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    1000+ miles down (2009), 1000+ miles to go (2021) RadioFreq's Avatar
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    "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute.
    But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute--and it's longer than any hour.
    That's relativity." --Albert Einstein--

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    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    The picture with all the tents is not news. I saw it when it first came out. However, an accounting of the environmental damage is new and disturbing. I guess the only answer is to start policing the area with rangers, but that will never happen due to the cost. Very discouraging.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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    Registered User greentick's Avatar
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    Whoa. What a mess. We need some grizzly bears on scene.
    nous défions

    It's gonna be ok.

    Ditch Medicine: wash your hands and keep your booger-pickers off your face!

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    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greentick View Post
    Whoa. What a mess. We need some grizzly bears on scene.
    Given some time and all the trash that found. Bears will be making a strong presence around Max Patch pretty soon or next year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    The picture with all the tents is not news. I saw it when it first came out. However, an accounting of the environmental damage is new and disturbing. I guess the only answer is to start policing the area with rangers, but that will never happen due to the cost. Very discouraging.
    No it is not the only answer, and that answer frequently doesn't work and often backfires as it just gets them to move on to other areas and continue what they are doing. There is a ongoing war in the Catskills about this as these types have moved from Kaaterskill Cove to among other places Blue Hole, Bulls Bridge CT, Bash Bish falls MA in response to policing. Policing new outdoors folk is a disastrous policy for the outdoors as now we have 4 trashed areas instead of one.

    If you have inexperienced hikers that is the best place for education efforts, because those are the people you want to reach AND you know exactly where they are, not scare away to other places which then you have to find them first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    No it is not the only answer, and that answer frequently doesn't work and often backfires as it just gets them to move on to other areas and continue what they are doing. There is a ongoing war in the Catskills about this as these types have moved from Kaaterskill Cove to among other places Blue Hole, Bulls Bridge CT, Bash Bish falls MA in response to policing. Policing new outdoors folk is a disastrous policy for the outdoors as now we have 4 trashed areas instead of one.
    If you have inexperienced hikers that is the best place for education efforts, because those are the people you want to reach AND you know exactly where they are, not scare away to other places which then you have to find them first.
    Good points. Education is part of it but one issue is many of these people aren't hikers. Max patch is right near the parking lot and a short easy walk. Most that leave massive amounts of garbage in a public place are not lacking education; they know that's unacceptable and don't care.

    Hopefully this will be a smaller issue when covid is in the past.

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    Max Patch has easy access. Lazy hikers don`t want to pack out trash. Its a shame!!!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaper View Post
    Max Patch has easy access. Lazy hikers don`t want to pack out trash. Its a shame!!!!
    Totally agree. Easy rolling access (there's a road nearby) is the prime reason so many backcountry places get trashed. See pic below of adjacent road access---
    Screenshot_2020-09-26 Max Patch Mountain Topo Map in Madison.png

    I'm of a different mindset as I see the bulldozed-in road to be the biggest negative impact on the environment. Everyone mentions the obvious tents and camping trash but no one ever mentions the landscape scar which allowed these people easy access to begin with.

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    Back in the day when kids jumped when told and only asked,"How High?",it was one of my chores to pick up litter on the roadside between our house and the neighbors about a quarter mile away.That's why I still have "a thing" about litter to this day.Too bad everyone in America didn't have to do it.People will never cease to amaze me.

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    It's been proven even with a room full of encyclopedias, " YA JUST CAN'T FIX STUPID " !

  11. #11

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    I don't believe it's stupidity as much as being non-caring. Growing up with the anti-litter campaign of the 60s did a lot for society, providing education starting with children and shaming education for adults all helping people become more environmentally sensitive. Those repeated anti-littering messages included print media photo ads, radio jingles, and some very well done television spots combined well with organized activities to clean up parks, streets, etc and went a long way to entrench the anti-littering message into society, some of which still in existence like the "Adopt a Highway" program to name one.



    Unfortunately, though tremendously effective, the public service announcement (PSA) program on this issue ended some time ago. We can see the results of the lack of serious attention to the problem. Enough time has passed that following generations were never exposed to this message, parents failed to carry it forward, all resulting in an uncaring population as it relates to the environment generally and littering specifically.

    This erosion of basic behavior norms results in public apathy, which in turn generates lack of law enforcement attention that exacerbates the erosion and leads to apathy. Treating littering as a "educational moment" for those unfortunates who were raised by badgers to "learn" and avoid paltry fines and application of their free time to clean up after others by issuing verbal warnings that basically create scoff laws. Littering crimes are very low priority, even when someone has film of the event. The end result of this priority system is the slow erosion of respect for the environment leading to an erosion in respect of law, culminating in lack of respect of oneself.

