The audio journal about getting into the wilderness.
The WildeBeat edition 154: Sharing Wilderness
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You think you've got the wilderness all to yourself? Well, maybe you do, but maybe you don't. This week on The WildeBeat; Sharing Wilderness
[Intro Music & SFX; 0:07.6 and under]
News from the Wildebeat, the audio journal about getting into the wilderness.
This is program number one fifty-four.
I'm Steve Sergeant.
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STEVE: Be Considerate of Other Visitors. This seventh principle of Leave No Trace might be the one people forget most frequently, according to J.D Tanner. J.D. is a traveling trainer for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
J.D. TANNER: It doesn't always seem like it fits in with Leave No Trace, but it's definitely a part.
STEVE: J.D. is a traveling trainer for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
J.D. TANNER: Being considerate of all the other visitors is so important and when we're on trails where horses are allowed, bikers are allowed, and hikers are allowed. You know, thinking about those other users is so important and vital to having a good time when you're outdoors and making it an experience for those other people so that they want to come back and continue to enjoy the outdoors.
STEVE: J. D., and his partner Emily Ressler, climbed a peak, only to find a person who didn't seem understand this principle.
[SFX: Hiking footsteps]
EMILY RESSLER: Whoo. That was a workout!
J.D. TANNER: Yeah, one more peak in the bag.
EMILY RESSLER: It was worth it thought to check out this view. It's gorgeous up here!
J.D. TANNER: Yeah, I'm ready to sit down and have a bit to eat or something before we, uh, take, take off and head back down.
EMILY RESSLER: That's great. Yeah, let's find somewhere a little off trail.
[SFX: Cell phone ringing in distance.]
EMILY RESSLER: [Sigh.]
J.D. TANNER: Yup. There it is. [Clearing throat.]
EMILY RESSLER: Just when you think you can kind of get away from it all, the cell phone goes off. It seems like everyone has them these days.
J.D. TANNER: Yeah, even on the tallest, most remote peak you can find, you're, you're always going to have somebody on the cell phone, chit-chatting.
EMILY RESSLER: I mean, I understand that people are proud of their accomplishment, but I think maybe waiting until you get back down the trail, back to your car. Maybe then call them and tell them that you just summited.
J.D. TANNER: Yeah, it always makes me think of ...the seventh principle of Leave No Trace. And just how, ...it's kind of inconsiderate ...to get on the phone and just start talking to people, and you know, usually when you're on top of the mountain, you're not getting the best reception, so you're talking really loud, and everybody else is trying to enjoy their time.
EMILY RESSLER: Definitely. I know a lot of people bring their cell phones out as ...a feeling of safety these days, but maybe keeping them in your pack, and either putting it on vibrate or silent ...you can still have that sort of sense of security without really ruining the natural sounds that you're hearing up here on this peak that we worked so hard to get to.
J.D. TANNER: Yeah, definitely. There's ...just so many things to think about when you're being considerate of others, and cell phones is just one of those things.
STEVE: This seventh principle of Leave No Trace isn't just about things that seem like minor annoyances. It can be about safety too, for example, when cyclists and hikers have to share the trail.
[SFX: Mountain bike skid.]
J.D. TANNER: [Footsteps.]
J.D. TANNER: Oh, thanks for waiting up for me... What's the matter?
[SFX: end footsteps]
EMILY RESSLER: Oh, I was just jogging and this mountain bike came flying down the trail behind me... She almost ran me over. She didn't, no excuse me, no passing on your left, definitely didn't get off the trail, but uh, it really scared me I almost had a heart attack.
J.D. TANNER: No way. There signs posted earlier today that said no mountain bikes today. The trails were too muddy.
EMILY RESSLER: ...There's just so many people out using these trails, I mean, I was out trail running today, you were hiking, horseback riders, mountain bikers, so many different uses, it's important people know the sort of, who has the right of way in different situations.
J.D. TANNER: Yeah, definitely. What's it the guy said, uh, the other day?
EMILY RESSLER: [Laughs.] Anyone going faster than you's a maniac, and anyone going slower than you is an idiot. [Laughs.]
J.D. TANNER: Yeah. That's right.
