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Old 04-18-2021, 09:22 AM   #41
montcalm
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So maybe burying works in some low use areas, but the bags really were implemented for areas where there are 1000s of dogs visiting and are relatively small areas 100-1000 acres. If owners were burying poop, 20' on either side of a trail would be tore up with poop holes and the volume would still be enough it would cause watershed pollution.

I think you are trying to equate a suburban problem to a rural problem. I think some people continue to use the bags no matter where they go. It was mentioned at least twice before, but I think they get forgotten. Walking around with a wad of turd in your hand isn't the most pleasant thing, so I think people set them down thinking they'll pick them up later, and forget. I think also some people leave them at the TH if there isn't a can because they don't want it in their car. $hitty practice, but reality. I'm honestly a bit confused about them being purposely left at a TH if they brought a bag themselves. Seems likely they were just forgotten.
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:25 AM   #42
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If you were to ask the people directly you wouldn't hear answers , you'd hear excuses.
If they even acknowledged they'd done it. I've had people straight up deny littering to my face when I'd watched them do it no more than 10 or 15 seconds previously. And I wasn't trying to be mean about it, either- I usually try to approach the situation in a way that enables them to preserve their dignity. Stuff along the lines of saying in a friendly and non-accusatory tone, "excuse me, I saw that you accidentally dropped this back there" as I attempt to hand the trash back to them.
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:26 AM   #43
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Stuff along the lines of saying in a friendly and non-accusatory tone, "excuse me, I saw that you accidentally dropped this back there" as I attempt to hand the trash back to them.
I do the same thing. I hand it back to them as if they dropped their new $600 phone.


Funny story about that - not in the woods, but...

Was in line at a traffic light leaving a Walmart parking lot. Saw the car in front of me roll down the window and toss something out. Got out of my car, picked it up, knocked on the window.

Guy looked at me kind of funny...

I made a gesture to roll down his window. He does.

Then very politely I said, "this fell out of your car, it looks important." And handed it back to him. He took it begrudgingly.

Went back to my car, light turns green and he peels away. About 100 yards down the road I see it fly out of his window again.


Perhaps this is the best explanation for all the things discussed in this thread.

Last edited by montcalm; 04-18-2021 at 09:38 AM..
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:59 AM   #44
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Although I will say that the real scourge of the High Peaks (and any popular backcountry area, really) is not so much full wrappers but rather the small corner piece that is initially torn off of any granola bar/pop tart/etc. wrapper to open it. I've done a few backcountry campsite cleanups and to really do a good job necessitates getting down on your hands and knees and combing through the dirt and duff for all of the micro-trash.

Although if you search nearby any popular backcountry site it's also often not hard to find at least one or two instances where someone tried to bury all of their trash from their trip rather than carry it out.

And don't get me started on folks that try to use the outhouses as a garbage disposal. I've seen practically brand-spanking-new privy pits that would've sufficed for several seasons of use get filled to capacity by a single group dumping all of their trash- including food waste- down the outhouse. Not only does it make it more likely that animals are doing to dig it up (and spread around the associated human waste in the process), it also means that the DEC has to send a trail crew to move the outhouse again even though they literally just moved it a few weeks before.

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Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
Went back to my car, light turns green and he peels away. About 100 yards down the road I see it fly out of his window again.
One of my jobs involves a lot of time spent working on roadsides. The amount of trash littering our roadsides- even in the ADKs- is seriously mind-boggling. There's the usual- beer and soda cans, food wrappers, etc. And the stuff you maybe wouldn't expect to see so much of- discarded pregnancy tests, used condoms, etc.

Although once I found a money clip with about $100 of cash. Nothing else, no identifying features. Someone must've absent-mindedly set it down on the hood/roof of their car and then drove off without remembering to grab it. I couldn't straight up keep it without making some attempt to find the owner, so I did make a few posts to local social media groups- Craigslist, Facebook, etc. No one ever responded, though, so lucky me.

I've yet to find a cool hundred bucks discarded in the backcountry, though.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:28 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
And don't get me started on folks that try to use the outhouses as a garbage disposal. I've seen practically brand-spanking-new privy pits that would've sufficed for several seasons of use get filled to capacity by a single group dumping all of their trash- including food waste- down the outhouse. Not only does it make it more likely that animals are doing to dig it up (and spread around the associated human waste in the process), it also means that the DEC has to send a trail crew to move the outhouse again even though they literally just moved it a few weeks before.
Too bad DEC didn't capitalize on the sensational news media accounts of the poor Alaska resident who got scratched or bitten (depending on accounts you read) by a black bear while going to the outhouse in the middle of the night.

If getting nipped in the butt won't stop "trashing" the pits, don't know what will.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:38 AM   #46
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Too bad DEC didn't capitalize on the sensational news media accounts of the poor Alaska resident who got scratched or bitten (depending on accounts you read) by a black bear while going to the outhouse in the middle of the night.
If the situation with the bear last summer that had to be put down because it was ripping tents open, climbing into occupied lean-tos, etc., didn't convince some visitors to the High Peaks of the importance of proper food and trash management in the backcountry (including the use of a bear canister in that area), then clearly there's some folks that are unreachable regardless of any amount of "your health and safety may really, actually depend on this" education.
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:53 AM   #47
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I have seen examples of all these things as well, and I don't even work outdoors; I'm an occasional backcountry visitor and I have volunteered for several roadside cleanups. There is a lot of this behavior about.

It's well documented that signs, FB posts, and other nonsense do not work to change behavior to any large degree. What works, and the ONLY thing that works, is in-person, face to face education at the trailhead.

