Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby Wildhorse » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:18 am

Re: posturing. It is an interesting possibility, and I wonder what politics are taking place, maybe in back rooms.

I have not read the science lately. Fifteen years ago, science was used to argue for efforts to restrict trail use by humans and dogs and horses, etc. The trail users fought back by showing the weaknesses in the science.

BTW, the experiments themselves were cruel and involved deliberate harassment and abuse of the sheep. That was embarrassing to those who promoted the science. I think experiments that do not involve cruelty are hard to find.
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Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby Ed » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:41 am

Perhaps posturing was not the best choice of words, but it sort of captures my general view of the subject. Thanks for the history, Wildhorse, I knew none of this.
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Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby Wildhorse » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:21 am

“Posturing” may be insightful. We just don’t know enough yet. Nothing wrong with the word choice in my view.

Personally, I love dogs. I feel sympathy for the sheep, even empathy, but I love dogs. I also worry about our impact. I don’t know how to live anymore without guilt.

The news article said Palm Springs only plans to enforce the law when one trail user rats on another. Maybe the new volunteer rangers want to be their rats. Maybe Palm Springs was posturing, or virtue signaling, and really does not want conflict with hikers over dogs. It surprised me that Palm Springs would provide t-shirts. That strikes me as poor judgment - politically and legally.
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Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby Ed » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:54 pm

I don’t know how to live anymore without guilt.


I feel the same way. Take the tram, for example. I use the tram, and would not hike Skyline without it. But I think it is an environmental outrage. Imagine what Long Valley would be like without the tram. Pristine, even magical. A great place for backpackers to camp. Probably a place where you would often see deer and bighorn sheep. With the tram, I find it a depressing place that I can't get away from fast enough.
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Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby zippetydude » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:28 pm

Oh my goodness, Ed! Let's go the other way!

When humans first came to North America, and then to Central and South America, they destroyed all the Megafauna within a few thousand years. I truly regret that, as I would have loved to see mammoths and giant ground sloths. But I didn't kill those magnificent beasts personally, I have not killed a giant ground sloth all week!

Humans are super-predators. We can feel guilty about that, but if it had not been so then there would probably be none of us (intelligence is like the nuclear bomb of predation) and a whole lot more other species still alive. Same sort of thing with the tram. Yes, it would be a quiet and pristine valley. But how many thousands of children have learned a respect, even a love, for the wilderness, having been transported up to this magical land when they would most likely never have experienced it at all? What will they do with that love...and ultimately, that voting power?

I'm looking at the long game, not just at today. I think in the years to come it will have served to protect the greater wilderness, while having (at least for now) made Long Valley a picnic ground. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby Ed » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:14 am

I certainly understand that there are differences of opinion on this. Our primary care physician took his family up the tram last year, and they loved it. While I see the happy children having a new experience, I also see large numbers of people wandering around Long Valley who look out of place and not particularly enjoying the experience. My personal reaction has never failed to be negative since I first took the tram, which was probably about 1970. Not an intellectual reaction, a very personal visceral one.

The Sierra Club fought the tram and lost. Its official name is the Mt. San Jacinto Winter Park Authority, because it was marketed as providing access to a ski area, even though all the ski experts agreed that it was never going to be a suitable ski area. The Sierra Club also fought turning the north side of San Gorgonio into a ski area, and won. Imagine what that would have looked like if they had lost. The north side of San Gorgonio would have looked like Big Bear, with ski lifts and runs from South Fork Meadows to the summit and other points on the ridge, and roads, lodges and cabins from Jenks Lake to South Fork Meadows. And all for a few months of lift-served skiing each year.

I remember reading an opinion article in the LA Times in the 1970's, attacking the conservationists. The writer wanted the Sierras to be like the Alps, so that you could take trams up to scenic points, and sip wine at a table on a wooden deck while enjoying the view. Not my language, that was his in the article. There is nothing to be taken for granted about what has been preserved. People had to fight for it.
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Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby zippetydude » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:08 am

Good points Ed. I am also very glad the San G Wilderness was protected from development. I guess since I've only seen San J in its current condition, I just kind of see it as occasionally crowded, but the tram and the restaurant are only at the edge of Long Valley and they don't turn the whole wilderness into a city like Big Bear. Still, I am glad for all the protection that the Wilderness designation provides. Back to the OP, don't they tag some of the bighorn so they can follow their movements and migration throughout the year? That's done all over the world, and it would certainly make sense here. I guess we'll just have to see how all this pans out...

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Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby HikeUp » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:54 am

zippetydude wrote:But I didn't kill those magnificent beasts personally, I have not killed a giant ground sloth all week!


FYI, they taste awful.
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Re: Palm Springs Volunteer Trail Rangers

Postby bamm321 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:11 am

As with the other opinions here, i'd love to see research on this. I spend a lot of time in the wilderness around here, and there is a very high population abundance of coyotes, that share habitat with the sheep. I am pretty sure they are accustomed to, and not actively predated by the canines. They are very tough animals, and well adapted to evading predators. From all the scat I see, the coyote seem to eat there fill on palm berries, mesquite, rodents, and rabbits.

There is just nothing better for me than being out and hiking with my dog. I've encountered sheep many times on our hikes, but I couldn't say any were close enough for me to be able to see how they reacted to him. At distance, they did not seem to have any reaction. Without them showing the why here, I can't help but feel that this is an overkill, and as said Posturing, to just show they are doing something....I mean, people have been hiking these areas with dogs for quite a while now, and the populations have been fine and moving to the same locations.

I know there are many upset people over this, hopefully Palm Springs will hold a conference to show us why this is called for.
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