    This leaves enforcement up to us, the public, who can document these events via the ubiquitous digital cameras, video capable cell phones, hidden game cameras, and in-person first hand reporting. Some would question why they should get involved, but if not us, who will? We can litter our way into a third world condition easily and can see that occurring in slow motion around us now unless regular people like us actively get involved. I would love to see the anti-littering PSAs resume, including the famous Iron Eyes Cody portrayal of a Native American in a canoe traveling from pristine waters into increasingly spoiled waters. I've no problem shaming people who walk away from litter they drop on the trail or campsite, sometimes rather loudly when someone says stupid things like cigarette butts break down over time, foil packaging burns in fire pits, or orange peels dropped at a photogenic viewpoint are not considered litter in New England.

    The forests and trails belong to all of us collectively. There is no one else who can affect a change in attitude that would reduce the criminal activity photographed in this thread outside of us. Certainly someone saw someone dropping some of the 5-bags worth of litter, certainly they knew it was wrong, but uncertain as to who said something at the time or took pictures/video of the event. To do nothing is to condone the activity and reward those who engage in it.

    Stepping off the soapbox now with a wave, thanks for reading.
    Last edited by Traveler; 09-28-2020 at 08:46.

  12. #12
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Yes sir, I concur with everything you've said. Maybe I meant it was a very " stupid thing to do " ? Someone could have the wealth of knowledge of said encyclopedias and still do this " stupid "act of leaving all their trash like whiskey bottles, water bottles, plastic, urinating everywhere, defacating everywhere... I mean I have a 9th grade education and I know better. Just like these people know better, but they do it anyway. Stupid, ignorant, derespectfull on alot of levels. Kinda reminds of that ole Indian standing on that cliff with a tear in his eyes. And yes we need be more proactive as well Someone was probably up there that wasn't part of that group Maybe they'll speak up to the proper authorities ( ie, license plate, description of vehicle etc).....

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    I think maybe we will spend some time this weekend (or next) picking up trash at Max Patch. It's a bit of a drive (about 2 hrs each way) but most of that is on the interstate. Maybe we can make a difference.

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I think maybe we will spend some time this weekend (or next) picking up trash at Max Patch. It's a bit of a drive (about 2 hrs each way) but most of that is on the interstate. Maybe we can make a difference.
    What spirit!! Now I'm the Indian......

  15. #15

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    Very gracious of you to do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Very gracious of you to do!
    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    What spirit!! Now I'm the Indian......
    I have no doubt that if Max Patch were in your neighborhood, you would do the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I think maybe we will spend some time this weekend (or next) picking up trash at Max Patch. It's a bit of a drive (about 2 hrs each way) but most of that is on the interstate. Maybe we can make a difference.
    Somebody shared an update video on the Hiking the Smokies FB group page. I made a couple of comments, which I've pasted below.

    We saw the post from a week ago, and so we (4 adults, 2 children) went up to Max Patch yesterday afternoon to pick up trash. There were signs up directing people to park only on the left side of the road. Most people complied, except for a few spots where the road was a little wider. We got there about 3:30 and left about an hour later. We filled one bag with trash. The great majority of what we saw on the ground was toilet paper, lots of toilet paper. There were more people there than we'd ever seen before. However, as we left, we saw one ranger walking in the parking lot making some notes, and encountered dozens more vehicles coming up the mountain. Among them we saw 3-4 vehicles with the Forest Service. I wonder what they were up to.
    I'm thinking a creative deterrent might be to haul a few truckloads of fresh cow or horse manure to the summit and spread it out generously. Or simply put up a fence around the summit, add 50-60 large farm animals, and let them spread it themselves.


    My daughter and her family stayed to fly kites and watch the sunset. She said there were park rangers walking around on the summit, and that there were probably 100 more cars parked on the road as they were leaving, with still a few arriving. Kinda crazy. I told my husband I don't want to go back except during off-season. Parking was awful.

  18. #18
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    That's awesome y'all did that, much respect! Picking up trash is one thing but others tp, ugh ain't happening even with one of those grabby things . What a big messy disgusting zoo that sounds like! I agree with tipi they should put a gate up for the rangers only to access the summit road.

  19. #19

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    Gate it or privy it

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    No it is not the only answer, and that answer frequently doesn't work and often backfires as it just gets them to move on to other areas and continue what they are doing. There is a ongoing war in the Catskills about this as these types have moved from Kaaterskill Cove to among other places Blue Hole, Bulls Bridge CT, Bash Bish falls MA in response to policing. Policing new outdoors folk is a disastrous policy for the outdoors as now we have 4 trashed areas instead of one.

    If you have inexperienced hikers that is the best place for education efforts, because those are the people you want to reach AND you know exactly where they are, not scare away to other places which then you have to find them first.
    Solid policing efforts include simultaneous education. This is what Rangers, Wilderness Area Officers, US Fish & Wildlife Officers, USFS authorities, and LEO's do.

    Amassed folks who left their shart on Max Patch darn well knew they shouldn't be leaving behind debris and massing to that extent on one hill. Don't bring a lack of etiquette, consideration of others beyond your own immediate tribal interests, here. This is inconsiderate behavior.

    Good post Traveler.

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