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TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(4486)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/18/2017 09:23PM
Trashed campsite

As my screen name indicates, Tuscarora Lake holds a special place in my heart. So, it sickens me to inform of the discovery (on a very recent trip) of a trashed campsite on that beautiful lake. If portaging in from Missing Link Lake, it would be the first site to the west (#517 on north shore). We gathered up all the trash we could find and left it near the fire grate area but, there were still several larger live trees that were cut down that we left where they lay. Plus, I'm sure there was also stuff we didn't find - as there was 'garbage' everywhere including the lake!

The Forest Service has been notified.

 
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airmorse
distinguished member(2500)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/18/2017 09:48PM
Holy Shit. WTF is wrong with people.

I wonder if having to get permits for specific campsites within the BWCA would discourage this type of vandalism/abuse.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2551)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/18/2017 10:28PM
quote airmorse: "Holy Shit. WTF is wrong with people.


I wonder if having to get permits for specific campsites within the BWCA would discourage this type of vandalism/abuse."


If someone is willing to go to that level of destruction I'm fairly certain they'd have little regard for the permitting system.
 
06/18/2017 11:38PM
That's sad. It always saddens me to see a campsite trashed, or initials carved into a tree. Just this weekend I hiked out someone else's saw.
 
Kawnipi1
senior member (77)senior membersenior member
 
06/19/2017 12:11AM
Very Sad. Very upsetting. I can imagine how you felt coming upon such a scene. Hopefully both the authorities and karma catch up with them.

K
 
06/19/2017 06:17AM
quote airmorse: "Holy Shit. WTF is wrong with people.


I wonder if having to get permits for specific campsites within the BWCA would discourage this type of vandalism/abuse."


That would require follow up/prosecution.

at one point I suggested (the much hated) idea of requiring at least one member of the party to be "certified leave- no -trace". You would have to pay a guide / government employee to go camping with you for 1-2 nights to make sure you are doing everything ok. Then you would be certified for life, for all national parks/forests/etc. Only those certified could be the leader to get a permit.

costly yes, but may be worth it to protect our lands?


 
DougD
distinguished member (125)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 06:32AM
I'm sorry you had to see one of your favorite lakes treated this way. Its very sad.

However, I don't think more bureaucracy, restrictions, and camping with government employees will keep these things from happening. Education and peer pressure seems to have changed more attitudes about our wilderness areas than any government interventions or policies. Lets not make it harder to enjoy the wilderness. Lets not be advocates for more rules and government intervention. Many of us travel to the wilderness to get away from the regulated, dictated, frustrated, norms of our society. I suggest we just keep on setting the right examples, teach the younger generations concepts such as "leave no trace", and not let the actions of a few lead us down the path of a wilderness area that is so regulated and controlled that it takes away from the experience that many of us are seeking. I think the BWCA has found a good balance between freedom to make your own plans and do your own thing, with enough rules to keep it wild.

Just my thoughts, happy paddling.
 
RLancer
senior member (77)senior membersenior member
 
06/19/2017 07:11AM
I would agree with DougD on this one. I've gotten more of my friends to recycle and enjoy the outdoors responsibly by setting a good example around them than by preaching to them to do change their ways. We are definitely a social species in that regard. We see someone doing something and without even thinking about we sometimes follow their example. It saddens me to see the campsite in that condition but it also makes me happy knowing that someone else cares about that site, and the whole area that much. Thank you for cleaning up and notifying the park service.
 
