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Savage Voyageur
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06/09/2021 09:57PM  
I just got back from a short trip to Moose and Ensign. We found many trees damaged and hacked with an axe. No idea why people would find this an acceptable practice.
We saw huge groups of campers, no campsites were open on Ensign. We heard gun shots from a neighboring campsite after dark. Never have I witnessed this before. Trash all over the campsite, towels in the woods, fishing lures and line by the lake. Just sad.
 
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06/09/2021 10:25PM  
Yes, there's some "new" people out there doing bad stuff. I just did the Granite River two weeks ago and consistently found green trees cut down, green logs in 2 of 3 firegrates with the other end resting on the seating logs. I had a couple fellas try to talk me out of my campsite on Sag because they had talked to the group the night before and they were many and I was just one.
 
Gaidin53
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06/09/2021 11:00PM  
OMG! That peeled tree makes me so mad! All the other trees with axe marks In them and some cut off! We all know we’re going to see more of it too just like last year! They really need to get out and do more patrolling. Check campsites. Problem is if you camped in that site how could you prove you weren’t the idiot that did it. I don’t carry an axe or hatchet only a saw so that would be one thing in my favor if I got checked in a site with previous damage. I’d love to get checked though and see them out patrolling especially in the high traffic closer in problem areas. I assume you notified the forest service about the damage you found and what site it was.

Also the nerve of a group trying to talk someone into leaving a campsite they are already established in because they have more people? That is just way out of line on etiquette! I guess they figured they were more important! Something like that would have really made me mad and would have negatively affected that trip for me. I hope you were able to get past it and find your groove after that again.

Ryan
 
06/10/2021 07:18AM  
This isn't about "new" people going to the BWCA and not knowing the rules. This is a example of complete and total lack of respect and a feeling that people can get away with anything and not be responsible for their actions.

Unfortunately the USFS doesn't have the manpower to oversee. It would be nice to see more DNR and a few troopers assigned to the BW.
 
PeaceFrog
member (44)member
 
06/10/2021 07:25AM  
+1
 
yellowcanoe
distinguished member(4884)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/10/2021 08:04AM  
airmorse: "This isn't about "new" people going to the BWCA and not knowing the rules. This is a example of complete and total lack of respect and a feeling that people can get away with anything and not be responsible for their actions.


Unfortunately the USFS doesn't have the manpower to oversee. It would be nice to see more DNR and a few troopers assigned to the BW."

+2
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2063)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 09:07AM  
+3
 
SouthernKevlar
member (27)member
 
06/10/2021 10:43AM  
Just another example of the downward spiral of our civilization. When respect is forgotten, what follows will not be pretty.
This may be a good time to relearn the old skills in preparation for the next "dark ages": It may be sooner than you think. Not predicting, just saying. Knowledge never hurts.
 
Wayouttroy
distinguished member (127)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 10:59AM  
I think all people have an inter voice that says “am I doing or about to do the right thing? Call it common sense or Gods spirit speaking,I feel we have all experienced this feeling. I feel every body has some common sense , some just don’t know how to apply.I wonder how the person who defaces trees in the BWCA or on any public land would feel if someone would do that to there back yard trees?
 
Speckled
distinguished member (316)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 11:51AM  
We saw alot of the same unfortunately when we went in on fishing opener, likely left over from last years circus. The campsite we snagged was an absolute mess. Brush pile, a tree that was hatchet attacked and girdled, another live tree that had been cut down and was just leaning against another tree right in the middle of camp, garbage, someone tried to burn the log bench and some trees that looked pretty green just laying around camp.

We picked and packed out the garbage, cut up and split the trees that had been cut down around the camp, carried the brush way back into the woods, and rebuilt the log benches to "hide" the charcoaled part.

The site is in great shape now...hopefully it can stay that way.


 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2759)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 12:15PM  
I like your assessment, airmorse. It is the ugly truth. I was hoping against the odds that those morons would go away and stay away once the Covid pandemic would subside. Not gonna happen, I guess. ugh!
 
