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  1. #1
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    Homeless in your national forests?

    This spring/summer while traveling I couldn't help but notice the massive number of transients/homeless that now fill the free campgrounds at every national forest I know of. I've always noticed some here and there but lately it seems like they're loading up every empty free campsite in America. Lots of times they look like fairly normal family campsites until you notice that they've been there for weeks. They usually have a Walmart tent and the obligatory blue tarp over said tent. Most of the forests run them off after the two week stay limit and they just move down the road to the next spot. There are entire valleys with dozen of these people that share cars and pool other resources. Many I've talked to are collecting welfare of some sort and don't have any real motivation to get a job any time soon despite a clear ability. They're just kinda hanging out for a while. I understand that life throws tons of $hit at you but I feel it's become a significant problem. Anyone else notice this?

  2. #2
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    Hmmm. I've not noticed it in PA's Allegheny Nat'l Forest. Or down in WV's Monongahela Nat'l Forest. Maybe just a west coast thing? I could see how it could become a problem, though.

    Closest I can think of was a couple of years ago when I ran into a Rainbow gathering in Allegheny NF. Not really the same thing, but it was strange seeing flower children panhandling for change on the side of a NF road waaaay back in the woods.

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  3. #3
    mikeb
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    the boggs mountain demonstration forest here in norcal used to draw these folks all the time; i don't know if it's the same story today. the caretakers started getting tougher in the early part of this decade but with all the cuts to state funding, who knows what's happening up there since then.

    i remember being at a race back in the late nineties when some squatters were there...the campground was full of racers and right in the middle of the whole thing were Mister and Mrs Meth. i'll never forget that wretched skank dragging her poor dog along the road while it was trying to take a crap.

    i also ride a lot in san francisco's golden gate park, which is as full of homeless as a park can be, especially on the eastern end. i have nearly run over homeless gutter punks sleeping ON the trail. seriously. besides that, there are places you REALLY have to be careful about the human feces and you also should give the homeless encampments a wide berth due to the unpredictability of their dogs.

    other than that, i haven't camped or ridden in a national forest in quite a while.
    Last edited by mikeb; 08-05-2011 at 09:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde View Post
    This spring/summer while traveling I couldn't help but notice the massive number of transients/homeless that now fill the free campgrounds at every national forest I know of. I've always noticed some here and there but lately it seems like they're loading up every empty free campsite in America. Lots of times they look like fairly normal family campsites until you notice that they've been there for weeks. They usually have a Walmart tent and the obligatory blue tarp over said tent. Most of the forests run them off after the two week stay limit and they just move down the road to the next spot. There are entire valleys with dozen of these people that share cars and pool other resources. Many I've talked to are collecting welfare of some sort and don't have any real motivation to get a job any time soon despite a clear ability. They're just kinda hanging out for a while. I understand that life throws tons of $hit at you but I feel it's become a significant problem. Anyone else notice this?
    Not sure if you've been paying attention, but the economy has gone to $hit.
    When one in five is unemployed, or significantly underemployed, this will happen at an increasing rate. I'm glad they are able to stay dry.

  5. #5
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    I don't mind the homeless, but living off welfare (aka other people) when you clearly have the ability to support yourself is complete horse$hit. I also hate seeing the destruction done to our national and state forests by pot growers. They set up camp along creeks and just dump their trash, batteries, chemicals, feces, etc. within a few feet of a stream and just leave it there.

    While the unemployment/welfare thing is a peave, I'm fine with the homeless finding a place to stay in the campgrounds. As long as they clean up after themselves and keep the campground safe for other people, have at it. Enjoy the outdoors in whatever fashion, just preserve it for others.
    "Got everything you need?"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I don't mind the homeless, but living off welfare (aka other people) when you clearly have the ability to support yourself is complete horse$hit. I also hate seeing the destruction done to our national and state forests by pot growers. They set up camp along creeks and just dump their trash, batteries, chemicals, feces, etc. within a few feet of a stream and just leave it there.

