Big Bend Conservancy
If you were to go to the Grand Canyon and get a permit for a multi day backpacking hike below the rim, the rangers would tell you which springs were running. They would tell you where the best water is, and how far up or down a canyon off trail you will have to travel to get to the springs. They actually post on the NPS web site the spring information.The people running Big Bend do not post any water sources, they discourage any questions about water sources, and often will lie to your face if you ask specifically if a spring is running. ( I can't say always because the last time out, a rangerette with tattoos and face piercings told us Boot was running slowly.)
the willful deceit about the existence of water
Finally as a former marketing executive, if the NPS was my client I would recommend they never post here. It's a no win situation. My analysis is a hostile environment with well researched, informed, expert opinions who would be difficult to win over.
Example: I have made it to the Juniper Canyon/Dodson intersection several times in my wife's Equinox and my buddy's tiny Mazda - but I am loath to advise others to do the same in a smaller vehicle. What if they crash and burn based on my advice?In the case of giving information that water is available (which I would prefer), the unintended effect is of giving some of the less able and under-prepared advice to depend on it. Giving information about water availability to, say, Reece or House Made of Dawn, is an entirely different act than giving information about water availability to a first-timer.
I get frustrated, too, that NPS desk rangers do not give me the deference of knowing who I am (as if knowing who I am and what I've accomplished is their job). They have to treat everyone the same. Sadly, that means providing information guardedly as to the lowest common denominator.
The irony in this thread asking why the NPS is silent, is that this is exactly why the NPS is silent. They have nothing to gain, only lose. The audience will either be 1st timers, or (sometimes combative) seasoned pro’s with their own takes.Hypothetical - the NPS makes a post that the Dodson Spring has water. Months later, a “rookie” to BIBE reads this post and doesn’t draw the connection between the date of the post, and the nature of the Dodson Spring. Only to end up on the Dodson at a dry spring, dehydrated, and in a the early stages of what will become a SAR. That visitor then sues the NPS. Was it is the NPS’s burden to update their post? Was it the visitors fault for not doing their due diligence? Or did they? After all, the NPS said the spring was full – and they never said it wasn’t a later date. Did the NPS set a precedent and expectation that they are, and will be monitoring springs correct?Further, I believe that the NPS-BIBE does not have the resources to monitor these springs effectively. The manpower and $$$ to send a ranger out to the middle of the Dodson everyday (because that’s what would be required, based on this thread) is not feasible. So therefore you end up checking the springs on Monday, seeing water, and then telling visitors for the rest of the week there is water. All the while knowing the springs are unreliable, and Monday’s information can very well be out dated. How can you avoid these scenarios? Stay off the message boards and only give responses such as “the springs are unreliable, plan on carrying all your water”.
I've worried about newbies and that "dig a hole" speech. Imagine how many TONS of unused and unusable trowels have been hauled round and round the OML.
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