Sunday, January 3, 2010

Food for thought...

Recently a horse's skeleton complete with riding tack was discovered off-trail in Samuel P. Taylor State Park by a mushroom hunter. The discovery of the horse's skeleton has drawn some attention with not one, but two news reports on KWMR's West Marin News. However, what has failed to make news are three key references in the first sentence of this paragraph: off-trail, mushroom hunter, and State Park.

As I'm listening to the news stories, I'm thinking I thought it was illegal to both venture off-trail and collect specimens from a State Park, or at the very least highly discouraged. There's the threat of damaging a fragile ecosystem by tramping off-trail and collecting specimens in a State Park is only allowed with a permit and those permits are only issued for scientific reasons as per the the following link: Scientific Collecting on State Park System Lands.

I also like the Rules and Regulations Summary for California's State Park lands. Of particular interest is the first section: "NATURAL SCENERY, PLANTS AND ANIMAL LIFE are the principal attractions of most state parks. They are integral parts of the ecosystem and natural community. As such they are protected by Federal, State and Park laws. Disturbance or destruction of these resources is strictly forbidden." LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS - TAKE ONLY MEMORIES, unless it's a particularly tasty Chantrelle, I guess.

Maybe I'm wrong and the skeleton discoverer was admonished by the State Park rangers for tramping off-trail through the forest, but that part of the story wasn't reported.

Now if the horse skeleton was discovered by someone on a bicycle...

I added the following later in the day.

The find of the horse with complete riding tack is actually pretty interesting especially through the photographs that an archaeologist with the state parks took and his descriptions as he tries to find the identity of the horse. Check out the photos on his Facebook page here: A Horse With No Name.

(What's playing: Dave Alvin Engine 143)

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