First to 59toaster, my congratulations to you and your off-road group. It is refreshing to hear of individuals taking not only personal responsibility, but societal responsibility for environmental reform. Keep up the good work!
The true tree huggers, Earth First! and those of their ilk are nothing more than domestic terrorists who believe that humans have no place on earth. They're perspective is nothing short of whacko.
I have been in law enforcement in various capacities all my adult life, and the most alarming trend I see is that few people accept responsibility. Criminals aren't responsible for their actions because of their terrible childhoods. Normal people aren't responsible because we have insurance to cover damages. I covered an accident the other day where the teenager driving told me HE wasn't responsible because he didn't crash into the other car on purpose!!!
One of the huge failings of our society today is that we no longer take responsibility. I have come to believe that single issue is the difference between us and our founding fathers. Read the language of the Declaration of Independence and ask yourself if, on a daily basis, you live up to the ideals of those men. Theirs' are tough shoes to fill, and yet fill them we must. Each of us.
Government cannot take care of us nor protect us as individuals. Government exists, according to the constitution, to "provide for the common good" not the individual good. Somewhere that's gotten lost.
We, each one of us, are therefore not only responsible for our actions, but for policing the actions of those around us. If we see something happen that we can't or shouldn't physically take action on, then it is still appropriate to get involved, get the best description of the violators and tell the appropriate enforcement agency, be it local law enforcement, or the Federal Aviation Administration or whomever.
"Government"; e.g. cops and forest rangers are not, and cannot be everywhere. We must have the cooperation and participation of the entire citizenry to make a difference. Our society wasn't invented as a passive organization, but as a government in Lincoln's unforgettable words, "Of the people, by the people, and for the people." Where have the People gone?
"All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Folks, if we as individuals aren't taking the initiative to make a difference, trust me when I tell you that things will only get worse.
So next time you're out, if you see somebody dump illegally, or race through somewhere inappropriate, or feed the bears, or poach wildlife, or grow marijuana, or do any one of a million things that they shouldn't be doing, take action. If it means direct action, and you know what you're doing, then DO IT! I'm not advocating vigilantism; I'm advocating talking to folks who dump trash and are inappropriate in their use of our wildlands. If it means calling law enforcement and providing the best details you can, then DO IT. Get involved and stay involved. Be willing to testify at trial if necessary. Police your own campgrounds and friends you camp with. Pack out your trash. Leave no sign you were there. Pick up after other slobs if they left garbage for you.
You don't have to be a Superman to make a difference. Each time one of us confronts and solves a problem, it makes a difference in the long term. That's how our nation was built. It's how our wilderness will survive and it's independent of politics.
Thanks for allowing me this rant, and I promise it's the last.
AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"