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Advertisements on Trails - clever fundraising or intrusive?

12:39 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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According to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/rock-scott-ads-state-trails_n_1502972.html

[ ed. Florida.] Governor Rick Scott just approved a bill permitting advertising on state greenways and trails, which goes into effect July 1.
Sponsored by Sen. Stephen Wise, (R-Jacksonville), the original bill only permitted corporate signage on seven state trails: Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, Blackwater Heritage Trail, Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, Nature Coast State Trail, Withlacoochee State Trail, General James A. Van Fleet State Trail and the Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail.

But a later amendment tweaked the bill's language so that the Department of Environmental Protection can place ads on any state trail.

This concept has been bandied about for years, but I've never seen it actually passed into law.

Some people think that this is an important, though last-ditch, effort to raise badly needed money to fund trails.  Others are furious that a last-refuge of advertising has been taken away.  What do you think?

1:09 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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sigh....this makes me tired and disgusted all at once. Is there no escape from greed?

 

Next will be some way to project ads in to wombs so we don't miss out on those critical formative months and can begin consumer indoctrination with no delay.

1:32 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Kinda flies in the face of LNT 

1:37 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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There's also the twisted news story of a policy requiring NFL and NBA players to wear brand logos on their jerseys.  Here we go---Dick Butkus with Massengill on his chest?  Or Lawrence Taylor with Twinkies?  Capitalism in action.

2:30 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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INTRUSIVE

2:54 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

There's also the twisted news story of a policy requiring NFL and NBA players to wear brand logos on their jerseys.

 Already in place for other sports. Look at soccer jerseys!

I was amused, though, by a Mexican soccer team sponsored by a bread company called 'Bimbo'. I assume it has a different meaning in Spanish.

2:56 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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As to the subject of the OP, though, I think it's offensive.

Someone once asked me what I thought about commercial development in a national park, and I told them I felt like they were 'pissing in my church'.

Florida isn't my church, but I have the same reaction.

3:00 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I am a little unclear about the scope of what this new law allows. The article seemed to suggest that adverts would only be allowed at Parking, Trailheads, and access points, and that it would only be a "sponsored by" kinda thing. If that was the case, and it wasn't actually on the trail, I may not be fond of the idea, and have a mixed reaction. I wonder if it might be a better and option than closing trails or ratcheting up taxation.  

3:27 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Isn't advertiseing one of the many reasons we go to the woods. To be away from society's signs and noise.I do consider signs noise at times.

3:54 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm exceptionally disgusted by this and wondered when it was coming. One of the stupid platitudes that I commonly hear is, and is so well used by government entities is "But these the lands belong to the people". What a bunch of hog wash, These open lands that we all hold so dear belong to the government entities to do with what ever they want and slowly they are doing such.

I, along with many that I know, know that there are those who will rise up and make it there mission for fast removal or distruction of such signage and advertising.

Sometimes there is a time for civil disobedience as when we as a people are being run roughshod over. Does anyone not see this as a violation of our rights on our land? Oh wait these are not our lands are they?

This is pathetic and disturbing at the same time. So how is it that we have lands to escape from society and yet have to endure billboards in the backcountry.

(1)  "The bill dictates that advertising will be restricted to signs no larger than 16 feet at trailheads and in parking lots. On trail public access points, ads must be smaller than 4 feet."

Only four feet on the trail eh?

 

(1)  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/rock-scott-ads-state-trails_n_1502972.html

 

Here is the Bill.

http://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2012/0268/BillText/er/PDF

4:28 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Sixteen feet? So a real, full-size billboard, then.

How very, very tacky.

4:34 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I would honestly have to say that if this type of thing would invade the areas that I frequent I would find other areas to travel. 

No ands, ifs, or buts...

Part of the reason I do what I do is to get away from this type of thing and commune with nature. 

4:42 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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As mentioned, I am not advocating for the bill, but after reading the bill itself, there is much incorrect information being stated and sensationalized. 

The signs are restricted to a single sign NO larger than 4' x 4'  (16sq ft) at trailheads and Parking areas, and no larger than 2'x2' (4sq ft) at public access points.  None of those signs are permitted along the trails themselves.  So these are smaller than the average trailhead information board.

Would many of us honestly even notice such a sign if it were part of or next to the standard information signs that typically exist at such locations?

4:42 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I would honestly have to say that if this type of thing would invade the areas that I frequent I would find other areas to travel. 

No ands, ifs, or buts...

Part of the reason I do what I do is to get away from this type of thing and commune with nature. 