JWilder
distinguished member (327)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 12:29PM  
Wayouttroy: "I think all people have an inter voice that says “am I doing or about to do the right thing? Call it common sense or Gods spirit speaking,I feel we have all experienced this feeling. I feel every body has some common sense , some just don’t know how to apply.I wonder how the person who defaces trees in the BWCA or on any public land would feel if someone would do that to there back yard trees?"

This is called your conscience. People have perfected the art of ignoring it...
 
06/10/2021 12:52PM  
airmorse: "This isn't about "new" people going to the BWCA and not knowing the rules. This is a example of complete and total lack of respect and a feeling that people can get away with anything and not be responsible for their actions.


Unfortunately the USFS doesn't have the manpower to oversee. It would be nice to see more DNR and a few troopers assigned to the BW."


Yes. People feel entitled to do whatever, without regard to others.

On the first morning of our recent trip, a group of three young men pulled up and started fishing right in front of our site, which is outside of courteous imo, but whatever. However, they blathered on constantly for almost 45m on a very still morning - while we were sitting there eating breakfast.

My take at the time was that they were just clueless idiots, but my wife reminded me that plain disregard for others is pervasive and growing. What we're seeing in the BWCA is just a sliver of what I consider to be the general erosion of common courtesy.

And while I carry on about courtesy and decency, all I can think is "F' these people!" ;)
 
06/10/2021 12:56PM  
All of the stories in here are really frustrating :(
 
Chieflonewatie
senior member (72)senior membersenior member
 
06/10/2021 01:30PM  
Does anyone ever get caught doing this stuff?
 
woodsandwater
distinguished member (329)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 02:01PM  
Already learning and practicing "the old skills."
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2063)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 02:16PM  
I never wrote about the time I was on Gabbro some years back and the previous campers had pulled the fire grate out of the ground. Yes you heard me right.
I took the next two hours putting it back to where you would have never known what I did. I've been back to that site since and it looks spectacular.

To make matters worse, I was paddling around the lake for fun and found another campsite where they did the same thing. I didn't fix that one due to the time it takes to get them back in.

The legs on those fire grates are 2' or more long.

A lot of damage we see is peer pressure. One person in the group is the bad guy and the rest follow even when they know it's wrong.
Tom
 
thebotanyguy
distinguished member(786)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/10/2021 02:19PM  
The vertical axe cuts in the tree trunk appear to be some jackass practicing his axe throwing "skills". My sincerest hope is that the last throw missed the tree and the axe flew into the lake!
 
06/10/2021 04:48PM  
tumblehome: "I never wrote about the time I was on Gabbro some years back and the previous campers had pulled the fire grate out of the ground. Yes you heard me right.
I took the next two hours putting it back to where you would have never known what I did. I've been back to that site since and it looks spectacular.


To make matters worse, I was paddling around the lake for fun and found another campsite where they did the same thing. I didn't fix that one due to the time it takes to get them back in.


The legs on those fire grates are 2' or more long.


A lot of damage we see is peer pressure. One person in the group is the bad guy and the rest follow even when they know it's wrong.
Tom"


Gabro area gets some real losers whom will trash just about anything. Some do it so others don't use That campsite.
 
billconner
distinguished member(7856)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/10/2021 06:59PM  
Depressing but great thanks to all here who make the effort to pick up and make repairs as possible. I've tried to leave sites better than when I've found them but last year and this seems much worse than when I was last there.
 
06/11/2021 01:54PM  
I guess I gave been lucky the last year or so (3 trips) and have not seen any new abuse of the sites I have stayed on or paddled past. I have always seen (going on 20 BWCA trips) benches chopped up, birch trees peeled, fire grates full, half burned logs thrown in the lake and the wrong kind of crap in the latrine. Not all the LNT problems are from new campers.

The most recent signs of misuse I have seen are trees trimmed of branches in order (I think) to make hanging hammocks easier.

Better and more education of LNT will help but not stop the problem. The world is full of a holes and unfortunately some of them go camping.
 
joewildlife
distinguished member(542)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2021 03:24PM  
Well there are a holes, there is ignorance, and there is stupidity.

