The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

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chrisca
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by chrisca » May 21st, 2019, 7:52 pm

The argument will not be won or lost here. It's going on all around us, and many are talking about the issue of social media impact on fragile natural areas. In time, we will watch this play out. I claim we will end up someday controlling how sharing is done online after enough damage is done to make the problem so serious it can't be swept under the rug. It will probably not be through legal restrictions, but if you look online today, there are already some legal restrictions on various online activities. What will likely happen is an ethical framework, which is something the Leave No Trace Institute and others are just starting to discuss. https://www.powder.com/stories/leave-no ... uidelines/

It might take the form of websites that create or aggregate recreation content voluntarily setting up geofencing of posts and asking land managers for approval before allowing content to go live. It could involve better integration of messaging on conservation ethics into aggregated content. It might even include paywalls that direct a portion of fees toward the local authorities that have to deal with the mess created by these websites. Someday, I believe there will be a court test of a website that's causing damage to a sensitive location that requires money to repair. A court could find the website liable for the costs. We don't know, but I'm not going to argue this any more. We'll let time take its course, and see what happens.

What I do sincerely hope is that the people flocking to these places and those who don't care if that happens think deeply about whether they should give back more in the way of building trails, restoring habitat, lobbying government, and advocating for more public land. Far more effort is spent posting to Instagram to stoke one's ego than is devoted to protecting and improving the places people claim to love.
Charley wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 4:26 pm
ElementalFX wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 2:10 pm
chrisca wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 1:22 pm
The Internet is another technology no different from others we've needed to regulate to protect natural areas from exploitation. It may not be regulated today to protect natural resources, but that's because the technology is new, just as the others were at one time. The day will come, and it must, when there are sensible guidelines to protect natural resources from damage from this technology.
No, I am not against regulating things like fire, motorized vehicles, etc. But you are comparing apples to oranges. The internet is not something that you do in nature, not is it a method of access into wilderness.
I'm inclined to agree with FX: the problem is a dirt problem, not an internet problem. If this were managed by the Park Service, and our trails and public lands were fully funded, the overuse problem would be solved, and solved by on-the-ground solutions, instead of Constitutionally impossible regulations on digital speech.

People are going to find the nice places and they are going to publicize the nice places. The solution is to harden and protect the nice places. It's totally possible and will be totally necessary (I suppose you could say it already is necessary).

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jessbee
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by jessbee » May 21st, 2019, 8:26 pm

I can agree with this:

"Far more effort is spent posting to Instagram to stoke one's ego than is devoted to protecting and improving the places people claim to love. "

I'm as guilty of this as anyone. And as a direct result of the limitations being imposed in the Central Oregon Cascades I've been working really hard to change that. I have been attending FS meetings and standing up for reasonable access. I've also signed up as a trailhead ambassador for the summer to attempt to educate the masses as they head out to Green Lakes or South Sister.

Think about how many hours you spend accessing public lands each year. If we each dedicated 10% (or more!) of our annual hike time to conservation, education, trail work and advocacy just think what we could accomplish.
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Charley
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by Charley » May 21st, 2019, 9:55 pm

Webfoot wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 5:55 pm
Incidentally, Charley wrote "our most beloved local destinations are USDA forest farms with small wilderness areas dotted around" but that is not how I would characterize it. A large fraction of the USFS land around Mount Hood is already Wilderness, as illustrated below. Unrelated to Charley's statement the BRWMU is off-limits to all recreation but included for reference. (The light green shaded area is USFS land.)


MHNF wilderness.jpg
I can see why you disagree. I'd be happy to revise that to "our most beloved local destinations are USDA forest farms with wilderness areas mixed around." I think my point was more to the difference between management culture and founding intent of the DOI's NPS and the USDA's FS. Since the NPS was formed to manage public parks for enjoyment and the FS formed to manage tree farms for lumber production, they have different historic statutory motivations, and that legacy has not disappeared above the years.
Last edited by Charley on May 21st, 2019, 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Charley
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by Charley » May 21st, 2019, 10:05 pm

Some of these non-regulatory ideas actually are workable:
chrisca wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 7:52 pm
What will likely happen is an ethical framework, which is something the Leave No Trace Institute and others are just starting to discuss. https://www.powder.com/stories/leave-no ... uidelines/

It might take the form of websites that create or aggregate recreation content voluntarily setting up geofencing of posts and asking land managers for approval before allowing content to go live. It could involve better integration of messaging on conservation ethics into aggregated content. It might even include paywalls that direct a portion of fees toward the local authorities that have to deal with the mess created by these websites. Someday, I believe there will be a court test of a website that's causing damage to a sensitive location that requires money to repair. A court could find the website liable for the costs.

Webfoot
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by Webfoot » May 21st, 2019, 11:15 pm

chrisca wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 1:22 pm
The Internet is another technology no different from others we've needed to regulate to protect natural areas from exploitation. It may not be regulated today to protect natural resources, but that's because the technology is new, just as the others were at one time. The day will come, and it must, when there are sensible guidelines to protect natural resources from damage from this technology.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Webfoot
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by Webfoot » May 21st, 2019, 11:21 pm

Charley, I believe I agree with you on the land management thing, that need a more recreation focused bureau in charge of land we care about. The wilderness thing was, as noted, incidental.

