|outhouse (Photo credit: twofordssearchin)|
But when we arrived at the lake, we were somewhat disappointed with what we discovered. A few extremely mild winters had transformed the small lake into no more than a mud puddle surrounded by a mucky shoreline. The setting was nice, but we had simply entered the area in a bad year. We should have hiked further into Canyon Creek Meadows, but decided to move on.
|Canyon Creek Meadows|
|The Metolius River near Wizard Falls on June 18, 2007, taken by WorkinStiff (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Now, old wooden outhouses in the great outdoors are like any other public outhouse - they stink to varying degrees - and often are adorned with modern day petroglyphs, scribbled by bored souls who forgot to carry any reading material with them. This stink box was no different, and as I began reading the etches and scribbles on its walls, I discovered words more profound than profane. In this box, people had commented on some of the leading back country topics of the day. It was blogging 1990s style.
One debate raging on was whether horses should be allowed on wilderness trails. One proponent wrote that horses do belong in the wilderness, because for centuries they were used for wilderness travel. So why not now? Another reason given for horses to set hooves on trails was so folks who might not otherwise have the ability to experience wilderness would be able to do so on horseback.
An opponent of horseback riding on trails noted the destruction of trails by the heavy animals and that stepping on their butt biscuits (horse droppings) had grown tiresome.
|Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina).(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
At the time, I was working in the timber industry. Not only that, the products I was directly involved with and relied on for my livelihood were dependent on the harvest of old growth forests. But in my journeys into the Cascades I had also viewed expansive, barren ridge tops, seemingly harvested with little regard for sustainability. I had seen clear-cuts high on steep mountainsides extending all the way down to riverbanks.
I believed in multi-purpose forest management. I, however, wasn't as sure the logging aspect of that management was treating the resource responsibly. What I had seen was telling me that forests were not always being managed correctly. Since then, with more focus on the ecological aspects of harvesting trees from forests, logging has come a long way. We need to remove logs from our forests in a sustainable fashion to provide jobs, fire suppression, carbon reduction, home construction and wood for a myriad of industrial uses.
|Logs (Photo credit: crows_wood)|