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Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby RyGuy » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:39 pm

Hypersnow wrote:I will probably be harassed incessantly for writing this reply, but....

I work/manage the crew at the Maroon Bells, and have for 3 years. I did not write the note, nor do I recognize the handwriting. That being said, I am not there every day, nor am I in every place at all times. 1st point - If you use mothballs, CLEAN THEM UP. They are litter; and believe it or not, it is extremely annoying to clean them up daily (and yes we clean them up that often). 2nd point - porcupines are only a problem in the spring (May - mid July); if you notice the hosts who are parked there for 3 months or more, have no "porky protection" around their vehicles or RV's after mid-July. 3rd point - Give anyone who works or volunteers at this area a break. They deal with the public non-stop for 4 months; and quite often the public is not very cognizant of their impact on the wilderness/forest or plain just don't care. Finally - please respect any requests of USFS while using this recreation area; believe it or not we are doing our best to manage it for the extreme use this area gets, to preserve it for generations to come. This beautiful area is on the verge of being "loved to death".

That being said; I will talk to my employees and volunteers tomorrow. If anyone did place the mothballs purposely in your intake; I will ask that they write a letter of apology.

Jennifer Belknap
USFS - Aspen RD


Thank you Jennifer for all your hard work keeping the area around the Bells nice and well cared for. I have been up there 3 or 4 times just this summer alone and it's always well taken care of- at least as much as can be given your resources.

Hopefully people realize the problem here isn't your fault. You guys are doing your best to protect the fragile environment. People need to be more respectful of the fact that they are guests in the wilderness area. You don't get to just do with it as you please, just as most polite and respectful people wouldn't just go over to a friend's house and unload a bug bomb in the livingroom after seeing a spider run under the couch.

It's unfortunate someone put the mothballs in her air intake, but it sounds like it wasn't someone with USFS. Lessons about mothballs and the enviroment learned. Enough said.

-Ryan
"Climbing mountains is the only thing I know that combines the best of the physical, spiritual, and emotional world all rolled into one." -Steve Gladbach

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby djkest » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:44 pm

Nice post, Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by.
Life is a mountain, not a beach.
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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby milan » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:43 am

Jennifer, thank you for posting and even for asking your people about that. I think this happened just because of lack of education. Most of the people on this site care about the mountains we love and are happy that it's being maintained by people like you. The incident is unfortunate and probably someone was stupid which coincidentally went together with the sign of your colleague but in general, I don't like using chemicals outdoors (maybe except mosquito spray), have you thought of a sign asking for removal of all of the mothballs or not reccomending to use them or banning them at all? And for curiosity, why are the porcupines problem only until mid July when they are around later in the year too? I probably agree, I climbed in the Elks only in Augusts and Septembers and was OK.

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby coloradokevin » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:37 am

Wow... this thread has really raised a lot of questions for me, as someone who has never actually used or handled a mothball (but has certainly heard of them).


1) How dangerous are these things in the real world? (from the perspective of those of us who also aren't worried that our non-BPA-free water bottles are going to kill us tomorrow)

I see some people talking of mothballs in this thread as if they're cyanide, while others seem completely unconcerned with their use. Since I've never used a mothball, I have to wonder. I'm not taking opinions on mothballs at this point, until I have more information.

2) What is an effective technique for porcupine deterrence?

We've all heard about the issues with these critters in that area, but no one seems to have come up with a reliable method of porcupine protection (despite routine use of mothballs, urine, chicken wire, and other methods).

3) Are porcupines legal to kill (not suggesting it for that natural area, but just wondering)?

I pulled out my small game hunting regulation book, and can't find a single mention of this species. I don't think they're endangered or threatened either, which would generally leave a species open to hunting. Obviously shooting them is more hazardous to their health than mothballing them, but I digress. I'm really just curious on this third question, since I know they're a legal species to hunt in a number of other states.

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby Hypersnow » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:25 pm

coloradokevin wrote:3) Are porcupines legal to kill (not suggesting it for that natural area, but just wondering)?


Yes, but obviously not the technique we would like to use in this area.

coloradokevin wrote:2) What is an effective technique for porcupine deterrence?


Chicken wire works the best (at least from what I have seen); but has the same problem as mothballs; cleaning up what you bring. Or just being in a parking area with many other cars, and hope your car doesn't get picked by the porky. None of the measures you listed have proven entirely effective from my observations...

milan wrote:And for curiosity, why are the porcupines problem only until mid July when they are around later in the year too?


Not entirely positive, but we believe it to be the winter stress and lack of salt sources in the winter. They get caught up by mid-July; or natural sources become more available. It makes sense anyway.

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby climbingaggie03 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:33 pm

Hypersnow wrote:
coloradokevin wrote:3) Are porcupines legal to kill (not suggesting it for that natural area, but just wondering)?


Yes, but obviously not the technique we would like to use in this area.
.


I can see that it's not the forest service's job to go shooting porcupines, but could average citizens do it? would they need a license or is there a porcupine season?

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby CMCMG » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:44 pm

The Small Game brochure does not seem to list porcupines specifically on the menu of species to harvest. However, here are two-bits of information about Porcupines listed below. Hope it helps.

1.) https://docs.google.com/a/oci.org/viewe ... 722g&pli=1

The Bells are in White River National Forest which is hunting area #43. I wonder what the regulations are at this special location within Pitkin/Gunnison Counties?
If you don't want to harvest them, here's another option.

2.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcPDiOmqi48&feature=related
Life is deep and simple. What society gives us is shallow and complex. -Mr. Rogers

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Re: Maroon, Mothballs, and a note from the USFS

Postby coloradokevin » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:03 am

CMCMG wrote:The Small Game brochure does not seem to list porcupines specifically on the menu of species to harvest. However, here are two-bits of information about Porcupines listed below. Hope it helps.

1.) https://docs.google.com/a/oci.org/viewe ... 722g&pli=1

The Bells are in White River National Forest which is hunting area #43. I wonder what the regulations are at this special location within Pitkin/Gunnison Counties?
If you don't want to harvest them, here's another option.

2.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcPDiOmqi48&feature=related



That video made my night :)

Thanks for the nuisance animal information, I had previously read that stuff, but couldn't find it when I went looking for it. For those who were wondering, I'm not planning to hunt porcupines at the Maroon Lake TH... the question was purely posed for curiosity sake. Nevertheless, if I return to my car to find one eating it, I may rethink that position!

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