Leave only footprints

By now we’ve all seen pictures of trash piling up in national parks and at national monuments and memorials. A symbol of what happens during a government shutdown? It shouldn’t be. Responsible tourists dispose of their trash responsibly; if trash cans are full, they take their trash elsewhere. All the way home, if necessary. They don’t just drop it on the ground, leaving an ugly and growing mess for visitors who come later and for those who eventually must clean it all up.

There’s an unwritten rule about visiting national parks and wildlands, and it should apply everywhere:

“Take only pictures; leave only footprints.”

 



Categories: Green

8 replies

    • Those who love the wilderness are quite familiar with it. A longer version I’ve heard: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints, kill only time.” It paraphrases something John Muir said. People who don’t care wouldn’t heed the message even if it was tattoed on their foreheads.

  1. Having a memory that’s 80 yrs old is burdensome. Especially when it contains recollections of camping in wilderness areas where people (for the most part) left no evidence of their passing. Consideration for others is past history. And…

    This wall thing is idiotic. No matter which side you’re on.
    5.7 billion in a budget of 21 trillion is insignificant.
    It’s this part of 21 trillion. 0.000271428571428571

    In a $50,000 budget it would amount to $13.57

    It’s not worth dirty parks, long lines at airports or nearly anything else.

    • Idiotic. I couldn’t agree more. And so terribly unfair to all those government workers who just want to do a day’s work for a day’s pay. Your math is enlightening, but the fight is not really about the dollar amount.

      I have similar recollections. Of hiking mountain trails where, I could imagine, only Native Americans had walked before. Vast wilderness areas unspoiled, seemingly untouched by humans. Now you’re likely to hear shouting, see litter in the most remote areas … assuming you can even find parking space at the trailhead or shuttle stop. The sight or sounds of wildlife, hard to find.

      Is it asking so much to expect people to respect the land and clean up after themselves? Apparently, it is.

  2. but the fight is not really about the dollar amount.

    Really. But, what difference does (whatever you or I and they) think it’s about? Hundreds of miles of wall have been built since the year 2000 and the number of illegals have been decreasing ever since. Coincidence? I don’t know, but it hasn’t hurt and we need to get moving on changing the way we care for those fleeing from danger in their home countries as well as making it easier for immigrants to become productive, tax paying citizens. </diatribe mode>

    • We definitely need to change/improve the way we deal with people crossing the border illegally. More and better care for those apprehended, absolutely no separation of families, faster settlement of cases. I don’t know if illegal immigration has decreased because of existing segments of wall or because it’s become apparent that enforcement has been stepped up. But if the number has been dropping since 2000, doesn’t that show that more wall isn’t necessary?

      Not sure I’d give citizenship to those who skirt the rules and enter illegally, but once their cases have been ajudicated, some sort of legal status might be granted. There are established steps for earning citizenship and those who don’t follow them shouldn’t just be handed citizenship. Dreamers, however, brought here as children with no say in the matter, should be allowed/required to apply for citizenship.

      I do know the wall Trump proposes will divide cities, isolate bits of the US (cede them to Mexico?), hinder the normal activities and migration of wildlife, etc. After all, it can’t be built down the middle of the Rio Grande. He’s only holding out for his wall now because he foolishly promised it during his campaign while also promising Mexico would pay for it. Demanding now that American taxpayers foot the bill is a non-starter. Shutting down the government is his way of trying to blackmail Congress into approving his demands, and that’s also a non-starter. He shows his ignorance of the way government works if he thinks he can single-handedly order the wall to be built.

      I predict his next move will be declaring a national emergency on the border. I’m not sure how that works when there is no actual national emergency.

  3. The longer people are suffering from working without pay, the more obvious the “Emergency” will become.

“I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” ~ Cornel West

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