San Juan River Pumpkins - Page 5 - Mountain Buzz
 



 
 
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Old 4 Weeks Ago  
 
Durango, Colorado
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
Huh.

How is it better to throw them (and the plastic trash bag) into a landfill than to let them biodegrade on the rocks above the river over the next year or three?

What net harm is caused from leaving them out in the air?

Honest question.
For two main reasons, but first a good tip, I don't use any actual trash bags on the river, I use old torn up dry bags, write "trash" on them, and dump my trash in the nearest legal dumpster. It works wonders on big trips. However, the trash bag really shouldn't matter since we all use them at home.

1.) Its leave no trace principles, I grew up thinking most outdoor enthusiast followed LNT practice and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't. Although, no one is perfect, LNT isn't perfect either, and boaters aren't known for the best LNT practice. I like to try.

2.) They are non native to the area. If an animal eats them its likely they would get sick. And on the off chance the seeds were germinate that's worse, however i don't see that happening in the desert

3.) It's a desert so most things typically take an a excruciatingly long time to biodegrade. Much like the alpine tundra of the mountains.

I just hope someone will pick them up because like I said "I like the idea but hate the execution".

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Old 4 Weeks Ago  
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
Huh.

How is it better to throw them (and the plastic trash bag) into a landfill than to let them biodegrade on the rocks above the river over the next year or three?

What net harm is caused from leaving them out in the air?

Honest question.
Those aren't the only two options... option three is don't bring them in the first place and they neither have to go in the Landfill nor be left on shore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepart View Post
I am simply saying that the environmental ethics of most rafters had crossed the boundary into elitism. While ignoring real problems that our rivers have, many of us seem to use our dedication to kitchen scrim, fire blankets and dishwater straining as a way to place ourselves upon a pedestal that we do not deserve.

Also, I have passed by a fair share of pumpkins along the San Juan and my blood never boiled. I would be a little annoyed if someone left them in a camp, but on a rock doesn't bother me. I am glad someone is having fun. After all, no resource use can truly be done without leaving a trace, therefore anyone who goes on a river or goes camping must agree that there is some acceptable level of impact. The only item up for debate is where that line should be drawn. In my opinion, that line should clearly not allow for wanton disposal of fruits and vegetables along the river, but perhaps a few deliberate pumpkins during the month of October could be an exception.
Sure...we all "leave a trace" but in this case people are going out of their way to leave evidence of their passing. Every Forest, BLM or NPS ranger I've ever talked to says their mandate is to encourage and enforce as little impact on the resource as possible.

Its certainly not the worst thing in the world...but I don't think anyone can say that it adheres to leave the no trace or wilderness ethics that most river runners prefer to adhere to.

Then again...I know of a bunch of a "boater shrines" all over the place that people leave all kinds of trinkets, adult beverages and such that are in a similar category and I know I gained benefit from seeing and contributing to those so who knows.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago  
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,684
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepart View Post
I am simply saying that the environmental ethics of most rafters had crossed the boundary into elitism. While ignoring real problems that our rivers have, many of us seem to use our dedication to kitchen scrim, fire blankets and dishwater straining as a way to place ourselves upon a pedestal that we do not deserve.

Also, I have passed by a fair share of pumpkins along the San Juan and my blood never boiled. I would be a little annoyed if someone left them in a camp, but on a rock doesn't bother me. I am glad someone is having fun. After all, no resource use can truly be done without leaving a trace, therefore anyone who goes on a river or goes camping must agree that there is some acceptable level of impact. The only item up for debate is where that line should be drawn. In my opinion, that line should clearly not allow for wanton disposal of fruits and vegetables along the river, but perhaps a few deliberate pumpkins during the month of October could be an exception.
Maybe that's how you see it but when I've strain my dishwater, or do other Leave-no-trace practices, I don't feel smug or like I'm on a pedestal. I just feel like I'm leaving the place in the condition I'd want it to be in if I were arriving at the camp that evening.

When I'm on the river I like to be able to imagine that I'm somewhere far from civilization and that's seldom touched by people. That's part of the experience I come for and I know I'm not alone in that goal. We have permit systems that limit visitation and make these places hard to get to, and we put a lot of effort into getting there and spend lots of money for the gear that brings us to these places. If folks do things correctly, we get to experience nature pretty much unspoiled. We also make agreements, commit to certain practices and rules about how we'll behave, such as not leaving trash behind. If these rules are followed by everyone, we get to come ashore to a campsite where there's not even a gum wrapper even if people camp there 60 nights a season. Why would I want to see someone's rotting pumpkins when I'm floating?



And in the arid environment, these things will dessicate and sit there for months to years. More likely, it'll just be until someone comes along and cuts into their time and enjoyment of the place by cleaning it up and packing out crap left there by someone else. There's also the issue of feeding vermin and adding undesirable nutrients to the ecosystem. It's not elitist to want to enjoy unspoiled beauty without my gaze turning to someone's rotting pumpkin that was nice and cute for a few days, then turned to shit. It's just enjoying nature as it should be.

I've camped at enough roadside campsites where picking up trash and avoiding human shit just to pitch my tent was part of the experience. I don't want to see any more of that stuff.

-AH
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Old 4 Weeks Ago  
 
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Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
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I'm with the mike's! It was this thread last year that finally made me throw my hands in the air and say "if the buzz isn't dead yet, it should be!!" It's too damn full of elitist ass-munchers telling the rest of us how we should be doing it. Sounds like my ex father-in-law. What a joy a lot of you must be to hang around.... ohhhhh that rotten pumpkin; grumble, grumble, ruined my trip. How selfish of those people to ruin MY trip.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago  
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Grants Pass, Jefferson
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhaven View Post
I'm with the mike's! It was this thread last year that finally made me throw my hands in the air and say "if the buzz isn't dead yet, it should be!!" It's too damn full of elitist ass-munchers telling the rest of us how we should be doing it. Sounds like my ex father-in-law. What a joy a lot of you must be to hang around.... ohhhhh that rotten pumpkin; grumble, grumble, ruined my trip. How selfish of those people to ruin MY trip.
I'm with elkhaven on this one. I joined the buzz hoping to meet other boaters in my area. Instead all I found was a bunch a negativity. Definitely not a fun place full of comrader and laughter like i'm accustomed to experiencing on the river.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago  
 
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueGuide View Post
I'm with elkhaven on this one. I joined the buzz hoping to meet other boaters in my area. Instead all I found was a bunch a negativity. Definitely not a fun place full of comrader and laughter like i'm accustomed to experiencing on the river.

Just like any other forum out there, specifically Facecrack and the yahoo groups, you have to wade thru a lot of chaff to find the pearls. I've met some great folks on this board, and learned a lot of things I likely wouldn't have had I not participated, like how to build my own oars.

Being a river ranger I hate to see stuff like this, but I suppose I'd rather pick up a rotting pumpkin on a patrol trip than human feces.. That being said, I wish it wouldn't happen in the first place, and should I see pumpkins being loaded into a raft on the launch ramp, I would admonish the loader to remove them and not leave them in the canyon. Just sayin.
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