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[pct-l] Fire Rules - alpine especially

     Sorry, Everybody, (for this Flame - pun intended - war)! I promise
to make this the last "please-obey-fire-regulations" post. It's just that
I think that flouting fire regulations is a pretty serious matter & truly
hope no one is gonna be tempted to ignore wilderness No Fires signs
because of remarks made to the List (or sent in mass-mailings)....
    Just read this (from Dave Gomberg);  doubt if I can change his mind,
but I'd like to be a Good Influence on others. Here goes:
>>     re the No Fires regulation & others: the trouble with personal
interpretations of >>any rule, is that, human nature being what it is,
the "interpretation" usually closely >>resembles a loophole favoring the
interpreter.   bj

   ---    Dave  writes:
>That's what courts are for, to punish folks for that.
>>The rules should be clear and right.
>Until they are that they should be beaten on till they are fixed.   
>Open fire rules are wild-fire-protection rules.  So (for example) they 
>should not apply in Alpine areas because the vegetation is too sparse to

>support a wild fire.  But they do because the rule has not been beaten
>Still needs beating!     Dave Gomberg

  In a perfect world, all legislation would be unarguable and please
everyone -  in fact, no rules would be needed, since we'd all be so
high-minded, knowledgeable, and in total accord....however, Back To
Planet Earth, as they say.
  I've never heard anybody talk about "beating on" rules before; there's
a violent, bullying ring to it, tho. I'm going to make a giant leap and
interpret the expression to mean "breaking" or "ignoring" (which amounts
to the same thing) [fire] regulations. That's Bad Behavior and worse
advice - especially to folks who may have little wilderness-area
experience (or maybe weak moral fiber, chuckle). 
     Alpine areas are _particularly_ fragile ecosystems; partly for the
very reason you mention - sparse (read: rare) vegetation, that takes a
long time (maybe never) to re-generate. And it does burn, tho not in the
spectacular blazes of the kind that made Bambi an orphan. The result is
blackened patches of tundra, charred ancient lichens, burned tiny plants
that may only have a short non-dormancy-period - and which provide food
for the "sparse" alpine small-mammals. Your argument that there is
nothing above timberline to burn ("support a fire") reminds me of the
sentiments of people who are puzzled as to why anybody would travel to
the High Country at all (because "there's Nothing there.").
    I could rant on & on with explanations/arguments but my point (made
by Charlie Jones and others) is that you should follow the rules because
(if for no other reason) they Are There. I can't believe the existing
fire regulations are forcing you to violate your religious or moral
beliefs (they can only pose a minor inconvenience at most), so  _please_
don't "beat on" them in the backcountry-environments they were made to
protect.  The legal system is not only for "punishing folks", and I'm
sure if you can find enough people to agree with you, the rules will
change to your satisfaction...      Birgitte ("can't we all just be
friends?" - snicker) Jensen

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