"When you defile the pleasant streams and the wild bird's abiding place, you massacre a million dreams and cast your spittle in God's face." ~ John Drinkwater
By: Marlene Affeld
I am continually amazed by the disrespect of Mother Nature that many people exhibit. I am angry!
A prospecting buddy and I went up to the high country yesterday. As always, we had our shovels and gold pans. We intended to try our luck on a narrow drainage we had noticed on a previous trip. Our adventure was also a wonderful opportunity to enjoy NW Montana’s incredible fall foliage and hopefully view some wildlife. The journey to Barber Gulch on Oregon Creek was spectacular; the tamaracks were in full glory, their needles shimmering in the sun like molten gold against a cloudless cobalt sky. A perfect day to enjoy the woods, or so we thought.
Our destination on Oregon Creek is remote, thirty miles from the nearest inhabitant, reached by a narrow, climbing and sharp turned logging road that is navigable by four wheel drive vehicles only. Not many people visit these woods. One would think that those who do are people who value and respect the wilderness.
Wrong! We pulled into a clearing, parked and started to off-load our mining equipment only to look about and see the area was dirty and defiled. Cigarette butts, beer bottles and soiled diapers blighted the forest floor; disgusting.
Cussing and fussing, we pulled on our gloves and went to work picking up the debris while we speculated on the intelligence and morality of the persons who had left such a vile mess. What were they thinking?
Earth is a finite resource we all share, a legacy for future generations. Let’s respect and care for our planet by remembering to honor the “rules” of the woods.
“Pack It In - Pack It Out” - If you find trash left by morons, please remove it.
“Leave Only Footprints” - Use common sense and be thoughtful of others.
Although we “mined” trash instead of treasure, there is satisfaction in knowing we left the area better than we found it. Please join me, and the millions of others who honor the land, in our fight to “Keep America Beautiful”.