Things to leave behind when RV/Camping

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Jun 29, 2021
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We have all heard "Pack it in - Pack it out and Leave NO Trace. But sometimes campers and tourists take the pack it out too literally.

1. My step father was a US Forest Ranger and he passed along some good rules. Maybe you know a lot more, but I'll start. In the forest he always said do NOT remove pine cones. They are the next generation of trees, especially after a forest fire. Some states will pay you for them if you turn them over to be used in reforestation and other places will issue permits for taking a limited number of them. But, I recommend thinking twice about it and if you really need those pine cones more than the forest does.

2. Think twice before collecting deadwood. IE: know there are some dead or dying trees you should leave alone. Especially the Ponderosa Pines. See this link > for more of an explanation.

3. I've lived on the coast a time or two. Once on a sailboat, once in a houseboat, and right now I'm staying in a coastal S&B while I do some van mods. In my time doing all that I have witnessed people collecting seashells. Over time I also learned that collecting sea shells is a bad idea. I'll provide just one link to support that ( ) but I recommend you do your own research. Who knows? I could be wrong.
I think expressing an opinion without words is a very artistic way to do so without being offensive. When you post on a public forum you cannot expect everyone to agree with or value your views. Wood removal is a necessity for many on the reservation in order to survive the winter cold where many do not have utilities. Much of their former lands are now state and federally controlled. I imagine they are more concerned about keeping grandmother alive than the animals that use it for habitat. Reality often is different than perceived management. If I am being honest I laughed a little myself when I saw post #2 even though I worked with those that somewhat tried to enforce those rules.

[mod edit: the post referred as #2 has been removed, but essentially, it was humor directed at the OP topic --tx2]
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I have had to delete several posts that went way off topic, or disrespected the OP, or quoted (or referred to) deleted items.

I'm going to request that our members respect this thread and either contribute, politely disagree, or ignore the thread and move on.

I will delete off-topic and argumentative posts without further notice.

Thanks and....have a good time!
I quoted no one, just as the OP didn't but everyone knows who likes seashells so why is his post still up? I think the entire thread should be deleted as the OP was argumentative also against another member, right?
This is a big forum. There is plenty of room for differing opinions.

We allow and encourage give and take here. The readers are free to agree or disagree, contribute, ignore, or exit entirely if the thread or the forum is not to their liking.

I dont filter or censor opinions as long as the forum rules, and common courtesy, are being observed.
When I was camped in the Coconino Forest just outside of Flagstaff off Hey 280 there was a company that was given a permit by the NFS to come in and harvest the fallen Pinecones. They hauled tractor trailer loads of them out of there. The crews would go out in smaller but still large trucks and bring them back to the main camp and then had a bagging machine they were gimped into.

You might be wondering why such a thing was allowed. Well the bottom line is that the first service has radically changed its views of what a “natural” forest really is like before humans started trying to control all the forest fires. A natural forest in the Western states looks nothing like what most people are convinced is natural because that is all our generations have seen in their lifetime. What we have now is out if control undergrowth with way too many young trees and way too much underbrush and tree debris litter on the forest floors including pinecones. So before you start talking about picking up pine cones being a bad thing you do need to become current on your information. A healthy forest is mostly mature trees and lots of open space between trees. Prior to the intervention of man natural fires regularly swept through without causing devastation.

Get out there this summer and head to Coconino, Kaibab and other forested areas in the Arizona Southwest or to California and Oregon and get educated on the new forest management principles. It is not going to hurt anything if you pick up a few pinecones in that area,
Over time I also learned that collecting sea shells is a bad idea. I'll provide just one link to support that ( ) but I recommend you do your own research. Who knows? I could be wrong.
And you’ve resurrected this issue on a new thread, still citing a single opinion regarding shelling in Aruba, where it is apparently illegal for environmental reasons.

Beach environments are different, and I believe that if gathering seashells were harming the environment on any given beach in the US, it would be addressed, and prohibited.

