Posted by: kellygiller | June 19, 2011

Love To Death

When reading about Jalbert’s idea of “access philosophy” I could not agree with him. He looked to the Europeans, showing that they have had the ability to expose the wilderness to people who may not able to say; mountaineer up a huge ice covered mountain to see the wonderful landscape and view from the top, and can instead take a tram up, and have a wonderful dinner and enjoy the view. I get that it, that’s the European’s way of living. Just like how they take a two hour nap in the middle of their workday, it’s just not how us Americans work. We look at life that the harder you work, the more benefits you will receive. The more hours on your paycheck, the more money you have to go out there and purchase all those belongings you need. I’m sorry but us Americans are just too greedy to let the “access philosophy” idea work.  Also I think that although everyone should be able to see the amazing natural wonders of wilderness, you have to work to see it. I can think of so many instances when I was so miserable climbing up a mountain, wanting nothing to do but to turn back around, but kept pushing myself, and reaching the top it’s such a rush to see the beautiful landscape surrounding you that you forget about your tough battle. If every large mountain in our country had a tram to access the peak, and then a restaurant and viewing area to cover you from the harsh realities of mother nature, no one could truly understand the wilderness. I think of the wilderness as being a challenge, one that sometimes wins, but it’s always a battle. Then I think of all the species who are peacefully living in the wilderness. How would they feel if some construction trucks came through tearing up their land to put in some sort of restaurant or even hotel so that more people could “access” this “wilderness. When I was in New Zealand we learned a lot about the Leave No Trace and became certified to teach other people what it is.  I think of Leave No Trace wilderness ethics as being just about the exact opposite end of the spectrum from the access philosophy. Leave No Trace is a set of wilderness ethics that encourages any users of the wilderness to follow their rules. It sets guidelines for the users so that they’re impact on the wilderness will “leave no trace” that they were there for the species that live there, and for the next users of that wilderness as well.

There are seven core principles that will forever be stuck in my head: Plan Ahead and Prepare | Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces | Dispose of Waste Properly | Leave What You Find |
Minimize Campfire Impacts | Respect Wildlife | Be Considerate of Other Visitors. Each of these rules have a little more to go with them, for example; dispose of waste properly- when washing dishes bring water at least 200 feet from any water system to wash, then cover and disguise the cathole when finished. I thought I’d share that one with you, not the 9 D’s of pooping we learned as well (I’ll let your imagination run with that one).

I enjoyed these principles so much, that I often find ways that Leave no trace falls into my everyday life even when I’m not in the wilderness. Such little things as recycling, using a reusable water bottle, all help for me to “leave no trace” on this earth when I leave. I found myself when I got back from New Zealand thinking about ways I can relate these principles so much, that I decided to get their logo tattooed to my foot. I don’t have a picture of my actual foot, but I’ll show you a picture of the logo. ( i thought the symbol was pretty cool looking too)

While looking up the logo for this post, I found this great video done by the National Park Service that talks about loving the wilderness, teaching the Leave No Trace Principles that will in essence help us not to do, love our wilderness to death. Because if we Americans were allowed total access to our wilderness without restrictions, its hard to imagine that there would be any left.





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