almost emulating Sisyphus!

Discussion in 'BC MARINE TRAILS NETWORK - Assistance Required' started by mick_allen, May 6, 2015.

  1. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    "In Greek mythology Sisyphus (/ˈsɪsɪfəs/;[1] Greek: Σίσυφος, Sísyphos) was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for chronic deceitfulness by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, repeating this action forever."

    So here we are, intrepid volunteers, trying to bring all of the 7 upcoming Howe Sound sites to a usable state - idiots! The tough sites have one or more issues: 1)big, big rock 'beaches' 2)awkward or erodable connections to the upland 3)unlevelled or uncleared/blocked sites.

    so first things first: attack the beaches! We choose a semi-bad one, and after 2 days of hard, hard, hard, hard, work [did I say hard?] we finally clear a 2m wide 'canoe run' from low tide all the way to the upland. Three people, crowbars, long bars, come-alongs, chain-hoists, blood, sweat and tears - but done. And serviceable for canoes, kayaks, and other beachable craft. Sleep for 2 days afterwards!

    **

    So feeling uppity, we choose the key site next to Squamish, but it is the toughest one:

    And we work, and work, and get some success near the low tide mark,

    And then farther up the beach,

    And at the end of 2 days, we are just above the halfway mark, but there are some really big ones looming.

    The ending is not known as of now, but the will is . . .
    there is an old saying that goes something like 'we need a bigger winch' . . .
     
  2. Tsunami

    Tsunami Paddler

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    Well props to you mick_allen and all involved.
    This is not an easy undertaking, as you know, and I wish you all the best in getting all you desire accomplished.
    I will thank you in advance to posting up the progress as you face it along your journey.
    Greatly looking forward to seeing your success. :big_thumb

    Ps, I hope someone lends or donates a bigger/better come along ;)

    Tiger Tsunami.
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Mick, you need dynamite. LOL

    Hope you had a good massage therapist along for this one.
     
  4. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    I think that you should leave the environment alone.
    There are tons of places to paddle and haul out on our coast without your contribution to changing the shorelines and providing easy access to areas that don't naturally do so.
    After chopping down the trees, how does this become okay?
    Do you think that it is too small to matter?
     
  5. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    We'll be cutting down hazardous trees, but we haven't talked about others - I can't see much reason to as most of the camping areas are ok, but there will be some levelling, some brush cleaning etc.

    I guess the question is, should we (or the government) develop campsites in populated areas? or anywhere for that matter? In areas of high development and extensive private property ownership, there's not always proper little beaches or workable campsites - and so making a narrow path for a canoe run makes a marginal site approachable. Look at the secret site post I recently made to see what environmental rearrangement can really happen.

    But in these rough areas, there is lots of roughness left - and those who choose can always land on the 99% untouched rough stuff, heh heh. But I haven't seen a lot of evidence of that. Some, but I would venture that now there'll be substantially more usage. Is more use good? Or bad? And for who is it so?

    In the order of the thousands of locations that we are looking at, generally developing campsites is something that a tiny volunteer organization cannot do. We can in particular cases - in order to spur or encourage others and make the case for other campsites or the overall idea. But in general these are very small interventions because anything otherwise is logistically impossible. Like in my case [and I'm sure the others] I've got a thousand other things to do than just marine trails.

    Anyway, these particular sites are also part of the Trans Canada Trail [which itself is a narrow intervention right across Canada and up to the north] and as of a few days ago we were given a $45G grant to do a little work on each. We're still volunteers, but others will be hired to help with the heavy and skilled work.
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Shoreline modification can be a hot issue, for sure. I see these canoe runs as an extension of what the First Nations did to provide access to their villages, or, as grander versions of what Kayak Bill did to make his various haunts more habitable.

    Is it evil or unethical in some sense to enhance access to upland camping sites for the purpose of recreation? I don't think so, if done in moderation. One might compare these canoe runs for paddlers to the massive riprap constructions and dredging needed to maintain marinas for pleasure boaters. Seems like if the latter is justifiable for the recreation power boaters and sailors enjoy, a few canoe runs are not much to worry about.

    It may be worth comparing what the restrictions are elsewhere. In the US, the permitting for a canoe run could be prohibitive if the site were in a sensitive estuary needed for smolts, or, very simple on a biologically barren, exposed bouldery shore with little primary production and not much intertidal life. YMMV.
     