EMILY RESSLER: It ...does feel that way sometimes, but when you have these conflicts on the trail, it's funny how you come out here to enjoy the place, and then you have a conflict with another user, and that's all you can think about. You're no longer enjoying the ...natural area. You're kind of caught up in your mind in this confrontation that you just had, or maybe you didn't even have a chance to have.
J.D. TANNER: Um, so, you know I mean, just thinking about the Leave No Trace principle would be considerate of other visitors. It talks about things ...like the yield triangle, like when users are yielding to users on the trail... keeping your dog on a leash, things like that. You know, just thinking about that principle, what do you think we should maybe say to that girl if we see her when we get back to the parking lot?
EMILY RESSLER: Well if I see her at the trailhead, I might just mention that I totally I didn't hear her coming up behind me, and if she would have let me know that she was wanting to pass, I could have easily stepped aside. She wouldn't have had to go off trail, and I would have felt a lot more secure and safe on the trail. So maybe just mentioning to her that next time letting them know that they're there. If she's coming towards a hiker, actually getting off the trail and letting the hiker pass before getting back on her bike and finishing her ride.
J.D. TANNER: Yeah.
STEVE: J. D. and Emily stay in campgrounds a lot of times. Occasionally they discover that while they're trying to appreciate a wild place, others are having a wild time.
[SFX: Crickets for 2 sec, then start music.]
EMILY RESSLER: J.D. J.D, are you awake?
J.D. TANNER: What?
EMILY RESSLER: [laughs]
J.D. TANNER: What, is that the alarm going off?
EMILY RESSLER: No. Do you hear that?
J.D. TANNER: Oh yeah. The music?
EMILY RESSLER: Yeah. I really thought that they'd be winding their party down by now.
J.D. TANNER: What time is it?
EMILY RESSLER: We have to be up at seven.
J.D. TANNER: Well, what do you want me, do you want me to go over there and say something, or what?
EMILY RESSLER: I don't know. I know they just want to have a good time, but I really thought by ten or eleven, they'd be winding, winding their party down.
J.D. TANNER: Well, all this noise is making me think about our presentation for tomorrow. So maybe we can, I mean, just thinking about all the parts of the be-considerate-of-other-visitors principle is just something that we really need to be sure to stress tomorrow. I mean, what if some people from this group might even come to our presentation. So when we talk about being considerate of other visitors, not only just talking about keeping your music down or respecting the quiet hours of a park that you might be in, but you know, what about all the other things? When we talk about be considerate of other visitors, like keeping your dog on a leash so that it's not running around and jumping on other visitors, if they have little kids. Sometimes people just don't like dogs. And they don't want their dogs around them.
EMILY RESSLER: I know people are having a good time, and to each their own, but it was kind of a bummer because we really wanted to get away from it all. We'd been in the city all week, and I was really looking forward to getting away and having some quiet time.
J.D. TANNER: Do we want to just ignore it? Do we want to get up and, uh, approach and make a couple of suggestions on what they can do?
EMILY RESSLER: Now that we've talked about it I'm not feeling quite so emotionally charged. I can probably go over and chat with them. See if they're receptive to maybe changing their behavior. I mean, they might not know how loud their music is at our campsite.
J.D. TANNER: Yeah that definitely sounds like a good idea. Maybe, I mean, we can go over together or something so we don't look to imposing or anything and chat with them a few minutes and see if they wouldn't mind turning the radio down a little bit. [Distant airplane noise.]
EMILY RESSLER: Yep. If it doesn't work, we can always go back and get our earplugs. [Distant airplane noise.]
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STEVE: Do you have suggestions for ways to be more considerate of other wilderness users? We'd like to share your thoughts with your fellow listeners, and we always want to hear any other comments you have about our show. You can call our toll free comment line at 866-590-7373. You can find links to more information about Leave No Trace and download an extended, high-quality version of this show, on our web site.
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Our official website is WWW dot WILDEBEAT (that's W-I-L-D-E-B-E-A-T) dot NET. If we helped you get into the wilderness, could you help us do the same for others? Please, click on our support link and become a member. The WildeBeat is produced by Steve Sergeant, with help from Jean Higham and Kate Taylor, as a nonprofit educational project of Earth Island Institute.
This has been The WildeBeat, program number one fifty-four. Thank you for listening.
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Next time -- Primal Grooming.