View Full Version : Answers to a few questions
08-13-2006, 09:36 PM
I've been away much of the past 10 days, and was unable to reply to a few questions asked in a currently locked thread. Questions were somewhat off topic of the thread, so I don't feel out of place answering them here.
Whats the right thing to do?
Lets say I'm going down a trail after a storm with my nice sharp shiny ax strapped to my pack and I come across some trees fallen across the trail. I say to myself, "Allright! Now I can get a little upper body exercise and do a good thing by clearing the path," and chop off the sections of tree blocking the trail and leave the rest of the tree where it lies.Yes. Are you doing anything wrong? Probably not. Would you get in trouble? Probably not. The problem is that not everyone views things the same. For example, on the "Trailless Peaks" there is supposed to be minimal maintenence. Blowdown is to be removed only if it is causing people to take other routes. If it is simply an inconvienence, it is supposed to stay. Thus, doing that on one of those trails may be wrong.
The current path up CLiff is to be closed and a re-route is planned. Thus, we would like the blowdown to remain on the other path because it help to get it 'closed'
In some cases, it is obvious, but it gradually moves from white to gray to black. MOST people would use good judgement, but some... well intentioned individuals... do not.
Another parameter here is the quantity. Removing one or two, vs removing 50.
We ran into this on Dix after Floyd, the DEC runs into it not all that infrequently. We knew there was a lot of blowdown, so we got a crew together one Saturday morning. We all hiked in, and found that some group had come in and cleared all the blowdown. We had 15 or so people who drove an average of 150 miles each to work, and we had nothing to do. When it happens to us it is a waste of volunteer's time. When it happens with the DEC, it is a waste of taxpayer's money.
08-13-2006, 10:02 PM
Okay, I understand the clearing/general maintenance stuff. But, what about the blazing, NOT PAINT blazing, but machete-cutting into LIVE TREES on possibly over 100 trees all the way up Panther Brook. The next time you hike up Calkins Brook, or do Marshall from the pass, look for the blazes. In both of these places, there was no real herd path, until someone blazed them. (CB was also flagged) The blazes are healing now, but the paths are permanent. That, IMO, is the greater crime.
Its the difference between the careless trampling of alpine vegetation by a brainless dolt that doesn't know enough to watch where he stepin', and strolling up Algonquin to find someone actively "pulling up" the alpine "weeds" up around the summit to make a "proper" garden. That's would be an equivalent situation to me. Alpine vegetation is RARE. The women working with us cut down a couple trees a few weeks ago. Not as valuable of a resource. Note that I'm not saying that blazing is OK. It is not.
Should everyone (I'm mean us) just say. "awww, forget it, what's done is done."? I'm curious to hear from more reasoned folks then me.Know what I liked? The fact that so many people did NOT say that. That many people are OUTRAGED. It shows that people's thinking is changing. It was great fun to read this thread, and feel that I didn't have to do anything, because others are doing it. Education is working.
Oh yeah.., Mavs... The google mirrors are not permanant. There are ways to have things removed. Don't depend on google for evidence. CD-Rom it.
08-13-2006, 10:51 PM
Okay Pete, in your opinion, "Do you think he will get away, with the damage he has done?"
What in your opinion, "Do you think us, as a hiking community, can do, to try and assure, that he won't?"
08-14-2006, 10:16 AM
Another question for Pete or anyone else who may know the answers.
With all the regulations and such regarding "Forever Wild" and non conforming wilderness structures, what about the remains of the old lumber camp on the way to Street and Nye, and other such things similar to this?
How come the "powers that be" don't want things like this removed as well, or maybe they do for all I know. I'm guessing that some of it has to do with the history of the area, but am not positive. If it is for history's sake, then the same argument could be made for canisters and summit signs that had to be removed.
Concerning the lumber camp, around what years was it in operation and how much damage was done to that particular area. To my untrained eye, I can't figure something like that out. Just curious, thanks!
08-14-2006, 12:20 PM
Okay Pete, in your opinion, "Do you think he will get away, with the damage he has done?" Dunno. On one hand, the DEC does take this kind of stuff seriously. Hefty fines have been given (You probably know who I'm talking about) to someone clearing a ski trail.
On the other hand (I'm not a lawyer) the evidence is kind of circumstantial. You beleive what you read on the Net? Hey. Do you think that this:
is all true?
Finally, on the third hand. Several years ago, we encountered this situation on the North trail to Giant:
Note that after the 'Fixing' it appeared as if someone had cut some trees around the leanto. That report was sent to the rangers covering the area, so that they would not waste their time trying to track down whoever cut the trees. Aparently, the DEC does take things seriously.
What in your opinion, "Do you think us, as a hiking community, can do, to try and assure, that he won't?" IMO, the only reason we want to make sure he doesn't get away, is to send a message saying that it is wrong. So, with my kind of thinking, it is more important that people know that the hiking community is very much against it, than the guy actually gets a fine. The outrage shown in these discussions is important. The more people who know about 'our' outrage, the better.
It is a lot better if the 'general public' knows that hikers are upset with it than if they know that a govt agency is.
Except for the fact that Tim "made nice" in trying to make these individuals understand that it was wrong and the result was to blame everyone else for everything else and then play the victim.
In other words, in this particular case, the individual does not really seem to care what the public thinks, what damage they did and unfortunately there are many more like him.