OldFingers57
distinguished member(4998)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/19/2017 08:17AM
At first in the video when you were showing the first fire pit destroyed the first thing I thought of was that they had thrown the grate in the lake or tossed it off somewhere. Then when you showed the second fire pit. I thought OK they have the grate totally encased in stones even the top of it. Then you show the logs cut and I thought OK they left some firewood. When you panned to the mess left by the last firepit with blue tarps and other crap and the wood wall/windbreak they built I was flabbergasted.
I don't have any solution to this problem I see things like this while out backpacking too. I am on countless Facebook groups where when we get into discussions about Leave No Trace they turn into heated arguments. People think it is OK to move things around and create as many fire pits as you want and to build all sorts of structures. Some even see no harm in leaving things behind like the blue tarps as then otherswho might use the campsite have this there for their use.
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 09:59AM
quote OldFingers57: "At first in the video when you were showing the first fire pit destroyed the first thing I thought of was that they had thrown the grate in the lake or tossed it off somewhere. Then when you showed the second fire pit. I thought OK they have the grate totally encased in stones even the top of it. Then you show the logs cut and I thought OK they left some firewood. When you panned to the mess left by the last firepit with blue tarps and other crap and the wood wall/windbreak they built I was flabbergasted.
I don't have any solution to this problem I see things like this while out backpacking too. I am on countless Facebook groups where when we get into discussions about Leave No Trace they turn into heated arguments. People think it is OK to move things around and create as many fire pits as you want and to build all sorts of structures. Some even see no harm in leaving things behind like the blue tarps as then otherswho might use the campsite have this there for their use. "


How can people think its OK to create additional fire pits or build structures? I get how they might want to build a little rock wind break for the fire. Even if they didn't put them back, I don't think anyone would be able to tell anyways since most sites have some sort of walls around the fire.

One thing I thought was on the fence was bringing back dead trees or branches and not cutting them up. Obviously I would not leave them in the middle of the site, but I thought it was iffy to even bring them in at all if you don't finish cutting and stacking. Something like making a wall, stand, hanger, or anything clearly manmade and leaving it there just seems obviously wrong.

Even if they thought that building structures out of natural materials was alright, how is leaving tarps in any way acceptable? That seems incredibly different than not deconstructing something like a branch tripod or a lean to shelter. That's leaving trash that you brought in. How can you say you follow LNT at all and think its ok to leave trash? If you are leaving it then you obviously don't want it, that makes it trash. I see no reasonable argument around it.
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 10:17AM
quote RLancer: "I would agree with DougD on this one. I've gotten more of my friends to recycle and enjoy the outdoors responsibly by setting a good example around them than by preaching to them to do change their ways. We are definitely a social species in that regard."

I do feel like it would be a good idea to provide some encouragement for people to learn more before entering the BW. Maybe if the group leader was more liable for damage and violations caused by their party (within reason) and/or groups are more encouraged to take their first few trips with more experienced campers. Maybe just putting an area on the permit where it asks the number of trips taken previously and popping up with a warning when no one listed on the permit has taken more than 1 or 2 trips. Not that it would restrict them, but that it would provide recommendations to trip with more experienced campers and/or point to resources for information and education on LNT and proper etiquette

 
northallen
distinguished member(664)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 10:18AM
Seems like a lot of bad news coming out of the BW this summer. Is it really worse (rescues and trashed campsites) or are we better informed. We're planning an Aug trip and these reports are bringing me down; I'd especially hate to paddle by one of these sites while the offenses were in progress.

Regardless, I'm going to the trip reports to find a 'good time was had by all' report to lift my spirits.
 
Fizics
distinguished member (146)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 11:04AM
The guy who introduced me to the BWCA instilled the values of camping out there in me, but only a true valueless camping douche bag does this, that or something very bad happened to them they had to leave so carelessly. What do you do as the person who finds something like this? Burn all the crap you can and pile the rest up?
 
paddlefamily
distinguished member(1564)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 01:06PM
Wow...worse than I imagined. Heartbreaking for sure. Somebody was there for a while.
 
Whatsit
distinguished member(735)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 03:38PM
My campsite I came to in mid may was a mess too, but not like this. It wouldn't surprise me if that was done by winter campers that don't pay a penny for the sites. Very sad. I noticed a lot of people going in screaming and causing a lot of trouble this time around in the bwca. During the night someone was letting off a blow horn. Screaming and partying happening as it got closer to Memorial Day. Very worrisome about the future of the bwca for our kids and grandkids
Mike
 
thistlekicker
distinguished member (328)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 06:48PM
Unbelievable.

These are OUR public lands and resources that idiots are abusing - if they want to do this sh!t, do it on private property. Outrage is justified.

