Littering in the national forest

Sled

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2018
Messages
516
Location
Utah
I'm sure most of you pack out your trash and some of you pack out others trash. it's one thing to actively drop trash on the ground but how do you feel about passive littering? is it the same to you and should someone be cited for it? when i think of passive littering an example might be trash falling out of your pocket on a hunt or forgetting a baggie after leaving lunch. i realize accidents happen and intent sure would play into any citation an officer may give in the woods. now to my real reason for making this post. how do you feel about all those well meaning people that let mylar balloons go down in the city? their intent is not to litter and they have good intention is to either celebrate someone's life or event. they are likely quite ignorant to what is the end result. the events are broadcast and often sanctioned by cities and big name groups yet no one ever comments negatively on or prosecutes the offenders. so i ask what is the difference when someone throws trash intentionally on the ground or lets a balloon float away to "the heavens"?
 

dtrkyman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
488
Smokers tend to be pretty bad about it, they think nothing of flinging butts all over, and the wrappers when they open a pack and of course the packs wind up all over!

Proving intent would be difficult in many situations, I have found those balloons way back in! When I was guiding trout I would run out of room in my pack on some busy rivers with the trash I would pick up, it is pretty pathetic, and "accidental" or not people simply are ignorant about it!

I am sure at some point I left some trash behind somewhere, but I am very careful about it and usual clean up others junk!
 

SonnyDay

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
81
Agreed that releasing non-biodegradable balloons into the sky is littering. And yeah, those things end up everywhere (cities, wilderness, stuck in my freakin' trees...). My family has done balloon releases to celebrate a lost family member, but we paid extra for biodegradable ones.
 

brsnow

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Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
1,140
I think hunters litter like crazy. Check out a trail head in CO when the snow melts. I don’t know who drinks beer/tomato juice, but those cans are everywhere. Non-biodegradable baby wipes all over. Just a ton of trash.
 

EdP

Newbie
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
5
Hunters are some of the worst offenders when it comes to leaving their trash behind. It amazes me the number of times when scouting the woods for good locations to sit and watch a deer trail that I find trash left by other hunters. These are off hiking trail locations that hikers would not have been to. Not that the hiking community is perfect by any means but decades of "pack it in/pack it out" messaging has made a difference. Similar messaging has been lacking in the hunting community.
 

Lowg08

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
304
I have never found one but I always find a Budweiser can only every new place. I just pick it up and go on. Just trying to do my part
 

mlgc20

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Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
367
Location
Dallas, TX
Hunters are some of the worst offenders when it comes to leaving their trash behind. It amazes me the number of times when scouting the woods for good locations to sit and watch a deer trail that I find trash left by other hunters. These are off hiking trail locations that hikers would not have been to. Not that the hiking community is perfect by any means but decades of "pack it in/pack it out" messaging has made a difference. Similar messaging has been lacking in the hunting community.
This couldn't be more true. I am consistently disappointed in my fellow hunters. The woods and trailheads consistently look worse after hunting season. You just don't normally see this in the backpacking/hiking community. The "Leave No Trace" mantra needs to make it to the hunting community the way it has in the backpacking community. It's really not that hard to not litter. We need to do better.
 

Sccritterkiller

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2019
Messages
377
The ballon issue needs addressed the most imo...jacka$$ gonna be jacka$$ and litter but the ballon thing is out of control...I have acess to a local farm for hiking/training and I picked up 24 balloons just last yr....Balloons litter public land, private land, and the waterways...I guess until a pic of turtle wrapped in a mylar ballon is posted on the SM world nothing will change.

Also folks speak of biodegradable balloons but how many of those ballons have biodegradable ribbons on them.
 

nrhoffman93

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
24
Location
Birmingham, AL
It's amazing the kind of trash that you can find in the woods from just a few select people. I have seen plenty of balloons and bottles over the past couple of years. The ones that annoy me the most are the people who throw their hand warmers, 5-hour energy bottles, and mountain dew cans in a pile by their hunting spot and leave them.

Anyways, back to your question, I think that passive littering is still littering and that it is up to the officer's discretion to issue a ticket. I think that a lot of people don't ever think about where their balloon ends up. Once it's out of their sight it never crosses their mind again.
 

austinphps

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
426
Location
Colorado
Can't go anywhere in the NF without finding trash it seems. Car camp sites that are even fairly far back in there seem to be the worst. Fire pits full of cans or broken glass everywhere. It frankly pisses me off to no end in 2 ways. One, its just disrespectful/disgusting, and two, I have to spend the time to clean up as much of it as I can.
To answer your questions, to me there is no difference between intentionally littering or releasing a balloon. If you want to celebrate some event or someones life, find a more meaningful way to do so other than letting a balloon fly in the air.
 

Dustin the wind

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Jul 22, 2019
Messages
622
Location
Idaho
Too many people live by the ‘out of site out of mind’ mentality. Cigarette butts that I see now i’m sure will be around after i’m dead. There needs to be much harsher penalties for all littering.
 

Poser

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Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
2,854
Location
Durango CO
It’s very disappointing when you see litter that is clearly from hunters, not necessarily because of the items themselves in the trash (though rubber gloves are an obvious offender), but because of the locations. My observation is that the more people bring in to the backcountry, the more likely they are to leave trash. I’m looking at you, Shanty Town hunting camps.
 

nrhoffman93

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Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
24
Location
Birmingham, AL
Too many people live by the ‘out of site out of mind’ mentality. Cigarette butts that I see now i’m sure will be around after i’m dead. There needs to be much harsher penalties for all littering.
I wonder if smokers even consider where they throw their butts. It seems they just through them on the ground wherever they are.
 

Dustin the wind

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
622
Location
Idaho
I wonder if smokers even consider where they throw their butts. It seems they just through them on the ground wherever they are.
I think most put them out but almost all care less where they flick them. I can go basically anywhere a human has been, look down and find a butt there. Maybe the moon doesn’t have any.
 

Beendare

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Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
4,997
Location
In Traffic
Littering is a perfect case study in human nature-

The majority of people are self policing, they do the right thing.

The minority litters and thinks let somebody else pick it up. They have a casualdisregard for the environment and others rights.

Those people need to get punched in the face every once in a while.

——-
 

Jayds

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2018
Messages
12
Do your best to leave nothing behind! I've picked up so much trash while out. Hate to see it.
 

mcimes

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
10
Location
So Cal
I pick up my own trash 100% of the time. I pick up random trash i come across as long as its not totally gross. (i.e. rotting, covered in muck, poop)

The worst offenders are people who put their dog poop in a bag, then leave the bag! wtf is that? at least unbagged poop will eventually go away. Bagged poop becomes a nuisance for years!

Im in CA and am disgusted by the disrespect shown to our parks when there are no rangers. They literally hauled a truckload of trash out of The Punchbowls and Joshua Tree park this year.

IMO, I want a "does not litter" stamp on my liscense similar to a firearms endorsement that allows those with it to go places others cant because I practice leave no trace. I know that will never happen, but it would be nice.
 
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