April 05, 2010

Big Brother in the Backcountry

News about the National Park Service putting remote-controlled cameras in the Yellowstone National Park back country.

Well, maybe not yet, but the legal language is there "for flexibility," say the parkies.

National Parks Traveler asks the obvious question:

Has poaching, resource damage, or backcountry crime become such high-profile matters that the National Park Service feels the best way to respond to them and combat them is through the use of webcams? And really, if you're heading into the backcountry for nefarious reasons and not merely to enjoy the setting and experience, how likely is it that you're going to travel well-established trails that might one day be lined with webcams?

Spending the money on actual human rangers, who can think independently, help people, and so forth seems like a better idea.

And imagine the poor NPS employee who signed up for an "outdoor job" and ends up sitting on his/her butt in an office watching camera feeds.

1 comment:

Heather Houlahan said...


Another reason to avoid the popular "scenic" national parks.

I hope the Wilderness Act keeps these damned things out of designated Wilderness, at least.