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Help repeal the Ban on camp fires!

Hey Guys, My name is Robert Pelot. I am an Analytical Chemist from Bradenton florida. I often go down to the 10K for some nice fishing and canoeing in the winter time. One thing that has always irked me was the ban of Woodburning grills and fires. I understand the reason why they dont want them. The pete. But the thing is, people have been having fires there for thousands of years and they didnt burn them down. I have done it. If you are a halfway intelligent human being, you will be just fine, and you wont burn the place down.

I met a man down there one time. An old-timer, who knew Mr. Darwin. His name is John York. He is a nuclear engineer from Westinghouse. He has been going to the islands for 40 years or more. He has a petition. I signed it, and got others to as well. The National Parks service told us that the main reason that they dont want fires is because the ash will increase the pH of he water to dangerous levels. Thats right. The ash from a few fires will change the pH of a massive body of water with high tidal flow.

Ash from fires contains potassium carbonate, this is what raises the pH. However... the everglades is made of a giant deposit of this material. Its called Limestone. There is already tons of it in the water, the addition of 500 small fires per year is not going to change a thing. So I took a pH meter out there and took readings at several campsites, as well as places far from the sites. The pH is fairly constant throughout the area and is pretty high allready, thanks to the Limestone.

Well I ask you this. Do you think that the rule is a good idea? If not, then sign the petition. Why wont they tell us the real reason they dont want any fires? The real reason is they dont trust us to be intelligent human beings.



  • RobpelotRobpelot Posts: 611 Officer
    I really dont know what to do about the actual signing of the petition.. I would think that PMing me your Name , City State, and Email Address would be good.

    Thanks Guys!
  • Snook69Snook69 Posts: 128 Deckhand
    I have never camped in the 10k but really don't understand the concern if that is their reasoning for the ban. I didn't know there was a ban. I see remnents of fires on quiet a few islands.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 3,985 Captain
    My favorite Everglades routine is the very carefully "prescribed and controlled burn" that's done for all the right reasons..... but is never seen anywhere except along the road down to Flamingo. To me it looks like make work and cosmetics for visitors. That impression is reinforced by the great number of fires in the burning season (late spring when things are dry enough) that you can see everywhere in the 'Glades that are completely natural, not "controlled" or anything by the Park Service. Hard not to wonder about some of their carefully worded pronouncements about this or that aspect of their stewardship (particularly if you've had a chance to read "Totch" by Loren G. Brown and paid attention to what he had to say about fires in the 'Glades, and what they accomplished long before the National Park came along.....).
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • RobpelotRobpelot Posts: 611 Officer
    I am not talking only about campfires, but also even the burning of wood is banned in grills and fire rings. This is just a little absurd, that even getting the fire off of the ground in a ring, away from the pete, is illegal.

    Fires do several important things. They keep bugs at bay. they cook food. they keep you warm. They keep wildlife away. They have also been a part of the american frontier life for ages and its one of the greatest parts about camping. In my opinion the ban on fires is due to the fun police telling us just one more thing that is either bad for our health or bad for the environment. No matter how stupid the claims are. I think if the environmentalists had their way we would only be aloud to take self heating meals and water along with us, and we would not be allowed to even so much as **** in the water because the Lipitor you took the night before might give a fish cancer.
    These types of rules are there to very slowly kick us out of the places that we have loved our whole lives. Pretty soon, they will have us out of the parks, because the rules will make it so that it is either too expensive to go or impractical.
  • SnookMagnetSnookMagnet Posts: 122 Deckhand
    I'm confused. I always thought camp fires were allowed below the high tide line. Is that not the case? The superintendent's letter to you mentions "in wilderness areas", so I wonder if he is specifically calling out the prohibition of camp fires in "the woods", as opposed to at beach campsites that we all use (and have fires on).
  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    White man make big fire, sit way back - Indian make small fire, sit up close. Therein is the crux of the problem, once again a few imbeciles spoil it for those of us who care.

    Open fires are allowed only at beach sites below the high water mark and at the Flamingo campgrounds, see the ENP website for a definition of your camp site.
  • pupraiserpupraiser Posts: 10,261 AG
    Robpelot wrote: »
    Why wont they tell us the real reason they dont want any fires? The real reason is they dont trust us to be intelligent human beings.

    Looks like they listed quite a few reasons why they won't allow fires. You just seem to be stuck on one of them.
  • RobpelotRobpelot Posts: 611 Officer
    1.) Fires are dangerous
    they are dangerous every where. Not just in the park. Fires are allowed all over. In Big Cypress even. Most people are responsible. Also, we are talking more about wood powered grills and fires in pans.

    2.) Hazards during dry periods
    State law already has laws in place to limit the risk of fires during exceptionally dry periods. Why does the federal government have to add more rules that completely overlay on top of the current ones?

    3.) IMproper disposal
    No one knows how improper disposal affects the character of the sire. Tell people.

    4.) Causes non native plant life to thrive.

    Im very skeptical here, as I have had a hard time finding peer reviewed litereature really lending any credence to this. If those plants are helped, so are native plants. Therefore, they are on even field, except the non natives already have advantages that cause them to grow. Therefore the very existence of these plants is the problem, not campfires. Its just dumb to blame the exotic plant problem on camp fires....

    Third paragraph is also unfounded, as controlled burns cause a much larger release of ash to local areas than campfires. It makes no sense.

    The damage caused is also silly. The pocket rockets and REI grills cause the damage. Look at the table at Camp Lonesome and Darwins. They are burned from those pocket rockets. Are we gonna ban them next?

    The point is I can pick them a part. The real reason is they dont want us having fires. period. We are currrently looking into the water quality and soil quanlity issues that they told us.

    Sine state parks allow fires, Big Cypress (Federal Land) allows them, what is the problem? Fires are one of the great things about camping. Be responsible. Keep it small. Clean up after your self. Follow those things and there will be 0 forest fires form them

    I am focusing on the pH issue, becuase Im a chemist and this is the area that I can most easily debunk. Its nonsense that the pH is changed by camp fires. Really.
  • RobpelotRobpelot Posts: 611 Officer
    also, beach campsites do not include the islands like Lopez, Darwins, Watsons, and Lonesome. ONly on those that are barrier islands can you have fires
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