Friday, March 19, 2010
I came across two locals on horseback and they told me that the area used to be a madhouse on the weekends with groups of people who identified themselves as being from rock clubs. While not all bad behavior can be directly attributed to these types of clubs, I do think they bear a big part of the responsibility for the site being closed. To overtax an area with too many people can take a huge toll on the locals who live in the area and want to enjoy some peace and quiet over the weekends. Not capping arranged trips to a certain amount of members can result in chaos and possibly bad behavior due to competition for getting that "rock". I've seen it happen before at other sites when there is too little room, too many people. Total madness.
In addition, if you are using mining techniques to get said rock, you are no longer a hobbyist- you are a miner! Buy a plot of land and mine it, but don't ruin rock collecting for those who like to casually walk streambeds and pick up rocks already exposed. At the very most, only digging out a rock that is half in/half out with a rock hammer. But to tear away a creekbed, adding to the sediment load.. bad! If you can remove a rock and it makes little to no visual difference, then that is a hobby or getting a rock sample. But if you are removing massive amounts to the point an entire bank is cut away, you are destroying the environment!
So thank you very much greedy people- you just effectively ruined one of the few FREE & educational activities I enjoyed with my children. At least for that area. I'm sure if this continues unchecked, more and more sites will become off-limits.