 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/19/2017 06:57PM
I don't think we need any rule changes,but sure would be nice if the USFS had a few more Ranger-Enforcement people.
Eliminate the problem-no,but if people are checked a little more and maybe a heftier fine.

I seen a campsite on Carol lake than Gull lake by Pietro with trash all over and done deliberately. Carol had like 30 beer cans thrown everywhere and a pair of jean pants half burnt. Gull tin foil was spread everywhere along with burnt shoes.
I know these two times it was on purpose.

That said 97% of the time people are really good.
 
Whatsit
distinguished member(735)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/19/2017 09:59PM
quote Pinetree: "I don't think we need any rule changes,but sure would be nice if the USFS had a few more Ranger-Enforcement people.
Eliminate the problem-no,but if people are checked a little more and maybe a heftier fine.


I seen a campsite on Carol lake than Gull lake by Pietro with trash all over and done deliberately. Carol had like 30 beer cans thrown everywhere and a pair of jean pants half burnt. Gull tin foil was spread everywhere along with burnt shoes.
I know these two times it was on purpose.


That said 97% of the time people are really good.
"

I agree. It's a few nutters that just don't care and more then likely trying to act cool in front of others. They go on these trips with the attitude it's one big drinking party and couldn't care about anything or any body. It just hurts the visitors that truly are coming to the bwca to get away from everything.
Mike
 
Lefty Do Gooder
Guest Paddler
 
06/20/2017 09:58AM
somebody suggested leaving firewood for the next people, looks like that is what they did
 
QueticoMike
distinguished member(5056)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/20/2017 10:20AM
That is just plain sad. Why do people feel the need to do this? They probably think they are making the place better by cutting down those trees.
 
spazbear
 
06/20/2017 10:36AM
All that stuff left behind -- maybe it was a medical emergency departure. With all that lumberjacking, perhaps they hatchet-ed themselves in the leg.

One can hope...
 
Soledad
distinguished member(1690)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2017 01:37PM
If there were more rangers in the BWCA, it would be more likely that someone who had this sort of camp set up for as long as they did would have been caught.

Our government needs to financially enable the USFS to protect OUR lands rather than making cuts.
 
nicek
distinguished member(722)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2017 02:45PM
TB I feel your grief finding this mess on YOURS and OUR campsite. I have been to Tuscarora several times. Many winter trips hold great memories in my soul. This is just plain WRONG.
I hope we can overcome and make the difference ourselves. Education of young goes long way.
Peace.
 
mr.barley
distinguished member(7178)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/20/2017 06:55PM
A few years ago I camped on the island site on Tusc the day the ice went out. It was also trashed (I suspect by winter campers) but not to the extent of the OP video. Some people are just idiots and you can't fix stupid.
 
DeterminedOrange
distinguished member(568)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2017 07:25PM
That's the video they should make people watch when picking up permits.

 
NorthlandFan
member (9)member
 
06/21/2017 09:52AM
With all the structures they built, it made me wonder if someone might be trying to live out there. Homeless?
 
OldFingers57
distinguished member(4998)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/21/2017 09:56AM
quote Soledad: "If there were more rangers in the BWCA, it would be more likely that someone who had this sort of camp set up for as long as they did would have been caught.


Our government needs to financially enable the USFS to protect OUR lands rather than making cuts.
"


Well the USFS getting more money is not going to happen considering that the Interior Dept wants to make some deep cuts budget wise to get the overall Federal Budget down.
 
OldFingers57
distinguished member(4998)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/21/2017 09:57AM
quote A1t2o: "quote OldFingers57: "At first in the video when you were showing the first fire pit destroyed the first thing I thought of was that they had thrown the grate in the lake or tossed it off somewhere. Then when you showed the second fire pit. I thought OK they have the grate totally encased in stones even the top of it. Then you show the logs cut and I thought OK they left some firewood. When you panned to the mess left by the last firepit with blue tarps and other crap and the wood wall/windbreak they built I was flabbergasted.
I don't have any solution to this problem I see things like this while out backpacking too. I am on countless Facebook groups where when we get into discussions about Leave No Trace they turn into heated arguments. People think it is OK to move things around and create as many fire pits as you want and to build all sorts of structures. Some even see no harm in leaving things behind like the blue tarps as then otherswho might use the campsite have this there for their use. "



How can people think its OK to create additional fire pits or build structures? I get how they might want to build a little rock wind break for the fire. Even if they didn't put them back, I don't think anyone would be able to tell anyways since most sites have some sort of walls around the fire.