  7. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    It doesn't look especially invasive to me. Just a cleared area--mostly rocks. Better than people bashing their boats and themselves to pieces trying to get in!

    That was a TON of work. I hope the area paddlers are appropriately appreciative! :)
     
  8. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Mick-
    Do you have a link to the Marine Trails 'policies' on 'development' of campsites?
    I was told a few weeks ago (in a BCMTN 'talk') that clearing brush with pruning shears or a small saw was a 'no-no'; also that all driftwood benches and 'kitchens' should be dismantled if any are found.
    'Good campsites are found, not made' was the statement I recall.

    BTW, I'm in favour of clearing rocks in sites where it's necessary, and also in favour of some cutting back brush if necessary. Thanks for your work!
     
  9. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    No 'links' for campsite development policies without approval. I would say that the info provided logically stands as is. I don't think we, or anyone, can make landscape modifications ad hoc.

    But these are sites that have been given full 'Recreation Site' status by the government and are anticipated to have some usage, and some with considerable usage. The BC Marine Trails Network Assoc., the Sea to Sky Trails arm of the Trans Canada Trails and the Recreation Sites and Trails BC arm of the BC government are working in partnership with each other - where each is in complete awareness of what is going to happen and what is happening at each site almost daily. Repeated trips by all will be undertaken to look at each site's progress and to ascertain what can be done within the limited budget.

    'Good campsites are found, not made'
    and after all the actual blood, sweat, and tears we've all been putting in, I'll wring the neck of whoever made that statement to you!
     
  10. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    Just because it has been done in the past and, worst of all, that you say the government says it's okay, doesn't make it so.

    You seem to have no conscience about this as long is it suits you.

    The environment does not belong to you and it is not yours to change regardless of your selfish explanations.

    You are so happy to indulge yourselves in your own thoughtless interests without considering the bigger picture.

    This is shameful.
     
  11. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Hey Outsider,

    You've just come back from a trip in the Bella Bella area. I've done a lot of paddling in that area too. We've both appreciated the "cultural modifications" of Kayak Bill's camps. And in a lot of places on the wild coast, camping simply isn't possible without some gentle tweaks, whether it's the discrete trimming of a couple of tree branches or smoothing tent shelves into the slope of a shell beach.

    Here in the more heavily used areas "down south" it can actually reduce our total eco-impact to make a few established sites and concentrate in them, rather than have every group of paddlers going rogue and hacking and hewing (or even just trampling) their own separate site in the upland.

    And I'm not just sayin' that just cos I'm a paddler. Take mountain biking, for example. I'm not a mountain biker, so (to coin a phrase) I don't have a cog in that fight. But I approve of them establishing trails in the same North Shore mountains where we walk our sheltie, because I get that it's less damaging than having every pack of riders ripping their own route through the moss and undergrowth.
     
  12. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Mick, thanks for the hard work that you've put into this. If I'm ever over there, I'm for sure going to land on your cleared beach. kayakwriter, nicely put.

    :yikes: :roll:

    Just wondering and a little bit puzzled -- who exactly does the environment belong to?

    And why is it that you get to judge what is done and what is not done? Did someone elect you to this position, or is it self-appointed? I'm really curious to hear what you think the bigger picture is.
     
  13. Tsunami

    Tsunami Paddler

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    Outsider is a Troll.
    You're wasting your time.

    Tiger Tsunami.
     
  14. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    Hey Tiger,
    I guess that if I don't agree with you that I am a 'Troll'.
    Yes?

    This is silly. I have a right to my opinion without being trashed by people like you.

    Outsider,
     
  15. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Outsider, maybe you don't know that in webspeak, a troll is someone who tosses out an outrageous comment only to stimulate a reaction, and does not stand behind the comment.

    Honest question: do you stand behind those statements? Or, are you tossing them out to stir up the rest of us? I think you have an offbeat perspective on some things, but am interested in what you think about issues. However, you don't directly engage the comments of others or speak to them directly, seems to me.

    In any case, I don't read the remarks of others here as attacks on you.

    So,how about those canoe runs? Can they be justfied as making paddler access easier, in the same way a marina eases power vessels and sailboats into the water so they can enjoy their craft? Or are we out of line? If so, why was Kayak Bill not out of line for his shoreside modifications?

