Friday, July 28, 2006

Thompson's Wilderness Bill Changes

I've made my sentiments known on a couple of the other local blogs that I'm not in favor of anymore wilderness bills, unless there's some compelling need for one. I feel that just means fewer places for people to live, work and play in. So, unlike my friends on the Left, I was opposed to Congressman Mike Thompson's bill that would add wilderness designation to hundreds of thousands of acres in Northern California.

That said, it looks like some changes for the good have been made to Thompson's bill. One, would allow the 27 smelt fishing permits issued for commercial surf fishing to be continued indefinitely.

You might remember that, since Redood National Park was created, increasing restrictions on land uses have been applied to areas within RNP. One was limiting commercial beach fishing access to those that currently held permits. Once the permit holder died, or gave up his permit, the permit would no longer be issued thus phasing off beach fishing through attrition.

Looks like now they're going to let permit holders sell their permits or pass them on to someone else. It's a small improvement, but a welcome one.

Looks like the Blue Ribbon Coalition managed to get some forest roads kept open for use, as well. Whether anyone can do anything but drive down the roads in those areas is what I'd like to know.

So, something's been saved in this bill, but not all that much.

I often wonder why there's such a push for more wilderness areas? With the increasing restrictions being constantly made to state, national and even local parks, they'll all be de facto wilderness areas anyway, given a few more years. Hopefully, that won't happen in my lifetime.


At 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the fundamental reason for setting aside parks was so that the common man could have access to wilderness areas, and wilderness experience. not just the wealthy landholders. it was never intended to be locked away, keeping people out. what was once a truly progressive concept has been bastardized by the new "progressives" with their shut it down mindset. it's like putting plastic covers on your living room couch and plastic runners on the floor. this is a nice living room, but no one gets to actually live in it.

good goin' blue ribbon coalition. congrats to the surf fishermen, and to dennis mayo who fought for them.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Nothing "shut down." You can walk into wilderness area anytime you like. BLM area is shut down to the public. Wilderness area is open to everybody. You just can't tear it up with ATVs.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Fred said...

It is shut down for those that don't have the time or are the physical stamina to walk in to a wilderness area.

That, and the fact that they have to walk in, limits what can be done in a wilderness area.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

For all practical purposes "wilderness areas" are shut down.
"In the United States, a wilderness area is an area within federal lands which is set aside by statute as a nature preserve. Human activities in wilderness areas are restricted to scientific study, hiking and camping; horses are permitted but motorized vehicles and equipment [and tools] are not." and this includes fire fighting equipment!
For good info debunking of the "climate change" baloney currently being pushed by the enviro nazis and especially Mr. Gore world wide go to:

At 5:16 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

Fed - Send that ADA attorney after them, it does seem discriminatory.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I'm sorry Fred, but there are plenty of parks quite usable for people who aren't in shape for a major hike. The wilderness areas are differentiated from parks with the intent that just a few corners of the planet should remain wild. We don't have to run our vehicles over every inch of the globe. There ought to be some places we can go that are simply left alone. No "management." No loud machines. And we share the planet with other organisms that are entitled to some sort of haven as we're already converting animals into nocturnal existence simply because we've spread our crap so far wide they don't have room to breath.

But I'd be willing to consider special exemptions for people medically confirmed to lack the stamina for access to wilderness areas if there aren't reasonable local alternatives. The Blue Ribbon Coalition already got caught in misinformation in their push-poll - wheelchairs are allowed onto wilderness land. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they were sloppy rather than directly misleading. But I highly doubt that the ATV crowd who can't enjoy the outdoors without loud noise, motion, or mega-destruction fit into the lack-of-stamina category.

I won't camp at Trinity Lake anymore. The last time I did, it was all day and into the evening with the jet skis. And it's not like most of the owners even go anywhere with them. They go back and forth in the same spot. The rangers are supposed to shut them down at sundown, for safety reasons, but they didn't during my visit. They continued unabated until it was absolutely dark. Then they went back to their RVs and turned up their TVs, and one teenage girl would run her hairdryer for at least an hour a day. It wasn't like that when I camped there as a kid. I used to be able to swim outside the roped off area (I don't even remember the rope). No more. Too dangerous. Jet skis replaced the wind surfers and sailboaters, and forget about just rowing a raft out there - you're in their way and they get angry.

As a middle class liberal, I try not to have a smug attitude about my fellow "white trash" folk. It's more of a challenge when they're in your face after you've driven 6 or 7 hours to a mountain spot expecting at least a little peace and quiet. But there's no place really left to go, unless you want to make a major trek. And if the Blue Ribbon crowd have their way, we won't even have that.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Pogo said...

Eric wants to compare apples to oranges. PARKS are not the same a WILDERNESS area.
"As a middle class liberal, I try not to have a smug attitude about my fellow "white trash" folk." Keep trying eric. You haven't made it yet. Your "progressive" elitism is showing.

At 6:27 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Believe me, I'm well aware of the difference. It's why I don't spend much time in parks anymore.

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

You must have been at Trinity on Memorial Day, Labor Day, or 4th of July. It's usually pretty quiet.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Jack said...

