Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pack Your Trash…coming to an outdoor area near you.

As the integration of Colorado State Parks gets underway more locations are likely to fall under the “Pack Your Trash” management style. This is nothing new in Colorado and means the removal of trash receptacles along with the costly upkeep at certain outdoor locations. The visiting public will be expected to do their part or ultimately lose access to the wildlife area.

(Above: As you can tell, this sign has been around for a long time. Most adhere to the low budget solution but a small percentage couldn’t care less and still cause damage to natural habitat. That small percentage is a large part of the problem.)

We see these signs currently in many remote areas were it isn’t feasible to maintain routine trash pick up. Trash cans also tempt scavengers such as raccoons, bears, ravens and even squirrels into developing bad habits. These creatures simply empty the contents back onto the ground anyway when given the chance. It makes sense in a lot of wildlife areas to remove the trashcans for many reasons. There is only one catch…the public has to cooperate.

Some locations during this handover will be given one chance and one chance only to become more in line with budget needs. If the public does not cooperate, these places will be shut down temporarily or altogether. We have lost fishing spots due to poor behavior even in the best of budget years. Now management will have more of an itchy trigger finger to shoot down public access and the cost that goes with it if all they see is trouble. Access to these locations is literally in the hands of the public and many of these areas are hanging by a thread right now. Lack of cooperation and excessive littering will be the deathblow.

More cost cutting measures undoubtedly will be on the table. Some jobs will be cut and some places will be closed. Maybe they will return in better economic times but for now my mode is going into “brace for impact” in regards to Colorado’s natural areas.

In closing I urge that we all cooperate with the “Pack Your Trash” signs along with being more vigilant about litter in our wildlife areas. Packing out your own trash is a common philosophy shared by most Colorado outdoor recreationalists and in a lot of areas you simply have no other alternative. The majority of the recreational public in Colorado is very respectful. In most cases it is a very small few that have little or no regard for rules, signage or other people’s outdoor experience. The majority can compensate by zero tolerance and picking up what others leave behind. Future visits may depend on it.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


TexWisGirl said...

a great message to spread and well said...

Venie said...

Interesting :)

If everyone cared then it could make the world a better place :)

John said...

Sorry to say, but from my perspective the sportfishing future in your neck of the woods looks rather bleak as I've little faith in the general populace's "compulsive cleanliness" to carry over to public lands. Keep plugging away at them!

troutrageous1 said...

Unfotunately we all know there's going to be litterbugs. Your post is a nice reminder of why we should pick up water or trail side trash that may not even be ours. Don't let the ignorant few ruin our beloved resources.

Coloradocasters said...

@TexWisGirl: My blog sounds like an after school special sometimes. Just trying to mix some conservation in with all of the shameless bragging. So glad you find the time to say hello on my lil ol fishing blog.

@Venie: Thank you so much. Some places I am fighting to save from their last breath.

@John: Yes, I agree most humans are generally buggars and some areas are more crowded than others. The good outweigh the bad so it is not a hopeless battle.

@Troutrageous1: Exactly and thank you for the comment. This post was sent out to prepare others for a wave of possible cuts and changes to make all of Colorado’s natural areas less of a burden financially.

Shoreman said...

We, of blogdom, do our part to keep the trash picked up, but unfortunately there are many "Pigs" out there, that we will now, have to pick up behind.


Coloradocasters said...

@Shoreman: Hopefully my blog can reinforce the good and minimize the bad. Unfortunately litterbugs don’t even know my blog exists and these are often the most difficult to reach. I also hope to cushion the blow for some folks that are used to Colorado State Parks being full of comfortable amenities.

Venie said...

Maybe u should donate an "Angry bird will bites u if u just simply throw ur rubbish" sign :P

Coloradocasters said...

@Venie: That is a fantastic idea! Can we make it an angry fish instead? I am up for anything that results in less trash that I have to pick up out there.