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ElementalFX
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by ElementalFX » May 22nd, 2019, 11:31 am

chrisca wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 7:52 pm
The argument will not be won or lost here. It's going on all around us, and many are talking about the issue of social media impact on fragile natural areas. In time, we will watch this play out. I claim we will end up someday controlling how sharing is done online after enough damage is done to make the problem so serious it can't be swept under the rug. It will probably not be through legal restrictions, but if you look online today, there are already some legal restrictions on various online activities. What will likely happen is an ethical framework, which is something the Leave No Trace Institute and others are just starting to discuss. https://www.powder.com/stories/leave-no ... uidelines/

It might take the form of websites that create or aggregate recreation content voluntarily setting up geofencing of posts and asking land managers for approval before allowing content to go live. It could involve better integration of messaging on conservation ethics into aggregated content. It might even include paywalls that direct a portion of fees toward the local authorities that have to deal with the mess created by these websites. Someday, I believe there will be a court test of a website that's causing damage to a sensitive location that requires money to repair. A court could find the website liable for the costs. We don't know, but I'm not going to argue this any more. We'll let time take its course, and see what happens.

What I do sincerely hope is that the people flocking to these places and those who don't care if that happens think deeply about whether they should give back more in the way of building trails, restoring habitat, lobbying government, and advocating for more public land. Far more effort is spent posting to Instagram to stoke one's ego than is devoted to protecting and improving the places people claim to love.
Charley wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 4:26 pm
ElementalFX wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 2:10 pm

No, I am not against regulating things like fire, motorized vehicles, etc. But you are comparing apples to oranges. The internet is not something that you do in nature, not is it a method of access into wilderness.
I'm inclined to agree with FX: the problem is a dirt problem, not an internet problem. If this were managed by the Park Service, and our trails and public lands were fully funded, the overuse problem would be solved, and solved by on-the-ground solutions, instead of Constitutionally impossible regulations on digital speech.

People are going to find the nice places and they are going to publicize the nice places. The solution is to harden and protect the nice places. It's totally possible and will be totally necessary (I suppose you could say it already is necessary).

The only possible thing on your wish list is an ethical framework, (for LNT), for posting and sharing on the internet. That is all you can expect to happen. Everything else will be ruled out as unconstitutional. You cannot put limitations on the spread of information, but we can have better management for trails and recreation.

I do agree that the NPS does a better job of managing lands for recreation. Unfortunately, so many of our public lands in Oregon around the metro area is primarily managed with timber harvest in mind.

lemei
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by lemei » June 2nd, 2019, 11:25 pm

While I appreciate the NPS for all the things they do well, designating any spectacular area as a National Park attracts national and international crowds and overuse far more than social media currently does. The worst thing that could ever happen to Mt Hood is to have it become a National Park, especially if they paved some of the now gravel roads. Wilderness designations, and even National Monuments are great -- but no more PNW national parks. While there are overvisited areas in GPNF and MHNF, most are not, and can be enjoyed in relative solitude. Let's keep it that way.

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Koda
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by Koda » June 18th, 2019, 9:04 am

I haven’t posted here in a long time and its interesting to see this debate still playing out and somewhat depressing that those who don’t see the merits of not disclosing unsanctioned trails and destinations.

As I expand my recreation to reach less popular places and discover new hidden gems off the beaten path I ask myself as I stand there, can this place withstand the environmental impact of increased use? If not, I don’t share.

Even LNT.org has addressed this issue:
If outdoor enthusiasts stop and think about the potential impacts and associated consequences of a particular action, it can go a long way towards ensuring protection of our shared outdoor spaces.To that end, we encourage outdoor enthusiasts to stop and think about their actions and the potential consequences of posting pictures, GPS data, detailed maps, etc. to social media. Furthermore, we urge people to think about both the protection and sustainability of there source and the visitors who come after them.
https://lnt.org/sites/default/files/Lea ... 0Media.pdf
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markesc
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Re: The Memaloose Hills and Social Media

Post by markesc » June 18th, 2019, 8:22 pm

For this very reason I've simply given up on hiking and switched to wildlife photography. It's something you can do every day after work and for now, avoid the herds bent on the checklist lifestyle. Until people can take a selfie with an Owl, the majority won't be interested in wildlife simply because it takes sustained real/actual effort.

Sadly every single time I've attempted to go anywhere in the past few years, it went from: I think I'm going to hike... to.... Looks like today will just be a drive. You can try however doing night hikes, then walk out at sunrise while the herds are arriving. Otherwise, I simply decided I was finished being frustrated and I'm never counting on gov't or other organizations to deal with the problem.

Social media has removed any and all friction involved in obtaining information = herds going after the "in" hike this week.

Eventually we all grow and wish for a new challenge... I did.
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