Gathering seashells brings joy to many, and are reminders of beloved places.
maki2 is exactly right. When I first bought property in Michigan/s Western U.P. I was approached by a state forester & learned a ton even though I was a 2nd generation lumberman. I told him I bought to hunt, have a very remote cabin & enjoy with family & friends. It was almost all hardwood, hard maple & oak with a small bit of cedar & hemlock. He explained it was much like a garden. If it wasn't properly managed, thinned, etc it would all go bad. He got it set up as a registered tree farm so I got a forester to come in to mark the trees to be cut, good trees & bad for no charge. Most loggers will just take the best trees if the cut isn't arranged by a forester. It was amazing when the canopy was opened up it wasn't long before we had 5-6" maples with no limbs till 40' or more. We had a stand of birds eye maple also. We set it up on a 10 year cut cycle & the property improved greatly. The odd thing is the state will clear cut state land with all hardwood then replant red pine. I learned a lot so it helped when I bought more land. I don't know about other western states but many California forest & woods are very mismanaged or not managed at all. They have all that dry tinder on the forest floor that causes the fires. Here's a good read on forest fires. It's made for 5-8 graders so hopefully our resident experts can understand it :)
The National Seashores are run by the National Park Service and……

The National Park Service actually encourages its visitors to collect seashells rather than “leave them behind” as the OP is trying to errantly convey.

From Assateague National Seashore site:
Shel! collecting is one of the many activities you are encouraged to enjoy during your visit to Assateague lsland National Seashore.”

Source link:
This is only one example of but feel free of course to do your own informative research.

Point is one doesn’t need to be ostracized for collecting seashells. It’s a great thing to do and the Human history with seashells goes back eons:
The Calusa Tribe. The first Shell Collectors Calusa are considered to,made for fishing and hunting.

Florida’s policies are basically similar as are other states and the catching and possession of live seashell animals is covered by the State’s Saltwater fishing regs.

Yes, in most of Florida you buy a fishing license and go fishing for live seashells for sport or consumption. Yeah! Scallops & mollusks are not only tasty but much more healthy than most other foods. So go catch ‘em! and enjoy eating them.
Keep the shell as a trophy too! Like mounting a fish or deer antlers.

There is some proper perspective on shell collecting so go take a kid shelling on a beach. Have fun and collect your 2 gallon limit!

Also, I generally try not to encourage people to go shelling. Frankly, there’s enough competition and I want those beautiful shells and tasty shellfish all for myself.😂

Damn! I live a great life;
As I get back to my laughter.
intjonny boi livin the dream.

Edit: also, Thanx Ron for motivating me to research this as I never realized that some of these beaches have a 2 to 5 gallon daily limit on collection of seashells. Man, have I been selling myself short. From now on instead of filling a small plastic Walmart bag I’m bringin a 5 gallon bucket!
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The odd thing is the state will clear cut state land with all hardwood then replant red pine.
Probably a state law that at least some state timberland land must be managed to produce money, rather than for multiple use, recreation use, or to preserve environmental values. This kind of law is pretty common in the western states.
Obviously state and federal lands are owned by the citizens as a collective whole. A publicly owned forested area can have multiple use of harvesting timber, hunting fishing, gathering activities and recreation as well as open range grazing. That is not at all uncommon to see in many areas of the country. Many of us nomads like to visit such areas for 14 day camping. When I stay in the Coconino and Kaibab NFS forest I have seen all of those multiple uses in action at one time or another between spring and fall while I am there. That multiple use policy is not unique to those two Forest in the Western states. As I do not camp in the Eastern areas I cannot speak to what the NFS policies are in other regions. In my experience in Washington and Oregon the State owned Forest areas have similar multi use policies. If you do not like what is going on make your voice heard when and where the policy meetings and open for public opinion input that precedes policy changes happen. Those opportunities for your personal input for you and all citizens all citizens for both state and federally owned lands to speak out on policy changes are required by law. You can go to the relevant government websites and sign up to get notified by email of such opportunities regarding meetings, the agenda of meetings and opportunities for input. You do not have to sit and passively complain about having no influence. You can find out when such things are going to take place and publicize it in this forum and others including news media if you want to have more influence on the outcome. Or join citizen coalitions of others who are dedicated to changing public land policies that you do not agree with.

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