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Why bother with an association/federation ? - verbose

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Brett & Tina Cook, Dec 21, 2001.

  1. Rich and Koen; Cavers had a similar concern over the I-Max movie, "Journey into Amazing Caves". There were those of us who felt that the movie wouldn't interest people who weren't already interested and that we should do whatever we could to help them become better cavers. There were others who felt that the influx would be too great to handle and we would be overwhelmed with thrill-seekers. As it turns out, no great tide of interest has developed since the movie came out. I attended a free showing for cavers from Az that was held in Phx. From comments I heard afterwards, many people in the audiance seemed to feel that it was showy and aimed towards thrill-seekers. Yet, none of the people around me seemed the least bit inclined to take up cave-diving or rappelling in ice caves like they showed in the movie. The scene where one of the divers was shoving her tanks ahead of her as she negotiated a tight crawl (underwater, of course) even had me feeling a bit tense. Or how about the scene where icesikles dropping from 200' above went wizzing by the camera like daggers at terminal velocity? Whew! I feel that grottoes should exist to help guide prospective cavers towards non-destructive caving - both for the caves and themselves. Without our help, they're going to find the caves anyway, and possibly guides who aren't nearly as secretive as grotto-members. What will these "guides" teach them? Will they pass on the information "we" think is important? Most folks that I talk to think I'm nuts for crawling into holes in the ground. When they hear about rappelling or chimneying or swimming through crawl-ways with 3" of air space, their faces pale and their hair stands up on the back of their neck. Just for fun, explain the joys of rappelling a 1200' deep free-drop to a group of co-workers! The few who seem interested in such activities, I take caving. Some few of these folks actually like the experience, but only a couple would like to do it again, much less learn the technical stuff! I believe that canyoneering is similar to caving (with sunshine!) and may see similar interest levels. There will be some idiots that damage things, there always are. "We" try to keep Joe Sixpack out of as many caves as possible. Joe tends to like places where he can fall off his tail-gate and stumble in with a couple of buddies and a couple of cases of beer, fall down in a room and light up a spliff. He ain't hiking 4 miles to see no cave! Easily accessible caves are hardest hit. We have a well-known cave down here that has become almost "sacrificial". The high-school kids have been going there for years, leaving string, garbage and wastes behind. It's awful. But, the less-accessible caves don't seem to get mauled. Still, we take precuations. Why do I mention this? Because IMHO, even these clods wouldn't go into caves if they weren't already interested in them and trying to dissuade them from entering the caves is just a waste of time. Keeping it secret only works for a little while. So, we will try to educate them and try to clean up after them and hope some of the knowledge rubs off. The NSS has adopted a policy of education. Individuals have their own, varied ideas and there is scattered consensus. It's interesting to watch a "new" group develop their own collective concience and wrestle with these same issues. It'll be intersting to see what you folks come up with and what works in canyons. I"m always looking for new ideas. :).

    Cheers!

    Brett

    PS. As I look over this, I am reminded that "If you understand, no explanation is necessary. If you don't understand, no explanation will suffice". 'Nuff said. <

    Koen wrote:

    <snip> There are no drooling masses lurking in the shadows, ready to rush out and destroy all "our" beautiful canyons ! Those masses think we're insane doing what we do !

    The least the ACA or any similar organisation should do is spread the word to anyone interested and point those few in the right direction.

    Koen

    </snip>



    Rich wrote:

    Koen, <snip> But ... have you ever read those magazine articles about the ten best towns in which to live in America? Within a few years, hundreds or thousands of people move to these towns for that old fashioned hometown atmosphere. Fearing that atmosphere will be lost if people are allowed to continue moving in, the townsfolk get together and pass a moratorium against new home construction. "We found it first; the rest of you stay out!" </snip>

    <snip> In a previous post I asked for input from the group, but didn't make my request very clear. I want to know if we are taking the right approach. Is it possible to promote safety and ethics in canyoneering without actually encouraging the masses to run out and try canyoneering? Our info booklet, for example. Does it promote canyoneering or does it promote safety and ethics? Or is the line simply too thin to discern?