Rick,  just wondering..................If this gains traction in FL. (which so far it has), do you think it will not be coming soon to state parks near each and everyone of you (us), if the people do nothing about it? 

4:42 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

I am a little unclear about the scope of what this new law allows. The article seemed to suggest that adverts would only be allowed at Parking, Trailheads, and access points, and that it would only be a "sponsored by" kinda thing. If that was the case, and it wasn't actually on the trail, I may not be fond of the idea, and have a mixed reaction. I wonder if it might be a better and option than closing trails or ratcheting up taxation.  

In the parking lots, in a very unobtrusive manner, being respectful of the area wouldn't be the worst thing. But then again, it could easily turn out to be the typical corporate "first step". Next thing you know they will be sponsoring the trail shelters and have their crap plastered all over them.

Politicians serving their corporate masters as usual.

4:44 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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JerseyWreckDiver said:

 But then again, it could easily turn out to be the typical corporate "first step". Next thing you know they will be sponsoring the trail shelters and have their crap plastered all over them.

 Yeah, that might happen.

 Ha! Sleeping in a Kentucky Fried Chicken branded shelter :) 

4:50 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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apeman said:

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I would honestly have to say that if this type of thing would invade the areas that I frequent I would find other areas to travel. 

No ands, ifs, or buts...

Part of the reason I do what I do is to get away from this type of thing and commune with nature. 

Rick,  just wondering..................If this gains traction in FL. (which so far it has), do you think it will not be coming soon to state parks near each and everyone of you (us), if the people do nothing about it? 

Well, yes and no. Do I think it may make it to the boards at the trailheads or at the boards at the various campsites on the LHHT for instance?

Probably.

But at the same time alot of the area that I travel through are state game lands(hunters.) 

5:04 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

As mentioned, I am not advocating for the bill, but after reading the bill itself, there is much in correct information being stated and sensationalized. 

The signs are restricted to a single sign NO larger than 4' x 4'  (16sq ft) at trailheads and Parking areas, and no larger than 2'x2' (4sq ft) at public access points.  None of those signs are permitted along the trails themselves.  So these are smaller than the average trailhead information board.

Would many of us honestly even notice such a sign if it were part of or next to the standard information signs that typically exist at such locations?

Hey gonzan,

Just wondering? Do you not think that this is just the start? Once here and implemented and the people are used to it why not make the signs a bit bigger, how about more of them. Once we accept them at the trailheads why not put them on the trails once there established for a few years. Heck why not just put a Honda dealership at the summit of Mt. Washington.

It always starts out small and then when the Gov needs more money and is pressured by big business we know who wins that fight. These lands are on of the last unspoiled bastions that supposedly belong to the people. Soon they will belong to Chase Bank, Honda, GE, etc. Remember that new washer you’ve been thinking about...............well you wont forget now once you get to the trailhead and then again at the public access point(s).

I don't see any sensationalism here at all. What I hope to see a call to arms, but I would guess that as Americans we will not be up to the task.........yet again. When the signs go up it will be to far too late to roll it back which means it will only go forward and get worse (for us), better (for the gov, and big business).

I’m now just waiting for those LCD screens (like we see at the Grocery stores and the gas stations) powered by solar cells. Once those are up at the trailhead I’m afraid people will just say, But there only at the trailhead and at least there not on the trail………………….yet.

IMHO  

5:09 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I can say for a fact that they won't make it on the trails here because alot of the trails traverse state game lands. 

They will get tired of replacing the signs before the hunters get tired of using them for target practice. 

Maybe they will make their way to the boards at the trailheads or at the shelter areas but not on the trails. 

I just can't see it and if it does happen it won't last. 

If it does the companies will lose more money replacing the signs than they will gain from whatever amount of revenue the signs generate. 

6:32 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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With probablly few exceptions i feel they would be very intrusive, and an eye sore. Because you know there wouldnt be just 1 advertisement, there will end up being tons.

The only advertisements i would not mind, would be non profit organizations or charities trying to raise money for trail maintenance, or getting youth outdoors, wildlife refuges etc etc.

7:56 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Wow.  Wow.  Is That For Real?  

The link above leads to a 404, but the images the title conjures up are not appealing in the slightest.  I can see it now as we hike approaching a campsite... Billboards for Kelty, TNF, and Mountain Hardwear, extolling the virtues of their products for use at such campsites.

Or (in a hopefully much exaggerated case), we hike along the JMT and see full sized billboards near a creek, advertising water filtration systems... for our next hike of course...

