Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dear Forest Defender,

Dear Forest Defender,

You don't know me, but I'm a letterboxer. I have been letterboxing for over five years, along with my children. We have spend hundreds of hours enjoying this hobby and are thankful for the memories of time spent together out on the trail and with other families and friends who also are letterboxers. We have had the opportunity to explore places we would have never even knew existed if it weren't for letterboxing. We have been creative in ways that have expanded our minds and learned about our environment by trekkin' trails and following clues. Our lives are richer because of our hobby of letterboxing.

I understand you have grave reservations about our hobby of letterboxing and of geocaching, it's technical cousin. You say that letterboxers and cachers are 'trashing' the environment, stomping on sacred grounds, ruining delicate forest habitats. I have to respectfully disagree.

I believe that this earth was created for mankind, as an environment for his pleasure, use and sustenance. I also believe in preserving our natural areas for the generations that follow us. I do NOT believe that letterboxing is a danger to the earth, our parks and natural spaces or wildlife habitats; much less even than constructing a park, blazing a trail through a forest, or building a home.

In my experience, letterboxers (and geocachers, as well) are people who enjoy the outdoors. They are those that volunteer to clean up parks and champion environmental and charity causes. The are fun-loving people who welcome newcomers to the hobby with open arms, sharing their experiences freely. They are NOT destructive, hateful, littering home-wreckers that you seem to be portraying.

I am dismayed and disappointed that someone, such as yourself, has decided to fill their lives with such a negative mission. Can I implore you to stop this nonsense? You, personally, are hurting people, children, with your destructive rant. Carelessly dropping hours of effort into the trash can in your plan to 'save the environment' hurts people. In my way of thinking, we need to be more considerate of others than of a decaying stump along side a trail. That's not to say that we need not be mindful of the environment, but your attitude seems to be a bit out of balance.

Your efforts have brought some good, however. It has alerted the letterboxing community to be more diligent in planting and cluing methods. Good luck finding any newly planted boxes, my friend. Also, it has brought together the letterboxing community in a united effort, which is always a good thing. You have brought to the forefront our sometimes lazy re-hiding practices; I'm sure these will halt immediately.

I would also like to warn you; there are a good many 'boxes that have been planted with permission. Perhaps you did not know that, but it is true. In the case of you throwing away a letterbox that has been planted with full consent and sometimes involving a paid fee, that would constitute stealing. I'm sure you would not want to be breaking the law. You also have claimed that certain places are 'sacred' (as in Native American burial grounds), I would advice caution; you wouldn't want to state erroneous facts, I'm sure, and be seen as a liar. Unfortunately, you have stirred the anger of quite a few of your neighbors, who you may not even know are letterboxers or geocachers. It's been my experience that what goes around comes around.

So, please, stop this tirade mission of yours. I beg you...for your sake and for the sake of a wonderful, harmless hobby. Hey, if you really like searching for letterboxes, why don't you get yourself a logbook and a sig-stamp (I'll even carve one for you, if you like) and hit the trails. Have a ball...find some boxes and re-hide them well. Go to a gather and make some friends. It sounds to me like you need a little more positive influences in your life.

Sincerely,
SHH

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nicely stated. I wholeheartedly concur.

Lemon Drop

Mama Cache said...

Excellent, my friend. Letterboxers across the country, especially in the PNW, should consider themselves a well-represented lot. Thank you for addressing this with thoroughness and conciseness.

Anonymous said...

Your Jedi diplomacy skills are impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well.

gollygee said...

Hear hear! Very well said. I hope the message reaches its intended target! :)

Beth said...

Looking for that 'agree' button to hit. Or a 'hug' - it's gotta be here somewhere...

Kristina said...

So eloquently put my friend.

SFF

Ari C'rona said...

Well stated, Master Jedi! :o)

Maiden said...

Very well said. I'm impressed, very level headed and diplomatic.
Maiden

Casa del Sol said...

Excellent! I hope he sees this and heeds your message.

Griz said...

Being a casual geocacher, I never thought too much of letterboxing, until my wife and daughter became avid letterboxers, and I saw how much fun they are having with it. I have enjoyed tagging along with them and occasionally looking up a couple caches whereever they are headed.

When I saw this idiot's website (who has actually taken at least one of my family's boxes), my first reaction was to want to go hide ME in the forest, and wait for this person, and make them afraid to EVER step foot in the woods again!

After reading your thoughtfully crafted letter, I have decided that your method of tact and diplomacy would probably go a lot farther, and much better exemplifies the attitudes of letterboxers than my barbaric approach.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts, but also to point out to the "forest defender", that guys like me are out there...

Anonymous said...

Your approach is one this 'forest defender' should study.

Peace and Reconcilliation are what Mandela sought and perhaps this person needs to be reminded of what that means.

You have done a beautiful job in your post.

Thank you so much,
Roots and Shoots Redmond

Anonymous said...

Hear Hear!!

Girlnextdoor

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