Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Most Outstanding News...

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Online presidio

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Re: Most Outstanding News...
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2008, 02:08:37 PM »
I have been to all 4 National Forests in Texas.  The problem with them is:
A) they are not in desert/mountain terrain
B) hunters take over for a good part of the winter and the forests are shut down to all others
C) when hunters are not allowed, ATV riders run rampant making it a bit noisy to enjoy the solitude
D) many of the unregulated camping areas are trashed out by people who haul mattresses in on the back of trucks and set up huge compound-like camps.

I agree, with respect to the TX USFS sites. I used that as an example since a goodly number of members here likely are closer to those forests than any others.

The solutions are...
a) Use the USFS sites in the west. They are pretty much all mountain and a few even are in the desert. The places without mountains tend to be the national grasslands, which can be interesting in their own right but are not places I've spent any time.

b), c) and d) Largely, these are things that afflict public lands near densely populated areas. The closer you are to urban concentrations (and the east TX forests are ringed by large populations), the more you will see this kind of thing. Hunting is ubiquitous in NFs and not something that prevents me from using them; there is plenty of room for everyone. Yes, there is ATV use, but rampant use is not the norm in the west...except near places like San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, places that (no surprise) are near dense population. Most of the slobs, including the ones that use national/state parks, don't travel great distances...it's too much effort. Likewise, the farther out you are willing to go from population, the faster the use rate declines (except in parks).

So, if you are out in the intermountain west it is quite easy to find places of solitude on FS and BLM land. As I've noted before, you have to search these places out, and you are on your own for entertainment. Generally, there are no guide books comparable to the NPS literature to lure the public, nor is there the peripheral infrastructure blighting parks at their entrances and borders and which springs up to 'support' the tourist industry.

A good example is right at Big Bend. The Black Gap Wildlife area gets a fraction of the use and it abuts the park. There is adventure and scenery comparable to the park, but little development or services and few go there. Instead they are pulled to the better advertised park. Few who go to the park ever even drive down the road through Black Gap. As a result, a rather large area of state-owned land that is actually available for public use goes mostly unused.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline randell

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Re: Most Outstanding News...
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2008, 11:10:30 AM »
I have been to all 4 National Forests in Texas.  The problem with them is:
A) they are not in desert/mountain terrain
B) hunters take over for a good part of the winter and the forests are shut down to all others
C) when hunters are not allowed, ATV riders run rampant making it a bit noisy to enjoy the solitude
D) many of the unregulated camping areas are trashed out by people who haul mattresses in on the back of trucks and set up huge compound-like camps.

So, if you are out in the intermountain west it is quite easy to find places of solitude on FS and BLM land.

I knew that even though you specifically mentioned TX USFS sites my response would somehow still not be what you were really talking about.

One day, presidio, we may all be able to move out west and visit those magical BLM lands that are so much better than anything we have in Texas. However, most of us live in Texas and enjoy our Texas public lands, especially Big Bend.  Visiting BLM lands in Utah is pretty low on my to-do list and that will not be changing anytime soon. 

For now we'll just have to keep reading your posts about how aweful our Texas public lands are and how we should all be more unhappy in our spare time because you tell us the parks are not run the way you think they should be.  I know, you have been to Big Bend, but as you say, 98% of your time is spent in BLM lands, which you really prefer.  Perhaps we should change the name of the board to BLMChat?
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008, 08:28:00 PM by randell »
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline sleepy

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Re: Most Outstanding News...
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2008, 12:14:49 PM »
Fred, regarding land (Christmas Mountains) given to the people of the State of Texas by Mellon Foundation:

"I support Patterson's efforts to do what he feels is best for all the citizens of the State of Texas, rather than take the easy way out and cave in to pressure from a few special interest groups, who at times, may have a myopic view of the world around them."


Fred, regarding land (Chinati Mountains SNA) given to the people of the State of Texas by Mellon Foundation:

"I do not consider it to be nit-picking or overly negative to expect public lands to be made available to the public in something less than 13 years."

 :eusa_think:
« Last Edit: March 23, 2008, 12:21:11 PM by sleepy »
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

 


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