Ugh.  Ugh.  Ugh.

OTOH, if they were to rent space (and i'm talking 5 inches by 7 inches, or maybe 8 inches by 10 inches) for ads on Trailhead Information Signs ... and the proceeds from which were totally committed to help fund maintenance of said trails, trailheads, parking lots, etc ... I'd be fine with (or would even encourage) that :).

8:36 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Intrusive.

We don't even allow signs that big on the highways here, so I doubt I'll live to see a billboard on the Long Trail.

I could see this leading to lights at sign locations. Maybe a nice mercury vapor at your shelter and an outlet to recharge your cell phone sponsored by sprint.

9:48 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I think this is like the signs that are put up when a company volunteers to clean up a section of road.

A 2x8 or 4x4 sign saying this trail is sponsored by some company at the trail head or a 2x2 at the "public access points" (what's the diff between a public access point and a trail head?) isn't going to hurt.  What if trailspace decided to donate money to build or renovate a shelter on the AT.  Would it be out of the question to put a plaque that thanked them for it?

If MSR donated money to put good signs up on all the trails in the GSMNP how horrible would it be if they had a small line at the bottom of each sign that said "This sign donated by MSR" with their logo?  I'm guessing that your gear has logos on it. When you set up your tent up it becomes a sign.

You must realize that a company would not want to put up a billboard in the middle of the wilderness.  It would make the audience mad at them and  want to boycott their product instead of buy it.

I think that this kind of sponsorship is good. It would provide funding not dependent upon the whim of some government official or budget. The companies that sponsor a trail will want to make sure it provides a good impression of them.

10:07 p.m. on May 11, 2012 (EDT)
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gonzan said:

 Ha! Sleeping in a Kentucky Fried Chicken branded shelter :) 

 The bears will love that ... mmmm, finger lick in' good! :D

12:08 a.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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If this happens,,,, I hope someone cuts the signs down !!!!!!!!!!!!

12:18 a.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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One of the main reasons I go outside is to get away from these type of things. These signs wont last long at all in my neck of the woods.

INTRUSIVE

6:39 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Callahan said:

INTRUSIVE

 

7:09 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Firewood :p

8:12 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Firewood :p

 Hey Rick maybe this is a good idea that the Advertisers supply firewood for the campers ,  such a great project and so thoughtful of them, hehe

8:38 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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But it would be a lot more efficient to just drop bundles of firewood in appropriate locations rather than forcing the tired backpackers to chop it down themselves :).

8:45 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Ya know, its funny you guys should say that. On the trail here(LHHT) they have cut and cured wood in a large pile year round at the shelter sites. 

All ya have to do is carry it to your shelter area/tent site and start a fire. 

9:25 p.m. on May 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Yeah Rick, that was actually the first thing I thought of too. The second thing I thought of was that these advertisements, being the property of their advertisers, might require some kind of "security" to deter vandalism...I mean, certainly the agencies will be expected to provide some sort of protection for their hard-earned investment...

Security cameras in our National Forests/ National Parks, anyone? Sure, I know there's a few out there already, but I can see this leading to cameras posted every 50 feet on some of the more well-used trails, not to speak of the infrastructure required to install and maintain the things...jeez, I suppose they'd have to probably start laying down a whole lot more blacktop to allow service vehicles good access, too, not to mention new parking lots to accommodate all the new visitors to Doritos Xtreme National Monument. By the way, you can't bring any outside food/drink into Doritos Xtreme Monument either. Sorry!...but don't worry, there's a gaggle of vending machines every 100 yards...

7:43 p.m. on May 14, 2012 (EDT)
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Just a contrary view:

I recall a thread recently on the forum where a certain high profile “pro” hiker's proclamation he had sponsors drew envious admiration from the forum peanut gallery.  Imagine that, someone paying me to do my hobby full time!  Certainly if we all wished someone would finance our back packing Jones at a personal level, then would it not follow we should also appreciate a sponsor willing to underwrite the cost of access for all of us?

Ed

11:47 p.m. on May 14, 2012 (EDT)
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+ 1 on what Ed said.

12:02 a.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

Imagine that, someone paying me to do my hobby full time! 

Ed

Count me in... Heck just let me grab my gear and you can drop me wherever ya want. I am always up for a new adventure. 

8:26 a.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

Just a contrary view:

I recall a thread recently on the forum where a certain high profile “pro” hiker's proclamation he had sponsors drew envious admiration from the forum peanut gallery.  Imagine that, someone paying me to do my hobby full time!  Certainly if we all wished someone would finance our back packing Jones at a personal level, then would it not follow we should also appreciate a sponsor willing to underwrite the cost of access for all of us?

