Originally Posted by jeffsssmith
I have a few days off mid week next week and there are days open but the permitting office is closed. I could just go "poach" since no federal employee will be at the put-in to check me out. If I did this would that lead me to doing resource damage or would I just be managing myself since no one is permitted to manage me due to the government shutdown. I am capable of running Westwater without management or permitting since I have 87 prior trips through the canyon and 26 years of river running experience. Would this be inherently wrong or would everything be the same except that just like 99% of the rivers that I normally run there would be no one to tell me that I am "permitted" to go.
Nuanced question, though a little snarky to say the least.
Unfortunately, the only thing I can say is it boils down to personal values for those choosing to poach the river. If you are one who doesn't believe that you should be limited by the BLM management than right now would obviously be a brilliant time to go without a permit.
On the other hand, if you are like me, someone who would prefer less oversight but recognizes and has come to term with the reality of land management, then you recognize that flippant public comments about poaching are not a benefit for the long fought relationship with the land managers. No matter our personal views they are largely bound by laws and regulations from above. Their jobs require certain responses to specific uses of the resource.
I can't predict what will actually happen but I can say, having worked for the land managers who care about protecting and expanding access to users, that there ability to do so for us is often very tenuous.
But obviously each person on this forum can do as they please. Just remember you actions can lead to consequences for all of us.
Best of luck mate.