    While the unemployment/welfare thing is a peave, I'm fine with the homeless finding a place to stay in the campgrounds. As long as they clean up after themselves and keep the campground safe for other people, have at it. Enjoy the outdoors in whatever fashion, just preserve it for others.
    How are you able to so clearly judge their ability to support themselves? What are the determining factors? That scale is a moving scale surely as dictated by market forces...

  7. #7
    mikeb
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I don't mind the homeless, but living off welfare (aka other people) when you clearly have the ability to support yourself is complete horse$hit. I also hate seeing the destruction done to our national and state forests by pot growers. They set up camp along creeks and just dump their trash, batteries, chemicals, feces, etc. within a few feet of a stream and just leave it there.

    While the unemployment/welfare thing is a peave, I'm fine with the homeless finding a place to stay in the campgrounds. As long as they clean up after themselves and keep the campground safe for other people, have at it. Enjoy the outdoors in whatever fashion, just preserve it for others.
    i respect your opinion, twoheads...but...most people squatting in campgrounds/parks don't give a hoot about cleaning up after themselves.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    How are you able to so clearly judge their ability to support themselves? What are the determining factors? That scale is a moving scale surely as dictated by market forces...
    I'm not, and never said I was able to. I'm just saying that I know it happens, and it's BS when someone has the ability to work, but they choose to collect welfare instead of looking for work.
    "Got everything you need?"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I'm not, and never said I was able to. I'm just saying that I know it happens, and it's BS when someone has the ability to work, but they choose to collect welfare instead of looking for work.
    Agreed, but being upset about something you can never really discover is pointless.
    Although, Obama's aunt in Boston sure fits the bill... That is one crazy *****!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XIXW23QzTw

  10. #10
    mikeb
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    agreed, but being upset about something you can never really discover is pointless.
    Although, obama's aunt in boston sure fits the bill... That is one crazy *****!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xixw23qztw

    what the hell does obama's aunt have to do with this?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    Agreed, but being upset about something you can never really discover is pointless.
    Although, Obama's aunt in Boston sure fits the bill... That is one crazy *****!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XIXW23QzTw
    Abuse of the welfare system is just one of those sad side effects of having it in the first place. I do believe there should indeed be a safety net for disabled, elderly, infirm, and just the plain SOL. The sad part is that welfare gets a bad name from people who abuse the system, which doesn't affect the gainfully employed, but those that actually NEED it. When it's cut, the people in need are screwed and those who don't need it aren't terribly inconvenienced since they have the ability to actually find work.

    What people do with their lives is their own business UNTIL it starts affecting other people adversely. So just as a principle that kind of abuse goes under the "dickbag" category in my book. I'm more than happy to part with some of my earnings every two weeks to help those that need it, in the same way I like to stop when I see someone who has run out of gas in their car. But those people that abuse the system for their own personal gain and/or laziness just bring our whole society down.
    "Got everything you need?"

  12. #12
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    I definitely agree with you there, but these problems of abuse of the welfare system pale in comparison to the abuses by the military industrial complex, to the growing partnership of corporate and government interests and to the eminent bankruptcy of the social security system.
    I think some of the people who have decent jobs and who are able to pay their bills often focus too much of their frustration at the homeless and others that are not doing as well financially as they are when in reality they are all at the same level when compared to the corporate elite that are pulling the strings and collecting more and more of the wealth and depleting the middle class. The poor are just there as a distraction and to divide the common people as they remain ignorantly blissful to the owners of the country systematically depleting the middle class. Soap box complete.

  13. #13
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    Well, I've got time to be pissed off at ALL groups abusing and fleecing the system! Nobody gets a pass!
    "Got everything you need?"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeb View Post
    what the hell does obama's aunt have to do with this?
    LOL! it's her fault
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeb View Post
    what the hell does obama's aunt have to do with this?
    She sucks a whole lot more than the squatters in the parks, that's what she has to do with it.

