[Cdt-l] CDT Integration

Jonathan Ley jonathan at phlumf.com
Fri Jan 4 21:00:15 CST 2013

I agree with Jim as to the consequences of this. People protect what 
they value. And if future generations don't value these long trails & 
wild places, they won't protect them.

I think it's more than just US minorities... there are large swaths of 
the world population that are under-represented outside. There are a 
billion people in India, yet in 10 years, I've never sent CDT maps 
there. However, If you go to any US national park, you'll see plenty of 
Indians. I've sent only 1 CDT map CD to a Chinese national (going to 
school in the US)... again, among a population of a billion. Same goes 
for South America, Central America, the middle east (except Israel). 
This is hardly scientific, but interesting all the same.

As for the causes... I think it's a lot of little things. If you try to 
pin it down to one reason, you'll miss the bigger picture.

Part of it is poverty - just getting the disposable money & time. Part 
of it is cultural - Pretty much what Jim said below. Part of it is 
urbanization, and being disconnected from Nature.

Then there are things that cut across demographics, like a media culture 
which prizes virtual reality, and stokes fears about actual reality. 
Plus, the way many kids are raised - where every bit of free time is 
scheduled. There's no time to just wander, outside. Where I grew up, 
there simply was nowhere wild within a day's drive. Very few people back 
there do anything that involves a tent... and many of them are minorities.

I'm not sure what to do about all this... but I think it requires a 
number of approaches. Everything from school programs, "hoods in the 
woods", various outreach initiatives run by both private & public 
organizations. Having some famous athelete/actor take up the cause would 
help greatly. If someone could create a compelling TV show centered 
around the outdoors that didn't involve "eating bugs", that might help 
(though, I realize difficult - hiking isn't exactly made for TV).  Just 
getting more trails etched-out of areas near urban centers would help. A 
lot of these things are happening on some scale, so I am hopeful... yet 
when I look at the statistics, it doesn't look so great.


On 1/4/2013 5:14 PM, Jim and_or Ginny Owen wrote:
> Peter -
> Your question has far greater implications than most people here 
> realize.  We discussed this
> several times on at-l while it was still a serious hiking forum - 
> which means a long time ago.
> To make this short - it's a cultural thing.  And it's a survival 
> problem for all the long trails.
> Many cultures would never think of going out "into the woods." In part 
> because that 's where
> the "animals" live.  And in part because one lives in a tent, gets 
> "dirty", etc - and in their culture
> only the poor live like that.  Even in the States, that culture 
> persists - and propagates.
> And propagation is the root of a problem that has been and continues 
> to be ignored.  Right now
> the "non-integrated" are minorities.  That is NOT a permanent 
> situation.  When they become majorities,
> why would anyone believe that they will not be represented in 
> government?  And why would anyone
> believe that they will vote to continue funding trails that they and 
> their people will never use?
> Demographics are inexorable and unavoidable.
> So your question may have been a lot of other things, but it is not 
> inconsequential.
> And my answer to your friend is that he would be welcome on the Trail.
> Jim
> http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: petersustr at gmail.com
> Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2013 11:17:53 -0700
> To: altongbay at aol.com
> CC: cdt-l at backcountry.net; dthibaul07 at gmail.com
> Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] CDT Integration
> My question originated from one of my friends (black guy) who was 
> joking around that he didn't want to be the 'where's waldo' of the CDT 
> if he joined me this summer for a section.  All in good humor, not 
> trying to start anything :)
> Peter "CzechXpress"
> Follow me as I prepare to hike the CDT in 2013-   Couch2CDT.com and 
> @Couch2CDT on Twitter
> On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM, <altongbay at aol.com 
> <mailto:altongbay at aol.com>> wrote:
>     bet he was surprised to see you and Judy coming out of the woods
>     -----Original Message-----
>     From: Bob Sartini <bobsartini at gmail.com <mailto:bobsartini at gmail.com>>
>     To: David Thibault <dthibaul07 at gmail.com
>     <mailto:dthibaul07 at gmail.com>>
>     Cc: cdt-l <cdt-l at backcountry.net <mailto:cdt-l at backcountry.net>>
>     Sent: Fri, Jan 4, 2013 5:49 am
>     Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] CDT Integration
>     When we first moved to VT many years ago. We went off into the
>     woods exploring and  "got turned around". We approached a house to
>     find out where we were.  When we told the owner we came through
>     the woods he said " I've lived here ten years and have never been
>     in that woods, there are animals out there". he was white from NJ.
>     So I doubt it's a race based thing but certainly urban people have
>     "nature deficit disorder"
>     On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 9:43 PM, David Thibault
>     <dthibaul07 at gmail.com <mailto:dthibaul07 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>         There definitely is a lot less minorities then there should
>         be.  I have run into a few Hispanic women but hardly any
>         males,  I think it might be a cultural thing.
>         I do remember a guy on the AT calling the urban youth
>         groups "hoods in the woods" programs.
>         I thought it was great that these folks (mostly kids) got the
>         chance to head out into the woods for a few days.
>         I remember talking with one guy (teenager) as I walked into an
>         AT shelter with a bunch of berries I'd picked on the way in -
>         he asked in a surprised way "You can eat those?"  He had been
>         walking by them all day and never considered you could just
>         find things to eat in the woods.
>         I also remember a Marine I met many years ago telling me the
>         first time he ever left New York City was at age 18 - to go to
>         Camp Lejuene in North Carolina - and how it really freaked him
>         out to be in the woods surrounded by trees.  He said his
>         unease started on the bus ride there and lasted for months.
>         Having grown up hiking, camping, and fishing in the woods I
>         was blown away that he was completely on edge being in the
>         woods.  He told me he though animals were going to attack him
>         every minute.
>         We need more minorities in the woods - the trails (wild areas)
>         need all the friends/support they can get....
>         Day-Late (white middle aged guy)
>             black and maybe 5% Asian and I can't recall meeting anyone
>             that I
>             understood to be Hispanic.  On the AT I've met dozens if
>             not hundreds of
>             "urban" youth groups out for a week or so.
>             >
>             > We've all noticed when we go outdoors that every white
>             middle aged guy
>             > goes outdoors but not enough minorities.
>             >
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