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  1. #1
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    Park Service took my picture on Picture Rock this morning

    How ironic is this? As I'm approaching mile marker # 1 this morning, a flash goes off. I'm on the Picture Rock Trail so I'm thinking this kinda fits but what really was that. Turns out, the park service has a camera set up on this one tree that seems to have taken my picture as I rode by. I stopped and inspected the camera which has a small sign that reads they are trying to monitor wild life activity. I didn't notice that it happened when I rode back to the car at the Picture Rock Trail Head.
    This happen to anyone else? Sure caught me off guard at 6:15 this morning.

  2. #2
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    You'll see cameras periodically placed throughout Boulder County Open Space on occasion. The one that snapped you at Heil has been there for 6 months or so. It's part of a student research project.
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  3. #3
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    I had that happen last fall at the same place. I was riding in the evening and flatted at the far end of the trail so it had just turned dark as I was coming back down the last section... then BAM, a huge flash right in the eyes from that tree. Surprised the crap out of me. At first I thought it might have been a person, but once I could see again I noticed it was automated. I had a strong momentary impulse of wanting to rip the damn thing off the tree.

    I think it's still taking your picture during the day, you just don't get the flash unless it's low-light.

  4. #4
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    Interesting . . .

    . . . if it scared the bajeezus out of a human, what would this very artificial event do to a wild animal?

    Eventually, the powers that be will decide this is some sort of wildlife corridor and ban bikes as a result--even though their flash scared all the animals away!
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman
    . . . if it scared the bajeezus out of a human, what would this very artificial event do to a wild animal?

    Eventually, the powers that be will decide this is some sort of wildlife corridor and ban bikes as a result--even though their flash scared all the animals away!
    Ya, flash seems unnecessary.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemission
    Ya, flash seems unnecessary.
    Most definitely. The thing would use much less power with cheap IR lighting and a low-light setting while having nearly zero impact on animals and human. I guess you don't sign up for working in the park service due to technical acumen.

    I think the wildlife study rationale is bunk. It's setup much better to monitor the human user group than study critters.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemission
    Ya, flash seems unnecessary.
    Yeah there is surely plenty of light at 4am to get a pic of a mountain lion....

  8. #8
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    That same one scared the cr@p out of me on a dawn patrol ride last fall. Pretty zoned out, still waking up, and just trying to focus on a dimly lit trail (no lights) and a bright flash comes at me from the side. I didn't know what the heck was going on....could've been a mountain lion with fiery eyes, or someone hiding in the woods, for all I knew. Nearly went over the bars. Took a minute or two to realize what it "probably" was.

  9. #9
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    I hear what all are saying. So is the idea that the local animals use the trails when we aren't there? Otherwise, how would they expect to capture pictures of a representative sample of animals.

  10. #10
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    Yes, the animals use the trail. They're just like us and like the path of least resistance. PR is pretty cool after a fresh dusting of snow. I went up once this winter and was the first human tracks of any kind, but there were a TON of critter tracks going up and down the trail.

    For the record, the critters didn't cut the switchbacks either
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  11. #11
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    Most definitely. The thing would use much less power with cheap IR lighting and a low-light setting while having nearly zero impact on animals and human. I guess you don't sign up for working in the park service due to technical acumen.

    I think the wildlife study rationale is bunk. It's setup much better to monitor the human user group than study critters.
    Sounds like you need to apply for the job of wildlife biologist since they know so little and you know so much.

  12. #12
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    I say sue em if they publish it without a model release! Your reputation is too valuable.

    However, OP, techinically speaking you are violating open space law. Sunrise is 6:20am and the park is open sunrise to sunset. You claim to be riding at 6:15 am, which is before sunrise.

    http://www.timeanddate.com/worldcloc...nomy.html?n=75

  13. #13
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    If they are really using visible flashes, this is not needed. I have yet to see one but then trails in Boulder are CLOSED at night so if you are riding here and there is a flash that bothers you...oh my.

