The Greed of Man, Random Thoughts

The greed of man. Scenic view of the Presidential Range snow covered from along the Presidential Range Rail Trail at Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson, New Hampshire.
Presidential Range – Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge, New Hampshire
 

The Greed of Man, Random Thoughts – As the new year progresses, I find myself re-evaluating my values as both an environmental photographer and outdoor enthusiast. The sacred places I love and cherish in the New Hampshire White Mountains are all falling victim to the greedy hand of man.

The trail system is being vandalized in different ways, the fragile alpine zone is being trampled, and designated wilderness areas are under constant attack by the new anti-conservationist movement. And with social media being what it is, many want social recognition, so they leave their mark everywhere in the White Mountains.

Poor "Leave No Trace" habits along the the Sawyer River Trail in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. This area is located near the Swift River crossing along the trail.
Man's Impact – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts (campers, fisherman, hikers, skiers, etc.) visit the White Mountains every day and then leave. And they do not see the impact from the greedy hand of man. But us locals are seeing it first hand. And what is worse, the New England outdoor community supports the greed in different ways.

Northern Presidential Range from the Appalachian Trail, near the summit of Mount Washington, in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Looking Into The Great Gulf Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

We support businesses that want to build in the fragile alpine zone. We donate our hard earned money to trail maintenance organizations that have members who willfully vandalize the National Forest. And we support politicians who want to invade New Hampshire’s designated wilderness areas. And I am sure you can think of many other ways we contribute to the greed. As an outdoor community, why do we support these guys? We all complain about the human impact in the White Mountains, and yet we support the greed. It makes no sense.

Mount Washington from the summit of Mount Jefferson in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Mount Washington – Presidential Range, New Hampshire
 

Before I became a photographer, I was a hiker, and I spent an excessive amount of time exploring the White Mountains trail system. I wanted to hike every inch of the White Mountains. But once photography took over my life, this goal changed. I now use photography to create awareness for the White Mountains environment, an environment near and dear to my heart.

Greed and selfishness are destroying New Hampshire’s wild places. And I hope my photography encourages all of you to speak up against this movement that is hell bent on defacing the White Mountains.

Happy image making..


 

This article is part of a 12 part series that focuses on my random thoughts as an environmental photographer living in the New Hampshire White Mountains. To license any of the above images, click on the image.

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes mainly in the environment of New Hampshire. His work is published worldwide, and publication credits include the Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Backpacker Magazine, and The Wilderness Society. His blog articles are intended to create awareness for the environment and to promote his image archive.

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