And yet the state steadfastly refuses to fund such a program, which Albany could easily afford.

(Here are some rough numbers:

Let's say that funding a full-time, paid front-country steward / educator position costs $200K / year (a deliberately high estimate), and we want to fund this in 100 locations (another deliberately high estimate). Let's add 20% for program administration and training. That's a program cost of $24M / year.

Now for perspective: Under the newly approved NY state budget, NY state will be spending $24M / HOUR. Yes, you read that right. Every HOUR, all year long, NY spends enough money to fund this entire program for the year.

The fact is, if the state does not support a program like this, it's simply because they do not want to. NO other reason.)
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:05 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
One of my jobs involves a lot of time spent working on roadsides. The amount of trash littering our roadsides- even in the ADKs- is seriously mind-boggling. There's the usual- beer and soda cans, food wrappers, etc. And the stuff you maybe wouldn't expect to see so much of- discarded pregnancy tests, used condoms, etc.

Although once I found a money clip with about $100 of cash. Nothing else, no identifying features. Someone must've absent-mindedly set it down on the hood/roof of their car and then drove off without remembering to grab it. I couldn't straight up keep it without making some attempt to find the owner, so I did make a few posts to local social media groups- Craigslist, Facebook, etc. No one ever responded, though, so lucky me.

I've yet to find a cool hundred bucks discarded in the backcountry, though.
I think you earned that hundred having to work around others used condoms and pregnancy tests.

Iíve been as guilty as anyone with that micro trash. I always try to make sure it gets in my garbage bag but it gets put in pockets and likes to escape.
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Old 04-18-2021, 02:18 PM   #49
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I think you earned that hundred having to work around others used condoms and pregnancy tests.
What is even more of a bummer about not having yet found money in the Adirondack backcountry is that I have actually found both of those other things- used condoms and a used pregnancy test- in the Adirondack backcountry.
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Old 04-18-2021, 03:30 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
I think every various reason has been either explicitly or implicitly covered in past posts.

Probably leave the gun at home though...
I never leave the gun at home
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Old 04-18-2021, 04:45 PM   #51
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Although I will say that the real scourge of the High Peaks (and any popular backcountry area, really) is not so much full wrappers but rather the small corner piece that is initially torn off of any granola bar/pop tart/etc. wrapper to open it. I've done a few backcountry campsite cleanups and to really do a good job necessitates getting down on your hands and knees and combing through the dirt and duff for all of the micro-trash.

Although if you search nearby any popular backcountry site it's also often not hard to find at least one or two instances where someone tried to bury all of their trash from their trip rather than carry it out.

And don't get me started on folks that try to use the outhouses as a garbage disposal. I've seen practically brand-spanking-new privy pits that would've sufficed for several seasons of use get filled to capacity by a single group dumping all of their trash- including food waste- down the outhouse. Not only does it make it more likely that animals are doing to dig it up (and spread around the associated human waste in the process), it also means that the DEC has to send a trail crew to move the outhouse again even though they literally just moved it a few weeks before.



One of my jobs involves a lot of time spent working on roadsides. The amount of trash littering our roadsides- even in the ADKs- is seriously mind-boggling. There's the usual- beer and soda cans, food wrappers, etc. And the stuff you maybe wouldn't expect to see so much of- discarded pregnancy tests, used condoms, etc.

Although once I found a money clip with about $100 of cash. Nothing else, no identifying features. Someone must've absent-mindedly set it down on the hood/roof of their car and then drove off without remembering to grab it. I couldn't straight up keep it without making some attempt to find the owner, so I did make a few posts to local social media groups- Craigslist, Facebook, etc. No one ever responded, though, so lucky me.

I've yet to find a cool hundred bucks discarded in the backcountry, though.
I once found a $20 bill and a pair of cheap sunglasses on the bottom of the swimming hole by the high water bridge on Van Ho, below the Phelps junction. We burned it (the bill, figuratively) on ice cream and treats at Stewarts in LP, and the shades were cool...
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Old 04-18-2021, 05:38 PM   #52
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I never leave the gun at home
How did we come from a dog pooping in the woods to carrying a firearm for protection?
We are at greater risk driving to the trailhead than from any critter that we encounter while hiking.
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Old 04-18-2021, 05:59 PM   #53
montcalm
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What is even more of a bummer about not having yet found money in the Adirondack backcountry is that I have actually found both of those other things- used condoms and a used pregnancy test- in the Adirondack backcountry.
People are disgusting.

So being a dad now I have this habit of scanning every public space I go to for disgusting things I need to keep my kids away from. If I don't find it before they do, chances are they are going to pick it up and ask me what it is.

One of my boys noticed deer poop on a trail a few weeks back. He picked it up and kept mentioning how interesting it is. We had to talk about how we don't pick it up no matter how interesting it is. They were also quite upset about the deer "pooping on the trail." I believe the Yellow man was mentioned and that the deer need to "clean up their poop."

I just let that one go...
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:23 PM   #54
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I actually typed out a much, much more gross story than anything shared so far concerning a "backcountry treasure" that I had the... misfortune to stumble across once and almost hit submit but decided that the conversation was probably already over the line enough for most here. (Although if you click on a thread whose subject is "Dog Poop" I don't know what you could reasonably expect to read if not at least a few posts of gross content.)

I should probably also clarify that I did not mean to poke humor at whatever scenario forced someone into carrying (and using) a pregnancy test in the remote backcountry. Zero judgement on that aspect whatsoever. It's the casual ditching of the pregnancy test immediately afterwards- in a location where others were sure to stumble across it no less- that I take issue with.
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