I never understood Redwood National Park’s reason for wanting to eliminate surf fishermen. The best explanation the bureaucrats could come up with was that it was incompatible with their policies.

That’s a pretty lame reason.

I always argued that they should allow the fishermen and have transferable permits.

But they could have strict rules with regard to protecting sensitive areas. If a person broke the rules, their permit could be yanked.

The same should be true for Clam Beach. Allow everyone a permit if they want, but yank them if rules are violated.

I don’t think the county should decide what a “reasonable need” is when it comes to driving on the beach.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

August. The camp was almost full. We moved to a space farthest away from the water, and had that whole row to ourselves until the weekend. Didn't end up spending much time in camp.

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

Which camp? - the busiest ones are usually Pinewood Cove, Tannery & Wyntoon. Bushytail, Covington, Hayward Flat are usually pretty quiet - or you can keep going to Coffee Creek. You should give it another shot. We had a bad experience like that in the Trinity Wilderness Area - hiked up to Little Boulder, set up camp - nobody around. Then probably 20 people camped about 100' away, some climbed up on a ridge and rolled big rocks down the side of the mountain, crashing through the brush and splashing into the lake, yelling and cheering for the rocks (I guess). But we did see a squirrel.

At 12:22 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Well, the highway that goes north out of Weaverville - is it Highway 3? We take that for about 20 minutes, then we turn right and drive down a hill.

Maybe I can find it on a map.

Okay, looking at the map linked below I'm thinking it has to be one of those camps bunched together in the square to the upper left corner, north of the intersection with Trinity Alps Road. It shows 4 camps bunched together on the east side of the highway, but it seemed remote to me when we got there. I know it isn't north of Trinity Center because I'm pretty sure I went there for ice and I remember turning north, away from Weaverville. So I'm going to venture that it's one of the last two on that close-up portion of the map and that they look closer together on the map than they are in real life.

At 6:26 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Eric wrote: "'m sorry Fred, but there are plenty of parks quite usable for people who aren't in shape for a major hike.".

Yep, there are plenty of parks quite useable for anyone. We probably don't need any more of those, either. Note that I didn't say we don't need wilderness areas. I said we don't need any MORE wilderness areas.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

It's highway 3 - sounds like Tannery Gulch - especially the roped off swimming area. If you want quiet - stay away from Tannery, Pinewood, and Wyntoon - or any campground with a boat ramp. Covington Mill is usually quiet, plus a decent creek to fish right down the road.

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eric's right about jet skis being annoying. so are snowmobiles and ATVs and dirt bikes with the mufflers removed. and that family he describes with the jet ski the RV TV and blowdryer really aren't getting any real camping or wilderness experience, they might as well be at home, and it's easy to say they should be banned.

places like the marble mountains should be free of those. but the current trend is no horses, no dogs, humans only on trails, this then forces people away from a wilderness experience and into the exact situation you hate (and I do also, by the way)

at clam beach no humans on the dunes, it's absurd. but mixing clam beach and true wilderness areas is a mistake.

clam beach is a normally pretty deserted stretch of beach, one of the very very few that you CAN drive on, and not all driving is to spin donuts. some actually is to go further down the beach to find a secluded area to enjoy a picnic and a small fire, a little piece of heaven on earth, that doesn't hurt anyone or anything.

and jack's right, shutting down the surf fishermen is inexplicable. they are one of the easiest on the earth, they do no damage, they represent what is real rather than the disney-fication of the outdoors.

humans are not all bad.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Tim - Thanx for the tip!

anon 7:57 - I don't think those campers should be banned. I would just like to see a few camps in which certain activities are prohibitted - maybe some corner of Trinity Lake in which jet skis aren't allowed and the campsite contains no RV hook-ups. Where there's no serious environmental impact or other concerns, I don't feel it's my place to tell others what they should do for fun. When my wife asked a business owner at Trinity Center if there was a quiet campground with no RV hookups, the woman looked at my wife like she was nuts even for asking. Probably we should have contacted the Weaverville chamber or something, but we ended up just using the camp as a base and drove to some trail heads.

And I admit that my response is visceral when I hear people pushing for ATV rights onto wilderness lands. My first thought is "what about everyone else's rights?"

As for Clam Beach, I wish it wasn't so polarized. I've had no bad experiences with vehicles there, though I have on other beaches. I don't know why there can't be some sort of compromise involving vehicle free portions of the beach with permits on the rest of the beach revocable with abuse.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Aren't there some campgrounds at Trinity Lake you can only get to by boat? Seems to me I remember seeing something like that. Wouldn't get you away from motors, but it would leave out the RVs.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Heraldo said...

There are some campgrounds on Trinity Lake that are only accessible by boat, but yes, jet skis and motorboats still abound.

At 12:00 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

The motorboats I can handle. Even the jet skis if they went off an explored rather than moved back and forth in the same place.

At 7:12 AM, Blogger Tim Hooven said...

Try Lewiston Lake - 10 MPH speed limit and cold water, you won't find any jet skis there. It's a bit farther, but also off the beaten path.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I'll make note of that. Thanx!


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