Do you Volunteer at a trail Org or do you Finacially Contribute?

9:24 p.m. on March 5, 2014 (EST)
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Melsadad started a topic about Finacially contributing to the wilderness.I was wondering how many members Volunteer to trails or parks in their state..Do you do your own style like Tippi and Patman helps Tippi at times.Do you volunteer to the BSA like Bill S(OGBO) to teach Laderships Skill and Outdoor Skills..Do you make finacial doantions to Outdoor NON Profits..Alicia just posted what trailspace does and theirs more out there.I was wondering are we part of the problem not giving back..be interested in your thoughts..I think this would be interesting...

9:57 p.m. on March 5, 2014 (EST)
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Maybe it is just the circles I run in, but virtually everyone I know, hike with, and climb with volunteers time for trail maintenance and development, maintenance with the California State Parks Association, MidPeninsula Open Space District, and/or East Bay Parks District, Yosemite Clean-up Day, as well as time spent in organizations like Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts in the USA, one or more of the inner city groups for kids, Sierra Club, Sempervirens, Nature Conservancy, Audubon (just had several weekend migratory bird count events), and so on, as well as making cash donations. Some of us of a "certain age" have also put one or more of these causes and organizations in our wills (the idea is to give it directly to the wilderness and NOT to the politicians in Sacramento and Washington to play with). No one does everything, of course (gotta have time to do our own outdoor things). About the only people I associate with who do not currently do such things are folks who are slowed way down by debilities of aging - but they were active when they were younger.

One incentive/benefit we get, aside from helping protect our favorite places and spread the word among the public, is the occasional free campsite or personal tour with a ranger who points out special places off the beaten tourist path.

It is not because anyone forces us to do it - it is just the same thing as taking care of your own house and your own neighborhood. Because that is what it is - this planet we all live on IS our house. It is everyone's personal duty and obligation to take care of it, because it is all we have.

6:54 a.m. on March 6, 2014 (EST)
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Being a full time parent I'm lucky when I get time off to actually get out on trail so these days I don't have time to volunteer though I have in the past.  Now I try to retroactively support the folks who make my trips fun.  When I am out on trail I notice the hard work that has gone into creating erosion control, bog boards or half mile staircases made out of rocks that climb a thousand feet and the like.  Then when I get home what ever group is in charge of trails in that area gets a donation in gratitude.

Here in ME we have many small orgs that work to create and maintain trails in the preserves.  They don't get the sort of support that big groups working on the major trails do because most folks don't even know they are out there.  Those are the sort of groups that I like to send money to because I know that my small donation is big to them.

Not everyone can afford to donate and not everyone has time or is capable of trail work, but if everyone does what they can it works out better for us all even if it does smack of communism 8p

8:41 a.m. on March 6, 2014 (EST)
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I contribute financially to two cave conservancies. I served on the board of one of them until I reached my term limit. I've volunteered with cave clean up projects.

 

LoneStranger said:

Not everyone can afford to donate and not everyone has time or is capable of trail work,

When I'm on a trail, I'll pick up trash on my last day of a hike (or if on a day when I know I will pass a trash can). I always pick up trash in a cave. 

10:10 a.m. on March 6, 2014 (EST)
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Goose,

I have in the past brought trash bags with me to hand out on the trail and most people look at me very uneasily as if I’m trying to peddle a ware or ask them for a credit card. Of course you have to work it in to a conversation and not solicit outright in the beginning but even so I get surprisingly negative reactions. I haven’t tried that in some time; these days I’ll just bring my own bag and leave it alone.

I suppose some people are just on vacation and really don’t want to engage in any work-like activity and I get that.

10:15 a.m. on March 6, 2014 (EST)
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G00SE said:


When I'm on a trail, I'll pick up trash on my last day of a hike (or if on a day when I know I will pass a trash can). I always pick up trash in a cave. 

 Oh I always pick up trash and scatter illegal fire rings.  That doesn't count as trail work heh.  That is just doing what is right.

Dragging those big rocks to build stairs or lugging 6x6s to bridge bogs is trail work!

11:39 a.m. on March 6, 2014 (EST)
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Neither. I don't really like trails. Animal trails and those built by a string of mules are fine. Trails like PCT look like an interstate. In larger wilderness areas there is very little trail maintenance. Lots of fallen trees, rockslides, and other hazards, but that is what makes them attractive. The lack of evidence of man.

3:16 p.m. on March 7, 2014 (EST)
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I do a lot of trail volunteering. For some groups, I'll give time to build or maintain trail. This spring, I'll help blaze a portion of the IAT here in Maine. It will be a lovely walk, and it doesn't even feel like work. For other organizations, I'll give cash, because they need it more than my time. For other organizations, I'll volunteer to serve on the board. This takes a lot of time and energy, but provides me a lot of personal rewards. I'm also lucky enough to have an employer (Thanks Trailspace!) that gives me a schedule flexible to do this.

Good topic Denis!

6:40 p.m. on March 7, 2014 (EST)
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I routinely perform trail magic for thru-hikers.

does that count? :)

8:57 p.m. on March 9, 2014 (EDT)
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Bill S said:

Maybe it is just the circles I run in, but virtually everyone I know, hike with, and climb with volunteers time for trail maintenance and development, maintenance with the California State Parks Association, MidPeninsula Open Space District, and/or East Bay Parks District, Yosemite Clean-up Day, as well as time spent in organizations like Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts in the USA, one or more of the inner city groups for kids, Sierra Club, Sempervirens, Nature Conservancy, Audubon (just had several weekend migratory bird count events), and so on, as well as making cash donations. Some of us of a "certain age" have also put one or more of these causes and organizations in our wills (the idea is to give it directly to the wilderness and NOT to the politicians in Sacramento and Washington to play with). No one does everything, of course (gotta have time to do our own outdoor things). About the only people I associate with who do not currently do such things are folks who are slowed way down by debilities of aging - but they were active when they were younger.

One incentive/benefit we get, aside from helping protect our favorite places and spread the word among the public, is the occasional free campsite or personal tour with a ranger who points out special places off the beaten tourist path.

It is not because anyone forces us to do it - it is just the same thing as taking care of your own house and your own neighborhood. Because that is what it is - this planet we all live on IS our house. It is everyone's personal duty and obligation to take care of it, because it is all we have.

 Iam finding Iam hiking more and more with the people I do trail mantenance. I have friends from orgs I also hike with and by myself more often..I always wonder why its such a small percentage of us who donate some how and why the others don't...I see 600-1500 backpackers a year in my town.The most during thru-hiker season and it makes you wonder if they will be the next maintaneer or donater...Just makes me wonder at times..

9:40 p.m. on March 9, 2014 (EDT)
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My efforts are due mostly to hiking exasperation as I watch some of my most favored trails fall into ruin and oblivion.  I can't have that!  So, heck, I trudge with too much weight and carry Felco pruners in one hand and my hiking pole in the other.  Why not clip as I hike?  Most of the in-your-face crap like horizontal rhodo can be cleared with one squeeze of the hand.

For the bigger stuff I'll throw off the pack and use the Corona folding saw.  These two babies will clear 90% of all trails---but I have to leave the large crosscut stuff to the Big Boys who do volunteer work. 

Sadly, we are in the midst of a hemlock dieoff and so what work is done this month needs more work next month.  It's never ending.  But waiting a couple months between work is okay.  Waiting 10 years is never good.

11:25 p.m. on March 9, 2014 (EDT)
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As a teen I spent some time volunteering for the Appalachian Mountain Club on the Trail Crew.  We worked on "standardizing" (clearing) trails, and did some hauling of ginormous bags of bark chips for the then-new composting toilets.

As an adult I'm not sure where the time comes from to volunteer time for any organization.  Time, to me, seems like the most precious and scarce resource.  Maybe it's just me but I need my non-work time to recuperate and do non-work personal things.

I do contribute a bit of cash to the Yosemite Conservancy because I believe in what they do.  But my continued contributions are at risk because they insist on spamming me with paper (!!!) mail asking for more contributions.  I've asked them to stop and the paper keeps arriving.  If I continue to receive paper from them, they will not get further contributions from me, as they are wasting my money.  Same goes for Sierra Club, only worse.

12:11 p.m. on March 10, 2014 (EDT)
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Great topic, Denis! It's nice to hear how others are involved.

I agree that we should each do what we're capable of doing at the time, whether that's volunteering our time or expertise, donating money, or being a responsible backcountry visitor (well, we should always be the last one).

As Denis mentioned, through Trailspace we support numerous outdoor and environmental nonprofits as members of 1% for the Planet: http://www.trailspace.com/about/giving-back/

On a personal level, we're members of our local land trust, as well as our local running and mountain biking groups. BC (before children), I was on the board of our local land trust and involved in communications and membership efforts, but that dropped off once kids came along, though I'll still proofread the map or brochures when asked (generally by my spouse, who occasionally helps out on their graphic design projects).

We're friends with the head of stewardship, and Dave gets out for some trail building and maintaining efforts with him (our son has joined in a few times too). We've considered adopting a local trail as a family too.

As our kids get older, I'd like to get involved more in local outdoor and environmental groups again and give back some time, the most valuable commodity we've got.

Following Bill H's comment on getting too much paper, I've been a member of the AMC off and on. Despite my positive feelings for the organization itself, I quit after a few years because they kept calling and mailing asking for money, but could never include my name on any membership materials, just my spouse's. I suppose it shouldn't matter, but I got annoyed after explaining over and over that I existed, since I was the one who joined and wrote the checks, so I stopped giving.

8:34 p.m. on March 10, 2014 (EDT)
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522 said:

I routinely perform trail magic for thru-hikers.

does that count? :)

Counts for me! :D

8:38 p.m. on March 10, 2014 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

But my continued contributions are at risk because they insist on spamming me with paper (!!!) mail asking for more contributions.  I've asked them to stop and the paper keeps arriving.  If I continue to receive paper from them, they will not get further contributions from me, as they are wasting my money.  Same goes for Sierra Club, only worse.

 That is what keeps me from donating to a number of organizations, wilderness and otherwise. My local NPR station is in the midst of their pledge drive. If I could give without getting on their mailing list, I would. But I know that once I give, they will hound me until my death.

My wife and I once a place & filled out a visitor card. 9 years and 4 address changes later, we're still being followed by their mailing list!

12:32 a.m. on March 11, 2014 (EDT)
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I volunteer with 2 search and rescue groups, so people can safely enjoy the outdoors. Does that count? :)

8:13 a.m. on March 11, 2014 (EDT)
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Dox said:

I volunteer with 2 search and rescue groups, so people can safely enjoy the outdoors. Does that count? :)

 Yes!

9:42 p.m. on March 11, 2014 (EDT)
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Dox said:

I volunteer with 2 search and rescue groups, so people can safely enjoy the outdoors. Does that count? :)

 Yep!

10:00 p.m. on March 11, 2014 (EDT)
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(surprised on this site nobody has mentioned this, hehe) ... I devote part of my time while on outdoors trips to study and take photos of gear, and upon my return, write reviews to help others in their gear purchasing decisions.  Does that count? :)

1:29 a.m. on March 13, 2014 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

(surprised on this site nobody has mentioned this, hehe) ... I devote part of my time while on outdoors trips to study and take photos of gear, and upon my return, write reviews to help others in their gear purchasing decisions.  Does that count? :)

 I tend to think your reviews and a few others do help the community..:)

 

12:18 p.m. on March 13, 2014 (EDT)
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I used to maintain a trail. I have recently stopped because of the way its run, and what is expected of you to do. They pretty much want to take the wild out of the woods, and I don't like it. One example, I'd rather walk over/around a fallen tree than have the center cut with a chainsaw, and the logs thrown to the side. It takes something away from being out there.  Not to mention the paperwork they want.

I do more off trail backpacking now, but I always carry out trash, either on or off trail. One thing I can't stand seeing/finding is helium balloons and plastic shopping bags. I have climbed many trees to remove them.

I used to donate as well but I didn't like the way this supposed non profit was spending the money, and they don't like it when you question it. You get ignored.

It comes down now to just doing my own thing to support the forests.

August 29, 2014
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