Do we need more signs in nature?

It is with sadness that I witness the awe and ado directed at the new Kachemak Bay “water trail.” Why, how did we ever do without it? 

Years ago I used to kayak the bay without benefit of being told where to go and where to camp, and by divine grace returned unscathed. Of course, I had the perhaps unique ability to look at where I wanted to go and paddle in that direction, and I managed to land on shore and set up a tent. There is no sign of me having done this, because I didn’t leave any sign; no fire ring, no 4X4 post. I suppose I should understand the modern GPS-wielding, smart phone-armed “adventurer” being reluctant to take the chance of being on his or her own without guidance.

Excuse my sarcasm; I am perplexed. Why, if we purport to love nature so much, are we so eager to modify, augment and label it?

I suspect we get caught up in the furor promulgated by those few who aim to profit from it, either financially, or by enhanced ego. Perhaps before we blindly support something ostensibly for the public good we should ask “what part of the public?” and “good for whom?”

Also, we should weigh increased use against degradation of a delicate and already overtaxed ecosystem.

Some places are difficult to get to, but that is what makes them beautiful. Do we need all of nature to be easily accessible, designated and marked  for our use? Do we need more 4X4 posts and signs? Brass plaques, anyone?

We are inexorably losing that which we profess to hold dear, perhaps so slowly that we will not recognize it until it is too late.

Michael Bavarsky/Bavers


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