    However, for night photography, they could use IR lighting and an IR camera.

  14. #14
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    It's interesting to hear they use cameras with flash. I have seen thousands of photos from a study in Summit Co. that use cameras equipped with IR. I have to say, the best photos are the people who "check out" the camera. Three photos a second, motion activated; there are some great derp moments.

    The wildlife photos are great, too. It was interesting to see a moose, a black bear, a coyote, and a mule deer all bed down in the same spot in a 24 hour period.

  15. #15
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    Interesting Critters

    They have a couple at Bobcat Ridge in Fort Collins too. Image 6 appear to have fresh tire tracks.

    http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/wildlife-camera.php

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    Yes, the animals use the trail. They're just like us and like the path of least resistance. PR is pretty cool after a fresh dusting of snow. I went up once this winter and was the first human tracks of any kind, but there were a TON of critter tracks going up and down the trail.

    For the record, the critters didn't cut the switchbacks either
    I was xc skiing at brainard saturday morning and saw footprints for a hundred yards or so on the trail. Should have taken a picture... small maybe 2 1/2 inches accross, no claws. Kept going, that little voice in my head said he was probably hungry.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    Sounds like you need to apply for the job of wildlife biologist since they know so little and you know so much.
    It doesn't take a biologist to figure out how to work a cheap IR camera.

    And I don't need a pay cut.

  18. #18
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    I've seen 3 coyotes on 1 night ride I did on my local bike path in the middle of the burbs with no real natural areas around. It seems they liked to use the trail despite the surrounding area being flat and open. One wonders where they go during the day.
    Gotta get up to get down.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    It doesn't take a biologist to figure out how to work a cheap IR camera.
    Nope. But it does take money to buy one, a department manager(s) to understand and support the need, and then probably sign offs by a procurement "official", a park advisory board, a city council or board of county commissioners, then you can place it in next years budget and hope that the budget get's approved and that it doesn't get cut out of the budget.

    Or, you could write a grant, which still requires approvals from the department manager(s), a park board, a city council or board of county commissioners and possibly a procurement official. First you have to find a grant to apply for. You'll need to find a grant writer who has time to write a grant and get them to help. Then you can finally write the grant which might involve procurement again, since you'll need a minimum of 3 quotes for the price and you may or may not be allowed to do that depending upon where you work. If procurement is involved, you may not have a choice on what you buy anyway.

    And procurement could probably care less whether the camera you get is IR or not, your managers too, so you may just get stuck with whatever someone else buys for you and be expected to keep your mouth shut and just pretend do your job and collect a paycheck like everyone else.

  20. #20
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    ^^ a model of efficient gov't

  21. #21
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail
    Nope. But it does take money to buy one, a department manager(s) to understand and support the need, and then probably sign offs by a procurement "official", a park advisory board, a city council or board of county commissioners, then you can place it in next years budget and hope that the budget get's approved and that it doesn't get cut out of the budget.

    Or, you could write a grant, which still requires approvals from the department manager(s), a park board, a city council or board of county commissioners and possibly a procurement official. First you have to find a grant to apply for. You'll need to find a grant writer who has time to write a grant and get them to help. Then you can finally write the grant which might involve procurement again, since you'll need a minimum of 3 quotes for the price and you may or may not be allowed to do that depending upon where you work. If procurement is involved, you may not have a choice on what you buy anyway.

    And procurement could probably care less whether the camera you get is IR or not, your managers too, so you may just get stuck with whatever someone else buys for you and be expected to keep your mouth shut and just pretend do your job and collect a paycheck like everyone else.

    This isn't my experience with the process but I'm sure it varies from county to county. Regardless, I'd be very surprised if the purchase of a camera would be something that a BOCC would be involved with. BOCCs generally have little to do with the details of the day to day operations of an open space/parks dept.

