Recreationists, Hunters, Fishermen, Outdoor Enthusiasts, Forest and Water Users: From Texas to Virginia & Florida, and a heads up nationwide
 
 
April 23, 2005
 
 
By Julie Kay Smithson propertyrights@earthlink.net  
 
 
 
Please share this with everyone you know who recreates or vacations anywhere there are forests, water or watersheds -- i.e., to everyone you know!
 
South Dakotans, you'll want to read this one through -- trust me, please!
 
There are two very interesting maps on pages 30 and 31 of this 31-page .pdf file whose title is SOCIO-6: Forest-Based Outdoor Recreation.
 
The 1995 and 2000 Surveys on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE), conducted by the USDA Forest Service, have been used to paint a picture of "recreation demand pressure" that can and is being used to stop public access.
 
While these two particular surveys and the resultant maps "only" cover thirteen states, rest assured that other such surveys and maps exist for the other thirty-seven states.
 
The first carries the title of: Hotspots of recreation demand pressure on forests, 2000.
 
The second is dubbed: Hotspots of recreation demand pressure on water and watersheds, 2000.
 
The colors on the maps are identified by "recreation demand pressure" as being: Negligible, light, moderate, moderately heavy, and heavy.
 
 
These two maps are a "must" for all those who dare to exert "recreation demand pressure."
 
What activities constitute "recreation demand pressure," you ask? Better sit down -- I didn't make up this list. Your 'friendly' Forest Service did. There are 57 activities on it.
 
"Recreation Demand Pressure" Activities
 
Viewing or photographing fish
 
Jet skiing
 
Kayaking
 
Viewing or photographing wildlife
 
Day hiking
 
Backpacking
 
Bicycling
 
Horseback riding
 
Coldwater fishing
 
Walking for pleasure
 
Visiting nature centers, etc.
 
Freshwater fishing
 
Developed camping
 
Driving off-road
 
Visiting prehistoric sites
 
Family gathering
 
Viewing or photographing birds
 
Big game hunting
 
Warmwater fishing
 
Rafting
 
Swimming in lakes, rivers, ocean
 
Picnicking
 
Canoeing
 
Migratory bird hunting
 
Small game hunting
 
Sailing
 
Saltwater fishing
 
Fishing
 
Primitive camping
 
Visiting historic sites
 
Motorboating
 
Rowing
 
Sightseeing
 
Waterskiing
 
Driving for pleasure
 
View/photograph natural scenery
 
View/photograph wildlife
 
View/photograph flowers, etc.
 
Visit the beach
 
Gather mushrooms, berries, etc.
 
Visit a wilderness
 
Visit a waterside besides the beach
 
View or photograph fish
 
Outdoor team sports
 
Mountain biking
 
Hunting
 
Horseback riding on trails
 
Snorkeling
 
Downhill skiing
 
Rowing
 
Anadromous fishing
 
Scuba diving
 
Snowboarding
 
Surfing
 
Snowmobiling
 
Cross-country skiing
 
Windsurfing
 
 
Gee, folks! What's left? I believe our 'friendly' Forest Service has just about covered all the bases under the heading, "Recreation Demand Pressure." Maybe we're really being targeted for cities and no fun activities outside, period. Not even photographing flowers, mind you! Not even "driving for pleasure" or "viewing" wildlife!
 
People are apparently being viewed as really ba-a-a-a-a-d for EVERYTHING.
 
On Page Two is this statement: "Recreation access to private land is increasingly limited to the owners themselves, their families or friends, or lessees. The number of ... private owners allowing the public to recreate on their land has been decreasing."
 
Sources of above information: Chapter SOCIO-6 Southern Forest Resource Assessment Draft Report http://www.fs.fed.us/sustain and
 
To my cynical mind, that is a direct slap in the face of private landowners, who have, by the way, every right to limit access to their private property.
 
This very issue is right now the cause of the SD (South Dakota) Lockout http://www.sdlockout.com and is being hotly debated/contested in the South Dakota Legislature -- as South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks http://www.sdgfp.info/Index.htm continues its assault on private property rights.
 
By use of the Open Fields Doctrine, SDGF&P continues to misinform the public. 
 
Such statements as: " ... there still appears to be some confusing and erroneous information circulating about the Open Fields Doctrine and its relation to [SD GF&P] policy that places limits when their employees enter private lands to conduct compliance checks of hunters and anglers. The Open Fields Doctrine came about years ago through a series of decisions handed down by the United States Supreme Court. The Court upheld the principle that law enforcement officers, including Conservation Officers and other government agents, may enter privately owned open fields without permission, probable cause or a warrant in order to perform their duties as required by the law."
 
 
More information on the "Open Fields Doctrine:"
 
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution:
 
 
Open Fields Doctrine
 
 
Open Fields and the Future

 

http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org/2005/articles02/open_fields_and_the_future.htm

How the National Park Service views recreation and citizens that dare to recreate (excerpt):

"What is the most important reason to get involved? Focus on benefits sought. More, faster, now seems to be the formula: all wanting more choice, more diversity, more value, more amenities, more enrichment…. and they want if faster! Used to be “man” versus “the mountain”…Now it is Mom, Dad, family, kids, friends, pets, etc. Everyone is going outdoors. 28% increase of people recreating outdoors monthly. Something for every generation: Healthy older adult population -- will flock to see you. The boomers are hitting prime travel years and expect the size of this population to increase and then drop. Look out those of you in the health care business -- this generation is self-absorbed!!! Gen X-Kids of boomers-appetite for extreme, Gen Y-replacing the greatest & matures, Gen Z-Most diverse generation ever. It is not about whom you look like -- it is about whom you don't look like. Each generation waiting for the other to retire so they can get promoted. Just wait for the future!"

Source: http://partnerships2003.nps.gov/session_reports/287.htm