    Rich

    </snip>

  2. Randi

    Randi Guest

    Hi brett, this is the most interesting read I've seen on the group post in a long time. I too am a caver, and it seems to be very difficult to generate an interest where there is no interest. For the average (Joe six-pack) an armchair adventure will usually suffice. Since I discovered the thrill (yes I'm a thrill seeker) of Caving & Canyoning, I have tried & tried to no avail to interest some of my friends. They too, think I am weird or insane or both. If someone is willing to invest a reasonable amount of exertion to even get to the entrance - I'm of the opinion that they will most likely have a reasonable amount of respect for the place. "Journey into Amazing Caves" for those in the non-caving community seemed to be nothing more than another adventure movie. So many things we love to watch other people do would never appeal to us in "real" life (which is a good thing). I think the NSS and the caving community are doing a great job educating the public, and I belive that education (along with some restrictions) are the key to preservation of these precious commodities (caves, canyons, rivers, etc.)

    As an aside - fisherman seem to be the biggest culprits of all when it comes to vandalism. No offense to fisherman (I've fished before) but I've yet to visit a lake or river frequented by fisherman which is in pristine condition. Hooks/wire/trash seem to get left behind on a continual basis.......It would be really nice if the fish-man who came to fish on a particular day would kindly remove the debris from the last fisherman who frequented the area, along with his own.....and so on....and so on.....

    Happy Holidays!!!!! -Randi

    Koen wrote:
    <snip
    There are no drooling masses lurking in the shadows, > ready to rush > out and destroy all "our" beautiful canyons ! Those > masses think > we're insane doing what we do !
    The least the ACA or any similar organisation should > do is spread the > word to anyone interested and point those few in the > right direction.
    Koen
    </snip

    > Rich wrote:
    Koen, > <snip
    But ... have you ever read those magazine articles > about the ten best > towns in which to live in America? Within a few > years, hundreds or > thousands of people move to these towns for that old > fashioned > hometown atmosphere. Fearing that atmosphere will be > lost if people > are allowed to continue moving in, the townsfolk get > together and pass > a moratorium against new home construction. "We > found it first; the > rest of you stay out!" > </snip
    > <snip
    In a previous post I asked for input from the group, > but didn't make > my request very clear. I want to know if we are > taking the right > approach. Is it possible to promote safety and > ethics in canyoneering > without actually encouraging the masses to run out > and try > canyoneering? Our info booklet, for example. Does it > promote > canyoneering or does it promote safety and ethics? > Or is the line > simply too thin to discern?
    Rich
    </snip

    [Non-text portions of this message have been > removed]


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  3. kv5476

    kv5476 Guest

    """I believe that canyoneering is similar to caving (with sunshine!) and may see similar interest levels. There will be some idiots that damage things, there always are. "We" try to keep Joe Sixpack out of as many caves as possible. Joe tends to like places where he can fall off his tail-gate and stumble in with a couple of buddies and a couple of cases of beer, fall down in a room and light up a spliff. He ain't hiking 4 miles to see no cave! Easily accessible caves are hardest hit. We have a well-known cave down here that has become almost "sacrificial". The high-school kids have been going there for years, leaving string, garbage and wastes behind. It's awful. But, the less-accessible caves don't seem to get mauled."""

    Exactly my point: bolting or making canyons "easy" won't change much in regards to getting the masses stampeding "our" canyons - easy access will. Only the "circle of few" will ever be interested in legging hours in the mountains or desert to do a canyon AND back.

    All nice canyons with easy access will get trampled/bolted sooner or later. People who develop such an interest in the sport to see/walk further on should be able to meet the ACA or similar on their way. Without the ACA promoting itself they won't and do whatever they think is appropriate.

    About "sacrificial" caves: in Belgium the caving federation closed (yes, with thick doors...) almost all caves because they were getting damaged, leaving no room for commercial guides or non-affiliated cavers. What's happening now is that those groups are actually buying caves and forbidding access to federation people... In my opinion this could have been avoided by designating "sacrificial" caves to be stampeded by the hordes - a handful would have been enough, nobody is going caving 10 times with a guide, they seek out a club if that interested - leaving the bulk of caves relatively untouched. Nobody bothered to start a dialogue so now we've got a nice little war going on. I admit the problem here is more complex because distances are so small, you can't walk a few hours in any direction without meeting a road around here... one of the reasons I migrate to the Pyrenees :)

    Randi's point about fishermen is interesting: in France most closed canyons are so because of fishermen not wanting to be disturbed by canyoneers (the local fishermen being buddies with the major and the canyoneers coming from "outside"...). We just found ourselves a common "enemy" ;-)

    Koen
Similar Threads: bother association/federation
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Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group Why bother with an association/federation ? Dec 20, 2001
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