Thursday, January 01, 2009

Felice Anno Nuovo!
Happy New Year's Day 2009! Wow-here we are entering the last year of the first decade of the new millennium. Where did the time go? This will be a tough year financially for many out there and certainly one bringing plenty of anxiety. Stay positive and focused and we'll get through it. And while I did not vote for Barack Obama, I join those who did in welcoming him to the White House and saying arrivaderci to George W. Bush. I look forward to a post-Bush America (and post-Clinton and Kennedy too- but I'll have to wait longer for those!). Today in Skagit County in Western Washington it is 40 degrees and raining. In southern NH it is 4 degrees and windy! And if you think its tough to go for a hike today in NH with the chilling weather, this year will be especially tough for irresponsible NH hikers. A new law goes into effect that according to this AP article in the Boston Globe "aims to make people think twice before heading into the woods unprepared or under the influence." It states further:

The state Department of Fish and Game currently fines lost hikers who recklessly venture into the woods to pay for the cost of the rescue, but now the department will have the power to revoke the driver’s licenses of those who don’t pay. Hikers can also lose licenses with the state Health and Human Services Department, and hunting and fishing licenses.
The law also gives the state more power over who they decide to fine. Previously, the state had to prove someone acted recklessly before charging a hiker for repayment for a rescue. This meant the state had to show the hiker or hikers were aware going into the woods posed a substantial risk but they did it anyway. Now the state only has to prove the person was negligent.

With this year's winter currently shaping up to be another doozey, it'll be interesting to see how this law pans out. In the meanwhile- Happy New Year everyone and may you resolve to live life fuller, healthier, and more connected to the Natural World!

(photo- Town hall from the old homestead in chilly New Hampshire)

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