Subject: Re: hunters, birders, public lands
Date: Nov 4 11:20:53 1994
From: Museum Informatics Project - mip-arch at

Re: Hunting Season

There is _no_ "season" for bikers, off-roaders, snowmobilers,
in the National Forests, and other parks and lands, except for
the natural seasons and their mitigating effect on these forms
of "natural experience".

I was appalled, during a recent visit to Tahoe National Forest, in
an area just north of Tahoe City, along Dollar Creek, to see the effect
of bikes and 3/4-miniwheelers on the forest grounds. No respect for
what used to be the existing trails. Anywhere was fair game for a
new trail, any width, any speed, any amount of noise, any level
of interruption of my activities, ....

There was no peace and solice there. There is beginning to be
no there there --as a lady said once of Oakland.

Hunters may be a minor "evil" on the land.

One of the larger impressions made upon me in coming from Florida
(when there was one of those too) to California was the apparent effect
of hunting on wildlife. Areas of California where I had lived and do live
now did not have any or much hunting exposure. Animals seemed to know this
and were not always trying to hide from me. In the areas of Florida
where I lived, animals knew about hunters, and they didn't like what
they knew. Consequently, they were pretty careful about letting their
presence be known. It was a stark contrast (I know, lots of
anthropomorphizing and conjecturing here, but for now, I believe it.)

Now, on to the issue of "paying" for your visit to the woods:

We, as a people, pay and have paid a certain base fee, through our
taxes, to support a variety of national and state lands. What did we
buy for that fee? Does it including looking and listening? Trail
building/maintenance --at what intensity? Policing --of what?
Resource management --of what, for what? ...

Are hunters paying a marginal fee for marginal services only?

Do they contribute so much more (buy so much more) than those of
us volunteers who participate in Audubon, Native Plant, Sierra,
and other organizations that provide enormous input into lands planning
(for "free")?

I'm not taking a position one way or the other regarding hunting/hunters
here, but simply I'm not willing to give an inch yet regarding _who_
is or is not paying his or her way.

Soapbox now free for Dennis (probably back from class by now) and others.....
I gotta go look at a bird.