Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Trail Obstructionists
I recently stumbled upon (literally) this little guy while out hiking the Cady Ridge Trail in the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness in the Wenatchee National Forest. This industrious furry fellow decided to claim his new home site right in the middle of the trail. Quite an excavation job he did-moving small rocks and digging a nice spread right in the tread. Hey, he doesn't mind if you amble by, and I really don't mind his trail obstructing ways. The types of trail obstructionists that get me fired up are state and federal leaders who refuse to properly fund our trails, well-healed hikers who refuse to purchase trail passes and donate money and time to trail advocacy groups, and the worst obstructionists of them all-elitist hikers who think it should all revert back to pure wilderness so that no one except perhaps them and my marmot buddy here and his friends will have access to the backcountry.
Hey, I want to preserve more wilderness and protect wildlife. But I also want to be able to access and enjoy my public lands. And if people (ie., the citizen taxpayers) can't visit their public lands-they probably won't go to bat for them when it comes to funding them or stopping ill-conceived management plans. So, let's stop these trail obstructionists in the halls of Congress, Olympia and the streets of Seattle. Only tenacious marmots should have the right to block my passage in the wilderness.

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