  16. #16
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    If you can chop fire wood, get water, set up a tent, and maintain a campsite you're capable of working.

  17. #17
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    Wow- just wow. While I strongly agree that "entitlement" is used far too often, we must remember cause & effect. Large funding cuts impacted the mentally impaired, any that got in trouble now reside in correctional facilities, and most now financially burden their families. Cannot imagine this cost.

    Then we bail out the lending industry in hopes to free up lines of credit, and save small business after they increased leveraging from 12:1 --> 40:1. Banks are still hoarding $, and not improved the economy - only their portfolios by tightening lending practices, and unloading toxic assets.

    Now we continue to provide tax breaks to the oil industry, subsidize big agriculture, and the top 1% has grown from 7% to 21% of the population. This perfect storm will be felt for quite some time, and I expect the population of homeless to grow, and that state/national forests will see more semi-permanent residents.

    The GOP needs a wake-up call, and philanthropy in the US needs to grow, it cannot remain a case of the "haves" vs. the "have nots". While I agree that those milking the system suk, there are far too many out of work, and w/o housing to not have some compassion. The OP makes a case that these people are impacting his sanctuary by pooping on the trail. To this I say, better break out the rainshell to prepare for a real shitstorm, as the DJIA may fall <8200.
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  18. #18
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    The GOP needs a wake up call? I think the entirety of Washington needs a wake up call. Both parties are highly responsible for the monstrous public debt burden that has engulfed and stalled the economies.

    Neither party cuts our offense (oops, i mean defense) budget and that should be the first place to cut expenditures.

    We are witnessing the century long folly of federal reserve banking which has transformed a limited role of government into a government that has access to a money printing press that is being used to buy votes and funnel money to their corporate friends who get them elected. This problem is not one sided and both parties, all involved are culprits of this action. However, they are only in the positions they are in because the corporate interests that own the media make sure the candidates that will help them are the ones that get elected. Thinking one side is worse than the other when the mechanisms that get them all elected are the same is short sighted.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blonde View Post
    If you can chop fire wood, get water, set up a tent, and maintain a campsite you're capable of working.
    Capable of working and capable of getting a job are two very different things. So, as long as they put on their resume that they can do those things, they should get hired? Who knew it was so easy!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    The GOP needs a wake up call? I think the entirety of Washington needs a wake up call. Both parties are highly responsible for the monstrous public debt burden that has engulfed and stalled the economies.

    Neither party cuts our offense (oops, i mean defense) budget and that should be the first place to cut expenditures.

    We are witnessing the century long folly of federal reserve banking which has transformed a limited role of government into a government that has access to a money printing press that is being used to buy votes and funnel money to their corporate friends who get them elected. This problem is not one sided and both parties, all involved are culprits of this action. However, they are only in the positions they are in because the corporate interests that own the media make sure the candidates that will help them are the ones that get elected. Thinking one side is worse than the other when the mechanisms that get them all elected are the same is short sighted.
    Well said.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    I think the entirety of Washington needs a wake up call. Both parties are highly responsible for the monstrous public debt burden that has engulfed and stalled the economies.
    --
    To this I agree. My comment aimed at the few nihilistic members of the GOP who'd rather push us into a major double dip recession rather than jeopardize their re-elections is where my comment was aimed. The current administration did not create this train wreck, they inherited it. For all the posturing going on here in DC one would think otherwise. I don't think as a whole we're that ignorant. So, yes one party IS trying to pee on my leg and tell me it's raining outside..
    Enough politico BS - time to go for a ride!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin'W View Post
    --
    To this I agree. My comment aimed at the few nihilistic members of the GOP who'd rather push us into a major double dip recession rather than jeopardize their re-elections is where my comment was aimed. The current administration did not create this train wreck, they inherited it. For all the posturing going on here in DC one would think otherwise. I don't think as a whole we're that ignorant. So, yes one party IS trying to pee on my leg and tell me it's raining outside..
    Enough politico BS - time to go for a ride!
    Who said they wanted to push the nation into a double dip recession? I don't believe anyone has that intention, and if the media is telling you that a few people are doing this evil act, well, since this is the same media that helps you choose politicians that are there only to serve corporate interests, maybe the theory that you fully subscribe to is just that, a theory, and possibly an incorrect one at that. When a theory is pushed as fact by the mass media you can be pretty sure that the theory is only going to lead to more money and power to the elite owners of the country and a continued depletion of the middle class. It has been the recipe for the past few decades and most are still in denial... I call the United States of America the United State of Denial.

    The default is happening either way. The debasing of the currency to pay for expenditures that were budgeted, but could never be paid in the first place is the default. The raising of the debt ceiling just increases the odds that the default will happen when the holders of our debt/investors decide that there are better avenues to invest their money. And, all that needed to be done was to not raise the debt ceiling and roll back government spending to the levels of 2004. Interest can be paid on debts and no default is necessary. The game of spending more to fix a monstrous debt problem is not going to end well...

  23. #23
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    I think the GOP does want the recession to continue, but not to hurt anyone. They know, as the Democrats know, that if the economy doesn't do well Obama and the other Democrats will have a harder time getting re-elected. Along the same lines of this thinking, they do not want any legislation to pass that has Obama's name on it because this makes him look like he is in control. He has passed health care legislation (however pointless it is), he was the CIC when they killed Bin Laden. If he can claim he has also improved the economy during his first term, the Republicans are through. They will have no good reason why he should not continue to lead the nation.

    This is just politics as usual, and not unique behavior to the Republican party. This is the cost of having career politicians. The interest they have in improving our country is heavily counteracted by their desire to remain employed. If the other side wins, they are out of work.
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  24. #24
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    No

    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    Thinking one side is worse than the other when the mechanisms that get them all elected are the same is short sighted.
    Are unable to form a helpful opinion?

    I only ask because your both sides are the same spiel is for the ignorant. You think Bush junior's and Clinton's policies were basically the same? Of course they weren't and anybody with even a slight grasp of the world they live in would recognize this. You don't have to pick a Party, but if you going to inform people of how politicians and parties are, at least try to grasp the obvious.

    No, both sides may suck in differing ways, but they are not the same.
    "What kind of bike? I don't know, I'm not a bike scientist."

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapaso View Post
    Are unable to form a helpful opinion?

    I only ask because your both sides are the same spiel is for the ignorant. You think Bush junior's and Clinton's policies were basically the same? Of course they weren't and anybody with even a slight grasp of the world they live in would recognize this. You don't have to pick a Party, but if you going to inform people of how politicians and parties are, at least try to grasp the obvious.

    No, both sides may suck in differing ways, but they are not the same.
    They both believe in domestic and foreign intervention, they both believe in a flawed federal reserve system, they both support the war on drugs, they both embrace the idea of America as the world police, they both support welfarism. The differences in where they choose to apply these ideals are minute to some people (people who actually believe in freedom and liberty), but are seen as major differences by the mass of progressives that this nation is comprised of. Then those progressives go ahead and tout their own intellectual superiority by insulting those that think differently than they do and belittle them by telling them that they can't "grasp the obvious." The obvious is that debts have been soaring since the 70's and that government continues to grow and continues to undermine freedom and liberty and this has been perpetrated by both parties.

    Big issues of our generation:
    Patriot Act - Both parties support
    Foreign interventionist policy - Both parties support
    War on Drugs - Both parties support
    Financing Govt debt through the Federal Reserve System - Both Parties Support
    Federally Driven Education Program - Both Parties Support
    IRS and Income Tax System - Both Parties Support

    The err is thinking that because small percentages are different in the big picture that somehow there is some stark contrast...

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