Thursday, August 11, 2011

Criminals at Black Sands Spring!

I am a third generation West Yellowstone resident. My Grandfather worked on the railroad into West and my Grandmother worked in the dining hall. My Grandfather and his brothers logged in this area for many years and my family worked at the sawmill. I grew up here and was raised with a reverence for this area in particular and our surroundings and environment in general.
I don’t get to live here year around anymore but I have been blessed with the opportunity to live and work in West Yellowstone during the summertime so that I can still enjoy my real home as much as possible. When I am here I spend as much time as I can in the outdoors, fishing, hiking and just enjoying our “Yellowstoneland”, soaking it in so that I can carry some of it back north during the winter.
As I have driven, hiked and biked around this summer, I have been disgusted by the number of beer cans, candy wrappers, cigarette butts and general trash I have seen along our back roads and trails. I have taken to carrying a sack just for such things wherever I go but the contempt people seem to have for our area has saddened me. Then, on the morning of Sunday, Aug 7th, 2011, I encountered a scene that was utterly ridiculous.
As I drove into the Black Sand Spring parking area, I noticed smoke rising from the firepit and I saw beer cans, beer bottles, vodka bottles, cigarettes…the whole parking area strewn with trash and litter! Obviously, a big party had been held there on Saturday night and everyone just walked away, leaving the mess for the rest of us to enjoy. I cleaned up as much as I could and I put the smoldering fire out but the whole thing sickened me. I can’t express the disgust and loathing I feel for all of you who were at that party and left that mess behind.
What’s really bad is that, on reflection, I realize that it was most likely West Yellowstone residents who did it. I seriously doubt that our tourists know enough about the area to hold their party at Black Sands so these were probably at least summer residents. I certainly hope that none of our few permanent residents would leave such a disaster behind but; well, who knows anymore.
The complete contempt, disrespect and carelessness shown by this group is hard for me to even imagine. Leaving a fire burning in the forrest? Scattering your garbage and leaving it behind? Come on!! I don’t have to explain the concept of “pack it in, pack it out” any more than I have to explain why litter is a bad thing. Ask any little tourist kid about it if you don’t understand and they can help you.
Presumably, you moved here because this is such a beautiful area and such a nice place to live and then you treat it like this? I can’t speak for everyone but in my opinion, if you have no reverence or respect for our land, such utter disregard for other people, creatures and our environment…go back to where you came from! Scatter your beer cans in your own living room or on the streets of your home town. Leave your fires in your city parks.
I’ll bet many of you were sitting around, cursing Montana for their handling of the Buffalo situation while you decried Man-made Global warming and other environmental issues.
I am happily cooperating with Law Enforcement to try and identify those involved. The trouble is that if they are found and cited, they will only be fined or do some little jail time. I only wish banishment were still an option!

On summer hours

I haven't been posting this summer because I'm living in my camper in the West Yellowstone area and it's not easy to get internet access very often for very long.

I've been playing daily at the City Creamery on Canyon Street in West. It's a sattelite shop of the Virginia City Creamery. I've basically done as well here in tips and CD sales as I would have at the Virginia City Cafe and I'm not using nearly the gas! In my pickup/camper at 8MPG, this makes a big difference.

Still doing Parade Rest Ranch on Mondays and Fridays as I have for several years. So far, it's been a pretty decent summer.