    Those are issues I raised, and you have not spoken to them.
     
  16. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    Jeez Dave, I have been so upset about the things that people have been saying about me.
    Everything I say is top of the bin and nothing is designed to make anyone angry or upset.
    I always think that I am saying what needs to be said, but I won't back down from what I believe in.
    I do know that I am speaking on the edge of things. I just say what seems right to me.
    I want to tell more stories about the places I have been, but I am worried that I will be put down by the people who don't like me again.
    I know that these are not few and what they say has a huge effect on my attitude.
    You are such a positive guy.
    You image is happy and your responses to what other people write about is very encouraging and makes me want to talk to you.
    I can't thank you enough.

    Outsider
     
  17. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    I agree, Dave. Outsider you do tend to ask questions and then when asked to back up your allegations or claims, you evade the questions that are asked of you and then like a broken record, claim that you're being "attacked".

    In this instance, i dont see how what Mick and the BCMTN is doing is creating an environmental issue. Perhaps you can give explanation as to where exactly the problem that you speak of exists (and perhaps adrress my previous question to you regarding your entitlement to decide what is right for all)?
     
  18. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Outsider, your last two posts were removed from the discussion, not because you're being censored but because they strayed so far off the topic of this discussion. If you think you're being treated unfairly on this site, take it to a PM or start another topic -- but please don't take existing discussions so far off-topic that they don't have anything to do with the subject being discussed.

    If you'd like to continue to discuss the reasons why you think the work that Mick and the BCMTN is doing is wrong, that's fine (I would like to hear your thoughts on this as you've been less than forthcoming to this point) but please don't stray from the discussion.
     
  19. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Ah, OK, Outsider, now I know that you are not "trolling" for a reaction. That makes things easier. So do the kind words. I appreciate them.

    I think we might have an interesting exchange of views here if we deal with a couple specifics. The ones I have in mind are below. Maybe you have some, also.


    First one: Getting back to those canoe runs. Can they be justified as making paddler access easier, in the same way a marina eases power vessels and sailboats into the water so they can enjoy their craft? Or are we out of line?

    Second one: If the canoe runs are out of line, why was Kayak Bill not out of line for his shoreside modifications? The canoe runs seem to be made in the same spirit as what he did to make living through a winter more tolerable. I have a lot of respect for his ethic, and his iconoclastic ways. I wonder what he would think of the canoe runs Mick and his cohorts have carved out. I also wonder if Kayak Bill might have used canoe runs he found at some of the old village sites he usedemployed as camps.

    I'll be interested in your scan on these.
     
  20. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    Hey Dan,

    I still can't figure out how to get a quote from your post into my response. That's why it seems that you don't know who I am addressing.

    I'll keep working at it. I guess that I am missing a step. Instead of just dragging the part in your post I want to appear, I get your whole message.

    You asked why I thought that I was entitled to decide what is right for all with respect to the coastal environment and changes to it.

    I think that you missed what I was saying. I am not at all deciding what is right for all. In fact, I'm deciding nothing.
    It isn't a given that the environment should be changed. Deciding not to change it is not making a decision for all.

    Only people who have decided to change the environment are acting as though they are entitled to 'decided what is right for all'.
    Making changes to the shoreline is not being done 'for all'. It's for the pleasure of a small group of people.

    I'm sorry that I didn't explain this when you first asked. I thought that it was obvious.

    With regard to not seeing what the environmental issue is that I am talking about, let me say this. It's not that making a launch for boats is a big deal in itself.
    The issue is in the accumulation of such 'small' things over time that eventually changes the nature of the shoreline and takes away it's naturalness.
    I doesn't matter that it's near a populated area that is already profoundly changed.
    Such thinking would not have resulted in Stanley Park where we are trying to restore as much nature in the city as possible. People would be abhorred if you put a ramp there.
    If it becomes okay to alter the coast for pleasure in Howe Sound why would it not be okay in other places?

    The coast line is already riddled with ramps and changes to accommodate a few people.
    There were already thousands of natural places to put in or pull out before. The coastal environment wasn't created to accommodate people; it's there for us to enjoy.

    For me, paddling is about finding and experiencing nature. I don't want people to go and change it before I get there. That's why we practice 'no trace camping'. Even though people have been doing this for a long time, it doesn't mean that it is still okay today.

    Outsider