TallGrass wrote:While LNT might address how past hikers can preserve the Wilderness experience for future ones,
wouldn't the reg's (group size, distance, etc.) address how present hikers can preserve the Wilderness experience for others also present?
Same place, different times
same place, same time.
Tallgrass hits the nail on the head of the final and (probably) most overlooked principle of Leave No Trace ethics.
From the USFS: https://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_058697.pdf
7: Be Considerate of Other Visitors.
Solitude is an important part of the wilderness experience. It is freedom from
intrusion of human sights and sounds. Respect the solitude of others by avoiding boisterous behavior and loud noises
camping in areas that are not visible to other visitors. Let Nature prevail.
-Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
-Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
-Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
-Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
-Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The point? LNT isn't as simple as the old axiom "Take only pictures, leave only footprints". LNT also requires understanding and respect for the context in which other visitors experience the mountains. Some people climb the mountains to escape the weekend circus of LoDo. Some people find spiritual retreat in wilderness. Some people fly thousands and drive hundreds of miles to experience the wilderness. Imagine having your once-a-year wilderness retreat begin with kegger and a makeshift TH hot-tub, continue through piles of human waste, and end with an electric neon dance party (FWIW, that experience is available is almost any college dorm). The least any of us could do, is behave is a way that is unlikely to diminish their experience. And, so long as they're making an effort to abide by the same conduct, to do so without passing judgement on how they experience the wilderness.
Eager to yield soapbox I'll close by suggesting much of the recent ill-will among user groups would be resolved by a more thoughtful exercise of the 7th Principle of LNT ethics.