Communing without nature

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 06, 2008 4:24 AM GMT
    As people spend more time communing with their televisions and computers, the impact is not just on their health, researchers say. Less time spent outdoors means less contact with nature and, eventually, less interest in conservation and parks.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/02/05/nature.interest.ap/index.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 06, 2008 7:24 PM GMT
    I'm not so sure about the research. Its funded by the Nature Conservancy. The same group that is in support of turning all the Northern Rockies into wilderness. This would limit access and give people LESS opportunity to commune with nature. If anything, it seems less contact with nature is making people push for more radical conservation, such as wilderness. It seems like a good idea to people who have never taken dirtbikes into a remote lake and camped and fished for a few days. But then I grew up in "The Gatway to the Frank Church Wilderness", in a state w/ the most wilderness in the lower 48, so, I'm kinda biased toward there being more Wilderness in Idaho.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 06, 2008 7:33 PM GMT
    I'm a frequent parishoner at the Church of Nature.

    I firmly believe that motor vehicles don't belong in public-land wilderness. The only exception would be emergency vehicles.

    If you want to ride a dirtbike, go to private land where dirtbikes are permitted. If you want to ride a snowmobile, 4-wheeler, or 4wd truck, same thing.

    Motor vehicles cause too much damage for the tradeoff of one person's mere enjoyment and testosterone-induced thrills. This includes erosion and subsequent degraded water quality, noise pollution and its effects on wildlife, exhaust, and in the case of roads, fragmentation wildlife corridors resulting in altered ecosystems.

    If you want to reach a remote lake, map it, plan the long hike, and appreciate it more because you actually had to work and "commune with nature" to reach it. Communing with nature isn't just about reaching your destination, it's about integrating yourself over a meaningful period of time. Communing with nature does not mean "conquering it" or "taming it" either.

    As for the Nature Conservancy, my preference would be for allowance of primitive access (no vehicles), with smaller set-asides near populated areas for more formal nature trails, most being ADA accessible. They may find the need to declare certain sensitive wildlife habitats or watersheds off-limits, but even in these cases an appointment with a guide or permission for one-time-use access is frequently negotiated.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 07, 2008 5:18 PM GMT
    See, living in Texas, planning to do this stuff on private land would work for you. Private land in Idaho is hay fields or in town. Everything here is public. But not necessarily wilderness. Mechanical devices aren't allowed in wilderness areas. Including mountain bikes. Right now there's a debate if they will continue to allow horses and mules in wilderness areas.

    As for roads, I really can't come to terms with the claims of of habitat fragmentation and erosion. Most of the national forest roads I spend the summer driving on are barely visible two tracks to water tanks and salt licks. They are grown over with vegetation. The only way you can even tell its there is you notice a linear break in the sagebrush.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 08, 2008 3:18 AM GMT
    I meant paved roads help cause habitat fragmentation, in many but not all cases. With unpaved "overgrown" (according to who?) roads, it's more about the vehicles using them.