Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Ads have no place on trails, no matter their content

This past Sunday morning I took one of my older dogs on a little walk up the first part of the trail up Snake Mountain. We only went up to the T, where you turn left to go on to the summit. Now I live on the mountain, just a ways down from the trailhead and have climbed it more times than I can remember, but Sunday brought something I hadn’t ever seen before. Stuck onto trees with push pins were yellow strips of paper with messages printed on them having to do with COVID-19, testing, and the emergency order by the state. They included a website and many mentioned a doctor I had never heard of. I removed every one I saw on the way up and back, on both sides of the trail, maybe 18 in all.
It doesn’t matter to me what the message was. I didn’t check out the website. What mattered was that someone cluttered up the trail with stuff that doesn’t belong there. Granted, Snake Mountain is far from wilderness. But especially in these days of added stress in all our lives due to the coronavirus, the last thing we need to see on the trail is advertising. It’s bad enough that we trash our environment with stuff that we can’t see. Keep our trails free of this kind of trash.
In 1968, I was a student in the early days of NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School, in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. One day, NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt, who was on the course with us, found a piece of aluminum foil left at a student’s campsite. Paul made the student hike back a total of about 10 miles to retrieve the foil. A lesson learned.
And by the way, I don’t like hiking with all those push pins sticking into me from my shorts.
Ed Blechner
Addison

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