Tree huggin eco nuts - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
GM Standard IFS Trucks & SUV's All discussion of full sized IFS Trucks, SUV's to include Suburban

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2000, 07:32 PM
**DONOTDELETE**
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Tree huggin eco nuts

I just found this site today, and the first thing I saw was a group of posts about those evil tree huggers and "nature nazis". I think that some clarifications are in order. First, what level of envionmental concern does a person have to exhibit to be labeled a tree hugger? Why do any of you out there bother to venture off-road if you don't like to see "nature"? If you would be happy in a mudpit in the middle of a big city, maybe you don't care about the environment. But I prefer to get out as far as I can from pavement and people. I will agree that there are people out there that think 4X4's and mountain bikes and snowmobiles are evil. Completely denying access to trails is extreme, but it may be warranted in some instances. I conduct research in a stream in the Daniel Boone Nat'l Forest in KY. I drive a 4WD truck to reach this stream. There are sections of this stream that are home to the last populations of Pegias fabula, an endangered mussel (clam). On my last trip up there, I saw ruts carved out in the streambed from some nut's truck. That is irresponsible, ignorant behavior, but it is fun for someone. The person that did it had no idea what was in the creek, it didn't matter as long as he/she had a little fun. There are also areas where pioneering off-roaders have stripped the riparian zones (stream banks) of all vegetation, allowing a huge sediment load to be dumped into the creek. This smothers phytoplankton(algae) which are called primary producers, they drive everything in a food chain, without them every "higher" life form eventually moves out of the area or dies. Mussels, are then killed by sediment clogging their gills or just starved to death. Who cares? Why should an unimportant clam on the bottom of the stream prohibit a human from having fun in their truck? How about the larval game fish that also feed on the zooplankton, which feed on the phytoplankton, which were killed by the sediment load which was produced by the truck that had no business venturing off of a trail? What about the other fish that feed on aquatic insects that were killed by the sedimdent load in the creek? What about the birds and mammals that eat the fish, the the aquatic insects, and the mayflies, etc. that would have hatched out of the creek? One simple destructive act by one simple-minded individual has totally devastated several miles of previously undisturbed habitat. If being angered by an act like this makes me a tree hugger, then so be it. I love my Chevy 4X4, I have been off-roading in it for more than 8 years. I have witnessed countless acts of needless environmental destruction in those years. I have spent enough time as a researcher in the field to realize that the good off-roaders are represented in the public eye by the bad off-roaders. That is why our off road areas face closure. Recycling your garbage is smart, it's not an act of green terrorism. Refraining from raping a fresh hillside is not an act of wussiness, it is smart. Digging out a mudhole in a streamside trail is not smart, when it rains, the creek will be killed. I am not talking off of the top of my head. One of you mentioned that you need to see data, that those tree huggers make up stuff to get what they want. Well, I'm not a tree hugger and I can substantiate my claims with documentation. For instance, sedimentation is the number one source of pollution and the greatest obstacle to watershed and fishery management, if you doubt it, consult the EPA report on the quality of our nation's water, 1990, EPA Report 440/4-90-005. Or check with the American Fisheries Society, or The Wildlife Society, or the US Geologic Survey, I'm not BS'n ya. I think that most people don't set out to deliberately destroy a complete watershed, they just don't realize that their actions when coupled with other poor land use practices, have a compounding effect on the environment. Do you want to go to a coastal off-road area and watch oil coated birds flop around in sludge because a tanker ran aground in a storm? I'd rather be forced to walk to my favorite fishing spot than to have to make a trade-off between gassing up or killing a 50 mile stretch of beach. Just because YOU don't see any harm coming to an area from ORV traffic, does not mean it isn't there. It could be as subtle as the accumulation of brake dust, drips and drops of fuel, oil, and antifreeze washing off of a rock trail into a creek, that dumps into a river, that runs along side an interstate that dumps 100 times the amount of pollutants into a watershed. But maybe the water at the interstate is poor quality, while at the headwater, where your trail is, there are still trout, and they need their habitat protected from further destruction. To summarize: T H I N K!