    Anyway, Someone mentioned that the camera in question was part of a school project. I don't know if that means a 5th grade science/biology class project of someones grad school project. In any case, if true it probably had little or no funding from the county and was just a matter of getting approval from the right person.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    This isn't my experience with the process but I'm sure it varies from county to county. Regardless, I'd be very surprised if the purchase of a camera would be something that a BOCC would be involved with. BOCCs generally have little to do with the details of the day to day operations of an open space/parks dept.
    A single $100 camera probably not. But keep in mind you're probably going to be purchasing more than one. Maybe 10.

    And yes, it varies from city/county to city/county, and even from year to year within a city or county.

    I remember one place where we had a $100 limit before you needed department approval.

    And then there are different tiers.
    $0-$100 = department head approval
    $100 - $1000 = purchasing dept. approval/County Manager approval
    $5000+ = BOCC/Council approval

    So if I'm buying 10 cameras @ $500 each, it's not too hard to see I will need BOCC approval. Probably placed on a consent agenda.

    FWIW I think I had 8 trail counters at JCOS.

  23. #23
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    Anytime I've asked a ranger or Open Space peep about the cameras, 9 out of 10 times, they're being used by college and or doctorate students for wildlife research. The county does use cameras to take cool night time pics of cats snackin' on deer as well.
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  24. #24
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    The only animals I have seen out there are on bikes.

  25. #25
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    I think that's a new feature on Strava.

  26. #26
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    You sure it wasn't xcguy (j/k)?

  27. #27
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    Interesting.

    If I see one of these I may be tempted to go back for another pass nekid.

  28. #28
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    Same happens to me everytime i go to te mall... Flshes everywhere and girls screeming and runnimg behind me...

    Oh wait, that was all a dream...

  29. #29
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    Remember that this camera (and others like it on Boulder County mtb trails) will snap photos of bikers who are out on the trails before sunrise and after sunset (when most Boulder County parks such as Hall Ranch and Heil Ranch are closed).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zorro View Post
    You sure it wasn't xcguy (j/k)?
    Here I am, undercover
    Last edited by xcguy; 12-02-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tundraline View Post
    Remember that this camera (and others like it on Boulder County mtb trails) will snap photos of bikers who are out on the trails before sunrise and after sunset (when most Boulder County parks such as Hall Ranch and Heil Ranch are closed).
    JeffCo you get an hour before or after like this:

    Park Service took my picture on Picture Rock this morning-p1040433.jpg

    Park Service took my picture on Picture Rock this morning-p1040432.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando Gutierrez
    The only thing you have to figure out is don't fall down. To keep riding the bike.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irideon View Post
    The only animals I have seen out there are on bikes.
    You should get out more!

  33. #33
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    My camera takes color pics during the day, black and white via IR at night. Bushnell Trophy Cam.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    TR

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thebig1 View Post
    You should get out more!

    I try. Right now I ride sat/sun and two to three days during the.week. the problem is i have mountain biker vision. all i see are the animals in front of me on the trail or coming up behind me trying to get around. i really should slow down and smell ... whatever that geen stuff that the birds sit on is.

  35. #35
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    I wouldn't be too concerned about having your picture taken. I'm sure all human photo's are deleted. They are only concerned with what wildlife frequent what areas. And how many of any given species there are and there movements. Bobcat Ridge has these cameras and you can check out all the photos via this link. It's pretty interesting to see what critters are all around you but rarely seen. Go here Wildlife camera: City of Fort Collins
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  36. #36
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    Field techs. have a hey-day with the pictures of people on wildlife cameras. Most take a sequence which provide many laughs during data entry.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Field techs. have a hey-day with the pictures of people on wildlife cameras. Most take a sequence which provide many laughs during data entry.
    Ha,ha yeah really, it's not like some yahoo's actually go up and moon the cameras.