I saw a lot of green branches, green beaver wood, and green trees cut down and attempted to be burned. What kind of idiot looks at a 5" live standing pine tree in camp and thinks "Firewood!"

I picked up a lot of trash in the camps I stayed at on LLC and Crooked the last two weeks.

I also saw 15 people in 7 canoes together, obviously in a group, on Crooked. The Rangers were there earlier in the week and they were checking people, so at least they are trying.
Joe


 
dschult2
distinguished member (114)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2021 02:59AM  
Unfortunately it's like this all over and not really anything new. I wonder if it will ever get so bad that state and federal governments will finally start allocating more funds for enforcement.
 
mschi772
distinguished member(659)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2021 04:31PM  
dschult2: "Unfortunately it's like this all over and not really anything new. I wonder if it will ever get so bad that state and federal governments will finally start allocating more funds for enforcement."

Given the types of people controlling so many governments right now, I'd expect that as these natural areas get destroyed, they're pleased and looking forward to them being trashed beyond repair so that it is easier for them and their corporate overlords to convince the public to end their protections and just move-in, strip the resources, and develop the land.
 
treehorn
distinguished member(589)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/16/2021 10:41AM  
As a solution, I would personally lean away from more enforcement and towards more education.

I don't want to feel like there are "police" around every corner out there, even if I'm doing everything right. I don't want to be checked at every camp site I stay at, or once every few days.

Permit issuers, whether forest service directly or cooperating outfitters, can be pretty lax about making sure a group knows the rules. They don't want to hassle people or come across as suspicious, so in my experience, they trust people and want them to have a good time. Requiring people to even watch the video is quite rare in my experience.

I guess I'd rather be hassled on the front end, with the FS or an outfitter lecturing us about LNT, than hassled when I'm camping.

And of course there is no amount of education that will get through to some very rude people. They're unfortunately always going to be among us.
 
06/17/2021 10:11PM  
There is a time and place enforcement is the only option and the only education some understand. Make the fine hurt a little in the pocket and maybe suspension from the BWCA if it is more than ignorance.

BWCA has been around a long time ignorance of the rules or ethical considerations just doesn't fly.

Yes been on Gabro a decade ago and a large group had music blasting wide open.
Peter lake opening fishing season one year a bunch had a beer keg and were yelling the F---- word to get off their lake.

Yes idiots been around forever. Sometimes you have to show idiots the way out.
Yes education and PEER pressure is big and I really think the vast majority do a much better job than 35 years ago.



 
dzander7
senior member (64)senior membersenior member
 
06/18/2021 05:26PM  
Just got back from 5 days on Lake Three. Was disappointed to see the number of cut green trees lying around the campsite and the number of birch trees peeled of their bark. There was plenty of downed birch a short walk from the site and being close to the burn area there was plenty of dried cedar on the shoreline 50 yards from camp.

The icing on the cake was when we went to start a fire there were still embers in the fire grate. No attempt had been made to dowse the fire before the last group left.
 
pswith5
distinguished member(3473)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/18/2021 05:49PM  
airmorse: "This isn't about "new" people going to the BWCA and not knowing the rules. This is a example of complete and total lack of respect and a feeling that people can get away with anything and not be responsible for their actions.


Unfortunately the USFS doesn't have the manpower to oversee. It would be nice to see more DNR and a few troopers assigned to the BW."
I hope that., when and if, they raise the rates for going into the bwcaw ; the funding goes toward "policing" behaviors and not beurocratic b.s.
 
chessie
distinguished member (177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2021 08:50AM  
This is so sad, and not new. Probably just worse in past 1-2 years. I honestly think axes in BW ought to be forbidden.
The worst "mess" we've ever encountered was on Ensign, and this was in ~1998. Upon entering the lake from a portage, we saw a MOTORIZED boat go by (we reported this to rangers later). It was getting well into evening - so we grabbed the only open site we saw. There was crap everywhere - literally. A dirty diaper, fishing pole, food waste, parts to a pack, etc. It was just gross. The next morning we had the best otter watching during a.m. coffee on the rocks we've ever had :) ! The guys at a neighboring site told us the previous party had left our site "in a hurry" because wolves came into their camp. I highly doubt that happened. More likely the left over THC joint we found on the fire grate had something to do with their idiocy.