Mr. Stacy Surgenor
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Graduate Research Assistant
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2000, 08:46 PM
Mud in my Veins
 
AJMBLAZER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Paducah, KY
Posts: 6,656
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

I couldn't agree more man. When I was young and dumb in High School, I took my Blazers over anything and anywhere I could fit them. Lord only knows what I destroyed. That was back in the forests of Michigan. Now I am in SoCal, and I really miss the nature. All this concrete, steel, asphault and glass has made me appreciate nature a WHOLE lot more. I had to drive an hour to get to a decent place to go offroading around here. Then a few months ago this guy I work by clues me into a really great place only 20 MINUTES from my home. I go there every weekend now. Lots of fun, and really great offroading (no mud though, this is SoCal[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif[/img]). There are two sad parts, within the next 5 years the entire area is going to be one big housing development. The rate they are expanding at is scary. Currently we just keep using the other hundred miles or so of trails, but within a year or two we will really start to notice how much they are taking. It's sad. The other sad part is that all over the area is junk. You can't go 10 minutes on any of the countless trails without running into someone's trash. Everything from garbage bags of household refuse, to washing machines, to trashed cars. Disgusting. It's sad. [censored] pisses me off[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/mad.gif[/img]. First people I see dumping there are going to get a vision of a large white Blazer moving at them VERY FAST, and then a large MARINE SCREAMING AT THEM! Nature isn't completely renewable, we have to guard it.

1992 Blazer Sport, 350 TBI, Gibson 3" cat back, 4L60, K&N, Rancho 3" lift, 285/75R16's on 16x8 Bajas [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img]
AJMBLAZER is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2000, 08:49 PM
**DONOTDELETE**
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

Sir,
Not to be an ass or anything, but you say sedmentation is the #1 pollutant. What happens when the cloud bursts, and that creek floods? People along the Nile river counted on it to flood every year and bring in new top soil. I dont think that they had 4x4s or anything like them, 1,000s of years ago. Humans do make life harder for other animals, I wont arugue that. But one bear that finds a root in that creek bank can do damage also. So I wouldnt lay all the blame on 4x4s. D.

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2000, 09:10 PM
**DONOTDELETE**
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

<font color=blue>I totally agree with you. Whenever I have to cross a stream to keep going, I try and kick up as little silt as possible by going very slow. A good portion of the time I spend off-road is getting back and forth from some of my favorite fishing spots. I can name a few places I havent been to in years because of trail closings due to iresponsable land use by some individuals. This effects all of us who use the land. I also belive that clossing all trails is not the answer. Its up to us to use the land responsibly so we dont loose it. I live in northeastern NJ about 10 miles from Manhattan and a 99% of all trails have been closed. This means walking all day in the woods to get to my fishing spots.



post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2000, 09:14 PM
Moderator
 
Shorts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 6,137
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

its not so much that sediment is polluting....with no cover vegetation, or riparian buffers, soil wash off is fast and frequent. it is erosion that becomes a really big problem. not just from water, but wind, and animals and whatever else goes over that loose soil. bears are nature, 4x4s aren't. sure the people along the nile depend on floods to get new top soil, but, how often do you go offroading along the nile? besides, are floods frequent and large enough, without being desctructive, to replace the eroded sections of land? i don't think they are. i worked for the NRCS so i understand what's being said about ground cover. i am also a 4wd owner who holds my freedoms very high. i will not turn in my guns...i will not turn off my chevy 4x4....but there are folks out there who don't think much before they romp on something. its those retards that are ruining it for the rest of the responsible folks. who knows, maybe they don't know any better. or maybe they do and are just being jerks, but either way, we still gotta do whatever our part is to have fun and be responsible. ok, shorts will get off the box now...[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

Shorts
Shorts is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2000, 11:30 PM
**DONOTDELETE**
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

Good write up and good valid points. But, as you stated about bad 4 x 4rs being more in the public eye and doing harm to the good 4 x 4rs, so do the "extreme" environmental activists give the good responsible ones a bad name such as "tree huggers". I work for an environmental agency and it would amaze you the type of complaints we receive from people in the name of "protecting the environment". Don't get me wrong, many are valid, but many more are not. In many cases, the people allegedly pursuing protection of the environment, are really pursuing there own interests and actually set back protection of our environment and have been responsible for some of the negative backlash to those who really are doing good. We live in a crowded world with finite space in probably one of the most free society in the world. The extreme on both sides of the fence forget that at times and act irresponsibly.

However, its the people in the middle of the road, the majority of environmentalists, majority of government, the majority of industry (they are still learning and have come a long ways believe me), and the common citizen trying to live life and enjoy this countries freedoms without significantly encroaching on each other will hopefully be the saviors of our environment and our liberties to live.

