Recently, Gooseneck rOAd, a popular place for people to go and practice target shooting, was shut down by the Oregon Forestry Department. Why? The reason is two-fold: expanding the logging roads and clearing out trees that are too close to the road; and because of the amount of vandalism. Also recently, limited entry laws were put into effect for 2020 on major hiking areas across Oregon — areas that have seen a rapid growth in the amount of hikers and backpackers it gets each year. The cost of day-passes and overnight permits have increased, and the amounts of those permits given out are limited, with the hope that it will reduce crowds in Oregon, and thus eliminate the waste and wear-and-tear on trails.

What do these two things have in common: People are destroying the land we enjoy and as a result, areas are being shut down or becoming harder to access.

The takeaway: if you’re in nature, be mindful and treat it with respect. Clean up your shells after a day of shooting; clean up your garbage; bring targets to shoot at, rather than shooting at the trees. If you’re hiking, pick up trash that you see along the way, and pack yours out. These simple efforts might be just that, simple, but the little things we do everyday can add up.

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