I can forgive a certain amount of newbie naivete - but not this wanton destruction. Maybe it's time a group like this put our minds together to come up with some proactive / actionable / doable ideas and make a proposal. ??
 
DRob1992
member (33)member
 
06/20/2021 01:36PM  
chessie: "This is so sad, and not new. Probably just worse in past 1-2 years. I honestly think axes in BW ought to be forbidden.
The worst "mess" we've ever encountered was on Ensign, and this was in ~1998. Upon entering the lake from a portage, we saw a MOTORIZED boat go by (we reported this to rangers later). It was getting well into evening - so we grabbed the only open site we saw. There was crap everywhere - literally. A dirty diaper, fishing pole, food waste, parts to a pack, etc. It was just gross. The next morning we had the best otter watching during a.m. coffee on the rocks we've ever had :) ! The guys at a neighboring site told us the previous party had left our site "in a hurry" because wolves came into their camp. I highly doubt that happened. More likely the left over THC joint we found on the fire grate had something to do with their idiocy.


I can forgive a certain amount of newbie naivete - but not this wanton destruction. Maybe it's time a group like this put our minds together to come up with some proactive / actionable / doable ideas and make a proposal. ??"


Not trying to be a troll by any means but I heard a great bit one time in regards to THC usage. It was something along the lines of, "A person's character and years of good or bad habits define that individual. THC doesn't do much in regards to whether that individual is lazy, motivated, etc." I can honestly say that I know hundreds of great, caring, passionate, nature-loving men and women who use THC regularly and, 10 times out of 10, would clean up camp, follow the Leave-No-Trace code, and even provide firewood (deadwood - not cutting into a live tree) for the next party. In summary, THC has nothing to do with people leaving a mess and acting like degenerates.
 
doorbluff84
member (15)member
 
06/20/2021 02:45PM  
DRob1992: "chessie: "This is so sad, and not new. Probably just worse in past 1-2 years. I honestly think axes in BW ought to be forbidden.
The worst "mess" we've ever encountered was on Ensign, and this was in ~1998. Upon entering the lake from a portage, we saw a MOTORIZED boat go by (we reported this to rangers later). It was getting well into evening - so we grabbed the only open site we saw. There was crap everywhere - literally. A dirty diaper, fishing pole, food waste, parts to a pack, etc. It was just gross. The next morning we had the best otter watching during a.m. coffee on the rocks we've ever had :) ! The guys at a neighboring site told us the previous party had left our site "in a hurry" because wolves came into their camp. I highly doubt that happened. More likely the left over THC joint we found on the fire grate had something to do with their idiocy.



I can forgive a certain amount of newbie naivete - but not this wanton destruction. Maybe it's time a group like this put our minds together to come up with some proactive / actionable / doable ideas and make a proposal. ??"



Not trying to be a troll by any means but I heard a great bit one time in regards to THC usage. It was something along the lines of, "A person's character and years of good or bad habits define that individual. THC doesn't do much in regards to whether that individual is lazy, motivated, etc." I can honestly say that I know hundreds of great, caring, passionate, nature-loving men and women who use THC regularly and, 10 times out of 10, would clean up camp, follow the Leave-No-Trace code, and even provide firewood (deadwood - not cutting into a live tree) for the next party. In summary, THC has nothing to do with people leaving a mess and acting like degenerates."


+1000
 
chessie
distinguished member (177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/20/2021 08:31PM  
DRob1992: "chessie: "This is so sad, and not new. Probably just worse in past 1-2 years. I honestly think axes in BW ought to be forbidden.
The worst "mess" we've ever encountered was on Ensign, and this was in ~1998. Upon entering the lake from a portage, we saw a MOTORIZED boat go by (we reported this to rangers later). It was getting well into evening - so we grabbed the only open site we saw. There was crap everywhere - literally. A dirty diaper, fishing pole, food waste, parts to a pack, etc. It was just gross. The next morning we had the best otter watching during a.m. coffee on the rocks we've ever had :) ! The guys at a neighboring site told us the previous party had left our site "in a hurry" because wolves came into their camp. I highly doubt that happened. More likely the left over THC joint we found on the fire grate had something to do with their idiocy.