Ed

 I hear Ya', dude.

Especially, since many of us have been doing what this guy does, without fanfare ... for YEARS (in my case, anyhow).

And you're right about the "forum peanut gallery".   More like "pinheads" and "wanna-bees".   They DO buy the gear, though, I reckon.  

Back to the OP:

I reckon I may re-join Greenpeace.

Also; I advocate "sin taxes" (on cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, plastic grocery bags, those that do not  recycle, etc.) ... and "fat taxes" (on fast-food, sugar-laden 'food' products, sodas, junk-food).

Penalize  (tax) those that are careless in their life-styles.   NOT those of us that care about our health and our use and appreciation of our natural resources.

A BETTER alternative for revenues.

                                   ~ r2 ~

9:34 a.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Most trailheads have a sign and a map anyway, so I could see small signs (2x2'?) at trailheads showing who's helping pay the costs of maintenance. But the OP originally mentioned 16' - if that's the length, it's way too big. If it's the square footage that's more manageable.

But I sure like the sin tax/fat tax idea as an alternative. Now we just have to convince governments to hand over that money to promoting healthy lifestyles!

3:16 p.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

..And you're right about the "forum peanut gallery".   More like "pinheads" ...

Point of clarification:
If you mean pin heads as in telemark skiers, cool;  otherwise you are free to consider yourself cut from another, more superior, cloth, but I feel like I am in fine company, here, among the peanut gallery, newbies and all, and used that adjective as a term of endearment.

Ed

5:22 p.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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DEAR Ed ~

But of course.

 You have endeared yourself to several / many of us.

                                    ~ r2 ~

9:19 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Don't we advertise enough by what ever brand we wear on the trail? How about hitting the big companies up for help, since they are already outfitting those who are using the outdoors...

7:41 p.m. on May 23, 2012 (EDT)
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I can just picture the sweet, sweet irony of getting back to my car at the trailhead following a week in the woods only to be greeted by a brand-new billboard hawking Odor-Eaters or Gold Bond. 

3:25 a.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I understand the dont let them get their foot in the door idea. As some people posted I dont think the cost versus gain of putting signs in the backcountry will ever make them money cause thats the point of a sign. What about all the signs at springs or big water bar sections that give credit to scout troops for repairing or building them. Does the fact that they are from businesses make the difference. Im all for small tasteful signs in parking lots and trail heads, if I can see,smell or hear a car who cares about a sign? I dont get it, nobody wants to pay to hike, everything costs money in this world. Why not charge top dollar for these signs and use the money for the trails? I like the idea of local businesses taking part in trail maint or repair, at least they are interested in something that isnt paved. Some of these posts take this to pretty extreme levels, I dont think our children will ever see these things happen. Commercial signs are all about exposure, the more the better. They will never make it to the little out of the way spots, you will see them at the bigger, crowded parking lots. The money to preserve and protect these lands and the people who use them has to come from somewhere. Why not this way? Advertising is every where, should we all turn our shirts inside out and put duct tape on the logos of our tents,packs,filter,shoes,clothes,water bottle and any other gear with a logo. Dont forget your spray paint dont want those damn scouts getting credit either. Sorry if I offended anyone. Signs will never make it way back in the woods, I will tear them down and carry them out like all the other trash I see. But lets be realistic, do we really care that much about the parking lot? What is a better, less offensive way to raise this money?

7:16 a.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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Well said hotdogman.

8:36 p.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I used to cut off all the labels on my clothing and gear.

If I could not remove the label, I would used colored felt pens to match the color closely to the rest of the clothing or use grey. I still do that.

I feel if I have to pay top dollar, I do not need to provide free advertising as well.

9:47 p.m. on May 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I know some of you are trying to look at the bright side. But getting corporate America this close can only go bad. Someone slips on a bridge on the trail, falls in a stream hits their head and dies. A loved one sees it was a loose nail that caused it and the rocks were placed there by trail crews paid by the sponsor. Sues corporation sponsoring trail for neglegence. Lawyers decide to settle out of court to avoid bad publicity. Insurance company pays settlement and sends a team of " "experts" to assess potential hazards on the trail. After seeing uneven, rocky terrain, ledges, and lots of old trees they determine the trail is unsafe and condem it to prevent any further legal claims. Now if you're caught hiking on it it's a crime. It's the newest story in the world.

