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Thread: The trashing of Unit 13

  1. #1
    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Angry The trashing of Unit 13

    I have not started a thread in a long time, so I hate for my first in a while to be about a negative subject. So I hope the posting can have a positive impact for the areas aesthetics. I hunted in 13 twice this year with my family, once early on a fly in with my daughter then again along the denali highway near the McClaren with son and wife. This is an extremely game rich area in this state by todays standards, and a beautiful area to see. There is clearly a percentage of hunters who deem it appropriate to leave their trash behind. During the fly in hunt my daughter and I found a moose/caribou camp that had been successful last year that was left a sty with propane bottles, fuel cans, and plastic. This was a very remote area to access with wheelers and could not have been an easy trip. If you take it in on wheelers it must go out. I packed the trash several miles and flew it out on the plane with us. Trip number two along the Denali showed my son and wife the edge of pullouts blanketed in toilet paper and crap. Then after a long wheeler ride to a knob to glass, more toilet paper and crap with pop cans(cans removed). Next knob cans left on top of bushes as targets, my son enjoyed shooting at them but we took them and the shell casings with us. My wife shot a caribou 1/2 mile off the highway and there were several other kills nearby two of which I picked up trash at, lots of trash. The pullout we camped in was left with trash in the fire ring and a cows head in the middle of where we parked. Cat holes are not that hard to dig along those pullouts and the paper could be burned or taken with you if necessary. I have seen this type of thing in every area and in every type of hunting, but not to the extreme that I have seen it along roads and wheeler accessable country. These two trips into 13 were the worst I have witnessed and it reflects on all of us. I know there will be people read this that accept this type of behavior because there are clearly quite a few of them out there.

    If it's you clean up after yourselves and leave the area as pristine as possible for the next group

    At 8 yrs old my son has spent as much time picking up after others as he has learning to butcher an animal and he does not get how people could treat ours and their state this way.

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I saw the same thing at some of the turn outs. People just left their trash sitting in the fire pits and took off. Thing is, either direction from the turn out there were state areas whereas the trash could of been taken.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  3. #3

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    I couldn't agree with you more. I'm not sure what the answer is. Maybe signage at trailheads to remind folks of the "pack it in pack it out" philosophy and proper etiquette. No doubt the signs would be shot full of holes....pretty sad alright!

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    Member Roger's Avatar
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    It's like that everywhere!! Down at the BigSu after every weekend the weekend warriors leave half a truck load.( I know because we pick it up ) Last year a few groups that showed up everyweekend in the same spot started dumping the sewage tanks from the campers and motorhomes on the beach before they left
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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    I come from farm country, where the rule of thumb is "leave it better than you found it." Not sure what the answer is beyond trying to make an association between being a slob and higher taxes. Eventually somebody's got to clean it up, like what happened at the Chatanika campground and Olnes Pond, and chances are pretty good that it will end up being the state.

  6. #6

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    How about an annual volunteer clean up like they do on the Knik? I would be interested.
    "If you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it." ......Fred Bear

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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    I have never found so much trash in the woods than I have up here in Alaska. Of all places, I would think that Alaskan's would be better about picking stuff up but I've seen the same thing. My buddy and I found an enormous amount of trash in the Brooks this year, mountain house bags and propane cylinders. I've seen a lot of the same on the Denali as what you describe. Lot's of people deficating near pull outs and it's just disgusting.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    trapperbob....good thread and I hate you have to post it.

    I hunted U13/Denali Hwy a whole bunch this year and can attest to the level of trash and yuck left behind.

    I've never figured out why folks think its OK to crap and leave TP behind on the ground...really- we're outdoorsmen/women and having matches or a lighter and some method to dig shallow hole should be second nature. Cathole and burn the paper is not that hard to do.

    Leaving trash behind is just the mark of a slob. Period. I don't care if it is in a fire pit. It's still trash and it's still litter and if you do, you're a slob.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but the answer is more than being an ignorant slob. A lot of Alaskans view they're camping spots on public land as permanent property, belonging exclusively to themselves to use every year. Leaving they're garbage/stuff is a way of saying "keep off, mine". You cannot hardly find a cub strip on the north AK range without a tarp left on it to be a "dummy camp" to run off others.
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Agree wholeheartedly. I mentioned in another thread already, but a group of slobs that were residing at the far end of a gravel pit pullout that we setup in left all of their trash the morning they pulled out. Two completely full black plastic Hefty bags all tied up and just left sitting in the middle of their former camp along with piles of empty beer cans, a couple 'bou heads, and they even dumped some type of heavy liquid hydrocarbon on their fire right before they jumped in their campers and drove away. Fire was blazing away with 4-foot flames and thick black smoke for a half hour after they were gone. (fortunately the rains had the fire danger down to "sub-low", but we kept an eye on their fire until it was out)

    Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to fix this attitude at this point. The anti-litter laws are already on the books, but they are unenforceable in the remote setting. Signs just make more litter. It's against the law to beat the crap out of litterbugs and we can't shoot 'em either. These people are a detestable segment of society that have been allowed to flourish after years of PC attitudes. Their kids will become worse than they are. And there's nothing we can do about it.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    when i moved up to alaska i thought the same thing as someone else on this thread. Alaskans are the worst at leaving trash around as anywhere i've seen. its a disgrace. i've never seen so much crap in remote areas in my life. this country up here is littered with pop cans, old 55gal drums brought out and never brough back. gas cans with holes in them are discarded on the spot rather than brought back to town. my brother came up fishing this year and was suprised to find beer bottles strewn about along a seemingly untouched creek. people up here should be ashamed of themselves about how they treat the land they are constantly ranting about respecting. every old camp up here still has all the old garbage/cans/propane bottles everything still sitting in them.