I can forgive a certain amount of newbie naivete - but not this wanton destruction. Maybe it's time a group like this put our minds together to come up with some proactive / actionable / doable ideas and make a proposal. ??"



Not trying to be a troll by any means but I heard a great bit one time in regards to THC usage. It was something along the lines of, "A person's character and years of good or bad habits define that individual. THC doesn't do much in regards to whether that individual is lazy, motivated, etc." I can honestly say that I know hundreds of great, caring, passionate, nature-loving men and women who use THC regularly and, 10 times out of 10, would clean up camp, follow the Leave-No-Trace code, and even provide firewood (deadwood - not cutting into a live tree) for the next party. In summary, THC has nothing to do with people leaving a mess and acting like degenerates."
This introvert is impressed: I cannot say that I know hundreds of people that well! Neither you nor I can say how THC affected those specific individuals. I did not intend to imply that all folks who smoke pot are messy. Rather, upon learning that the party hastily packed up and abandoned their camp late into the night because a "pack of wolves" invaded their campsite gave me pause, especially upon finding the pot 'leftovers' -- in any event -- the more important gist is what to do about the worsening problem as noted in the original post.
 
DRob1992
member (33)member
 
06/21/2021 06:36PM  
chessie: "DRob1992: "chessie: "This is so sad, and not new. Probably just worse in past 1-2 years. I honestly think axes in BW ought to be forbidden.
The worst "mess" we've ever encountered was on Ensign, and this was in ~1998. Upon entering the lake from a portage, we saw a MOTORIZED boat go by (we reported this to rangers later). It was getting well into evening - so we grabbed the only open site we saw. There was crap everywhere - literally. A dirty diaper, fishing pole, food waste, parts to a pack, etc. It was just gross. The next morning we had the best otter watching during a.m. coffee on the rocks we've ever had :) ! The guys at a neighboring site told us the previous party had left our site "in a hurry" because wolves came into their camp. I highly doubt that happened. More likely the left over THC joint we found on the fire grate had something to do with their idiocy.



I can forgive a certain amount of newbie naivete - but not this wanton destruction. Maybe it's time a group like this put our minds together to come up with some proactive / actionable / doable ideas and make a proposal. ??"




Not trying to be a troll by any means but I heard a great bit one time in regards to THC usage. It was something along the lines of, "A person's character and years of good or bad habits define that individual. THC doesn't do much in regards to whether that individual is lazy, motivated, etc." I can honestly say that I know hundreds of great, caring, passionate, nature-loving men and women who use THC regularly and, 10 times out of 10, would clean up camp, follow the Leave-No-Trace code, and even provide firewood (deadwood - not cutting into a live tree) for the next party. In summary, THC has nothing to do with people leaving a mess and acting like degenerates."
This introvert is impressed: I cannot say that I know hundreds of people that well! Neither you nor I can say how THC affected those specific individuals. I did not intend to imply that all folks who smoke pot are messy. Rather, upon learning that the party hastily packed up and abandoned their camp late into the night because a "pack of wolves" invaded their campsite gave me pause, especially upon finding the pot 'leftovers' -- in any event -- the more important gist is what to do about the worsening problem as noted in the original post. "


I never claimed to know how THC affects each individual. There are many factors that determine the affect of THC on any given person - including a person's body weight, gender, mental health history, the amount of THC consumed, the strain of THC, consuming THC on an empty stomach versus full stomach, etc., etc. And you are right, the issue at hand is solving the worsening dillema of trash left behind. I doubt that we'll ever lick that issue entirely; although, I would love to imagine, just like you, a clean nature where each individual does his/her part in thoroughly cleaning up on every stop of every excursion.
 
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