One thing I thought was on the fence was bringing back dead trees or branches and not cutting them up. Obviously I would not leave them in the middle of the site, but I thought it was iffy to even bring them in at all if you don't finish cutting and stacking. Something like making a wall, stand, hanger, or anything clearly manmade and leaving it there just seems obviously wrong.


Even if they thought that building structures out of natural materials was alright, how is leaving tarps in any way acceptable? That seems incredibly different than not deconstructing something like a branch tripod or a lean to shelter. That's leaving trash that you brought in. How can you say you follow LNT at all and think its ok to leave trash? If you are leaving it then you obviously don't want it, that makes it trash. I see no reasonable argument around it."


I think people feel that they are entitled to do whatever they want out in the wild as they seem at least on FB to quote that " it is public land and they pay taxes so they can do as they want" and also they don't like all of the Governmental rules.

Being an LNT instructor since 1996 I am always amazed at people's reactions in classes when we talk about some of the LNT principles. Over the years since 1996 I am hearing more and more that people think the LNT principles are too strict and that they think they don't need to abide by them.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
06/21/2017 10:26AM
quote OldFingers57: "quote Soledad: "If there were more rangers in the BWCA, it would be more likely that someone who had this sort of camp set up for as long as they did would have been caught.



Our government needs to financially enable the USFS to protect OUR lands rather than making cuts.
"



Well the USFS getting more money is not going to happen considering that the Interior Dept wants to make some deep cuts budget wise to get the overall Federal Budget down. "

Talking today of cutting 4000 full time career people from the Interior department alone. Much of the USFS is under the department of Agriculture which I hear is getting similar cuts. Were dismantling our natural resource programs,which is another story in itself.

Since about 1970 the USFS staff in the Superior forest has declined 50% . Also much of staff money and staff has been delegated to fighting the huge increase in fires across the nation.
 
Pinetree
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06/21/2017 10:32AM
Like I said previously I think overall campsite ethics is much better than the past. Yes we got a few do as you please and some of it may be anti goverment attitude. So they destroy the resource around them.

Many sites I visit now are sparking clean but than occasionally I see a pig pen mess and they had to know what they were doing. It is a I attitude.
 
WinstonRumfoord
member (50)member
 
06/21/2017 10:49AM
quote Pinetree: "Yes we got a few do as you please and some of it may be anti goverment attitude. So they destroy the resource around them."
I think you are barking up the right tree. While I sympathize with anyone who had their property or livelihood encroached upon by the government by way of eminent domain, my sympathy has a bright red line in the sand, or in this case, dirt and pine forest floor.

It takes a truly despicable person of amazing selfishness and astounding lack of foresight to actively harm our natural resources, wether you agree with how they came to be or not. I may not agree with how they carved out the light rail lines around the twin cities, but I would never even imagine considering damaging any of it.

Fact of the matter is that the BWCA and other reserves are here, and they are not going anywhere. Deal with it.
 
caribouluvr
distinguished member(630)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/21/2017 02:03PM
TB's video is getting picked up by the media! Education is spreading.
How not to leave your Boundary Waters campsite
 
OldFingers57
distinguished member(4998)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/21/2017 02:49PM
quote caribouluvr: "TB's video is getting picked up by the media! Education is spreading.
How not to leave your Boundary Waters campsite "


Hopefully this will make at least a few more people to have an Ah ha moment and think twice before doing something like this.
 
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(4486)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/21/2017 08:03PM
quote caribouluvr: "TB's video is getting picked up by the media! Education is spreading.
How not to leave your Boundary Waters campsite "


Did a short radio interview on WTIP (out of Grand Marais) this afternoon as well. Not sure when it will air? Hopefully all this will help and,at the very least, minimize these occurrences.

