[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

No Subject

Following are copies of two letters.  The first was sent to Anheuser
Busch, Inc along with a copy of the second.   A copy of each was also
sent to the NRA.  

I don't want anyone to mistake my purpose here - I was (very) irritated
by the sheer volume of trash that was evident on the CDT.  My purpose
here is to advertise the problem - to both the hiking community and to
the hunting community.  

The major perpetrators were a very few hunters, but there was also trash
that was not "hunter-generated", but dropped by those who ride horses and
ATV's.  If anyone has seen the McVeigh's Continental Divide video, their
comments on Nez Perce Camp in Montana still apply 10 years later.  It's a
backcountry trash heap.  We ran into trash heaps all along the trail. 
But they became 'fresh' trash heaps when hunting season started.  And the
vast majority of the trash is generated by a VERY SMALL minority of the
backcountry users.  Yes - even hikers have a small part of this.  But at
least they don't scatter Bud Lite cans for 16+ miles as they ride their
ATV looking for the deer and elk that left the area 20 minutes ago
because they heard the ATV coming.  We don't - and will never again -
drink Bud or Bud Lite.  It would be too much like condoning the actions
of the guy we call "The Bud Lite Man".  

There is no "ultimate" solution - other than eliminating backcountry
access for "everyone".  But I think there are ways to educate the slobs
and make them feel at least some degree of guilt when they drop the beer
cans from their ATV or horse.  

Let's get this straight, too - the hunters that we met were great.  They
were friendly, they were knowledgeable about the backcountry - and
sometimes even about hiking.  And they were helpful - at least one CDT
hiker this year used them as a water source in New Mexico.  The problem
that I'm talking about is that 1% (or less) who don't give a damn - for
whatever reason - and drop their trash wherever they happen to be.  I
wonder if their wives would tolerate that at home?  I think not.  

Enough - read or delete - that's your choice now.  

Walk softly,


Anheuser Busch, Inc
One Busch Pl.
St. Louis, MO 


In November 1999, my wife and I completed a 2700-mile hike along the
Continental Divide Trail through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and
New Mexico.  This is some of the wildest, most remote and most beautiful
country in the Continental United States.  

Based on our observations during this 6-month trek, we would like to
extend our congratulations to Budweiser on being the First Prize winner
(Beer Can category) as well as the Grand Prize winner (All categories) of
the 1999 "Trash the Backcountry" contest. An estimated 70% of the trash
that we encountered any place along the Continental Divide that could be
reached by ATV, horse or four-wheel drive vehicle was either Budweiser or
Bud Lite cans.  One of your most devoted customers managed to drop a Bud
Lite can every half-mile for over 16 miles in northern New Mexico.  Some
of his similarly inclined brethren obviously enjoy decorating backcountry
campsites with dozens of bright new Budwieser and Bud Lite cans.  Your
products are truly the overwhelming choice of those who have no regard
for Nature or the backcountry.  Your marketing department is to be
congratulated on their eminently successful efforts to make your product
the "Beer of Choice" for the truly tasteless.  

For your edification and enjoyment, your "Grand Prize" is enclosed  - 
pictures of  several of the many thousands of Bud and Bud Lite cans which
we observed in the many Wilderness areas which we traversed between May
and November of 1999.  May you display them with pride.   

A copy of this Award letter will be sent to various organizations and
publications in order to increase public awareness of your contribution
to the present state of Americas's wilderness areas.  


Jim & Ginny Owen
Spirit Eagle, AT-88 & 92, CDT-99, PCT-00

cc:	Backpacker magazine (letters@backpacker.com)
	Continental Divide Trail Society (cdts@aol.com)
	Continental Divide Trail Association (cdnst@aol.com) 
	Field and Stream magazine (FSmagazine@aol.com) 
	National Rifle Association 
	Outside magazine (letters@outsidemag.com) 
	Boone and Crockett Club  (bcclub@montana.com)
	Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (rmef@rmef.org )
	Appalachian Trail e-mail list  (at-l@backcountry.net) 
	Pacific Crest Trail e-mail list (pct-l@backcountry.net) 
	Continental Divide Trail e-mail list (cdt-l@backcountry.net) 
	Spiriteagle99 e-mail list (spiriteagle@circumtech.com) 

							Jim & Ginny Owen
							9211 Flower Ave
							Silver Spring, MD 20901
							10 February, 2000

To whom it may concern: 

Attached is a copy of a letter which I recently sent to Anheuser-Busch,
Inc.   What is not obvious from that letter is that the majority of the
trash which we saw in the backcountry was dropped there by hunters. 
While I am neither anti-gun nor anti-hunting, I am most certainly both
anti-trash-in-the-backcountry and anti-slob.  I am, in fact, a gun owner,
a former hunter and a member of the National Rifle Association. 

I realize that the slobs are a very small percentage of the hunting
community.  But I also realize that those slobs are perceived by many
people to be representative of the hunting community-at-large.  I believe
that the hunting community needs to make an effort to police itself and
to educate those who seem to delight in leaving their trash for others to
pick up.  I believe the hunting community should make that effort before
that kind of policing is forced on them by one or more of the various
levels of government.  I would suggest that you start NOW.  

Some time ago I gave my wife a sign to hang in the coffee mess at the
office where she worked at the time. It read - 	"I'm not your Mama -
Clean up after yourself".  

I think the hunting community - and particularly those who think it's
"funny" or "cool" or perhaps don't think about it at all when they dump
their beer can or candy wrapper in the backcountry - should be given that
message - from the community as a whole.  There are few things in this
world as powerful as peer pressure.  

Since so much of the backcountry trash consists of their products, it
might also be appropriate to invite Anheuser-Busch to join the effort. 
It would certainly be good PR for them.  They need it. 

Thank you,

Jim & Ginny Owen
Spirit Eagle, AT-88 & 92, CDT-99, PCT-00

Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
Try it today - there's no risk!  For your FREE software, visit:
Message from the Continental Divide Trail Mailing List

To:            cdt-l@backcountry.net