September is National Wilderness Month: Get out there says the prez


The Obama family hikes on Acadia National Park's Cadillac Mountain in Maine on July 16, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

If the president ever invites you somewhere, you should seriously consider accepting his (or her, as the case may be) offer.

In this case, President Barack Obama has declared September National Wilderness Month by Presidential Proclamation, and in a lofty and stirring proclamation he's inviting "all Americans to visit and enjoy our wilderness areas, to learn about their vast history, and to aid in the protection of our precious national treasures."

Well, I may have just returned from two weeks of outdoor recreating, but what I'm hearing is that the leader of my country wants me to get out there and enjoy our wilderness areas. It might even be considered unpatriotic to stay indoors this month.

I do not want to let him or my country down. I'll see you outside.

You can read the full Presidential Proclamation online.


Filed under: Events

Comments

Bill S
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September 2, 2010 at 10:16 a.m. (EDT)

hmmm, that "trail" they are on is the paved path that leads from the parking lot on the top of Cadillac Mountain a whole hundred feet to the fairly flat summit, which has lots of "informative" signs. Not exactly wilderness.

But those low bushes are wild blueberries - YUM! When Barb and I lived in Boston, we used to drive up to Acadia every year late August and early September to pick the blueberries by the bucketful - recommended technique is eat a handful, put a handful in the bucket, repeat until the bucket is full, then get another bucket. Elsewhere in Acadia, add blackberries, raspberries (red and black), mountain cranberries (much better flavor than bog cranberries), and more. Then go to the docks and buy a fresh-caught lobster, which the boatmen will pop into the boiler right there - eat and enjoy!

It was always amusing to see the city folk look at us in horror as we grabbed handsful of the blueberries and stuffed them in our mouths - "everyone" knows that edible food comes in sealed plastic bags.

There is actually a really nice hiking trail that comes up from the foot of the mountain on the opposite side from the auto and carriage roads.

Still, it is great to see our elected leader promoting the outdoors.

Alicia
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September 2, 2010 at 12:51 p.m. (EDT)

When Barb and I lived in Boston, we used to drive up to Acadia every year late August and early September to pick the blueberries by the bucketful - recommended technique is eat a handful, put a handful in the bucket, repeat until the bucket is full, then get another bucket. Elsewhere in Acadia, add blackberries, raspberries (red and black), mountain cranberries (much better flavor than bog cranberries), and more. Then go to the docks and buy a fresh-caught lobster, which the boatmen will pop into the boiler right there - eat and enjoy!

It was always amusing to see the city folk look at us in horror as we grabbed handsful of the blueberries and stuffed them in our mouths - "everyone" knows that edible food comes in sealed plastic bags.

Or maybe the Mainers were thinking, hey, those city folks from away are stealing all of the berries out of our national park!

Because the park seeks to conserve the natural environment for everyone to enjoy, picking blueberries is not allowed within the park’s bounds.

http://www.acadianationalpark.com/bar_harbor_maine_attractions/maine_blueberries.php

Okay, I'm jesting with you a bit, but berry picking and other gathering can be forbidden or limited in many parks and other areas. Rules vary. In Rainier in August, a ranger told us about a plant there that gets poached all the time by florists for arrangements.


As for trails, there are many that will get you to the top of Cadilac, but no matter what one you take, you'll end up at the same paved spot. So, no, it's not wilderness, but I still think it's nice that the first family is promoting the outdoors and our national parks, and getting outdoors themselves.

bheiser1
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September 2, 2010 at 8:54 p.m. (EDT)

But those low bushes are wild blueberries - YUM! When Barb and I lived in Boston, we used to drive up to Acadia every year late August and early September to pick the blueberries by the bucketful - recommended technique is eat a handful, put a handful in the bucket, repeat until the bucket is full, then get another bucket.

When I was in college, I spent some time one summer in Ellsworth, ME. A friend and I had the brilliant idea that we could go up there and participate in the blueberry harvest. In theory you could make (what seemed at the time like) a lot of money by working hard and collecting berries from dawn til dusk.

You don't actually "pick" the berries ... you use a "berry rake", scoop them up, and dump them in a big pail. Oh, and you can't get any stems or leaves. And the berries need to be filled to the very top of the bucket to count as "full".

Well, that didn't quite go according to plan. We earned a little money, but it never approached what we expected. Harvesting blueberries is a lot harder (and more monotonous) than one might think! :)

I still love blueberries, but I haven't picked a single one since then :).

bryanwhitley
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September 3, 2010 at 1:51 p.m. (EDT)

I usually love hiking around the end of september and into october to watch the leaves change colors. It's just absolutely beautiful in the northeast around that time of year.

SnowGoose
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September 6, 2010 at 3:11 a.m. (EDT)

Well, if the leader of the free world says to wander in the wilderness, then who am I to argue? I shall do just that at the end of this month.

Actually, I take a 7 to 10 day solo trip every Fall at the end of September to my favorite wilderness area. I love this time of year with the aspen changing, the elk bugling, and the total immersion in my surroundings.

This is also at the end of bow hunting season and before rifle season so I don't usually run into very many people. Once gun season starts, it seems there are more people in the backcountry than in the cities.

Explorer Robby
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September 6, 2010 at 9:10 p.m. (EDT)

I backpack. Dont matter what any President says I should do. In fact, I go to the wilderness to get away from politicians and everything else our modern world offers.

jkippin
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September 16, 2010 at 8:29 a.m. (EDT)

I love to be outdoors anyway, so I don't need to be told to do so. But if your the kind of person that likes to sit inside, then Obamas message is for you. Its autmn in NH and its the best time to ne outside anyway! Walk a trail, pick apples, who cares what you do, just do it outside!

ron strickland
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September 16, 2010 at 9:09 p.m. (EDT)

I never thought that I would see the day that a presidential proclamation would encourage Americans to head out to the wilderness. Of course, from my point of view the best way to do that is to hike parts of our eleven "national scenic trails" such as the 1200-mile pacific Northwest Trail. [See pnt dot org or ronstrickland dot com] The next best thing is to contribute to a trail club to ensure the presence of trails into the future.

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