I have had instances where informing people politely that what they were doing was harmful or a violition of the rules, only to be told to "mind my own business". Of course my reaction then was to "make it my business", on a couple of occasions confiscating axes (which I do not reccommend that most people do).
On two occasions, the people actually reported ME to the ranger, n one case the result was "Oh, you met Redhawk" and on the other occasion, the party involved was written up and arrested for multiple infractions. In one case, the Ax was given to the rangers for evidence, on the other occasion I became the owner of an axe.
I think it's just as important that examples be made of individuals from a legal point of view, especially in something as blatant as this.
As far as circumstantial evidence, there are pictures taken by the individual himself included in the text of actually admitting the act. There are posts with him using his name, and some of the photos actually show his face. Seems to me there is much more then circumstantial. it's my understanding that there have been cases like this that have resulted in convictions based soley on someone saying who did it, with no evidence beyond that.
The IP can be tied in to his posts on the adkforum, leaving no doubt as to where the posts came from. he sent kevin a signed email. So if the name on the email, and the Ip Address on his posts on the forum are one and the same, then there is nothing circumstantial. Positive proof that he and his party perpetrated the act and the posts indication that he has no remorse, and that in fact when he signed onto the forum he used Montreal as his residence in order to cover up his tracks. Taking the blog down that contained the pictures and report (and which a few of us saved for evidence) further proves that he is now trying to avoid prosecution.
I agree with what you say about people needing to know that the hiking community does not accept this behavior. I also would take that a step further and make it understood that the hiking community DEMANDS that the DEC enforce the laws that are charged with upholding.
I too agree that to see everyone united about this on all the forums, regardless of their interests is something that we need more of.
08-14-2006, 02:47 PM
As far as circumstantial evidence, there are pictures taken by the individual himself included in the text of actually admitting the act. There are posts with him using his name, and some of the photos actually show his face. Seems to me there is much more then circumstantial. Dunno. That's why I said, "I'm not lawyer." I don't want to contribute to or give ideas for his defense, so I'll say nothing further.
With all the regulations and such regarding "Forever Wild" and non conforming wilderness structures, what about the remains of the old lumber camp on the way to Street and Nye, and other such things similar to this? What most people don't realize is that this conforming structure thing is not something based on logic. It is things specifically listed in the UMPs. For example, a memorial plaque in a lean-to is non-conforming, but the one on Marcy and Wright is conforming. It doesn't make sense logically, but thats what is written in the UMP, so thatt's the way it is.
Remember: A camel is a horse designed by a committee.
Many things are in the UMP because of compromise. This is why you have conflicting items. "I'll let you have one of yours if you let me have one of mine."
08-14-2006, 02:49 PM
I talked to the ranger at the sewards trailhead recently, and he told me that he made the people responsible for flagging the new calkins brook route go in and take down all the flagging. He also mentioned the ski trail enforcement. Unfortunately, I feel that the recent incident with the blazing happens alot more than gets noticed, and I'm willing to bet there are tons of illegal ski trails and glades being cut all over the entire park.
08-14-2006, 03:12 PM
On one hand, the DEC does take this kind of stuff seriously. Hefty fines have been given ...
Aparently, the DEC does take things seriously.
The DEC policy on tree cutting is not clear cut (pun intended). Case in point
the following story from: http://www.wnbz.com/August%202006/081106.htm
Also reported here: http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/archive.php?id=7843
MOUNTAINTOP TREE CUTTING DEBATED BY DEC, APA
The issue of tree cutting on the summits of mountains in the Adirondack
Park has caused a split between two state agencies.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has allowed harvesting of
trees to preserve scenic vistas, but some Adirondack Park Agency officials
say the cutting has gone too far.
Commissioner Jim Townsend, from Rochester, is the chair of the APA's state
land committee. “Trail cutting is pretty clearly consistent with the
constitution and the State Land Master Plan,” he said. “I think what we
struggle with is how far can department extend that cutting beyond the
actual trail corridor.”
During Thursday’s agency meeting in Ray Brook, Townsend’s committee
declined to recommend approval of a new management plan for the Blue Ridge
Wilderness Area in the central Adirondacks.
A DEC crew has cleared a section of forest on the top of Sawyer Mountain,
which sits inside the wilderness.
John Davis, conservation director with the environmental group the
Adirondack Council says the APA should outlaw the practice. “Cutting trees
on the Forest Preserve violates the state land master plan, it violates the
state constitution, and in a wilderness area it violates internationally
accepted wilderness standards,” he said.
“Natural views should be protected but trees should not be cleared to
create artificial views. Any of us who’ve hiked in the park realize there
are plenty of rock outcrops with grand vistas sprinkled across the park.
We don’t need to be artificially clearing new views.”
But DEC region 5 director Stuart Buchanan defended the practice. He says
some tree cutting is appropriate to maintain views opened decades ago by
fires or other natural causes. “We have a policy in place that addresses
vista maintenance and at least at this point we’re still following that,”
Still, Buchanan admitted that the cutting on Sawyer Mountain shouldn't have
occurred before the new Blue Ridge management plan was in place. “I think
we would have all preferred we waited until after the unit management plan
is done before that cutting occurred,” he said. “Yeah that would have made
the discussion a little easier, I think.”
The full park agency board was expected to vote on the Blue Ridge plan
A view protection policy being developed by the state agencies could impact
other scenic views in the park, some of which are slowly being overgrown by
trees and vegetation.
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