Your right, if people "THINK" beyond themselves, I believe we can all have a good time in these short lives and leave good things for those who follow.

post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2000, 11:57 PM
**DONOTDELETE**
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

K2500:

I don't think you're being an ass at all, you brought up a good point. I enjoy taking my truck off-pavement and I, nor anyone else, can put the entire blame on 4X4's for sedimentation problems. I see your logic here, I am not qualified to make a comment on the Nile River. However, it is not a good analogy to compare a bear digging out a root wad to a 4,000lb K3500 ripping up the same creek bank. But I see your point. The damage inflicted by one bad off-roader can surpass the incidental damages inflicted by scores of good off-roaders. There is a term for damage caused by humans - anthropogenic disturbances. This term includes everything from parking lot run-off to acidic mine drainage. When you concentrate a lot of people into a realtively small place, anthropogenic sources increase. This is why a bear is not as influential as a Blazer. My intent in my original posting was just to call attention to the responsibility that we all have to act as good stewards of the resources that provide us with enjoyment, we take care of them, they take care of us. I appreciate you replying to my message, you made me think, that's what we all need.

Sincerely,

Mr. Stacy Surgenor
Certified Wildife Biologist
Graduate Research Assistant
post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2000, 01:43 AM
**DONOTDELETE**
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

i do think you have some good points. and its true that some damage to wildlife areas is due to irresponsible off-roaders but so many of us actually care about the places we go. think about it, without the land where would we go? i think it was said good about there being extremes on both sides. the extreme eviro-trashing off-roaders give us a bad name as the extreme-al gore-tree huggers that want to close all land to the public give folks like you a bad name. i think there should be some sort of policy of the lands, but definitely not closing it. for instance, if we had to get some type of pass before we could go on state lands. not even necessarily a fee, just go and register our trucks and where we want to go, i think that would cut out on most of the irresponsible people who dont want to be held countable for what they do. i just think there are much better solutions than closing all lands to us OHVers

Mike ~
[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img] Chevys Rule! [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]
post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2000, 04:00 AM
Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Portland - OR
Posts: 522
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
 
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

First of all, I would like to thank you for starting this thread. You are correct that this forum tends be one-sided when it comes to environmental policy. Your education and research help keep things in perspective and form a balanced discussion.

The only issue that I have is the level of attention paid to 4x4 recreation activity over other more pressing environmental issues such as urban sprawl and over-development.

My friend, Rich used to have property in San Jose. We used to go out back and down to this stream and drive all over the terrain back there. We didn't tear it up, but thinking back, we could have been more gentle.

But a few years ago a computer company bought all that land and it's being totally developed. I haven't been back there lately but I'm sure that it is all going to be concrete soon. Not even any dirt left. Like the rest of the area. The stream will be there, but it'll be a paved ditch. How is that type of development more environmentally sound than when we used to drive around back there? The difference is that the computer company has money and we don't.

Although I totally agree that we should all try to leave as little damage as possible to the trails. I would liken our damage to that of the bear going after a root, compared to the <font color=red>anthropogenic</font color=red> reprocussions of that of the development I spoke of. Nature has the ability to recover, but not if it's paved over.

Respectfully,

Jarom

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img] <font color=blue>Jarom</font color=blue>
http://sweazey.8m.com/truck.html
Jarom is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2000, 09:23 AM
**DONOTDELETE**
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Tree huggin eco nuts

I think the problems on both sides are caused by extremists...Most off roaders don't intentionally try to tear anything up, as a majority of them are also outdoorsmen who fish and hunt the same environments they wheel in...granted, we may all be underinformed in some areas, but I have never been on a trail run yet that wheelers haven't hauled out more trash than they took in...I would like to believe that wheelers are respectful enough to leave an area useable for those coming behind them...Some years ago, I went to a Theatrical performance with my daughter...She was wearing a Blue Fox jacket she had received for Christmas and was extremely proud...as we were going into the Hall, a young man and a woman attacked her with spray paint, getting it all over her jacket...as well as in her hair and on her face...I managed to catch the guy and produce some "antropogenic disturbance" to various parts of his person...I spent several hours in jail and paid a $200 fine as well as $400 for a lawyer...I could have been charged more harshly , so I feel I was lucky...the "ecofreak" paid $100 fine...I was told that he didn't have to pay for destroying the jacket as my homeowners insurance should cover it...all told I was out $1100 plus the $140 for the tickets...I have little patience with eco-extremists, as I have little patience with any who abuse our right to "share" this environment...I appreciate those valid points made in the thread, and I agree that we are all a bit more informed than before...Thanks for reading my rant...JD

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome