Sunset Juniper

18 10 2015

Juniper

The second rifle (hunting) season started yesterday in Colorado. Third season is the busiest season here, but traffic already has increased noticeably – including in Spring Creek Basin.

Unfortunately, a group of multiple people on ATVs and UTVs not only rode/drove off a designated road, damaging the basin’s fragile soil and vegetation (illegal), they rode/drove into McKenna Peak Wilderness Study Area (where motor vehicles are not allowed, making that activity also illegal). While they were at it, they disturbed the band I was with so much that said band ran all the way across the basin.

Fortunately, after sunset, I found the band, resting at peace. All OK.

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8 responses

18 10 2015
Prairie girl

How thoughtless & inconsiderate. There are always a few bad apples whose selfishness makes the season look less desirable and frowned upon.
I wish you could have gotten their I.D. plates or tags or something. Sock it to ’em with a hefty ticket. Ha!
But, I’m relieved you found the band in good shape, rested and safe.

18 10 2015
Pat

Dang, people just don’t get it that what they think is enjoyment can be damaging and dangerous. Were you close enough to get a license number. ? GRRRR! Do we need to have an educational booth at the entrance?

19 10 2015
Lynn Bauer

Unfortunately, our society has grown into one of “the rules don’t apply to me.” I see it more and more in just about every scenario you can imagine. Glad everything turned out OK for the horses and thanks, TJ, for being there.

19 10 2015
Sue Story

This is such a common problem with hunters every year. My husband and I have encountered illegal hunter ATV use on multiple hiking trips over 30 years. We’ve taken pictures, recorded license numbers, and reported the info to Forest Service and Fish and Game officials…and nothing is ever done, even with dead to rights evidence. This hurts my heart that it happens too out in Spring Creek Basin near the mustangs. Just burns my rear end, but what to do. I wish the Forest Service would let my husband and me be deputy forest rangers with all the powers pertaining thereto!

19 10 2015
TJ

There’s a giant sign at the entrance that reads: “Travel restricted to maintained roads. Cross country travel prohibited.” Each fall, I festoon it with bright pink or orange flagging to help people notice it.

In good news, within a couple of hours of sending an email and pic to the BLM law-enforcement rangers and herd manager, one of the rangers came to Disappointment Valley and Spring Creek Basin. I couldn’t identify the people, but his super-fast response to my report was hugely appreciated!

19 10 2015
Sue Story

TJ, I was so glad to hear BLM officials responded so quickly to your report. I really wish there was some way to stop this kind of thing, especially out near the wild horses. We have just recently become Spring Creek Basin mustang lovers after our first visit out there this last May. We are newcomers to all of this, but we can never get enough of the horses (going to see them once a week or so from Dolores where we live) and looking forward to your daily posts and your incredible photos. Thank you for them and your advocacy.

19 10 2015
TJ

It’s great that you’re visiting the mustangs! Maybe we’ll meet in the basin some day soon. 🙂 The BLM rangers have been excellent in responding to any reports of wrongdoing. They have a huge region to cover. Unfortunately, we’ve battled off-road use forever … and it likely won’t stop. But we continue to block illegal routes and document what we do find. The more we show we’re watching, the less – hopefully – it will happen!

20 10 2015
Karen Keene Day

Juniper, you’re all grown up! You were much younger when I first painted you♡

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