 
OldFingers57
distinguished member(4998)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/22/2017 09:02AM
quote TuscaroraBorealis: "quote caribouluvr: "TB's video is getting picked up by the media! Education is spreading.
How not to leave your Boundary Waters campsite "



Did a short radio interview on WTIP (out of Grand Marais) this afternoon as well. Not sure when it will air? Hopefully all this will help and,at the very least, minimize these occurrences.


"


Even if it just helps educate a couple at least that is a couple less that are doing this. Thank you for doing the interviews and getting the word out about this type of vandalism.
 
Pinetree
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06/22/2017 09:29AM
Trying to remember whom from this board had pictures of a huge mess on East Pike next to Vail or Gadwall lake a few years ago?
Was that you Tuscarora?
 
Hub
senior member (60)senior membersenior member
 
06/22/2017 09:40AM
quote OldFingers57: "quote TuscaroraBorealis: "quote caribouluvr: "TB's video is getting picked up by the media! Education is spreading.
How not to leave your Boundary Waters campsite "




Did a short radio interview on WTIP (out of Grand Marais) this afternoon as well. Not sure when it will air? Hopefully all this will help and,at the very least, minimize these occurrences.



"



Even if it just helps educate a couple at least that is a couple less that are doing this. Thank you for doing the interviews and getting the word out about this type of vandalism."


My guess is it won't help. These types of folks know what they are doing is wrong to begin with. If anything giving it press will embolden other knobs to do the same.
 
mapsguy1955
distinguished member(549)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/22/2017 09:48AM
Every time one of us goes to Canoe Country and sees a despoiled campsite or notice behavior not in keeping with the solitude and tradition of LNT, it takes away from our own wilderness experience. Rationalizing the behavior as kids, or whatever, on our part does no favors towards stopping it.

I think every person of age should have a one time, affordable, online class on canoe country as a mandatory prerequisite. This should cover the history, ecology, rules and regulations, LNT, Canoeing skills, fire pit skills, basic emergency skills, and CC etiquette. At least then, we would know that the vandals know better. Penalties should be severe since much caused damage could take decades to reverse.

As we get more crowded on the planet, it will be more important that this kind of behavior, in the few remaining wild places we have, will not be tolerated.
 
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(4486)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/22/2017 12:45PM
quote Pinetree: "Trying to remember whom from this board had pictures of a huge mess on East Pike next to Vail or Gadwall lake a few years ago?
Was that you Tuscarora?"


Yes.

Found a mess up on Gadwall Lake several years back. Trip report See day 4.
 
Pinetree
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06/22/2017 01:59PM
quote TuscaroraBorealis: "quote Pinetree: "Trying to remember whom from this board had pictures of a huge mess on East Pike next to Vail or Gadwall lake a few years ago?
Was that you Tuscarora?"



Yes.


Found a mess up on Gadwall Lake several years back. Trip report See day 4."


Its interesting both left numerous blue tarps?
 
jdevries
distinguished member(1602)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/22/2017 02:20PM
I'm thinking winter campers trying to do their best impression of creating a campsite like those on the Alone series.

JD
 
mschi772
distinguished member (330)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/22/2017 02:39PM
quote jdevries: "I'm thinking winter campers trying to do their best impression of creating a campsite like those on the Alone series.


JD"


What would be nice is if all the TV shows like that that inspire random chunguses to go be wilderness badasses for a weekend would all have short segments reminding viewers how to be responsible and highlighting some point of LNT and other etiquette.
 
DuluthPak
distinguished member(738)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/28/2017 11:40AM
Just a quick update for those of you that might interested. I paddled through the Tuscarora Lake area this past week and I checked out the campsite in question. The campsite has indeed been cleaned up. No sign of any structure or trash. I have no idea who cleaned up the site or who hauled out the trash. It is definitely a slog to get in or out of that area and so a thank you goes out to whoever helped with that clean-up.
 
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