What is everyone’s take on accessibility and the wilderness? How easy should it be to reach amazing wild places? The spot you see in this photograph is not particularly easy to find. It’s in a remote corner of Utah, down a long, dusty, and bumpy dirt road. Despite this, the location is receiving more attraction nowadays! This is especially the case when you compare it to the last time I was there! I even heard some rumours about this incredible road getting properly paved, allowing even more people to access this spot. Personally, I feel that we should help as many people as possible cultivate a personal relationship with the wilderness, so long as people are educated about how to take better care of nature. The ’leave no trace principles’ and ’outdoor ethics’ should always be prioritized.
We have already been seeing that accessibility given to more people who are unaware of proper outdoor education can result in the destruction of the wilderness. This is a tough and complicated issue that does not have a clear-cut answer: it lies in a gray area. So the question is – where do you draw the line between accessibility and wilderness?
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Edward Abbey's book Desert Solitaire gives agreat picture of how, pretty much, the entire state was, before syphilisasion hit the parks there. Some much destruction, in the name of visitation.
To be fair, wild places are not that hard to find in this country, and we are extremely lucky for that. The problem is the popularization of particular spots, and a lack of education/bad behavior. Like most things, it is likely the actions of few that ruin it for the many.
I used to be a big believer in sharing locations because I wanted to know where all the amazing photos I saw on IG were taken. I assumed though that people who would go to these places would also treat them with the same respect that I would treat them. Unfortunately, I assumed wrong. People have no respect or shame. My favorite hike in Oregon, oneonta gorge (before people burned it down), was littered with socks and cigarettes and shoes and trash last time I was there. When I was on Mt Ranier last wild flower season, tourists were trodding off the path and laying in flowers, walking into ponds, and just destroying the natural habitat. I’m now all for keeping places more or less discrete (remote corner of Utah is a perfect location description), keeping roads unpaved, and limiting visitors to wilderness areas through permit systems. It’s sad I believe this now, but even sader to see such beautiful places be destroyed by stupid disrespectful people.
Well said, brother
I rather keep it wild. The more effort you have to put to reach a spot, the better you’ll keep it. I remember the first time I visited Grand Canyon West... 54 miles of off-road driving. You knew you had arrive because there was a porta-potty, a picnic table, and the canyon! Now is a mess... hoards of people... charges galore... and limited access to the canyon edge.... and people trampling all over delicate formations!
That's beautiful man🤙
It's sad how our lands are being used in properly. Just today there was a couple trying to take a photo by standing out on the rocks at Valley view and basically damaging the habitat as well as everybody shot. I think it's very important that when people see something they say something as well.
Those who make the extra effort to get to the beautiful wilderness places will take extra care of those places. If it’s easy to access with little effort, it removes the exceptionality of those places.
Sorry the only reason they want to put a paved road in is to make money! I think that the wilderness should not be rewind by putting paved roads everywhere to make it easier for the masses to get there. They will destroy an area of natural beauty just as they have elsewhere! We need to preserve what little wilderness is left, it's not all about the money. Great photo. 🤘📸😎
I love you, Josh, dearly and believe me I am a big fan. However, given the level of damage our Earth suffer from human activities, ‘leave no trace principles’ and ‘outdoor ethic’ may not be enough. We should take more active role in raising awareness, give more attention to individual commitment to conservation effort by volunteering and involving organizations that focus on Earth repair.
cool shot 👍🏻
Just tag your photos as “Mesa Arch” like Nick does. If they want to see it, they hike.
Accessibility is not for everyone, and sometimes not by choice. I was born with a heart condition that doesn't allow me to hike on hills, so I'm always looking for alternative flat trails that usually are less spectacular than others more complicated, but I enjoy them anyway. I think it's a matter of mindset and learning to appreciate what we have and can access. Great picture by the way 😉
Agree with helping others cultivate relationships with the wilderness. That's what photographers do! Be careful about wanting too much access. Cell towers will be placed next to this spot in coming years so everyone's selfies can be instantly posted! Don't pave the road!
The answer? I don’t know.. I have struggled with the ineptitude of some folks simply not giving a shit. You/I/we give a compassionate almost Buddhist like reverence while others just simply have not seen the “light”. I will continue to try my best with stewardship but man it’s hard to be tolerant with ignorance.
Double edged sword isn't it. 100% guaranteed more people = more trash, more damage then usually no access. We've had times when areas of the Maroon bells wilderness has to be close due to excessive human fecal contamination because pack it out is too much trouble!
More wilderness, there is already more than enough land that’s accessible
At the public beaches I see parents encouraging their kids to chase birds instead of using it as a moment to teach them to respect wildlife. So how would it be any different in the wilderness? I only see more destruction and pollution.
Keep it wild. LNT. People have to play within theurvown abilities.
I like the idea of cultivating a personal relationship with the wilderness
this is too cute!
why do we feel compelled to tell everyone (the internet) where “secret” special areas are? “take only photographs leave only footprints “