assume that not everyone at this event was raised with these values. One must assume that a percentage of the people could careless about the environment. Which is sad!

Tread lightly, revolution!
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  #5  
Old July 19th, 2010, 08:42 PM
chris snell chris snell is online now
Christopher Snell
NW5W
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,379
Picked up a copy of Desert Solitaire today for a second reading. It's been years since I last read it and I thought it would be nice to re-read before I move back West next month. What have you guys been reading lately?
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  #6  
Old July 20th, 2010, 04:17 AM
stu454 stu454 is offline
Stuart Ivie
KN4CBB
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,177
I've been going back to the Fleming Bond novels.

I find that I enjoy Moonraker the most. It is absolutely nothing like the madcap 007-in-space abortion that was inflicted on the public in '79.

It is the only novel that takes place entirely in England and is a structurally simple 'someone is not who they appear to be' yarn. Fleming slowly builds the threat and sense of impending doom beautifully.
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  #7  
Old July 20th, 2010, 03:04 PM
blue blue is offline
Bill Gill, aka chump hater
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 1,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris snell
Picked up a copy of Desert Solitaire today for a second reading. It's been years since I last read it and I thought it would be nice to re-read before I move back West next month. What have you guys been reading lately?

I just finished General Jimmy Doolittle's autobiography, called I Could Never Be So Lucky Again. Fascinating book. The things that guy saw and did were unbelievable. I used my Father's Day Barnes & Noble gift card to buy Reagan Diaries and a relatively new one by Fritjof Capra called The Science of Leonardo. Started with Leonardo and it looks to be a good one.

I read Desert Solitaire when I was on my geology field camp back in 1994. We stayed in Durango for a few weeks and then went over to Moab for a couple weeks (plus a couple more weeks in Texas & NM and traveling in between). Desert Solitaire is a great book. Down the River by Abbey is another great one. Coincidentally, I was in the Durango area last week and as I was driving up the 550 towards Silverton I saw a little cabin off the road a ways and something about it made me turn around and follow the 2-track leading up to it. See the pics below for what I found.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cabin2.jpg (145.6 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg 94.jpg (83.1 KB, 47 views)
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2004 D2

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  #8  
Old July 21st, 2010, 06:03 AM
ronward ronward is offline
KI4WWU
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Columbus, GA
Posts: 738
Just finishing The Last Lincolns and will start on the second of Stieg Larsson's trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

The Lincoln family biography is fascinating.
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1990 Range Rover Classic
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  #9  
Old November 15th, 2012, 05:18 PM
chris snell chris snell is online now
Christopher Snell
NW5W
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,379
Quote:
Afraid that the actions of these uncaring, indolent, boorish imbeciles will drive the general public and land managing agencies to start really pushing for road closure, vehicle build restrictions and more government interference.

We should all be afraid. We should all care about environmental ethics and appropriate behavior when operating motorized vehicles on public access lands especially in fragile remote regions.

We need to WAKE UP and start working on the tarnished image that seems to be getting more tarnished as we drive along.

It just might happen.

http://www.delalbright.com/Access/Ca...s%20letter.pdf

(Thanks, Jason, for the link)
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  #10  
Old November 15th, 2012, 06:08 PM
jrose609 jrose609 is online now
Jason Rose
KF7YVN
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 276
I had never seen this thread before today. A friend of mine sent me the link Chris posted.

I think you're right, Chris. It just may happen.
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