What is wrong with people?

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The title of this post says it all, and please pardon me for venting. But I just can’t get over how lazy and bold some people are becoming when it comes to littering. And, it seems like as the popularity of outdoor sports grow, it’s only getting worse.

A few weeks ago I went for a hike one morning in a remote area. Driving up the dirt road to my friend’s property, there, on the side of the road was what looked like a garbage dump. Since there’s a number of road-side accessible campsites in the area, I can’t help but assume someone just didn’t want to bring their garbage home.

A few hours later, on top of the mountain my buddy and I were climbing, we came upon a spot where someone had camped about a quarter of a mile from the main hiking trail. In the fireplace were three empty plastic water bottles. My buddy packed them out. They weigh nothing and can be compressed to fit in a pocket.

Yet another friend and I sometimes go for walks on a popular community trail that is often frequented by folks with dogs. I can’t tell you how many times I have come upon those little green bags full of dog poop. I’ve seen it on hiking trails too. They pick up after their dog, then leave it there for someone else to carry out. Why not forget the bag and just scoop it up and toss it in the woods?

Earlier this summer I was driving a backroad and stopped at a pull-off to take a few pictures overlooking a pond. When I got out of my truck I nearly stepped in human feces and toilet paper. Again, I just don’t get it.

I’d like to say that sportsmen are not part of the problem, but we are. Decades ago, I made an embarrassing mistake myself when tossing deer bones in the woods. I learned from that mistake.

But others do not. In the New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars feature we see multiple reports of illegal dumping. And in the current (Aug. 20) issue we’ve got a commentary that discusses the disposal of those 1-pound propane cylinders used for cooking, camping lanterns and running small, portable heaters. I couldn’t believe that some ice anglers actually admitted to just tossing them down the hole. C’mon folks!

And how many times have you found Styrofoam worm canisters, beer cans and water bottles at the places where anglers congregate or worse, in the water? Forget about trailheads and boat launches, where all kinds of outdoor folks start their adventures.

Whether it’s tossing cigarette butts on the ground, a soda can out the window or just leaving a mess behind; we need to do better; that is if we really love the places where we go to enjoy the outdoors.

Categories: Dan Ladd

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