6:56 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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How is a corporation gonna close a trail that is on federal or state property? The liability would fall on the landowner, not someone doing maint.

7:23 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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How do they make you wear a seatbelt in your own car? Maybe just a mandatory hiking helmet then? I guess that's where it's all headed anyway.

Quick side thought; Hotdogman.? You ever been to Winchester, nh? There is a giant hotdog carved out of a tree there. Just saw it last week. Would make a good pic with your profile name. Thougt you might be interested if your ever in that area.

8:38 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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MoZee, I'm in complete agreement with you. We should not let them them get any closer.I think the most insidious evil in life is often the most subtle.

 

Edit: well that sounds dramatic, lol. I probably come across as being anti-capitalist and I’m certainly not. But the cradle to grave advertising in America is just too much. And as you imply, if we let government get even a toe hold of involvement with something it never lessens or goes away.

8:44 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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I live in the very next town heading north. He is actually my competitions logo, I wouldnt want to post it for him. Hes not much comp, but hes not a nice guy. I have the only permit to sell food late night at our little local college. I am the only option within walking distance so I am packed with long lines and big crowds. Now all the other resturant people hate me because I have this permit. I fought the city for three years to be open late,twenty three city council or planning board meetings to overturn a city ordinance from nineteen fifty eight. It is a really nice carving, I wish it were mine. If you come this way often we should go for a hike some time. Im slow because of my new knee, but I try real hard. About the signs. I dont think this will happen. Business has been sponsoring roads for years, even sections of paved greenway. The person or entity that owns the property will always be responsible not the one who picks up the trash. The path of the trail has been laid out already by someone else. That is what determines the terrain, not the guy who moves some rocks. This is just my opinion, im not tryin to argue. The line has to be drawn somewhere. I dont know if signs in the parking lots are the place to do it. Does sponsoring lead to liability? Thats a good question, I think it depends on the level of control given to the sponsor. If they move a trail to a more dangerous route maybe. Wouldnt the landowner have to give permission, would that transfer the liability? Where you at gifto or any other lawyers wanna chime in? Dont know if im off topic or just drifting with the thread.

9:42 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Just signed a sponsorship agreement with a Baffin (boots for snowshoeing) and the limitations are pretty clear. There's nothing in it that says that they are responsible for anything my group does, and there's nothing that says I'm responsible if my people don't like the boots. It would be easy for any sponsorship agreement to be written so that the sponsor wouldn't be held responsible for damages.

I'm on the fence on this one. Sponsors can be good - as has been pointed out - but I don't think any of us want a big company controlling where we go and how we get there.

There has just been a huge brawl in Jasper National Park. One of the biggest tour operators has been given permission to take over a public lookout and charge fees so people can enjoy the view they used to get for free! 200,000 Canadians signed a petition against the privatization, but the government went ahead and did it anyway.

In a worst-case scenario, that's the kind of thing that corporate involvement could potentially lead to.

11:05 a.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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As long as there are not billboard signs every 100 feet I think it could be a good idea!

1:49 p.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Here The East Slope Backcountry Horsemen have a contract with the Forest Service to maintain trails.

I went one time. The food expense was sponsored, tools provided. I brought my own green saw and long handle Corona loppers I carried in a rifle scabbard. My horse was provided by one menber.

We had dutch oven cooking with everyone showing off their recipe.

We had a great time. It was fun.

I was told The East Slope Backcountry horsemen have these contractual agreements in other locales.

I would think other people could do that.

It is one thing to have a vendor license in the park, but no public lands should be privatized.

I know there are leases. Lease trees for lumber? That is not a lease. The trees are cut. Lease pasture? Okay, maybe.

No lease should include building a structure in private or in corporate ownership... not on public land.

2:01 p.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Last summer I had an 11 mile span of trail that while there were streams and other various water sources marked on the trail they were all dried up. 

The way I figure mile 10.5 would be a great spot for a big Aquafina info board. :p

9:15 a.m. on May 26, 2012 (EDT)
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ConnieD said:

It is one thing to have a vendor license in the park, but no public lands should be privatized.

I know there are leases. Lease trees for lumber? That is not a lease. The trees are cut. Lease pasture? Okay, maybe.

No lease should include building a structure in private or in corporate ownership... not on public land.

Our present (Canadian) government is supportive of any venture that will make money, regardless of the cost to the environment or any moral principles involved.

Teddy Roosevelt had different motives for expanding and protecting the US national parks, but I have a lot of respect for how the US Parks Service takes care of your public lands.

April 25, 2014
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