    Edit, this was a joke don't any of you yahoo's get any ideas. That would really put us mountain bikers in a bad light.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    I wouldn't be too concerned about having your picture taken. I'm sure all human photo's are deleted. They are only concerned with what wildlife frequent what areas.
    Not true. I used to think that as well but I recently learned otherwise. Let's just say that if it's a pic of someone doing something they shouldn't be, those biologists share the photos with the powers that be. Fact.
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  39. #39
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    like off-leash dogs in a no-dog's-allowed area. or bikes in places they're not to be. or hikers so far into a no-go zone it's puzzling, or equestrians pooping in a fen wetland.

    data is data. and humans are animals, last i checked, so they get counted, too.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    like off-leash dogs in a no-dog's-allowed area. or bikes in places they're not to be. or hikers so far into a no-go zone it's puzzling, or equestrians pooping in a fen wetland.

    data is data. and humans are animals, last i checked, so they get counted, too.
    Don't worry.

    It won't be long until the ticket for ^^^, along with jaywalking and any other revenue generating code violation, is in the mail.

    We're watching: The camera that can recognise you from your Facebook picture every time you walk into a shop | Mail Online

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Don't worry.

    It won't be long until the ticket for ^^^, along with jaywalking and any other revenue generating code violation, is in the mail.

    We're watching: The camera that can recognise you from your Facebook picture every time you walk into a shop | Mail Online

    Wikileaks - The Spy files
    Lol. You so crazy! Last time I checked field techs. don't have authority to write tickets. They generally make a note in the data entry about (stupid) human actions.

    Though, I wouldn't mind some sort of public shaming forum for pictures of people doing idiot things they think no one can see.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Lol. You so crazy! Last time I checked field techs. don't have authority to write tickets. They generally make a note in the data entry about (stupid) human actions.

    Though, I wouldn't mind some sort of public shaming forum for pictures of people doing idiot things they think no one can see.

    You said the same thing about my statements on drones and I have since
    been proven correct. It happened even much quicker than I imagined.
    They are even talking about arming drones in the US now.

    Those cameras will one day be WiFi'd where they then can be monitored by
    TrapWire or something similar. The field techs won't even know it.
    Wireless signals can be captured by anyone, incl. drones/blimps.

    So it really has nothing to do with field techs.

    Of course the government is in denial phase right now saying it was just a
    small roll out of technology (SOP), but much like the drones, electronic
    surveillance is the wave of the future and I hypothesize that just like when
    we found out that drones were already up there monitoring us after the
    fact, we will again find out the same about facial recognition software and
    street/storefront/government cameras tied into an electronic grid and
    monitored by DHS, NSA, FBI, CIA and who knows who else.

    Streetlights, streetscape and landscape features with hidden
    cameras and microphones are being installed right now as we speak.
    NYC, Vegas, LA... it's already being done.

    As technology progresses we will see it implemented by local governments.
    The writing is on the wall.

    Black boxes are going to be required in your vehicles. Lobbyist will make
    sure Congress takes care of that.

    What most of you fail to realize is that it's not a human being monitoring
    and cataloging the data, it's the software. Therefore huge amounts of
    data can be cyphered through and cataloged easily. It's not that difficult
    using voice and facial recognition software. Add your little iPhone a
    FB account and Google and you've given them everything they need to
    know about you to PREDICT what you will be doing before you even know
    it yourself.

    Welcome to your e-prison. And someone like Rogbie wants to be Warden.
    Don't worry he just wants to humiliate you in public so you can't find a job
    to feed your family.

    It won't be all bad though. I'm sure they'll send a self addressed and
    stamped envelope telling you where to send YOUR money.

    Just like they say.
    Follow the money. That's all you need to know.
    Corporations > campaign contributions > politicians > legislation > corporate profits > politicans

    The rest is just common sense and predictable human nature.

  43. #43
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    "Though, I wouldn't mind some sort of public shaming forum for pictures of people doing idiot things they think no one can see."

    Everyone, re-read this statement again. rogbie said that.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

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