  12. #12
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default The trashing of Unit 13

    Why?

    Because no one is gonna do anything about it.

    My float hunt this year was the first time in many years of outdoor recreation that I have ever felt like I was somewhere no one has ever been.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  13. #13
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    not only unit 13, but everywhere, including cities. why people in anchorage insist on having bald tires, pallets, dead batteries, and other assorted absolutely worthless junk strewn about their property, i will never figure out. it is mind boggling to drive around and see whats out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mkay View Post
    I hate to say it but the answer is more than being an ignorant slob. A lot of Alaskans view they're camping spots on public land as permanent property, belonging exclusively to themselves to use every year. Leaving they're garbage/stuff is a way of saying "keep off, mine". You cannot hardly find a cub strip on the north AK range without a tarp left on it to be a "dummy camp" to run off others.
    I think there's something to this. Similar to grafitti left on the walls in road-side outhouses at rest areas, it's akin to 'tagging' for some; "I made my mark there." A conquering mentality, coupled with a disregard for the otherwise potentially pristine spaces. Both involve a certain boundarilessness, as well as an attitude that if there's all this wide-open space, then a bit of trash won't hurt it.

    When I'm not in my stand, and I'm bored, not seeing much game, etc., I tend to get down on the terra firma, and gather up the trinkets and 'treasures' left by those who passed earlier on. And this is typically occurring 50 air miles from the nearest public roadway.. That's saying something!

    Others have proposed it before, but I'll admit that a mildly-sinister and retributive side of me has wondered more than a couple of times, "What would these slovenly jokers think/say if I pulled up in -their- front yard and left a pile of this sort of stuff steaming there on their manicured lawn??"

    I have friends who live in the bush year-round, and I could fill pages with incidents of persons camping in the middle of well-used trails that those who live there rely on on a routine basis, in addition to persons building fire-pits in the middle of the trails, leaving half-burned junk, etc. to litter the trail, etc.

    I've proposed in the past that adequate research be done to properly identify who left the stuff, and the irresponsible parties be assessed a bill for the clean-up, figured at Union laborers' wages for the extent of the time required for proper removal and disposal of the trash, to include four-wheeler or other vehicle fuel burned to access the sites in question, and remove the waste left behind, as well as any air-charter costs to get it outa' the bush..

    I'd bet if -that- were to occur a few times, and be publicized well, there'd be a distinct reduction in littering and other boundariless behavior in remote places.

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    There are few people alive who have spent more man-years on the Denali than I have. Butch Gratias barely squeaks by as one of them; the list gets very skinny after that.
    Over the past decade and a little bit, I have been hunting ONLY in non-motorized areas. The amount of garbage we find there? With the exception of some mining exploration detritus, effectively zero. The rest of the Denali Highway area is at least as bad as the posts on this thread have suggested. I am afraid, brothers, the correlation between who the slobs are and how hunts proceed is very clear, though sad.

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    i get what you're saying bigmoose i've found trash near landing strips as well as all along snowmobile trails. some of the crap i've found could only have been walked in on foot and left. people are just lazy pieces of crap.

  17. #17
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    We brought out a trashbag of crap we picked up here in the Brooks on the Ivishak this year. Dropped it into one of the numerous cans located along the hwy headed south. Most of it was garbage previous campers had tried to burn in the fire and did nothing more than make a nastier mess for us to clean up.
    Keep your chin up and teach your kids to be better than that. It sucks but all we can do is continue to try and make it better, one hunter at a time.
    BK

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    If you were raised by slobs, or if you were raised by a mom who always picked up after you, you probably aren't going to change. These are the same folks who leave line snarls and beer bottles on river banks, who dump out their ash tray in parking lots, who haul old TVs and computers to gravel pits to shoot at, then leave the mess, who pull up next to your family's camp site and crank their tunes and carry on drunkenly into the wee hours then leave the garbage behind...
    Sadly they will not listen to you or me because they don't care. They probably don't frequent this forum either.

  19. #19
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default The trashing of Unit 13

    At one camp spot I spent an hour finding and then burying the poo. When you camp with a dog you need to clean the spots up before you let the dog out. Must have been 3 pounds in one spot.

    I've complained about the poo before over the years. Remember the Eklutna tail race in the old days? That was disgusting. I learned a long time ago that people up here don't travel with a shovel. Where I grew up in NV and OR we had a shovel in every vehicle all the time.

    "Alaskans" is used in many of the prior posts. Keep in mind guys that a very large percentage of the population turns over every 5 to 7 years. These Alaskans you are referring to are not really Alaskans. They are just here for a short time till they get tired of the cold and the dark, then they go home and mess that up too.

  20. #20
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default The trashing of Unit 13

    Wow, I only spent a few days hunting unit 13 but didn't have any of these problems. I did find a couple bottles at an old camp but never saw another hunter and definitely had no poo problems. If I wanted to wonder around in crowds and kick trash I would just go to the fair. I am glad all the rest of you went and hung out together so I could have an entire area to myself!!!

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