Originally Posted by CoBoater
but the pit will be there a lot longer than we will
This reminds me of a Western River Guides Association (Precursor to America Outdoors) meeting I attended in 1976. The BLM and Park Service were in attendance so they could present a plan for management of the lost Burros of the Canyon. According to the BLM and Park Service, perhaps as long as 500 years ago, explorers in the Grand Canyon area brought burros along with them. At least two of these critters escaped or were abandoned and eventually made their way into the canyon. They not only survived, but thrived, so that by 1976 the park service was getting complaints about them, and they also noted that the voracious creatures were eating native flora in prodigious amounts.
The burros are not considered a native species, and the Park Service was inclined to remove them or at least control them. It seems that in addition to eating the canyon flora, the burros were leaving a mess on the trails and causing tourists to complain at the mess and smell; a few reports had even been received of provocative actions by the burros when approached by picture taking tourists.
The plan outlined was to move the burros off the trails and into remote areas (IE areas not frequented by tourists) and then "harvest or control" (shoot) them. The question posed was whether the plan for control should include managing their numbers enough to minimize complaints, or manage them to zero (eliminate them all together).
Litton, Hatch, and a lady claiming blood relations to one of the Kolb brothers all offered varying opinions. The crowd, remaining circumspect, debated for a bit the best course of action to help the BLM and Park Service folks out of their dilemma.
Finally, Georgie White (Google her if you don't recognize the name) raised all 5'2" out of her chair to voice her opinion.
Lets see; the canyon has been around for a few Million Years. The burros have been in the canyon for maybe 500 years. John Wesley (Powell) laid his claim to fame in the canyon 100 years ago. That plug y'all put in at the west end of the canyon has been there for 50 years. I've been around the canyon for 25 years. That damn plug y'all put in at the east end of the canyon is less than 10 years old.
Your job is to maintain the canyon area in a pristine condition, with only native species of plants and animals. Now here's the thing.
We stop anyplace we damn please in the canyon, spread our shit all over the place, and as long as we carry it all out and strain our dishwater we can claim to have left the canyon in pristine condition. Never mind those damn plugs, or the beaches that never get scrubbed by spring runoff because of them, or the native species that have been effected because the water is now colder than a well diggers ass. As long as we shit in a box and carry it out, you're satisfied that we've left the canyon in "pristine condition".
I was here before you starry eyed bureaucrats showed up to maintain the canyon, and the damn burros were here before I was. And now you want to drag them off the trail and shoot em, because they aren't a native species.
Well, I'm not a "native species". Perhaps you'll eventually consider dragging me off the main trail to shoot me?
The standing ovation started at "that plug at the west end of the canyon" and didn't end for several minutes after Georgie sat down and pulled a can of beer out of one pocket and a church key out of the other.
The point is, we can stand on our pulpit and bitch mightily about how everyone else needs to quit tearing up "our" canyon, and quit ruining our "wilderness experience" just so those greedy bastards can make their obscene profits.
Course, we want a paved road, indoor restrooms, paved ramps and plenty of parking for our SUV and trailer that we need to haul all our shit to the river.
You can't have it both ways. Choose. But as Georgie pointed out, if you're going to shoot the jackass for shitting where you want to camp, you might turn around and find out you've become someone's jackass.